A corner of Hanoi capital (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hanoi has been the country’s top attractor of foreign direct investment (FDI) this year, luring more than than 4.05 billion USD in FDI projects as of March 20, 10 times higher than the same period last year.

In addition, the capital city also permitted foreign investors to spend 47.27 million USD acquiring shares in Vietnamese firms in the three months.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Trade Agency said FDI inflow to the city accounted for 38.4 percent of the nation’s total FDI in the first quarter of 2019.

Hanoi outpaced the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City and southern Binh Duong province, who came second and third in FDI attraction with 1.57 billion USD and 625.6 million USD, respectively.

Director of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Manh Quyen said at a recent teleconference that the city licensed 117 new projects with registered capital of 254.3 million USD, and allowed 25 projects to increase capital to the tune of 40.9 million USD.

The processing and manufacturing sector remained the most alluring for foreign investors, followed by real estate and science and technology, he said.

Noteworthy projects in the period included Hong Kong’s Beerco Limited’s spending 3.85 billion USD on a stake in Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd, the Republic of Korea’s Lotte Mall increasing its capital by 300 million USD and Thailand’s 10 million-USD Indochina Energy Development.

Quyen attributed the strong growth in FDI attraction to the city’s efforts to improve the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), as well as remove bottlenecks for investors.

Besides, the city has stepped up information technology use to handle administrative procedures in business and investment registration, tax, insurance and land lease, among others, he said.

FDI commitments in Vietnam in the first quarter of the year reached a three-year record of 10.8 billion USD, up 86.2 per cent year-on-year.

Up to 785 new projects were granted licences with total investment capital of 3.82 billion USD in the first three months of the year, while 279 existing projects were injected with an additional 1.3 billion USD.

Hong Kong was the leading source of foreign investment with 4.4 billion USD among 74 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, making up nearly 40.7 per cent of the country’s total FDI. Singapore ranked second with 1.46 billion USD (13.5 per cent), and the Republic of Korea came next with 1.3 billion USD (12.2 per cent). China and Japan took fourth and fifth with total registered capital of 1 billion USD and 700 million USD, respectively.-VNA