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Japanese investors said hopeful about Vietnam’s growth

Takeo Nakajima, Chief Representative of the Japan Trade Promotion Organization (JETRO) Hanoi

What are your assessments of Vietnamese-Japanese economic and investment relations in 2021?

According to our observations, many economic and investment cooperation indexes were lower than before the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, but in general, the Vietnamese-Japanese economic and investment relations have been growing on a stable basis. Vietnam's exports to Japan increased 4.8 percent. Although this growth is not high due to a decrease in Japan’s demand and a temporary break in production and logistics chains because of the pandemic, it is a positive achievement in these difficult times.

With the wave of investment displacement, Vietnam is still a potential destination for Japanese investors and attracts their interest. In the first 11 months of 2021, Japan's investment capital in Vietnam increased 54 percent over the same period in 2020, of which new investment capital accounted for 73.4 percent and increased capital represented 20.4 percent. In the first 11 months of 2021, an additional 183 Japanese investment projects were licensed in Vietnam, the biggest ones of which were the US$1.31 billion O Mon II Thermal Power Plant in Can Tho and the US$611.4 million Kraft Vinva paper factory (Rengo) in Vinh Phuc Province.

What do you think about opportunities and prospects for Vietnam’s economic recovery and bilateral economic and trade cooperation in 2022?

Vietnam is in an important part of the global supply chain so stopping production in Vietnam will affect the world. Foreign companies in the country, including Japanese ones, have highly appreciated the Vietnamese Government's decision on flexibly adapting to the pandemic and gradually opening the doors to the outside. According to forecasts by many organizations, Vietnam reached an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1.5-3 percent in 2021, lower than the 2.9 percent increase in 2020. However, there are many optimistic forecasts for Vietnam's V-shaped economic recovery in 2022, which are compliant with JETRO’s survey data.

According to a recent survey by JETRO, 2021 was a challenging year for Japanese businesses in Vietnam, and only 31 percent of the surveyed companies said their profits had improved since 2020, but 56 percent of the surveyed believed their businesses would improve and recover in 2022.

According to our survey, Japanese investors always consider Vietnam as a place to expand production and exports to foreign and domestic markets. We believe that bilateral trade will surely experience a breakthrough thanks to the two governments' trade facilitation efforts.

Japanese investment in Vietnam continues to increase

What will JETRO Hanoi do to boost bilateral economic and investment cooperation in 2022?

JETRO Hanoi will continue to organize trade fairs and exhibitions and promote online and online-offline business activities to create trade opportunities for businesses from the two countries. It is expected that JETRO will coordinate with the Government of Vietnam to organize a conference on investment in Vietnam, and seminars to attract investment in localities. Through investment conferences, dialogues with local authorities and inspection trips, we will support businesses of the two countries, especially Japanese investors, to access opportunities and prepare appropriate investment orientations.

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