Vietnam attracted 8 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first seven months of this year, down by 67 percent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency's latest statistics.

A total of 584 new foreign-invested projects, worth 5.2 billion USD, were granted licences during the period, about 56 percent of the number at the same time last year.

However, capital added to existing projects surged. More than 230 projects registered to increase their capital by a total of 2.83 billion USD, a yearly increase of 5.2 percent.

During January-July, FDI disbursement almost equalled that for the same period last year, reached 6.25 billion USD or 99.2 percent of last year's figure.

Of the 49 countries and territories supplying FDI to Vietnam , Japan remained the largest source of foreign investment. Japanese investors registered to invest 4.29 billion USD, making up 53.4 percent of total FDI.

Samoa surprisingly came second, pumping in 890 million USD or 11 percent of total FDI. It was followed by the Republic of Korea with more than 600 million USD and Hong Kong with 492 million USD.

The processing and manufacturing industry took lead in term of investment capital, gobbling 5.5 billion USD or 68.5 percent of total national FDI.

Southern Binh Duong province's 1.2 billion USD Tokyu Binh Duong urban area, the largest in seven months, lifted real-estate to second position at 1.61 billion USD.

The retail trade and repair sector attracted the third largest FDI amount at 314 million USD.

In January-July, the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai, the northern port city of Hai Phong, northern Bac Giang province and the economic hubs of HCM City and Hanoi remained the most attractive locations for foreign investors.-VNA