German Business Association unveils ambitious plan

The plan was announced under the leadership of the newly elected board of directors and chairman.

The first quarter of 2024 marked a significant milestone for the GBA, with the election of 15 outstanding business leaders to its council, representing diverse sectors and industries.

The AGM held simultaneously in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, garnered strong support from the GBA community, reaffirming trust in the association's leadership and vision.

According to Alexander Ziehe, new chairman of the GBA, the organisation's action goals and strategies for 2024 encompass two main elements.

Firstly, the GBA's top priority remains steadfast: enhancing economic trade connections between Germany and Vietnam by promoting the interests of GBA members and fostering close collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

The GBA will pursue these objectives through specific strategies, including three new operational initiatives aimed at enhancing member experiences.

A significant highlight is the intensified expansion of GBA's presence in the northern region of Vietnam and the pursuit of strategic development opportunities.

These initiatives demonstrate the GBA's proactive approach in meeting the evolving needs and demands of its members while maximising the value it provides to the German business community in Vietnam and the Vietnamese economy at large.

In the first quarter of 2024, the GBA's commitment to fostering strong German-Vietnamese ties was vividly demonstrated through a diverse schedule of events and activities. Among these, a roundtable conference with the Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in Ho Chi Minh City, stood out as a notable highlight.

A high-level delegation, including Germany’s Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, participated in constructive exchanges with the German business community in Vietnam, laying the groundwork for future cooperation and partnerships.

In collaboration with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam, the GBA organised Franco-German Day 2024, attracting over 300 guests and businesses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The GBA Business Meeting held in March 2024, focusing on the Economic Outlook of Vietnam 2024 and the role of ASEAN, set a record in scale with over 100 business representatives participating.

The association also played a significant role in facilitating dialogue between its member businesses and government agencies, including the German Embassy in Hanoi and the German Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Discussions focused on key economic and diplomatic issues, cooperation strategies for 2024, and preparations for important milestones in 2025, notably the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Germany and Vietnam.

Additionally, the association actively collaborated with Vietnamese government agencies to address members' concerns and support policy reforms to promote business development.

This included working sessions with Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee and the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), as well as Binh Duong People's Committee and its affiliated departments, aimed at enhancing the investment environment in Vietnam overall, and in specific cities/provinces.

Sustainability was also emphasised in joint efforts for green development during collaboration meetings with Ho Chi Minh City leaders.

Through high-level meetings with government officials, both national and local, the GBA advocated for the needs and priorities of its members, ranging from transparency in investment policies, international standards, to digitalisation efforts and incentives for foreign labour in Vietnam.

Positive feedback received from government agencies acknowledged the effectiveness of the GBA's actions in promoting a conducive business environment for German enterprises in Vietnam.

Looking towards the future, GBA will introduce new action initiatives to enhance and enrich the experiences of its association members. The association's specific plans are all geared towards business networking and investment in Vietnam.

The most anticipated event is the GBA Oktoberfest, which will take place in Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City in September and October 2024. Additionally, in 2024, for the first time, the German Business Awards in Vietnam will be hosted by the GBA.

Chairman of the GBA Alexander Zieh said, "Traditionally, German investments were mainly directed to Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. These countries host an established cluster of German industries, such as the automotive sector in Thailand or research and development hubs in Singapore."

"Nevertheless, the trend is changing, and Vietnam is now considered as an investment location of increasing attractiveness. German investors favour Vietnam to supplement their China operations for its lower-cost inputs, alternative markets, and convenient geographic and supply route proximity to China. Vietnam itself also offers a rising middle class and opportunities to establish German brands for Vietnamese consumers with local distribution and supply chain,” he said.

Source: Vietnam Investment Review