Politburo member Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) welcomes Thomas Oppermann (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Politburo member and Vietnam Fatherland Front President Nguyen Thien Nhan met with Thomas Oppermann, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) parliamentary group, in Hanoi on February 29.

The host said Vietnam treasures its strategic partnership with Germany, which was set up in October 2011 and has been thriving in areas such as politics, economics, culture and education-training.

He described the SPD parliamentary group’s visit as a very special occasion that would help intensify the two countries’ mutual understanding and cooperation.

Germany has been Vietnam’s top EU trade partner for many years, with 19 percent of the Southeast Asian nation’s exports sent to this market. Their trade reached 7.8 billion USD in 2014 and exceeded 7.3 billion USD in the first ten months of last year.

However, Nhan said, bilateral trade has accounted for only 3.8 percent of his country’s total trade. Meanwhile, Germany’s investment in Vietnam remains modest, about 1.5 billion USD or 0.5 percent of foreign investment here.

He said he hopes that Oppermann, Chairman of the parliamentary group of the SPD – one of the two biggest parties in Germany – will help German parliamentarians and officials understand and support Vietnam at international forums, and encourage German investment in the country.

Germany is also the biggest and most effective partner of Vietnam in education-training and science-technology, he said, deeming the Vietnam-Germany University project a prime example.

The official asked the German government to provide more favourable conditions for Vietnamese students and postgraduates in the EU nation.

For his part, Thomas Oppermann said visits to Vietnam by the two biggest parties in Germany within one year demonstrate his country’s great attention paid to the ASEAN nation.

The strategic partnership will benefit both sides in spheres such as economics, politics and education-training, he noted.

He added that one of his country’s economic development priorities is increasing overseas investment, including in Vietnam. Projects like Vietnam-Germany University and the to-be-formed Germany-Vietnam chamber of commerce and industry will enhance economic collaboration and German investment in Vietnam.-VNA