A seminar calling for Japanese investors to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi was held in Tokyo on Dec. 16, attracting 150 representatives from numerous local enterprises.

When addressing the event, the Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Phu Binh said that Vietnam is expected to post an economic growth rate of 5.2 percent this year despite the adverse impacts of the global financial crisis.

Japan has been one of the leading foreign investors and largest providers of official development assistance to Vietnam in recent years, said the ambassador.

However, he underlined that the country needs access to capital and new technologies from other countries, including Japan, to accelerate its economic recovery and development.

The diplomat said he hoped that the seminar will provide Japanese investors with information that will help them to understand Hanoi’s investment environment and to draw up definite plans to invest in the city.

The chief of Hanoi’s representative office in Tokyo, Nguyen Thi Thuy Van, presented the city’s advantages such as its location, infrastructure, security, and abundant workforce.

Van confirmed that Japanese investors are offered various incentives in terms of leasing land, workshops and tax breaks if they invest in Hanoi.

At the seminar, Asano Eiji, a financial analyst with the Mizuho Bank, gave a run down of Vietnam ’s economic situation and the major contents of the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Eiji said that Vietnam is considered a huge potential market, with a population of more than 86 million, a young and abundant workforce and an improved investment environment.

Vietnam’s move to sign free trade agreements with other nations has opened up many opportunities for foreign investors, including those from Japan, stated the expert.

Japanese businesses which currently operate in Vietnam share their investment experiences in the country in general and in Hanoi in particular./.