15:28 | 02/05/2018 Investment
(VEN) - In the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam attracted US$5.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) from 76 countries and territories. FDI disbursement reached US$3.88 billion, up 7.2 percent over the same period in 2017.
Lower investment pledges
According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in the first quarter of the year, Vietnam granted investment certificates to 618 new projects with total registered capital of US$2.12 billion, equivalent to 72.7 percent of investments in the same period of 2017. It also approved investment adjustments for 199 projects to the tune of an additional US$1.79 billion, equivalent to 45.4 percent of investments in the same period of 2017. Foreign investors made 1,285 capital contributions and share purchases with total capital of US$1.89 billion, an increase of 121.6 percent compared to a year ago.
In total, FDI pledges in the first quarter of 2018 reached US$5.8 billion, a drop of 24.8 percent compared to the same period last year, due to an absence of large projects.
However, economists forecast that investments in 2018 would not drop from the 2017 level. This assessment is based on Vietnam’s improved business environment that is highly appreciated by domestic and foreign businesses. Many businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and Thailand will continue to choose Vietnam as an investment destination.
RoK tops list
Some 49 provinces and cities attracted FDI in the first quarter of the year. Ho Chi Minh City was the top recipient of registered FDI capital at US$1.7 billion, equal to 29.3 percent of newly registered capital, followed by Hai Phong with US$925 million (16 percent), and Binh Duong with US$565 million (9.7 percent).
Among the 76 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in early 2018, the RoK ranked first with US$1.84 billion, accounting for 31.6 percent of total FDI, followed by Hong Kong (China) with US$689 million and Singapore with US$649 million.
Foreign investors have targeted 17 sectors, of which manufacturing and processing attracted capital of US$3.44 billion, accounting for 59.4 percent of the total, followed by the retail sector with US$531 million and real estate business with US$486 million.
During the first quarter, exports by the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) reached US$39.34 billion, accounting for 72.4 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover. The sector also imported goods worth US$31.75 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$7.59 billion for the first quarter of 2018.