Japan and Vietnam seek bigger win-win cooperation


Masaru Sato, assistant press secretary and director of the International Press Division under Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Ministerial Secretariat, told VIR in Tokyo that Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was expected to pay an official visit to Japan during December 13-15, 2013 and attend the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo.

“Dung will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss wider bilateral political, economic, trade and investment, and official development assistance (ODA) co-operation,” Sato said, adding that as of present no co-operation agreements between the two countries were scheduled to be signed during the visit.

“Vietnam plays a very important role in Japan’s foreign policy. Vietnam has major potential to become a key production base for Japanese enterprises in Southeast Asia,” he said.

He said Japanese enterprises and investors were eager to invest in Vietnam in urbanisation, water management, energy, and infrastructure. “This would be a win-win form of co-operation. The Japanese government and enterprises will work with the Vietnamese government and enterprises on this.”

This Japanese investment is in line with Vietnam’s industrialisation strategy approved by the PM in July 2013. Under the strategy, six specific industries were selected, including electronics, agricultural machinery, shipbuilding, car manufacturing and spare parts, agro-fishery products processing, the environment and energy-saving technologies. Concrete action plans for six industries were currently being drafted.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Institute for Industry and Strategy, the six industries meant that Japanese enterprises could find more room for investment in Vietnam because the selected industries matched demands among both Japanese and Vietnamese investors.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also added that Japan’s government had decided on a country assistance policy for Vietnam regarding ODA, in which Japan would support Vietnam with an emphasis on three prioritised areas.

First is the promotion of economic growth and strengthening international competitiveness. Specifically, Japan will provide support for Vietnam to improve its market economy, reform its finance sector, develop industry and train human resources. The support would also develop arterial traffic and urban transport networks, aid the supply of energy and promote energy savings in order meet the demands of increased economic growth.

Japan was also keen to support Vietnam in addressing emerging environmental issues caused by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and preparing for climate change and natural disaster mitigation measures. Additionally, so as to ameliorate widening social inequality, Japan would help Vietnam in developing healthcare and social security.

In terms of more efficient government, Japan would aid Vietnam in improving the country’s judiciary and administrative functions. The country will also provide Vietnam with help on streamlining the legal system, and ensuring justice, fairness, neutrality and transparency of the governance.

By August 20 2013, Japanese registered investment capital in Vietnam totalled over $33 billion in 2,029 projects.