July 12, 2017
A business matching event in Tokyo
In 2000, JICA opened the first Japan Center to help capacity development of business persons. Intended for countries in Southeast and Central Asia aiming to transition to market economies, there are now Japan Centers in 10 locations in 9 countries.
In August 2016, the Vietnam Japan Institute for Human Resources Development (Japan Centers for short) began the course "Hai Phong Keieijuku" for company managers of Hai Phong, the third-largest city in Vietnam. In May, the first batch of 23 students in the course visited Japan. The “keieijuku" course is 10 months of training in Japanese-style business management. The course also is held every year in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. During this training in Japan, a social event and business meetings were held with the cooperation of the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN (SME Support, JAPAN), and the city of Kitakyushu.
Students taking the "Hai Phong Keieijuku" course
The Japan Centers in Vietnam are among the oldest, and Vietnam is the only country where two are operating in one country, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Hai Phong is 100 kilometers east of Hanoi. It is working to stimulate its local economy while building such infrastructure as a port and an airport.
The "Hai Phong Keieijuku" was launched as an initiative of the city of Hai Phong. The course is offered by the Japan Center in Hanoi. Hai Phong is providing assistance to improve the competitiveness of local companies, including in overseas markets. This includes paying half the tuition of students in Hai Phong, while students in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City must pay the entire tuition themselves.
As part of a two-week program at the end of the course, business networking events with Japanese companies were held in Tokyo and Kitakyushu, the sister city of Hai Phong.
Almost 20 Japanese companies interested in expanding into Vietnam and forming tie-ups with Vietnamese companies participated in the "Business Matching Event" co-hosted by the SME Support, JAPAN. First representatives of three Japanese and three Vietnamese companies sat around a table and had a lively discussion in an event called a "World Café.” Then a total of 217 meetings aimed at establishing tie-ups or business dealings were held. These included 192 group-matching and 25 individual business meetings. The companies are expected to use the J-GoodTech matching website, made available by smaller organizations, to find partners to develop business ventures.
Students visit a factory in Japan as part of their training
The comments of students in the "Hai Phong Keieijuku" included the following: "I wanted to find new partners. I got to socialize and negotiate as expected." "I want to keep in touch with Japanese companies and develop a relationship with them."
One representative of a Japanese company said, "I succeeded in building promising relationships."
Mr. Hoang Ngoc Tuan of the Hai Phong City Scientific Association for Development of Talents, Human Resources, which is in charge of the city's business promotion and business human resource development, said, "Vietnam and Japan both value people, and I think learning Japanese-style management is quite valuable for the companies of Hai Phong."