Japan always considers Vietnam an important strategic partner that it can share challenges, and together develop and build a Pacific-Asian region of peace and prosperity, therefore strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The assertion was made by Japanese Deputy Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Yakabe Yoshinoro at a conference called “Japanese businesses eye Vietnamese market”, which was co-organised by Youth (Tuoi tre) newspaper and Mainichi newspaper in Ho Chi Minh City on March 14.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Manh Ha highly valued the conference as helping businesses from the two countries extend their trade activities and find partners.

Ha noted that over the past years, relations between Vietnam and Japan have witnessed many gigantic developments in politics, trade, investment and tourism.

In 2012, import-export turnover between the two countries reached over 25 billion USD, and Japan continued to be Vietnam’s third largest trade partner. The same year, Japan became the biggest investor in Vietnam with about 1,800 valid projects with total registered capital of 29 billion USD.

Vietnam is becoming an attractive market for Japanese investors, while an increasing number of Vietnamese businesses want to penetrate the Japanese market.

According to Commercial Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan Nguyen Trung Dung, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Japan saw a year-on-year increase of 18 percent from 2003 to 2012.

However, presently Vietnam only supplies 1.7 percent of Japan’s imports, showing that the trade relations between the two sides have not matched their potential, added Dung.

He suggested that the two countries intensify measures to effectively implement their cooperative agreements, encourage joint ventures and promote trade so that trade turnover between Vietnam and Japan can hit this year’s target of about 29 billion USD, an increase of 16 percent from the previous year.-VNA