A delegation led by Frankfurt's acting Lord Mayor Dr. Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg is currently in Vietnam to expand the international relations of the City of Frankfurt and the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Region. Accompanying the acting Lord Mayor are, among others, Eric Menges, President & CEO FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH International Marketing of the Region (FRM GmbH), Melanie Nolte, Vice President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Frankfurt am Main, Prof. Dr Susanne Rägle, Vice President for Research, Continuing Education and Transfer of the University of Applied Sciences and Olaf Kohl, Deputy Headmaster of the Liebig School.
During the trip, Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg opened the Vietnam branch office of FRM GmbH in the presence of numerous Vietnamese guests from business and politics. This is the first time that the Frankfurt RheinMain region has had its own representative office in this up-coming Asian country. The decision to open another office in the Asian region was based on the decision of the supervisory board of FRM GmbH to broaden the international location marketing in Asia.
Nargess Eskandari-Grünberg: "In difficult times, exchange and understanding are more important than ever. Frankfurt and Ho Chi Minh City may not be capitals, but they are economic and financial centres of their countries. Our two cities are also similar in terms of internationality. There are numerous long-standing cooperations between us: Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is closely involved in the study programmes of the Vietnamese-German University VGU, and Frankfurt's Liebigschule has a school partnership with Tran Dai Nghia High School for The Gifted. In the economic sector, we are very proud that well-known Vietnamese companies such as Vietinbank and Vingroup are already in Frankfurt RheinMain. With Vietnam's impressive growth and economic development, more companies are sure to follow in the future. The Vietnam Office of the Frankfurt RheinMain region will be the first point of contact for these companies on their successful way to our region in the future."
The FRM GmbH branch office is located in the German Business Incubator in the German House Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most modern and energy-efficient office buildings in the southern Vietnamese metropolis. Moreover, the office building is located on Le Duan Boulevard in the heart of District 1, the city's central business district. This makes it the perfect place to go for Vietnamese entrepreneurs.
"We are already very strongly positioned in Asia with our expertise as well as offices and representatives in China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Korea. Based on numerous discussions over the past years and a strategic analysis, we have come to the conclusion that it makes sense to become more involved in Southeast Asia as well. Our focus is on Singapore, Australia - and Vietnam," says Eric Menges, President & CEO FRM GmbH. "Germany is Vietnam's largest trading partner in the European Union. The free trade agreement concluded between the EU and Vietnam in 2020 will lead to Vietnamese companies expanding their business with partners in the European Union. To do this, they need a location within the EU. Frankfurt RheinMain offers these companies ideal conditions for locating their German or European headquarters. In addition to the pronounced internationality, the excellent global connections ensure short distances. The good flight connections to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi make our region the ideal starting point for Vietnamese companies to enter the market."
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and the economic centre of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). When the EVFTA (European-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement) 2020 comes into force, 99.8 per cent of tariffs will be eliminated within seven years. This offers Vietnamese companies great opportunities, as the European Union is Vietnam's second largest trading partner after China. Already today, about 19 percent of all the country's exports go to the European Union.
Melanie Nolte, Vice President of the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry: "Frankfurt RheinMain is the perfect location for companies planning to do business in Europe due to its central location. In our IHK district (city of Frankfurt, Hochtaunus and Main-Taunus districts) we already have over 250 Vietnamese companies. In addition, many residents with Vietnamese citizenship already live in our region - and the trend is rising."
The Vietnamese economy has undergone a major transformation in recent years. Up-and-coming companies in the country are planning to expand into Europe as well. Vietnam is looking forward to an economic boom after the end of the restrictive zero COVID policy. The largest investors in Vietnam in 2021 were Singapore, Korea, Japan and China. Globally active companies such as Samsung, Intel, Canon, Panasonic and Foxcon have already invested massively in Vietnamese manufacturing plants in the past.
Vietnamese companies have already discovered Frankfurt RheinMain as a business location. In 2010, for example, FRM GmbH supported VietinBank, one of the country's three largest banks, in establishing itself in Frankfurt. The internationally active car manufacturer Vinfast has had a branch in Frankfurt since 2018. The company belongs to the Vingroup, the country's largest private conglomerate with around 55,000 employees.