Vietnam and Germany have agreed on specific measures to develop bilateral relations on par with each country’s potentials and strengths.

The two sides reached the consensus during a working session between Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and visiting German Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Roesler in Hanoi on September 17.

Minh applauded Philipp’s visit, saying that it takes place in the context of rapid and effective development of the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership, which was established in October 2011.

He stressed that Germany is one of Vietnam ’s leading trade partners in the European Union (EU) with two-way trade reaching nearly 5.6 billion USD in 2011, up 33 percent over the previous year. The two sides are striving to raise the figure to 7 billion USD in the coming time, he added.

Germany now has 185 valid projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over 900 million USD, ranking 24 among 95 countries and territories investing in the country.

Philipp affirmed that Vietnam is one of Germany ’s important partners in Southeast Asia .

With its young, abundant, dynamic and creative workforce as well as large consumption market, Vietnam is becoming a more attractive destination for German investors, he said, adding that around 230 German businesses are operating effectively in Vietnam, including Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Metro Cash & Carry, Deutsche Telekom, BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

At the working session, the two ministers agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses and investors to operate in each other’s market, and to support the acceleration of priority socio-economic projects such as the metro route No. 2, the Vietnam-Germany University and the German House in Ho Chi Minh City .

Minh spoke highly of the efficiency of Germany ’s ODA projects in macroeconomic reform, environmental protection, health and vocational training, which, he said, contribute to Vietnam ’s socio-economic development and international integration.

He suggested that Germany increase investment in Vietnam and continue prioritising the country as a recipient of its ODA in the coming time while expanding cooperation to other fields such as climate change, clean and renewable energies.

Philipp also affirmed that Germany will continue to support Vietnam in strengthening its comprehensive cooperation with the EU and accelerating negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the union as well as speeding up the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).

Later on the day, the German minister met with Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh, who has been nominated by the Vietnamese Government to the post of ASEAN Secretary General for the 2013-2017 term.

Also on September 17, the National Economics University presented Philipp with an honourary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contributions to economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technological cooperation between Vietnam and Germany./.VNA