The Long Thanh - Dau Giay Expressway (Photo: VNA)

Figures released at a forum on Vietnam-Japan investment and trade promotion 2015 held in HCM City on July 31 showed Japan is currently the city’s sixth largest investor in foreign direct investment.

As of July 15 this year, HCM City was home to 788 projects with a combined capital of 2.72 billion USD focusing on real estate, the processing and manufacturing industry, retail and wholesale.

Major projects include the Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro route, water environmental improvement in Tau Hu – Ben Nghe – Doi – Te canals and the East-West Highway.

Japan was the city’s largest export market in 2014, accounting for 14.3 percent of the city’s total export value, and the fifth largest exporter to HCM City, making up 6.9 percent of the city’s total import value.

Trade volume between HCM City and Japan in the first six months of this year reached three billion USD, of which the city’s exports were 1.8 billion USD.

Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city hopes to receive more assistance from the Japanese Government and Japanese business community to innovate the city’s growth model. He called on Japanese investors to invest in infrastructure, high-quality workforce, support industry and high-tech technology agriculture.

HCM City has signed a number of cooperation agreements with Japanese localities such as Osaka, Hyogo, Shiga and Yokohama city. It also signed a framework agreement on economic cooperation with the Kansai region’s Department of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The municipal Department of Planning and Investment simplified procedures relating to business, taxes and customs as well as regularly organises dialogues to address any emerging issues.

HCM City currently has 17 industrial zones with a total area of 4,000 hectares, including two hi-tech parks and a hi-tech agriculture park.

The city plans to build seven more industrial zones across 2,000 hectares and continue developing new urban areas such as Thu Thiem in District 2 or Tay Bac in Cu Chi district.-VNA