The statement was made by Head of the Party Central Committee’s Theoretical Council cum Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMNAP), Prof., Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, at the event, which was held by the academy and the Japanese Embassy in Hanoi, to coincide with the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties (September 21, 1973-2018).
Speaking at the event, Prof., Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, stated that through difficulties and challenges, the Vietnam - Japan friendship has been continuously developed, opening up new and effective cooperation frameworks at each stage along the way.
Speaking on the importance of boosting bilateral economic relations, the head of Central Theoretical Council pointed to the outstanding results of the strong business cooperation between the two sides.
In 2017, the total turnover from bilateral trade reached over US$33.84 billion. In just the first quarter of 2018, trade turnover between two sides reached US$8.7 billion, up nearly 16% over the same period last year. Japan is Vietnam's fourth largest trade partner and the country's largest trading partner in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership bloc.
By the end of the first quarter of 2018, Japan had nearly 3,700 investment projects in force in Vietnam with total registered capital of nearly US$50 billion. Japan is also the first country in the Group of Seven to recognise Vietnam as a market economy, showing its positive recognition of Vietnam's economic reforms.
For many years, Japan has always been the largest provider of official development assistance for Vietnam. A range of Japanese projects have been in effective operation in Vietnam, contributing greatly to its socio-economic development, such as Nhat Tan Bridge, Noi Bai Airport, Tan Son Nhat Airport, Can Tho Bridge, Lach Huyen - Hai Phong Sea Port, Cai Mep - Thi Vai Port, East - West Highway, Hai Van Tunnel, Thu Thiem Tunnel and Phu My Thermal Power Plant.
Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, Umeda Kunio, emphasises the increasing strength of economic cooperation between the two sides. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)
Sharing the same viewpoint, Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam, Umeda Kunio, said that Vietnam-Japan relations have been expanded in all fields on the basis of an extensive strategic partnership.
Highlighting the strongly developed economic cooperation between the two sides, Ambassador Umeda Kunio revealed that in recent years, more and more Japanese enterprises have expressed their confidence in the Vietnamese economy, as seen when foreign direct investment from Japan to the Southeast Asian country reached US$9.1 billion in 2017, the highest ever. In the first six months of 2018, the figure reached a record high of US$6.5 billion, putting Japan as the No.1 investor in Vietnam. The number of Japanese enterprises investing in Vietnam has exceeded 3,100, up by 40% over the last four years.
Shaping the new-style strategic partnership
Sharing common strategic interests, Japan is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Vietnam on the basis of a common perception that Vietnam's sustainable economic development and enhanced capacity in ensuring security is particularly important for the stability and prosperity of the entire region.
At a time when the world order is undergoing great changes, the Japanese diplomat said that strengthening the linkage between the two sides is becoming ever more important. From this point of view, Japan hopes to support Vietnam in administrative reform, human resource development and economic development, Ambassador Umeda Kunio stressed.
At the workshop, delegates and experts from the two countries assessed both the successes and limitations in the Vietnam-Japan relationship over the past 45 years, while pointing out requirements to adjust and direct the development of bilateral relations in the next period.
Head of the Party Central Committee’s Theoretical Council, Nguyen Xuan Thang, urges the two sides to promote cooperation towards shaping a new-style strategic partnership in East Asia and Pacific. (Photo: NDO/Trung Hung)
According to Prof., Dr. Thang, in order to bring the two countries' relationship to a new height, the two sides need to continuously promote cooperation and deepen their extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia towards shaping a new-style strategic partnership in East Asia and Pacific, which is built on the basics of consolidating strategic trust, comprehensive cooperation and shared responsibility for regional and global issues.
In addition, it is necessary to continue to improve connectivity and economic cooperation in line with the trend of enhancing regional integration and the rapid evolution of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Along with that, Prof., Dr. Thang also urged for enhanced cooperation in the socio-cultural field; training, especially for leaders in management position; and promote people-to-people exchange, particularly among younger generations, in order to enhance common understanding and creating a firm foundation for deepening relations between the two countries in the future.
He expressed his wish that the achievements resulted from the friendship between the two countries over the past 45 years, together with high political trust, efficiency in cooperation, cultural similarity and historical cohesion for mutual benefit, serve as a solid foundation for Vietnam and Japan to continue to heighten their bilateral relations with a new strategic vision adapted to the rapid changes in each country, across the region and around the world.