President Truong Tan Sang (R) and German counterpart Joachim Gauck inspect the guard of honour in Berlin (Photo: VNA)
Berlin (VNA) – President Truong Tan Sang and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck expressed pleasure at the rapid development of the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership at their talks in Berlin on November 25 (local time).

The two State leaders agreed that the two countries have become not only strategic partners but also sincere friends with mutual understanding and respect. They stressed the need to strengthen visit exchanges and implement bilateral cooperative mechanisms in an effective fashion to create new momentum for a stronger strategic partnership in the time ahead.

Host and guest said they are delighted with the progress in bilateral trade and investment ties.

President Truong Tan Sang confirmed that Germany is currently one of the leading partners of Vietnam in Europe in various fields such as trade, science-technology, development cooperation, environment, law, education and vocational training.

Within five years, bilateral trade has almost doubled from 4.1 billion USD in 2010 to 7.8 billion USD in 2014. German investment in Vietnam has increased over 70 percent from 824 million USD in 2010 to 1.4 billion USD currently.

The two sides noted with satisfaction that the cooperation in the field of trade and investment between the two countries continues to make positive progress.

Both nations are enjoying favourable conditions to lift two-way trade to between 15 billion USD and 20 billion USD by 2020 and German investment in Vietnam to 5 billion USD as soon as possible.

They concurred to maintain Germany’s top place among Vietnam’s economic partners, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is to be signed soon, and offer the best possible conditions for their enterprises to promote closer cooperation.

President Truong Tan Sang thanked the German Government for maintaining development aid to Vietnam over the past years, contributing significantly to the achievement of poverty reduction and economic development.

He also applauded the host’s continuing support for Vietnam in the 2015-2017 period, focusing on energy, environment, and vocational training.

The presidents were also pleased by the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in education, science and technology. They agreed to continue to cooperate closely in the fields.

For his part, President Joachim Gauck said he highly appreciated the contributions of the Vietnamese community in Germany to the prosperity of the host country.

The leaders praised the bilateral cooperation at multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations (UN), Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit, and ASEAN-EU.

They agreed to increase consultations and collaboration in addressing global challenges such as climate change and marine security.

Vietnam supports Germany to enhance relations with ASEAN and vice versa, while Germany backs Vietnam in furthering the rapports with the EU, including the early signing of the EVFTA and the EU’s recognition of Vietnam’s market economy status.

President Truong Tan Sang said Vietnam will continue to closely work with Germany at the UN and support the European country to become a permanent member of an expanded UN Security Council.

Regarding regional and global issues of mutual interest, the two expressed their concerns over the increasing activities of artificial island construction which threatens peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea – home to a major international navigation route connecting trade between Europe and Asia.

The German President underscored the importance of settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means and in line with international law.

President Sang hailed German viewpoint in the East Sea issue and proposed Germany continue to raise an active voice in G7 and EU to support Vietnam and ASEAN in settling East Sea disputes via peaceful measures and international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Later at a press conference, the two leaders informed local and world press of the outstanding agreements reached during their talks.-VNA