VOV.VN - Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Vu Quang Minh and Dr. Peter Tschentscher, the First Mayor of the City of Hamburg, have compared notes on current relations and prospects for future co-operation between the countries, as well as between Vietnamese localities and Hamburg.
During his recent courtesy visit to the Mayor of Hamburg, Ambassador Minh expressed his joy and honour at being back in the city in the role as Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany, while hailing the sound friendly relations which exist.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, both sides offered mutual support to one another, clearly demonstrating the spirit of the joint strategic partnership, he added.
As part of the occasion, the Vietnamese Ambassador thanked both the authorities and people of Hamburg for their timely support in helping the country cope with the impact of the pandemic during the most difficult period.
In June, 2021, the German states of Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Saxony-Anhalt donated more than 190,000 COVID-19 rapid test kits to the nation.
Regarding economic relations, Ambassador Minh emphasised that Germany is currently the largest Vietnamese trading partner in the EU and the fifth largest investment partner among the bloc.
The Vietnamese diplomat also highlighted the importance of Hamburg in trade exchanges between the two countries, particularly as major Vietnamese export staples such as footwear, clothes, coffee, pepper, and wood products primarily entered the German and European markets via the port of Hamburg.
The Ambassador said that co-operation between Vietnamese localities and Hamburg still have ample room for stronger development, particularly as the country has signed 16 free trade agreements with major partners. Indeed, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which became effective from August 1, 2020, has opened up greater opportunities for co-operation between firms from both sides.
Furthermore, Ambassador Minh expressed his hope that the future will see localities of Vietnam and Hamburg continue to tighten co-operation in traditional fields such as shipping, shipbuilding, and human resource training, as well as expanding into new fields such as green and renewable energy.
He went on to suggest that the administration of Hamburg consider the possibility of establishing a municipal partnership with a Vietnamese locality, especially with port cities such as Da Nang, Hai Phong, and Ho Chi Minh City. This should be done with a view of sharing experience and taking advantage of the available potential in order to complement each other.
As part of the occasion, Ambassador Minh also expressed his sincere thanks to the Hamburg administration for continuing to facilitate the Vietnamese community’s integration into local society. He firmly believes that this community has been and will continue to make positive contributions to the socio-economic life of Hamburg, as well as serving as a bridge connecting the two countries’ people.
In response, Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher applauded the nation’s dynamic development over the years, noting that Hamburg backs the EVFTA because of the undeniable advantages it brings, especially minimising trade barriers, and creating new dynamics to promote economic development of the two continents.
Mayor Tschentscher said that in the near future, apart from its major partner China, Hamburg will focus on diversifying economic-trade-investment ties and expanding co-operation with many more countries in Asia, with a specific focus on Vietnam.
He therefore supports Ambassador Minh's proposal to ramp up co-operation between Hamburg and Vietnamese cities, whilst expressing his wish that representatives of Vietnamese localities could visit Hamburg in order to discuss issues of mutual concern. They could also use this opportunity to explore co-operation opportunities, thereby creating a foundation for the establishment of city partnerships moving forward.
Mayor Tschentscher also noted his appreciation for the positive contributions made by the Vietnamese community to the socio-economic life, as well as to the cultural diversity and prosperity, of Hamburg.
Moreover, he said that there are now more than 100 foreign honorary consuls in Hamburg and expressed his willingness to assist the nation in finding suitable candidates to name as the country’s honorary consul in Hamburg.
Ambassador Minh used the occasion to invite Mayor Tschentscher and agencies and businesses from Hamburg to visit the nation at an appropriate time in a bid to further foster co-operative relations between the two sides moving forward.