Direct investment from Japan to Vietnam hit 36.5 billion USD by October 2014, according to statistics of the Japanese Business Association (JBA).

Shimon Tokuyama, a JBA representative, said at the Vietnam Business Forum 2014 in Hanoi on December 2 that the number of Japanese-invested projects in Vietnam has increased over the last three consecutive years.

According to him, the JBA has 1,388 members in Vietnam, second only to Thailand in the Southeast Asian region.

Shimon Tokuyama said the revision of the laws on Enterprises and Investment has improved the business environment and businesses’ competitiveness, but some issues still need more amendments.

He also suggested Vietnam should focus on further developing the support industry and small and medium-sized enterprises.

The expert said the formation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015 will create a regional large market with over 600 million consumers but Vietnam will also have to cope with fiercer competitions from regional countries.

Therefore, Vietnam should develop production through attracting foreign investment, thus improving its competitiveness, he said.

Official government statistics show that between 2011 and 2013, Japan topped the list of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Especially in 2012, Japanese investments accounted for half of the total foreign direct investment in the country.-VNA