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Hanoi – Minsk close ties: Highlight of bilateral relations
Ngoc Mai - Lien Ha 07:18, 2023/12/08
The two cities have signed a cooperation agreement for the period 2024-2026, aimed at expanding the scope of bilateral relations.

Constructive interaction and exchange between the two capitals helped push the relations between the two countries to new heights.

 Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Tran Sy Thanh at the meeting. Photos: The Hanoi Times

Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, who is currently on a visit to Vietnam, shared this view at a meeting with Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Tran Sy Thanh.

During the meeting, Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Tran Sy Thanh highlighted the significance of the visit, which reflects Vietnam's pivotal role as one of Belarus' key partners in Southeast Asia.

He emphasized that the visit provides an important opportunity to strengthen the traditional friendship and foster multifaceted cooperation between the two nations, while also exploring ways to expand collaboration between their respective localities.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, Vietnam and Belarus have maintained a wide range of collaborations, based on longstanding friendly ties which have significantly contributed to the development of both nations.

Beyond the political foundation, the two countries are actively implementing the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (VN-EAEU FTA), in addition to various bilateral cooperation agreements covering numerous economic sectors.

Thanh expressed optimism that the Belarusian Prime Minister's visit would add momentum to the warm friendship between the two sides. He also expressed hope that, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the relationship between Hanoi and Minsk would continue to thrive, grow stronger, and remain sustainable.

Expressing gratitude for the warm welcome from the leaders of Hanoi, Golovchenko shared his positive impressions of Hanoi's development. He noted that Hanoi is not just a sister city to Minsk but is also a major partner for Belarus.

 Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko. 

Recalling the significant milestone in 2004 when Hanoi and Minsk signed an agreement on bilateral friendship and cooperation, he highlighted the active exchange of delegations and shared experiences across economic, cultural, educational, and other development fields.

On this occasion, Golovchenko proposed the development of an annual plan between the two cities outlining specific activities to materialize the signed agreements. Additionally, he made several suggestions for enhancing cooperation, including cultural exchanges, economic forums, and trade events. The Prime Minister also proposed reciprocal visits to educational institutions in Belarus and Vietnam.

On the economic front, the Prime Minister acknowledged that achievements to date have not fully matched the potential, emphasizing that the purpose of the visit is to explore ways to strengthen economic cooperation. He highlighted potential areas such as public transport, waste treatment, and trade in products where Belarus has expertise, such as avocados, peanuts, and cheese. The Prime Minister said a Hanoi delegation should be sent to Belarus to explore deeper areas of cooperation.

For his part, the Mayor of Hanoi provided an overview of Hanoi's situation and development priorities, emphasizing its role as the national political and administrative center and a major hub for business, culture, education, and international integration. Known as the "City for Peace" and a participant in the "UNESCO Creative Cities Network," Hanoi prioritizes people-centric economic and social development policies to help build a modern, civilized, and thriving capital, said Thanh.

He added that the year 2024 holds great significance for Hanoi, as the National Assembly is expected to pass key laws, including the Capital Law, Capital Planning with a vision to 2050, and adjustments to the General Planning of Hanoi up to 2045, with a vision to 2065.

“Against this backdrop, Hanoi is actively seeking more international exchanges and collaboration with cities worldwide, including Minsk,” said Thanh.

Minsk's First Vice Mayor Nadezhda Lazarevich and Hanoi's Vice Chairman Nguyen Manh Quyen sign a cooperation agreement, witnessed by Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and Hanoi's Mayor Tran Sy Thanh.

In line with the proposal from the Prime Minister of Belarus, Thanh reaffirmed Hanoi's commitment to carry out the annual plan for implementing cooperation between the two cities. Additionally, Hanoi expressed its readiness to host a bilateral economic forum.

Thanh also emphasized the intention to send an educational delegation to Belarus for research and knowledge exchange, underscoring the significant needs and priorities of Hanoi in this area.

Regarding cooperation in public transportation, waste treatment, and recycling – sectors of great interest and priority for Hanoi's development – Thanh emphasized Belarus' potential in supplying buses and cars through partnerships in Vietnam.

He also expressed readiness to import high-quality products from Belarus within the framework of bilateral trading activities.

New milestone in Hanoi – Minsk cooperation

On the same day, Thanh and the Belarusian guest witnessed the signing ceremony of the Cooperation Program, implementing the Agreement on friendly relations and cooperation between the Hanoi People's Committee and the Minsk City Executive Committee for the period 2024 - 2026.

The Prime Minister affirmed that the agreement will lay a solid foundation for further progress in cooperation between the two capitals.

Building on the formal relationship established in 2004 through the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation, discussions between Hanoi and Minsk have continued since 2020 to consider signing a new phase of the cooperation program. However, due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the exchange of delegations and planned cooperation initiatives have been delayed.

The visit by the Prime Minister of Belarus provided a timely opportunity for the two localities to meet, exchange ideas, and sign the Cooperation Program for the period 2024 - 2026.

This cooperation program is expected to broaden the scope for collaboration between the two capital cities, fostering exchanges and partnerships in diverse fields such as investment promotion, trade, tourism, science and technology, arts, cultural heritage preservation, and people-to-people interactions. Ultimately, this program aims to further strengthen the enduring friendship between the two countries.

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