The Vietnam-Germany Business Forum got underway in Hanoi on September 18 to discuss policy and measures to increase trade and investment between the two countries.

Addressing the function, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that Germany is one of the countries that provide Vietnam with the largest and most regular official development assistance (ODA). To date, total German-funded ODA capital has exceeded 1 billion EUR and made a significant contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

However, German investment in Vietnam has yet to match the full potential of both countries, Vinh said.

According to the minister, more joint initiatives are needed to boost bilateral investment cooperation in the future, especially in the fields Germany is strong such as hi-technologies, source technologies, clean technologies and high-quality products.

Germany’s Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Roesler said that Vietnam is one of ASEAN’s strongest economies.

“Despite the difficulties, we are impressed with Vietnam’s economic development in the recent past,” he said.

In his opinion, Vietnam needs to stabilize the economy and ensure a sound legal framework for German enterprises to invest in the country.

By the end of August, Germany had 184 operational projects with a total registered capital of 904 million USD. It ranks the 24th out of the 95 countries and territories investing in Vietnam , mostly in processing and manufacturing, which accounts for 52 percent of the total investment capital.

Germany is one of the key markets for Vietnamese trade promotions thanks to its modern technology, well trained workforce and quality advanced management.

It is also Vietnam ’s largest European trading partner and accounts for 19 percent of Vietnam ’s exports to the EU, as well as an important gateway for Vietnamese goods to penetrate other European markets.

In 2011, two-way trade reached nearly 6 billion EUR.

At the forum, senior corporate leaders from both countries discussed the business environment in Vietnam and Germany , infrastructure development, energy supplies and energy security.

During the forum, a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction and Schwabisch Hall, a German savings bank, was signed as well as a contract to manufacture a prototype bus between the companies Vinamoto and Siemens-Vietnam.-VNA