Sunday , June 4 2023

Blinken to visit Vietnam this week

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit Vietnam this week before heading to the G7 Ministers’ Meeting in Japan.

Blinken will be in Vietnam from Friday to Sunday upon the invitation of Vietnam’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bui Thanh Son, the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department said earlier that Blinken will accompany President Biden on his trip to the United Kingdom and Ireland from Tuesday, before his trip to Asia.

He will travel to Hanoi to advance key discussions with Vietnamese partners as the countries celebrate the 10th anniversary of Comprehensive Partnership, the department said in a statement, adding that the Secretary will meet with senior Vietnamese officials to discuss “shared vision of a connected, prosperous, peaceful, and resilient Indo-Pacific region.”

Blinken will then travel to Karuizawa, Japan for a meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven, where discussions are expected to chart a path forward on global issues including Russia’s war against Ukraine, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, food and energy security, and advance an affirmative vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific, it said.

The U.S. State Secretary’s visit would come after President Biden had a phone call two weeks earlier with Vietnam’s Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, where the two agreed to boost ties.

Vietnam and former foe U.S. normalized relations in 1994 and upgraded ties to Comprehensive Partnership in 2013. Bilateral trade increased 11% last year to US$123 billion.

The U.S. has been Vietnam’s largest export market for years, while Vietnam is its eighth largest trading partner in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia.

American investment in Vietnam is worth $11.4 billion, 11th highest of any country or territory.

Around 30,000 Vietnamese students currently study in the U.S., contributing $1 billion to its economy.

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