Germany - Vietnam Cooperation in Personnel Training: Chance to Expand Business

5:21:20 PM | 4/9/2011

114 people took part in and completed the first phase of the cooperation training program for business administration officials. The program, funded by the German government, was co-held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in order to raise the quality of managers in enterprises. 
This is among activities under an agreement signed between Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Germany’s Ministry of Economy and Technology in March 2008, on the occasion of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Germany.
High efficiency
Michael Emmrich, Head of the cooperation programme, said the training program for business administration officials has been promoted by the German government in 13 different countries, including former Soviet Union nations, China, India, and Mongolia. In Vietnam, after the first phase of nearly three years, there were five training courses with a series of activities which aimed to raise management skills for the participants and expand their chances of accessing new management tools and modern technologies, as well as promoting trade between Vietnamese partners, Germany enterprises and other countries. Generally, the cooperation program with Vietnam is very effective. Ho Quang Minh, Head of the MPI’s Department for External Relations, also appreciated the program, despite the fact that the project was small in scale compared to other international cooperation projects. 
 Le Thi Lam Vien, vice Head of VCCI’s Membership and Training Department, said the course was divided into two phases, the two-week first phase in Vietnam prepares participants with necessary knowledge before attending the main training course in Germany. The Germany-based second phase would expose the participants to administration skills in German enterprises and offer chances to meet and cooperate with German partners. All expense for the second phase was funded by the German government. The whole course content focuses on foreign trade, development of human resources, knowledge of culture and customs and other regulations. Importantly, the program was not merely a training project, but also opened business chances and helped expand markets for Vietnamese businesses. 
One of the biggest challenges facing the program is the language barrier, because it requires the participants to speak fluent English. The course’s purpose is to develop management capacity of individuals and support enterprises, contributing to boosting economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries. However, many Vietnamese managers are not good enough at English to attend the course, or their participation purpose is unclear. In addition, the number of course is still limited, failing to meet the demand of people who want to take part. There are now two courses per year, one in the spring and one in autumn, with the allowed number of only 23-25 people each. Meanwhile, the number of registrations is always higher. In the first course of the second phase, the program organizer received registrations from 60 people while only 24 were chosen.
Expanding trade cooperation
Finishing the first phase, Vietnam was the nation with the best result among the participating countries. The success was reflected in not only the effects to the economy, but also in cultural exchanges between the two countries. For example, in an Alumni conference held in Nha Trang in March, the number of former trainees accounted for over 75 per cent of the participants from 2008 to 2010. At the conference, many useful opinions and suggestions were given to boost enterprise development in particular and the two countries’ relations in general.
The program’s success has helped enhance trade cooperation between Vietnam and Germany. Over past years, the bilateral cooperation has continuously grown in almost all fields, particularly in the area of development cooperation. Mr Minh said the development of human resources is a field of potential cooperation which the German government has been supporting in Vietnam. The training program jointly conducted by VCCI and GIZ is a typical example. The program also helped Vietnamese businesses to know more about Germany and German people, as well as European markets. As a result, the program trained a team of Vietnamese managers who would help enterprises to integrate into the growth of other countries in the world.
GIZ Representative Schimansky Geier said through the program, many contracts and partnership relations have been signed and set up. Thus, the program can be considered a trade promotion program via training managers.
The program will continue to attract the attention and participation of both Vietnamese and German businesses. Thus, to increase its quality and effect, in the upcoming time, the program will include more activities such as Partner Workshops and a series of seminars among enterprises of the two countries, apart from the activities in the first phase.