At the roundtable between HCM City administration and Japanese businesses (Source: http://thoibaotaichinhvietnam.vn)

HCM City (VNA) –
A Ho Chi Minh City leader has expressed his hope that Japanese businesses will continue to see the city as an attractive investment destination that brings interests to both sides.

Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem made the wish while chairing a roundtable between the city administration and the Japanese business community on December 18.

HCM City has always taken on board suggestions from foreign businesses, including Japanese, for improving its investment environment and living conditions and adopting appropriate policies to enable foreign investors to operate here, he said.

According to Liem, Japan is one of the city’s important partners in several fields. As of last November, it was the fifth largest foreign investor in the city with 1,247 ongoing projects worth a total of nearly 4.2 billion USD.

“This figure is very impressive but still not commensurate with the potential and strategic partnership of the two countries,” he noted.

The roundtable has been held annually for the past 17 years to facilitate direct dialogue between Japanese entrepreneurs and city authorities, a testament to the city’s desire to resolve difficulties faced by foreign investors in general and Japanese firms in particular, he said.

The results of the roundtable and efforts to improve the investment climate by the city would “enhance the confidence of the Japanese business community in the city administration.”

Takahisa Onose, chief of the finance-tax and customs committee at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in HCM City (JCCH), said the city had made significant improvements in customs and tax procedures, helping businesses save cost and time.

At a dialogue between the JCCH and the city customs department last month, the head of the latter presented new policies and promised to further simplify customs procedures, he said.

Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion of HCM City (ITPC), said to prepare for the event, the ITPC had been working with the JCCH since June to find out what difficulties Japanese firms face.

The roundtable organisers gathered 38 questions related to four fields: environment - life; law - labour; tax; and customs. Between October 29 and November 1, the ITPC coordinated with 19 departments and agencies and held meetings with the JCCH to answer 34 of the questions.

The remaining relate to a decree guiding the Environmental Law, water quality audit, noise pollution, and social insurance for foreign workers, and would be clarified at the roundtable, Hoa said.

Kawaue Junichi, Japanese Consul General to HCM City, appreciated the city’s efforts to improve its investment environment.

With its consistent politics, abundant human resources and improving infrastructure, Vietnam had attracted more and more Japanese investors who are investing in various sectors, he said.-VNA