|Hironobu Kitagawa, Vice Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) (Photo: VNA)
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the occasion of Vietnam’s 45th National Reunification Day (April 30), Kitagawa noted that the country has a trade agreement with the US and has joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Its economy has grown strongly since it undertook its “Doi Moi” reform policy in 1986, said Kitagawa, who was once JETRO’s Chief Representative in the country.
He quoted figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) as saying that Vietnam’s national GDP jumped from US$5 billion in 1986 to US$245 billion in 2018 - the highest rate in ASEAN.
Its growth is partially attributable to its efforts in attracting foreign enterprises and expanding exports, which stood at more than US$240 billion in 2018.
He also highlighted the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative which offers a forum for Japanese enterprises to have discussions with the Vietnamese and Japanese Governments, and the Vietnam Business Forum which involves Western enterprises.
In a survey conducted by JETRO last year on the operations of Japanese enterprises in Asia and Oceania, they gave the best assessment to Vietnam among the ASEAN member countries, with 63.9% saying they plan to expand their operations in the country.
The best comments were for market scale and growth potential, together with socio-political stability, Kitagawa said.
He also pointed out enterprises’ concerns relating to labour costs, high staff turnover, investment incentives, and power shortages, and suggested Vietnam clear up such concerns.
Exchanges between young people and workers from the two countries would play a role in boosting cooperation, he added, suggesting Vietnam and Japan could also step up collaboration in agro-forestry-fishery.