PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc is welcomed by Chinese officials at the airport. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his entourage arrived in Shanghai at 11:30 am on November 4 (local time) to attend the first International Import Expo of China (CIIE 2018) on November 4-5.

Welcoming the Vietnamese leader at the airport were designated Ambassador of China to Vietnam Xiong bo, Vietnamese Ambasador to China Dang Minh Khoi, and Vietnamese Consul General to Shanghai Ninh Thanh Cong.

During his stay, PM Phuc will meet with Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping and Mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong. He will attend the opening ceremony of the CIIE 2018 and the Hongqiao International Trade Forum, and visit booths of participating countries. He will be also present at a ceremony to open the Vietnam trade promotion office in Hangzhou and meet with representatives of major Chinese businesses

The CIIE 2018, set to be held annually, aims to create a chance for other countries to access the Chinese market and help promote the “Belt and Road” initiative as well as globalisation.

PM Phuc’s attendance at the event demonstrates Vietnam’s wish to develop bilateral economic and trade ties sustainably.

For Vietnam – a gateway to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), this expo is an important trade, investment and tourism promotion event helping strengthen its links with regional countries, optimise benefits generated by the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area and increase the export of Vietnamese goods and services to China and other ASEAN countries along with the shipment of ASEAN goods to China via Vietnam.

The CIIE is also an occasion to popularise Vietnamese enterprises’ image to China and other countries to attract foreign investment while helping Vietnamese firms seek markets and expand business activities.

New strides have been recorded in trade, investment and tourism cooperation between Vietnam and China since the beginning of 2018. China remains the biggest trade partner and source of foreign tourists of the Southeast Asian nation, which in turn also ranks first among ASEAN trade and tourism partners of China.

Their trade has kept growing, hitting 76.07 billion USD in the first nine months of 2018.

In 2017, Chinese investment in Vietnam reached 2.17 billion USD, up more than 20 percent from the previous year, making China the fourth largest FDI investor here.

As of late September 2018, China had 2,041 projects worth 12.78 billion USD in Vietnam, ranking seventh among 129 countries and territories investing in the country.-VNA