Attending the event were representatives from ministries and authorities of Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh, along with more than 250 Vietnamese and Japanese businesses.
On the Japanese side there were Ambassador Umeda Kunio and officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)-Ho Chi Minh City office, the Japan Foundation, the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) and the Japan Business Association in Vietnam (JBAV).
Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said Japan is a partner of top significance to Vietnam, as the country is the largest provider of official development assistance, the second largest source of foreign direct investment, the third largest source of tourist arrivals and the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam.
Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio hailed the event as a useful activity to realise outcomes of visits by the two countries’ leaders in the context that Vietnam and Japan are actively preparing for the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Kunio said as many as 2,527 Japanese firms are doing business in Vietnam, the third biggest number in a Southeast Asian country only behind Thailand and Singapore. Over the past five years, Japanese tourist arrivals in the country have soared five-fold to 740,000.
Four discussion sessions at the conference focused on development cooperation, human resources training, locality-to-locality partnership, cultural-tourism exchange and investment.
Participants agreed that there is great potential for cooperation between the south central region and Japan, and local authorities must play a crucial role to promote the partnership, especially in researching cooperative possibilities and facilitating the attraction and implementation of joint projects.
Representatives from JICA, JETRO and Vietnamese experts shared experience in attracting Japanese investment, particularly in tourism, infrastructure and energy.
Concluding the event, Dung said the Foreign Ministry is determined to stand side by side with localities in global integration and strengthen effective and practical linkages with important partners, including Japan.
On the sidelines of the event, the Japanese Ambassador held talks with leaders of seven south central localities. Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises also took the occasion to meet for networking.