Illustrative image. Source: VOV
Besides new official development assistance (ODA) commitments, Vietnam and Japan expect to sign a number of important cooperation deals in agriculture during Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Japan on September 15-18, reported a newspaper.

The thriving Vietnam-Japan relations have reached a Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia as from March 2014.

Japan is Vietnam’s leading economic partner with a total investment of nearly 38 billion USD and a bilateral trade value of nearly 28 billion USD. It is also Vietnam’s largest ODA donor country.

The number of Japanese investment projects into Vietnam has increased despite a decline in investment capital, Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted Atsusuke Kawada, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) as saying.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Japan is the second biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with 2,661 valid projects worth 37.7 billion USD.

Japanese investors and local government leaders have held many meetings in recent times. It’s noteworthy that more Japanese investors are keen on investing in agriculture, especially hi-tech agriculture.

Yasuzumi Hirotaka, JETRO managing director in HCM City , stressed the special attention paid by Japanese businesses to Vietnam ’s agriculture, saying that Japanese firms have carefully moved towards comprehensive cooperation with Vietnamese partners.

A representative from Fujitsu Group, which supplies Akisai Cloud services in agricultural management, told the newspaper that there is a huge potential for agricultural cooperation between Japanese and Vietnamese businesses such as management technology, processing, packing and distribution.

However, to turn the opportunity into reality requires strong reform in investment environment, particularly administration procedures, customs, tax, and human resources, he said.

Vietnam should give out clear messages in agricultural investment policy, particularly incentives for investors in the sector, he added.

Bilateral agricultural cooperation has witnessed significant breakthroughs in recent times. Vietnam ’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) signed a cooperation agreement with Japan ’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ibaraki Prefecture in March 2014. The two countries are developing a medium-and long-term vision on agricultural cooperation to further enhance bilateral ties.-VNA