NNA survey: Japanese firms pick Vietnam as top investment spot

08, Jan. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Japanese firms in Asia regard Vietnam as the most prospective place to invest their money in the region, thanks to the country’s high economic growth as well as its position as a production hub and a large consumer market, an NNA survey showed.

Among 630 respondents working for Japanese companies in East Asia, Southeast Asia, India and Australia, 35.7 percent said Vietnam is the most promising economy for investment, far above the 17.8 percent who preferred India, which was the second most popular spot in the survey.

“We may consider expanding our business in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, but only after we are well established in Vietnam,” a Japanese employee in the non-manufacturing sector in Vietnam said.

India is also attracting Japanese investors for its high growth potential, according to the survey conducted from Nov. 26 to Dec. 9.

Respondents said the Indian economy has overcome the drag from the abolition of high-value banknotes and the introduction of goods and services tax.

A Japanese employee at a manufacturer see growth potential in India due to “an increase in the population and incomes as well as demand for new products prompted by environmental regulations.”

Those based in other countries agreed. Income inequality remains in the South Asian economic giant but an employee at a Japanese manufacturer in China praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic policies that have helped boost GDP growth.

In the survey, China was the third most popular place for investment, endorsed by 7.9 percent of the respondents, down from 12.6 percent in the 2017 poll, due largely to growing uncertainties stemming from the U.S.-China trade war.

Thailand finished fourth, favored by 7.3 percent of the respondents, up from seventh the previous year, in light of an economic recovery led by the automobile sector.

Thailand, the second largest Southeast Asia economy after Indonesia, has “a desirable environment for starting a new business model,” a Japanese employee in the non-manufacturing sector in Thailand said.

Indonesia remained fifth, back by 6.7 percent of the respondents.

Myanmar ranked sixth at 6.5 percent, down from 8.7 percent from a year earlier, in the wake of the Rohingya refugee crisis in the western state of Rakhine.