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Friedrich Ebert Institute STIFTUNG (FES): The highlight of the relationship between Bac Giang province and GERMANY

The activities and projects during the last 27 years of the FES Institute (Ha Noi) implemented in ministries, branches and localities in key areas of the Institute has contributed to the socio-economic growth, bringing benefits to all classes of Vietnamese people, including the people and enterprises of Bac Giang province. 

Illustrating photo ( Source: Internet)

The 42- year journey (1975 - 2017) witnessed the deep development of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Germany in almost all fields; mutual trust and understanding between the two nations continues to be strengthened through the exchange of high-level delegations and the signing of important documents such as the Hanoi Declaration of October 2011. With the comprehensive results in the bilateral cooperation, we must acknowledge the active and effective participation of important partners from Germany, namely organizations and research institutes in the implementation of the policy of socio-economic development of Vietnam in general and localities in particular.

Founded and operated since 1990 on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Office of FES in Hanoi is one of the first representative offices of non-governmental organizations in Vietnam. Over the past 25 years, FES’s Representative Office actively participated in supporting the reform or “Doi Moi”, implementing administrative reform and  open door policy and building the capacity of Vietnam’s public officers.

FES encourages and supports political dialogues and exchanges of experiences required by Vietnamese partners in the following areas:

- Political dialogues and social reform - facilitate exchange of experience in a wide range of areas, ranging from reform policies to political education, capacity building/enhancing capacity of  for the legislature and building social security system;

- Economic reform along with social justice - ensure that economic growth benefits all classes of Vietnamese people through capacity building projects for the cooperative sector and labor union system;

- Regional and international integration - conduct dialogues on political, social and economic issues at regional and international levels related to Vietnam, such as the Asia- Europe Meeting (ASEM) and its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In the province of Bac Giang, FES has officially operated since 1992 through the implementation of the project "Consultancy for supporting small and medium industry development in Ha Bac Province" signed on 12 March 1992 with Ha Bac Provincial People's Committee. The project was implemented from April 1992 to December 2000, when the Provincial People's Committee agreed with the FES Hanoi Office to hand over Bac Giang Business Consulting Center (now the Center for Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development in Bac Giang province). The total amount of support from FES was 6,447 billion dong for the above objectives (the first phase was 6.3 billion dong, the second phase was 147 million dong)

In general, through the exchange of experiences and funding from the FES - Hanoi, the project has achieved practical results, such as: improving capacity , experiences of staffs of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development (under Department of Planning and Investment); investigating and surveying the need for assistance from enterprises, supporting the development of feasible projects for expanding investment, raising the production and business capacity, product consumption, expanding the market (including study tours abroad);  provide a part of fund to the Bac Giang Center for Investment Promotion and Business Developmen, effectively consulting and supporting the development of small and medium enterprises in Bac Giang.

In the first phase from 1992 to 2000, the Bac Giang Provincial People's Committee and the FES Institute Office co-chaired the project, which was responsible for directing the activities to support the development of small and medium enterprises in the province through Bac Giang Business Consulting Center. The office of the FES Institute in Hanoi has provided financial support for the construction of a number of important infrastructure facilities in the province such as the office of Bac Giang Business Consultancy Center and equipments for professional work; 02 technology workshops in Lang Giang district and Que Vo district (now Bac Ninh province) and provide machinery and equipments for mechanical engineering to train workers for SMEs; 01 training service station in Bac Giang city to support the training of knowledge and mechanical skills for workers of enterprises. At the same time, provide financial support for organizing training courses for business owners, co-operatives and managers; workers of small and medium enterprises in Bac Giang. FES has also supported corporaing/business development consultancy activities through providing training for consultants of the Center and sending them abroad (04 delegations of the province attended study tours about business in Germany); supported the development of the project and the establishment of consultative teams at the provincial departments, branches and localities such as the "Economic Development and Environmental Protection Advisory Group" under the Department of Science, Technology and Environment, etc. piloted a "Credit Guarantee Fund" with an initial capital of 100,000 U.S dollars (equivalent to 1,090,300,000 dong at the time of conversion) to help small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, business households to have access to loans from the bank without collateral with a view to  overcoming financial difficulties in production and business activities.

In the second phase from 2001 to October 2003: (After the transfer of the provincial consultancy center) FES Hanoi Office continues to develop relationships and cooperation with the PPC to support the activities of the Center for Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development Consultancy  and some other outstanding works, such as: supporting part of fund for repairing consultancy center after many years of operation;  provide funds for 39 trainings on business administration for enterprises focusing on practical topics: start-ups, marketing, sales strategy, enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises.; coordinate with the PPC to organize the ceremony to hand over the consultancy center to the province (23 October 2001) under the plan; inspect the operation of the credit guarantee fund.

Although FES no longer implements the project in the province, FES-Hanoi Institute and the Bac Giang Center for Investment Promotion and Business Promotion keep coordination by organizing seminars and trainings for managers and consultants of enterprises and SME owners, contributing to raising the competitiveness of Bac Giang enterprises in the process of international economic integration.

The activities and projects during the past 27 years of the FES-Hanoi Institute implemented in the ministries, branches and localities in key areas of the Institute has contributed to the socio-economic growth, benefiting all classes of Vietnamese people, including the people and enterprises of Bac Giang province. With the active contributions of the FES Institute, we are confident that the Institute continues to play an important role in realizing MOU between two governments, contributing to comprehensively deepening the strategic partnership between Vietnam - Germany in the coming years.

The Bang (translated)

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