|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday in Tokyo. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
TOKYO (VNS)— 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. — VNS