|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and German Chancellor Angela Merkel review the guards of honour in Berlin. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
BERLIN (VNS)— Germany values its bilateral ties with Viet Nam, which it sees as a vibrant economy and key player in the birth of the ASEAN Economic Community, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday.
Merkel's appreciation was expressed in talks held with visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Berlin.
The two leaders reviewed progress made in advancing the strategic partnership between both countries, and agreed to work together in celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year.
In economic terms, Germany is Viet Nam's largest trade partner in the European Union (EU). Two-way trade grew by 18 per cent to US$7.7 billion last year. The European country is also the 22nd biggest investor in Viet Nam, with 232 projects worth $1.25 billion.
Dung and Merkel agreed to accelerate key projects, including the German House and metro line 2 in HCM City while improving the business climate on both sides.
The Prime Minister welcomed next month's visit to Viet Nam by German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for the Economy and Energy. He will chair the 14th Asian-Pacific Conference of German Businesses scheduled to take place in HCM City.
Merkel praised Viet Nam as one of the most effective users of German official development assistance (ODA) and said the country would step up aid in the areas of energy, environmental protection and vocational training.
The German Chancellor also promised to develop the Viet Nam-Germany University into a reputable educational establishment in the region.
|Both sides expressed their commitment to working together at multilateral forums and international organisations. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Both sides expressed satisfaction with the outcome of a pilot project to send Vietnamese nurses to Germany for long-term employment and explored similar schemes for electricians and plumbers.
The host government pledged to continue supporting the Vietnamese diaspora in Germany adapt to life in their new country.
Both sides expressed their commitment to working together at multilateral forums and international organisations, including the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, and ASEAN-EU.
Germany backs Viet Nam's efforts to enhancing its comprehensive co-operation with the European Union, including the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the bloc, Merkel said.
As soon as negotiations for the Viet Nam-EU FTA are concluded, Germany would recognise Viet Nam as a market economy, she added.
On the East Sea issue, Merkel said Germany agrees with Viet Nam's position on settling disputes peacefully and in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
Thanking his host, Dung said that as coordinator of ASEAN-EU relations for the 2012-15 period, Viet Nam is ready to act as a bridge between Germany and the Southeast Asian bloc.
PM urges closer VN-German legislative ties
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with President of the German Parliament, Norbert Lammert in Berlin. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Prime Minister Dung urged Vietnamese and German legislatures to strengthen ties towards realising the potentials of the strategic partnership established between the two countries in 2011.
In a meeting with the President of the German Parliament, Norbert Lammert, in Berlin yesterday, the PM sought the host's support for enhancing Viet Nam's ties with the European Union.
Lammert responded positively to Dung's request and also informed the latter that he would attend the 132nd General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union scheduled for next March in Viet Nam.
On the same day, PM Dung held talks with German President Joachim Gauck and met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Dung also met with the Vietnamese community in Berlin and asked them to stand united as law-abiding German citizens. The community should be a bridge Viet Nam and Germany, he said.
Nearly 125,000 people of Vietnamese origin currently live in Germany.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with German President Joachim Gauck in Berlin — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Viet Nam is accelerating the equitisation of state-owned enterprises, offering a number of opportunities for international investors to become shareholders and partners in Vietnamese businesses, Prime Minister Dung informed the Viet Nam-Baden Wuerttemberg Economic Forum on Tuesday.
Speaking at the forum as part of his official visit to Germany, the PM called for investment in infrastructure and public services via public-private partnerships (PPP) to implement projects on electricity, renewable energy, urban transport, and sea and air ports.
Viet Nam and Germany enjoy a long-standing cooperative relationship. Germany is now Viet Nam's largest trade partner in Europe. Bilateral trade reached almost US$8 billion in 2013 and accounted for more than 20 per cent of the total turnover between Viet Nam and the EU.
Germany is also one of Viet Nam's biggest providers of official development assistance (ODA).
The PM said Viet Nam looks forward to more German investment in high-quality, high-tech and environmentally-friendly projects, adding that German companies such as Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, Adidas and Allianz, were already successfully operating in the country.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attends the Viet Nam-Baden Wuerttemberg Economic Forum on Tuesday. — Photo VGP
Germany's potential as investors in Viet Nam can be exploited even further, he said. With 232 projects worth nearly $1.5 billion, Germany is still only Europe's fifth highest investor in Viet Nam.
He suggested that the two countries step up their efforts in business and investment fields to meet their cooperation goals.
Earlier that day, Prime Minister Dung met with Minister President of Baden Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann. Kretschmann expressed his wish to boost ties between Baden Wuerttemberg and Vietnamese localities, particularly in the fields of education, training and manufacturing. — VNS