The Republic of Korea and Singapore were the runner-ups with US$7.2 billion and US$5 billion, making up 24.2% and 14.2% of the country’s total FDI, respectively.
Vietnam attracted US$35.46 billion in total foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2018, equivalent to 98.8% of the previous year’s figure.
According to a report by the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, by December 20, FDI commitment for 3,046 newly-licensed projects reached nearly US$18 billion, equivalent to 84.5% of the same period last year.
After a yearly decline of nearly 10% in FDI added to operating projects totaled at US$7.59 billion, the capital pledged for stake acquisitions rose by 60% year on year to US$9.89 billion, the report said.
As per the data, foreign-invested enterprises gained a trade surplus of US$32.8 billion this year as they exported US$175.5 billion worth of goods, up 13% while their imports hit US$142.7 billion, up 12%.
The manufacturing and processing sector garnered the most interest from foreign investors in the period, accounting for US$16.58 billion, or 47% of the registered capital.
The real estate sector ranked second with US$6.6 billion, or 18.5% and the retail sector came third with US$3.67 billion, or 10.3%.
The capital city of Hanoi lured the lion share of FDI with US$7.5 billion or 21.2% of the total capital pledged for the country. It was followed by the southern economic hub of HCM City with US$5.9 billion or 17%, and the northern port city of Hai Phong with US$3.1 billion, or 8.7%.
In a wider scope, there were more than 27,350 valid foreign-invested projects in Vietnam so far with a total registered capital of US$340 billion. Over half of the FDI has been disbursed thus far, according to the above-mentioned report.
The Republic of Korea was the leading source of FDI with US$62.5 billion and Japan came next with US$57 billion. Several others included Singapore, Taiwan (China), British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong (China).