FNF Vietnam's 10-year Anniversary
10 Years Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation Vietnam (2012-2022) – Partners in Freedom

FNF Vietnam's 10-year Anniversary

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) is a German foundation dedicated to promoting liberal principles and political education at home and abroad. In 2012, FNF opened its office in Vietnam and serves a wide range of issues such as the Provincial Competitiveness Index, free trade agreements, market economy and smart city. Our partners include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research, University of Economics and Business, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and other organisations. This year, FNF is very excited to celebrate its 10th anniversary in Vietnam.

Thanks to its open policy, Vietnam emerged as a rising star in Asia

Vietnam is booming. Since the Doi Moi reforms (1986) and after the WTO membership (2007), the economy has been growing steadily. Especially in the last few years, growth has gone up a gear. Meanwhile, Vietnam's unstoppable rise is also causing recognition worldwide, but also questions as to why this Southeast Asian country is developing so positively and rising like a phoenix from the ashes 47 years after the end of a terrible war and reunification.

The strong reason for Vietnam's meteoric rise was and is certainly the country's market-oriented, liberal policies. These include a clear commitment to free trade, investor-friendly policies, economic legal certainty, and guarantees of property rights, as well as an openness to foreigners who want to contribute to the country's progress. These are all liberal values that are among the core elements of our foundation.

FNF’s mission in Vietnam

FNF’s partnership with Vietnam has many faces. We are committed to a rule-based international order, multilateralism, environmental and climate protection, as well as global free trade and investment. For us, Vietnam is a country full of entrepreneurship, SMEs and start-ups. All in all we are pleased to nurture those qualities. Thus, FNF is highly engaged in a range of projects with Vietnamese partners and cooperate deeply with representatives and communities, such as the local People Committees, and Head of Ministries and Departments.

The foundation was laid by my two predecessors Hans-Georg-Jonek and Mark Stanitzki. Since the end of 2019, I have had the honour of continuing the Foundation's successful work in Vietnam. I am supported by an excellent team of Vietnamese staff. Each of them is an expert in his or her field, from business administration, marketing and finance to economics. It is particularly important for us to be perceived as a think tank and ideas provider in Vietnam. This is also the reason why FNF has a far above-average presence in the media. We maintain good contacts with the print media, social media and television. PR and marketing are top priorities for us.

Our partners in Vietnam – A strong and fruitful cooperation

At this point, I would like to say some words about our Vietnamese partners and our activities in the last years. Of cause I cannot mention all we did in the past. However, here are some highlights:

With the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) we had several conferences regarding international integration and Free Trade, which culminated in an MOU in 2020.

With Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) we carried out several field trips and workshops. Together, we were conducting research projects concerning highly topical issues such as business failure by SMEs and the legal framework for household businesses (together with BIDV).

Another partner, Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) of VNU University of Economic and Business UEB/VNU issued with us on a regular basis the very well-known Annual Economic Report. Besides, we contributed for book publications, and seminars by providing funds and bringing in our expertise.

For another core partner, UEB/VNU, we were donor for the entrepreneurship contest “Business Challenges”, conferences, workshops, studies, and for book publications. First and foremost among the projects are the anniversary books commemorating 40 and 45-years diplomatic relation between Vietnam and German (2015 and 2020).

Our partner IPA in Quảng Ninh was supported regarding the competitive index for departmental, district, and sectoral levels (DDCI). 

In a similar direction went the assistance of the IP Center in Bắc Giang and Bắc Ninh in order to promote SME culture in Vietnam, especially in rural areas. The Provincial Competitive Index (PCI) definitely deserves to be mentioned here.

With Vietnam Institute of Economics (VIE) we worked on policy reviews, as well as in giving workshops concerning agricultural insurance products in the Mekong Delta. VIE also accounts for our list of academic partners.

Vietnamese-German University (VGU) is a quite new partner regarding several projects of economic development. Moreover, FNF’s Country Director Vietnam is teaching there as a visiting scholar on a regular basis.

An essential partner regarding trade liberalisation and business promotion is Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI): Among other projects, we published with the chamber "A Comprehensive and Practical Guidebook on EVFTA and EVIPA for full Utilization by Businesses”. Moreover, we created five EVFTA Lighthouses firms as a practical approach and role model for others.

As academic partners, University of Economics HCMC (UEH) the Foreign Trade University (FTU) should be mentioned here as partners for uncountable research, international conferences and publications.

And in the area of CSR, FNF stands side to side with the Centre for Family Support and Community Development (CFSCD) and Center for Women and Development (CWD) in Hanoi as well as in various rural provinces.

Regarding environmental protection and Climate Change program, we just started in 2022 with various smart city projects in Cần Thơ and Huế.

This year, we also had a field trip to Germany and the EU for selected Vietnamese partners to promote the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Prospects, goals and future activities of FNF in the coming time

FNF stays committed to our goal to support Vietnam on its way to economic freedom, prosperity and wealth. Our principles are based on loyalty to our long-term partners. They can rely on us. Thus, we will continue our work with partners from the government and administration like MOFA, VCA, VCCI and selected provinces. With our academic partners like UEB, FTU, UEH and VGU as well as with think tanks like VASS, VIE and CIEM. Regarding our new partners like Dragon Institute of University of Can Tho, VuFo Can Tho and Hue University we also look ahead to a bright future.

For FNF, it is important to catch up with new and up to date. Last year we worked in the fields of Central Bank Digital Currencies CBDC and Financial Education of young people. It is sure that we will continue with it and add new trends. One topic could be the development of HCMC as financial hub or the strengthening of the role of women in Vietnam’s society. This goes hand in hand with strengthening the resilience of the Vietnamese in all aspects of life.

For me as Country Director Vietnam, it is a great pleasure to celebrate 10 years FNF Vietnam together with our friends, supporters and partners at a GALA Event on 14th November 2022. On that occasion, we are welcoming a high-ranking delegation from Germany. FNF’s CEO Ms Annett Witte, Mr. René Klaff, Head of International Department and other FNF country heads from Southeast-/East Asia and managers from our German HQ are visiting Vietnam for the celebration and a regional conference.

Personally, I am very committed to Vietnam. For me and many other Germans, it is a great country to work in and live in. Due to the openness of the Vietnamese people, Vietnam has become my second homeland. Together with the great working atmosphere and the support of our partners, this is a good condition for many more years of FNF’s activities here in Vietnam.