German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his spouse will pay a state visit to Vietnam from January 23 to 24 at the invitation of Vietnam's State President Vo Van Thuong, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Steinmeier’s Vietnam trip will mark the second state visit of a foreign leader to the Southeast Asian nation in January.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Vietnam last week, making him the first high-ranking foreign visitor to the country this year.
This marks President Steinmeier's inaugural state visit to Vietnam since assuming office in 2017.
However, he has previously visited the country in March 2008 during his tenure as German Foreign Minister and in October 2016 when he served as Germany's Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister.
Steinmeier has made significant contributions to strengthening the Vietnam - Germany ties over the past many years.
During next week’s visit, the German leader and his spouse are scheduled to enjoy a welcome ceremony hosted by the Vietnamese state president and his spouse.
The two leaders will hold talks to discuss a plan for an expanded bilateral partnership.
As part of his visit, Steinmeier will meet several top Vietnamese officials and leaders, and attend various diplomatic activities.
The visit takes place as the two countries are near 50 years of their diplomatic ties.
Germany is one of Vietnam’s biggest official development assistance (ODA) providers and, since 1990, has poured over US$2 billion into ODA projects in the Southeast Asian country.
Vietnam has been listed as a global partner in Germany’s development cooperation strategy until 2030 since 2020.
The German government pledged over 143.5 million euros ($156.2 million) in ODA for Vietnam in the 2022-23 period at a governmental-level meeting on the Vietnam - Germany development cooperation in July 2021.
Germany is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in Europe, representing some 20 percent of the latter’s total exports to the European Union.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Germany in 2023 totaled more than $11 billion.
Over 350 German enterprises are currently operating in Vietnam, including multinational firms Siemens, B.Braun, Messer, Mercedes-Benz, Bilfinger, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, and Allianz.
As of May last year, Germany had become involved in 444 operational projects with a total pledged capital of nearly $2.4 billion, putting the country in fourth among 24 EU nations and 18th among 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
During the same period, Vietnamese firms engaged in 11 operational projects in Germany with a total capital of some $31 million.
|Vietnamese - German University, located in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam, is seen as a key project for the two nations’ cooperation in education. Photo: Ba Son / Tuoi Tre
Apart from the deep cooperation in education, training, healthcare, and science-technology fields, Vietnam and Germany signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2022 to foster electric and renewable energy development, on the occasion of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Vietnam.