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Oct 25, 2022 / 15:53

Vietnam’s Party chief to become China's first foreign leader after Congress

The visit is slated for October 30 to November 2.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong is scheduled to visit China from October 30 to November 2 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart and State President Xi Jinping.

 The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong. Source: VNA

The Vietnamese Party chief will become China's first foreign leader after the latter's 20th National Congress, which concluded on Oct 22.

Shortly after the conclusion of the congress, Trong sent his congratulatory message to Xi as the latter was reelected General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and on the success of the 20th CPC National Congress.

In his message, Trong highlighted the affection and contribution of Xi to Vietnam-China relations, and stressed his commitment to further taking the bilateral friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights, meeting mutual interests and for peace, stability, cooperation, and development of the region and the world.

According to Vietnam News Agency, China has remained Vietnam’s biggest trade partner. In contrast, Vietnam has continued to be the sixth largest trade partner of the neighboring country, and the biggest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical upheavals in the world.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, China has been Vietnam’s biggest importer with a turnover of some US$55.9 billion, up 37 times from the figure in 2002.

Notably, the group of processed and manufactured goods makes up 77.6% of Vietnam’s total export value to China. Meanwhile, machines and production materials accounted for up to 94.15% of Vietnam’s import revenue from the neighboring country.

Over the past two years, bilateral trade still exceeded 100 billion USD despite the impacts of the pandemic.

Statistics released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that the two-way trade was valued at $165.8 billion in 2021, up 24.6% from the previous year.

Vietnamese passion fruits have been exported to China via the official channel on a pilot basis since July 2022 and fresh durians from Vietnam have also been also officially shipped to the country from September 2022.

In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam’s export turnover to China reached $41.22 billion, up 6.22% year-on-year, making up 14.6% of Vietnam’s total export value. Meanwhile, the country's import revenue from China was $91.15 billion, a year-on-year rise of 12.12%, making up 33.08% of Vietnam’s combined import revenue.

Under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), China has cut tariffs for more than 8,000 items imported from Vietnam, including farm produce.