Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on June 5 attended the Vietnam Investment Promotion Conference, the largest of its kind with the participation of 1,600 delegates, including 200 Vietnamese businesspeople
In his speech, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the flourishing Vietnam-Japan relations, noting that both nations have become strategic partners of each other, especially in the fields of economy, trade and investment.
He emphasized that nothing can prevent a new era of the close and trust-worthy development cooperation between the two countries.
Japan is Vietnam’s second largest investor. In 2016, two-way trade reached US$29.7 billion.
At present, Japanese investment projects valued at US$42 billion are still valid in Vietnam, accounting for 15% of total foreign investment in the southeast Asian nation.
Vietnam will continue to do its utmost to sharpen the national economy’s competitive edge and attract foreign investors including those from Japan, Phuc stressed.
The leader called for Japanese investments in electronics, farming machines, agricultural product processing, shipbuilding, environment, energy saving and auto manufacturing.
The PM also invited Japanese investors to engage in M&A activities in combination with the equitisation of State-owned enterprises in such areas as transport, infrastructure, food, foodstuff, agriculture, trade, tourism and construction.
Phuc also touched upon opportunities presented by the Vietnam-Japan Free Trade Agreement, under which the average tax imposed on Vietnamese exports to Japan will fall to 2.8% in 2018 while that on Japanese products will drop to 7%.
“Vietnam pledges to provide the best possible business climate, looking towards standards of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); reduce transaction costs; curb corruption; ease challenges regarding macro environment and policies; improve forecast capacity and practise transparency and accountability with the business community,” he stated.
PM Shinzo Abe said he and PM Phuc will continue their strong support for Japanese firms’ investment activities in Vietnam through high-quality infrastructure projects, investment improvement and personnel training.
Vietnam and Japan will step up their cooperation across a variety of fields to enhance free trade, he said, adding that he supports Vietnam’s hosting of APEC 2017.
At the conference, PM Phuc and Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing of many contracts and agreements totaling US$22 billion between Vietnamese and Japanese ministries, sectors and localities.
The same day, PM Phuc met representatives of many major Japanese enterprises in Tokyo as part of his official visit to Japan.
He said that Vietnam is striving for rapid and sustainable development and is pursuing the goal of a transparent and constructive government which best serves businesses and people. He affirmed that Vietnam considers the private sector and foreign direct investment a driving force for national development.
“The Vietnamese government will accelerate its investment in infrastructure including electricity. We will continue to narrow state-controlled areas, expand markets, and equitize state-owned enterprises, including those in the power sector. Japanese enterprises can invest directly or through investment funds in Vietnam to become strategic shareholders of some State-owned enterprises," the government leader said.
He noted that Vietnam is willing to provide Japanese investors with a list of investment areas that they are interested in, including national infrastructure, public-private partnership projects, renewable energy, finance and banking.