New investment directions for Japanese firms

11:26 | 10/03/2017 Investment

(VEN) - The Chief Representative in Vietnam of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Atsusuke Kawada, spoke to Vietnam Economic News about a new investment trend of Japanese firms in Vietnam in an interview with Nguyen Hoa.

Could you tell us about the contents of your meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in early February?

The prime minister expressed his hope that the two sides would work hard to make Japan the largest investor in Vietnam, and JETRO in Vietnam would continue to make suggestions in order to improve the Vietnamese investment environment and promote Japan’s investments in Vietnam.

Japan slipped to the second position among the 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with most of projects being small. Why?

The Vietnamese investment environment has seen changes compared to the past. Vietnam has also adopted policies to create favorable conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises. Therefore, it has engaged the interest of those Japanese firms, while some large Japanese companies have suspended their investment projects.

In what areas have Japanese companies been interested?

Japanese firms are paying greater attention to Vietnam’s agriculture. JETRO in Vietnam has also received a lot of requests for advice on investment in agriculture. We are advising a Japanese delegation of 15 firms on investment in agriculture and leading them to a number of Vietnam’s provinces and cities to conduct surveys.

Vietnam has many advantages in agricultural development and Japanese investors are seeing opportunities in its sector. Vietnam is also eager to engage the interest of Japanese firms in the agricultural sector, aiming at improving the competitiveness.

In addition to agriculture, Japanese investors are interested in the retail sector. Japan is a country with an aging population, while Vietnam is experiencing a golden population period. Therefore, Japanese firms want to take advantage of Vietnam’s young labor force through investment projects in services and the retail sector.

The number of Japanese firms asking for investment advice in Vietnam is large, but few of them are granted investment licenses, especially in the agricultural sector. Japanese firms have invested in the agricultural sector in some Vietnamese provinces like Da Lat and Son La. Therefore, further improving the investment environment is still a top priority.

Nguyen Hoa