Why Japan Investors Invest in Vietnam

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The depreciation of yen against dollar, more available funds for loans from Japanese banks, and the fast aging population make Japanese corporations increasing investment in foreign markets including Vietnam through setting up business venture.

In a morning of Jan 22nd 2015, the office of Ministry of Planning and Investment and Foreign Investment Agency have met and worked with small and medium business delegation of Japan to explore investment opportunities in Vietnam.  The Japanese business delegation led by Mr. Shuichi Kageyama, vice president of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, are representative of 21 companies operating in the area of construction, real estate, electronics, manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals products, medical devices.  The visit has shown interests of Japanese investors in various sectors in the socio-economic development, environmental and investment policies of the government of Vietnam in attracting foreign investment. The Vietnam government also shows effort to support Japanese investor through improving on administrative procedures, and transparency.

The visit of Japanese delegation to Vietnam should be noted amid the strongest wave of Japanese corporations’ investment into foreign markets since 2006 after building up record cash on hands.  The yen has been at weak level making M&A into foreign market expensive.  However it is expected that yen will depreciate further against dollar over the year to come due to the policy of Mr. Shinzo Abe. In the meantime, Japanese banks are also ready to make more funds available for loans.  Another fact is that Japanese population is aging faster. Those combined reasons together with Vietnam’s attractiveness for investors make Japanese corporations increase investment through making direct investment or acquiring other corporations in foreign markets including Vietnam.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency, as of Oct 2014, Vietnam has attracted more than USD 36.5 billion from Japan with more than 2,434 FDI projects. Japan ranks first in the number of countries and territories that have investment projects in Vietnam, in which, the first 10 months of the year 2014, total investment of newly registered and increased capital from Japan reached USD 1.66 billion.  Thanh Hoa has 9 projects with a total investment of USD 9.68 billion; Hanoi has 607 projects at nearly USD 4 billion; Binh Duong province has 241 projects at USD 3.8 billion.

Japanese corporations invest in various area including retail, food processing, IT, manufacturing, constructions.  Several prominent Japanese investors have been successful in Vietnam are Cannon, Isuzu Motors, Ajinomoto, Toyota Corporations, Logitem Logistics, Mitsubishi Corp, Kotobuki Holdings, Taisei Corp, Sumitomo Corp, Itochu Corp. The list will continue to grow as the time to come as Japan diversifies from China and Vietnam continues to emerge as an attractive destination.

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