Today (22 January) Minister of State Cornelia Pieper travels to Viet Nam to open the German Year. The opening event will feature a joint concert by the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Choir.
With the “German Year in Viet Nam” and the parallel “Vietnamese Year in Germany”, the two countries are celebrating the 35th anniversary of German-Vietnamese diplomatic relations. The German Year’s motto is “City of the Future – Future of the City”, and aims to portray the entire spectrum of bilateral relations. It will include musical, fine arts, dance and theatre projects, as well as gatherings of academic experts and trade fairs.
During the first stop on her tour, in Hanoi (23/24 January), Ms Pieper will have talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong and Deputy Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan. Economic issues will be the focus of her stay in Ho Chi Minh City (24/25 January), where she will meet representatives of the German business community.
At the beginning of this year Viet Nam took over the chair of ASEAN, the South-East Asian regional organization. In spite of the economic crisis, Viet Nam’s economy is growing at a dynamic rate; trade between Germany and Viet Nam was around 3.3 billion euro in 2009.