Total foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the first two months of the year decreased to 1.23 billion USD, down significantly from the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics from the General Statistics Office.

During the period, Vietnam licensed 65 new foreign-invested projects with a total registered capital of nearly 911 million USD, down 55 percent over the first two months last year. The country also approved another 25 existing projects to add nearly 320 million USD to its registered capital.

The office said that total FDI capital disbursement in the first two months fell by 9 percent to 1 billion USD.

Manufacturing and processing were the most attractive sectors to foreign investors, with 26 projects bringing in 990 million USD or 80.8 percent of the country's total FDI capital in January-February, the office reported.

The logistics and retail sectors followed in second place with capital volumes of 180 million USD and 27.1 million USD, respectively.

Japan topped the list of 23 countries and territories with projects in Vietnam for the first two months, with more than 1 billion USD in registered and additional capital invested. Taiwan and Singapore ranked second and third, the office said.

The northern port city of Hai Phong was the most attractive destination to foreign investors as it absorbed nearly 606 million USD, followed by the provinces of Khanh Hoa and Binh Duong.

The country this year targeted to attract 15-16 billion USD of FDI registered capital and expected that roughly 10-11 billion USD will be disbursed.

Do Nhat Hoang, director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency, said the country will value quality over quantity, considering the effectiveness of potential projects rather than amount of registered capital.

However, experts said, the Government should revise many of the current incentive policies in an effort to meet the target figure.-VNA