Vietnamese State President Vo Van Thuong and his spouse departed for the U.S. from Hanoi at noon on Tuesday to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week 2023 in San Francisco, California at the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden.
Thuong's trip is scheduled to last until Friday.
His entourage includes Chairman of the Vietnamese Presidential Office Le Khanh Hai, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc, Chairman of the National Assembly's Culture and Education Committee Nguyen Dac Vinh, and other top officials.
The Vietnamese president is set to join a series of APEC events, which are scheduled to run through Friday, and engage in several bilateral activities in the U.S., according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This is the Vietnamese state president’s first working trip to the U.S. since he took office in March this year.
His U.S. visit coincides with the celebrations of the APEC Summit’s 30th anniversary and the 25th since Vietnam joined it.
President Thuong’s participation in the APEC Summit demonstrates Vietnam’s support for multilateralism, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung.
Vietnam is one of a few APEC members to host the APEC leaders’ meetings twice. The Southeast Asian nation chaired the meetings in Hanoi in 2006 and in Da Nang City in 2017.
Ambassador Dung affirmed that Vietnam is willing to join hands with APEC members to help forum further thrive to build a sustainable economy and produce new opportunities and advantages to overcome current global uncertainties.
The top Vietnamese official’s trip is aimed at fostering bilateral ties between Vietnam and the U.S. after the two nations lifted their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership during President Biden’s Vietnam visit in September.
Throughout his trip, President Thuong and other top officials will meet U.S. officials and representatives of American enterprises to advance cooperation.
|Vice-State President Vo Thi Anh Xuan (L) sees President Vo Van Thuong (R) off at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, November 14, 2023. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
APEC 2023, themed ‘Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All,’ aims for an interconnected, innovative, and inclusive region.
APEC was founded in 1989 as an informal dialogue forum to promote regional economic integration.
The APEC leaders' meeting was held for the first time in 1993, and then became an annual event.
APEC now includes 21 members, covering some 40 percent of the global population and almost half of global trade.
|Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Mission in Vietnam Melissa Bishop (L) shakes hands with State President Vo Van Thuong at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, November 14, 2023. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|