Berlin (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has affirmed that Vietnam always treasures its strategic partnership with Germany - a leading partner of Vietnam in Europe.

During a meeting with Vice President of the German Bundestag (Parliament) Hans-Peter Friedrich in Berlin, Minh spoke highly of the effective cooperation between the Vietnamese and German legislatures within bilateral and multilateral frameworks as well as the exchange of high-level visits to raise mutual understanding about legislation and supervision, decision making on the country’s important issues, thus further deepening the bilateral strategic partnership.

Hailing the German Bundestag and the German-ASEAN Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Bundestag for closely monitoring the East Sea situation, he proposed Germany to continue raising strong voice in support of Vietnam and ASEAN’s legitimate stance on the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), refraining from use of force, full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea towards early formulation of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

Minh took this occasion to suggest the German Bundestag continue support the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam.

Friedrich, for his part, expressed his satisfaction about the growing ties between the two law-making agencies and wished that the Vietnam – Germany strategic partnership will further thrive.

The two officials highlighted the importance of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and agreed to prompt the EU to soon sign and approve the deal for the interest of the business communities of both nations.

They also shared the important role of multilateral mechanisms and respect for international law in maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world as well.

During a working session on February 20 with German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, Minh lauded Germany as the top trade partner of Vietnam in the European Union and welcomed German investors in Vietnam.

He highlighted huge potential of German investment in Vietnam compared to 1.97 billion USD at present.

Minh thanked the German government for providing Vietnam with ODA over the past years, affirming that Germany’s ODA-funded projects have made important contributions to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

The Vietnamese official also sought the European country’s assistance in vocational training, climate change adaptation, garbage treatment and projects in service of the fourth industrial revolution.

Altmaier expressed high appreciation for potential of bilateral economic, trade and investment ties, Vietnam’s position in regional and global economic connectivity. He vowed to work with Vietnam on ODA-funded projects to meet the two nations’ development demand.

He said the Deutsches Haus (German House) in Ho Chi Minh City will soon be inaugurated and spoke highly of Vietnam nurses who were sent to Germany under a joint nurse training project.

The minister pledged to continue assisting Vietnam in vocational training projects and wished to increase the number of skilled Vietnamese workers in Germany in the near future.

He expressed his interest in establishing the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam, considering it an effective bridge between the two countries’ business communities.

Both sides agreed to boost two-way trade as Vietnam and the EU are about to sign the EVFTA. The German side also promised to step up the signing of the deal.

In order to encourage investment by German small and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam, especially in fields of Germany’s strength such as support industry, food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, tourism, vocational training, renewable energy, they stressed the need to facilitate the exchange of visits, especially among ministries and businesses joining exhibitions and fairs.-VNA