Vietnam-Germany: 10 Years of Strategic Partnerships, Closer Friendships

Exactly 10 years ago, on October 11, 2011, Vietnam and Germany established a strategic partnership on the occasion of the official visit to Vietnam by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This important milestone shows the strong determination of the Governments of the two countries to create a new impetus for expanding and deepening the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, practically meeting the wishes and interests of the people of the two countries.
October 11, 2021 | 17:43
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) meets with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th session, New York, the U.S., September 24, 2021
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) met German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th session, New York, the U.S., September 24, 2021. Photo: VNA

Built on the foundation of friendship, mutual trust, and shared values ​​of peace and development, the Vietnam-Germany Strategic Partnership, after a decade of implementation, has had significant achievements and great transformation in many respects.

Political trust is further strengthened

The traditional friendship and good cooperation between the two countries continue to be consolidated through regular delegation exchanges and high-level contacts. In 2015, President Truong Tan Sang made his first state visit to Germany and two years later, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also visited Germany for the first time and attended the G20 Summit as a guest invited by the host country Germany.

High-level meetings in recent years, including the meeting between President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2021 and a phone call between the Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's government and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 22, 2021 have an important meaning, continuing to promote the two countries' relations to develop better and more comprehensively.

The past 10 years, Vietnam and Germany had many beneficial discussions concerning diplomacy, economy, development cooperation, law, science, technology, security, and defense. Many programs and lines of communications were established, upgraded, perfected and operated more efficiently over the years. The strategic action plan with contents and long-term cooperation programs creates the basis for the implementation and evaluation of the results of multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Within the framework of a working visit at the invitation of the German side, on November 1, 2018, at the headquarters of the German Foreign Ministry, Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held talks with the Secretary of State in charge of Europe. Asia-Pacific, German Foreign Ministry Andreas Michaelis. (Source: VOV)
Within the framework of a working visit at the invitation of the German side, on November 1, 2018, at the headquarters of the German Foreign Ministry, Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held talks with the Secretary of State in charge of Europe, Asia-Pacific, German Foreign Ministry Andreas Michaelis. (Photo: VOV)

On the regional and international levels, cooperation and coordination between Vietnam and Germany is increasingly close and effective. Vietnam is a bridge for Germany to strengthen ties with ASEAN and Germany has always had a strong voice in support of Vietnam's expansion of relations with the EU. The signing of important cooperation documents by Vietnam and the EU such as the Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in 2019 has marked Germany's positive support for Vietnam.

Together supporting multilateralism, wishing for peace, stability and development on the basis of international law, the two countries have actively coordinated to participate in solving global issues such as climate change, support humanitarian, pandemic prevention, women's rights, peace and security.

Opportunities for economic cooperation and development is constantly being expanded

Economic cooperation is one of the most important pillars of the Vietnam-Germany Strategic Partnership. For many years, Germany has been continuously Vietnam's largest trading partner in the EU. Meanwhile, Vietnam has risen to become Germany's largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.

In the past decade, the two countries' trade turnover has doubled to over US$10 billion. Despite many difficulties due to the development of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world, bilateral trade as of August 2021 reached more than US$7.2 billion, increased by 11.3% over the same period in 2020. The implementation of the Agreement9 EVFTA has expanded market access for the two countries' goods, in which many Vietnamese products such as textiles, furniture, and high-quality agricultural products have won strong positions in the German and EU markets.

The community of more than 350 German businesses investing in Vietnam, including many large corporations, has chosen Vietnam as an important link in the global supply chain. Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises have also invested in 30 projects with a total capital of US$120 million in the fields of finance - banking, informatics, restaurants and hotels in Germany.

The community of more than 350 German businesses investing in Vietnam, including many large corporations, has chosen Vietnam as an important link in the global supply chain. (Source: Vietnambiz)
The community of more than 350 German businesses investing in Vietnam, including many large corporations, has chosen Vietnam as an important link in the global supply chain. (Photo Vietnambiz)

Development cooperation is a field of good traditional cooperation between Germany and Vietnam. Over the past 30 years, Germany has provided over US$ 2 billion in ODA to actively support Vietnam's socio-economic development and international integration.

With the successful implementation of the pilot labor cooperation program implemented by the German Government since 2013, about 1,000 Vietnamese nurses have come to work in Germany so far. In the coming time, labor cooperation between the two countries will continue to expand in many industries and occupations, especially skilled workers such as electrical and electronic technicians, chefs, etc.

High-quality human resource development is prioritized cooperation

The two countries are important partners of each other in many joint research programs in the fields of innovation in business, combating climate change, efficient use of resources and bio-economy. The Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement between Vietnam and Germany is an important basis for the development of cooperation between the two countries in this important field. In the process of implementing the Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2021-2030, Vietnam is ready to closely cooperate with Germany in scientific research, artificial intelligence, industry 4.0, etc.

Vocational education is one of the exciting cooperation fields of Vietnam-Germany relations. (Source: GIZ)
Vocational education is one of the exciting cooperation fields of Vietnam-Germany relations. (Source: GIZ)

Education - training cooperation is also an important element in the Vietnam - Germany Strategic Partnership. To date, Vietnam and Germany have established more than 160 joint cooperation programs, over 7,000 Vietnamese students are studying at universities in Germany and this number will continue to increase in the near future.

Many have benefited from studying at Vietnam - Germany University. This is a "lighthouse" project with the goal of building an excellent university in Vietnam with the support of the Governments of the two countries and the state of Hesse. This university with modern facilities and equipment in Binh Duong province is facing the prospect of becoming a leading training institution in Southeast Asia.

Join hands to deal with common challenges

Faced with the challenges of the Covid-19 epidemic, the spirit of the Vietnam - Germany strategic partnership has shined. In the early stages of the outbreak of the disease in 2020, the Vietnamese Government provided 100,000 antibacterial masks to Germany.

The Vietnamese community in Germany, with the role of a friendly bridge between the two countries, has joined hands to fight the epidemic with the Government and people of Germany through donation activities, sewing masks for medical facilities, nursing homes in Germany.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 from the German Government, September 27, 2021. (Photo: Tuan Anh)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 from the German Government, September 27, 2021. (Photo: Baoquocte)

In the current wave of Covid-19 epidemic, the German Government has donated nearly 3.5 million doses of vaccine to Vietnam through bilateral and COVAX mechanisms and many essential medical equipment. Many German localities have donated a large amount of medical supplies to Vietnam.

This is a valuable and timely support that is very respectful, showing the spirit of solidarity and mutual assistance between the two countries during difficult times. The early control of the epidemic is promoting the restoration of trade, travel and exchanges between the two countries.

It is proud to look back on the imprints of the Vietnam - Germany Strategic Partnership in the past 10 years. With the background of a good friendship and cooperation relationship that has been cultivated by the leaders and people of Vietnam - Germany for many years and shares the common goal of contributing to peace, stability and cooperation and development in the region and in the world, Vietnam continues to accompany Germany on the road ahead, jointly developing a more sustainable and effective strategic partnership for the mutual benefit of the two peoples.

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