The U.S. president, Donald Trump, visited Vietnam for the first time ever on November 10, 2017. Another first was his attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Da Nang. Mr Trump is a popular man in the country and his ability to guide international affairs respected: a Pew survey found that 58% of Vietnamese were confident in his capability on this front.1

According to The White House, the president’s “state visit to Vietnam reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening the United States-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership.” 2 For Vietnam, Mr Trump’s visit appears to have been a ‘win-win’ occasion: he both offered to “mediate or arbitrate” 3 the South China Sea dispute and looked forward to “fair and reciprocal” 4 bilateral trade with the country.

Vietnam: Exports/Imports - First Nine Months of 2017

Source: General Department of Vietnam Customs

About the Author:

Tom Butcher is an Associate Director at VanEck. Formerly an independent writer, researcher, and consultant focusing, amongst other things, on strategic materials, in particular metals, Mr Butcher has 38 years of experience in finance. He has lectured and spoken at conferences around the world.

The article above is an opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of MV Index Solutions or its affiliates.

1 The New York Times: In Danang, Vietnam, Trump Makes a Friendlier American Landing, November 9, 2017
2 The White House: President Donald J. Trump's Trip to Vietnam, November 12, 2017
3 South China Morning Post: ‘I’m a very good arbitrator’: Donald Trump offers to mediate on South China Sea disputes, November 12, 2017
4 VnExpress: Trump meets with Vietnamese Party chief and PM, wrapping up state visit, November 12, 2017