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Vietnam, Japan ink $22bn worth of trade deals at ‘historic’ conference

Tuesday, June 06, 2017, 14:41 GMT+7

Delegations from Vietnam and Japan have closed approximately US$22 billion worth of trade agreements and business deals after what Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called a historic conference in Tokyo on Monday.

The event’s organizers had to provide an extra 100 seats when 1,600 people showed up at the conference, held as part of the Vietnamese prime minister's June 4-8 visit to Japan.

The biggest ever conference on promoting investment in Vietnam was held by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in conjunction with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Vietnam’s Vietinbank.

PM Phuc delivered a keynote speech at the event, affirming Japan as a crucial export market for Vietnam since the 17th century and at the same time promoting Vietnam as a promising opportunity for Japanese investors.

The Vietnamese head of government confirmed his belief that “nothing can prevent a new era of close and trustworthy cooperation between Vietnam and Japan.”

As of the end of 2016, there were more than 3,200 Japanese-invested projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of $42 billion, accounting for 15 percent of the country’s entire foreign direct investment, according to the Vietnamese premier.

Citing a recent JETRO survey, PM Phuc said that up to 90 percent of Japanese firms believe that business expansion in Vietnam will help them improve their profit margin.

“Today we witnessed a historic investment conference between Vietnam and Japan,” the premier told the 1,600 attendees.

“I can confirm that Japanese investment in Vietnam at this time meets all the crucial factors - right time, right place, and right people.”

PM Phuc reiterated his trust in Japan as a strategic partner of Vietnam, expressing his belief that their close bilateral ties will be a foundation for prosperity in both countries.

Following the keynote speech by his Vietnamese counterpart, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the two heads of government will continue their strong support for Japanese firms’ investment activity in Vietnam, through high-quality infrastructure projects, investment improvement and personnel training.

Vietnam and Japan will also step up their cooperation across multiple fields to reinforce free trade, according to PM Abe.

Following the conference, the two heads of government witnessed the hand-over of contracts, investment licenses and agreements worth a combined total of $22 billion. 

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