return icon

Japanese maintaining operations thanks to quick-thinking action

Japanese businesses have deployed a number of new business models in Vietnam in 2020 in an effort to shelter from the storm of COVID-19.

1524 p14 japanese maintaining operations thanks to quick thinking action
Takeo Nakajima, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organization in Hanoi

The Vietnamese government has been taking a number of supporting policies to support businesses in a difficult time. How have Japanese companies benefited from these?

We highly appreciate the work Vietnam has done in the prevention of COVID-19 in the country. Effectively containing the pandemic provides significant support for the economy, and the business community as well.

Moreover, easing restrictions on the border is helpful to resuming business. A series of dialogues between the Vietnamese central and local governments with Japanese companies, meanwhile, has also assisted business confidence, with the highlight being a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in September 2020.

Because of the quick initiation of countermeasures against COVID-19, most Japanese companies are maintaining operations in Vietnam and do not need financial or other direct support.

The central and local governments’ priority in 2020 was to tackle the pandemic. As a result, the business climate has not improved much, but businesspeople have accepted it. According to our recent survey, Japanese companies’ local procurement rate in Vietnam was 37 per cent, a one-point increase from the previous year. The rest is imported from other countries.

Domestic and foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam have looked into new business models to stand firm and develop in 2020. What have been the key focus points for Japanese businesses in Vietnam during the year?

First was reinforcing the supply chain and value chain to avoid business disruption by unexpected incidents. Now, Vietnam is one of the critical countries for a more resilient Japanese supply chain.

Next, investment is spreading into more provinces throughout Vietnam as the domestic markets expand, and business costs in urban areas increase. Furthermore, more Japanese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will start operations in Vietnam if COVID-19 remains under control. Most of the big Japanese enterprises have factories or branches in Vietnam, and the next significant trend is that SMEs with superior technology will invest in the country.

The Vietnamese government has been accelerating the digital transformation of state agencies and the business community. How have Japanese companies tapped into this trend?



Japanese companies waste no time in capturing these types of opportunities. There are many players in digital transformation - large multinational corporations, domestic SMEs, and international startups. We help companies in Japan and Vietnam meet and collaborate through different channels, including business matching, seminars, and one-on-one introductions. Vietnam has a unique potential with a manufacturing base, ICT capability, and English and/or Japanese speaking ability.

Looking towards 2021, what are the possible scenarios in business activities among Japanese businesses in Vietnam in the context that the global health crisis will be around for some time to come?

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank predict major countries would bounce back to positive GDP growth in 2021 thanks to new vaccine development to counter COVID-19, and Vietnam may attain 6-7 per cent growth next year.

However, Vietnam has uncertain factors surrounding the country. Firstly, it depends heavily on foreign markets, particularly the United States, China, Europe, South Korea, and Japan too. The growth of other countries impacts Vietnam’s economy.

Secondly, tourism occupied around 10 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP. If you include its related industries, the figure would be much higher. If COVID-19 continues to hinder the entry of tourists, it would be challenging for the sectors to recover.

Lastly, we are entering a transition period for Vietnam’s Party leadership towards the next five-year term. We would like to see a clear, comprehensive policy by the new administration next year in the time to come. VIR

Bich Thuy

Vietnam is No 1 destination for Japanese investors

Vietnam is No 1 destination for Japanese investors

Of 81 businesses receiving support from the Japanese government, 37 have decided to invest in Vietnam, while 19 have chosen Thailand.  

Japanese, Thai retailers compete in $200 billion retail market

Japanese, Thai retailers compete in $200 billion retail market

After the lockdown this year, shopping malls began to be busy again in the 'new normal' situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Fuel supply estimated to surge 10-15% in 2023

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has drawn up two scenarios for the minimum fuel supply in 2023, requiring key fuel enterprises to increase the overall figure by 10-15% in 2023, according to the local media.

Da Nang to hire more IT staff to meet digital transformation goals

In the 2022-2025 period, Da Nang needs at least 7,500 more information technology (IT) workers a year and in the 2026-2030 period, the figure is 8,000.

Ho Chi Minh City looks to cash in on new travel trends

Ho Chi Minh City expects to fully exploit bleisure travel - a novel type of tourism combining business travel with leisure time.

A special English class in Hanoi for the older generation

For the past four years, a special English class has been held in Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi for students 60 to 90 years old.


Strong economic growth creates platform for M&A market


Hanoi Tourism Ao Dai Festival 2022 opens

Use of e-cigarettes by youth rockets with easy availability at shops

Many students and young people have been hospitalized in a deep coma after using e-cigarettes, which are easy to buy.

How will telecom carriers fare in a highly competitive market?

The traditional telecom market is getting saturated and facing upheavals, including a drop in revenue from traditional calls and SMS, a tighter management policy and changes in technology.

Number of international visitors to Vietnam sets 'record' after pandemic

Vietnam welcomed 2.95 million foreign visitors in January-November 2022, 21.1 times up year on year, but still down 81.9% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Su-30MK2, Mi helicopters rehearse in Hanoi

On December 2, Su-30MK2 fighters performed in a rehearsal to prepare for the upcoming Vietnam International Defense Exhibition 2022.

Vietnam sends condolences over passing of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin

Vietnamese leaders on December 2 cabled messages of condolences to Chinese leaders over the death of former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and former President of China Jiang Zemin.

Ministry proposes canceling funding plans over disbursement delays

Disbursements of public funds sourced from foreign loans in the year through November had moved at a snail’s pace, reaching only slightly more than 25% of the full-year plan.

Hanoi to pilot bike rental service in six urban districts

Hanoi has approved a year-long pilot bike rental service programme in Hoan Kiem, Tay Ho, Dong Da, Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung, and Thanh Xuan districts.

Weightlifters hope for Olympic qualification from world championship

It was scheduled to be held in Chongqing, China, but this changed in March due to COVID-19 measures in China. The new location was announced in April.

Striker Nguyen Van Quyet named best player of 2022 V.League 1

Striker Nguyen Van Quyet received a statue for the most valuable player of the 2022 V.League 1 season at a V.League Awards ceremony organised on December 1 in Hanoi.