Japan expects EPA to be signed later this year

Nhan Dan | September 8, 2008

Japan expects EPA to be signed later this year

A senior Japanese diplomat said he hoped that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and Vietnam will be signed by the end of this year to pave the way for the two countries to boost their trade and investment.

“The most important issue in the EPA negotiation is the reduction of tariffs on commodities,” Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Mitsuo Sakaba said in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The EPA negotiation has been conducted for more than a year and the two countries have been making efforts to reach agreement in some issues, including commodities trading, service trading, investment and intellectual property.

The signing of the EPA is expected to help raise two-way trade to US$15 billion by 2010 from US$11.7 billion recorded last year as set by the two governments during the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2006.

The ambassador said he believed that the move will help Vietnam lure more Japanese investment, which is on upward trend despite high inflation in the Southeast Asian country.

The diplomat noted that Japanese businesses want to make long-term investment in Vietnam.

“At present, foreign investment in Vietnam is growing sharply and I think it is the signal that make us believe in the future of the Vietnamese economy,” he said. (VNA)

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source: Nhan Dan