Vietnam lures US$35.46 billion FDI in 2018

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%.

Statistics showed that 112 countries and territories invested in Vietnam from January to December. Among them, Japan took the lead with US$8.59 billion, making up 24% of the nation’s total FDI. 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 nation’s total FDI, respectively.

The capital city 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).

In order to better lure and use FDI resources, it is necessary to have concerted awareness and actions to implement orientations and policies on foreign investment, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang said.

Streamlining legal institutions and policies as well as improving the business investment environment in line with market standards and international rules are important prerequisites for attracting and using foreign investment effectively, he told a conference late last week.

Thang also emphasised the importance of developing skilled personnel resources to reposition Vietnam’s competitive edge in attracting foreign investment besides encouraging and supporting the joint venture, cooperation and technology transfer between domestic and foreign-invested firms.

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