Germany supports Vietnam’s bids to enhance comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU), win EU recognition as a market economy and negotiate the signing of a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made this statement at the Vietnam-Germany Economic Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct. 12.

Merkel said that Germany pledged to maintain ODA to Vietnam, focusing on areas such as sustainable development, environment, healthcare and vocational training.

She expressed her optimism about the prospect of bilateral economic ties between Germany and Vietnam, saying that both countries want to increase economic cooperation and boost bilateral trade.
German businesses are keen to invest in the long term in many fields in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure and human resource development, she said.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai affirmed that the Vietnamese Government attaches importance to strengthening and developing cooperation with Germany.

Hai noted that economic cooperation between Vietnam and Germany has developed significantly in recent years, with two-way trade reaching 4.1 billion USD last year.

However, he said, German investment in Vietnam remains modest. At present, Germany has invested in 167 projects capitalised at 850 million USD in Vietnam, ranking 24 th out of 92 countries and territories investing in the country.
Hai said he believed the forum and Merkel’s visit to Vietnam will open up new opportunities to further promote economic cooperation between the two countries.

Themed, “Joint Opportunities through Sustainable Development”, the event focused its discussion on planning and sustainable urban development, sustainable industrial production and sustainable investment.

The same day, Chancellor Merkel met with Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Le Hoang Quan.

Chairman Quan spoke highly of her visit to Vietnam, which marked the elevation of bilateral relations to strategic partnership level.

He also thanked the German government for its support to the city’s important projects, including the first phase of the metro line No. 2 project which is underway.

Speaking highly of the dynamic and strong growth of HCM City as Vietnam’s largest economic centre, Merkel affirmed that HCM City is a destination in Vietnam where Germany wants to increase cooperation.

The German Chancellor also shared challenges faced by the city during the socio-economic development process, especially in infrastructure and urban transport. She said she hoped German-funded projects like metro line No.2 and German House will bring good results.

On the afternoon the same day, Merkel departed from Ho Chi Minh City, concluding her visit to Vietnam from Oct. 11-12 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung./.