|ACECOOK VIETNAM specializes in producing instant noodle products, using Japanese technology|
Since diplomatic relations were first officially established on September 21, 1973, mutual ties over the past five decades have enjoyed comprehensive and strong development across multiple fields.
Overview of trade cooperation
The Far East nation has been one of the most important trading partners for the country for many years. Last year Japan was the nation’s fourth largest trading partner, behind only China, the United States, and the Republic of Korea (RoK). It was also the third largest export partner after the US and China, and the third largest importer behind China and the RoK.
Furthermore, bilateral import-export turnover over the past 10 years has undergone steady growth, with the trade balance being kept relatively equal, coupled with a relatively small annual difference between exports and imports. In terms of investment, last year saw Japan rank fourth among countries and territories which have investment projects locally, with a total registered capital of US$4.14 billion.
Moreover, Japanese experts also view Vietnam as a nation with rich natural resources, a youthful and vibrant population, and an abundant labour force. In contrast, Japan is home to modern science and technology, and a potential populous market that has a favourable legal framework in which to conduct business activities.
These two sides complement each other and help each party to take full advantage of the advantages on offer during the process of development co-operation.
|Ta Duc Minh, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Japan|
Ta Duc Minh, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Japan, says that despite bilateral trade undergoing several positive signs, it can be seen from import and export structure that the nation mainly exports raw fuel and materials to Japan and in turn imports machinery and equipment for investment and production. Therefore, the country now has a need to develop supporting industries while Japan strives to increase its investments abroad, representing a great opportunity for both sides to boot broader co-operation.
Experience for Vietnamese goods to enter Japanese market
The Vietnam Trade Counselor in Japan has suggested Vietnamese firms should be working on building up and creating a close co-operative relationship with Japanese partners. During the process of negotiation and exchanges, Japanese partners often make requests and proposals, such as requesting to change models or sizes of products in order to make them suitable for Japanese tastes.
Most notably, the Japanese are also highly interested in price. Therefore, in order to increase the competitiveness of local products, it is vital to boost productivity and efficiency as a means of building low-cost production systems, in addition to a thorough understanding of Japanese culture and business practices, Minh notes.
With these factors in mind, domestic enterprises must actively participate in international trade fairs in order to use them as a platform in which to introduce their products to Japanese customers, therefore bringing about greater business opportunities and success for them. Additionally, it remains necessary to fully exploit incentives in commitments of bilateral and multilateral agreements to which Vietnam and Japan are both signatories. This includes the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic. Partnership Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
It can be considered imperative to capitalise on support channels of both sides, such as the Trade Promotion Agency, the Asia – Africa Market Department, the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, JETRO, Tokyo Small and Medium Enterprises Support Center, the ASEAN – Japan Center, and industry associations, the Trade Counselor emphasises.
In the context of the complicated developments relation to the novel coronavirus epidemic, firms face challenges in travelling to Japan for exhibitions or to conduct direct trade, meaning firms must follow up information and arrange participation through online seminars and trade exchanges in order to find partners, he adds.
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