Vietnam, Belarus agree to enhance trade ties hinh anh 1Delegates at the Vietnam-Belarus Business Council and the Vietnam-Belarus Business Forum in HCM City on December 6 (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Belarus not only wants to export its products to Vietnam, but also transfer technologies and establish joint production plants in Vietnam with local firms, a bilateral business forum heard in Ho Chi Minh City December 6.

Speaking at the first ever meeting of the Vietnam-Belarus Business Council and the Vietnam-Belarus Business Forum, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Igor Brylo said Vietnam is a traditional trade partner for his country in Asia.

The 2016 free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam has boosted investment and trade between the two countries significantly, he said.

Vo Tan Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City office, said last year bilateral trade rose 7 percent to 101 million USD.

The two countries are making efforts to increase it to 500 million USD as agreed by their governments, he said.

In 2016 Belarusian-Vietnamese joint venture “MAZ Asia”, Belarus’s first investment in this country, was licensed in the northern province of Hung Yen.

It has finished construction of a plant and expects to produce 1,500 Maz trucks a year in the first phase, Thanh said.

“Belarus firms also plan to invest in some other projects in manufacturing and dairy and set up a bus assembly plant in Vietnam,” he said.

As the country’s economic hub, HCM City is a promising location for Belarusian businesses, he said.

Denis Nikolaev, trade counsellor at the Belarusian embassy, said his country has set up joint production plants in Vietnam, transferred technology and trained human resources.

“Belarus is willing to shift from pure sales of goods to Vietnam to technology transfer and setting up joint production plants,” Brylo said.

Besides, Vietnam could act as a gateway for Belarus to ASEAN markets while his country could be one of the gateways for Vietnamese goods such as seafood, tea, coffee, and others to penetrate the Eurasian Economic Union, he said.

Andrei Shakhanovich, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said 60 leading businesses, which are showcasing their products at the 2018 Vietnam Expo in HCM City and participating the forum, hope to find new partners in HCM City.

“We promise to make more efforts to promote cooperation between businesses of the two countries.”

Nguyen Quang Hung, chairman of the Vietnam-Belarus Council, expressed the hope that many Vietnamese and Belarusian firms would explore trade, investment, science and technology, and tourism opportunities.

The council would be a good channel for dialogue between businesses and government agencies of the two sides, he said.

At the same time the council would help find solutions to difficulties faced by enterprises doing business in the other country, he said.

The event was organised by the VCCI and the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. — VNS/VNA