11:24 | 27/03/2015 Economy
Disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 7% to end at US$3.05 billion in the first quarter of the year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency.
During the reviewed period, the country attracted more than US$1.83 billion in FDI, equivalent to 55.1% of the same period last year. Of the total, US$1.21 billion came from 267 newly licensed projects and the remainder came from 102 operating projects that raised their level of earnings.
The agency's newest report noted that the first quarter saw new registered FDI and capital added to existing projects dropping by 40.6% and 51.8%, respectively.
Manufacturing and processing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors during the period, as it absorbed US$1.4 billion, accounting for 76.6% of the total capital registered in the country. Estate trading ranked second, luring approximately $203 million, and wholesale and retail industry came third, attracting $123.4 million.
From January to March, The Republic of Korea surpassed 32 countries and territories to become Vietnam's leading source of FDI with US$491 million, making up 26.7% of the country's total registered FDI. It was followed by the British Virgin Islands (US$351.6 million or 19.1%) and Japan (US$294.4 million or 16%).
Among 28 localities, the southern economic hub of HCM City attracted the largest share of FDI with US$540.2 million, following by Hai Phong with US$235.2 million and the southern province of Binh Duong with US$140 million.
According to the report, the foreign-invested sector recorded a trade surplus of $1.98 billion in the first quarter of this year. It exported US$25.08 billion in goods, up 12.9% year-on-year, while its imports saw a yearly rise of 24% to US$23.09 billion.
Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), said there was a new wave of investment in 2014. Implementation capital reached US$12.6 billion, with registered capital totalling more than US$21 billion.
Mai said there were various signs that indicated the new wave of investment last year. The quality of foreign investment was better than previous years. Big projects were carried out very quickly.
"The new wave will maintain its pace until 2020," he said. "How well Vietnam welcomes the wave depends on administration systems in the country, including tax and customs, and the management of the Government, ministries and of chairmen of People's Committees in cities and provinces."
Source VOV News