Businesses are optimistic about Vietnam’s economic outlook over the next 12 months, a recent survey by Grant Thorton Vietnam reveals.

Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013, the 10th biannual survey, “Private Equity in Vietnam – Investment Sentiment and Outlook”, is based on responses by decision makers working in the private equity sector in Vietnam.

Up to 43 percent of the respondents had bright views on Vietnam’s economic prospects. The figure stood at 34 percent, 16 percent and 27 percent in Q2 and Q4 of 2012 and this year’s Q2, respectively.

The survey also shows a sharp decline in negative outlook to 13 percent this time, from 27 percent, 51 percent and 31 percent in the last respective quarters.

In particular, 46 percent of the respondents said they plan to increase their investment in the country, while another 44 percent will maintain the current level.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam attracted 19.234 billion USD of newly registered and added capital in the last 10 months, a yearly rise of 65.5 percent.

Such results are believed to indicate that investors have regained their confidence.

Nonetheless, investors are still concerned about business obstacles in Vietnam. Up to 88 percent of them considered corruption to be the greatest hindrance to their investment.

Meanwhile, red tape and cumbersome procedures are viewed as the second constraint by 76 percent of the respondents. These problems cause difficulties for not only businesses but also the Government’s efforts against corruption.

The survey also looks into such issues as investment allocation, hands-on involvement with portfolio companies, and key factors to be considered when investing.-VNA