10/12/11 (AEIN) German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled to the southeast Asian country of Vietnam on Tuesday. She visited the capitol Hanoi as well as Ho Chi Minh City. State radio reported that Merkel met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung while in Hanoi.
The German leader expressed support for establishing a Vietnam-E.U. free trade agreement and said that both countries want to increase bilateral trade. She reassured the Prime Minister with regard to the state of the euro, according to a news report aired by ABC radio.
The two nations released a joint statement calling for expanded ties in many fields. Merkel also spoke to participants of an economic forum in Ho Chi Minh City before leaving on Wednesday. The German Chancellor will visit the northern Asian nation of Mongolia next.
Germany is Vietnam's largest trading partner in Europe. Although it maintains closer diplomatic and military ties with Russia and various nations in the developing world, Vietnam has considerably expanded exports to Western countries in recent years.