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Vietnam, Japan ink economic partnership deal   2008-12-25 - VNA

Vietnam and Japan signed an economic partnership compact in Tokyo on Dec. 25, laying the ground for a stronger bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone (left), Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai (right) and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang at the signing ceremony (Photo: AFP/VNA)

The Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), signed by Japanese Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone and Vietnamese Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, is expected to come into effect early next year after the two countries complete domestic ratification procedures.

The pact covers a wide range of areas, including goods, services, investment, business environment improvement, labour and technical cooperation.

The enforcement of the VJEPA will help elevate to a higher plane multifaceted cooperation between the two governments, businesses and people of the two countries and lay a firm foundation for building a strategic partnership as agreed upon by Vietnamese and Japanese leaders in 2006, said a joint statement released after the signing ceremony.

Vietnam and Japan started negotiations on the agreement in January 2007 and came to a successful conclusion in October this year after nine rounds of talks. The signing of the VJEPA took place at a time when the two nations are celebrating the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The same day, Minister Hoang and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai inked a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the supporting industry.

In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam-Japan trade value reached 14.4 billion USD, which is estimated to exceed 16 billion USD by the year end, much higher than the target of 15 billion USD set for 2010.

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