Japan biggest supplier of development assistance in Vietnam

Tokyo – “We highly appreciative of what Japanese firms do to bolster Vietnam–Japan ties”. This was the opening message of the Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang addressing the  Vietnam – Japan Business Forum in Tokyo.

Sang is on a four day State visit to Japan. He emphazised that Vietnam always counted Japan as an important part of its economy, adding that his country considers the successes of Japanese businesses as its own.

Participants of the Forum discussed the possibility of further cooperation, affirming that the Vietnam–Japan ties have thrived since their strategic partnership was established in 2009.

Japan is now the top investor, the biggest supplier of official development assistance and the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam. Two-way trade rose five times over the past 10 years, from about 5 billion USD in 2002 to some 25 billion USD in 2012.

In a recent survey by the Japan External Trade Organisation, nearly 70 percent of Japanese firms operating in Vietnam plan to expand their operations.

President Sang said he hopes that the Japanese firms will choose Vietnam as a long-term investment destination, bringing two-way trade to 50 billion USD and beyond before 2020.

He later witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and its Japanese counterpart.

Receiving and presenting Chief Justice of the Japanese Supreme Court Takesaki Hironobu with a Friendship Order on the afternoon of the same day, Sang said Vietnam pays due attention to law and judicial cooperation with Japan.

Hironobu noted that the Supreme Court of Japan will contribute more to the Vietnamese and Japanese ties, especially in judicial reform.

At a reception for Governor of Aichi prefecture Hideaki Omura, the Vietnamese leader expressed his satisfaction with expansive Vietnamese ties with Aichi and the Chyubu region, reflecting the impetus of the two countries’ links across many areas.

Vietnam hopes that Aichi will welcome and provide more support to Vietnamese students and graduates. It is currently home to the largest number of Vietnamese students from ASEAN enrollments.

Omura said that the two sides will build on their current strength – including a direct Aichi – Vietnam air route – to further ramp up cooperation.

Also on March 17, President Sang greeted former Acting President of the Democratic Party Yoshito Sengoku and former Senator Matsuda Iwao.

It is the similarity of culture and long-standing relations that connect both nations together, laying a strong cultural, historical and social foundation for their people to learn more about each other, Sang commented.

He made it clear that Vietnam always regards Japan as one of the key partners in its external relations.

Meeting with President of the Nikkei Group Tsuneo Kita, Sang hailed the news agency for covering Vietnamese news and promoting the bilateral cooperation among Japanese people.

President Truong Tan Sang speaks at the Vietnam – Japan business forum (Photo: VNA)