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The Fifth Japan-Viet Nam Policy Dialogue on Distribution and Logistics Held

On August 30 (Tues.) and 31 (Wed.), 2016, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), jointly with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, held the fifth Japan-Viet Nam Policy Dialogue on Distribution and Logistics in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

1. Summary of the outcomes

On August 30 (Tues.) and 31 (Wed.), 2016, METI, jointly with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam, held the fifth Japan-Viet Nam Policy Dialogue on Distribution and Logistics in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

1) Intergovernmental dialogue

METI requested that Viet Nam abolish and relax specific regulations that the Vietnamese government imposes on foreign-invested retailers in the country, as a step towards the further development of the distribution field in both countries and towards enhancement of the cooperative relationship between the countries in the field. Specifically, Japan mentioned the Economic Needs Test (ENT),* which examines foreign-invested retailers who intend to open more than one store in Viet Nam, and the regulations that control the sale of specific products, including rice and tobacco.**

In response, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam conveyed its understanding that the business development of Japanese companies in Viet Nam will become a strong advantage in modernizing the distribution field in the country. Based on this understanding, it also stressed the opinion that Japanese companies are not required to take the ENT in cases where they deploy franchise businesses to local companies or individuals in Viet Nam regardless of the size of shops. Following this, it stated that the country strongly requests that Japanese companies develop businesses not only in large cities, such as Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, but also in regional areas. Concerning the regulations that control the sale of specific products, it expressed the view that Viet Nam will proactively consider the relaxation of the regulations.

Both ministries agreed to hold the sixth dialogue in Tokyo around FY2017, aiming at continuing to further develop the distribution field and enhance the cooperative relationship in the field between Japan and Viet Nam.

Notes
*1: Under the ENT, when foreign-invested retailers intend to open more than one store in Viet Nam, competent ministries or people’s commissions in the cities that are directly controlled by the central government examine and decide whether or not such retailers are able to open new stores, based on certain criteria for the given region, including population density, the number of retail shops, and market stability. Since June 2013, stores with a floor space of 500 square meters or less have been excluded from the ENT under certain conditions.
**2: Rights to sell certain products, including rice, sugar, publications and tobacco, are not granted to foreign-invested retailers in Viet Nam.

2) Public-private dialogue forum

From the Japanese side, four companies, namely, FamilyMart Vietnam Joint Stock Company, Aeon Vietnam, Co., Ltd., Takashimaya Vietnam Ltd., and Sojitz Vietman Company Ltd., explained the outline of their business in Viet Nam, and based on this, they showed their expectations and other views to the government of Viet Nam regarding the relaxation of regulations in the country. From the Vietnamese side, the Association of Vietnam Retailers, Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company and Phu Thai Group explained the outline of their business.

Both ministries confirmed the importance of having opportunities for private sector businesses in Japan and Viet Nam to exchange views on distribution and the governments and the ministries agreed to continue to hold dialogues.

2. Outline of the dialogue

Date:
Intergovernmental dialogue: From 15:00 to 18:00, August 30 (Tues.), 2016
Public-private forum: From 8:30 to 12:00, August 31 (Wed.), 2016
Venue:
Ministry of Industry and Trade, Hanoi
Participants:
Mr. Takayuki Sumita, Director-General for Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy, METI, and others
Dr. Vo Van Quyen, Director-General of Domestic Market Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, and others
Participants in the public-private forum:
Five private Japanese companies
A number of private Vietnamese companies

A scene from the intergovernmental dialogue

Director-General Quyen and Director-General Sumita

Release date

September 8, 2016

Division in Charge

Distribution and Logistics Policy Division, Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group

Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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