Vietnam Fatherland Front President Nguyen Thien Nhan (third, left) presents the Labour Order to representatives of the association (Photo: VNA)

The Vietnam-Germany Friendship Association received the Labour Order (first class) for its effective contributions to bilateral ties during the past three decades at a celebration of its 30th birthday in Hanoi on September 21.

Following the Order’s presentation, Politburo member and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Nguyen Thien Nhan noted the association’s efforts immediately after its foundation in 1985 to call for German support to post-war rebuilding in Vietnam, including the fight for justice for local Agent Orange/Dioxin victims, poverty eradication and socio-economic development.

It has played a continually important role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries’ peoples as well as overarching bilateral relations, he added.

He underlined that as the diplomatic sector, and people-to-people diplomacy specifically, are tasked with new missions amidst both opportunities and challenges facing Vietnam, the association needs to optimise the potential of the 100,000 Vietnamese nationals who have studied in Germany, ultimately bolstering the multifaceted cooperation and strategic partnership between the two nations.

At the ceremony, Vice Standing Chairman of the association Hoang Van Huay highlighted the significance of 2015 as marking the 40th founding anniversary of the Vietnam – Germany diplomatic ties.

Over the past year, the European nation has become Vietnam’s most important EU economic and trading partner with an annual combined trade of 7.8 billion USD. Vietnam has been a crucial partner and attractive investment destination of Germany in Southeast Asia with a young and abundant workforce and large consumption market.

Germany has also assisted Vietnam with a number of development projects worth over 1.8 billion EUR combined since 1990.

Additionally, the countries’ bonds have been demonstrated through the roughly 130,000-strong Vietnamese community in Germany and the 100,000 German-speaking Vietnamese people in the Southeast Asian nation, Huay said.

At the event, German Chargé d’Affaires Hanns-Joerg Brunner congratulated the association and appreciated its active endeavours to consolidate amity and collaboration between the nations and for helping elevate their ties to a strategic partnership in 2011.-VNA