Increasing numbers of Japanese enterprises want to expand their investments in Vietnam, Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

In a recent interview with VNA’s Tokyo-based reporters, Mr. Ishige said that Japanese enterprises have identified three advantages when investing in Vietnam: socio-political stability, a large-scale and promising market, and low-cost labor.

In 2015-2016, Japanese companies paid due attention to such fields as retail, hotels, restaurants and construction in Vietnam, the Mr. Ishige added.

He noted that JETRO has organized workshops, released survey results, and provided advice at JETRO offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Japanese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to invest directly in Vietnam.

Four-hundred of the 4,533 Japanese businesses participating in a project launched by JETRO that aims to assist Japanese SMEs said that they wish to invest in Vietnam, while 985 others expressed an interest in operating in the country.

Mr. Ishige quoted a JETRO survey on the international operations of Japanese enterprises in the 2016 fiscal year, which ended on March 31, 2017, in which respondents said that Vietnam has emerged as one of Japan’s most important export markets, together with the US and Western Europe.

Accordingly, 7.6 per cent of respondents selected Vietnam as the most important export market, compared with 3 per cent in 2012. China led, with 19.8 per cent, followed by the US with 15.5 per cent.

Among investment destinations cited by enterprises intending to expand their business overseas, Vietnam ranked fourth, with 32.4 per cent of respondents, up from 28.7 per cent. China and Thailand continued to rank first and second, though the proportion of respondents nominating the two countries fell to 53.7 per cent from 56.5 per cent in the previous year and to 41.7 per cent from 44 per cent, respectively. The US claimed third place, with 33.7 per cent, up from 31.3 per cent.

Among 70 Japanese enterprises that moved their investment from other countries to ASEAN in the 2016 fiscal year, 38 turned their attention towards Vietnam.