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Japanese businesses want obstacles facing investment in Vietnam removed

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HCMC – Japanese firms have suggested the Vietnamese Government and local authorities address policy inadequacies and complicated procedures, which have been a hindrance to their investment process in Vietnam, it was announced at a conference in Hanoi on December 21.

The dialogue conference gathered Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and representatives of the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Japan External Trade Organization and 40 Japanese businesses currently operating in Vietnam.

Attractive investment destination

Speaking at the event, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Yamada Takio said that Vietnam has brought the Covid-19 outbreak under control while the world is struggling to combat the deadly disease. Vietnam managed to maintain its positive economic growth, with its total export value reaching US$489 billion during the January-November period this year, up 3.5% against last year’s figure.

The Japanese Ambassador stressed that the Vietnam-Japan relations are growing strongly, which was demonstrated through Yoshihide Suga’s decision to choose Vietnam as the first destination for his overseas trip after taking over as Japan’s prime minister.

Takio said that foreign investors including the Japanese are keen on investing in Vietnam during the post-Covid-19 period as this Southeast Asian nation has made great efforts to improve its investment environment.

The ambassador added that the Japanese Government is implementing a US$2.3 billion aid package for Japanese firms to diversify their supply chain.

Complicated procedures should be removed

Despite Vietnam’s improved investment environment, the Japanese ambassador suggested that the Vietnamese Government step up the issuance of investment licenses to Japanese investors.

At the event, representatives of Japanese businesses that are operating in Vietnam also said that Vietnam should remove obstacles facing them such as preferential tax regulations and investment procedures as they were time consuming and complicated.

For instance, it took over one year to complete the required investment procedures for a project, said an Aeon Mall Vietnam representative.

Moreover, the implementation of investment procedures for projects under the authority of the central government is more time-consuming than those under the management of local governments. Therefore, the Japanese retailer’s representative recommended the facilitation of procedures to create optimal conditions for investors.

Representatives of Suntory Pepsico, Panasonic and Denso at the event mentioned obstacles in terms of tax that had yet to be solved although they had reported the issues to the authorities several times.

Addressing the event, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung stated that these suggestions and feedback would be reported to the prime minister and appropriate, effective solutions would be mapped out to tackle these issues.

Minister Dung asserted that Vietnam pledged to continue its efforts to reduce cumbersome administrative procedures, aimed at creating optimal conditions for Japanese investors in Vietnam.

By Le Hoang

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