Japan pledges additional assistance to Vietnam

09:29 | 09/02/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Japanese government has pledged to provide an additional JPY123 billion (US$1.05 billion) in development assistance to Vietnam in the 2017 fiscal year to finance maritime security, climate change adaptation, and water drainage and wastewater treatment projects.  

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe

The funding announcement was made during an official visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Vietnam on January 16 and 17. This was his third visit to Vietnam, following the first two in 2006 and 2013, reflecting the Japanese government’s high appreciation for relations with Vietnam.

Japan is Vietnam’s largest official development assistance (ODA) provider, accounting for about 30 percent of total aid committed by the international community.

Although Vietnam has become a middle-income country and, as such, receives less funding from international organizations, PM Abe affirmed at his meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc that Japan would continue providing ODA and cooperate further with Vietnam in high quality infrastructure projects.

Vietnam and Japan officially established diplomatic relations in 1973. In recent years, high-ranking leaders of the two countries have exchanged regular visits to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields.

In 2014, the two countries upgraded bilateral relations to a deep and broad strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia. During Abe’s visit to Vietnam in 2017, the two prime ministers agreed to develop the bilateral strategic partnership in a more substantial and effective manner.

The two sides have already boosted cooperation in recent years, especially in trade and investment. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, bilateral trade has grown an average 13.9 percent annually in the past decade, tripling from US$9.93 billion in 2006 to nearly US$30 billion in 2016, and is expected to reach US$60 billion by 2020.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Japan currently ranks second (after South Korea) among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 3,280 projects capitalized at a total of US$42.06 billion, accounting for 14.3 percent of all foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam.

The Foreign Investment Agency said that Japanese investment in Vietnam covers 19 sectors and fields and is concentrated in processing and manufacturing industries, real estate, electricity and gas production and distribution. Japanese FDI projects have a good reputation for serious implementation and positive impacts on socio-economic development in Vietnam. Japanese investors in Vietnam include world-leading groups such as Honda, Toyota, Canon, and Mitsubishi.

Former Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that all major infrastructure projects in Vietnam used Japanese ODA.

Nguyen Hoa