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Monday, May 25 2020
Tiếng Việt
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Date 15/12/2019-09:22:00 AM
End-term evaluation of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Phase VII
(MPI) - Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with Japanese Embassy to Vietnam, Vietnam - Japan Economic Commission (under the Federation of Japanese economic organizations - Keidanren) held a high-level meeting of the Joint Committee on evaluating the seventh phase of Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative on December 12, 2019.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung delivered the opening speech. Photo: MPI

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung emphasized that the relations between Vietnam and Japan were developing better and better and currently at the best level ever. At the same time, he believed that with the commencement of the new imperial era, Reiwa, the country and people of Japan continued to gain even more important achievements, contributing to the relationship between the two countries for the benefit of the people of the two countries, for peace, for the development and cooperation of the region and the world.

Vietnam - Japan have identified a strategic, comprehensive partnership, and have practical and close cooperation in such fields as socio-economic affairs, culture, politics, defense, security, etc. Japan is currently the largest official development assistance (ODA) country, the second largest foreign investor, the third largest tourism partner, and the fourth largest trading partner of Vietnam. The capital funded by Japanese investors is assessed to be of high quality, and has positive impacts on Vietnam’s economy.

With the aim of improving the business investment environment and enhancing Vietnam's competitiveness, the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative has spent over 16 years proposing many contents which were taken by Vietnamese agencies, playing an important role in improving the business and investment environment of Vietnam. The Action Plan of the Joint Initiative Phase VII consists of 9 issue groups with 52 categories of items. After a period of implementation, the contents of this stage are completed successfully. Most of the contents stated in the Plan have been well implemented, achieved high results and on schedule. "I highly appreciate the working spirit and effective cooperation of the working groups," the Minister said.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung informed that Vietnam was currently ranked 8th among the best economies in the world to invest in 2019 and jumped by 15 rankings compared to 2018. The World Economic Forum assessed that Vietnam's competitiveness had dramatically improved on all three pillars, including institution, infrastructure and skills, ranked 67/144 countries and territories, an increase of 10 rankings compared to 2018. National credit rating is upgraded with positive outlook. Innovation index moves up by 12 rankings. The Vietnamese legal system is continuing to be improved towards transparency and easier enforcement. The Vietnam - Japan Joint Initiative has made significant contributions to those achievements.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung hoped at this high-level meeting, representatives of Vietnamese ministries and sectors would directly discuss issues related to implementation of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative during the past period, as well as the principles of cooperation between the two sides in the coming period, especially the orientation of implementing the Joint Initiative in the next period.

Co-Chairman of Vietnam - Japan Economic Committee Hideo Ichikawa spoke at the meeting. Photo: MPI

Speaking at the meeting, the Co-Chairmen of the Vietnam-Japan Economic Committee expressed their deep appreciation to the implementation of the contents of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative. At the same time, they affirmed that the Japan - Vietnam partnership was developing more closely. Currently, Japanese investors have invested in Vietnam in many different fields and continued strengthening the investment cooperation relationship between the two countries. Therefore, the improvement of the business and investment environment, including the implementation of the contents of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative plays a very important role. The results of the Initiative have been highly appreciated by the Governments of the two countries. This is an effective content framework for the two sides to discuss and promote mechanisms of cooperation and policy making. They also expected that the Initiative would continue to bring about even better results. The co-chairs of Keidanren also expressed their desire to continue cooperation in the implementation of the Joint Initiative, contributing to further tightening the Vietnam-Japan cooperation relationship.

Japanese businesses consider Vietnam as an attractive destination for investment and highly appreciate Vietnam in its efforts to improve the business and investment environment, towards a fast and sustainable economic development. The Co-Chairmen also highly appreciated the Ministry of Planning and Investment in assisting Japanese enterprises to conduct business and investment activities in Vietnam.

Panorama of the Meeting. Photo: MPI

At the meeting, Director General of Foreign Investment Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment Do Nhat Hoang reported the evaluation results of the Action Plan of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Phase VII. The 7th phase is implemented over a period of 17 months (from August 2018 to December 2019). After 17 months of implementation, the two sides have well implemented the Plan basically. Many policy dialogues between the relevant agencies of Vietnam and Japan were held to discuss and bring about policy recommendations to perfect the laws.

Out of 52 items, 44 of them are well implemented and met the schedule and the rest 8 items are being carried out. Well implemented items are related to tourism, improvement of the judiciary regime, land law, public-private partnership (PPP) policy framework, development of supporting industries, labor - wages, stock market reform, etc.

