Experts have projected that the strengthened bilateral ties between Japan and Vietnam as well as Vietnam’s high economic growth and enhanced business environment will attract an influx of Japanese investments.
During Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s recent visit to Japan, wherein he met with Japanese companies such as All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd, AEON Co Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, sentiments were strong on the part of the Japanese investors regarding their interest in investing in Vietnam. With Japanese companies stating that they have plans to invest billions of US dollars in Vietnam, across a diversity of sectors.
Seiji Imai, Head of Mizuho Bank for Asia and Oceania has also commented that Vietnam is the first destination for overseas investments in Japan and the country could be experiencing a new wave of investments from small and medium Japanese enterprises with advanced technologies that are looking to enter the domestic market. Furthermore, he believes that the country will experience two waves of investments from Japanese firms with the first wave being attributed to large manufacturing companies and the second to follow shortly thereafter.
Umeda Kunio, the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam has told the local media that many Japanese companies are very interested in conducting business in Vietnam in areas such as urban development. This can be witnessed with projects in the northern part of Hanoi as in the case of the the Binh Duong project, subway route No.1 in Ho Chi Minh City, and subway routes 1 and 2 in Hanoi.
Currently, Vietnam ranks as the third country in a recent survey on the overseas deployment of Japanese manufacturing companies by the Japan Bank for International Co-operation, and second in the same survey if only small and medium companies are taken into consideration as observed by Mr Kunio.
In a survey conducted last year by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), up to 70 percent of Japanese companies that are currently operating in Vietnam have expressed an interest to expand operations within the country, which is a relatively high percentage compared to other countries in ASEAN. Additionally in a Japanese survey questioning participants about countries and territories for potential expansion agendas, the number of companies choosing Vietnam has been observed to increase over three consecutive years.
According to Mr Kunio, the attractiveness of Vietnam as an investment destination can be attributed to its market potential, relatively low cost yet diligent workforce and political stability. Based on numerous economic forecasts, Vietnam’s economic growth is projected to remain high in 2018, and Japanese investment into Vietnam this year is also expected to be corresponding high. A trend that is also backed by reports from the Foreign Investment Agency.
As of 20 September this year, Japan had 3,900 valid investment projects that are worth a total registered capital of US$55.78 billion in Vietnam. Similarly, up till September of this year, Japan has been recorded as Vietnam’s largest foreign investor, with total investment capital of US$7 billion.
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