Foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in the January-September period has so far exceeded the year’s target and topped 15 billion USD, a surge of 36.1 percent year-on-year, with a large amount seen flowing into science and technology, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Science-technology ranks third among the sectors attracting the largest amounts of FDI in the nine-month period with 116 new projects having total registered capital of over 380 million USD, much higher than the nearly 99 million USD recorded in the whole 2012.

Besides, the amount of FDI poured into the sector in the period accounted for around one-third of the total amount pledged for science and technology in 25 years of attracting FDI (1.1 billion USD).

Compared to processing and manufacturing industries, investments into science and technology in the nine-month period is much lower. However, investment attraction and new projects of the sector are on the rise, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the MPI.

Despite high FDI recorded so far, according to analysts, the domestic investment environment is not as competitive as regional countries. In a recent episode of the programme " Citizens Ask-Ministers Answer " of the Vietnam Television, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that Vietnam was losing its advantage in attracting FDI compared to neighboring countries like Thailand and Indonesia.

Vietnam currently has to select projects of high technology, having high added value and not polluting the environment, meaning it has become choosier towards FDI. Besides, infrastructure in Vietnam is not good enough and administrative procedures have not been improved much, making FDI attraction face more difficulties, according to the minister.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently issued a resolution governing the improvement of foreign direct investment attraction and efficiency. The resolution introduces four orientations and five groups of solutions.

Under the principle that FDI is a crucial resource and essential part of the economy that must be encouraged over the long run, Resolution 103/NQ-CP stipulates that FDI and domestic resources will together create a joint strength to help Vietnam reach its targets of modernisation, industrialisation and economic restructuring.

FDI attraction will be achieved by encouraging high-quality projects, those with a high added value and high technology, and environmentally friendly ones; promoting large-scale projects producing competitive products that join transnational groups’ value chains; strengthening connectivity between FDI and domestic businesses; and developing appropriate FDI attraction plans that ensure national benefits and economic restructuring according to the new growth model.

The resolution refers to five solutions for FDI attraction and efficiency improvement: improving the legal framework; revising a number of investment management and authorisation principles; improving criteria for investment licensing; revamping investment promotion; and strengthening investment inspection and supervision.-VNA