Foreign direct investment (FDI) has played an important role in boosting Vietnam's economic growth, said participants of a workshop, held in Hanoi on April 9.

FDI has been an important source that directly participated in and promoted the creation of several industrial sectors with a high demand for technology and added-value products, such as machinery manufacturing, energy, computers and telephones, they said.

FDI has also played an important part in the country's export and import activities over the past years, they said, adding the FDI sector contributed towards ensuring the supply of foreign exchange as well as the national balance of payments.

Director of the National Centre of Socio-economic Information and Forecasting Mai Thi Thu said since the Law on Foreign Investment was issued in 1987, FDI capital has had great impact on Vietnam's economy by mobilising capital for development and promoting economic development.

FDI also contributed towards creating conditions for the transfer of technology, generating jobs for the local people and accelerating the country's global integration, she said.

Several products produced by foreign-invested businesses have established themselves firmly in international markets, such as telephones, electronic components and garments and textiles.

Director of the planning and investment ministry's Foreign Investment Agency Do Nhat Hoang said FDI helped to strengthen the linkage between foreign and domestic businesses, and assisted Vietnam's economy to integrate deeper with the global economy.

The government and authorised agencies of ten created conditions and improved the investment environment to draw more foreign investment, he said.

However, a number of participants pointed out the shortcomings of FDI businesses, such as slow transfer of technology for domestic partners, environmental pollution caused by some FDI projects or tax evasion by some businesses, causing public concern, while affecting the investment environment of Vietnam.

The Foreign Investment Agency said Vietnam granted licences to 267 new FDI projects in the first quarter of this year, with a total registered capital of more than 1.2 billion USD.

The country expects to draw 18 billion USD in FDI this year, and the FDI disbursement is expected to be 12 billion USD.

Vietnam attracted 17,579 FDI projects worth 251.8 billion USD over the past 30 years, since the Law on Foreign Investment was issued in 1987.

FDI projects cover a wide range of sectors, including minerals exploitation, agro-forestry and fisheries, processing industry and services such as real estate, healthcare and education.

Asian investors such as Japan, Singapore and the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China) are among the top foreign investors in Vietnam.-VNA