Vietnam President urges Japan to boost investment

By Bao Cam, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang (C) and his wife Mai Thi Hanh (L) are escorted by Japanese Emperor Akihito (R) and Empress Michiko (2nd L) during a welcoming ceremony at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on March 17, 2014. Sang is on a four-day visit. Photo: AFP
Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang has called on Japanese companies to expand their businesses and investments in his country in order to drive growth.
Addressing the Vietnam – Japan Business Forum in Tokyo on Monday, Sang urged Japanese firms to choose Vietnam as a reliable destination and scale up their investments in high technology, energy, shipbuilding, car production, and agriculture in a bid to boost the country’s participation in the global value chain.
Sang expressed his happiness when Japan External Trade Organization chairman Hiroyuki Ishige let him know that 70 percent of Japanese companies plan to expand their investment in Vietnam. 
But Sang voiced his hope that “100 percent of Japanese enterprises will enlarge their business and production and more and more new investors will come to Vietnam.”
“Thus, Japan’s investment will be more than the current figure of US$35 billion and two-way trade between the countries will increase from $25 billion a year to $50 billion or more by 2020,” said Sang.
The Vietnamese president pledged to improve the country’s business climate in terms of stability, convenience, transparency and competitiveness to create favorable conditions for Japanese investors.
Sang also expressed gratitude to Japanese firms operating in Vietnam, saying they have contributed to the two countries’ relations and Vietnam’s development.
Japan was Vietnam’s leading investor and its fourth-largest trading partner last year.
Earlier on Monday, Emperor Akihito greeted the Vietnamese president and his wife with a welcoming message in a meeting at the Imperial Palace.
“I’m delighted to welcome you on a day that heralds the arrival of spring,” The Japan Times quoted Emperor Akihito as saying.
The meeting was preceded by a welcoming ceremony in a palace garden attended by the Emperor, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie.
Sang wrapped up his Japan visit Wednesday.
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