At the meeting, representatives of the Plan's issue groups reported detailed results during the implementation process and stated that 52/52 items of the Plan were carried out to demonstrate Vietnam's determination in constantly improving the business environment. The issue groups also expressed their consensus and appreciation to the Ministry of Planning and Investment in composing the Investment Law (amended), the Enterprise Law (amended) and the Law on Investment in the form of public-private partnership (PPP). The Ministry has held workshops and taken consultations from the business community and investors, including those from Japan. They also expected that these laws would be passed soon to continue creating favorable conditions for investors. In addition, the issue groups also discussed and assessed institutional reforms; accounting reform, supporting industries, labor, wages, service industries, etc.

Speaking at the meeting, the representative of JETRO in Hanoi presented solutions to help increase Japanese investment in Vietnam, namely focusing on attracting investment of small and medium Japanese enterprises as bigger Japanese enterprises and corporations have already invested in Vietnam. They put stress on the solutions related to supporting industries, the localization rate of Vietnam. The survey results show that 60% of feedback from Japanese enterprises investing in Vietnam is about the difficulty of purchasing raw materials in Vietnam.

JETRO also said that many Japanese enterprises were looking for opportunities to expand investment in Vietnam. It expected Vietnam to develop more businesses in supporting industries. Japanese enterprises in Vietnam wish to increase business activities with FDI and domestic enterprises and have a mechanism to share information about these enterprises. With increasing investment demand, Japanese enterprises investing in Vietnam seek for qualified human resources.

The representative of JICA hoped to continue supporting Vietnam in institutional building and contributing to the development of quality infrastructure based on the combination of ODA and private loans. JICA will continue to provide more loans to the ASEAN region, including Vietnam.

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda spoke at the Meeting. Photo: MPI

Speaking on the review of the results of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Phase VII, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda highly appreciated the efforts of the groups to achieve splendid results. He also expected better cooperation results for the next phase.

Ambassador Kunio Umeda said that the implementation of the contents of the Initiative contributed to further strengthening the Japan - Vietnam cooperation relationship. Many contents have yielded practical results such as the implementation of ODA projects, grants, and infrastructure development. At the same time, he emphasized that Vietnam needed to attract investment and develop infrastructure in order to promote sustainable development. Accordingly, Vietnam needed to promulgate a law on PPP soon.

“Vietnam is a very important country for Japan and Vietnam is full of energy for socio-economic development. Vietnam has many opportunities to take off. I wish Vietnam will promote opportunities to develop more strongly and play an important role in the prosperity of the region,” the Ambassador said.

Ambassador Kunio Umeda said that the two countries needed to continue strengthening cooperation in the field of training, supporting industries and concretizing cooperation activities under the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative. Japan wishes to contribute and support Vietnam's socio-economic development process, contributing to further promoting Japan-Vietnam relations via this Initiative.

Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung highly appreciated the discussions with an open, frank and constructive spirit, thereby clarifying the contents of the two sides’ interests, including the results achieved and not yet achieved. Since then, it is required to strengthen the cooperation, continue to support and solve problems, appreciate the efforts of the groups that play an important role in implementing the contents of the Initiative and their important contributions to expanding investment activities as well as strengthening cooperation between Vietnam and Japan. This is an effective information channel for Vietnam to improve its mechanisms, policies and law enforcement.

The signing ceremony to conclude phase VII of the Vietnam - Japan Joint Initiative. Photo: MPI

The Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative has an important role in improving the business investment environment, perfecting institution, attracting foreign investment in general and Japanese investment in particular. Regarding the issues in supporting industries raised by the Japanese side, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung stated that Japan had provided supporting policies to Vietnam and Vietnam had issued mechanisms and policies in this area. However, it is important to implement in practice in order to develop the industries in Vietnam. Therefore, the problem here is not institution but actual implementation.

Regarding high quality human resources, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said that this was also a challenge for Vietnam. Vietnam has abundant human resources but skilled labor granted with certificates accounts for only 23%. Vietnam expects Japanese businesses and the Government to accompany and help Vietnam address these challenges by providing direct support and training in order to create suitable human resources to its needs. Therefore, the Vietnam - Japan Joint Initiative plays a more meaningful and more effective role.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung emphasized that, in the context of Vietnam entering a new era, the next phase of the Vietnam - Japan Joint Initiative needed a new approach and way of implementation, suitable to the real situation. Along with the groups of issues that are of interest to Japanese businesses, in phase VIII, it is important to cover groups of macro issues with strong and feasible policy recommendations, contributing to improving the investment environment and promoting more Japanese investment in Vietnam. Accordingly, in addition to focusing on institutional improvement, there should be specific actions with the participation of the business community. Vietnam wishes to cooperate with Japan to promote a faster, more sustainable, more independent, more autonomous, more adaptable and connectible to the world economy, with a sweeping foundation of partnership for peace and prosperity of Asia.

After the end-term evaluation meeting of Vietnam - Japan Joint Initiative Phase VII, Minister Nguyen Chi Dung met with the Vietnam - Japan Economic Committee on the National Center for Innovation (NIC)./.

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