Wed, 07 Dec 2022

HANOI, Vietnam: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stopped in Hanoi this weekend to discuss energy and trade ties with Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, as Germany seeks to move some of their manufacturing operations beyond China.

Scholz's meeting in Vietnam, as he was enroute to the G20 summit in Indonesia, focused on Vietnam's growing role in global supply chains.

At a news conference with Chinh, Scholz said Berlin is seeking expanded trade relations with Vietnam.

Last week, Scholz met with Chinese officials in Beijing. He will also visit Singapore before heading to the G20 summit on November 15-16.

Vietnam and Singapore are the largest trade partners with Europe, due to their having free trade agreements with the European Union.

Germany and Vietnam saw $7.8 billion in trade with Vietnam in 2021. This was second only to the Netherlands.

Some 500 German businesses operate in Vietnam, of which 80 have manufacturing plants in the country, according to the German chamber of commerce in Vietnam.

Included in German business operating in Germany are engineering giant Bosch, energy firm Messer, and smaller companies involved in the global automotive supply chain.

Officials said many German companies are looking to move some work away from China, where some 5,000 German companies operate.

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