GBC visits German Industry and Commerce (AHK) Vietnam

Successful delegation trip exploring German investments in Vietnam

Picture: GBC’s Erkan Bilal, Christoph Janensch (GIZ), and Martin Brisson (EuroCham) visit Deutsches Haus (LTR)

From November 29 to December 1, EuroCham Cambodia, German Business Cambodia, and the GIZ Business Scout Cambodia traveled to Ho Chi Minh City to visit German companies and learn more about their investments in Vietnam.

The delegation was hosted by colleagues from AHK Vietnam who had generously organized the program and related appointments. The aim of the visit was to better understand the factors that had led these German companies to choose Vietnam as a manufacturing and investment location. Furthermore, it aimed to promote Cambodia as a Vietnam Plus One destination and to explore best practices from Vietnam, possibly to be replicated in Cambodia.

The visit began at the innovative Deutsches Haus (“German House”) which hosts a wealth of German companies and institutions such as AHK Vietnam, the German Business Association (GBA) and the German Business Incubator (GBI). Throughout the remaining visit, the delegation also got first-hand insights into the complex manufacturing processes of the companies Pepperl+Fuchs (electronic components), Viessmann (water heaters), Framas (shoe components), and Oppermann (industrial weaving). Presently, over 100 German companies have established factories in Vietnam, generating employment opportunities for thousands.

Since the Cambodian skills gap will need to be bridged in order to attract more European investments, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) constituted a second focus of the visit. German Bosch TGA showcased their impressive 3.5-year technical training programme which sees 24 new graduates per year on average. Additional visits for TVET included Lilama 2 Technology International College and Anre Maisen Training Restaurant. A visit to the Vietnam Fruit & Vegetable Association (Vinafruit) concluded the program.

As part of their China Plus One strategies, German enterprises have diversified their supply chains, and Vietnam has been a major beneficiary of these developments. It attracts investments through its business-friendly environment, transparent tax system, and skilled labor pool. Although there is still much work to be done to attract European high-tech investments to Cambodia, the likelihood of expanding labor-intensive industries from Vietnam to Cambodia is increasing. GBC is working on fostering partnerships with the German business community in Vietnam, hoping to jointly bring more German business to Cambodia soon.