Vietnam, Germany seek to raise trade to $20 bln

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has expressed his desire that Germany, as the largest economy and an influential member of the European Union (EU), would help attract global resources into Vietnam, particularly in mechanical engineering, automation, vocational training and tertiary education. 

Addressing the Vietnam-Germany Business Forum in Berlin on July 6 with nearly 600 German firms and more than 100 Vietnamese partners taking part, the PM said the two countries established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2011. Germany is Vietnam’s top trade partner in the EU, with two-way trade hitting 9 billion USD in 2016, or 20 percent of Vietnam-EU trade. 

Major German businesses such as Siemens, Mercedes and Deutsche Bank have poured 1.8 billion USD in Vietnam. The Vietnam-Germany University (VGU) in the southern province of Binh Duong and several schools opened by German firms in Ho Chi Minh City help Vietnam improve workforce quality and deal with issues regarding energy, transport, environment resources, urban planning and sustainable development. 

Since the Goethe Institute opened in Hanoi in 1997, bilateral cultural exchanges have been strengthened. More than 100,000 Vietnamese have graduated from German universities, he said. 

Informing German investors about Vietnam’s economy, Phuc said Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown more than 6 percent for 30 consecutive years, rising 6.21 percent to 220 billion USD last year. With increasing consumption and average income per capita of nearly 2,300 USD, Vietnam’s trade value of roughly 400 billion USD is about 1.6 times higher than GDP. 

Vietnam is home to 23,160 foreign-invested projects from 120 countries and territories worth more than 320 billion USD, many of them from German corporations. 

Vietnam’s business climate has improved, up nine places from 91st to 82nd among 190 countries worldwide in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings 2016-2017. 

According to the World Economic Forum, Vietnam ranked 60th out of 138 countries in competitiveness. The nation has also signed 12 free trade agreements, as part of global integration commitments. 

It has also cleared barriers in many sectors, including services, telecommunications and finance-banking, by raising foreign ownership caps or selling State-owned enterprises’ strategic stakes. 

Vietnam is working to waive licenses to open securities accounts for foreign investors and clear capital control measures which are contrary to international practices. 

The domestic banking system is being restructured to meet modern banking standards in line with international practices. 

Mergers and acquisitions have also been sped up in infrastructure, transport, airport, highway, seaport, electricity, telecommunications, food, agriculture and services. 

The country also boasts many leading Asian trademarks such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Petrolimex, Vinamilk, Masan, TH Truemilk, Trung Nguyen coffee, Mobiphone and Vietcombank, among others. 

The PM noted that Germany’s technology and governance experience will help Vietnam during the industrial revolution 4.0. 

Vietnam wished that the European country would encourage German investment in the support industry, as well as joint-ventures in renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. 

German firms hoped that the Vietnamese government would continue fine-tuning laws and improving the business climate. 

The German House project in Ho Chi Minh City and VGU are also expected to create a strong driving force for bilateral economic-trade ties. 

In his speech, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries hailed Vietnam for its vibrant growth and large, young workforce. She affirmed that Germany will be always a trustworthy partner of Vietnam. 

Both sides also vowed to lift two-way trade to 20 billion USD from 14 billion USD at present. 

Twenty-eight cooperation documents worth over 1.5 billion EUR were signed during the event.

Following the event, the leader met executives of several German corporations and banks and expressed hope that they will soon launch operations in Vietnam. 

In the evening the same day, PM Phuc left Berlin for Hamburg city, starting activities within the framework of the G20 Summit.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc talks with German counterpart

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The two leaders agree to maintain delegation exchanges and meetings to realise the strategic action plan practically 

Vietnam attaches special importance to developing the relations with Germany, which is its leading partner in Europe in politics-external relations, trade-investment, education-training and science-technology, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

He made the remarks during his talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hamburg city on July 6 (local time) as part of his working visit to Germany.

The Vietnamese Government leader hailed the warm welcome of Chancellor Angela Merkel and thanked the German head for inviting Vietnam’s high-ranking delegation to attend the G20 Summit.

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her hope that the visit will serve as an impetus to strengthen Vietnam-Germany strategic relations in various fields.

Regarding ways to enhance the countries’ connections, the leaders agreed to maintain delegation exchanges and meetings, especially at high level, and improve the effectiveness of existing cooperation mechanisms such as the Vietnam-Germany Strategic Management Group, Rule-of-Law Dialogue, and working groups in economics-trade and science-technology.

They said that the move aims to realise the strategic action plan practically between the two countries and enhance mutual understanding and trust.

The German side pledged to support Vietnam in developing relations with the EU and speed up the early signing of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU.

