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January 25, 2008

More than 9,500 projects licensed since 1987
Vietnam has licensed over 9,500 foreign-invested projects, capitalised at around 98 billion USD, since 1987 when the Law on Foreign Investment was promulgated.

Of the total, 8,590 projects with a total investment of over 83 billion USD are operational, according to the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

The Law on Foreign Investment was among the first laws enacted during the renewal process and it has been hailed by the international community to be an open and attractive law that complies with international rules.

The law, along with the amendment and supplement of foreign investment related legal documents, has helped raise flows of foreign investment into Vietnam between 2003 and now, the department said. It added that a marked increase in foreign investment was registered in 2006 and 2007, with a number of large-scale projects, mainly in heavy industry and services.

Projects in industry and construction accounted for 66.8 percent of the total number of projects and over 60 percent of the total registered capital. They were followed by projects in services, making up 22 percent and 34.4 percent, respectively.

The economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City and the capital city of Ha Noi currently rank first and second among the 10 leading localities in foreign investment attraction.

Of more than 2,220 projects in the northern region in the 1998-2007 period, 44.5 percent went to Ha Noi. Meanwhile,  Ho Chi Minh City is home to nearly 2,400 of the total 5,452 projects in the southern region.

Despite its seventh position in the list of the ten localities, Phu Yen is leading other central provinces in luring foreign investment, with 39 projects worth nearly 2 billion USD.

At present, 80 countries and territories worldwide are investing in Viet Nam, with Asian countries operating 68 percent of the projects; EU members, 16.2 percent, and American nations, 11 percent.

The year 2007 saw the second time the  Republic  of  Korea  ranks first in investment in Viet Nam, with 1,837 projects, worth over 13.5 billion USD. It was followed by Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.

According to the MPI, the foreign-invested sector has been the most dynamic sector and has made more important contributions to the development of the national economy.

Despite broadened opportunities in foreign investment attraction, Viet Nam is facing a number of difficulties and challenges, including poor infrastructure, shortage of skilled human resources and complicated administrative procedures, the MPI said.

Together with luring foreign investment, Viet Nam has been running 249 projects with a total capital of nearly 1.4 billion USD in 35 countries and territories worldwide.

Courtesy VNA

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