VN urged to attract Japanese investors

Japan is the largest investor and ODA provider in Viet Nam, with more than 2,100 projects capitalised at US$34.5 billion.— Photo dantri

HA NOI (VNS)— A surge of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from Japan brought business opportunities for Viet Nam, but improving services for the investors remained a challenge.

This is the opinion voiced by Phan Duc Tu, general director of the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV), at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Japan is the largest investor and ODA provider in Viet Nam, with more than 2,100 projects capitalised at US$34.5 billion.

In the first 11 months of the year, new and additional investment from Japan amounted to $5.6 billion, accounting for 27.3 per cent of the total.

Bilateral trade turnover between the two countries was estimated to reach $29 billion this year.

Do Nhat Hoang, head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), said that Japanese investors concentrated on Viet Nam’s processing and manufacturing industry, their funds accounting for 84 per cent of the industry’s total, followed by real estate trading and construction.

Under an industrialisation strategy to 2020 with a vision to 2030, Viet Nam will focus on six prioritised industries for co-operation with Japan: electricity, agricultural machines, agro and fisheries processing, shipbuilding, environment and energy saving, automobile manufacturing and spare parts.

By working with Japanese investors, Vietnamese firms hope to bolster the value and competitiveness of their products.

Hoang said Viet Nam had taken measures to improve its business climate, such as continuing to implement joint initiatives with Japan and improving models designed to support Japanese investors such as the Japan desk, Aichi support desk and Saitama desk.

Further co-operation among banks and businesses would attract more Japanese investment, he added.

Viet Nam has attracted more FDI from Japan than many other ASEAN countries, but competition from regional neighbours means the nation must improve its business environment and related policies, according to Hoang.

The ministry plans to ask the Government to help Viet Nam develop a support industry and ensure that foreign investors enjoy preferential treatment.

BIDV, which was co-organising the conference with Shinkin Central Bank (SCB) ,was one of the first banks in the country to actively seek Japanese FDI. The bank promoted co-operation with the SCB, one of the six largest banks in Japan, to provide services for Japanese investors in Viet Nam.

It also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) to establish support mechanisms for small and medium-sized Japanese enterprises investing in Viet Nam