|Japanese and Vietnamese participants at the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Forum held yesterdayin Ha Noi. Both countries can benefit from the free trade pact in various sectors including agriculture and automobile manufacturing. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang yesterday said that Japan is Viet Nam's top partner amidst global integration and expressed hope that the country would continue taking the lead in trade, investment and supply of official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam.
Sang was meeting with a Japanese business delegation who are in Viet Nam to attend the Viet Nam-Japan economic forum, held the same day.
The President thanked the Japanese government, parliament, political parties and people for their support of Viet Nam, saying that the Vietnamese State and people attach great importance to ties with Japan.
The President also took note of the close relations between many Japanese and Vietnamese localities and their co-operation in training and agriculture.
He asked for Japan's assistance in training human resources in the support industry – a weak field in Viet Nam.
Yuri Sato, Vice President of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), informed her host of the contents of discussions at the Viet Nam – Japan economic forums, including the impacts of Trans-Pacific Partnership deal on business operations.
Sato said more and more Japanese are interested in the Vietnamese market, as demonstrated by more than 12,000 entrepreneurs seeking information via JETRO about doing business in Viet Nam.
Mentioning difficulties that Japanese investors encounter in Viet Nam, including the low quality of locally-made materials that leads to over-reliance on foreign supplies, she assured that Japanese companies will help Viet Nam improve its competitiveness and workforce quality.
TPP could boost GDP
The recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement could help expand Viet Nam's economy by 20 per cent, Japanese experts said at the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Forum 2015.
The forum was held in Ha Noi yesterday with more than 300 Vietnamese and Japanese participants including leaders, economists and entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Japanese economist Kenichi Kawasaki, estimated that Viet Nam had the potential of gaining the most among TPP members, adding that Japan could see its gross domestic product grow 1.2 per cent due to the trade pact.
Deputy Minister Hoang Trung Hai told the forum that both sides could benefit from the TPP in the industries of agriculture, electronic, agricultural machinery, agro fisheries, ship building, and automobile and spare parts manufacturing.
Viet Nam was restructuring its economy towards a green development, appreciating Japan's support in many fields of development, especially in infrastructure, Hai added.
Vu Tien Loc, VCCI chairman said Viet Nam took an example of how the country could benefit from TPP as it could strive to become a major agro-products provider to Japan. However, he said the country should restructure the local agriculture to make it happen first.
Kenichi Kawasaki said to boost the country's competitiveness in TPP, economic and policy reforms were important, adding that reforms should be taken at both state-owned and private sector.
Nguyen Chi Dung, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment said in Viet Nam, the administrative procedure has significantly improved in the last few years, adding that there were reforms would be done to boost the investment environment in Viet Nam.
Katsuro Nagai, envoy of the Japanese Embassy said the Government should set "different priorities for local industries, especially in supporting industries".
The textile, fishery and agriculture sectors stand to gain the most from the TPP while supporting industries could suffer.
Nguyen Cam Tu, deputy minister of Industry and Trade said the Government of Viet Nam saw the importance so they would release a Government decree on supporting industries in this or next month and will put it into law in the future.
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development official Nguyen Do Anh Tuan suggested that Japanese enterprises should prioritise investments in seed production and breeding, support industries for farming, biological technology and produce maintenance in Viet Nam.
He also suggested that they develop farms, fish ports and irrigation works, adding that the country had been accelerating administrative reforms and support policies to attract investors into these areas.
Tuan noted that, although advantages related to nature and farmers facilitates Viet Nam's agricultural development, the country's products still remain cheap with the lack of modern technology application and linkages between production and distribution.
Mori Mutsuya, the chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Viet Nam, said Viet Nam can absolutely become a large agricultural producer in Asia, provided that what it manufactures is based more on market demand.
Mori also suggested that the country should let market members, such as supermarkets, take part in the supervision of food safety and hygiene, for more efficient distribution chains.
He added that Japanese businesses still face difficulties in renting lands in certain areas, such as in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, where the construction of hi-tech farming complexes is underway. — VNS