Federal Minister Peter Altmaier at the first session of the German-Vietnamese Joint Economic Committee

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier at the first session of the German-Vietnamese Joint Economic Committee

© BMWi/Andreas Mertens

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, co-chaired the first session of the German-Vietnamese Economic Committee today.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “Vietnam and Germany can look back on many years of close and strong partnership, and today’s first session of the German-Vietnamese Economic Committee aims to further advance this partnership. The free trade agreement which entered into force in August 2020 has already given an important boost to our trade relations. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, exchange between our countries and our businesses is more important than ever. We need open markets and free trade if we are to succeed in overcoming this crisis and getting our economies going again.”

The Joint Economic Committee was set up to identify possible fields for more intensive cooperation and remove impediments which companies are facing on the markets in the respective host country. The first session focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and on trade and industry, energy and vocational training/attracting skilled labour.
The great interest of German business in closer cooperation with Vietnam was also reflected by the participation of Andreas Schick, Member of the Executive Board of Schaeffler Group and chair of the Vietnam committee of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (OAV), and Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens, in his function as Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA).

In the last 10 years, bilateral trade has quadrupled, and Germany is Vietnam’s (in German) largest trading partner in the EU. More than 350 German companies are currently present on the Vietnamese market. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force in August 2020, is expected to result in a further rise in the bilateral trade volume and an increase in the number of German enterprises in Vietnam.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the session took place as a virtual event.