The German Embassy in Vietnam held a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on March 25 to announce the start of “ Germany Year in Vietnam .”

The announcement was timed to coincide with the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries (1975-2010).

The Year will see events in major cities such as Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City , Da Nang and Can Tho with various activities focusing on the environment, urban, arts and seminars.

Focus will be brought to bear on issues relating to urban planning, transport, architecture, and environmental protection, along with the hosting of concerts, photo exhibits, cultural and artistic exchanges, fashion shows, film screenings and German beer festivals.

This will be a chance for German businesses to increase their involvement in Vietnam through an international economic seminar themed “Renewable Energy” to be held in HCM City on April 21, 2010, which will be attended by former German Prime Minister Gerhard Schoroeder.

According to Heinz Lauten, German Consul General in HCM City , “Germany Year in Vietnam ” not only helps German policymakers shape their political and economic policies in Vietnam but also aims to raise awareness of Germany among young Vietnamese people.

2010 is an important and significant year for both countries as it has been chosen as “Germany Year in Vietnam ” and “Vietnam Year in Germany ” with various activities and programmes reflecting the bilateral relationship taking place in both countries./.