A seminar introducing a Japan-funded project to develop supporting industry for Vietnam’s southern region was held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 31.

The event was jointly organised by the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Delegates agreed that the development of supporting industry is necessary in the context of global economic integration, since Japanese and foreign businesses want to expand and develop the supply of raw materials, spare parts and equipment.

Yabe Hirohito, senior volunteer of JICA, said that the project would include preparations for Vietnam to join the ASEAN Free Trade Area by 2015 and achieve its goal of becoming an industrialised country by 2020.

During the 2009 – 2013 period, the project will help Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces of Long An, Dong Nai and Binh Duong enhance competitiveness to become professional suppliers of spare parts to Japanese manufacturers in the fields of automobile and motorcycle manufacturing, electrics, electronics and mechanics.

The project targets Vietnamese businesses or joint ventures working in the fields of manufacturing, mechanical engineering, spare parts, metal casting, plastics and plating.

Last year, as many as 100 businesses across the country benefited from the project. In the southern region, from the beginning of this year, the project supported 11 businesses, surveyed 88 and interviewed 164 businesses via telephone./.