Vietnam and Germany vowed to further promote the comprehensive cooperation under their strategic partnership, especially in trade and investment, as well as signing a migrant labor cooperation agreement, during German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s visit to the Southeast Asian country.
German President Steinmeier held talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong in Hanoi on Tuesday after the latter hosted a grand welcome ceremony with a cannon salute for the former, who arrived the same day for a two-day official visit.
Both leaders expressed pleasure at the fruitful development of the Vietnam-Germany relationship over the past 50 years, particularly after their bilateral strategic partnership was established in 2011.
Vietnam is currently one of Germany's major trade partners in Southeast Asia while Germany has been the leading economic partner of Vietnam in Europe, accounting for nearly 20 percent of Vietnamese exports to the EU.
Last year saw two-way trade between the two countries triple compared to 10 years ago to reach nearly US$12 billion, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The two presidents pledged to continue fully and effectively implementing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and to facilitate market access for each other's products in order to further boost two-way trade.
By the end of December 2023, Germany was the fourth-largest EU investor in Vietnam and ranked 17th among 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 463 FDI projects worth nearly $2.7 billion, as reported by Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment.
|Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong (R, 3rd) is seen at the talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Hanoi, January 23, 2024. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
During that same time, Vietnam had 37 FDI projects totaling $283.3 million in Germany.
President Steinmeier lauded Vietnam as a reliable economic partner and expressed a desire to enhance economic cooperation, including investment, with the Southeast Asian country.
The two sides emphasized the need to effectively implement all bilateral cooperation mechanisms as well as the Vietnam-Germany strategic action plan for the 2023-25 period.
The host urged Germany to accelerate ratification procedures for the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement and push for the European Commission to remove the ‘yellow card’ warning for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
President Thuong also proposed that Germany continue granting official development assistance funding to projects on energy, environment, and vocational training in Vietnam.
Regarding climate change response, the German leader affirmed Germany’s readiness to provide Vietnam with support within the framework of the Just Energy Transition Partnership, thus helping the country fulfill its international commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
|Visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong co-chair a press conference announcing the results of their talks in Hanoi, January 23, 2024. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre
The two leaders also agreed to promote cooperation in national defense-security, science and technology, justice, agriculture and cultural exchange, toward celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties in 2025.
President Thuong asked Germany to continue providing Vietnam with support in training high-quality human resources and expanding the operations of the Vietnam-Germany University (VGU) in the southern province of Binh Duong.
The German leader asked the two sides to continue their close collaboration for further success of the VGU, particularly in admitting more Vietnamese students.
The Vietnamese head of state hoped that the German government will continue to create favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Germany to live stably in the host country and serve as a bridge for fostering the friendship between the two nations.
President Steinmeier affirmed that the 200,000 Vietnamese community in Germany has successfully integrated in and positively contributed to German society.
They witnessed the signing of an agreement on migrant labor cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs and the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
German labor and social affairs minister Hubertus Heil revealed that Germany is experiencing a labor shortage in various fields, and suggested Minister Dao Ngoc Dung to facilitate the sending of Vietnamese workers to Germany.