Vietnam, Japan discuss hindrances to trade growth hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Business agencies and companies have high hope for trade stimulation brought about by the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partner Agreement (VJEPA), but are well aware of domestic obstacles to the process.

The issue was the focus of a recent Vietnam-Japan economic forum held in Hanoi with a range of measures put forth by experts and seniors officials from both sides.

Reviewing that Japan’s firms first entered Vietnam for export, Japanese Business Association (JBA) Chairman Shimon Tokuyama confirmed the stable market of over 90 million people has expanded this initial purpose to give it high potential for long-term investment.

However, cumbersome procedures have hindered connectivity efforts, he said, adding that the support industry as well as public infrastructure in healthcare, transport, water and electricity supply have yet to receive adequate attention and investment from the State.

Planning and Investment Deputy Minister Nguyen Chi Dung spoke about the improved business climate, competitiveness and foreign capital inflow prompted by the VJEPA while Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Chairman Vu Tien Loc underscored the management experience and advanced technology and services Vietnamese enterprises would broadly receive and benefit from as a result of free trade agreements.

Loc recommended immediate action from public agencies to establish a consultation channel providing accurate, timely and accessible information for domestic business communities.

Chairman Tokuyama proposed the Vietnamese Government concentrate on enhancing competitiveness, balancing the minimum wage, specifying development policies for each economic sector and devising suitable policies to utilise official development assistance.

Seconding the JBA Chairman’s view, Deputy Minister Dung advised local companies to actively reduce costs and prices while integrating.

VCCI Chairman Loc supplemented Dung’s advice with confirming diverse trade partners, production overhaul and product origin.

He stated boosting manpower competency would be essential to expediting international cooperation.

Official government statistics show that between 2011 and 2013, Japan topped the list of 101 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

Japan is currently Vietnam’s third largest trade partner with trade expected to near 30 billion USD and its investments are hoped to hit 38 billion USD this year.-VNA