Vietnam and Germany have seen progress in their strategic partnership over the past few years, with two-way trade reaching 7.7 billion USD in 2013.

Ambassador Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh made the comment at a working session between Berlin ASEAN Committee (BAC) Ambassadors and the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the ASEAN States in the capital city on June 5.

Around 125,000 Vietnamese people, including 4,000 students, are living and working in Germany. With over 100,000 German-speaking people, Vietnam has become the largest German-speaking community in the region, Anh said.

She informed delegates about the upcoming Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business, slated for November in Ho Chi Minh City, and the implementation of the Germany House project, adding these events will help boost the cooperation between Germany and Vietnam, and ASEAN at large.

The Vietnamese diplomat also informed the German parliamentarians about China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou - 981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, which violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, sovereign right and jurisdiction over its sea and islands and threatens peace, stability, maritime and aeronautical security and safety in the region and the world.

Vietnam has exercised restraint and struggled peacefully to demand China remove its drilling rig and fleet of vessels out of Vietnam’s waters, she said.

She also briefed delegates of the May 28 diplomatic note submitted by the Vietnamese side to the United Nations which was also asked for circulation as an official document at the 68th UN General Assembly.

Gambke, President of the group, thanked Anh for providing the latest developments on the East Sea issue, adding the German Parliament always follows the developments closely.

The German official expressed his hope the BAC and the parliament will further boost the cooperation and information exchanges to heighten the legislative body and local people’s understanding on ASEAN, especially the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which is expected to be established by 2015.

Other ASEAN ambassadors informed participants about the socio-economic situation of their countries, along with the bilateral ties with Germany and the progress of the establishment of the AEC.-VNA