Germany: Lower Saxony developing ties with Vietnam

HANOI – From October 1 to 7, 2023, a delegation of more than 50 German companies led by Lower Saxony’s Minister-President Stephan Weil visited Vietnam to explore bilateral cooperation opportunities. The delegation trip was organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Vietnam (AHK Vietnam) with great support from the German Embassy in Hanoi and the German Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Activities during this trip concentrated on the topics of renewable energies and energy efficiency, vocational training, skilled labor migration, digitalization, and Industry 4.0. These are the areas where Lower Saxony has strong expertise and experience, and where Vietnam has high demand and potential. The program included economic and political talks, networking events, and company visits in these areas in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the two economic metropoles of Vietnam.

In Hanoi, Minister-President Stephan Weil encountered high-ranking officials from the Vietnamese government, such as Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, and Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung. The meetings aimed to enhance mutual understanding and trust, as well as to discuss concrete measures to boost bilateral trade and investment between Vietnam and Germany.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the delegation participated in various meetings with German companies having footprints in the South of Vietnam, as well as local businesses and organizations, thereby exchanging views and experiences with these business leaders and experts on the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Vietnam. These visits also featured presentations and conversations on various topics such as green energy transition, digital transformation, vocational education and training, and skilled labor mobility. Some of the companies and organizations that hosted the delegation were PVI, LeGroup, Prettl, VinaFadi, FPT Software, Cicor, Viessmann, Pepperl+Fuchs, Cao Thang Technical College, Deutsches Haus, AHK Vietnam, etc.

Lower Saxony is Germany’s second-largest state by area and fourth-largest by population. It is also one of Germany’s most important industrial hubs, especially in the automotive sector. Lower Saxony is home to well-known global brands such as Volkswagen and Continental. It is also a leader in renewable energy production, particularly in wind and biomass.

Vietnam is one of Germany’s most significant trading partners in ASEAN. It is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia as well, with an average GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent in the past decade. Vietnam has a young, dynamic, and well-educated population of around 100 million people. Vietnam owns the advantages of a favorable environment thanks to free trade agreements, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which entered into force in August 2020.

In 2022, trade between Lower Saxony and Vietnam reached 1.4 billion euros ($1.46 billion), accounting for more than 10 percent of the total trade volume between Germany and Vietnam.

The delegation trip was a great success, as it demonstrated the strong interest and commitment of Lower Saxony to deepen its partnership with Vietnam. The trip also established new contacts and networks between German and Vietnamese businesses, as well as fostered existing ones. Diverse meetings and initiatives throughout the trip have facilitated the potential and benefits of cooperation between Lower Saxony and Vietnam in various sectors that are crucial for both countries’ sustainable development.

Source: AHK Vietnam