As businesses are bridgeheads to promote trade and investment, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has tried its utmost to provide market information, projects and business matching to Vietnamese and Japanese businesses in recent years. Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Dr Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI Vice President on the issue. Anh Mai reports.
How have VCCI and Vietnam-Japan Business Forum helped the business communities of the two countries in recent years?
For several years, especially in 2013 marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan, VCCI and Vietnam-Japan Business Forum have organized many events and programmes promoting cooperation and investment for business communities of the two countries.
Most recently, VCCI and Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) sponsored a meeting between Vietnamese and Japanese businesses. Over 50 Japanese businesses from trade, manufacturing, steel, foodstuff, airlines, hardware, IT solution, chemistry, law, consultant, cosmetics, education, etc., headed by Mr Kohei Watanabe, Chairman of Japan-Mekong Business Committee, met with over 50 Vietnamese businesses. Japanese businesses visiting Vietnam this time focus on market survey and look for partners and opportunities to invest in Vietnam.
In September 2013, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations, from 4 to 6 September, VCCI, JETRO and Nikkei Business Publications under the auspices of Vietnam-Japan Parliamentarian Friendship League, Japanese Embassy in Hanoi and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), organised Vietnam-Japan Economic Summit (VJES 2013) in Hanoi with the participation of nearly 400 delegates and speakers.
VJES 2013 recommended orientations for future economic cooperation between the two countries, established business partnership and updated opportunities for business and cultural cooperation between the two countries. It also offered the chance for businesses of the two countries to discuss directly with representatives of the two governments, ministries and provinces. The main topics at VJES were Vietnam-Japan cooperation in infrastructure development, Vietnamese strategy for industrialization, supporting industries and human resources development – keys for development of the manufacturing industry.
Earlier, VCCI together with Hirayama, a leading Japanese company in training (Toyota Production System) organized a seminar in Hanoi, “Challenge and saving in Japanese methods”. Senior presenter Terasaki Akashi introduced experiences on saving in Japanese manufacturing industry. In addition to environment protection, the presenter introduced the practices on factory production lines.
In May 2013, in conjunction with JETRO, VCCI organised a seminar in Hanoi, “Promoting trade, investment and business match-making between Vietnam and Japan” on the occasion of the visit of 34 Japanese businesses to Vietnam. They are Japanese companies specialized in retail sales, restaurants, cosmetics and education, looking for business opportunities and partnership in Vietnam.
In addition to VCCI headquarters in Hanoi, how do VCCI branches in other cities promote business cooperation with Japanese companies?
In the second half of 2013, VCCI together with other units organized seminars and business meetings with Fukuoka and other Japanese businesses in Thanh Hoa, Da Nang and Can Tho.
Meanwhile, VCCI branches in Vietnam have sponsored workshops on Japanese experiences such on 5S and Kaizen in Ho Chi Minh City, business forum in Vung Tau and seminar on Japanese business management in Haiphong.
To promote trade and investment, the Vietnam-Japan Business Forum sponsored a business meeting with Fukuoka businesses in Hanoi, drawing the participation of Vietnamese businesses and six Japanese companies engaged in environment protection, energy and construction. The Vietnam-Japan Business Forum has also prepared a working plan for the visit of Nemuro Hokkaido administrators, a meeting at Japanese Ambassador’s residence for Japanese businesses specialized in sea-products trading, processing and import-export, with the participation of 50 business representatives, and a business meeting with 15 representatives of six Okayama companies led by Mr Kazumi Oohashi, Chairman of Okayama International Cultural Exchanges Association, and nearly 100 representatives of Vietnamese businesses.
In particular, VCCI has organized seminars on IPO listing and M&A between Japan and Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with the participation of Managers of Tokyo and Recof Stock Exchanges, Vietnamese Vice Minister Dang Huy Dong of Planning and Investment (MPI), Managers of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchanges. Each seminar drew some 200 participants from State offices, Vietnamese investors and businesses.
VCCI has also coordinated with other organizations receiving business delegations from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and sponsoring Vietnam-Japan business meetings. The Japanese delegation of 120 members representing 100 Japanese companies and groups, headed by Mr Tadashi Okamura, JCCI President, focused on investment opportunities in trade, electronics, software, financing-banking, telecom, manufacturing, spare parts, mining, construction, transport, agriculture, gas and pharmaceuticals. The delegation was also received by the President of Vietnam.
An economic seminar “Vietnam-Japan Friendship” was also organised by VCCI with 150 participants including 50 Japanese companies maintaining and seeking cooperation with Vietnamese businesses. The two sides have exchanged experiences on economic cooperation and attracting FDI in Vietnam.
In the framework of cooperation between Vietnam-Japan Business Forum and Fukuoka Trade and Industry Office on assistance programmes for Vietnamese businesses, the former has initiated a business meeting on supporting industries with the participation of 13 leading concerned Vietnamese businesses. The visiting Vietnamese delegation received basic knowledge on the Japanese business environment, specifically in Fukuoka, visiting and working with eight Fukuoka companies. The business forum attracted some 300 participants and focused on business meeting, seminar and business exchanges.
As Vietnam-Japan gateway attracts big numbers of visitors, what kind of information is the most important for businesses of the two countries?
In 2012, Vietnam-Japan gateway recorded 671,018 visits, 158,869 viewers, 681 articles in English and 956 articles in Vietnamese, and an average of 1,800 visits a day. The gateway provides Vietnamese and Japanese businesses with email and telephone numbers, assists Vietnamese businesses to participate in Japanese trade fairs, exhibitions and markets, and helps Japanese delegations visit and cooperate with Vietnamese counterparts in construction, IT and aqua products,.
Besides achievements, what are constraints in policy and mechanisms that should be removed to promote further Vietnam-Japan business cooperation?
In addition to information, businesses of the two countries need guidance and additional information on markets, industries, trading practice, payments, and investment and business formalities. Therefore, the government should instruct related ministries and agencies to make the best use of financial and human resources to provide Vietnamese businesses with updated information on the Japanese market.