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National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan shakes hands with Chairwoman of the Council of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova in Minsk on December 12.

Ngan is on her first official visit to Belarus from December 12 – 14.

The Chairwoman of the Council of the National Assembly of Belarus said the Vietnamese top legislator’s visit will take the two countries’ long-standing friendship and multi-faceted cooperation to the next level.

The level of mutual trade between the two nations does not correspond to their potential so the two sides need to further bolster cooperation in this area, Kochanova continued, saying the Belarusian NA will do it best to reinforce the ties between the two parliaments and countries.

The Vietnamese top legislator, for her part, said Vietnam always treasures the friendly relations with Belarus, which date back to the times of the Soviet Union.

She welcomed cooperation between cities and provinces from both sides, citing Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh and Minsk, Da Nang and Grosno, and Lao Cai and Brest as examples. She expected the two legislatures will together urge these localities to work out specific plans and cooperation programmes in the near future.

Sharing Kochanova’s view on the modest bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Ngan said the two nations must strive to lift the two-way trade to 500 million USD in the coming time. She suggested the two sides to give priority to areas where Vietnam’s advantages match Belarus’ demands, such as textile and garment, wood, fishery, pharmaceuticals, computers and rice, and boost trade of agricultural products that they can complement each other.

The two sides should also seek new opportunities for cooperation, make the most of the Vietnam – Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Free Trade Agreement and promote the popularisation of the FTA among their business communities, she added.

She highly spoke of Belarus as a traditional and trustworthy partner in defence and security of Vietnam, proposing the two sides continue maintaining effective cooperation, delegation exchanges and implementation of the Vietnam – Belarus military-technical cooperation for 2016 – 2020, and complete legal framework for partnership in security.

She went on to emphasise Vietnam’s consistent stance on the East Sea that all disputes must be settled by peaceful measures, in line with international law, including the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). All concerned parties must fully and effectively implement the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon conclude the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), she said.

Vietnam hopes Belarus will continue supporting the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes in the East Sea, she added.

The Belarusian NA speaker said Belarus will always back Vietnam at multilateral forums on the basis of mutual benefits and the two countries’ traditional friendship.

Both leaders appreciated the operation of the Vietnam – Belarus inter-governmental committee on economics, trade, science and technology.

Belarus sees Vietnam as a strategic partner and a springboard for increasing its economic presence in the Southeast Asia, Kochanova said.

Both sides agreed that they need to help joint ventures of the two countries gain a broader access to Asian and European markets and that a Belarus Day will be held in Vietnam in 2021.

Kochanova affirmed the Belarusian NA attaches importance to ties with the Vietnamese NA, adding that a friendship parliamentarians’ group with Vietnam will be set up in the coming time.

To further enhance ties between the two legislatures, the two leaders agreed to increase exchanges of high-level delegations, committees and friendly parliamentarians’ groups to boost mutual understanding and trust; continue effectively implementing the two sides’ agreement signed in April 2009 and promoting close coordination at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU); and jointly review and supervise the enforcement of agreements reached by the two countries’ governments and ministries.

Vietnamese, Belarusian parliaments pledge support for stronger ties

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National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) and Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalia Kochanova at the press briefing after their talks

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalia Kochanova described their talks in Minsk on December 12 as fruitful at a joint press conference the same day.

Kochanova said the two sides discussed the cooperation prospects as well as measures to boost the partnership between their parliaments, along with various international issues.

She added that with high potential of both countries, Vietnam and Belarus can facilitate ties in all fields.

Although two-way trade has risen strongly over the past years, there is room for both sides to bolster collaboration, she said.

The Vietnamese and Belarusian economies can supplement each other, especially in exports, she said, adding that Vietnam has strengths in industry and products made by the two countries could be exported to a third country.

“I propose that Vietnam exports more goods to Belarus, especially strong products like rubber, tea, coffee, and tropical fruits,” she said.

Kochanova revealed they had agreed tosupport their Governments’initiatives to strengthen bilateral ties.

For her part, Ngan said that the talks covered various matters regarding collaboration in all fields between the two legislative bodies.

“We are committed to working together to bolster cooperation between the two parliaments to match the sound traditional friendship and all-round ties between the two countries. Vietnam always treasures the priceless support the Belarusian people gave to the country in the past during the struggle for the national independence and reunification as well as the current national construction,” stated Ngan.

