Most Vietnamese commodities exported to Japan will enjoy preferential tax rates of between zero and five percent once the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) takes effect.

Le Trieu Dung from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Multilateral Policy Department affirmed this at a seminar to launch the VJEPA in Hanoi on June 25.

Under the agreement, Japan pledges a trade liberalisation rate of 94.53 percent for Vietnamese goods in the next 10 years, he said, adding that opening up the Japanese market to Vietnamese farm produce is one of the VJEPA’s chief benefits.
Durian and some fruits will immediately enjoy zero tax while pepper and sweet corn will gradually achieve that rate over five to seven years. Coffee and tea will become tax-free in 15 years’ time.
Shrimp exports will become tax-free immediately, while cuttlefish and octopus will have to wait another five years.
A range of other industrial products will be taxed at rates between zero and five percent.

According to Tran Ba Cuong from the MoIT’s Import-Export Department, Vietnamese goods haven’t yet found a firm foothold in the Japanese market as they have failed to cater to local people’s tastes.

So, to increase export turnover to this market, Vietnamese businesses should enact specific production investment strategies, speed up trade promotion and improve product designs, he said.

Speaking at the seminar, Ken Arakawa, senior advisor of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), assured that the Japanese government will coordinate with its Vietnamese counterpart to create favourable conditions for Japanese investors, especially in human resource training and infrastructure development.

Japan has always been among Vietnam’s largest investors, and has a strong presence in the market, introducing major brand names who have brought prestigious, competitive and high-tech products to the Southeast Asian country./.