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Sep 29, 2022 / 06:28

Vietnam and Germany prepare for high-ranking exchange visits

High-ranking exchange visits are expected to enhance the relationship between the two countries with good economic cooperation in Europe and ASEAN.

Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son has concluded his two-day visit to Germany to prepare for a high-ranking visit exchange after two years of interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The preparations will include a series of essential meetings like Strategic Dialogues and the annual meeting of the Bilateral Economic Cooperation Committee, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Vu Quang Minh.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) and Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Sept 27. Photos: Baoquocte 

Son’s visit to Germany is meaningful as the two countries celebrate the Strategic Partnership, implement the Action Plan for the 2022-2024 cooperation targets, and brace for the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties (1975-2025).

During his short visit, Son held talks with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Michael Kellner, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, Minister-President of Thuringia Bodo Ramelow, Minister-President of Hesse Boris Rhein.

The main focus of the visit is economic ties as Germany is Vietnam’s biggest trade partner in Europe and Vietnam is Germany's leading trade market in ASEAN. The two-way trade in 2021 doubled to US$11.2 billion (or $17.11 billion by German authorities) from the figure in 2011 – the year marking the elevation of the relations to “Strategic Partnership.”

In terms of investment, Germany committed $2.3 billion to 426 projects in Vietnam as of May 2022.

As the world shows some unprecedented changes, German businesses have tended to diversify their investment portfolios, and Vietnam has positioned itself as a reliable and leading destination for investment shifting and trade, the ambassador said in an interview with the World & Vietnam newspaper.

The two sides focused on measures for further economic cooperation, investment, trade, tourism, education, vocational training, processing industry, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, climate response, renewable energy, hydrogen production, and many other vital sectors.

They also discussed ways to tackle problems in the disbursement of German official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam and promote the implementation of Vietnam-Germany University and Metro line No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The issues included in the talks during the visits were human resources training and recruitment of Vietnamese laborers.

 Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Germany's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. 

At meetings with German leaders, Son requested the two countries to make full use of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Germany’s parliament (Bundestag) to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) soon. He also expected the Government of Germany to support the European Commission (EC) to lift a “yellow-card” warning on Vietnamese seafood exports for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Vietnam soon.

During the trip, Son visited Frankfurt and Hessen, the states having close relationships with Vietnam, and met the Vietnamese people. The community of more than 200,000 people plays a vital role in bridging bilateral relations, boosting investment, trade, tourism, and people-to-people exchange.

According to the ambassador, Vietnam and Germany are at a time to be aware of the importance of strengthening the Strategic Partnership.

 Vietnamese FM Bui Thanh Son in a meeting with Minister-President of Thuringia Bodo Ramelow.