Forum links Vietnam companies with Japanese peers

HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) - Japan supplied 25 per cent of the country's foreign direct investment in 2017 and bilateral trade is growing.

HANOI — The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) hosted a Vietnam - Japan Economic Dialogue yesterday, with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and a Japanese business delegate in attendance.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hoang Quang Phong, VCCI’s Executive Vice President, acknowledged Japan’s leadership and Vietnam’s willingness to cooperate as driving factors in the recently concluded Comprehensive Partnership and Transparency Partnership (CPTPP) agreement between the 11 member countries.

Cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese firms, as well as bilateral trade, have been growing steadily over the years, with Japan remaining one of Vietnam’s most important partners, he said.

In 2017, Japan was the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with US$9.11 billion worth of capital, accounting for 25.4 per cent of Vietnam‘s total foreign direct investment capital, while the value of total two-way trade reached over $33.4 billion.

Vietnam is also the recipient of the majority of Official Development Assistance from Japan, he added.

Kobayashi Yoichi, Chairman of JCCI’s Mekong-Japan Business Cooperation Committee, and Co-chairman Nekoshima Akio expressed their appreciation towards the VCCI for hosting the dialogue, saying the event was a good opportunity for both sides to understand the current economic situation and bilateral trade and investment cooperation potential.

Kobayashi noted that not only will the CPTPP promote export and investment between the two countries, it will also help increase export value in sectors such as textile, garments or seafood for Vietnamese firms.

In addition, Kobayashi hoped that Japan would continue playing an important role in diversifying the structure of Vietnam’s exports, replacing raw materials with manufactured products.

Nekoshima said that in the upcoming time, there will be even more potential for cooperation in new fields such as agriculture, tourism, training and development of human resources and transportation, with a focus on Vietnamese small and medium enterprises.

With a market of 95 million people, of which nearly 35 per cent live in urban areas, Vietnam is considered an attractive destination for Japanese businesses in the service sector, he said.

Nekoshima also noted that travel and transportation have immense potential for growth, with the number of Vietnamese tourists coming to Japan growing in recent years to reach more than 300,000 visitors in 2017.

Japanese companies have previously focused on investing in Vietnam’s manufacturing sector, with recent investment trends shifting to other areas like services.

The dialogue consisted of two sessions discussing business opportunities, advantages and disadvantages for services, tourism and transportation.

The Japanese business delegation, consisting of 50 senior executives working in general trade, manufacturing, machinery, aviation and services, was eager to exchange information and seek cooperation with potential Vietnamese partners, among Vietnamese companies such as distributor Phu Thai Group Jsc and travel company Vietravel.

Business representatives from both countries also expected the newly signed CPTPP to further promote bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation.