Phuc spoke at a meeting with member groups of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), such as Toray Industries, JXTG Holdings, Nomura Holdings, Tokyo Gas and Mitsubishi Corporation, and others, during his official visit to Japan.
Viet Nam hopes Keidanren will invest in environmental protection, renewable energy, industry, agriculture, high technology, tourism and services, he said, noting that Viet Nam especially encourages the federation to engage in the equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), considered one of the country’s priorities.
“The Vietnamese Government commits to creating the best possible conditions for you,” he pledged. Viet Nam will also do its best to maximise Japan’s official development assistance (ODA), the PM said.
Responding to the firms’ proposal for unilateral visa exemptions for Japanese, PM Phúc said all Japanese nationals are already eligible for unilateral visa exemption for short-term stays (maximum 15 days) in Viet Nam. For representatives of Japanese enterprises or Japanese experts who need to enter Viet Nam frequently, enterprises can apply for one-year multiple-entry visas, or working visas valid for two years. He added that since February 1, 2017, Vietnam has launched a two-year e-visa pilot scheme for citizens from 40 countries, including those from Japan, and suggested Japanese enterprises use this service.
He said his country wants to work together with Japan in order to accelerate international integration, with the economy as the centre in the context of trade protectionism.
At the meeting, many investors urged Viet Nam to improve its support industry capacity and focus more on personnel training, especially high-quality labour resources, to meet the demand of cooperation projects.
Some noted their wish to cooperate with their Vietnamese partners in construction, industry and energy, and hold regular dialogues with the Vietnamese Government to contribute to finalising the country’s legal framework on foreign investment.
Some 1,500 Japanese firms now operate in Viet Nam in various fields such as industry, agriculture, construction, culture and education.
Also yesterday PM Phuc attended the inaugural ceremony of the Vietnamese Goods Week held by the Ha Noi People’s Committee and Japan’s AEON Group in Saitama prefecture.
With 50 pavilions, nearly 70 businesses from Ha Noi and other Vietnamese cities and provinces are introducing their products to Japanese consumers, mostly clothes, footwear, handicrafts, home decorations, souvenirs and processed agricultural products.
Within the framework of the event, there will be an exchange programme between Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises, a workshop on tourism promotion, along with an array of cultural activities.
Later yesterday, the PM left for Osaka Prefecture, the second biggest economic hub of Japan.
He asked Governor of Shiga Prefecture, Taizo Mikazuki, to encourage local enterprises to invest in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam welcomes Shiga’s cooperation in experience exchanges, human resources training and technology transfer in the fields of high-tech farming and water resources treatment, he added.
For his part, Governor Taizo Mikazuki said Shiga’s businesses are interested in the Vietnamese market.
He said his prefecture was willing to assist Vietnam in support industry, high-tech agriculture and environmental protection.
New flight routes
The PM also attended a ceremony announcing new flight routes to Osaka by the budget airline Jetstar Pacific.
Jetstar Pacific will open two new routes connecting Ha Noiand Da Nang to Osaka, becoming the first Viet Nam’s budget airline to offer direct flights to Japan.
The first flight is expected at the beginning of September, with four return flights per week for each route. Tickets will be sold from mid-June, with average one-way tickets starting from VND1.5 million (US$67), excluding tax and fees.
National flag carier Vietnam Airlines also announced at the ceremony that it will start using the advanced Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft on its current Ha Noi-Osaka route.