|Pham Thien Nghia, Chairman of Dong Thap People’s Committee (right) met with Ono Masuo, Japanese consul general in Ho Chi Minh City , Photo: Nguyet Anh
In a bid to expand strategic relations with Japan, and with support from Japan’s Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Thap People’s Committee will host a major conference on investment and trade cooperation on November 29.
The conference is expected to attract up to 150 delegates from central management agencies; Japan’s Consulate General; business associations; and companies based in the province.
Through the event, the province’s leaders wish to elevate ties, boost exposure of Dong Thap’s potential, and call on Japanese businesses to embrace business ventures in the province. It also aims to create cooperative opportunities in trade and investment for businesses in the province with Japanese partners. It will also feature direct meetings and discussions between businesses of both sides.
The conference will also dedicate space to display One Commune, One Product items, exports, local startup products, and information about local industrial parks and priority investment fields, as well as achievements in mutual relations across several fields.
In addition, after finalising the conference agenda, there will be networking activities in trade and investment between businesses of both sides, a presentation on Dong Thap’s culture, and an overview of the province’s key products with export potential for Japan.
Lifting mutual ties
In recent years, with support from the Japan’s Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Thap has fostered friendship relations and inked diverse cooperative agreements with local governments, businesses, corporations and non-governmental organisations of Japan.
In December 2022, Dong Thap inked an MoU with Japan’s Something Group to jointly organise exchange activities to learn experiences and professional training in labour, education, and high-tech agriculture, as well as to search for export markets for agricultural products. Under the MoU, Something Group will strengthen the connection to recruit interns in Dong Thap and create a suitable working environment for provincial interns after completing the training course at the group.
As for cooperation in agriculture, the project promoting organic agricultural development with Seed to Table organisation has been underway since 2019. The project seeks to support small-scaled farmer households and schools in applying organic agricultural farming methods and help improve knowledge of organic agriculture.
In healthcare and education, Dong Thap Medical College has joined efforts with Japanese partners including PGT Holdings JSC, Tsukui, Hello Japan, and Setouchi unions to organise a wide range of seminars and conferences in nursing and nursing management; exchange information in nursing; and open elderly care training classes for those wishing to study and work in Japan.
As for cooperation in labour export, the quality and quantity of human resources have constantly improved in recent years. Currently, more than 9,000 provincial workers are living and working in Japan. In the first 10 months of this year, nearly 1,300 workers were sent to work in the country.
Despite these efforts, the investment and trade cooperative relations between Dong Thap and Japanese partners and businesses is still modest compared to the actual potential of both sides.
Although the province is now home to 28 foreign-invested projects, valued at $314 million in total, just two projects come from Japan - the Ajinomoto Vietnam’s Dong Thap branch, founded in 2009, in charge of monitoring a depot and product distribution; and Thien Ha Kameda JSC, a Japanese rice cracker production facility at Truong Xuan industrial and services cluster.
In the first eight months of this year, the province’s total import-export value to Japan touched $20.5 million, in which exports amounted to $20.18 million and imports $320,000. Accordingly, the figure was a mere $18.17 million last year, in which export values reached $17.42 million, and imports amounted to $750,000.
The main export items were seafood, apparel, footwear, shrimp crackers, and products made from rice and collagen. Imports were chiefly pharma materials, textile accessories, and animal feed.
|Dong Thap is calling on Japanese investors to cultivate more projects in agriculture, Photo: dongthap.gov.vn
In a bid to avail of local potential, Dong Thap province is calling on Japanese businesses and investors to focus their investment on agriculture.
Particularly for the rice industry, the province calls on businesses to develop large-scale material growing areas to satisfy both the quality and quantity of requirements; invest in cutting-edge export-standard milling and processing lines; and enhance added value for rice products.
For the fruit sector, it is important to inject capital into building a fruit processing plant employing state-of-the art technology and automatic classification process; promote local fruits to domestic and international markets; enhance efficiency of the fruit processing value chain; establish a modern preservation centre in Dong Thap; and promote high-tech agriculture and digital transformation in the agricultural sector.
In addition, Dong Thap will bolster investment cooperation in the processing industry, industrial zones and infrastructure development; build supermarkets and trade centres; create green resorts; and boost human resource training in agriculture and healthcare.
The province calls on Japanese partners to strengthen cooperation and push up export promotion of the province’s key products such as fresh and processed items from local distinct fruits, rice and rice products; simultaneously increasing import of materials serving the province’s production such as textile apparel and pharmaceutical materials. Finally, Dong Thap expects Japanese partners to foster cooperation in high-quality manpower training and bringing local labourers to work in Japan.
Pham Thien Nghia, Chairman Dong Thap People’s Committee
An upstream locality in the Mekong Delta, Dong Thap has grown into a key location for agricultural production, with rice and seafood output among the top performers in the country.
The province is proud of having distinct products like Cao Lanh mango, Chau Thanh litchi, Lai Vung tamarin, and Thap Muoi lotus, as well as renowned resorts and culture appealing to visitors, such as Sa Dec flower village, Tram Chim national garden, and Go Thap.
With consistent efforts for businesses and accelerating administrative reforms, Dong Thap has become a shining point of the country in hosting a pro-business investment environment, and one of the top performers in the Provincial Competitiveness Index for the past 15 years.
To best support investors and businesses, the region has built many industrial areas, enacting diverse incentives to aid agriculture and rural development. The province has also enacted a plan on digital transformation, putting people and businesses at the centre, adding circular economy models gearing towards fast and sustainable development.
Dong Thap is doing its utmost to become a place to live and to invest, and an appealing venue to do business as well as to visit.
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