Vietnamese and Japanese officials, researchers and businesspeople gathered at a conference in Hanoi on March 14 to discuss ways to utilise Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership to develop the capacity of the Vietnamese industry.

The conference was jointly held by the Industrial Policy and Strategy Institute (IPSI) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, National Economic University and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Participants analysed and evaluated the benefits of bilateral trade and investment cooperation, impacts of Japanese investment on Vietnam’s industry development, and obstacles and solutions to improve Vietnam’s production capacity in the sector.

Tran Tuan Anh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said that Japan is one of the most important partners of Vietnam, particularly in foreign direct investment (FDI) and ODA for the industry.

Vietnam needs specific expertise and solutions in energy production, support industry and the retails and distribution sector, he added.

According to Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yasuaki Tanizaki, Vietnam should seek solutions to infrastructure development, human resources, institution and policy improvement.

As ASEAN will remove barriers to tariffs in 2018, Vietnam will therefore need appropriate policies to attract investment to be able to compete with other countries also using FDI to improve their competitive advantage, added Tanizaki.

The conference also discussed Vietnam’s shortcomings in policy making and recommended the country realising its strategies and plans.

In the present period, Vietnam should focus on technology transfer from FDI’s activities and enhance the capacity of enterprises and human resources in the industry.

In addition to ODA, Vietnam can mobilise capital from various sources, such as public-private partnerships.

Japanese enterprises have led investment in Vietnam’s manufacturing and processing sector over the past 20 years. There were 1,829 Japanese projects in Vietnam by the end of 2012, 57 percent of which have involved in the industry.-VNA