Vietnam, Japan look to boost ties in tourism, education

By Staff reporters   March 13, 2018 | 01:19 am PT
There is still more potential for collaboration between the two countries, a recent seminar heard.
50 Japanese leaders joined the seminar in Hanoi.

50 Japanese leaders attended the seminar in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of VCCI

Representatives of major travel and education companies from Vietnam and Japan met yesterday at a seminar titled “Vietnam–Japan Economic Dialogue” in Hanoi.

Company leaders from both countries discussed the potential for stronger development in tourism, education, distribution and transportation at the seminar organized by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

“Japan is one of Vietnam's most important partners,” said Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of the VCCI, emphasizing that ongoing collaborations between companies from the two countries served as effective models.

Japan was Vietnam’s largest investor in 2017 with $9.11 billion, accounting for 25.4 percent of total foreign investment. Total two-way trade turnover reached over S33.4 billion last year, and Vietnam was also one of just four beneficiary countries to receive non-refundable aid from Japan, according to the vice president.

“Education in Vietnam has sparked an interest among Japanese companies,” said Noriyuki Sekito, CEO of Japanese education firm I-Cube.

A thorough investigation of Vietnam’s education market has shown that not many Japanese companies are investing in this sector, according to Sekito, adding that the area holds great potential. 

Concerning tourism, Vietnamese companies at the seminar expressed a desire to continue their collaborative development with Japan. Vietnam only accounted for 1 percent of the total number of international tourists who visited Japan in 2016, and vice versa, that figure was 7.4 percent, according to Vietravel, one of the biggest travel companies in Vietnam. In a speech, the company said it was willing to join forces with Japanese firms to achieve the two countries’ full potential.

Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of the VCCI, speaks at the seminar. Photo courtesy of VCCI

Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of the VCCI, speaks at the seminar. Photo courtesy of VCCI

Vietnam and Japan are both members of the CPTPP, an Asia-Pacific trade agreement which was signed earlier this month between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The trade agreement follows U.S. President Donald Trump recent decision to impose strict tariffs on steel and aluminum imports tariffs to the U.S. Members of the trans-pacific deal believe that this agreement will send a strong signal to the world on the importance of open markets, economic integration and international cooperation.

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