PM hails JETRO's efforts urging Japanese investment

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2017 14:21

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and JETRO Chief Representative in Viet Nam Atsusuke Kawada in a meeting in Ha Noi on Tuesday. — Photo Thong Nhat

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has lauded the Japan External Trade Organisation’s (JETRO) co-ordination with Vietnamese agencies on a programme calling for Japanese investment in Viet Nam in the first half of 2017.

At a meeting with JETRO Chief Representative in Viet Nam Atsusuke Kawada in Ha Noi on Tuesday, the PM stressed that the programme was aimed at introducing Viet Nam’s image, socio-economic development, investment environment, co-operation potential and opportunities to Japanese firms, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME).

He said Japanese SMEs’ creativity and high technology was required for Viet Nam’s startups.

Phuc expressed hope that the two sides would work hard to make Japan the largest investor in Viet Nam, thus contributing to socio-economic development of the country.

He asked Vietnamese agencies to co-ordinate closely with JETRO to popularise partnership, investment and trade opportunities in Viet Nam among the Japanese business community.

The government leader noted that Viet Nam was set to welcome the Japanese emperor and queen, asserting that the visit was a good sign for bilateral relations.

For his part, Atsusuke Kawada said although Japan ranked second among foreign investors in Viet Nam, it operated 549 projects in the Southeast Asian country in 2016, the largest number in comparison with other foreign investors.

This showed Japan’s interest in the Vietnamese market, he said, adding that JETRO has also been regularly consulted by Japanese firms on investment in Viet Nam.

Growth up

By the end of December 2016, Japan undertook 3,280 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Viet Nam, with total registered capital of US$42.05 billion, accounting for 14.3 per cent of FDI capital in the country.

With this result, Japan ranked second among 116 nations and territories investing in Viet Nam.

Further, besides undertaking significant investment in Viet Nam, Japan was also a large trade partner of the country. Import and export turnover between the two countries reached an average growth rate of 13.9 per cent per year in the last 10 years. The turnover increased from $9.93 billion in 2006 to about $30 billion in 2016.

This figure is expected to reach $60 billion by 2020.

Last year, Viet Nam earned nearly $14.68 billion from the export of goods to Japan. Japan has become Viet Nam’s second largest export market, behind the United States.

To boost growth, businesses of the two countries have been actively seeking opportunities from the Viet Nam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), which was signed in December 2008 and came into effect in October 2009.

According to commitment, Việt Nam committed to eliminating some 90.6 per cent of tariff lines for Japan within 16 years, while Japan pledged to eliminate some 94 per cent of tariff lines for Việt Nam within 10 years.

Since then, thousands of import and export tariff lines have been reduced to zero per cent, enabling many enterprises to increase their exports.

Vietnamese goods exported to Japan are diversified, including textiles and garment products, seafood, computers, and electronic and components products, as well as shoes and sandals, timber products and glass.

Viet Nam’s export to Japan is expected to increase in the next years and continue maintaining high growth rate. Insiders said when their products were successfully exported to Japan, it meant they could now conquer other strict markets.

Vietnamese businesses will continue taking advantages of VJEPA, going along with relevant agencies to jointly implementing promotion programmes and connecting with Japanese businesses to raise exports.

Meanwhile, many Japanese firms have set up factories in Viet Nam to supply products for the domestic market and export to their country.

A survey of 1,027 Japanese enterprises conducted last year by JETRO showed that more than 60 per cent of Japanese enterprises investing in Viet Nam had plans to expand their business in the country.

Some 85 per cent of the enterprises said they would expand to increase revenue, while 65 per cent said they saw a high potential for economic growth in Viet Nam. — VNS

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