Japan became a partner of ASEAN in 1973, and bilateral relations were elevated to a strategic partnership in 2003. The country is now the 4th biggest trade partner and second biggest investor of the bloc.
In his opening speech, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung stressed that Vietnam welcomes Japan’s contributions to the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), expressing his hopes for further support to the process so that the deal will be concluded this year.
Vietnam hopes for Japanese assistance in building the ASEAN member nations’ high-tech capacity and capitalising on the ASEAN-Japan free trade agreement, the official added.
He said that suggestions and proposals for specific cooperation and solutions will help deepen the ASEAN-Japan strategic partnership in line with the new context, contributing to peace, security, and development in the region and all over the world.
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Norikazu Suzuki wished for a stronger Vietnam-Japan relationship which could bring peace, growth and stability for the Asia-Pacific region.
He said that Japan wishes to focus on ASEAN’s prioritised areas and central role, and will continue supporting the bloc’s connectivity process.
Gathering experts from ASEAN and Japanese governments, as well as representatives of the scholar and business communities, the seminar revolved around the topics of boosting ASEAN-Japan partnership and comprehensive cooperation, high-tech agriculture, smart city models, and aging population.