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Nov 24, 2021 / 17:23

Future is bright for Vietnam-Japan relations: PM

Vietnam expects Japanese investors to help the country create breakthroughs for development, especially in terms of capital, technology, and governance capabilities.

The current Vietnam-Japan relations are at their best throughout the past 50 years since the diplomatic establishment, but the future will be even better.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the dialogue with Japanese investors. Source: VNA

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed the view in his dialogue with major Japanese investors on November 24, as part of the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s official visit to Japan from November 22-25 on the invitation of his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio.

According to Chinh, Japan is currently Vietnam’s largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) with nearly US$27 billion, accounting for 30% of total ODA provided by the Japanese Government globally.

Chinh expected the two sides would soon come up with a new-generation ODA that includes a new approach to ensure greater efficiency of this financial source.

In addition, Japan is also among Vietnam’s major investors running a total of 4,800 projects with registered capital of over $65 billion, while the number of Japanese tourists to Vietnam ranked third among countries with one million per year.

“Bilateral trade turnover has been consistently around $40 billion, which could further go up in the coming time,” Chinh noted.

Chinh stressed the three “first” in Vietnam-Japan relations, including the last two Japanese Prime Ministers choosing Vietnam as the first foreign country to visit, and the leaders of the Vietnamese Government being the first guests of the newly elected Japanese Prime Minister.

“This showcases the strong relations between the two countries. Last year, the Japanese Prime Minister visited Vietnam amid the Covid-19 pandemic, this means the relations have always been on the rise in spite of the most difficult context,” he added.

 Overview of the dialogue. 

Briefing the Japanese investors on Vietnam’s priorities in the next development phase, Chinh noted the country would focus on green growth, climate resilience, and digital transformation.

“Vietnam identifies three breakthroughs for growth, including legal and administrative reforms to lower costs and time for businesses and the people; high-quality human resources training; and both soft and hard infrastructure development for rapid and sustainable growth,” he said.

Chinh noted Vietnam would not sacrifice the environment and social welfare for purely economic gains but put the people at the center and as a driving force for development.

In this regard, Chinh expected external sources should help realize such breakthroughs, especially in terms of capital, technology, and governance capabilities.

“Vietnam expects these advantages from Japanese investors who have deep understandings and successes in the Vietnamese market,” he said.

Building railway, R&D center for vaccine development in discussion

On the same day, Chinh held separate meetings with leaders of economic corporations and universities planning to invest in Vietnam in the fields of transportation, real estate, energy, healthcare, and education.

 Prime Minister Chinh and Hitachi President Higashihihara Toshiaki.

Hitachi President Higashihara Toshiaki proposed to further expand investment activities in Vietnam with projects in environment, healthcare, and climate resilience, especially in the railway network development.

Chinh noted these are priorities for development in Vietnam and suggested Hitachi work with the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Planning and Investment to draft a detailed plan.

Toshiaki called for the construction of railway section Ho Chi Minh City – Cantho, and then expand to other regions, in which the Vietnamese Prime Minister expected the investment to be under the public-private partnership, and expected both parties to work in this regard.

According to Chinh, other priorities for Vietnam during his visit to Japan is to boost cooperation in healthcare, production of drugs, and vaccines for the treatment of Covid-19 and other diseases.

 Prime Minister Chinh and Shionogi Chairman Isao Teshirogi.

Isao Teshirogi, Chairman of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical company Shionogi, said it would support Vietnam in the pilot production of vaccines and drugs for Covid-19 treatment.

Teshirogi expected the company to invest in an R&D center for vaccine and drug development in Vietnam, which would be Shionogi’s first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

In a meeting with a representative of Sumitomo Corporation, Chinh welcomed the company’s initiatives in expanding urban development projects in Vietnam but noted such projects should take into consideration factors for sustainable development, including services, culture, sports, or healthcare.

Chinh also had meetings with leaders of Japanese universities such as Ryukyu Okinawa, Jutendo, Hokkaido, or companies of Kobuta, Paramount, Horiba, and Azuma, those that are expressing interests in investing in Vietnam.