The 14th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) kicked off here on Thursday, attracting more than 700 participants including high-ranking Vietnamese officials, according to organizers.
The APK has been organized biannually in Asia since 1986 and has evolved into one of the largest networking events in the region attracting both political and business leaders. Previous APKs were hosted by India, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, China, Australia and Indonesia.
This year's APK, the first time ever held in Vietnam, is seen as a platform for exchange of ideas for Germany and Asia, including Vietnam, to explore investment opportunities and exchange business experience, local Vietnam Investment Review reported, quoting Marko Walde, chief representative of AHK Vietnam/ German Industry and Commerce Vietnam, which is the co-organizer of the event.
During the three-day session, which will last through Saturday, the conference will identify industries and trends of the future, where co-operation between businesses in Germany and Asia-Pacific can thrive.
It will have multiple working breakfasts, parallel discussion panels, plenary sessions and evening receptions, taking place in different locations outside the conference, providing networking opportunities for the local and foreign guests.
Germany considers Vietnam an important partner inside ASEAN, and one of the leading investment destinations in ASEAN, said Marko.
Two-way trade between the two countries reached 7.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, up 18 percent year on year, with Vietnamese exports to Germany growing by 15 percent.
Vietnam's main imports from Germany included machinery, transport equipment, pharmaceutical products, chemical products, and vehicles, while exports to Germany were telephones, textiles, footwear, and seafood.
To date, German direct investment in Vietnam surpassed 1 billion U.S. dollars. There are more than 300 German companies operating in Vietnam, most of them involving in manufacturing, technology, information technology, construction, education and finance.