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Vietnamese & German firms sign cooperation agreements worth over $1.7bn

Released at: 17:29, 07/07/2017

Vietnamese & German firms sign cooperation agreements worth over $1.7bn

The Vietnam-Germany Business Forum on July 6. Photo: VGP

As the largest economy and an influential member of the EU, Germany can help attract global resources into Vietnam, PM tells business forum in Berlin.

by Nguyen Quoc

During the Vietnam-Germany Business Forum held in Berlin on July 6, Vietnamese and German enterprises signed 28 cooperation agreements worth over $1.7 billion.

Speaking at the forum, which was attended by representatives from nearly 600 German enterprises and more than 100 Vietnamese partners, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is in Germany for a working visit and to attend the G20 summit, expressed his desire that Germany, as the largest economy and an influential member of the EU, would help attract global resources into Vietnam, particularly in mechanical engineering, automation, vocational training, and tertiary education, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

The PM told the forum that the two countries established a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2011 and Germany is Vietnam’s leading trade partner in the EU, with two-way trade hitting $9 billion in 2016, or 20 per cent of trade between Vietnam and the EU.

Major German businesses such as Siemens, Mercedes, and Deutsche Bank have poured $1.8 billion into the country. The Vietnam-Germany University (VGU) in the southern province of Binh Duong and several schools opened by German enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City help Vietnam improve the quality of its workforce and deal with issues regarding energy, transport, environmental resources, urban planning, and sustainable development.

Since the Goethe Institute opened in Hanoi in 1997, bilateral cultural exchanges have also been strengthened, he said, and more than 100,000 Vietnamese have graduated from German universities.

Vietnam’s GDP, he explained to those in attendance, has grown more than 6 per cent for 30 consecutive years, rising 6.21 per cent to $220 billion last year. With increasing consumption and average annual income per capita of nearly $2,300, Vietnam’s trade value of roughly $400 billion is about 1.6 times higher than its GDP.

Vietnam is home to 23,160 foreign-invested projects from 120 countries and territories, worth more than $320 billion, many of them German.

Its business climate has improved, rising nine places from 91st to 82nd among 190 countries worldwide in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016-2017 rankings.

According to the World Economic Forum, Vietnam ranks 60th out of 138 countries in competitiveness. The country has also signed 12 free trade agreements as part of its global integration efforts.

It has also cleared barriers in many sectors, including services, telecommunications, and banking-finance, by raising foreign ownership limits or selling strategic stakes in State-owned enterprises.

Vietnam is working to waive licenses to open securities accounts for foreign investors and clear capital control measures that are contrary to international practice.

The domestic banking sector is being restructured to meet modern banking standards in line with international practice.

Mergers and acquisitions have also been sped up in infrastructure, transport, airports, highways, seaports, electricity, telecommunications, food, agriculture, and services.

The country also boasts many leading Asian brands, such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Petrolimex, Vinamilk, Masan, TH Truemilk, Trung Nguyen coffee, MobiFone, and Vietcombank, among others.

The PM noted that Germany’s technology and governance experience would help Vietnam during the fourth industrial revolution.

Vietnam hopes that Germany would encourage its enterprises to invest in support industries as well as joint ventures in renewables such as solar and wind energy.

Representatives from German enterprises told the forum they hoped that the Vietnamese Government would continue fine-tuning laws and improving the country’s business climate.

The German House project in Ho Chi Minh City and VGU are also expected to create strong motivation for bilateral economic and trade ties.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Ms. Brigitte Zypries hailed Vietnam for its vibrant growth and large, young workforce, and affirmed that Germany will be always a trustworthy partner.

PM Phuc then met executives from several German corporations and banks and expressed his hope that they would soon launch operations in Vietnam.

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