The powerful head of Vietnam's Communist Party will pay the first visit to the United States next week, and he expects President Barack Obama to make a maiden visit to Vietnam later this year.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a small group of Western journalists on Friday, and his staff provided his written answers to questions they had posed in advance.

Trong says his visit aims to help build mutual trust and create more opportunities to discuss ways to enhance bilateral relations.

Obama's trip to Vietnam has not been announced by the White House.

Obama is expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Philippines in November.