09:03 | 07/09/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam launched the seventh phase of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative in Hanoi on July 31, announcing plans to improve the investment and business environment in Vietnam.
The Japanese side has made 65 recommendations regarding regulations on foreign investment in accordance with Vietnam’s Investment Law, the Law on Enterprises, the Land Law and other relevant legislation.
The recommendations also cover the reform of state-owned enterprises and the securities market, the intensification of industrialization with international competitiveness, labor and wages, the policy framework on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and the legal framework for building gas pipelines in urban areas and their environs, and establishing service companies and their branches.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the launch meeting clarified issues of concern to both sides. Under the action plan announced at the launch, the sides will discuss revising certain overtime regulations enabling Japanese businesses to decide the overtime cap based on their needs, in line with prevailing rules, while enlarging the list of sectors subject to labor leasing.
As for the PPP legal framework, Japanese investors are concerned about the transformation of public projects into PPP projects, especially when using official development assistance (ODA) funds; incentives for PPP bidders; government guarantees for foreign currency exchanges and conditions for contract cancellations; and land use rights and land-related asset mortgages.
Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio said the seventh phase of the joint initiative addresses issues that reflect the actual condition of the Vietnamese economy and solutions to enhance its global competitiveness, as well as to improve people’s lives. However, labor productivity in Vietnam is lower compared with other ASEAN countries.
Therefore, increasing labor productivity is crucial for Vietnam to promote sustainable development and enhance global competitiveness.
The Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative, launched in April 2003, is a special cooperation mechanism between the two governments that has created a forum for Japanese investors to discuss policies with relevant Vietnamese ministries and sectors, and propose recommendations helping Vietnamese authorities improve laws and policies.
Over more than 15 years, the joint initiative has undergone six phases with 473 action plans implemented. Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said that in the context of deepening global integration, as well as new cooperation mechanisms and frameworks, the seventh phase of the joint initiative should focus on new approaches to ensure effective implementation.
The seventh phase of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative will last 17 months, from August 2018 until the end of 2019.
Three meetings, in late 2018, mid-2019 and late 2019, will be held to review implementation of its action plans.