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Food industry attracting Japanese interest

Released at: 14:49, 13/12/2017

Food industry attracting Japanese interest

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Japanese investors increasingly keen on Vietnam's food industry, conference hears.

by Quynh Nguyen

Vietnam’s food industry will attract increasing numbers of Japanese enterprises in the years to come, Mr. Kitagawa Hironobu, Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Hanoi, told the Vietnam Food Industry Development Conference on December 12.

He pointed out that many Japanese enterprises work with JETRO in seeking investment opportunities in Vietnam’s food industry. The number of enterprises investing in non-manufacturing in Vietnam increased 70 per cent last year, with a particular interest in agriculture and food.

Mr. Le An Hai, Deputy Head of the Asia-Africa Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that many Vietnamese companies have invested heavily in the processing industry, providing a range of high-quality products for the domestic market and for export.

According to figures from MoIT, as at the end of November, growth in agricultural and processed food exports had increased over 2 per cent this year. “This is an encouraging result,” he said. “However, the food processing industry still has some limitations both in quality and quantity.”

The industry has great potential and opportunities to develop, especially in sectors such as milk, beverages, confectionery, and cooking oil, Mr. Hai added. In the 2011-2016 period, growth in fresh milk increased 16 per cent each year, beer 7 per cent, and beverages 11 per cent.

Notably, the consumption of confectionery in Vietnam in the years to come is forecast at some 10 per cent each year. For the vegetable oil industry, per capita consumption in Vietnam is now just 12 kg per person per year but is forecast to reach 20 kg by 2025.

Mr. Hai added that Vietnam’s food processing industry uses modern equipment and advanced technology and take advantage of the country’s raw materials in creating diversified food products that are highly competitive and can establish a foothold in the region and the world.

“MoIT and other ministries are actively working to develop a legal framework to create the best conditions for Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises to promote investment cooperation in the processing industry,” he said. 

Mr. Saka Hrumi from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said there should be cooperative dialogue in linking Vietnam-Japan agricultural value chains. The two countries have held three talks since 2014.

Representatives from Japanese enterprises said the government should provide support policies as well as capital and technology for businesses to set up wastewater treatment systems to prevent soil pollution. Businesses should also pay attention to the circulation of goods, to create value-added food chains from production and processing to distribution and consumption.

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