Vietnam-Japan initiative yields fruit

15:39 | 31/08/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - A joint Vietnam-Japan initiative has helped Vietnam improve its investment climate. That was the bottom line delivered by Japanese Embassy envoy Nagai Katsuro at a recent midterm evaluation of the project.

vietnam japan initiative yields fruit
Automobile assembly at Toyota Vietnam - a successful model of Vietnam-Japan cooperation

The Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative, initiated in April 2003, aims to create an open and transparent business and investment climate in Vietnam through a policy dialogue between Japanese investors and concerned Vietnamese ministries and agencies. So far, six phases have been implemented.

At the latest meeting in Hanoi, Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, noted that on his visit to Japan last month, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a conference to promote Vietnamese investment in Japan. The signing of investment cooperation agreements valued at US$22 billion at the conference reflects Japanese investors’ confidence in Vietnam’s business environment, he said. Japan currently ranks second among 122 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with total registered capital of US$46 billion. Vietnamese investment in Japan has increased strongly in recent years, especially by high-tech and information technology companies.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, trade relations between the two countries have also expanded. Vietnam imports from Japan machinery, equipment, components and accessories. Some Vietnamese companies have begun exporting agricultural products to Japan.

The joint initiative has helped Vietnam gradually resolve many problems that were major hindrances to foreign investments in Vietnam, such as poor infrastructure, complicated administrative procedures, including customs formalities, and poor access to electricity. The joint initiative therefore has benefited not only Japanese investors but also those from other countries.

Despite these positive results, the Japanese side said labor and salary issues still concern Japanese businesses when investing in Vietnam. Specifically, the definition and calculation of minimum wages for employees is unclear. Labor disputes and spontaneous termination of jobs by employees also adversely affect business operations. Nagai Katsuro urged Vietnam to resolve these problems to attract additional investors from his country.

The Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative not only helps promote bilateral trade and investment cooperation, but also contributes to maintaining and developing the traditional relationship between the two countries.

Nguyen Hoa