Strengthening the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership

Tuesday, 2015-11-24 07:21:35
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President Truong Tan Sang and his spouse
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NDO - President Truong Tan Sang and his spouse left Hanoi on November 24 for a three-day State visit to Germany at the invitation of German President Joachim Gauck.

President Truong Tan Sang’s visit, the first ever made by a Vietnamese President to Germany since the country’s reunification in 1990, coincides with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Germany is one of the world’s leading industrialised country, the world’s fourth largest in terms of GDP, and the world’s third largest exporter (about US$1,459 billion). Besides focusing on the EU market and the United States, Germany is also expanding to emerging markets in Asia-Pacific. With an attractive investment environment, the country has attracted 45,000 foreign companies, including the 500 largest corporations in the world. Germany also makes major contributions to the budgets of the multilateral institutions in order to finance less developed countries. Currently, Germany is an active member and has an important role in the UN, EU, NATO, and G7. The German government maintains balancing foreign policy, and increasing interests in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

The strategic partnership between the two countries, established in 2011, is now seeing positive developments in all fields, in a deeper and practical manner. For years, Germany has been one of the most important partners of Vietnam in the EU. Credibility and mutual understanding between the two countries have been enhanced through maintaining high-level exchanges of visits, including the most recent visit to Germany by NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in March, 2013, and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in October, 2014; and a visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister A. Merkel in October, 2011 and German Parliamentary President Norbert Lammert who attended the 132nd General Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) in Hanoi in March, 2015. The two countries co-operate actively in multilateral forums such as the UN, Co-operation Forum Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), as well as in the framework of co-operation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU.

Over the past five years, Germany has been one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners in the European Union, accounting for 20% of Vietnamese exports to the market, and is also an important gateway for goods from Vietnam to other markets in Europe. Bilateral trade turnover reached US$7.9 billion in 2014 and over US$6.6 billion in the first nine months of this year. Germany supports the EU in soon recognising Vietnam as a market economy, and has an active role in the process of negotiating the Vietnam-EU (EVFTA) free trade agreement. Germany sees Vietnam as a market with potential for rapid growth in Asia. As of September this year, the country has 261 valid projects with a total registered capital of US$ 1.413 billion, ranking 22nd among 105 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnamese enterprises currently have 17 active investment projects in Germany with a total investment of over US$92 million.

In the area of development co-operation, Germany is a major donor country and regular ODA provider for Vietnam. Since 1990, Germany has provided about US$2 billion for ODA projects in Vietnam through technical co-operation and financial co-operation. Every year, Germany provides post-graduate scholarships to Vietnamese students. Currently, about 300 research fellowship and 4,600 students from Vietnam are studying in German universities. The Vietnamese community in Germany includes around 125,000 people, with many second-generation Vietnamese successfully integrating into the local community.

A state-level visit to Germany by President Truong Tan Sang and his wife, and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation aims to strengthen strategic partnership and promote multi-faceted co-operation between the two countries, creating a new landmark in Vietnam-Germany relations.

NHAN DAN