The Trade and Investment Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City in coordination with the Japan Business Association in the city (JBAH) held a roundtable meeting on December 19 to seek ways to facilitate Japanese firms.

In a spirit of openness, representatives from relevant city departments and agencies discussed Japanese businesses’ concerns.

According to Pham Quoc Chuong, a representative from the Transport Department, the city has expanded T-junctions joining East-West Avenue to reduce traffic congestion and help the transportation of goods to Cat Lai Port. In addition, Suoi Cai Bridge and Thu Duc Overpass will be completed before the 2013 New Year Festival.

Deputy Director of the city’s Customs Department Nguyen Trong Hung asked Japanese firms to cooperate with management agencies to limit negative activities. He suggested they report violations by public duty forces to management agencies via a hotline established by the department.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Van Dung from the city’s Police Department recommended foreigners, including Japanese, report incidents of theft not only to their embassies or general consulates, but to local authorities as well.

JBAH Chairman Mitsuhiro Mori said around 600 businesses, which are members of the association, want the investment and business environment improved to assist their operation and attract more investors.

According to Deputy Chairman of HCM City People’s Committee Le Manh Ha, total investment from Japanese firms in the city reached 2.7 billion USD so far this year, maintaining Japan ’s position as leading foreign investor. It also demonstrates the effectiveness in organising and maintaining such roundtable meetings between the city and Japanese firms, which began in 2006, he added.-VNA