Vietnam PM seeks to strengthen economic partnership with Japan

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  Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (C) speaking with the leaders of Japan's leading corporations in Japan on December 13 / PHOTOS COURTESY OF VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with the leaders of Japan's major economic organizations on Friday, seeking to strengthen the two countries' economic partnership.

The Vietnamese leader is now in Japan with a delegation of high-ranking officials like Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang. Their four-day visit began on Thursday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

At a meeting with Akio Mimura, chairman of Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dung asked the agency to enhance its cooperation with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, so they can act as a bridge between the countries' business communities.

He made the same proposal with Tanaka Akihiko, chairman of Japan International Cooperation Agency, expressing his hope that the agency would help maintain Japan's leading commitment of official development assistance to Vietnam.

The ODA should be focused on infrastructure development and climate change strategies, Dung said.

Japan is now Vietnam's biggest ODA sponsor and also its largest foreign investor, in terms of registered capital and disbursed capital.

Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida announced at a meeting with his counterpart, Minister Pham Binh Minh, in Tokyo in September that Japan would provide US$500 million in ODA for infrastructure projects in Vietnam for the 2013 fiscal year.

On Friday Dung also met with the leaders of Japan's leading corporations like Mitsubishi, Honda, Hitachi, and Sumitomo, according to the news report.

He told the businessmen that the Vietnamese government had been improving local legal frameworks on investment and business, including tax preference policies, especially in the fields of hi-tech industries, supporting industries, and highly competitive industries.

In response, the leaders all confirmed that they would extend their operations in Vietnam.

Dung and his delegation were scheduled to attend a summit to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations, and the 5th Mekong-Japan summit, during their visit.

Japan is Vietnam's third largest trade partner as the countries' trade value reached an estimated $22.9 trillion-plus in the first 11 months the year.

The two countries mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.

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