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Mekong Delta calls on Japanese firms to invest in 63 projects
By Trung Chanh
Monday,  Nov 5, 2018,19:05 (GMT+7)

Mekong Delta calls on Japanese firms to invest in 63 projects

By Trung Chanh

A man is seen at a prawn farm in the Mekong Delta. The region plays a leading role in the Vietnamese agriculture sector, which is seen in the exports of key farm products such as rice and shrimp – PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

CAN THO – Leaders from the Mekong Delta region have called on Japanese firms to invest in 63 projects in various fields, including 12 in hi-tech agriculture, nine in manufacturing and eight in infrastructure facility development, during a Japan-Mekong Business Cooperation Forum in Can Tho City.

The forum, co-held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Japan External Trade Organization on November 3, gathered some 400 delegates representing the government agencies and localities of the two countries, Japanese trade promotion organizations and Vietnamese companies, as well as economists, and 120 CEOs of Japanese firms.

Addressing the forum, former State President Truong Tan Sang confirmed the significance of the event in fostering the economic and trade ties between Japan and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, while expressing his wish that Japanese investors would pay more attention to this region.

Local leaders should create favorable conditions for Japanese investors to execute their projects successfully, with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership taking effect shortly between 11 member countries, including Japan and Vietnam, he noted.

VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc commented that Japan’s investment in the region is ranked fourth, behind South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, despite the significant cooperation potential between the two sides.

Loc pointed out the competitive edge of the region was its young and well-trained labor force and its development space for businesses.

He stated that cooperation in agriculture, processing, manufacturing, tourism and commercial services are the region’s yet-to-be-exploited potential. Therefore, Japan is expected to be the best partner.

As a leading country in developing adaptive agriculture to suit climate change, Japan’s experience will effectively serve the Mekong Delta region, which is in need of an agricultural sector with climate-adaptive technologies, he said.

Consul General of Japan in HCMC Kawaue Junichi stated that the Mekong Delta region plays a leading role in Vietnam's agriculture, which is seen in the exports of key farm products such as rice and shrimp.

According to the Japanese official, together with the development of Japan-Vietnam relations in recent years, the ties between Japan and the Mekong Delta region have also been increasingly expanded across various spheres, such as transport, trade and especially agriculture.

Nguyen Phuong Lam, deputy director of VCCI’s Can Tho branch, pointed out various factors that are attracting Japanese firms to inject money into the Mekong Delta region.

These include the region’s fast economic growth, its favorable investment environment, its large consumption market with some 18 million consumers, as well as its abundant source of low-cost workers.

Data from VCCI Can Tho show that as of late last month, the Mekong Delta region was home to 169 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from the Northeast Asian nation. They had combined registered capital of more than US$2.2 billion, accounting for 10.5% of the entire region’s total FDI inflow.

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