In her keynote address given at the Germany-Vietnam Economic Forum, Merkel said German investors always eyed long-term business for sustainable development, so Vietnam also needed to make changes for the better.

"To attract more German investors, there need to be a more reliable legal framework, a more transparent administration, and a better infrastructure system," she said via an interpreter.

Therefore, she urged "Vietnam to be more open and to boost privatisation," and call for enterprises from both countries to strengthenbusiness cooperation.

The chancellor recalled her meeting with HCM City chair Le Hoang Quan prior to the economic forum, and said she was briefed that there were more than 5.2 million motorbikes registered in the city. With a sense of humor, the German leader noted that "it is a big challenge for the city, but also a big opportunity for German companies to invest into infrastructure and urban communication," with the project to develop the second metro project in HCM City being an example.

Jochen Homann, Secretary of State of Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, said at the forum that Germany would assist Vietnam in technology areas, urban communications, and manufacturing among others. Germany is ready to share expertise and boost ties in human resource development, he said.

Some German investors who are doing business in Vietnam, such as Siemens, Bosch, and Metro Cash&Carry, spoke of their confidence in the business environment here.

Vo Quang Hue, managing director of Robert Bosch Vietnam, said his company had recently opened an auto components plant in Vietnam capitalised at 55 million euros, but the company would scale up its capital to 100 million euros by 2015 as the company's commitment to make long-term, sustainablebusiness in Vietnam.

The forum was organised in HCM City on the occasion of the official Vietnam visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on the previous day in Hanoi formally agreed with prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung to set up strategic partnership between the two countries.

Tuesday also witnessed the signing of agreements under which Germany would finance eight projects in Vietnam with total pledged capital of over 440 million euros. The projects are mostly in areas of health care, urban management, adaptation to climate change, and waste treatment.

Economic ties between Vietnam and Germany has fared well lately, especially in trade, which reached $4.1 billion in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.

Germany's foreign direct investment in Vietnam, however, is still far from matching potentials, with $850 million pledged in 167 projects as of end-September.

The Saigon Times - October 15, 2011

German investors most interested in clean energy

German investors are most interested in developing renewable energy and high-technology in Vietnam, a forum has heard.

Speaking at the Vietnam - Germany Economic Forum held yesterday in HCM City, Vo Quang Hue, CEO of Bosch Vietnam, said high-technology production was very appealing to German investors.

He said German businesses, which are renowned worldwide for clean and renewable energy, especially solar and wind power, could contribute greatly to boost Vietnam's economic competitiveness.

Oliver Massmann, director of Duane Morris law firm, which has been consulting many German investors, also said most of his customers wanted to invest in renewable energy and high-technology machinery here.

But he said inconsistent implementation and understanding of Vietnam's law system had prevented many investors from entering the local market.

"Vietnamese people have also missed the chance to access green technology since your legal system lacks regulations about renewable energy," he said.

He suggested the Vietnamese government should allow foreign investors to directly distribute their products in Vietnam to attract more investments to the country.

For her part, German President Angela Merkel said Germany wished to work with Vietnam in many sectors including infrastructure and education.

She said the two countries had signed a euro 450 million deal on cooperation in profession training, public health and the environment.

"We need a trustworthy legal framework and a transparent administrative system from Vietnam," she said.

Vietnam's deputy prime minister Hoang Trung Hai said Germany had been Vietnam's biggest commercial partner in the EU with bilateral trade reaching $4.1 billion last year.

So far this year, German investors have been operating 167 projects with a total investment of $850 million in Vietnam, Hai said.

He urged German and Vietnamese businesses to boost their trade promotion to strengthen bilateral trade.

"Vietnam will provide the most convenient conditions for German businesses to operate here," he said.

Tuoi Tre - october 15, 2011