Representatives from more than 60 Vietnamese and 80 Belarusian businesses gathered at a forum in Belarus ’ capital city of Minsk on September 11 to explore their cooperation prospects.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said the forum is a good chance for both sides to seek opportunities and partners in economic-trade and investment cooperation.

The good political and diplomatic relations between the two countries provide a favourable environment for expanding their cooperation to other fields, particularly on economics-trade, he noted.

The minister said businesses of both sides should look to make full use of their own strengths to supplement each other and boost trade.

He expressed his hope that together with a number of important events currently underway in Belarus , the forum will create a new impetus for economic and trade ties between the two sides. The minister mentioned the third negotiations round on a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus and the 10 th Vietnam-Belarus Inter-governmental Committee for Economic, Trade and Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Belarusian Minister of Industry Dmitry Katerinich said Belarus is keen to cooperate with Vietnam in the promising realms of high technology, agricultural machine manufacturing, fertiliser production, metallurgy and transport infrastructure.

He added that the FTA between Vietnam and the Customs Union, once realised, will bring about great opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to conquer the large market of the union, while opening up the way for goods from the union member countries to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

Leaders of Vietnam and Belarus earlier set the target of bringing their two-way trade to 500 million USD by 2015. The figure stood at 190 million USD last year.-VNA