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Vietnam greets Japanese entrepreneurs

Oct 15. 2015
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By Viet Nam News

Asia New Netw

Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said Japan was Vietnam's top partner amid global integration and expressed hope that the country would continue taking the lead in trade, investment and supply of official development assistance to Vietnam.

Sang was meeting on Wednesday with a Japanese business delegation attending a Vietnam-Japan economic forum, held the same day.

The president thanked the Japanese government, parliament, political parties and people for their support of Vietnam, saying the Vietnamese state and people attached great importance to ties with Japan. He also took note of the close relations between many Japanese and Vietnamese localities and their cooperation in training and agriculture.

He asked for Japan’s assistance in training human resources in the support industry – a weak field in Vietnam.

Yuri Sato, vice president of the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro), informed her host of the contents of discussions at Vietnam-Japan economic forums, including the impacts the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal would have on business operations. Sato said more and more Japanese were interested in the Vietnamese market, as demonstrated by more than 12,000 entrepreneurs seeking information via Jetro about doing business in Vietnam.

Mentioning difficulties that Japanese investors encounter in Vietnam, including the low quality of locally made materials that leads to over-reliance on foreign supplies, she said Japanese companies would help Vietnam improve its competitiveness and workforce quality.

TPP ‘could boost GDP’

The recently negotiated TPP free-trade agreement could help expand Vietnam’s economy by 20 per cent, Japanese experts claimed at the forum.

The forum was held in Hanoi with more than 300 Vietnamese and Japanese participants including leaders, economists and entrepreneurs of the two countries.

Japanese economist Kenichi Kawasaki estimated that Vietnam had the potential of gaining the most among TPP members, adding that Japan could see its gross domestic product grow by 1.2 per cent because of the trade pact.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai told the forum that both sides could benefit from the TPP in the industries of agriculture, electronics, agricultural machinery, fisheries, shipbuilding, and automobile and parts manufacturing. Vietnam is restructuring its economy towards green development, appreciating Japan’s support in many fields of development, especially in infrastructure, Hai said.

Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said his country could benefit from the TPP, as it could strive to become a major provider of agricultural products to Japan.

However, he said Vietnam should restructure the local agriculture industry first.

Kawasaki said that to boost Vietnam’s competitiveness in the TPP, economic and policy reforms were important, adding that reforms should be made in both the state-owned and private sectors.

Nguyen Chi Dung, deputy minister of planning and investment, said administrative procedures had improved significantly in Vietnam in recent years, adding that there were reforms that would be done to boost the investment environment.

Katsuro Nagai, envoy of the Japanese Embassy, said the Vietnam government should set "different priorities for local industries, especially in supporting industries".

The textile, fishery and agriculture sectors stand to gain the most from the TPP while supporting industries could suffer, he said.

Nguyen Cam Tu, deputy minister of industry and trade, said the Vietnamese government would release a decree on supporting industries within the next couple of months and would put it into law in the future.

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