Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) to forge closer links between the business communities of both countries, saying it would further strengthen bilateral relations.
Receiving JCCI Chairman Akio Mimura in Tokyo yesterday, Dung said Japan was one of Viet Nam's most important economic, trade and investment partners, as well as a main provider of development assistance.
The Vietnamese Government has always tried to create a pro-growth business environment, Dung said, adding that the fifth phase of the Viet Nam – Japan Joint Initiative has been launched to improve the investment environment and increase the competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy. The fifth phase, with 100 sub-items, is slated for completion next December.
The two sides had also worked effectively to realise the Viet Nam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the PM said.
Mimura said the JCCI would liaise with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to forge deeper economic and trade connections.
Later the same day, the PM met with the president of Sumitomo Corporation, Nakamura Kuniharu, and representatives of some top IT firms.
He reiterated his message that there were huge potentials to be exploited in strengthening economic relations between the two countries in many sectors.
He told Kuniharu that both countries had outlined an industrialisation strategy as part of the Viet Nam – Japan co-operation framework, identifying six priority areas – electronics, agricultural machinery, agricultural and fisheries processing, shipbuilding, environment and energy savings, and automobiles and auto spare parts.
Progress in the establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would present new economic chances for both countries, the PM said.
The Government leader also pledged all possible support for Japanese information technology companies in Viet Nam, especially those active in value-added fields, software, biotechnology, renewable energy and hi-tech farming.
In another meeting, the PM expressed the hope that the president of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), Tanaka Akihiko, would lobby the Japanese Government for greater official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam during the 2013 fiscal year and beyond.
The Prime Minister assured Akihiko that his Government would use the ODA effectively. He said he had directed all concerned ministries and agencies to implement ODA-funded projects as scheduled.
Akihito said JICA would continue funding upgrades at the Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi and the Lach Huyen Port in northern Hai Phong City, among other projects.
He called for greater co-ordination in the restructuring of State-run enterprises and said Lach Huyen should be turned regional trans-shipment port soon.
The same day, Dung was also welcomed by Yoneikura Hiromasa, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren).
Dung said he highly appreciated the "three arrow" economic policy, called "Abenomics," introduced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying it had helped revive a sluggish economy.
He wished that Keidanren would closely work with Vietnamese ministries and agencies in implementing the fifth phase of the Viet Nam – Japan Joint Initiative, the industrialisation strategy as part of the Viet Nam – Japan co-operation framework; support Viet Nam in training human resource; and assist Japanese companies seeking investment opportunities in Viet Nam.
Yoneikura Hiromasa affirmed that his agency would follow up on the Prime Minister's proposals and asked the Vietnamese Government to continue creating favourable conditions for Japanese enterprises seeking business opportunities as well as opportunities to expand investments, especially in Japan's areas of strength like energy, electronics, infrastructure building and agricultural product processing.
At his reception for Nikai Toshihiro, President of the Japan-Viet Nam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance, Dung praised the positive contributions the president and members of the alliance have made in strengthening and consolidating ties between the two countries.
He also welcomed the initiative to build a Viet Nam-Japan University in Ha Noi, which is supported by the alliance, and said he believed that the alliance would continue to play a key role in developing the Viet Nam-Japan strategic partnership.
For his part, Nikai Toshihiro reiterated that the alliance would do its utmost to boost co-operation between the two countries, especially in economics, trade, investment, science and technology, and education and training.
Meeting with the President of Japan's International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC), Matsuzawa Ken, the Vietnamese PM said people-to-people exchanges held during the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Year 2013 had helped improve the friendship and mutual understanding between the two nations.
He also expressed his belief that with its large membership and influence, FEC would increasingly contribute to expanding and strengthening relations between the two countries, especially in economics, trade, investment and in developing human resources.
Matsuzawa Ken said the council often arranged for Japanese delegations to visit Viet Nam, which had a great potential for investment, to study investment opportunities and conduct exchanges with Vietnamese partners.
In his meeting with CEO and Executive Managing Director of the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) Hiroshi Watanabe, Dung asked JBIC to increase support to Viet Nam's important projects, especially in transport infrastructure and energy, as well as to Japanese investors who wish to expand business and investments in Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese Government would also create favourable conditions for the operation of JBIC and Japanese enterprises, he said.
Receiving Professor Natsume Nagato, Director of the Japanese Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation, Dung thanked the professor and the foundation for their support for underprivileged Vietnamese children, noting that the foundation had conducted surgeries for over 3,000 Vietnamese children with cleft palates over the past 20 years.
