March 18, 2014 2:58 am JST

Vietnam aims to double trade with Japan by 2020: president

TOKYO -- Vietnam hopes to deepen cooperation with Japan on infrastructure, industrial technologies and agriculture, with an eye toward more than doubling bilateral trade by 2020, President Truong Tan Sang said Monday.

     In an interview with The Nikkei, Sang said the government is intent on creating "favorable conditions for Japanese companies to invest and do business in Vietnam." His aim is to give the nation's industry a boost by luring Japanese companies.

     "It is Vietnam's wish that Japan work closely with us to achieve the goal of at least doubling trade turnover" from slightly more than $25 billion in 2013, Sang said, adding that "we look forward" to the increasing participation of Japanese investors in public-private partnership projects.

     On the agricultural front, Sang is focusing on R&D on new technologies and developing human resources for sustainable development. He visited an agricultural institute and a sales and servicing facility for farming equipment in Ibaraki Prefecture on Sunday. The president is eager to adopt Japanese breeding technologies.

     Sang also touched on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, the free trade talks that have stalled over the clashing interests of member nations.

     "Since Vietnam is a country at a lower level of development than the other TPP members," it "hopes that other countries will give flexibility to Vietnam's important sectors, such as garments and footwear, and give our country a reasonable transition time," he said.