German Chancellor Angela Merkel assured Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that Germany values its bilateral ties with Vietnam, a vibrant economy and key player in the birth of the ASEAN Economic Community, during talks in Berlin on October 15.
|German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) welcomes Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 15. (Photo: VNA)|
In their meeting, the two prime ministers reviewed the successful progression of their bilateral strategic partnership and vowed to jointly organise celebrations for the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.
In economic terms, Germany is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in the European Union (EU). Two-way trade grew by 18 percent to USD 7.7 billion last year. The European country is also the 22nd biggest investor in Vietnam, with 232 projects worth USD 1.25 billion.
Both leaders agreed to accelerate key projects, including the German House and metro line 2 in Ho Chi Minh City, while improving the business climate on both sides.
The Vietnamese side welcomed the German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for the Economy and Energy’s visit to Vietnam to chair the 14th Asian-Pacific Conference of German Businesses scheduled to take place in Ho Chi Minh City next month.
The host praised Vietnam as one of the most effective users of German official development assistance (ODA) and declared its intention to provide more ODA to Vietnam, with a focus on energy, the environment and vocational training.
Merkel promised to develop the Vietnam–Germany University into a reputable educational establishment in the region. Both sides were satisfied with the outcomes of a pilot project to send Vietnamese nurses to Germany for long-term employment and explored similar schemes for electricians and plumbers who are in demand in the European nation.
The host government pledged to continue to support the 125,000 Vietnamese living in Germany and adapting to life in their new country.
Referring to regional and international issues of shared concern, both sides expressed their commitment to working together at multilateral forums and international organisations, including the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and ASEAN-EU.
Germany backs Vietnam on its path to enhancing its comprehensive cooperation with the European Union, including the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the EU, Merkel said, adding that Germany would recognise Vietnam as a market economy as soon as the negotiations on the Vietnam –EU FTA are concluded.
As coordinator of ASEAN–EU relations for the 2012-2015 period, Vietnam is ready to act as a bridge between Germany and ASEAN.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Merkel said Germany sided with Vietnam’s position to settle disputes peacefully and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.