ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam has called for stronger investment from Japan, including in medium- and small-sized enterprises in tourism, education and trade as the country eyes growth in the ‘green’ industry.
Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ made the statement at the Việt Nam-Japan Exchange in Culture, Economy and Tourism – an event held during the visit of Secretary-General of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Nikai Toshihiro – in Đà Nẵng yesterday.
Huệ said Việt Nam will offer the best conditions and protection for foreign investors, including those from Japan, when investing in Việt Nam.
“We hope that Japan will be the top foreign investor in Việt Nam. Leaders of the two countries will promote cultural exchange and economic co-operation among Vietnamese and Japanese localities,” Huệ said.
“Việt Nam asked Japan for further support and co-operation in labour employment from Việt Nam and human resources training for Vietnamese students, creating high-quality manpower in the future,” he added.
The deputy PM also urged improvement in tourism between Japanese and Vietnamese partners, promoting products, service and destinations for both Vietnamese and Japanese travellers.
Huệ said Việt Nam saw trade turnover of US$517 billion in 2019, with a trade surplus of $10 billion.
“Việt Nam sees tourism as a key sector, with revenue contributing 10 per cent to GDP in 2020. We hosted 17 million tourists in 2019, and expect to receive 20.5 million visitors in 2020,” he said.
Huệ appreciated the working visit by the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party delegation with the participation of 1,000 officials and business representatives.
He said the working visit would help promote a driving force for deeper co-operation in trade and economy between Japan and Việt Nam.
Speaking at the event, Toshihiro said the visit once again confirms the deep relationship between Japan and Việt Nam.
He said the Việt Nam-Japan strategic partnership has developed in many sectors, such as culture, economy, security and defence.
“Việt Nam is a destination for 19,000 enterprises from Japan, while Japan hosts 370,000 students and labourers who are living and working. They (Vietnamese) contribute to Japan’s economy in fields of heathcare and industrial manufacturing,” Toshihiro said.
“Vietnamese students and workers have built a bridge between Japanese and Vietnamese enterprises.”
He said tourism in both Japan and Việt Nam saw positive growth, with 1.45 million tourists from both countries visiting each country.
He said the number of Japanese students coming to Việt Nam for educational experience has increased in recent years.
Toshihiro stressed that the working visit aims to build ties for many generations of Vietnamese and Japanese in the future.
During the visit, seminars on tourism co-operation and human resource training were held.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện said tourists from Japan to Việt Nam increased 15 per cent, with nearly 1 million visitors last year, while Japan hosted 500,000 Vietnamese tourists – growth of 27 per cent.
He said festivals and fairs were organised in the two countries to promote tourism and introduce new destinations and products.
Thiện said the two sides agreed to increase the number of tourists visiting both countries to 2 million in 2020.
Sento Satoshi, president of the Japanese National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) said Việt Nam was chosen as an important prelude for a series of programmes in tourism co-operation in 2020.
He said the relationship between Việt Nam and Japan began 400 years ago, when the first merchant ships visited Hội An for trade.
He added that the two sides had built trust in trade. This opens a bright future for co-operation in many sectors.
Tabata Hiroshi, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) estimated that Việt Nam would be one of 20 key world markets for tourism.
“Hà Nội and Đà Nẵng are attractive destinations for Japanese travellers and we expect more Japanese will come to Việt Nam in the future. We have planned a series of tourism promotion events to attract more Vietnamese tourists to destinations in Japan,” he said.
Hiroshi said more young Japanese were touring Asia, including Việt Nam, in 2019, and young Japanese people had a great time in the country.
Head of Việt Nam National Tourism Administration, Nguyễn Trùng Khánh, said Japan was an important market for Việt Nam’s tourism, and different promotions, fairs and festivals were organised in both Việt Nam and Japan.
“Japan is a top priority market, as we designed specific tours and services for women, the elderly, families and schools. The administration has launched a Japanese version of its website to create smooth access for tourists,” he said.
Khánh also said festivals and events in 2020 would lure Japanese tourists to Việt Nam, including the Formula 1 in Hà Nôi; Huế Festival; Fireworks Festival in Đà Nẵng; and Year of Tourism event in Ninh Bình Province.
He also said Japan was the most popular destination for Vietnamese travellers in 2019, and the number of tourists visiting Japan witnessed 27 per cent growth in comparison to 2018.
Central region connection
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget airlines Jetstar Pacific and VietJetAir already operate direct flights from Đà Nẵng to Narita, Osaka and Haneda. More routes have been planned from the city to Hokkaido, Nagoya as well as transit flights linking Đà Nẵng with Fukuoka, Sapporo, Sendai and Niigata.
The city is home to 143 Japanese projects with total investment of US$500 million, creating 40,000 jobs for local and neighbouring provinces.
Đà Nẵng inked memorandums of understanding on investment and co-operation with Yokohama, Kawasaki and Sakai, and built relationships with 15 other cities in Japan.
Japan Airlines (JAL) plans to boost co-operation with Đà Nẵng-based Đông Á College in human resources training for its airline and ground services in Japan from 2020.
Japan plans to open a Consulate General in Đà Nẵng to boost tourism and exchanges between Japan and the central city this year. — VNS