The new Japanese government will continue the diplomatic policy for Vietnam under the Abe administration, according to Chief Senior Economist at the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Atsusuke Kawada.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.
This is because Vietnam and other ASEAN countries are very important partners for Japan in the fields of economics, politics, and foreign affairs, Kawada told Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Tokyo in a recent interview.
He added that the economic relationship between Japan and ASEAN will be further strengthened and deepened in general through the annual dialogue, existing FTAs/EPAs between Japan and ASEAN countries, the framework of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership(RCEP), which is currently in the final adjustment stage.
Kawada was of the view that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Vietnam-Japan economic relations have made great progress, with remarkable increases in bilateral trade, increased investment from Japan to Vietnam, and increased mobility of people between the two countries.
The number of Japanese investors expanding into Vietnam was remarkable, he said, adding that Japanese companies’ interest in Vietnam has risen further during the Abe administration.
He also highlighted the outstanding cooperation between the two countries in terms of infrastructure development under the Abe leadership, citing the Hanoi – Noi Bai International Airport, the highway connecting the airport to Hanoi, and the Nhat Tan Bridge (also known as the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Bridge) as examples of constructing hard infrastructure. Meanwhile, the establishment of Vietnam-Japan University mirrors the bilateral partnership in soft infrastructure, according to him.
The economist said Prime Minister Abe himself made a great contribution to creating an environment in which Japanese companies can easily conduct business activities in Vietnam, through visiting Vietnam as the first outing destination and building extremely good relationships with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other Vietnamese leaders.
To strengthen Vietnam-Japan ties in economics, he suggested the two sides further activate human resource exchange and build a mutually complementary win-win relationship.
“Japanese companies, facing the declining birthrate and aging population, need more Vietnamese hard-working and talented human resources, and it is possible for Vietnamese people to acquire various technologies and know-how from their work experience in Japan,” he said.
He also expects Vietnamese firms to expand their business activities in Japan, backed by the increase in the number of Vietnamese living in Japan.
The economist went on to say that to attract foreign companies including Japanese companies, it is important for Vietnam to continue improving the business climate and developing human resources.
In order to improve the industrial structure of Vietnam, it seems necessary to work on attracting foreign firms with technology- and knowledge-intensive industries in and around urban areas such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hai Phong, and labor-intensive industries in rural areas, he noted.
“To that end, it is important that the provinces and cities of Vietnam compete with each other to enhance their attractiveness as an investment destination, including the careful consideration of the companies that have entered the market,” according to Kawada./.