A view of the first meeting of the Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation (Photo: moit.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The first meeting of the Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation was held online on January 12, during which participants discussed the cooperation possibilities in industry and trade, manufacturing-processing, energy, and education-training.

Addressing the event, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that Vietnam attaches great importance to its strategic partnership with Germany and hopes to further facilitate bilateral economic, trade, and industry cooperation.

The ministry has worked to provide optimal conditions for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs), especially those from Germany, to operate in Vietnam, he said, as they are an important factor in the country’s economic growth.

He expressed an interest in expanding cooperation in energy with the German side, not only in traditional and renewable energy but also in the reserving and transmission of power, as well as in ensuring power security and distribution in a balanced, suitable, and economic manner.

Regarding industrial cooperation, Minister Anh suggested that the German side continue to provide favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to engage more deeply in the production chains for components and accessories of major German firms, thus contributing to promoting the supporting industry and creating a sustainable foundation for Vietnam’s industrial sector.

He also proposed that Germany support Vietnam in forming a centre for digital transformation in production, which would help it seize opportunities presented by Industry 4.0.

For his part, German Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said that Vietnam is a priority for Germany, and he pledged that the country would give full assistance to effective implementation in trade and industry with Vietnam, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), thus boosting bilateral ties.

The EVFTA is a mechanism that helps businesses on both sides penetrate more deeply into each other’s market, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has pushed both sides to work harder for economic recovery.

The ministers agreed that, in the future, the two sides will continue applying the Fast Track mechanism to deal with obstacles facing businesses on both sides more effectively.

Concluding the meeting, the two ministers signed the minutes of the meeting and agreed on a time for the second meeting of the committee in 2022.

The Vietnam-Germany Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation was set up following an agreement signed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Germany’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It aims to realise the economic partnership between the two countries and lift ties to a higher level while making them more practical, thus supporting businesses on both sides.

Within the framework of the meeting, talks were held to discuss cooperation opportunities, especially in energy, digital transformation, and manufacturing-processing.

Germany is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in Europe and consumes 19 percent of its exports to the EU while also serving as a gateway to other European markets.

Vietnam, meanwhile, ranks 24th out of 144 goods providers of Germany, and 78th among 144 importers of the country.

Figures from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that as of the end of November, two-way trade stood at 9.08 billion USD, with Vietnam’s exports reaching 6.05 billion USD, up 0.5 percent year-on-year.

Germany had also invested in 378 projects in Vietnam as of that time, with total capital of over 2.2 billion USD, ranking it 17th out of 139 countries and territories investing in the country. German projects are mostly in manufacturing-processing, technical services, information and communications, and banking and insurance./.

VNA