Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will pay an official visit to Belarus from May 15-17 at the invitation of his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich with the aim of deepening the two countries’ multifaceted cooperation.

Vietnam and Belarus have enjoyed a time-honoured traditional friendship relations and growing wide-ranging cooperation.

The two countries have regularly exchanged high-ranking delegations, with President Nguyen Minh Triet visiting Belarus in May 2010, and Belarusian Prime Minister M. Myasnikovich coming to Vietnam in November 2001.

The two sides have established close coordination and supported each other at international forums, and within the framework of the United Nations.

The two countries’ economic and trade ties have experienced a stable growth with two-way trade reaping 190 million USD in 2012. Cooperation in their strong fields such as heavy industry, agriculture and processing industry, has been stepped up.

Vietnam exports rice, seafood, coffee and tea to Belarus . The two sides are also considering the establishment of a joint venture producing milk in Vietnam and another processing coffee in Belarus .

The two countries have signed an economic cooperation programme for 2013-2015 which has set to increase bilateral trade to 1 billion USD in the coming years.

Belarus participated in the first round of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union, of which Belarus is a member, in Hanoi in late March, 2013.

The two countries’ local cooperation has been boosted. Bilateral cooperation documents have been inked between Hanoi and Minsk, Da Nang and Grodno, Ho Chi Minh City and Minsk, Quang Ninh and Minsk, Grodno, and Brest, and Hai Phong and Binh Tuan and Vitebsk.

Apart from those areas, bilateral cooperation is also strengthened in the fields of security, defence, healthcare, education, science and technology, culture, information, sports, tourism and labour.

PM Dung’s visit to Belarus looks to affirm Vietnam’s determination to consolidate and develop its traditional friendship relations with Belarus and at the same time strengthen political ties, to create a foundation for the two countries to broaden and deepen their multi-dimensional cooperation.-VNA