Vietnam attaches importance to boosting economic-trade and investment relations with Belarus with a view to raising two-way trade to US$1 billion next year.
State President Nguyen Minh Triet made the statement while meeting with Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the Belarusian National Assembly (or Upper House) Boris Batura in the capital city of Minsk on May 14.
The State leader said that Vietnam wishes to penetrate into the European market through Belarus and is ready to become a bridge for Belarus to access the Southeast Asian market.
He suggested more support from the Belarusian Parliament and Chairman Boris Batura to deepen the bilateral ties through providing necessary legal assistance to boost the early implementation of agreements between the two countries' high-ranking leaders, supervising the enforcement of agreements signed between the two governments and speeding up cooperation between Vietnamese and Belarusian localities.
On the same day, President Triet attended the Vietnam-Belarus Business Forum where he expressed his belief that the forum offered a good chance for the two countries' businesses to exchange views and seek cooperation and investment opportunities.
"Businesses should take the initiative in bolstering the economic cooperation between the two countries," he said, adding that Vietnam is making great effort to create a transparent investment environment with simplified procedures for investors.
On behalf of the Belarusian government, Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Kobyakov said that the presence of Vietnamese and Belarusian businesses at the forum proved the further expansion of cooperative ties between the two countries.
He suggested the two countries should focus on increasing their bilateral trade turnover. Belarus will boost exports of metal products, pharmaceuticals and hi-tech equipment to Vietnam while expanding bilateral cooperation to new areas such as mineral exploration and exploitation, he said.
Belarus also applauded Vietnam's increased exports of garments and seafood to the country, he added.
President Triet and Deputy PM Andrey Kobyakov witnessed the signing of agreements and contracts on Belarus's provision of fertiliser, milk powder and truck component parts for Vietnam.
Earlier, the Vietnamese State leader laid a wreath at the Statue of Victory in Minsk , which commemorates Belarusian soldiers and people who sacrificed their lives during the struggle against fascists.
He also visited the National Library of Belarus, the State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War and the "Minsk Arena" sports complex.
*** Vietnam, Belarus leaders issue joint statement
Vietnam and Belarus have agreed to mutually recognise each other's market economy status and consider the possibility of trade liberalisation between the two countries.
This was stated in a Vietnam-Belarus joint statement, which was signed by State President Nguyen Minh Triet and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during the Vietnamese leader's visit to Belarus from May 13-15.
During his visit, President Triet held talks with President Lukashenko and met with the Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly, Boris Batura, and Prime Minister Sergey Sidorskiy.
The joint statement says the two leaders agreed to step up bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, security, science-technology, education, health care, culture and sports. On this basis, both parties expressed their willingness to continue facilitating long-term cooperation for the sake of both the Vietnamese and Belarusian peoples.
According to the joint statement, Vietnam and Belarus confirmed their support for strengthening the central and coordinating role of the United Nations (UN) to ensure peace, security and cooperation around the world.
They both agreed that the continuing reforms in the UN will enhance the efficiency and capacity of its operations in maintaining international peace and security.
They also stressed on the need to expand the representation of developing nations on the UN Security Council. Vietnam acknowledged Belarus' view on the necessity to also extend the representation of East European countries on the council. Belarus applauded Vietnam for its successful term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during 2008-2009.
The leaders acknowledged that they had similar views on many important regional and international issues and said they were ready to cooperate closely within the framework of the UN and other international organisations. They will also take part in joint efforts to form an equal and reasonable international economic and political order on the basis of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations, equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit, while abiding by international laws and the UN Charter.
Belarus praised Vietnam for its active role in ensuring a harmonious development, peace and stability in Southeast Asia and expressed their belief that Vietnam's chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2010 will help to improve the bloc's prestige and influence. Vietnam applauded and reiterated its support for Belarus's desire to step up multifaceted cooperation with other ASEAN member countries.