Vietnamese and German officials and entrepreneurs participated in an economic dialogue in Hanoi on November 19 with a view to promoting the bilateral trade partnership as well as linkages between the two economies in general.

Addressing the event, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said Vietnam had not yet fully tapped its opportunities in Germany, the largest European economy.

The two countries’ comprehensive cooperation, especially on investment, trade and entrepreneurial training, played a crucial role, he noted, pledging that Vietnam would work more closely with Germany to maximise their economic relations in areas of strength.

German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel said his country considered Vietnam an important partner in the ASEAN region and was interested in fostering collaboration on investment, trade and training with the Southeast Asian nation.

He suggested Vietnam improve its competitiveness and fine-tune policies to attract more German investors, adding that rising demand in all fields was turning Vietnam into a magnet for German businesses keen to expand their operations in Asia.

Data from the Vietnamese Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) show an influx of German investments into Vietnam since 2011.

While only seven German projects, worth 34 million USD, were registered in Vietnam during the first ten months of 2011, the figures for the same period in 2014 counted 21 projects worth 142 million USD.

By the end of October this year, 239 German investment projects were registered in Vietnam with a total capital of more than 1.33 trillion USD, ranking 22nd out of all foreign investors.

During the dialogue, FIA Director Do Nhat Hoang presented Vietnam’s investment potential to German entrepreneurs, highlighting the large proportion of processing and manufacturing facilities within the industrial sector.

With its stable political situation, abundant workforce, favourable policies and prime geographical location, Vietnam hoped to welcome more foreign investments, particularly from Germany, he said.

Meanwhile, German investors asked Vietnam to improve its business and investment climate and adapt its legal system to the World Trade Organisation’s requirements.

During the dialogue, Minister Vinh and German Vice Chancellor and Minister Sigmar Gabriel signed a joint cooperation statement between the two ministries on entrepreneurial training between 2014 and 2016.-VNA