Address by Minister of State Cornelia Pieper at the opening of a Fresenius Kabi plant in Quy Nhon/Viet Nam on 26 September 2011
-Translation of advance text-
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Binh Dinh province,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m delighted to be back in Viet Nam. I’m particularly pleased to have come to Quy Nhon for the first time to take part in the opening ceremony of this new Fresenius Kabi plant. Quy Nhon and Binh Dinh province combine natural beauty with business opportunities.
First of all I’d like to congratulate you on this plant. I’m convinced that this investment will not only enhance the success of your company but also make a key contribution towards economic development in Quy Nhon and Binh Dinh province.
Foreign Investment is of crucial importance. Today, Germany is one of the largest exporters of capital in the world. No matter which country I visit, there are always German companies operating there. However, Germany is also a very attractive destination for direct foreign investments. Investments by foreign companies are one of the major reasons why Germanyemerged stronger from the economic and financial crisis.
Direct investments are a boon for all partners: for an export-oriented country like Germany, they ensure access to key markets. They enable us to make use of the comparative advantages of other countries and they safeguard jobs, both in Germanyand in the countries in which German companies invest.
And it’s equally important that these countries have access to the technology which the investors bring with them. They also benefit from the investors’ efforts to train staff. These efforts increase exports from these countries and contribute towards their macroeconomic stability. They are thus an important element of sustainable growth. And let me emphasize once more that German companies are not after short-term profit. They are reliable partners who want to cooperate with you on a long-term basis.
Foreign direct investments guarantee more competition. An open market ensures the competitiveness of our companies and benefits everyone involved. As the German poet Marie von Ebner‑Eschenbach once said, “Anyone who stops wanting to be better stops being good.”
Germany is therefore pursuing an economic policy which is marked by openness and competition and in which the market can develop its own force but where social issues are not forgotten. We encourage investments by German companies abroad and we welcome foreign investments in Germany. This policy has served us well over the last decades. (…)
The health care industry is one of the pillars of Germany’s economy. German companies in the health sector are operating throughout the world and are working with their know-how, technology and products in many countries to ensure that people are, in the truest sense of the word, better off. For as the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said, “There are one thousand diseases but only one health.”
I’ve just come from New Delhiwhere I took part in an important conference, Future Dialogue, which looked at the sustainable development issues of cities in the 21st century. If we are to master the challenges of the future, we need a health sector providing high quality at affordable prices. German companies are playing a key role in ensuring that this goal is achieved.
I’m pleased that by establishing this plant here in Quy Nhon with an investment amounting to around 20 million euro and with a workforce of around 360, which will produce 50 million bottles of infusion solutions and 130 million ampoules containing liquid medicine per year, Fresenius Kabi is making a crucial contribution towards high-quality and affordable health care in the region.
Corporate social responsibility is a modern term for something which we in Germanyhave known for a long time: companies have a responsibility towards their staff and towards society as a whole. The Fugger family, which dominated European business during the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as industrialists such as Alfred Krupp in the 19th century, and many others, set benchmarks in this sphere. I’m pleased that the term is not an empty phrase at Fresenius Kabi here in Quy Nhon either, but that the company is already making its contribution towards society, for example by donating ambulances and medicine. Fresenius Kabi is not the only company engaged here in Binh Dinh province. Tomorrow I will have the pleasure of visiting a children’s home here in Quy Nhon which was largely financed by the German company Vorwerk.
I’m convinced that companies such as Fresenius Kabi and Vorwerk are helping to place German-Vietnamese relations on an even firmer basis. Another indication of how good relations between our countries are is the visit by our Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, to your country next month. Her visit will help advance joint projects and identify new fields for cooperation. Let me just mention two key projects on which our two countries are cooperating.
As I’m sure you already know, Germanyis very much involved in the construction of the underground in Ho Chi Minh City. This underground system will do much to solve the infrastructure problems occurring in any major city. The German Government championed this project and continues to support its realization. In our view, the underground in Ho Chi Minh City is a beacon project for an even closer partnership between Germanyand Viet Nam in the infrastructure sphere.
In order to provide even more active support for the engagement of German companies in your country, we are seeking to construct a German House in Ho Chi Minh City. For this purpose, we want to use a building which Germanypurchased in the 1960s to build a diplomatic mission. This project is only possible with the support of our Vietnamese partners. I’d like to thank the Vietnamese Government for its help in the preparation of this project and to express our hope that the measures still required to ensure the success of the project – both in Germany and in Viet Nam – will be taken in a spirit of cooperation between our two countries.
I’m certain that such projects benefit both sides and that Germany and Viet Nam can complement each other in many ways and can profit from close cooperation. Close collaboration relies on the engagement of both sides. The great American carmaker Henry Ford also recognized this, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”
Mr Schneider, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me conclude by expressing once more my best wishes for the further development of Fresenius Kabi. I’m certain that together with your Vietnamese staff and partners, you can expect a bright future in this excellent location.
I hope that many more German companies will find their way to Quy Nhon and to Binh Dinh province, that they will work together profitably with their Vietnamese partners and make a substantial contribution towards economic progress in your city and province.