A trade mission comprising of representatives from around 60 universities, four-year colleges, community colleges and English-language programmes kicked off their trip to two of the fastest growing markets in Asia - Vietnam and Indonesia - from April 2-9.

The mission, led by US Department of Commerce's Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez, aimed to bring more Vietnamese and Indonesian students to the US , as well as open the door for sharing faculty and research.

The undersecretary said the mission is part of an Obama administration goal to double US exports in five years. "Higher education ranks among the top 10 US exports,” Sanchez said. "I see no more valuable export than education.”

“ Vietnam and Indonesia were chosen because these countries show the best growth for sending students to the US to study,” Sanchez said.

During their stay in Vietnam , the mission is expected to hold market briefings, education partnering workshops, and educational fairs where expected attendance should be between 1,200-2,000 people, among other activities in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi .

With a population of 86 million, a steadily increasing per capita income, and the high value the Vietnamese place on education, Vietnam offers significant opportunities to US providers of education services.

Vietnam now ranks ninth among countries sending students to the US. /.