|Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue at the event (Source: VNA)
He made the statement at the conference “Meeting Japan - North Central Region” co-hosted by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam in the central province of Nghe An on April 25.
The event brought together Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda, over 150 delegates from Japanese organisations, localities and 50 enterprises; leaders of six north central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue, Yen Bai province, and those from ministries and agencies.
Sandwiched between the northern and central key economic zones, the north central region is home to three airports, nine seaports, diverse forest resources, a marine-based economy and attractive tourism services.
In his speech, Hue expressed his delight that Japan has regained the top position in terms of investment in Vietnam over the past two years with 9.1 billion USD in 2017 and 8.6 billion USD in 2018.
The Vietnamese Party and State are devising a strategy to attract foreign direct investment with a vision to 2045, focusing on investment with foreign partners and switching FDI attraction to key projects with high value, suiting economic restructuring roadmap, he said.
He added that Japan’s supply of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam will be incorporated into mid-term investment plan for 2021-2025 to bring practical benefits to the community.
The Deputy PM expressed his belief that both sides hold potential for collaboration in infrastructure, agriculture, industry, energy, education, human resources and tourism.
Asserting that the attraction of FDI and ODA should not overlap each other in investment policy planning in the north central region and the East-West Economic corridor, Hue said localities and partners need to choose prioritized works of national and inter-regional scale for common benefits of the country and region.
Regional localities should be more creative to boost practical and effective ties with Japanese partners, meeting their demand to turn the north central region into an attractive destination for Japanese tourists and investors, he said.
The Deputy PM suggested that leaders and firms from six regional provinces should report difficulties to the government and legislature to improve the efficiency of capital use.
Ambassador Umeda, for his part, said Vietnam is tapping free trade agreements for sustainable development and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a successful symbol of bilateral economic, trade and investment ties.
Japan pays attention to north-south high-speed railway project and an expressway linking the north central with Laos’ Vientiane to enhance cooperation with Vietnamese localities, he said.
He suggested strengthening mutual trust and coordination in human resources training, high-tech agriculture, support industry, tourism, education-training, and labour.
Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said three working sessions at the event focused on infrastructure connectivity between regional localities and others in the East-West economic corridor.
According to the McKinsey report in September 2018, Vietnam was one of the 18 emerging economies with substantial progresses over the past five decades. In 2018, Vietnam’s gross domestic product expanded by 7.08 percent, a record in the past decade.
In 2018, Vietnam ranked fourth globally in terms of nominal GDP and 34th in purchasing power parity. Its national economic competitiveness moved up from the 60th out of 138 economies in 2016 to the 55th out of 137 while its business environment index rose to the 69th out of 190 economies from the 82nd.
Nearly 26,000 foreign-invested firms from 130 countries and territories are operating in Vietnam with a total committed capital of upwards 330 billion USD. The country has become one of the world’s workshops for electronics, apparels, footwear and mobile phones.
Tourist arrivals surpassed 15 million, up 1.9 times from 2015. Vietnam has also been voted as one of the leading destinations in Asia.