Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong (left) and President of Argentina Mauricio Macri inpsect the guard of honour. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A ceremony was held in Hanoi on February 20 to welcome President of Argentina Mauricio Macri and his spouse, who are paying a State visit to Vietnam from February 19-21 to deepen the ties between the two countries.

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong and his wife chaired the event which was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien, and Chairman of the Presidential Office Dao Viet Trung, along with leaders of ministries, departments, and centrally-run agencies.

This is the first visit to Vietnam by Macri as President of Argentina. It will be an important milestone in the bilateral relationship, especially after the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties last year. 

The three-day trip, which comes at the invitation of President Trong, also demonstrates the importance of Vietnam in Argentina’s external policy towards Asia and Southeast Asia in particular, especially after the Latin American nation signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in August 2018.

Vietnam and Argentina established diplomatic ties on October 25, 1973.

The countries have established numerous mechanisms to boost cooperation. They have also signed various agreements to encourage investment, economic cooperation, scientific-technological ties, cultural-educational relations and collaboration in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Vietnam and Argentina have also supported each other at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) and the South-South Cooperation within the UN framework.

Two-way trade increased from 1.4 billion USD in 2013 to 2.9 billion USD last year — the highest figure between Argentina and any Southeast Asian country. 

Argentina is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in Latin America, while Vietnam is its fifth biggest import market globally. The two sides are working to raise bilateral trade to 5 billion USD.-VNA