Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises exchange information to seek investment opportunities (Source: VNA)

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh has called on Japanese businesses to increase their investment in Vietnam during the third seminar between his ministry and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hanoi on October 27.

He pointed out a fact that Japanese investments in Vietnam remain much lower than those in other regional countries such as Thailand, China and Indonesia.

“This situation must be improved as the two countries boast their fine political relations, strategic cooperation, 11-year joint initiative and annual dialogue,” he said, adding that the two sides have agreed on investment strategy and investment climate improvement, presenting a good opportunity for Japanese investors to enter Vietnam.

However, the minister also admitted a number of weaknesses in the business climate of Vietnam, including poor infrastructure, incomplete legal framework, and a lack of skilled workers.

For his part, Yoichi Kobayashi, Chairman of the Japan-Mekong Business Cooperation Committee called for visa exemption to create conditions for Japanese investors to do business in the country.

According to a survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Vietnam granted investment licences to 517 Japanese investment projects last year, including 342 new ones and 175 for business expansion.

Statistics from the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that in the first seven months of this year, Japan was the fifth largest FDI investor in Vietnam with 176 new and 82 expanded projects with combined capital of 716 million USD.-VNA