|Parliamentarian Andreas Scheuer, President of the Asienbrücke e.V. – Euro-Asian-Initiative. — VNS Photo Mai Hương|
Việt Nam and Germany have committed to deepening their strategic partnership, especially after the official visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Việt Nam on November 13-14, ahead of the Asia Pacific Conference of German Business 2022 in Singapore and G20 Summit in Indonesia. Việt Nam News reporter Mai Hương talks to Parliamentarian Andreas Scheuer, President of the Asienbrücke e.V. – Euro-Asian-Initiative, about the future cooperation of the two sides during his visit to Việt Nam last week.
Could you share some results of your working visit to Việt Nam?
After the conference in Singapore, I felt that Singapore is a very dynamic country in the Asia Pacific region. Then I went to Việt Nam, I found the dynamism of Việt Nam is even more vibrant than that of Singapore.
In all meetings with politicians as well as companies in Việt Nam, everyone showed great interest in cooperating with German businesses and German technology. And after returning to Germany, I think we will have a lot of things to do as we want to build an open cooperation relationship between the two sides. Besides, Vietnamese people are very hospitable.
Germany is promoting diversification in the Asia Pacific. What role will Việt Nam play in your national strategy?
Germany certainly will implement the diversification strategy. The message given by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during his short official visit to Việt Nam before the G20 summit is very important. As a member of the German Bundestag as well as President of the Asienbrücke e.V. – Euro-Asian-Initiative, we are very eager to cooperate with Việt Nam. Together with the Hanns Seidel Stiftung foundation, we are preparing to receive a delegation of Việt Nam’s National Assembly to visit and work in Germany this week.
Germany attaches great importance to Việt Nam in the long run as Việt Nam is a strategic partner of Germany. Such messages are passed on not only through German organisations such as Hanns Seidel Stiftung but also large German corporations such as Bosch. When I visited Bosch, I talked to engineers and managers there, they showed strong interest and desire to cooperate with Việt Nam.
How do you assess the performance of German businesses in Việt Nam so far? What do you do to connect businesses between the two countries?
German enterprises are very satisfied with their activities in Việt Nam, especially with very hard-working Vietnamese workers. When I return to Germany, I will act as an ambassador, passing and spreading these good messages and the satisfaction of German businesses in Việt Nam to businesses in Germany and mainly Bavaria region, hoping that it will help attract more investments from German businesses, not only large ones but also small and medium companies.
It's not just direct investments. For example, the factories of Thành Công and Vinfast corporations cannot operate without German robots or German high-tech technologies.
Now there needs to be a lot of meetings, connecting a lot of people. Germany is one of the countries with the largest overseas Vietnamese population and they are the ambassadors of Việt Nam to Germany. For example, in my business delegation to Việt Nam this time, there are also Vietnamese-born businessmen.
It’s important for us to find out and connect departments such as the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry with suitable partners in Việt Nam. In addition, the Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Việt Nam has also taken many initiatives and organised activities to connect with policy-making agencies in Việt Nam.
During the meeting with the Vietnamese National Assembly deputies, they expressed interest in learning about the German dual vocational training models and thus we will connect the German vocational training system with Việt Nam.
Transportation and urban development is a hot issue in a developing country like Việt Nam. Serving as the German Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development during 2018-21, could you share some of the German experiences and do you see potential cooperation between the two countries in this sector?
There is huge potential. Currently, Việt Nam is growing very fast, so the infrastructure needs to develop very quickly to keep up with that growth rate. No matter how good the products are, without the infrastructure, no roads and ports to ship goods to the world, it is worth nothing.
I have seen major infrastructure in Việt Nam such as highways. As for ports, I see a lot of potential to make them better. Or for example, in the meeting with Vietnamese National Assembly deputies, I discussed the construction of high-speed trains. National Assembly deputies said that the demand for investment in infrastructure is very large.
I visited HCM City, Hải Phòng, Ninh Bình and Hà Nội and looked on the streets and see a lot of potential for transportation cooperation, especially for electric cars, or how to save energy as well as bring good things for the environment. When I return to my country, I will work with experts and big companies in the production of electric vehicles to seek cooperation.
What are the sectors in Việt Nam that you think will attract German businesses the most? And what would you expect from the Vietnamese Government in facilitating business and investments by German firms?
I think information technology experts will be in dire need in the future. Global digitisation is the engine and driving force for the development of the IT sector. Currently, for example at Bosch, in addition to factories for production, they also have established a research and development centre with more than 2,000 IT engineers and in the future, they want to double this number.
Other areas that I think have a lot of potential for cooperation is renewable energy such as wind power and solar energy, infrastructure, logistics and warehousing.
For German businesses, the most important thing is the safety of their investments. Recently in the discussion with the Vietnamese politicians, we also learned that Việt Nam is in need of more investors in the real estate sector as well as the framework conditions that will facilitate investors to rent land to do business. — VNS