14:39 | 21/11/2019 Cooperation
(VEN) - At the invitation of the Japanese government, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the enthronement ceremony for Japanese Emperor Naruhito from October 22-23. His presence at this historical event reflected Vietnam’s respect for its strategic partnership with Japan and the progress of bilateral cooperation.
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According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam and Japan currently are experiencing record bilateral relations since establishing diplomatic ties 45 years ago, with a high level of mutual trust. Leaders of the two countries have maintained regular visits and contacts at regional and international forums.
Over the past 45 years, bilateral relations have developed in a wide range of fields and Japan is one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners. In 2018, Japan was Vietnam’s fourth largest trading partner. The two sides have offered each other Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates since 1999. In the first nine months of this year, bilateral trade reached US$29.16 billion, up 5.6 percent compared with the same period in 2018. This included US$14.98 billion worth of Vietnam’s exports to Japan, up eight percent, and US$14.18 billion worth of imports from this market, up 3.3 percent.
Regarding investment, in September 2019, Japan ranked second among 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with 4,291 ongoing direct investment (FDI) projects with total registered capital of US$60.36 billion. More than 2,500 Japanese companies are investing in Vietnam, including members of major groups which want to expand their operations in Vietnam. Japan is also Vietnam’s largest provider of official development assistance (ODA).
Bilateral cooperation is also increasing in other fields. In agriculture for example, the two sides signed a medium to long-term vision for agricultural cooperation in 2014. In the field of human resource development, Vietnam had sent many trainees to Japan since 1992 and currently tops the list of countries with overseas trainees in Japan, with about 160,000 people. Japan is one of the leading providers of nonrefundable aid for the Vietnamese education and training sector.
Tourism is also a major part of bilateral relations. In 2018, Vietnam welcomed 826,674 Japanese visitors. In the first eight months of this year, 620,731 Japanese tourists visited Vietnam, an increase of 18.3 percent compared with the same period last year. More than 40 pairs of Vietnamese and Japanese localities have signed cooperation documents.
Vietnam and Japan are members of three joint free trade agreements. These include the Vietnam-Japan Economic
Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement, and
the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).