Trump welcomes Vietnam leader to White House

Phuc said on Tuesday he would sign deals for USA goods and services worth $15 billion to $17 billion during his Washington visit, mainly for high-technology products and for services.

Earlier on Tuesday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met Vietnamese officials to settle agreements ahead of the summit, which may see Vietnam buying more American aircraft.

Trump said they would also discuss North Korea, whose nuclear weapons program is of growing concern to Washington.

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has expressed his wish that, with its reputation and influence, the Nasdaq Stock Market would further expand co-operation with and provide stronger assistance for Vietnamese enterprises, including the VNG Joint Stock Company, to list their shares on the U.S. stock market.

Trump noted that he hopes to balance out the major trade deficit the United States has with Vietnam in a short period of time.

"He has focused on tackling graft and corruption, and promoting broad economic reform, including continuing to privatise Vietnam's state-owned-enterprises".

Separately, journal Tech in Asia reported that the Vietnam-based Internet company VNG Corp, which provides online games, music streaming and messaging applications, signed a preliminary deal on the sidelines of Mr Phuc's two-day visit, with the USA stock exchange Nasdaq to explore an initial public offering.

Billions in U.S. -Vietnam business deals are expected to be signed during his visit. He gave no details but emphasised that GE had 3,000 employees in Vietnam. "But a "comprehensive relationship" that's in the long-term interests of the United States requires an open and free Vietnam", he said.

VIETNAM'S PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN XUAN PHUC, on building closer economic ties with the United States.

"Over the last decade, our bilateral trade deficit has risen from about $7 billion to almost $32 billion", Lighthizer said as cited by Reuters.

"Since we began operations in Vietnam ten years ago, we have been on a consistent growth trajectory".

To do so, Mr Phuc plans to highlight all the U.S. jobs his nation supports through imports of American goods like airplanes, engine turbines and maize.

A year ago, the U.S. lifted a decades-long ban on weapons sales to Vietnam, and last Thursday it transferred a Hamilton class cutter to the Vietnamese Coast Guard, which is now its largest vessel and will significantly improve its maritime capability.

Jabil is among USA investors to pledge for long-term operation in Vietnam.

The warming of relations bodes well for the U.S., particularly as traditional regional allies Thailand and the Philippines seek to strengthen ties with China over disagreements with Washington.

Vietnam is among governments claiming territory in the South China Sea, where China's assertive behavior and land reclamation has stirred tension.

Thang also said the group raised the issue of land he said was seized by authorities from Con Dau Parish in the coast city of Danang, and sold to private investors to build a five-star resort that will be the site of the Asia-Pacific Economic (APEC) cooperation that Trump will attend.

"Vietnam lies sixth on the list of those with a trade surplus, but Vietnam's 30 billion plus surplus is a fraction of China's surplus".

  • Leroy Wright