VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese and Japanese businesses plan to join forces with develop priority industries. However, they still cannot map out any business plans until a government’s action plan is approved.



Nguyen Van Tan, Director of the Hanoi-based Thong Tan Trade and Food Processing Company, said he got no new information from the workshop on the industry development strategy held recently by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Japan Economic Fund (JEF).

Tan said on Dau tu that he still has not found the answers to his questions, especially the one about how the State would support enterprises to develop associates.

Being a business that makes products for exports, Tan understands that he needs to cooperate with partners to develop. Thong Tan keeps associates with many partners, but it still has many problems.

“It’s very difficult to control the quality of the materials supplied. Will the State get involved in this issue? Is it true that only the enterprises to be located near each other in the same area will be able to associate?” he questioned.

Ecolink, one of the few businesses pioneering in developing link chains, connecting the material growing areas, food processing and distribution, also said it has got puzzled with overlapping regulations.

Under the law on the quality of goods, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is in charge of managing the initial production process. The Ministry of Health (MOH) is in charge of managing consumer goods. Meanwhile the Law on Food Safety commissions three ministries, including MARD, MOH and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to take the state management over the groups of products.

Than Di Ngu, Director of Ecolink, said if the relevant ministries and branches cannot clarify their responsibilities, it would be impossible to implement the plans on link chain development, while businesses would not be able to exploit their opportunities.

Both Vietnamese and Japanese feel impatient to know when and how the plans would be implemented.

Noriyuki Yonemura, JEF’s Secretary General, said Vietnam will have to fulfill its roadmap of cutting the tariffs in accordance with the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement by 2018. If Vietnam continues wasting its investments in labor intensive industries in the context of the steady labor cost increase, foreign investors would head for other countries. “There is not much time left,” he gave a warning.

Under the framework of the Vietnam-Japan cooperation program on implementing Vietnam’s industrialization strategy, food processing is one of the six industries Vietnam will prioritize to develop. The other five industries include household electrics/electronics, shipbuilding, agricultural machinery, environment and energy saving, automobile industry and car part production.

It was initially expected that the strategy compilation would finish in March 2013, while an action plan would be draw up by the third quarter of 2013.

However, sources from the strategy compilation taskforce have said the compilers are still collecting opinions from relevant ministries and branches.

The 6 chosen industries for priority development are the fields that Vietnam wants to develop most. However, these are also the business fields that Japanese enterprises are interested and want to invest in.

There are a lot of Japanese enterprises operating in these fields in Vietnam, namely Acecook, Kyoei Food in food processing, Panasonic in electronics, Honda and Toyota in automobile manufacturing.

The Japanese side has expressed its worry about the problems arisen during the action plan building, including the limited resources and unclear comprehensive measures for the industrial policy implementation.