The legislator said the two sides will prioritise the promotion of economic and trade affiliation, while increasing cooperation in farm produce exports and tourism, and assisting each other to seek new opportunities and measures to make full use of the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement.

The two countries will continue coordinating and supporting each other as well as sharing viewpoints at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations.

They will effectively implement agreements signed by the two parliaments in April 2009 by increasing the exchange of high-level visits as well as delegations from committee level and friendship parliamentary groups for better mutual understanding and trust, said Ngan.

Ngan also said that the leader of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus agreed to work closely with and support the governments of both sides to foster cooperation in all fields, creating favourable legal conditions for the promotion of coordination among ministries, localities, enterprises and peoples for the prosperity of both nations, meeting the aspirations of leaders and people of the two countries.

Vietnam values traditional friendship with Belarus: Top legislator

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Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko

Vietnam always attaches great importance to its traditional friendship and all-round cooperation with Belarus, said Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on December 12 (local time).

Holding talks with Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko, the Vietnamese top legislator thanked Belarus for supporting Vietnam at the multilateral mechanisms like the United Nations (UN) and the non-aligned movement.

She took the occasion to congratulate Belarus on the country’s successful organisation of the 7th Convocation of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly, and congratulate Vladimir Andreichenko for his re-election.

Vladimir Andreichenko, for his part, believed that NA Chairwoman Ngan’s official visit to his country will serve as a catalyst to further boost the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two parliaments and two countries as a whole.

Promoting cooperation with Vietnam is a top priority in Belarus’s foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region, he stressed, saying both sides hold huge cooperation potential as they share the same viewpoint in many international issues, and their economies share complementary natures.

Regarding economic cooperation, the Vietnamese top legislator said that two-way trade value is still modest, lagging behind the two countries’ potential and expectations. She recommended both sides to work together to take advantage of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union.

 

The two leaders said that both sides should prioritise collaboration in the fields of Vietnam’s strengths and Belarus’s demands such as garments and textiles, wooden products, seafood, pharmaceuticals and computers, as well as Belarus’s strengths like fertiliser, machines, equipment, and automobile parts, among others.

Agreeing with NA Chairwoman Ngan’s suggestion to set up joint ventures between businesses of both sides, Vladimir Andreichenko said that Belarus will accelerate work to establish tea and coffee processing plants in Vietnam so that the products will suit the taste of Belarusian consumers.

Both sides have enjoyed effective cooperation in defence-security, they said, hoping they will continue long-term collaboration based on inked agreements, including the Vietnam – Belarus military technical cooperation for 2016-2020.

NA Chairwoman Ngan asked Belarus to further grant scholarships in IT, radio-electronics and automation for Vietnamese students, saying the Vietnamese sides stand ready to receive Belarusian military personnel who want to study Vietnamese language and join international courses at the Vietnam’s National Defence Academy.

She suggested both sides maintain personnel training courses, and exchange information about national security situation in each nation, including the fight against organised crimes, transnational crimes, high-tech crimes, and illegal immigration, among others.

At the talks, the two leaders spoke highly of the bilateral cooperation in culture, sports and tourism, voicing their endorsement for cultural exchange between the two nations through the organisation of Cultural Days in Vietnam and Belarus.

The number of Belarusian visitors to Vietnam has been on strong surge after Vietnam provided visa exemption to Belarusian citizens, NA Chairwoman Ngan said, wishing Belarus will create favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals’ entry and exit.

She thanked the Belarusian Government, parliament and people for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to better integrate into the host nation, helping consolidate and develop cooperative ties and friendship between the two nations.

Touching on the East Sea issue, NA Chairwoman Ngan laid stress on Vietnam’s consistent stance to settle maritime disputes by peaceful measures and in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

She said she rejoiced at the sound cooperative ties between the Vietnamese NA and the Belarusian House of Representatives in the past time, recommending both sides maintain the exchange of high-level delegations, share experience in legislative work, and closely coordinate at multilateral forums like the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to discuss issues of mutual concern.

In its role as the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) Chair in 2020, the Vietnamese NA will work to promote the partnership between AIPA and Belarusian legislative bodies, she highlighted.

