Berlin (VNA) – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on February 20 described the ongoing visit by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as laying a foundation for both countries to develop bilateral strategic partnership.

During a meeting in Berlin, Maas also expressed his impression on Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and global integration over the past years, its important role and position in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific as well as positive contributions to the global community.

Minh agreed that both sides should further facilitate all-level visits and affirmed that Vietnam always treasures its strategic partnership with Germany, considering it a leading and priority partner in the region.

The two sides consented to increase contents of bilateral strategic partnership in diverse areas, and build a specific action plan to further deepen their relations.

The Deputy PM thanked Germany for its support in development projects, including metro line No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City and renewable energy projects.

He wished that Germany would maintain its supply of official development assistance to Vietnam in fields of Germany’s strength and Vietnam’s demand.

Both sides expressed their delight at progresses in bilateral economic, trade and investment ties with two-way trade topping 10 billion USD last year, up over 1 billion USD from 2017. Germany remains Vietnam’s top trade partner in the European Union (EU) while the upcoming inauguration of Deutsches Haus (German House) in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to boost the bilateral trade and investment.

The German side spoke highly of the importance of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and vowed to do its best to sign and ratify the deal at an earliest time.

The host was satisfied about the effective operations of the Vietnamese – German University (VGU) in the southern province of Binh Duong and expressed support for a trilateral agreement on VGU.

He agreed on joint work with Vietnam in vocational training during the fourth industrial revolution, and expressed willingness to enhance cooperation with Vietnam in the use and training of Vietnamese nurses in Germany, promote cultural exchanges via activities at Goethe Institute in Vietnam.

Host and guest vowed to work closely together in judicial affairs, national defence, science-technology, and aviation.

They agreed to offer support to each other at global forums and organisations, especially within the United Nations framework in the context that Germany will undertake the role of EU Chair by 2020, and is now a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council – a position that Vietnam is running for for the 2020-2021 tenure.

Both sides shared stances on regional and global issues of mutual concern, especially support for trade liberalisation, maintenance of multilateral mechanisms, respect for international law for the sake of peace and stability in the region and the world.-VNA