The fourth Vietnam-Japan Economic Seminar took place in Tokyo on May 30, drawing the participation of more than 100 representatives from Japanese businesses and research institutes.

In his opening remarks, President of Japan’s International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) Ken Matsuzawa said FEC has regularly coordinated with the Vietnamese Embassy in organising annual economic seminars to exchange information and ideas between the two governments and the two countries’ businesses, thus strengthening mutual understanding and boosting their cooperation in economics, trade and investment.

He expressed his belief that the seminar would be a good chance for the two sides to foster their bilateral ties in areas of common concern.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Phu Binh said he hoped the relationship between Vietnam and Japan will continue to develop strongly, comprehensively and sustainably in the future as the two countries reached an agreement in 2009 to raise their bilateral ties to strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia .

Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the forum, expressed his sympathy towards the Japanese people over the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster.

He briefed about Vietnam ’s economic situation in 2010 and the first months of 2011, saying that the country is doing its utmost to lower trade deficit, prevent inflation and reduce poverty.

Vietnam will strive to increase per-capita income from the current 1,200 USD to 3,500 USD per year in the next 10 years, he said.

To implement its 2011-2020 socio-economic development plan, the country needs 300 million USD to upgrade infrastructure and perfect policies in order to create a favourable investment environment, said Phuc.

The minister welcomed Japanese investors to invest in such fields as hi-tech, support industries and agriculture in Vietnam .

He spoke highly of the effectiveness of Japanese investment, stressing that Japan is Vietnam ’s strategic investor who helps boost the sustainable development of the Vietnamese economy./.