PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends Mekong-Japan business forum
Updated : Wednesday, October 10, 2018 5:20 PM (GMT+0700)

VietnamesePrime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of other Greater Mekong Subregion(GMS) countries attended the Mekong-Japan Business Forum held in Tokyo onOctober 9 with the participation of about 600 enterprises from the GMS nationsand Japan.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the Mekong-Japan Business
Forum held in Tokyo on October 9 - Photo: VNA

Addressing the event, heldby the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), the Vietnamese leader saidthat the Mekong region, located in the centre of Asia with dynamic development,is rising with its determination, potential and strength.

According to JETRO, inrecent years, the GMS region has rapidly changed in both “hard and soft”aspects. It is one of the regions with the fastest growth in the world, withaverage growth rate of 6 percent in 2017.

The GMS countries haveagreed on a vision on the region with sustainable, harmonious, balanced andinclusive growth, PM Phuc said, highlighting the central role of the businesscommunity as the source of new ideas and decisive factor for economic development.

He stressed that despite theunstable and complicated world economic situation, Vietnam has still maintaineda stable socio-political environment and firm macro-economic foundation.Particularly, Vietnam has an important geopolitical and geo-economic andgeo-commercial position in the region and the world, PM Phuc noted.

In the first nine months of2018, the Vietnamese economy grew nearly 7 percent, ranking in the world’s topgroup in terms of economic growth, he noted.

The PM said that Vietnam andJapan have signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-PacificPartnership (CPTPP), accelerated the signing of the Regional ComprehensiveEconomic Partnership (RCEP) and engaged deeply into the global value chains.

Vietnam is a promisingdestination for multinational groups to diversify, renew and createdifferences, he said.

With a population of nearly100 million people and an average age of 31 and the majority are well-trained,Vietnam has about 1.5 million people joining the global middle class each year.The figure is likely to reach 33 million people or 33 percent of the populationin 2022.

Currently, 70 percent ofmobile subscribers in Vietnam are using 3G and 4G services, and 72 percent ofthe population own smartphones, with average ownership of 1.7 phones perperson, he said, adding that the ratio of online shopping via mobile phones inVietnam is 53 percent.

According to the PM, inSeptember 2018, Vietnam successfully hosted the World Economic Forum (WEF) onASEAN 2018 which was themed “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the FourthIndustrial Revolution”. This is the most successful WEF on ASEAN ever been heldover the last 27 years, attracting more than 1,000 businesses and many leaders,including of the five GMS countries and Japan.

So far, Vietnam hasattracted nearly 26,500 FDI businesses from 127 countries and territories,including many leading Japanese firms like Canon, Fujitsu, Toyota and Honda,with total registered capital of over 330 billion USD.

According to a JETRO reportreleased in February this year, nearly 70 percent of Japanese firms in Vietnamoperate profitably, and about 70 percent planned to expand operations. Vietnamexpects to have free trade agreements with 55 countries by 2020, including 15nations in Group 20, he noted.

PM Phuc stressed thatVietnam is working to build a growth-enabling and action-oriented Governmentthat serve people and businesses. By realising the high-standard commitments innew-generation free trade agreements, the investment and business climate inthe country is becoming closer to advanced international standards, thusopening up chances to access many major markets around the world.

Vietnam prioritisesattracting hi-tech investment into developing transport infrastructure, energy,manufacturing industry, agriculture, finance–banking and high-quality healthcare, he said, highlighting that: “The Vietnamese Government gives priority tothe quality of investment projects instead of quantity”.

Regarding Vietnam-Japanrelations, the government leader said their strategic partnership is now at itsbest with comprehensive and substantive development in all spheres. The year2018 marks the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties, but infact, their trading activities date back to the 16th century, hesaid.

The PM added that Japan wasthe biggest foreign investors in Vietnam last year with total FDI capital of 9billion USD. There have been nearly 4,000 Japanese projects worth over 55billion USD invested in the Southeast Asian nation so far. 

Vietnam’s economic growthprospect promises numerous cooperation and development opportunities forenterprises of the GMS countries and Japan, he said.

PM Phuc affirmed thatopinions of Japanese companies have always been respected and solved by theVietnamese Government in a timely manner.

The implementation of theVietnam-Japan Joint Initiative, launched in 2003, has helped improve theinvestment climate in Vietnam and been highly valued by Japanese investors. Itis also one of the effective information channels for local authorities tofine-tune laws and policies and help businesses, including Japaneseenterprises, take part in the policy making process of the VietnameseGovernment, he added.

PM Phuc expressed his beliefthat with the GMS’s potential and the sound Mekong-Japan relationship, the GMS,including Vietnam, will be a trustworthy destination for investors.


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