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Nation eyes closer ties to Germany

Update: September, 22/2012 - 09:40

HA NOI – (VNS) Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, discussed measures to boost bilateral ties in the future during their talks in Berlin on Thursday.

They also exchanged views on each country's situation as well as regional and international issues of common concern.

The two sides agreed that the upgrading of Viet Nam-Germany relations to a strategic partnership has created a framework to develop the two countries' co-operation in a strong, comprehensive and effective manner in all aspects, especially in priority areas such as politics-diplomacy, economics-trade-investment, development cooperation, law, education-training and science-technology.

On that basis, the two ministers reached consensus on major measures to deepen the Viet Nam-Germany strategic partnership.

Minh and his German counterpart agreed that the two sides should increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially high levels, to create momentum for the intensive and effective development of bilateral co-operation.

The two sides highly valued German Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Roesler's visit to Viet Nam from September 17-19. They planned to arrange a visit to Germany for Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in 2013.

The two sides spoke highly of the outcome of the first deputy foreign ministerial-level meeting of the Viet Nam-Germany Strategic Management Group in Berlin on September 10, considering it an effective and important mechanism to speed up the implementation of specific contents in the Viet Nam-Germany Strategic Action Plan.

The two ministers expressed their pleasure at positive developments in trade and investment ties between the two countries despite economic difficulties in Europe and the world as a whole, with Germany continuing to be Viet Nam's largest trade partner in the EU. Many German groups and companies have been operating effectively in Viet Nam.

However, they also found that Germany's direct investment in Viet Nam remains modest. Therefore, the two sides agreed to create more favourable conditions for their businesses to operate in each other's market.

Minh thanked the German government and people for providing official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam for the past few years. Minh highly appreciated the fact that Germany continues to put Viet Nam on its priority list of ODA recipients in the coming time, with a focus on the areas of environmental protection, health, vocational training and climate change adaptation, which go hand in hand with Viet Nam's socio-economic development priorities.

The two sides agreed to foster education and training co-operation, especially in carrying out the project of building the Viet Nam-Germany University and developing it into a regionally and internationally recognised university.

Minh affirmed that Viet Nam would create the right conditions for Germany to extend the current pilot programme on teaching German in high schools in Viet Nam.

The two ministers also shared views on the necessity of further intensifying bilateral co-operation on science and technology.

Minh proposed that the German government continue facilitating overseas Vietnamese's integration into the local community, enabling them to make positive contributions to the host country and helping to strengthen friendship and co-operation between the two nations.

The two ministers also shared views on a number of international issues of mutual concern and agreed to accelerate co-operation in multi-lateral forums and international organisations such as ASEM, ASEAN, EU and the United Nations. They reached consensus on the need to promote the two countries' roles and positions in ASEAN and EU in a bid to further lift the two regions' co-operation.

Guido Westerwele affirmed that Germany will continue supporting Viet Nam's efforts to strengthen its comprehensive co-operation with the EU and assist Viet Nam in the negotiation process on a Free Trade Agreement and in implementing the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement with the EU.

The two sides expressed concerns about the recent development in the East Sea, which has negatively impacted regional peace and stability. They agreed that disputes should be resolved by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

On the same day, Minister Minh received Vice Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee of the German Parliament Hans-Ulrich Klose. — VNS

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