The leaders were glad that Germany has been Vietnam’s top trade partner in the EU with two-way trade standing at 9 billion USD in recent years. Germany is the fifth largest investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 1.4 billion USD.

The leaders agreed that the two nations boast huge potentials in cooperation and need to work to connect businesses from both sides. 

They expressed satisfaction over the upbeat results of the Vietnam-Germany Business Forum held during the Vietnamese leader’s visit with 28 agreements inked worth 1.5 billion euros.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Phuc asked Chancellor Angela Merkel to encourage German small- and medium-sized enterprises to increase investment in Vietnam in fields of Germany’s strengths and Vietnam’s demand like the support industry, railway, tourism infrastructure, transport-seaport, renewable energy and food industry.

Vietnam will create favourable conditions for foreign businesses, including those from Germany, the Vietnamese leader said, affirming that the Vietnamese Government will facilitate the German House project in Ho Chi Minh City so that it can become operational in the third quarter of this year, and hold dialogues to address German investors’ challenges.

At the talks, the leaders were delighted at the efficient collaboration in education-training, labour and science-technology, pledging to continue making efforts to make Vietnam-Germany University become Germany’s top research and education centre in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

They will consider the signing of a Government-level agreement or a trilateral agreement to create an important, long-term legal foundation for the university.

The leaders expressed their support for the teaching of Vietnamese and German in schools in both countries and further cooperation in vocational training for Vietnamese labourers to work in Germany.

In science-technology, they agreed to promote technology transfer in fields of wind power, food industry, IT application, as well as biology for sustainable development. A Memorandum of Understanding on wind power turbine production was signed between the Vietnam National University, Hanoi and the University of Rostock during Prime Minister Phuc’s visit.

Regarding security-defence cooperation, the two sides will support each other in criminal justice and consider the possibility of negotiating an extradition agreement and an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons with a view to completing the legal framework for cooperation in preventing cross-border crimes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke highly of the Vietnamese community in Germany for their significant contributions to cultural diversity in the host nation, highlighting their roles in promoting the friendship between the two nations.

Upon regional and international issues of mutual interests, the leaders were unanimous in tackling disputes by peaceful means based on international law. Germany affirmed its support for freedom of navigation in the East Sea and backed Vietnam’s stance of settling disputes in the spirit of respecting international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets Berlin Mayor

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits a Siemens factory

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Berlin’s Mayor Michael Muller in Berlin on July 6 as part of his ongoing official visit to Germany.

He spoke highly of the efforts Berlin people have made in rebuilding their war-torn city into a modern metropolis today.

He said he seeks to deepen the strategic partnership between the two nations during the visit, and asked the Mayor to share experience in planning and developing new urban areas while preserving the cultural, historical and architectural values and protecting the environment.

He called on the Berlin administration to provide support for the German-Vietnamese Bilingual Kindergarten project called “Ben goc cay hat de” or “An der alten Kastanie” in Berlin, as well as for the Vietnamese people’s trade centres, Vietnam’s investment projects in Germany, such as Dong Xuan centre, Viethaus and Vietinbank office in Berlin.

Michael Muller agreed with the Prime Minister’s suggestion on multiplying a cooperation model between Berlin’s Lichtenberg and Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district started in 2015 in other districts of the two capital cities.

The Berlin Mayor, who is also the Federal State’s Premier, pledged to continue helping the overseas Vietnamese community in Berlin integrate into the locality while preserving their identity.

Michael Muller praised the hardworking, studiousness and creativity of the Vietnamese expatriates in Berlin, pledging that he will consider Vietnam’s suggestions.

Berlin is home to over 10,000 overseas Vietnamese people.

PM calls for more investment from leading German businesses

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a dialogue with leading German businesses operating in various fields such as information-technology, finance, healthcare, agriculture, and hi-tech industry in Berlin in July 6.

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits a gas turbine manufacturing factory of Siemens Group

The PM said Vietnam is a dynamic economy with rapid growth, stable macro-economy, and favourable business environment, adding that the country is shifting economic growth to high-added value sectors, and has joined many new-generation free trade agreements.

He went on to say that Vietnam has abundant and young human resources, who are quick to master the latest technologies. The country is among the top 10 in Asia-Pacific and top 30 in the globe in software outsourcing.

Phuc also stressed that Germany is one of the prioritised partners of Vietnam in the fourth industrial revolution, noting that many German businesses are operating effectively in Vietnam, contributing to raising bilateral trade to over 9 billion USD.

Therefore, Vietnam and Germany could promote cooperation in such potential arenas as trade, investment, training, energy, tourism, and information technology, the PM suggested.

At the dialogue, German firms expressed their wish to cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of healthcare, education, training, hi-tech agriculture, renewable energy, and smart power-saving solutions.

