Hironobu Kitagawa, chief representative of Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

In an interview with Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) newspaper, Kitagawa noted that as of 2017, Japanese investors poured USD49.46 billion into 3,599 projects in Vietnam, ranking second in foreign investors in the country after the Republic of Korea.

Last year, Japan led 115 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with total registered capital of 9 billion USD, accounting for 25 percent of all foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s economic growth in 2017 reached 6.81 percent, exceeding the target of 6.7 percent. This year, the economy is forecast to continue to grow, thus attracting Japanese investment, asserted Kitagawa.

Regarding Japanese firms’ investment plans, he said investors are interested in not only the industrial sector, but also other fields.

According to the World Bank’s Vietnam Report 2035, the current USD200 billion economy of Vietnam will rise to nearly USD1 trillion in 2035, and more than half of its population will be middle class. This is a strong motivation for Japanese firms to invest in Vietnam’s service market, he held.

Vietnam’s agriculture is also a promising sector as the demand for safe farm produce is high, he added.

However, he said that weak support industry is a major obstacle hindering Vietnam from attracting Japanese FDI. He suggested that policies be needed to develop the support industry.

Mentioning JETRO’s efforts to connect Vietnamese and Japanese firms, Kitagawa said that JETRO recently provided Vietnam with a list of Japanese investors in Vietnam with demand for support industry.

At the same time, JETRO has held meetings for enterprises of both sides to share information on the kinds of spare parts that Japanese enterprises need.

These activities will continue in the coming time, thus strengthening the connectivity between business communities of Vietnam and Japan and creating spaces for support industry firms to develop, he stated./.

CPV/VNA