This is Prime Minister Dung’s first visit to Japan after being re-elected by the Vietnamese National Assembly in July.
Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1973 and Japan resumed its official development assistance (ODA) contributions to Vietnam in 1992. The two sides have maintained regular high ranking meetings and visits since 1993. Co-operation between ministries, sectors and localities of both countries has also been expanded. The friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and Japan has gained important achievements and the two countries signed the Vietnam – Japan Economic Partnership Agreement in 2008. During the official visit to Japan by Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in April 2009, the two sides signed the Joint Statement on developing a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia. Both countries have also expanded cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as bilateral co-operation in science, technology, education, training, tourism, and labour.
Vietnam has always attached great importance to its strategic partnership with Japan and hopes to deepen the friendship and multifaceted co-operation between the two countries to be more practical and effective. Vietnam appreciates the role of Japan at regional and international forums and has facilitated Japanese businesses' investment in Vietnam. The two countries have also established a multi-level dialogue and supported each other at major international forums, including the UN.
Japan is Vietnam’s largest ODA donor with over US$16 billion so far. In the 2010 fiscal year, Japan pledged US$1.76 billion in ODA to help Vietnam develop its infrastructure, combat climate change, eliminate hunger and reduce poverty. Two-way trade between the two countries also continues to increase. After being negatively impacted by the world economic crisis in 2009, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Japan recovered remarkably in 2010, earning US$16 billion, 21.7% over 2009. As of September 2011, the two way trade between Vietnam and Japan reached US$14.9 billion, including US$7.48 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to Japan and US$7.42 billion in imports from Japan to Vietnam. As of August 2011, Japan had 1,572 direct investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$ 21.78 billion, ranking fourth out of 92 countries and territories investing in the country.
The successful implementation of agreements, including the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and large scale infrastructure projects, will benefit both sides and contribute to expanding economic, trade and investment opportunities between Vietnam and Japan. In recent years, Japan has also been one of the largest providers of non-refundable aid for education and training in Vietnam, as well as a potential market for Vietnamese labour.
Prime Minister Dung’s visit to Japan takes place when the friendship and co-operation between Vietnam and Japan is developing strongly. The visit aims to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries while accelerating and meeting specific commitments for strategic economic co-operation projects agreed by high ranking leaders of both nations.
May the official visit to Japan by Prime Minister Nguyen Dan Dung and his wife be crowned with success, creating motivation for raising the strategic partnership between the two countries to a higher, more practical and effective level, thereby meeting the aspirations of both peoples for peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.