German president to pay state visit to Vietnam

By Minh Nga, Huyen LeJanuary 18, 2024 | 07:16 pm PT
German president to pay state visit to Vietnam
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin in 2021. Photo by Reuters
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his spouse are scheduled to make a state visit to Vietnam from Jan. 23-24, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced.

This visit comes upon an invitation from President Vo Van Thuong and his spouse.

During his visit, Steinmeier will meet his Vietnamese counterpart Vo Van Thuong, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and the Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, for political talks, according to the Embassy of Germany in Hanoi.

In addition, he will visit the Confucian Temple of Literature and meet with trainees, teachers and skilled worker recruiters to learn more about the exchange of skilled workers between Vietnam and Germany. This will be followed by an exchange on the topic of migration biographies and experiences.

On the second day of his stay, he will fly to Ho Chi Minh City where he and the German business delegation will hold talks with local business representatives. Topics will include the prospects for economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Steinmeier will then visit the Vietnamese German University (VGU), where he will speak to students and teaching staff.

Vietnam and Germany established diplomatic relations on Sept. 23, 1975, and cooperation has grown since.

The two nations elevated their relationship to a strategic partnership during the visit to Vietnam in October 2011 by the then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is Vietnam's largest trading partner in Europe, accounting for nearly 20% of Vietnam's exports to the European Union (EU). It also serves as a crucial transit gateway for Vietnamese goods to reach other European markets.

Trade turnover between the two countries exceeded US$11 billion last year. There are now more than 350 German businesses operating in Vietnam.

As of May 2023, Germany had 444 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over $2.36 billion, ranking fourth in the EU and 18th among the 143 countries and territories that invest in Vietnam.

Vietnamese enterprises have initiated 11 investment projects in Germany, with total investment capital exceeding $30.95 million.

Germany consistently provides official development aid (ODA) to Vietnam, having contributed more than $2 billion to ODA projects from 1990 to the present.

Since 2020, Vietnam has been categorized as a "Global Partner" in Germany's Development Cooperation Strategy through 2030 (BMZ 2030).

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