Thursday, December 14 2017

VietNamNews

Japan, VN evaluate progress in relationship

Update: December, 08/2017 - 10:57
Japan will help Việt Nam improve the country’s investment climate, as well as promote Japan’s investment in the country and consolidate a comprehensive strategic partnership. — VNA/VNS Photo baodauthau.vn

HÀ NỘI — Japan will help Việt Nam improve the country’s investment climate, as well as promote Japan’s investment in the country and consolidate a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Such were the general aims set for the next phase of the Việt Nam – Japan joint initiative, reached by the two sides in a meeting held yesterday to review the results of the initiative’s Phase VI, which lasted 16 months from April 2016 to December 2017.

The Việt Nam - Japan initiative, launched in 2003 by then-Prime Minister of Việt Nam Phan Văn Khải and his Japanese counterpart, Junichiro Koizumi, involves several ministries and government bodies as well as private sector firms. Via policy dialogues, it aims to create an open and transparent business and investment environment in Việt Nam.

According to the joint initiative committee, of the 32 components set for Phase VI, 19 are being carried out satisfactorily. These components include improving law and regulations in the service sector, supporting small- and medium-sized businesses, logistics and transport.

Components being implemented but witnessing slow progress and unimplemented components include labour issues, drug distribution and regulations for foreign investors in the Law on Investment, Law on Enterprises, Law on Land and other relevant laws. Many Japanese companies have complained of unclear legal provisions or mismatch between the law and the situation on the ground.

The tardy progress on some of the components is mostly due to Japan’s need for more time to collect information to send to Vietnamese partners, as well as the need for further study of possible adjustments to laws and decrees.

At the meeting, responding to Japan’s concerns over slow disbursement of its official development assistance to Việt Nam, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that the Law on Public Investment, taking effect in 2015, has stricter regulations, making the disbursement process slower than before. Minister Dũng also explained that the Government is trying to keep public debt below the debt ceiling of 65 per cent, set by the National Assembly.

The Japanese ambassador to Việt Nam, Kunio Umeda, proposed that in the implementation of the initiative’s Phase VII, the Vietnamese Government should prioritise improving productivity and ensure a transparent judicial sector. He also urged the Vietnamese Government to set out a long-term policy for each of its sectors, for example, the automobile industry.

The Japanese ambassador also expects that Vietnamese workers who have studied and worked in Japan will use their knowledge and experience to contribute significantly to Việt Nam’s economic development. — VNS

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