Vietnam has become an attractive destination for foreign firms and a potential market for digitalisation and electronic commerce, said Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of the ASEAN.

The official made the statement at a press conference announcing the results of a dialogue between the Federation of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA) and the ASEAN Secretary General, which was held in Ho Chi Minh City on July 23.

Vietnam has proved its position in the global economy. Notably, the country’s economy maintains an impressive growth rate with an open business climate, he added.

Vietnam is now a member of many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, including those with great influence such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

In addition, with a population of nearly 100 million, a low median age, and a high rate of Internet users, Vietnam is a strong potential market that foreign investors in the fields of digitalisation and e-commerce are keeping an eye on, the ASEAN Secretary General noted.

According to Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Vietnam and Japan have inked 36 memoranda of understanding totalling 21 billion USD.

Recent reforms on administrative and customs procedures have helped address troubles for firms in goods transport and foster foreign investment activities in the trade and service sectors, he said, adding that Japan’s investment in Vietnam has been on the rise.

In 2017, Japan topped the list of countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 9.11 billion USD, accounting for 25.4 percent of total capital.

In the first six months of this year, Japan also overcame 86 countries and territories to become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with 6.47 billion USD, or 31.8 percent of the total registered capital.