Vietnam’s agriculture is expected to attract more foreign investors thanks to the sector’s drastic reforms, the Vietnam Investment Review reported.

Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), Do Nhat Hoang told participants at a recent forum on agricultural development in Hanoi that innovations in technology, business, infrastructure and labour had been shown to be one of the key elements for promoting growth in Vietnam’s agriculture.

Hoang added that Vietnamese farmers had gained experience and had better access to innovative products and technologies from foreign invested projects in the sector. Recent improvements included higher quality seeds that have meet international standards along with higher yields.

Dang Kim Son, General Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the restructuring plan of Vietnam’s agriculture sector had received a lot of interests from foreign investors.

Son was quoted as saying that localities should restructure their agriculture sector to draw in foreign direct investment (FDI) and they should highlight their strengths and detailed wish-list projects calling for foreign investors to the sector.

The Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) and the Dong Thap provincial People’s Committee recently signed a public-private partnership agricultural agreement which will see KRC seek official development assistance from Korea and other funds and provide equipments to develop agriculture in the province.

Matsuyama Yasuo, General Director of the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ’s Hanoi branch, was quoted as saying that Vietnam was in a better position to develop agriculture than Japan, but Vietnam’s infrastructure and technologies for the sector were still weak. Therefore, the bank will provide capital for Japan companies to invest in Vietnam. Japanese companies will also be encouraged to cooperate with Vietnamese partners to develop agriculture.

Yasuo spoke highly of Vietnam’s agricultural products and said that the bank would act as a bridge for investors. He revealed that at present, the bank had signed a deal with Japan’s leading retail chain Aeon to seek wholesale suppliers in Vietnam.

According to the FIA, over the past time, FDI in agriculture in Vietnam remains modest. By October 20 this year, 516 FDI projects in agriculture with the total registered investment capital of 3.6 billion USD, equal to 3 percent of the total number of FDI projects and 1.5 of the total FDI registered capital in the country. The scale of FDI projects in agriculture is small, only an average of 6.6 million USD per project, while the figure in other industries stands at about 15 million USD on average.

Moreover, FDI in the sector is mostly from Asian investors such as Taiwan (China), Thailand and Indonesia and not many new technologies are applied./.