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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26  April 2011

Vietnam’s FDI falls

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The nation's foreign direct investment (FDI) plummeted during the first four months of the year with only US$4 billion earmarked by investors from abroad, down 47.8 percent against the same period last year, according the Foreign Investment Agency.

Up to 262 new foreign-invested projects, capitalised at $3.2 billion, were licensed from January to April, an annual decrease of 54.9 percent.

FDI disbursement, an important factor to evaluate the efficiency of investment inflows, however, still increased nearly 1 percent, reaching $3.62 billion during the period.

In another bright spot, 88 existing projects registered an increase in their levels of capital by a total of $819 million during the four months, up 36.8 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam's leading sources of foreign investment include Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, with Japanese companies still registering 55 new projects in Viet Nam despite the devastating impact of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

During the period, the processing and manufacturing sector remained the leader in attracting FDI, accounting for $2 billion of the first quarter total. In addition, 75 operating projects in the sector were allowed to raise capital by a total of $455.3 million.

With more than $1.1 billion coming to 58 new and seven expanded projects, HCM City continued to be the most attractive destination in the eyes of foreign investors. It was followed by Hanoi with 79 projects, worth a combined $430 million.

The foreign-invested sector saw an estimated four-month export turnover of $15.19 billion, up 37 percent year-on-year. The sector also posted an export surplus of $1.3 billion.

Earlier, the agency forecast new registered FDI would likely reach about $20 billion this year and over half of that sum would be implemented. Top priority would be given to projects in infrastructure construction, hi-tech and support industries.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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