Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts
Welcome to the Day of German Unity. This year we are celebrating it for the 33rd time. German reunification on October 3, 1990 is one of the happiest moments in German history. It remains a reason for joy for all Germans.
This year we are pleased that a large delegation from Lower Saxony led by Minister President Stephan Weil is taking part in our reception in Hanoi. This visit shows the breadth and depth of the relationship between Germany and Vietnam. The relationships exist not only between national governments, but between institutions and organizations at different levels and across the country. But above all they exist between the people in both countries.
Economic development is a particular concern of the German federal states in their activities abroad. This also applies to Lower Saxony. The large delegation of around 60 members has an economic focus.
German-Vietnamese economic relations are developing well. Last year, trade was able to recover after the pandemic. The trading volume grew to 18 billion euros. Of this, almost 15 billion were Vietnamese exports to Germany. They increased by 37% in 2022.
We want to further intensify economic relations. Let me highlight two areas: firstly, the energy transition, and secondly, the recruitment of skilled workers.
Germany has been working with Vietnam in the energy sector since 2009 through numerous concrete projects and financial support. The main focus is on expanding renewable energies and improving energy efficiency. The energy transition is a key project for managing climate change. All countries are affected by climate change, Vietnam in particular. Germany is an active member of the G7 plus group, which has entered into a deeper partnership with Vietnam for a just energy transition („Just Energy Transition Partnership“). We want to support Vietnam extensively.
We also want this because Germany has to master the energy transition as well. We want to share our experiences and learn from the experiences of others. In the entrance area of our reception today we are presenting a small exhibition on energy transition. We want to inform and give ideas. Maybe you'll find time to look at the exhibition. Lower Saxony is a pioneer of the energy transition within Germany. That's why we chose a photo of a wind farm in Lower Saxony as the stage set for today's reception. We can already learn a lesson from our experience. For success, we need the active participation of everyone: government agencies as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations. Their contribution is indispensable.
Another area for cooperation is the recruitment of skilled workers. Due to demographic change, Germany needs foreign skilled workers. To achieve this, we have changed our legislation and made immigration easier. There is a large Vietnamese community in Germany that is well integrated and works successfully. Vietnamese live everywhere in Germany, including in Lower Saxony. The Vietnamese influence can be seen, for example, in the restaurant landscape. There are Vietnamese restaurants in almost all major German cities and they are very popular.
We would like to continue to attract qualified Vietnamese to the German labor market. Two requirements are important for this, on the one hand the language skills and on the other hand the professional qualifications. We are involved in both areas in Vietnam. The Goethe Institute offers language courses, as do various schools that are supported by the Central Office for Schools Abroad, among others. Vocational training has been a focus of our development cooperation for many years. In the academic area, the Vietnamese-German University is a beacon of cooperation. The university moved into its impressive new campus in Binh Duong province last November.
But we also want to work more closely with Vietnam in the political area. This was demonstrated by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to Vietnam in November last year. We are experiencing challenges to the international rules-based order. The biggest current challenge is Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. The international rules-based order is the prerequisite for peace and prosperity in the world. Its central elements are anchored in the UN Charter. It's about territorial integrity and sovereignty, the prohibition of violence and the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes. We must protect and defend these norms. Maintaining the international rules-based order is a fundamental interest of Germany. We think that it is also in Vietnam's interest and we offer Vietnam our cooperation in this regard.