Ho Chi Minh City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City leader has affirmed his backing of investment by Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises in the support industry in the city.

At a reception for visiting Chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Hiroyuki Ishige on November 25, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan said the city has zoned off 100 ha of land for Japanese investors under the support industry development scheme for 2015-2020.

He hailed the JETRO Office for helping Ho Chi Minh City organise forums and seminars on the support industry. Another large-scale seminar on the field is slated for early 2016, he revealed.

Ishige, for his part, said Japanese enterprises want to work with local partners in the support industry which remains underdeveloped.

Besides manufacturing, Japanese companies are also keen on services and farming. A Japanese business delegation will visit key agricultural areas in Vietnam this December to explore cooperation opportunities, he said.

The JETRO leader noted that over the past five years, the number of Japanese firms operating in Ho Chi Minh City has increased to 1,500 from 300, about 70 percent of them are looking to expand operations here. Nearly 80 percent of firms contacting JETRO said they are interested in operating in Vietnam.

Japan is currently the third largest foreign investor in Ho Chi Minh City with total registered capital of roughly 4 billion USD.-VNA