In the first two months of 2023, Vietnam attracted a total foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD 146 million, with a large amount coming from Japanese manufacturers and retailers as they have continuously unveiled plans to highlight their presence in the country.
Despite economic challenges, several Japanese retailers are opening more stores in Vietnam. Notably, Uniqlo has recently opened its 16th store in Thiso Mall (Thu Duc City) in Ho Chi Minh City, and concurrently announced the opening of another store in Tan Phu District.
Other players, including Muji and AEON Group, have been expanding their business networks nationwide through new outlets in Hanoi and Thua Thien Hue province. Remarkably, the new AEON Mall in the central region of Vietnam will cover an area of over 8 hectares, with a total investment of nearly USD 170 million.
Generally, new stores opened in Vietnam are almost double the average size of those in other countries, including in the homeland of Japan. For instance, Muji outlets in Vietnam have an average area of about 2,000 square meters.
Meanwhile, Japanese food companies are also rushing into Vietnam. According to the President of Trade Media Japan and a representative of Miyazaki Prefecture, Vietnam is identified as a key market for high-quality specialties from Miyazaki, including beef, shiitake, and orange fish. He also disclosed that around two tonnes of Miyazaki beef will arrive in the country in 2023, and the export volume will increase five-fold in parallel with other foods.
Recent surveys conducted by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) indicate that 60% of Japanese enterprises are willing to expand their investment in Vietnam, and the country has also surpassed India and Indonesia to become the second most attractive destination, only after the United States.