Germany confirmed to support Vietnam to promote comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU), to gain EU recognition as a market economy and the negotiation on signing a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel made the remarks at the Vietnam-Germany Business Forum in Vietnam\'s southern Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday during her two-day visit to Vietnam. Drawing the participation of Germany and Vietnam\'s leading corporations and businesses, experts in economics, planning, architecture, law and environment, the forum focused on urban sustainable development, and sustainable investment and industrial production. Merkel affirmed that Germany would maintain the provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam in the coming years, focusing on sustainable development, environmental protection, health care and vocational training. During the forum, Merkel said both countries want to boost bilateral economic ties and German businesses are willing to invest in infrastructure development and human resource training projects in Vietnam. For his part, Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai confirmed that the Vietnamese government wants to strengthen and expand cooperation with Germany. Vietnam was focusing on advanced and eco-friendly technology in implementing socio-economic development strategy for period 2010- 2020, said Hai. Hai noted that the economic cooperation between the two countries had developed significantly in recent years, with bilateral trade turnover of 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2010. However, Germany investment in Vietnam still remains modest. So far, Germany has invested 167 projects in Vietnam with the total capital of 850 million U.S. dollars, ranking 5th among EU investors and 24th among 92 foreign investors in Vietnam. Hai believed that Merkel\'s visit and the forum would bring an opportunity for increasing bilateral economic ties. During her visit, Merkel also had a meeting with Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People\'s Committee. At the meeting, Quan expressed the gratitude for Germany\'s supports through a number of important investment projects including the Metro Route No.2. Merkel shared the difficulties and challenges that the city facing in socio-economic development, especially on infrastructure and urban transport and hopes German investment projects including the Metro Route No.2 and the German House would be well performed.