President Michael D Higgins has begun a State visit to Vietnam with a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi.
The State visit marks 20 years of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Vietnam.
The blossoming southeast Asian state is a Key Partner Country under the Irish Aid programme, with a population touching 90 million and an economy on the rise.
This morning President Higgins met his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang for a bilateral meeting and signing ceremony – where trade links between both nations were strengthened.
Several Irish companies also agreed trade deals with Vietnamese companies, while UCC announced a strategic partnership with Vietnam National University.
The visit to Vietnam will also include a wreath laying ceremony and a keynote speech at Vietnam National University, as well as trips to a number of Irish Aid projects in the country. It will be followed by a short official visit to neighbouring Laos.
The President is accompanied by his wife Sabina Higgins and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.
In a statement, Mr Higgins said he hoped the trip will contribute to the “deepening of the true and growing friendship that unites the peoples of Ireland and Vietnam”.
“This morning I was delighted to witness agreements between Vietnamese and Irish companies in the area of renewable energy, mobile technology, software and medical technology, as well as a number of agreements in the area of education.”