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"Politics is a good foundation for economic contacts": Prospects of Belarus-Vietnam relations

Balm ointment Zvezdochka is not news for Belarus: this product was bought from Vietnam long ago. Vietnam has long known tractors Belarus and motorcycles Minsk. What is news then? Dairy products in Vietnam will be made from Belarusian milk powder. And this revolutionary arrangement because the Vietnamese cuisine usually does not involve the use of milk. Belarus will also export rock haulers and even more potash fertilizers to Southeast Asia. And tourist flows will increase, of course... A lot of good ideas were voiced at the Belarusian-Vietnamese business forum and a meeting of the two presidents.

Trần Đại Quang paid a visit to Belarus and Yana Shipko has more on this event.

Vie Le, graduate student of the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radio Electronics:
We had motorcycles, called "Minh" and later we learned that this means Minsk, the Belarus capital.

Legendary motorcycles Minsk were exported to Vietnam in the Soviet years. They are now found on the local streets even now. Collectors value them quite high. Tractors "Belarus" is another brand that has become "permanent resident" in Vietnam.

Supplies of Belarusian equipment to Vietnam will grow exponentially in the coming years. MAZ is going to send to Vietnam 400 trucks, and in 2018 already in 1,000. A joint production is going to be launched near Hanoi. These machines will roll off Vietnamese assembly lines in September. The Belarusian model had to be adapted for the local market to make it lighter and more compact.

Dmitry Katerinich, General Director of MAZ:
In Vietnam, there is a standard which required us to change the dimensions as well as the axle load. Therefore, especially for Vietnam and the ASEAN market, we had to develop new models of equipment. In addition, we have worked hard to ensure that our equipment be competitive in terms of price.

About a thousand trucks will be assembled in Vietnam each year. Profit is expected at about 40 million dollars. Through a dealer network Belarusian equipment is already present in 24 provinces in Vietnam. The Vietnamese market is highly protected, but Belarus has favorable preferences so MAZ will ship products without a fee. This partnership opens the way for the entire market of Southeast Asia - from Indonesia to the Philippines. Co-production of so-called "slim" buses is another idea which was given green light in Vietnam. Body of Vietnamese street buses is narrower than in Belarus.

Phạm Bình Minh, Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam:
First of all we are interested in equipment that complies with our conditions - these are small tractors and buses. We are very pleased that MAZ is establishing a joint production facility in Vietnam. You will engage in localization. We want the joint company to operate successfully. This is a prime example of our good cooperation.

The economy, of course, is the basis of relations. The leading world powers are now seeking cooperation with Vietnam. This sneaking Asian tiger demonstrates enviably stable economic growth. The influx of large foreign investment entails new jobs and as a consequence we see increase in welfare. Make friends with Hanoi is now a profitable business. Belarus and Vietnam did not limit themselves to solely economic cooperation.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarus with is looking with interest at the social and economic achievements of Vietnam. We welcome your achievements, especially in the last decade. We have new opportunities for closer cooperation, including through the creation of joint ventures, service centers and participation in long-term infrastructure projects. We are ready to provide maximum assistance to the Vietnamese partners in the work on the Belarusian market. Speaking of our presence in Vietnam market, it should be noted that the first, noteworthy steps have already been taken in this direction. By 2017 we plan to create in Vietnam a joint production facility to assemble MAZ trucks. Belarusian specialists are interested in taking part in infrastructure projects for the construction of subways, tunnels as well as oil industry and mining. By the way, the company Minskmetroproekt's office is already open and working in your country. It is ready to take on projects of any complexity. Why don't we design the metro station "Minsk" in Hanoi and "Belarusian" in Ho Chi Minh City?

Metro in Hanoi is a project valued at $2.5 billion. Our experts can participate in the construction of one of the lines. Moreover, Belarusian innovative production methods can be useful in the oil fields of Vietnam.

Trần Đại Quang, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam:
Mr Lukashenko, I have noticed that during these 25 years relations between Belarus and Vietnam have been developing consistently in all areas. We support each other in the international arena, in international organizations. Politics is a good foundation for our economic contacts.

The business community of both countries is looking for points of interaction in industry, infrastructure, innovation, and tourism. Such business forums have already become a tradition, but this one turned out to be the most ambitious. About a hundred businessmen came from Vietnam. For Belarus Vietnam is a gateway to Asia. Vietnam sees Belarus as gateway to the European market. This is the first state which concluded the Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).This automatically opened new opportunities for the export of meat and dairy products.

In this scenario, a goal of a bilateral trade turnover of 1 billion dollars is achievable.

This 3D printer is capable of producing any of the items, even for medical implants. Vietnamese partners asked a lot about a special material designed by Belarusian scientists. In turn, Belarusian experts are studying the possibility of producing biofuels from Vietnamese straw. Such a plant is already working in Vietnam.

Vladimir Agabekov, director of the Institute of Chemistry of New Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus:
This plant is effective enough to clean up flood waters. This is a real development which will be continued.

Vietnam considers Belarusian education quite attractive. Vie got Belarusian diploma and returned for the title of Doctor of Science.

Vie Le:
In Belarus, people are of good faith. I think that's very good that there is good cooperation between us, there is an exchange of students, including post-graduate.

Belarusian universities annually accept Vietnamese students. Only the best students from Vietnam have an opportunity to go to Belarus for studies.

Tuan Le will get an electronics engineering degree in a week. But he does not rule out that he might come back. After all, Belarusian-Vietnamese friendship opens up great prospects in front of him.

"Politics is a good foundation for economic contacts": Prospects of Belarus-Vietnam relations