The Vietnam-Kansai economic dialogue forum was held in central coastal Da Nang city on Nov. 22 to discuss ways to attract more investment to the East-West Economic Corridor and adjacent areas in central Vietnam.

The forum, the fifth of its kind, is part of the annual economic cooperation exchange programme between Vietnam and Japan ’s Kansai region. It aims to promote connectivity between the central region, the East-West Economic Corridor and Kansai.

Nearly 300 foreign and domestic scholars and businesspeople, including 70 investors from the Kansai region, exchanged views on how to increase and effectively use foreign investment, especially from Japan, to develop infrastructure, manufacturing and support industries in the region.
Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai noted that Japan is one of Vietnam ’s leading economic, trade and investment partners.

Japan is the biggest aid donor and the fourth-largest foreign investor in Vietnam , said the deputy PM, adding that it ranks first among foreign investors in terms of capital disbursement.

Vietnam and Japan signed an investment protection and encouragement agreement in 2004 and a comprehensive economic partnership agreement in 2007, he said.

The two countries signed a joint initiative in December, 2003 to improve the investment environment in Vietnam , laying a foundation to promote bilateral investment and cooperative relations.

Both countries have completed three phases of the initiative and are entering the fourth phase, dealing with issues related to the investment environment in Vietnam .

However, the Deputy PM noted that foreign investment in central Vietnam remains modest. He cited statistics saying by the end of October 2011, the central region attracted 750 projects capitalised at 23.7 billion USD. Of the total figure, Japan invested in 71 projects worth 417 million USD, making up only 2 percent of its total investment in Vietnam .

Vietnam is exerting efforts to attract foreign investment in the central region, with Da Nang city serving as the gateway to other economies in the region and the world, said Hai.

He said Danang is taking shape as a production base in the central region. The city will take part in the global supply chain to create added values for Vietnamese products to further penetrate regional and global economies.

According to the Deputy PM, the forum offered a good chance for the two countries’ businesspeople to discuss investment policy and the potential for investment cooperation.

This year’s event was focused on infrastructure development in Vietnam and the East-West Economic Corridor in particular.

After the opening of the forum, Deputy PM Hai chaired the first two sessions, on Vietnam-Japan cooperative potential and opportunities in infrastructure development in Vietnam and the East West Economic Corridor and Vietnam-Japan cooperation in manufacturing and support industries./.