She invited the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus to visit Vietnam and attend the AIPA-41 in Vietnam next year. She hoped that Belarusian businesses will also come to Vietnam on the occasion to seek investment opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation.

Meanwhile, Andreichenko said as there is huge room for both nations to develop economic and trade cooperation, the two parliaments should play a more proactive role to support the bilateral collaboration.

In a bid to increase the two-way trade value to 500 million USD per year, it is crucial to promote the implementation of initiatives within ASEAN and Eurasian Economic Union, he suggested.

He said he will attend the AIPA-41 in Vietnam, and will, together with a delegation of Belarusian businesses, seek investment opportunities in the nation.

He wished that Vietnamese enterprises will participate in the economic and trade forum scheduled in Belarus in May 2020, describing the forum as a good opportunity for businesses of both sides to study cooperative potentials.

Together with existing cooperative mechanisms, both parliaments should work on new initiatives to enhance cooperation, he said, competent committees of the two National Assemblies need to join efforts to step up cultural exchange between the two countries.

Besides, he stated that education cooperation is important to the Vietnam-Belarus relations, and Belarus is willing to support Vietnam to train experts in the fields of construction and mechanics.

He also stressed the necessity to promote cooperation at local level, hoping the draft plan on Hanoi – Minsk collaboration will be inked soon.

NA Chairwoman meets Belarusian President

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At the meeting between National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (right) and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on December 12 met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, during which they discussed the partnership between Vietnam and Belarus across spheres.

The host leader said Ngan’s ongoing visit will create a great momentum for the long-standing relations between the two countries.

He highlighted the fruitful bilateral cooperation in politics, economy, national defence and security, and education, with exchanges of visits and meetings by leaders, including those of legislative bodies.

Lauding the achievements Vietnam has recorded over the past time, the President said Vietnam boasts a big population and is developing on the platform of high-tech, which he described as sustainable factors of an economy.

He added that Vietnam and Belarus share viewpoints in many areas and they have supported each other at international forums.

Ngan, who is on her first official visit to Belarus in her capacity as Vietnamese NA Chairperson, said Vietnam highly appreciates Belarus’ socio-economic achievements under the leadership of President Lukashenko and the Belarusian Government, as well as its foreign policy of diversifying and multilateralising relations, and expanding relations with other countries, especially traditional friends, including Vietnam.

She thanked the Belarusian people for their great and valuable support to Vietnam during the past struggle for national liberation and reunification, and the present cause of national construction and development.

Such warm sentiments and assistance have created a firm foundation for the continuous development of traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries, the Vietnamese top legislator affirmed.

She went on to say that Vietnam highly values the close coordination between the two countries at international organisations and forums, particularly the United Nations and multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments (MSEAP).

She also thanked Belarus for backing Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and a seat at the UN Commission on International Trade for 2019-2025.

The leader suggested the two countries carry forward the coordination at multilateral mechanisms as well as the Non-Aligned Movement.

Host and guest shared the views that two-way trade still remain modest, standing at only 92.2 million USD last year and 41.1 million USD in the first half of this year.

They urged promoting the economic and trade collaboration to match the bilateral political ties, aiming to raise two-way trade revenue to 500 million USD as targeted by leaders of both sides.

Ngan also urged the two countries to tap advantages generated by the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement, and further popularise its incentives among businesses in order to expand the structure of imports. She added that Vietnam welcomed the inauguration of the first Vietnam-Belarus auto manufacturing joint venture Maz Asia in the northern province of Hung Yen last September.

The top legislator expressed her hope that the two countries will continue to maintain the trustful and regular collaboration in national defence and security, culture, science-technology and tourism.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Ngan said Vietnam welcomes efforts of all countries to contribute to preserving peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, for regional cooperation and development.

She called on Belarus to support the stance and principles of Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on addressing disputes by peaceful measures without using or threatening to use force, on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon reaching a pragmatic Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

In this regard, Lukashenko affirmed that Belarus always supports the settlement of all disputes by peaceful measures and on the basis of international law.

Both sides spoke highly of the friendship and cooperation between the two legislative bodies, with regular exchanges of delegations at all levels, consultations and close coordination at multilateral forums.

Ngan took the occasion to thank the Belarusian President for facilitating the settlement and social integration of the Vietnamese community in the country. VNA