Cedrik Neike from Siemens said his company is keen to partner with Vietnam in the provision of green energy and healthcare services.

Siemens and other German firms also want to join the underground project in Ho Chi Minh City and the manufacturing of gas-fuelled turbines in Vietnam, he added.

Meanwhile, chief financial officer of Bayer Healthcare Pharma Julio Triana, said the company has been present in Vietnam for 20 years and hopes to make stronger investment in healthcare and agriculture.

Chief executive officer of Philips Lighting DACH Karsten Vierke affirmed his company’s wish to invest in human resources training, develop smart city using the company’s latest technology which can save up to 65 percent of electricity.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed this idea and hoped the Philips Lighting DACH will soon cooperate with Vietnam to implement its project in major cities.

The PM also welcomed the German investor Deustche Bank to invest in the field of finance and stock markets.

He appealed for German investment in improving healthcare services in Vietnam, including the production of high-quality medicines at reasonable prices.

Answering a query on Vietnam’s long-term policy to develop renewable energy, the PM said he has signed an important decision to adjust the price of solar electricity to 9.35 cent per one kWh. 

Vietnam boasts huge potential in renewable energy and hopes German investors will consider investment in the country, he said.

The same day, PM Phuc visited a gas turbine manufacturing factory of Siemens Group – which has been present in Vietnam since 1979 and participated in many important infrastructure projects and other fields such as electricity, mechanical engineering and healthcare equipment production.

Prime Minister reiterates policy to deepen ties with Germany

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier 

Vietnam’s consistent policy is to consider Germany its leading important and trusted partner in Europe and hope to deepen the bilateral strategic partnership, affirmed Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc while meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on July 6.

The German President spoke highly of the achievements Vietnam has made during its socio-economic development, confirming that Germany always attaches importance to consolidating and developing its friendship and cooperation with Vietnam – a partner with an increasingly important role in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both sides expressed their delight at positive growth in the bilateral relations in the fields of politics-diplomacy, trade, investment, development cooperation, education-training, labour-vocational training, and science-technology.

Germany has been Vietnam’s leading trade partner in the European Union for years, with two-way trade reaching 9 billion USD last year. It is also the fifth biggest EU investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 1.4 billion USD.

President Steinmeier said that there is great potential for bilateral cooperation, considering a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU is about to be signed and the German House in Ho Chi Minh City will be put into use in the third quarter of 2017.

PM Phuc expressed his hope that Germany will encourage its businesses to intensify investments in Vietnam, especially the fields that it has strength and Vietnam has demand such as processing, manufacturing, clean energy, and food industry.

The PM pledged that Vietnam will create as open and favourable environment for foreign investors, including those from Germany.

The two leaders agreed to make joint efforts to turn the Vietnam-Germany University into a leading training and research establishment in Vietnam and the region, in order to train internationally-recognised engineers who can meet Vietnam’s development requirements in the fourth industrial revolution.

They reached a consensus on boosting technology transfer and cooperation in fields of Germany’s strength such as wind power, information technology and communications, and manufacturing.

Discussing several regional and international issues of shared concern with Phuc, President Steinmeier affirmed that Germany supports maritime freedom in the East Sea, and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

German federal economic minister supports stronger investment in Vietnam

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) receives Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries 

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Brigitte Zypries said she will encourage German businesses to make more investment in Vietnam while meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 6 as part of his ongoing official visit to Germany.

The two sides discussed measures to increase trade and investment, especially in the field of energy.

The Minister urged Vietnam and Germany to work to increase the bilateral trade to 15-20 billion EUR by 2020, especially when Vietnam and the EU are about to sign a free trade agreement.

The two sides should also join hand to deploy the Fast Track mechanism which was just signed between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs in order to quickly remove bottlenecks for businesses while investing and doing business in the other country, she said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed big German companies such as Siemens, Mercedes Benz, Bosch, Braun, and Adidas for making effective investment in Vietnam.

However, he noted that Germany’s investment in Vietnam only stands at 1.4 billion USD, which is still modest to the bilateral potential.

The two sides agreed to promote delegation exchanges and business presence at each other’s trade fairs and exhibitions to encourage German small-and medium-sized enterprises to invest in Vietnam.

Phuc thanked the German Government for providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam over the past years, which has made significant contributions to the Southeast Asian country’s socio-economic development.

He proposed Germany further help Vietnam to implement projects on vocational training, climate change adaptation and waste treatment.

Minister Zypries pledged to provide more assistance for Vietnam to carry out vocational training programmes.

Both sides agreed to seek optimal measures to ensure interests of German businesses in Vietnam in accordance with its legal regulations.


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