The conference, which was held within the framework of the ongoing Vietnam – Germany Culture Festival (Kulturfest) 2020 in Hanoi, attracted the participation of the about 200 businesses from both countries.
It was reported at the forum that the Vietnam-Germany relations have developed substantially since the two countries established diplomatic ties in September 1975, especially after they agreed to set up the strategic partnership in 2011.
Germany is currently Vietnam’s largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade value turnover reaching US$10 billion last year, posting an annual increase of 10%.
More than 300 German firms are undertaking more than 300 projects in Vietnam with a total capital of US$2 billion. Meanwhile, Vietnamese investors are also carrying out 35 projects in Germany worth more than US$250 million.
Addressing participating delegates, Ngo Minh Hien, vice President of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), that co-hosted the event, highlighted the importance of the recent enforcement of the EVFTA, saying the trade deal will help lift trade ties between Vietnam and the EU, as well as between Vietnam and Germany to new heights.
“I totally believe the enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will serve as a driving force behind the robust growth in economic, trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and Germany in the coming time,” Hien said.
“In addition, both countries are assuming an important role at international forums, with Vietnam chairing ASEAN and working as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and Germany chairing the EU on a rotating basis. This offers an opportunity for the two countries to further promote bilateral cooperation to bring practical benefits to their business communities,” he added.
At the conference, businesses from the two countries spoke of difficulties and challenges they face and expressed their desires to receive support from involved parties, making it easier for them to implement the trade deal.
Andreas Stoffers, chief representative of Friedich-Neumann Institute in Vietnam, suggested a three-layer approach the Vietnamese business community should take to make the most of the EVFTA.
“On the macro level, we have to continue our advocacy, involving all stake holders. Besides the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, it is mainly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), the national European Chambers of Commerce, and very important the press like the Voice of Vietnam,” said Stoffers.
He also called for workshops to be organised for companies at the provincial level or grouped together in individual company sectors.
“And this is the measure I want to underline. EVFTA-lighthouses of successful joint enterprise projects between EU companies and Vietnamese companies. If these lighthouses exist, the entrepreneur’s question asked at the beginning about the very concrete possibilities almost answers itself. Indeed, he could see that his peers can certainly succeed in deriving great benefits from EVFTA,” the German expert concluded.
The conference was part of the Vietnam – Germany Culture Festival 2020 which opened in Hanoi on October 2 to promote cultural identities and trade exchanges of both countries. The event was jointly held by the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and Huong Sen Group.
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