Hi-tech agricultural production in Ho Chi Minh City (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam will step up improving the investment climate and hopes to see Japanese firms increase investments in agriculture in the coming time, a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development official said.

General Director of the MARD’s Department of International Cooperation Tran Kim Long delivered the message at a forum in Hanoi on September 27, which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

According to Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, General Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam has issued many policies to promote investment in agricultural and rural development, including those relating to Japanese firms, and the country is building a draft decree on foreign investment attraction in the field.

He said Japanese businesses can invest in manufacturing machineries, pesticide and fertilizers for agriculture, as well as related technologies and the processing industry.

They can also cooperate with Vietnamese counterparts to build large-area cultivation areas and develop value chains and trademarks for the domestic and international market, he stressed.

In addition, Japanese companies are suggested to join Public-Private Partnership cooperation mechanisms in domains of irrigation infrastructure, forest development, fishing port, and environmental protection.

Vietnam has yet to uphold its strength of agriculture due to the low productivity and low quality of farm produce, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Shimose Kosaburo said, adding that Vietnam should build food value chains to overcome these limitations.

The Mid-Term and Long-Term Joint Vision on Agricultural Cooperation (2015-2019) will greatly contribute to Vietnam’s comprehensive agricultural development, he noted.

In the framework of vision, a project of irrigation infrastructure upgrade and safe vegetable cultivation will be piloted in central Nghe An province, meanwhile Central Highland province of Lam Dong will benefit from a project of high added-value farm produce production, he said.

Private sectors will be encouraged to invest in building freezing production lines and cold storages in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The cooperation mechanism will also consider building management mechanisms of food safety, developing infrastructure facilities to prevent saline intrusion and reduce greenhouse emission in paddy fields in Mekong Delta region.

In a government-level discussion before the forum, the two countries discussed how to solve issues concerning phyto-quarantine. The Japan side asked Vietnam to consider removing the import ban imposed on Japan, while Vietnam urged Japan to lift the import ban of Vietnamese red dragon fruit, longan and litchi.

Japan investors have so far operated 41 agricultural projects worth 211 million USD in Vietnam, focusing in Da Nang, Binh Thuan and Phu Yen in the central region, Hanoi and Son La in the north and HCM City and Bac Lieu in the south, and the central highlands province of Lam Dong.-VNA