Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City has always taken on board suggestions from foreign businesses, including Japanese, for improving its investment environment and living conditions and adopting appropriate policies to enable foreign investors to operate here, according to its People’s Committee.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion between the city administration and the Japanese business community yesterday, Deputy Chairman Lê Thanh Liêm said Japan was one of the city’s important partners in several fields.
As of last November it was the fifth largest foreign investor in the city with 1,247 ongoing projects worth a total of nearly US$4.2 billion, he said.
“This figure is very impressive but still not commensurate with the potential and strategic partnership of the two countries.”
The roundtable has been held annually for the past 17 years to facilitate direct dialogue between Japanese entrepreneurs and city authorities, a testament to the city’s desire to resolve difficulties faced by foreign investors in general and Japanese firms in particular, he said.
The results of the roundtable discussions and efforts to improve the investment climate by the city would “enhance the confidence of the Japanese business community in the city administration.”
Takahisa Onose, chief of the finance-tax and customs committee at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City (JCCH), said the city had made significant improvements in customs and tax procedures, helping businesses save cost and time.
Last month at a dialogue between the JCCH and the city customs department, the head of the latter presented new policies and promised to further simplify customs procedures, he said.
Phạm Thiết Hòa, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion of HCM City (ITPC), said to prepare for the event the ITPC had been working with the JCCH since June to find out what difficulties Japanese firms face.
The roundtable organisers gathered 38 questions related to four fields: environment - life; law - labour; tax; and customs. Between October 29 to November 1 the ITPC co-ordinated with 19 departments and agencies and held meetings with the JCCH to answer 34 of the questions.
The remaining relate to a decree guiding the Environmental Law, water quality audit, noise pollution, and social insurance for foreign workers, and would be clarified at the roundtable, Hòa said.
Kawaue Junichi, Japan’s consul general in HCM City, appreciated the city’s efforts to improve its investment environment.
With its consistent politics, abundant human resources and improving infrastructure, Việt Nam had attracted more and more Japanese investors, who are investing in various sectors, he said.
A survey done by the Japan External Trade Organization has found that Japanese firms are happy with the city’s tax and customs environment and its investment environment in particular and Việt Nam’s in general. Many of them plan to expand.
“Investment by Japanese firms in Việt Nam and HCM City in particular will increase in the coming time,” Onose said.
He said many Japanese firms were moving their factories from China to other countries including Việt Nam even before the US-China trade tension.
“Viêt Nam should quickly improve its investment environment further to attract this wave of investment.” — VNS