Ties with Germany enter new phase
Minister Peter Altmaier (left) and Minister Nguyen Chi Dung (right) last week inked a joint training co-operation statement for the 2019-2021 phase
At last week’s meeting between Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, the latter stated that Vietnam is now a central economic partner of Germany in Asia. “We consider Vietnam an equal partner, and wish to open up a new chapter in our countries’ co-operation,” Altmaier said. “Many German businesses are showing great interest in the Vietnamese market, in various sectors like environment, renewable energy, industrial development, training, and high-technology.”
According to Cedrik Neike, member of Siemens AG Managing Board, who is among representatives from 20 German businesses attending the meeting, Vietnam is an especially important market to this group, as the fast-industrialising nation currently has a great demand for energy and smart infrastructure solutions to develop its industrial sectors. “We recommend Vietnam to focus in these areas as soon as possible in order to further boost the economy,” Neike told Minister Dung.
He said digital and smart infrastructure ranging from digital factories, highly efficient power plants, smart grid, smart building or seamless mobility systems are key levers to strengthen the basic infrastructure in Vietnam, and at the same time help to drive efficiency and increase productivity.
“For example, our most comprehensive product lifecycle management portfolio helps VinFast to fulfill its vision of building the first made in Vietnam car in record time,” he said, adding that Siemens also will expand its training co-operation with Vietnamese partners and academia.
Siemens was suggested by Minister Dung to forge a strategic partnership with Vietnam, with its comprehensive multi-sectoral co-operation with the country. “Siemens has been well operating in Vietnam for a long time, and now we wish that the group can raise its co-operation with the country, not based on single projects now, but on a different status like a strategic partnership covering many sectors,” the minister stressed. “Vietnam is now focusing on high-tech development, and we want to attract German investment into this.”
Another representative from a company specialised in renewable energy development revealed that the company wants to develop a number of projects in Vietnam’s rural areas and introduce technology to ensure labour safety as well as provide training for Vietnamese people.
Meanwhile, a representative from Germany’s HDI Global SE said that the corporation wants to purchase more stakes in Vietnamese insurer PetroVietnam Insurance Corporation (PVI). Currently, the German company is PVI’s biggest stakeholder, holding a 36.22 per cent stake.
His proposal received the thumbs-up from Minister Dung who said that the MPI “will fully support the purchasing of PVI stakes.”.
A recent survey of over 5,100 German companies, conducted by the global network of German chambers of Industry and Trade, showed that 95 per cent will continue investing in Vietnam, 67 per cent will hire more employees, and 61 per cent expected better business performance in the country. Some 67 per cent expected medium-term economic trend prospects to improve, while the same rate also assessed the current business climate to be good.
Last week, Minister Dung and Minister Altmaier signed a joint statement on a 2019-2021 training co-operation programme. This programme followed a similar one signed in 2008, with 565 Vietnamese managers trained in Germany so far.
Vietnamese-German trade turnover hit €13.8 billion ($15.6 billion) in 2018, comprising €9.7 billion ($10.97 billion) worth of Vietnamese exports to Germany, and €4.1 billion ($4.64 billion) worth of German exports to Vietnam.