Merkel Arrives in Vietnam Seeking Trade, Business Opportunities

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 2:25 am (UTC-5)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has arrived in Vietnam on a trade mission, providing her a brief respite from the debt crisis in Europe.

Ms. Merkel viewed an honor guard alongside Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi before heading behind closed doors for private talks.

Officials say Merkel is pursuing a free trade agreement with Vietnam, one of the region's fastest growing economies. She is accompanied by a delegation of German businessmen.

Ms. Merkel will also visit Ho Chi Minh City before departing Wednesday for Mongolia, where huge mineral finds are contributing to rapid economic growth.

The visit comes days after Ms. Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged to prepare a comprehensive response to the euro zone debt crisis by the end of this month.