Vietnamese Prime Minister pledges to improve human rights to attract foreign investment

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on November 24 during a four-day visit here.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh pledged that Vietnam will strengthen measures to ensure human rights to attract more foreign investors, according to Nikkei Asia.

The head of the Vietnamese government made such a commitment when speaking at the Vietnam-Japan Investment Promotion Conference in Tokyo, during his visit to Japan last week.

Keeping people safe is creating opportunities for investors,” the Vietnamese prime minister was quoted as saying by Nikkei, a Tokyo-based weekly newspaper, at a conference on the last day of his visit to Japan on 25. November, after meeting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Chinh said Vietnam will “proactively integrate into the world in both depth and breadth.”

Human rights and social issues are increasingly seen as important to global companies looking to build supply chains. Many garment companies have stopped sourcing cotton from China’s Xinjiang region, which has been accused of human rights abuses.

I want to radically strengthen administrative reform and eliminate corruption to benefit investors,” Mr. Chinh pledged.

Reporting on this conference, Vietnam’s state-controlled media did not mention Mr. Chinh’s commitment to human rights.

However, when noting about the dialogue between the Prime Minister of Vietnam and Japanese investors on November 25 in Tokyo, VnExpress said that Mr. Chinh mentioned one of the new points of the Resolution of the 13th Party Congress of Vietnam is promoting human values, in which “people are both the center and the subject, motivation, and goal for development.” Along with pledging to create a favorable and open investment environment, the Vietnamese prime minister also “spent a lot of time talking about ensuring political stability and human security for Japanese investors when doing business” in the Southeast Asian country.

During his four-day visit, Mr. Chinh suggested that Japanese companies – currently among the top foreign investors in Vietnam – invest more in clean energy as well as develop the digital economy. According to the Vietnamese state-controlled media, PM Chính met with representatives of Hitachi, Sumitomo, Eneos, and the operator of Fast Retailing of Uniqlo, among other companies.

Japanese companies – including energy company eREX, real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate, retail group Aeon Mall and a number of trading companies – have signed memorandums of understanding with the Vietnamese side. According to VietNamNet, the two sides have signed more than 40 cooperation agreements worth billions of dollars in many fields, including renewable energy, medical care, and aquaculture.

Statistics of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade show that Japan is the supplier of ODA (official development assistance) to Vietnam with about $27 billion and the second-largest partner in terms of FDI (foreign direct investment) with an accumulated $64 billion.

According to the Vietnam News Agency, Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) aid to Vietnam accounts for nearly 30% of the official development assistance that the Japanese government provides to countries around the world. The Vietnam-Japan Joint Statement said that Japan’s ODA over the past 30 years has helped Vietnam in hunger eradication and poverty reduction as well as socio-economic development. (Translated)