March 03, 2016
President Obama will be making his first visit to Vietnam in May. The White House made the announcement after Obama accepted Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s invitation during a summit of Southeast Asian nations at Sunnylands retreat in Southern California.
Obama’s trip to Vietnam will be made while he is in the Southeast Asia area for the Group of Seven (G-7) summit held in Japan. Obama’s visit to Vietnam comes after the two leaders discussed the continued strength of U.S. – Vietnam relations in 2015, which is the 20th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations.
“President Obama’s visit to Vietnam is consistent with the administration’s strategic pivot from the Middle East to Asia. Closer government relationship typically results in greater bi-lateral trades, more investment opportunities, and better protection accorded to companies and entrepreneurs of a favored nation,” noted Louie Nguyen, CFA, chief investment officer of San Diego-based Soledad Investment Management, who currently has a number of businesses and investments in Vietnam.
Obama was initially expected to make the visit to Vietnam late last year, after General Secretary of Vietnam’s Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong visited the White House for the first time in July 2015. After that meeting, Obama noted at a press conference “…I think this is indicative of the remarkable progress that’s taken place in the relationship between our two countries over the last 20 years.”
The two may discuss ongoing issues in maritime security over land disputes in the South China Sea, as well as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).