Vietnam’s southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City on Friday held a conference to invite Japanese businesses to put capital in major capital-thirsty projects in the city, local media reported.
The local government wanted to call for Japanese investment in the long-delayed Saigon Safari project, an ecotourism park designed to study and conserve rare animals of Vietnam and the world.
Japanese investors were also invited to take part in an underground trade center project with an estimated investment of $312 million, two urban monorail projects, and a waste water treatment plant.
Iijima Isao, special advisor to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said that Japanese enterprises see Vietnam and HCM City in particular as attractive destinations as they plan to shift production bases to Southeast Asia.
A large number of Japanese companies are looking to settle down their manufacturing in Vietnam to tap into this market and ship products to other countries in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) coming into existence last year, said Masuda Chikahiro, deputy chief of JICA Vietnam.
Masuda Chikahiro suggested Vietnam improve supporting industries, better the investment climate, and prepare labor force to meet the rising demand of Japanese companies.
Addressing the conference, HCM City Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong pledged to create favorable conditions for foreign investors, including Japanese companies.
As of March 15, 2016, Japanese firms had committed to invest $2.87 billion in 865 projects in HCM City, making Japan the sixth-largest investor in the metropolis, according to data of the municipal Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC).