Germany backs Vietnam in negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) and will recognize Vietnam as a market economy upon conclusion of the Vietnam-EU FTA negotiations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.
The German Chancellor made the statement during her talks with visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Berlin on October 15, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
She said Germany treasures its bilateral ties with Vietnam, which has a dynamic economy and plays a significant role in the building of the ASEAN Economic Community, which is expected to come into being in 2015.
As soon as Vietnam’s negotiations on a FTA with the EU are completed, German will recognize Vietnam’s market economy status, Merkel said.
The German leader hailed Vietnam as one of the most effective users of German official development assistance (ODA) and said Germany will provide more ODA to Vietnam, mainly in the fields of vocational training, energy, and the environment.
Merkel also promised to develop the Vietnam-Germany University into a reputable educational establishment in the region, and pledged to continue to support the 125,000 Vietnamese living in Germany.
For his part, PM Dung applauded the German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for the Economy and Energy’s visit to Vietnam to chair the 14th Asian-Pacific Conference of German Businesses scheduled to take place in Ho Chi Minh City next month.
The Vietnamese leader and his host were satisfied with the outcomes of a pilot project to send Vietnamese nurses to Germany for long-term employment.
Both sides also agreed to speed up key projects, including the German House and metro line 2 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Regarding trade, Germany is Vietnam’s largest trade partner in the EU, with the two-way trade increasing by 18 percent to US$7.7 billion in 2013.
In terms of investment, the European country ranks 22nd among the foreign investors in Vietnam, with 232 projects valued at $1.25 billion.
The two leaders also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, and pledged to further support each other at multilateral forums and international organizations.
In respect of the East Sea issue, Merkel said Germany supports Vietnam’s policy of settling disputes peacefully based on international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.