|Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)
He made the remark in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency ahead of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to attend the summit on June 28-29.
The diplomat said this summit will be the first major international event in Japan’s Reiwa era which began on May 1, and also the first G20 Summit the Northeast Asian country has ever hosted. It takes place amid two contrary trends in the global economy: the emergence of trade protectionism and the development of trade liberalisation.
Japan invited Vietnam to such an important meeting because bilateral relations are very special, and Vietnam is a trustworthy friend of Japan. That also reflects Vietnam’s growing stature and the G20 members’ respect for Vietnam, he noted.
Nam said as a special guest, Vietnam will actively participate in the event, and PM Phuc will deliver important speeches on key issues of the summit.
The issues to be put on the table consist of the reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), digital economy, and environment, especially marine environment. All the three are closely related to Vietnam’s interests, and the country has also been working hard on them, he said.
Aside from participating in the summit’s sessions, PM Phuc is also scheduled to have bilateral meetings with leaders of G20 member economies.
Regarding Vietnam-Japan relations, the ambassador noted they just celebrated 45 years of their diplomatic ties in 2018, and both share the view that bilateral relations have never been so good.
He described the countries’ connections as very special, highlighting strong people-to-people exchange. Millions of Japanese have visited Vietnam while hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese have come to Japan. Additionally, 330,000 Vietnamese people are working and studying in the Northeast Asian nation, which is also ready to share knowledge and technology with young Vietnamese to help with the country’s development.
Those are special relations, and only such special relations can generate such a good political and economic cooperation and people-to-people exchange like it is now, Nam said.
The diplomat expressed his belief that the Vietnam-Japan ties will continue developing faster and more strongly, adding the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will create a solid foundation for their partnership to further flourish.
The CPTPP came into effect only six months ago, but it has had strong impact on bilateral trade. In the first half of 2019, trade between the countries increased by almost 8 percent from a year earlier, a relatively high rate compared to the pre-CPTPP period.
Nam said he believes bilateral trade will increase even more when Vietnamese firms get used to and make further use of the deal.
In terms of investment, Japan’s investment in Vietnam reached 1.52 billion USD in the first five months of 2019, raising this country’s total FDI capital in Vietnam to 57.4 billion USD – accounting for 16.4 percent of the total FDI in the Southeast Asian country. That has made Japan the second biggest foreign investor in Vietnam.
He said the CPTPP will bring about enormous benefits to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while Japan’s industry mainly depends on SMEs. Therefore, the number of Japanese SMEs in Vietnam will increase and their investment will also rise subsequently.