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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           27   July  2011

Vietnamese FDI rises again in July

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Foreign direct investment rebounded in July, reaching US$1 billion for the month, the Ministry of Planning and Invest-ment's Foreign Investment Agency announced. The figure almost kept up with the highest monthly level since the beginning of this year, which was US$1.39 billion in March, the agency said.

It also broke the downward trend of FDI disbursement over past few months. Total FDI disbursement hit $6.3 billion for the first seven months, marking a 1.6 per cent decrease over the same period of last year.

This month also witnessed a significant change in new registered investment capital. Only 49 new foreign-invested projects received licences during the month, the lowest in six months but the total registered capital for these projects was up to $3.23 billion.

Meanwhile, 15 existing projects were allowed to increase their capital by $148 million this month. So far this year 147 projects have been approved to add $1.42 of registered capital. The new additions have brought the total FDI registered in the first seven months to $9.05 billion, down 24 per cent on the same period last year, the agency said.

During the period, Hong Kong overtook Singapore to become Viet Nam's largest source of foreign investment with 31 projects worth $2.89 billion.

Singapore ranked second with 54 projects capitalised at $1.41 billion, following by South Korea with 172 projects valued at $797 million and Japan with 119 projects worth $720 million.

The processing and manufacturing sector attracted the largest share of FDI, gobbling up $4.25 billion. Electricity, gas and water production and distribution sector contributed $2.52 billion while the construction industry made up $603 million.

With 21 projects, totally worth $2.49 billion, the northern province of Hai Duong was the country's biggest destination for foreign investors, followed by HCM City with $1.63 billion and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province with $510 million.

The agency also reported foreign-invested firms fetched $27.82 billion from exports in the first seven months of the year, up 34 per cent over the same period last year. The firms also spent $25.4 billion for imports during the period, up 29.5 percent.

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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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