Big Japanese groups are considering establishing a consortium to pour capital into Vietnamâ€™s infrastructure investment projects. LookAtVietnam – Big Japanese groups are considering establishing a consortium to pour capital into Vietnamâ€™s infrastructure investment projects, says a Vietnamese counsellor to Japan.
Counsellor Le Huu Quang Huy, who is also head of the Investment Promotion Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan, made the statement during an exclusive interview granted a ToKyo-based VOV correspondent prior to a Vietnamese Investment Promotion Week, which is due to begin in Tokyo on August 2.
Following are excerpts from the interview
VOV: Vietnam will send a delegation to the event. Could you elaborate on this promotion activity?
Mr Huy: The delegation will be comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Finance, together with officials from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and HCM City. Thirty businesses will also join the programme.
VOV: What is the focus of the trip?
Mr Huy: Last April, a delegation led by Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc visited Japan to promote investment in various areas, including the attraction of foreign investment and official development assistance (ODA). The fact is that Japan is one of Vietnamâ€™s largest ODA providers. This time, we will call for investment in transport infrastructure (seaports, rail and metro railway lines), power generation, and urban environment (water supply and waste treatment in big cities).
VOV: Vietnam has sent many investment promotion delegations to Japan. Are there any differences this time?
Mr Huy: The biggest difference is that the delegation includes leaders of various economic sectors. We want to learn from Japanâ€™s experience in developing the Public-Private Partnership in investment. In addition, we will call for Japanese investment in specific areas rather than in general areas as we did previously. We will host 4 to 5 events during the week, including the Vietnam investment forum, a workshop on Japanâ€™s investment trends overseas, and a roundtable to attract Japanese investment from the Kansai region, south of Japan.
VOV: What do you expect from Japanese businesses and officials?
Mr Huy: Infrastructure investment is time consuming and requires large amounts of capital. Itâ€™s risky for a private business to invest in this area on its own. Therefore, we proposed that the government introduce regulations on PPP to attract domestic and foreign investments in big infrastructure projects.
Experts and I myself think Japan will invest extensively in infrastructure projects in the future. Its businesses are exploring nuclear power and express railway projects in Vietnam. As far as I know, they are considering establishing a consortium of giants such as Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and the Tokyo, Chubu and Kansai electric power groups, targeting a nuclear power plant project in Vietnam.
VOV: What will Vietnam do to receive such a big wave of Japanese investment?
Mr Huy: Even though Vietnamâ€™s investment environment is described as attractive, it is not enough to lure Japanese investors. Our infrastructure system has improved significantly, but it is incomplete and inconsistent. Similarly, the legal system remains overlapping and not transparent enough. Foreign investors are unequally treated here and there. In addition, Vietnam lacks a skilled workforce. About 65 percent of employees working at foreign invested businesses are untrained. If Vietnam removes these â€śbottlenecksâ€ť, it will see a sharp increase in foreign investment in the future, especially from Japan.