HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri began on Wednesday a two-day official visit to Vietnam, where he will meet top officials to strengthen diplomatic and trade relations between the countries.
Macri, who arrived in the Vietnamese capital on Tuesday night from the Indian city of Mumbai, began the day by laying a wreath at the Monument to National Heroes and Martyrs and another at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
He was then received at the Presidential Palace by Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam’s president and general-secretary of the ruling Communist Party.
Macri and Trong are expected to sign several bilateral agreements before the Argentine leader’s meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan later in the day.
The visit will conclude on Thursday with the opening of a Vietnam-Argentina business forum in Hanoi, in which around 100 Argentine businesspersons accompanying Macri on his Asian tour to India, Vietnam and Abu Dhabi will take part.
According to the Argentine government, the meeting will serve to analyze the possibility of expanding trade links and investment flows in both directions, especially in the agri-food and technology sectors.
Trade between the two countries has doubled in five years from $1.4 billion in 2013 to $2.9 billion in 2018, making Vietnam Argentina’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.
After the forum ends, Macri will depart for Abu Dhabi, where he will conclude his Asian tour.
Macri arrived in Hanoi from India where in New Delhi on Monday, the two countries signed 10 cooperation agreements in the fields of defense, agriculture and energy.
On the first day of this three-day visit, Macri also joined the International Solar Alliance led by India.
Macri and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed progress made in sectors such as nuclear energy, space, commerce, culture, tourism, information technology and agrochemicals, and explored new avenues for cooperation between the two countries.
His visit coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Argentina and India.
Annual bilateral trade with India has been a relatively low with the South American nation running a surplus of $1.2 billion.
The sale of soybean oil makes up 90 percent of Argentinian exports to the South Asian economic giant.