Vietnam should develop high quality human resources and upgrade infrastructure, especially for industrial, export processing and economic zones to attract Japanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Tanizaki Yashuki emphasised this at a seminar in Hanoi on March 22.

He affirmed the Japanese government’s policy of supporting SMEs in promoting investment in foreign countries to restore production after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March and disperse risks.

Japan now has 220,000 SMEs operating in the manufacturing industry but only 2.7 percent of them have invested in foreign countries, the diplomat said.

Ambassador Yashuki described Vietnam’s socio-political stability, young workforce, investment policy and its strategic partnership with Japan as attractive factors.

Vietnam has embarked on developing support industries to reduce its dependence on imported input materials, producing high added-value goods and creating a firm foundation for the development of other industries.

Meanwhile, Prof. Kenichi Ohno, Director of the Vietnam Development Forum, said Vietnam is facing tough competition from other countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and China.

Therefore, he said, Vietnam should focus on specific areas to meet the demand of different businesses.
He proposed that Vietnam not only offer favourable conditions but also improve infrastructural facilities, such as workshops and services for Japanese SMEs to invest effectively in industrial zones.

Vu Dai Thang, Head of the Department for Economic Zones Management under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), said Vietnam has introduced the Law on Investment, which shortens the licence approval process.

Investors in support industries will not only enjoy the exemption of land rental, preferential tax and credit policies but also simplified administrative procedures, offered by management boards of industrial, export processing and economic zones under the “one-stop” mechanism, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed MPI to work closely with the northern port city of Hai Phong and southern Ba Ria – Vung Tau province to set up special industrial zones for Japanese SMEs.

The ministry is drafting policies and mechanisms for industrial zones to promote production in support industries, Thang said.-VNA