A ceremony was held in Hanoi on Wednesday morning to welcome President of Argentina Mauricio Macri, who is on his first state visit to Vietnam to deepen the ties between the two countries, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
President Macri and his spouse, who are visiting from February 19 to 21, were formally welcomed by Vietnamese Party chief and State President Nguyen Phu Trong and his wife.
The event was also 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.
Following the ceremony, the two leaders held talks and discussed measures to boost bilateral ties and to elevate the current relationship to a strategic partnership in the future.
This is the first visit to Vietnam by Macri as President of Argentina.
The trip is considered an important milestone in the bilateral relationship, especially after the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties last year.
It also demonstrates the importance of Vietnam in Argentina’s external policy toward 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.
Two-way trade increased from US$1.4 billion in 2013 to $2.9 billion last year, the highest figure between Argentina and any Southeast Asian country.
The two sides are working to raise bilateral trade to $5 billion.
Argentina is Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner in Latin America, while Vietnam is its fifth-biggest import market globally.