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Mori Mutsuya, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam, put forward the idea at a seminar his agency organized jointly with the administration of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) on Monday.
Da Lat is the capital city of Lam Dong, which is seen as a potential source of fruits and vegetables for Japan, according to the attendees.
The proposed agro-industrial park is expected to cover 300 hectares and be capable of producing 20,000 metric tons of green produce a year, all of which will be exported to Japan, according to the JICA representative.
Mutsuya hinted that around 50 Japanese agricultural businesses will lease spaces at the park, adding the JICA has already found a suitable land plot for the construction.
If site clearance could be completed in 12 months, it will take another two years for the park to reach completion, he added.
The Japan-Lam Dong seminar was joined by 30 businesses from the East Asian country and 60 Vietnamese companies.
Lam Dong chairman Doan Van Viet took advantage of the event to call for Japanese investment in the hi-tech agricultural production in his province.
“Lam Dong welcomes Japanese businesses to invest in the fields of post-harvest technology, flower wholesaling, and agricultural produce processing industries,” he said.
A representative from Japanese advisory company Dream Incubator Inc. (DI) told the seminar that Lam Dong has a golden chance to become the leading production cluster for Japan.
Japan is the largest importer of processed fruit and vegetable products and fresh flowers in Asia, accounting for up to 70 percent and 60 percent of the total imports in the region, according to DI.
The domestic production of these products in Japan is shrinking, whereas shipments from such countries as China, Malaysia, and Columbia have also dropped, which the Japanese firm said creates an opportunity for Lam Dong.
DI also pinpoints three shortcomings Lam Dong must improve to grab the chance to become a stable supplier of green produce for Japan: high production costs, unstable supply, and small production scales.