Vietnam Attracts Japanese Investors as Bilateral Relations Improve

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Jun. 7 – On his recent trip to Japan, Vietnam’s Party Politburo member Truong Tan Sang commended Vietnam-Japan relations over the last 40 years while encouraging future high-level visits and the expansion of delegation exchanges because of the “Vietnam-Japan Friendship Year” coming in 2013.

In his conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Sang added that they will try to stimulate the “strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia” between Vietnam and Japan. Also he offered his sympathies to the Japanese people because of the recent natural disasters and promised that Vietnam will support Japan as well as it can. Additionally, he hopes and expects that Japan continues to raise its ODA to Vietnam following the agreements signed during Prime Minister Kan’s visit to Vietnam last October.

During another meeting, Japanese Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda confirmed that Japan will provide ODA for Vietnam as agreed and moreover help Vietnam to complete infrastructural facilities, including an electronic customs system and improve human resource training.

Besides government cooperation, Japanese investors are also keen on Vietnam. According to Phan Huu Thang, director of the Foreign Investment Research Center, many Japanese investors are looking for further information on investment in Vietnam.

Hirokazu Yamaoka, chief representative of the Japan Trade Promotion Organization (JETRO) added that over 500 Japanese companies visited Vietnam and looked for investment opportunities for a period from April 2010 to March 2011. The fields of interest are especially in the sectors of production of car and motor spare parts, electric and electronic appliances, machinery components and packaging materials.

The Japanese trader AEON CO Ltd with its famous Jusco supermarket chain plans to start in Vietnam by 2013. After Mainland China, Thailand and Malaysia, Vietnam will be the fourth foreign market for AEON CO Ltd. With the implementation in Vietnam and gross revenues of around US$15 billion, AEON will try to become one of the three leading retailers in Asia by 2021.

All in all Japan had in April 2011 1,472 valid FDI projects with a total registered capital of US$21.2 billion. So Japan is the fourth biggest investor in Vietnam (Ministry of Planning and Investment).