Vietnam attaches great importance to its strategic partnership with Germany as its largest trade partner in Europe and gateway to other European markets, and hopes to further facilitate bilateral economic, industrial and trade cooperation. With the effect of the 2020 EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the two sides are confident of making great strides in their ties.
Germany prioritizes cooperation with Vietnam
At the first meeting of the Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation held online on January 12, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said Germany prioritizes cooperation with Vietnam.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department, Germany is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in Europe, accounting for 19 percent of Vietnam’s exports to the EU. It also serves as a gateway to other European markets.
General Department of Vietnam Customs data show that total trade turnover between the two countries reached US$9.08 billion in the first 11 months of 2020, with Vietnam’s exports reaching US$6.05 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent compared to a year ago.
As many as 280 German companies are operating in Vietnam, of which over 60 have factories with total investment capital of about EUR1.6 billion. More than three-quarters and two-thirds of Germany’s projects and capital focus on manufacturing and processing, technical services, information and communications, and banking and insurance.
Putting ties to new heights
The Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation was set up to identify possible areas for enhanced cooperation and remove obstacles for companies wishing to do business in each of the countries.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh expressed an interest in expanding cooperation in energy with the German side, not only in traditional and renewable energy but also in power reserves and transmission, as well as in ensuring power security and distribution in a balanced, suitable and effective manner.
Anh suggested that the German side provide favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to engage more deeply in the production chains for spare parts and components of major German companies, contributing to the development of Vietnam’s support industries and creating a sustainable foundation for Vietnam’s industrial sector. He also proposed that Germany support Vietnam in forming a center for digital transformation in production, which would help seize opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution.
For his part, Altmaier pledged that Germany would fully aid effective implementation of agreements on industrial and trade cooperation with Vietnam, including the EVFTA, contributing to boosting bilateral ties.
At the first meeting of the Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation, Germany and Vietnam committed to dealing with obstacles facing businesses of both sides by applying a fast track mechanism.