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German President Steinmeier starts state visit to Vietnam

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his spouse arrived in Hanoi today, January 23, starting a two-day state visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and his spouse.

This visit marks the first by a German head of state to Vietnam in 17 years, signifying a revitalized diplomatic engagement between the two nations.

President Steinmeier is accompanied by a delegation of high-ranking German officials, including members of the German parliament, ministers, senior officials, and business executives.

The state visit, scheduled for January 23-24, includes talks with President Thuong, and separate meetings with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

A welcome ceremony in honor of President Steinmeier will take place at the Presidential Palace and is poised to lay the foundation for talks that will span various topics, with a particular focus on enhancing economic cooperation.

Bilateral relations between Vietnam and Germany, which were established on September 23, 1975, were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2011. Germany holds a vital position as Vietnam’s largest trading partner within Europe, contributing nearly 20% of Vietnam’s exports to the EU. In 2023, bilateral trade between the two nations exceeded US$11 billion.

President Steinmeier’s agenda in Hanoi will also feature visits to German projects in HCMC and adjacent provinces.

The presence of German businesses in Vietnam is substantial, with more than 350 companies actively operating. Germany has 444 active projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of US$2.36 billion, establishing itself as the fourth-largest EU investor in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese companies have 11 active investment projects in Germany, with investment capital totaling over US$30.95 million. Beyond economic collaboration, Germany has been a significant donor of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with over US$2 billion extended to ODA projects in Vietnam since 1990.

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