Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) disbursement during the first five months of this year is slightly lower than the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).

Disbursement reached 4.51 billion USD during the period, or 99.8 percent of last year's corresponding period figure. New FDI registered across the country dropped by 25.3 percent year-on-year, falling to 4.12 billion USD, the FIA said.

Added capital in existing projects also slumped. In five months, 82 projects registered to increase their capital by a total of 1.2 billion USD, a decrease of 47.5 percent against last year's corresponding period.

The country attracted a total FDI of 5.32 billion USD during the period, a 32 percent reduction from last year.

Among the largest projects are the Japan-invested Tokyu Binh Duong urban area worth 1.2 billion USD, a tyre manufacturing plant worth 575 million USD and a 300-million USD yarn production plant in northern Quang Ninh province.

The processing and manufacturing industry took the lead in terms of investment capital, gobbling up 3.3 billion USD or 62.3 percent of total national FDI.

Real estate came second, attracting 1.57 billion USD or accounting for 29.6 percent of the total FDI while the transport and storage sectors attracted the third largest portion of FDI at 182 million USD.

The southern province of Binh Duong continued to be a favourite location for foreign investors, drawing 1.6 billion USD or 30 percent of total FDI registered in the country over the period.

It was followed by the northern port city of Hai Phong with 928.8 million USD, and southern Dong Nai province with 698 million USD.

During the January-May period, Japan remained the country's leading source of foreign investment, pumping 3.68 billion USD into the country, followed by the British Virgin Islands, which invested 441 million USD and Hong Kong with 400 million USD in investments.

Earlier, FIA director Do Nhat Hoang urged sectors to call for environmentally-friendly projects that utilise modern technology and aim to raise the competitiveness of domestic products while helping the country expand its presence in the global production network and value chain.

He highlighted fields such as technology, mechanics, communications, pharmaceuticals, biology and clean energy.

Hoang suggested that changes be made to regulations and policies governing investment and business, land management and environmental protection in addition to FDI promotion.-VNA