Professor Natsume Nagato added that the association would continue its efforts to help Vietnamese children and suggested that representatives of the two countries enhance co-operation, not only in this field but also in cancer prevention.
The same day, the PM joined other ASEAN leaders at a tea party hosted by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, as well as a banquet hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Further, he is scheduled to participate in the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan dialogue relations and the fifth Mekong-Japan summit today.
PM commits to conducive investment climate
Vietnam will constantly improve its investment environment and create the best possible conditions for foreign investors to do long-term business in the country.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the commitment during frank and open dialogues with representatives from leading Japanese corporations - including Mitsubishi, Honda, Hitachi, Sumitomo, Canon, and Takashimaya - in Tokyo on December 13.
Dung said Vietnam is finalizing its legal framework for trade and investment activities, alongside revising tax and financial preferential policies to attract investment in high technology, support industry, industries of high added value and highly competitive capacity.
The government encourages investment in infrastructure development, especially in the form of public-private partnership (PPP).
He said the government will soon submit the revised draft Housing Law for National Assembly approval. The law is intended to legalise foreign house buyers in Vietnam, stimulate the real estate market, regulate State foreign direct investment management, and accelerate the implementation of BOT projects.
PM Dung noted Vietnam and Japan have great potential for stronger cooperation in various areas.
He highlighted Vietnam’s consistently warm welcomes for Japanese businesses, saying Vietnam considers the success of its foreign investors the success of the country as a whole, promoting socio-economic development and generating local employment.
Japan is Vietnam’s biggest investor but the US$35 billion total remains a modest proportion of Japanese business capacity, Dung said.
He addressed the Japanese business representatives’ queries on Vietnam’s strategic focuses - consolidating market economic institutions, mobilising resources for infrastructure development, and training human resources to international standards. Transport infrastructure priorities include the Hanoi-Haiphong Highway, Noi Bai T2 Terminal, and Lach Huyen International Port.
The Japanese businesses praised Vietnam’s economic management and policies targeting macroeconomic stability, contained inflation, and economic growth. The country’s annual growth was kept at 5.6% over the past three years.
They discussed plans to expand their Vietnamese investments and urged its Government to boost the support industry and human resource training, facilitate housing purchases for foreigners, protect intellectual property rights, finalise tax policies, and fund transport infrastructure upgrades including roads, airports, seaports, and electricity.
PM Dung is in Tokyo for an official visit to Japan from December 12-15.
PM welcomes establishment of Vietnam-Japan University
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has applauded the proposed establishment of a Vietnam-Japan University in Hanoi, promoted by the two countries’ partners and supported by the Japan-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance (JVPFA).
At a December reception for JVPFA Chairman Nikai Toshihiro, PM Dung praised the contributions of his guest and fellow parliamentarians to consolidating Vietnam-Japan relations.
The JVFPA Chairman expressed his delight at the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership’s positive development and the shared determination to forge cooperative relations in economics, trade, investment, science-technology, and education-training.
Meeting with Japan's International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) President Ken Matsuzawa, Dung recalled the cross-cultural exchange activities that marked the 2013 Vietnam-Japan Friendship Year 2013 and deepened the friendship and mutual understanding between the two peoples.
He encouraged the FEC to sustain its practical contributions that enrich bilateral ties in economics, trade, investment, and human resources development.
Ken noted the FEC regularly arranges Japanese delegation visits to Vietnam, creating opportunities to investigate potential investments and conduct exchanges with Vietnamese partners.
In his meeting with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) CEO and Executive Managing Director Hiroshi Watanabe, PM Dung asked the institution to shore up its support for important Vietnamese projects—particularly in transport infrastructure and energy, and Japanese investors wishing to expand their Vietnam-based business.
The Vietnamese Government is committed to creating favourable conditions for the operation of JBIC and Japanese enterprises, he said.
PM Dung received Japanese Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation Director Professor Natsume Nagato with words of gratitude for the foundation’s work on behalf of underprivileged Vietnamese children. He noted Professor Nagato’s foundation has conducted cleft palate surgery on more than 3,000 Vietnamese children over the past 20 years.
Professor Natsume Nagato affirmed the association will continue its efforts to help Vietnamese children. He recommended enhancing bilateral cooperation in in cancer prevention and treatment as well.
On the same day, PM Dung joined other ASEAN leaders at a tea party hosted by the Japanese Emperor and Empress, and later at a banquet hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
He is scheduled to participate in the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit—marking the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan dialogue—and the fifth Mekong-Japan summit on December 14.VNS/VNA