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Vietnam, Japan Ink MoU for Cooperation in Tech

Japan ICT Day
Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Vietnam-Japan IT Cooperation Committee and the IT Innovation and Strategy Centre of Okinawa prefecture of Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation as part of Vietnam Japan Tech Cooperation.

At the Japan ICT Day event, Vietnamese and Japanese firms also shared information about and experience in new technologies.

The event opened in the central city of Da Nang, earlier this week.

According to a press release, participants explored ways to develop human resources in IT services and improve the capacity, scale, and quality of cooperation projects.

Apart from exchanges and business networking activities, the two-day event featured exhibitions introducing products and solutions from Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises.

Japan ICT Day
Vice Chairman Le Trung Chinh speaking at Japan ICT Day 2019. [Image credit: Nhan Dan]
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, LeTrung Chinh, said that Da Nang has set up cooperative ties with Japanese partners and cities like Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Kisarazu.

With 177 projects worth over US $800 million, Japan is the biggest foreign investor in Da Nang, making up 25% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) in the city, he said.

Besides, Japan is also the biggest software export market of IT firms in Da Nang, accounting for more than 36% of the market share.

Activities within the framework of Japan ICT Day 2019 are expected to help expand cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese businesses in the IT sector, especially digital transformation, big data, and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), amidst the fourth industrial revolution.

Da Nang is now the IT centre of Vietnam’s central region, with 93% out of over 3,800 businesses operating in the software and IT sector.

Up to 38 universities and vocational colleges in the city are offering IT training courses, recruiting 3,500 students each year.

Takeo Nakajima, the Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Hanoi, cited an annual survey by the organisation as saying that about 70% of Japanese firms operating in Vietnam said they are planning to expand business in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

JETRO is a government-related organisation that works to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world.

In 2018, 248 Japanese enterprises invested in the field of IT in Vietnam, making up 8% of the total amount of Japanese investment in the country, the Chief Representative said.

According to the Vice President for Global Affairs of the Japan Information Technology Services Industry Association (JISA), Junko Kawauchi, as of June 2019, Japan was about 781,000 IT engineers short and up to 95% of Japanese firms said they are interested in employing Vietnamese engineers.

Japan ICT Day 2019 was held on 22 October and was themed “Vietnam-Japan cooperation to promote digital conversion.” It was organised jointly by the Da Nang People’s Committee and the Vietnam Software Association (VINASA).

According to media reports, the event attracted 350 delegates including 100 from Japan for discussion in three sessions including Vietnam-Japan ICT cooperation in new technology; IT manpower development in favour of Vietnam-Japan IT cooperation; and efficient improvement in software outsourcing.

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