BERLIN – A seminar featuring the prospects of Viet Nam-Germany economic ties was held in Berlin on June 22, attracting managers, economists and over 300 Vietnamese and German businesses.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung described Germany as the largest trade partner of Viet Nam in the European Union (EU) and the fifth largest EU investor in the country.
He said two-way trade and investment, however, remained modest, and German businesspeople had not gained a good understanding of the Vietnamese market even though many wanted to invest in the country.
Several Vietnamese and German officials addressed the event, analysing the potential of economic, trade and investment links and mentioned their governments’ measures to remove existing hindrances.
The speakers included Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong from the Vietnamese side. The German speakers were State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Uwe Beckmeyer, and Director General for Economic Affairs and Sustainable Development under the Foreign Ministry Dieter Haller.
Officials from both sides appreciated the initiative to open a Germany-Viet Nam trade office, towards the goal of lifting two-way trade to US $20 billion in the next five years.
The participants discussed Viet Nam’s competitiveness and ability to attract German small and medium-sized enterprises and said Vietnam and Germany should cooperate in mutually-beneficial and supplementary fields.
Economist Vo Tri Thanh said Viet Nam was interested in developing small and medium-sized enterprises and hopes for further German assistance in the field.
In an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondents on the sidelines of the conference, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said bilateral relations between the two nations had reached a new stage.
According to Son, participants at the event recognised the co-operation potential between the two business communities, especially since Việt Nam has become one of the hotspots for economic development in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific region as well.
Viet Nam was also integrating deeply into the global economy by inking free trade agreements with several countries and blocs. That has opened up huge opportunities in trade and investment, Son said.
Two-way trade has developed significantly over past years, reaching from US$4.1 billion in 2010 to $7.8 billion in 2014. The trade is targeted by the two governments to reach $20 billion in the next four years.
The two governments also promised to raise German investment in Viet Nam to $5 billion in the next four years.
They also pledged to facilitate co-operation between the firms of the two nations in a wide range of industries such as engineering and manufacturing, electricity and electronics, energy, and infrastructure development, besides agriculture and seafood.
Concluding the event, Ambassador Hung said the embassy would thoroughly consider recommendations, especially ways to boost bilateral ties, and report to the government, ministries and agencies. He also pledged support for businesses in the embassy’s capacity.