State and local leaders met with the Vietnamese ambassador Tuesday to discuss the importance of increasing trade to the Asian country.
Nguyen Quac Cuong talked with Gov. Jay Nixon and economic development and agriculture officials in the morning, then talked at the University of Missouri in the afternoon.
During his visit to MU, Cuong met with Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid, University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe, and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
Officials say trade between the U.S. and Vietnam has increased approximately 300 percent in the past five years.
The ambassador told ABC 17 News there are economic areas his country would be interested to get more involved in.
“I expect more and more beef, pork, soy beans, corns and other agriculture products and also biotechnology products,” said Cuong.
Rep. Hartzler believes Missouri has the tools and agriculture products Vietnam is looking for.
“Right now, Vietnam is our 13th country that we trade with and so they have 90 million people there and they want Missouri agriculture products,” said Hartzler.
Missouri’s Department of Economic Development says Vietnam is searching for items they do not have, like chemicals, scrap metal and electronics.
Leaders believe if trade is increase, it would create more jobs in the state and also allow more businesses more opportunities to thrive.