Japanese executives based in leading markets such as the U.S., Russia, South Korea, China, Singapore and the EU participated in the global congress of the Overseas Japanese Business Association, which was held for the time in Vietnam on November 21-22.
These companies are interested in finding Vietnamese partners in the sectors of real estate, services, tourism, trade, and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, said Japanese real estate firm Shiny Real, a co-organizer of the event.
Tokumine Katsunobu, chairman of the Japan Business Association in Ho Chi Minh City, told local media that the Japanese business community has paid great attention to the South East Asia region, especially Vietnam, which is poised to become an economic hub of the region.
Being a party to the recently-concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership and the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community will provide a boost to the Vietnamese economy, Mr. Katsunobu added.
Yasuzumi Hirotaka, executive director of the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) in HCM City, said that Japanese firms' interest in Vietnam has been on the rise over the past years.
He tipped that in 2015 alone, some 6,000 Japanese firms have come to Vietnam to survey the investment climate and over 1,000 of them plan long-term business in the country. China and Thailand-based Japanese businesses that plan expansion or relocation opt for Vietnam as an alternative destination thank to the country’s cheap labor costs and improving business environment.
As many as 25% of Japanese firms have relocated their operations to Vietnam after the China exit, he said at a meeting in the southern city of Can Tho.
Japan has been the second-biggest investor in Vietnam to date, with 2,660 valid projects worth a combined $37.7 billion, only after South Korea, according to data of the Foreign Investment Authority under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.