Creating favourable, stable environment to attract Japanese investors

Wednesday, 2017-03-15 04:46:26
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Manufacturing activities at the Canon Vietnam Company (Thang Long Industrial Zone).
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NDO—Japan is currently the largest foreign investor in Hanoi, with over 800 projects worth a total of US$5.2 billion. In an effort to facilitate strategic economic relations between the two sides in a more effective fashion, the Hanoi authorities are taking a number of measures to provide the most favourable conditions possible in which for Japanese investors to do long-term and stable business in the city.

Huge potential for cooperation

From investing mainly in production with projects at the Thang Long Industrial Zone and projects of the Canon Group, Japanese companies are eyeing to expand investment in the fields of trade, health, the environment and tourism, with the Aeon Mall Long Bien, one of the most modern and popular supermarkets in Hanoi at present, as among the most outstanding examples. With regards to tourism, cooperative relations between both sides have also seen rapid development. In 2016, the number of Japanese tourists to Hanoi hit 238,000 arrivals, making the country the Vietnamese capital’s third-largest tourist market. Meanwhile, Japan also welcomed 233,000 arrivals of Vietnamese visitors in the previous year, with those from Hanoi accounting for a large proportion thereof. As scheduled, the Japan National Tourism Organisation will open its official representative office in Hanoi.

Nonetheless, the potential for bilateral cooperation remains huge. Hanoi is one of the 17 largest capital cities in the world, with its infrastructure currently in the process of being completed, a relatively large proportion of its population living off agriculture and a tourism sector yet to be fully exploited. Meanwhile, Japan possesses assets in terms of advanced science and technology and will be an ideal partner for Hanoi in the areas of high-tech agriculture, urban railways, supporting industries, human resources development, tourism and high-quality healthcare services.

Removing hindrances

A recent talk on investment and tourism promotion between Hanoi and Japan offered an occasion for Japanese partners to directly meet with the municipal leaders so that both sides could exchange measures to remove obstacles and create favourable conditions for Japanese businesses’ investment activities in Vietnam. The biggest concern raised by many Japanese companies was the investment and land lease procedures in the Southeast Asian country. A consultant of the Toyota Hiroshima Company said it had taken two years for his company to finalise all investment procedures in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, adding that Toyota Hiroshima is planning to open an automobile showroom in Hanoi but still wonders whether administrative procedures there have already been simplified or not. According to Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, the city is exerting efforts to renovate administrative procedures and always provides the best possible conditions for businesses as a whole and those from Japan in particular. He clarified Hanoi’s development plans so that Japanese companies could seek investment opportunities suited to their strengths.

The talk also featured the attendance of 11 tourism companies from Japan, which sought to explore Hanoi’s tourism strength as well as measures to attract Vietnamese visitors to Japan. The Hanoi authorities are also taking measures to improve the city’s tourism climate, notably including the handling of sidewalk encroachment and the maintenance of urban order and civilisation, thereby ensuring a safe environment for visitors.

Under the framework of the event, Japanese investors signed a number of cooperative documents with Vietnamese partners on tourism development, the production and provision of flower seedlings and the transfer of automated flower-growing techniques to Hanoi. The Aeon Ball Company announced its plan to build a new US$200 million trade centre in Ha Dong District on the occasion of the event. This is considered a successful example for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation between Japan and Hanoi.