The southern province of Binh Duong will attract an estimated 2.6 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2012, far exceeding the target of 1 billion USD, according to the provincial People's Committee.

Among the foreign firms to invest in the province was Japan 's Sai Gon Stec Co which spent 175 million USD on expanding its factory to produce electronic circuit boards for cameras in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSHIP) II. This expansion has raised the company's total investment in the province to 340 million USD.

Another Japanese enterprise, Wonderful Sai Gon Electrics, added 150 million USD to its hi-tech factory to produce camera modules used in mobile phones, allowing it to turn out 245 million products each year. Sun Steel Co also expanded its operation in steel and corrugated iron with a capital supplement of 100 million USD.

New FDI registered in the province also contributed to this year's boom. Over 100 new projects, capitalised at 1.58 billion USD, were granted investment certificates.

To date, the province has attracted 2,117 foreign-invested projects worth a combined capital of 17.3 billion USD.

"We have attempted to implement policies with a focus on developing infrastructure and ensuring a skilled labour force to better facilitate foreign investors," said vice chairman of the provincial People's Committee Tran Thanh Liem.

In an attempt to continue this positive trend, the province has set a target of attracting between 1-1.2 billion USD per year until 2020 with a focus on countries such as Japan , the US and the EU.

According to financial analysts, the strong inflow of FDI to Binh Duong, despite the global economic difficulties, showed that the province had responded to demands from investors for a safe and secure investment environment.

Binh Duong's high quality infrastructure and its provision of land are attractive to overseas investors, they said.

To date, the province has developed 28 industrial parks, covering a total area of over 9,000ha, many of which have become well-known in international business circles, including VSIP, My Phuoc and Song Than.

While maximising its existing strong points, local authorities have realised that they need to pay more attention to improving local services and the quality of its human resources as well as simplifying administrative procedures to make it easier for investors.-VNA