|Representatives kick off the 11th Vietnam Manufacturing Expo (VME2019) and the eighth Vietnam-Japan Supporting Industries Exhibition (SIE 2019) in Hà Nội. (Photo: VNS)
The three-day events, the 11th Vietnam Manufacturing Expo (VME2019) and the eighth Vietnam-Japan Supporting Industries Exhibition (SIE 2019), attracted more than 200 top brands from 20 leading technology countries including Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand and the US.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải said that thanks to the active participation of the Government and localities, Việt Nam’s support industry has gained remarkable results in recent years.
Hải said supporting businesses have increased in both quantity and quality, improving their production capacity and integrating more deeply into global production chains.
“However, the support industry's development has been limited by weak management capacity and limited self-supply, meaning imports of auto parts still exceed exports,” Hải said.
During this year's mid-term review meeting of the Việt Nam-Japan Joint Initiative, Hải said the two countries agreed to support the development of Việt Nam's supporting industries through investments in worker training, business management, external trade and market promotion to increase sales and the reduction of production costs.
“Co-operation between the two countries through the Việt Nam-Japan Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement has become an important link, opening new opportunities, transferring technologies and enhancing production capacity for businesses,” he said.
According to Minister Daisuke Okabe from the Embassy of Japan in Việt Nam, promoting support industries is one of the top priorities for the Vietnamese Government. Among 1,800 enterprises that are members of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Việt Nam, up to half operate in supporting industries. However, transactions between Vietnamese and Japanese businesses remain limited.
“In this context, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Việt Nam will play a vital role," Okabe told Việt Nam News. "For the Vietnamese Government, it is necessary to enhance SMEs in competition, research and development and marketing."
He said SMEs account for 99.7 per cent of all the enterprises in Japan and about 70 per cent of its total labour force, making them central to support industries. The Japanese Government has instituted laws and regulations to bolster small firms.
Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Hironobu Kitagawa said in the past 10 years, JETRO has held the event annually, alternating between HCM City and Hà Nội, to strengthen the localisation rate and improve the capacity of part suppliers. Over this period, Japanese firms’ investment in Việt Nam has rapidly increased.
“Our survey shows that 70 per cent of Japanese businesses want to continue investment in Việt Nam," Kitagawa said. "This figure is high compared with other ASEAN countries. It will help improve Vietnamese businesses’ production capacity."
VME 2019 and SIE 2019, organised by JETRO, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and Reed Tradex, will focus on Vietnamese enterprises, especially SMEs, and serve as a platform to connect technology providers with industrial manufacturers.
To support SMEs, VME 2019 partnered with LinkSMEs project, funded by USAID. The project has a total budget of US$22.1 billion for 2018-23 to catalyse systemic changes in business relationships and build links between Vietnamese businesses and the global value chain.