Green-focused businesses ready for cooperation

September 22, 2023 | 09:00
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Japanese investors are showing more interest in green development. Kinoshita Tadahiro, director general of Sojitz Vietnam and president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam, talked with VIR’s Nguyen Thu about potential green sector cooperation between Japanese firms and Sojitz in particular.

How much will Japan work with Vietnam and ASEAN to help with the energy transition?

Green-focused businesses ready for cooperation
Kinoshita Tadahiro, director general of Sojitz Vietnam and president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam

We highly appreciate the government and related ministries for the national green growth strategy, as well as the action plan on green energy transition and reducing carbon and methane emissions of the transportation sector. Completing the legal framework is an important factor to achieving this goal.

In the context of increasing energy demand in Asian countries, the Japanese government is ready to cooperate with ASEAN countries in the energy transition process by providing more financial and technical support for testing and applying emission-reduction technologies.

Accordingly, Japanese businesses wish to contribute to an effective energy transition in Vietnam by increasing private investment and applying deflation technologies, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions.

How do you evaluate Vietnam’s trade investment in recent times, and what are the areas of interest to Japanese businesses in Vietnam?

Currently, the prospects for investment cooperation between Japan and Vietnam are very good, as many Japanese companies, especially those exporting goods to Western countries with production facilities located in China, are often shifting their base to Vietnam.

Vietnam is considered the most promising business destination. There are two things that make Vietnam attractive to investors: political stability and relatively competitive wages for workers.

In addition, the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative, a policy dialogue forum between Japanese investors and relevant ministries and branches of Vietnam, has contributed to creating build an open and transparent investment and business environment in Vietnam for 20 years. At the same time, provide policy recommendations to help Vietnam improve laws and policies help create an increasingly attractive investment environment.

Japanese businesses are interested in solar power, renewable energy, and power generation using liquefied natural gas, which will also greatly contribute to Vietnam’s green growth.

The biggest current difficulty for Japanese businesses in Vietnam, as well as foreign businesses in general, is that the speed of project approval is still slow.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry has a related committee in charge of the business investment environment, whose members are representatives from businesses. This committee often holds regular meetings and raises issues each business is having and discusses them with the government of Vietnam for appropriate solutions.

As an early investor in Vietnam, what is Sojitz interested in, especially in terms of the green sector?

We are working with Vinamilk to develop one of Vietnam’s largest cattle farm and beef processing complexes in Vinh Phuc province, that is scheduled to begin operations in June 2024.

This is the first project in the investment and cooperation plan between leading Vietnamese and Japanese corporations in high-tech agriculture, animal husbandry, and beef processing, with a total value of cooperation agreements of up to $500 million.

Sojitz Group has also invested in a number of large projects in Vietnam such as Loteco and Long Duc industrial parks in Dong Nai province; Phu My 3 thermal power plant in Vung Tau; energy consulting services and natural gas energy supply for Phu My 3 industrial park; general logistics services in Long An province; and afforestation and wood chip production and business in Cai Lan, Vung Ang, and Danang.

Sojitz Group wants to focus on investing in energy such as solar and wind; retail products from livestock and perfecting its logistics chain; and developing wood chips and wood material. We strive to promote talent exchange between Japan and Vietnam through projects to foster industrial human resource development and contribute to the sustainable development of this country.

Sojitz Group was established in 2003 on the basis of the merger of Nissho Iwai and Nichimen Groups. Currently, Sojitz has about 350 subsidiaries and 140 joint ventures with nearly 20,000 employees worldwide. In 2022, the group’s revenue and profit reached around $18.2 billion and $818 million, respectively.

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By Nguyen Thu

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