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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26  February 2011

Vietnamese FDI falls 32 percent

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The nation attracted US$1.56 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) during January and February, down 32 pe cent against the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA). However, disbursement of FDI during the first two months increased by 4.5 percent over the same period last year to reach $1.15 billion.

Up to 93 new foreign-invested projects were licensed during the period, worth a combined $1.47 billion, while 14 existing projects were also allowed to increase their levels of capital by $86 million.

Singapore was the leading source of foreign investment in Vietnam with $1.08 billion, accounting for 69.2 percent of the total registered capital. It was followed by British Virgin Islands with $186 million, South Korea and Malaysia with $89.9 million and $42.7 million, respectively. During the period, the processing and manufacturing sector attracted the largest share of FDI, making up $1.2 billion. The construction sector contributed $71.7 million, while the retail sector ranked third, attracting $48.8 million.

With a $1 billion solar panel producing project, the southern hub of HCM City was the most attractive locality in the eyes of foreign investors. It has absorbed total investment capital of $1.1 billion, followed by the central city of Da Nang with $180 million and the southern province of Dong Nai with $81.4 million.

The foreign-invested sector was estimated to generate $6.98 billion from exports during the first two months, up 40 percent year-on-year or accounting for 56.6 per cent of the country's total export turnover. The sector also posted an export surplus of $1.05 billion.

FDI attraction this year would focus on quality rather than the number of projects, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

Licensing for large-scale projects with major land use or those that were potentially harmful to the environment and consumed huge amounts of energy would be heavily scrutinised, said Dong. Next year would also see a significant change in investment promotion with a focus on each specific sector and region in addition to enhancing supervision on the implementation of licensed projects.

The FIA forecast new registered FDI would likely reach about $20 billion next year and over half of that sum would be implemented.

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