Since 2011, Germany and Viet Nam have had a “strategic partnership” involving cooperation projects at all levels and in numerous policy fields. Relations are shaped by the many different intersocietal contacts. Germany and Viet Nam regard themselves as partners in endeavours to uphold the rules-based order, respect for international law, multilateralism, global free trade and investment, and environmental and climate protection.
With a trade volume of around 13.3 billion euro, Germany is Viet Nam’s most important trading partner in the EU. Viet Nam is also Germany’s number one trading partner within ASEAN. Over 370 German companies are currently represented in Viet Nam. Total investment amounts to more than 2.3 billion US dollar. This investment has created around 50,000 jobs in Viet Nam.
Germany and Viet Nam expect the free trade and investment protection agreements signed by Viet Nam and the EU in mid-2019 to give a further boost to bilateral economic relations as well. The free trade agreement entered into force on 1 August 2020. The investment protection agreement still has to be ratified by the individual EU member states.
Development cooperation focusing on implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement is another important element in relations between Germany and Viet Nam. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2030 reform strategy defines Viet Nam as a global partner country, with a focus on key issues based on the country’s Green Growth strategy (sustainable growth, climate/energy, environmental protection/resources, health/One Health and peace/societal cooperation).
Bilateral cultural relations are developing well. Many cultural, academic and scientific institutions (including the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Goethe-Institut, the Vietnamese-German University, the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) and the International German School) are active in Viet Nam. The more than 100,000 Vietnamese who have worked or studied in Germany form a unique bridge between the two countries, sustaining and increasing mutual interest.