Belorussian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich’s official visit to Vietnam from Nov. 28-Dec. 1 aims to implement the foreign policy of diversification to expand its relations with Vietnam and other ASEAN members.

The visit reflects Belarus’ desire to develop all-round cooperation with Vietnam, especially in economics, trade, and investment.

In addition, the two sides will discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern so as to enhance coordination at multilateral forums.

Vietnam and Belarus enjoy a time-honoured friendship and all-round cooperation. Belarus considers Vietnam a trustful partner on the international arena. The two countries has regularly exchanged delegations of ministries, branches and localities and high-ranking contacts and closely cooperated at the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and other international organisations and forums.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Belarus fetched almost 151 million USD in the first eight months of 2011, a 2.6 fold increase year-on-year. Vietnam exports seafood, electric and electronic products, telephones, printers, garments and textiles, footwear, rubber, rice, and canned vegetable and fruits to Belarus while import fertiliser, machinery, equipment, automobile accessories and tractors from the country. The Vietnam-Belarus Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic, Commercial and Scientific and Technological Cooperation convened its eighth session on Nov. 15-16, 2010 in Minsk in which the two countries signed a cooperation programme in economic fields for the 2011-2012 period.

Belarus has helped train a large number of Vietnamese cadres and experts. At present, there are 70 Vietnamese students studying in Belarus. The two countries have maintained close cooperation in science and technology. The Vietnam-Belarus Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee have conducted six sessions.

Labour cooperation is a new direction for both countries. Vietnamese businesses have signed contracts with Belorussian construction companies to send Vietnamese workers to work on the construction of a sports and recreational complex in Minsk.

The two countries’ localities have also promoted cooperation, such as ties between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and Minsk.
The two sides have stepped up cooperation in security-defence, healthcare, culture-information and sports-tourism following the signing of agreements and contracts in these fields during the visit to Vietnam by the Belorussian President in 2008.

At present, around 600 Vietnamese people are living in Belarus. President A. Lukashenko permitted Vietnamese people working and living in Belarus before 1992 to legally reside in the country.

The two countries have also signed a number of framework agreements to boost bilateral ties./.