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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung held talks with Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany Niels Annen on March 19 following a request made by the German side.
As reported by VOV, during the talks, the German diplomat congratulated Vietnam on its success as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and appreciated the close coordination between Vietnam in its capacity as Chair of ASEAN, and Germany as Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2020.
He added that co-ordination has contributed to important results in the ASEAN-EU partnership, with progress being made in ties between ASEAN and Germany in particular, including the enhancement of ASEAN-EU ties to a strategic partnership.
German Minister Annen also expressed his appreciation for the strong development of bilateral relations across a variety of fields, whilst also affirming the German policy of bolstering their presence in the region and increasing co-operation, with Vietnam continuing to be a high priority.
In response, Deputy Minister Dung welcomed Germany’s strong co-operation with ASEAN and regional countries, as well as its support for the bloc in building the ASEAN Community and responding to a range of emerging challenges.
With regard for the ongoing situation in Myanmar, the German Minister of State said the Central European nation is paying close attention to developments and remains concerned about the instability and escalating violence occurring.
Germany, therefore, backs ASEAN’s efforts in this regard and anticipates that the bloc will continue to play a role in helping with dialogue and the search for a solution to the issues there.
Deputy Minister Dung went on to share concerns regarding developments in Myanmar and stated that the German side is working actively with other ASEAN member states to help find a solution. In addition, he called for restraint, dialogue, and reconciliation to bring about a peaceful conclusion to the situation in Myanmar. This should be done for the interests of Myanmar’s people, as well as for the sake of peace, stability, and development in the region.
Earlier on March 18, a virtual conference on economic cooperation between Vietnam and Germany was held under the sponsorship of Leipzig city, the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany, InvestRegion Leipzig, and Deutsch-Vietnamesisches Haus e.V.
Vietnam has risen to become Germany's largest trading partner in ASEAN and its fifth throughout Asia, while Germany remains the country’s largest trading partner in the EU, with bilateral turnover reaching over EUR13 billion last year. The information was released at a recent seminar on economic development held virtually between both countries under the sponsorship and co-organization of the Leipzig city government of Sachsen state and the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany. They were joined by the development and investment agency InvestRegion Leipzig and the German-Vietnamese House Association, also known as Deutsch-Vietnamesisches Haus eV.
Upon addressing the event attended by over 120 delegates, Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Minh Vu emphasized that the participation of a large number of German and Vietnamese firms is a testament to their keen interest and desire to promote trade and investment co-operation. Whilst the nation is keen to promote ties with Germany in general, it is also seeking strong links with the city of Leipzig.
The Vietnamese Ambassador briefed participants on the country’s outstanding socio-economic development in recent times, in which the nation is widely considered by investors to be a destination for shifting investment amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Not only does the country enjoy an abundance of human resources, and open and favorable investment mechanisms for foreign investors, it is also considered one of the largest open economies globally.
Vietnamese participation in many major trade agreements such as the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will create favorable conditions in which German businesses can import goods and services produced locally. In addition, German goods will also have advantages when being exported to other ASEAN members, as well as large countries participating in the RCEP such as China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, VOV quoted the Ambassador.
The local diplomat also noted his appreciation for the drastic changes occurring in Leipzig, with stringent socio-economic development strategies helping to develop it into one of the economic pillars of the central metropolitan area of Germany. Indeed, the city now features a developed economy, industry, strong infrastructure, along with science and technology, all of which are ideal incubators for startups.
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