Illustrative photo (Source: CTV)

Hanoi (VNA) – Japan is currently Vietnam’s leading economic partner, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

The chamber noted that in 2017, two-way trade reached 33.3 billion USD. The figure hit 27.8 billion in the first nine months of 2018.

Japan imported from Vietnam aquatic, apparel products and processed food, while Vietnam imported from Japan materials, equipment and production machineries.

Last year, Japan was the biggest investor of Vietnam with a record amount of 9.11 billion USD. Japanese investment in the first nine months of 2018 hit 7 billion USD, accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total foreign investment in Vietnam, bringing the figure as of September this year to 55.77 billion USD.

According to Yoshiyiki Fukuda, President and CEO of the Tokyo SME Support Centre, Vietnam is one of the ASEAN countries with the highest GDP growth. Furthermore, Vietnam’s population is rising and the human resources quality is improving, he said.

Many Japanese firms intend to expand partnership with their Vietnamese peers on a win-win basis, he said, adding that the firms, strong in technology and producing high-quality products, expect to not only introduce their products and invest in their strong areas, but also seek Vietnamese long-term partners to join production and supply chains.

A survey by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) found that nearly 70 percent of the Japanese firms investing in Vietnam plan to expand their businesses in the future.

Japanese experts advised that in order to become suppliers for Japanese firms, Vietnamese businesses should improve the added values for their products.-VNA