​Hai Phong and Fukuyama Transporting Co. Ltd sign a memorandum of understanding on developing logistics and transportation systems at the forum (Photo: VNA)

Hai Phong (VNA) – A forum was held in Hai Phong on March 12 to promote investment and tourism partnerships with Japan, one of the biggest investors in the northern port city.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Van Thanh noted Japan is the fourth biggest trade partner and the largest official development assistance provider of Vietnam.

Hai Phong was one of the first localities to welcome Japanese firms seeking business opportunities after Vietnam began the Doi Moi (Reform) process. Its achievements over the last three decades are partly thanks to Japanese investors, he noted.

The city currently houses 486 foreign direct investment projects worth nearly 14 billion USD from 36 countries. They include 130 Japanese projects with combined capital of 4.14 billion USD. Japan ranks first in number of projects and second in investment capital in the city.

Introducing local tourism potential, Thanh said Hai Phong is a coastal city with hundreds of islands of all sizes and magnificent landscapes, including Cat Ba Island – a UNESCO world biosphere reserve – and Do Son beaches.

In 2016, the city posted economic growth of 11 percent, about 1.7 times higher than the national average. Hai Phong Port handled more than 80 million tonnes of goods, a year-on-year rise of 17 percent. 

Meanwhile, about 3 billion USD of foreign investment was poured into Hai Phong, making the city the top foreign investment destination in Vietnam, Thanh said, adding that the city also has developed transport infrastructure.

At the forum, Japanese entrepreneurs mentioned the benefits of enhanced partnerships with them to Hai Phong, especially in industry, tourism, and employment opportunities in Japan for Vietnamese people.

Hai Phong and Japan signed three memorandums of understanding (MoU) on cultural exchanges and tourism promotion.  The city also inked an MoU on flower cultivation with the Greenwin company and another on developing logistics and transportation systems with Fukuyama Transporting Co. Ltd.-VNA