The EVFTA was officially inked in Hanoi on June 30 (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) –
After Vietnam signed a bilateral free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), many Japanese enterprises expressed their optimism about business opportunities that the deal could bring to the Southeast Asian market.

Mikio Kesagayama, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TICC – a business consulting company in Japan, has told correspondents of the Vietnam News Agency in Tokyo that the fresh signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will open up numerous investment opportunities.

He said the EU is a stable market while Vietnam is a major market with a big population of over 90 million, which is attractive to many investors.

Kesagayama said that he came to Vietnam over 20 years ago when the capital city of Hanoi did not have many cars. However, after that, the country’s economy has developed rapidly, he said.

Sharing this viewpoint, Yasutsugu Iwamura, Director General of Aeon Mall Vietnam, said his company has been operating in Vietnam for over three years. The company’s business performance is getting better year by year. 

Vietnam’s signing of the FTA with the EU made investors very excited, he said, adding that AEON will diversify its products and increase the marketing capacity in Vietnam to compete with European businesses, he said.

For his part, Kei Kuramochi, a representative of Japan’s Yaegaki company, revealed that his business aims to pour 50 million USD into real estate projects in Vietnam.

The signing of the FTA with the EU will help Vietnam’s economy continue developing and create new opportunities for investors, he said, adding that it also provides opportunities to deepen and expand economic links.

Nguyen Viet Thung, Vice President of TMS Group – a partner of Yaegaki in Vietnam, believed that the EVFTA will open up special cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and the EU member countries.

The EU is a potential market, so the TMS Group will devise specific cooperation plans with European partners to optimise opportunities brought about by the EVFTA, he said.

After nine years of negotiations, the EVFTA was officially inked in Hanoi on June 30. 

Vietnam is the fourth country in Asia-Pacific and the second in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signing the deal.

Once the deal takes effect, over 99 percent of tariff on goods from both sides will be removed.-VNA