Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Foreign-invested enterprises disbursed 3.88 billion USD in the first quarter this year, up 7.2 percent annually, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).

The country attracted 618 newly-licensed projects with registered capital of 2.12 billion USD, up 25.4 percent in volume, proving that Vietnam remains attractive to foreign investors.

Among 76 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first quarter, the Republic of Korea took the lead with 1.84 billion USD, accounting for 31.6 percent of the total. Hong Kong (China) ranked second with a registered capital of roughly 689 million USD, equivalent to 11.9 percent while Singapore poured 649 million USD, or 11.2 percent, coming third.

FDI firms invested in 19 out of 21 sectors, mostly in manufacturing and processing with 188.52 billion USD (58.5 percent). It was followed by real estate with 53.56 billion USD (16.6 percent) and electricity, gas and water supply with 21 billion USD (6.5 percent).

Their projects now cover all the 63 cities and provinces nationwide. Ho Chi Minh City attracted the most FDI with 44.25 billion USD, accounting for 13.7 percent of the total. The southern province of Binh Duong came next with 30.67 billion USD (9.5 percent), followed by Hanoi with 27.69 billion USD (8.6 percent). However, these figures do not project a declining investment flow into the country in 2018.

According to economists, there were 618 newly-licensed projects during the period, up 25.4 percent in volume but down 27.3 percent in value. At the same time, 199 projects registered additional capital of over 1.78 billion USD, down 54.6 percent annually. The total newly-licensed and additional capital topped 3.9 billion USD, down 43 percent year-on-year.

A survey by the General Statistics Office indicated that 33 percent of businesses performed better in the first quarter while 24.6 percent met difficulties and 42.4 percent enjoyed stable production and trade.

It is forecast that 55.7 percent of firms will be opportunistic about their performance, 10.4 percent will face obstacles and 33.9 percent operate stably in the second quarter.

A representative from the Centre for Japanese Investment Promotion in Ho Chi Minh City has lauded improvements in e-government system, food sample inspection, and risk management in customs clearance stations.

Deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Vietnam Food Administration Le Van Giang said the Vietnamese government drastically asked agencies concerned to not cause difficulties for enterprises while refining e-government system from the grassroots to central level, towards improving the business climate for domestic and foreign firms.-VNA