The country's investment promotion activities this year will focus on infrastructure development, support industries, agriculture, and high-tech industries, according to

These activities are expected to make best use of the imminent free trade agreements (FTAs) and the potential Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, the site reported.

Top priority for investment promotion will be given to several key partners such as Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Taiwan (China) and Singapore and to European countries such as Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and France, as well as Italy, the online newspaper quoted Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency, as saying.

For Japan, the promotion activities strive to attract Japanese investment in high-tech agriculture, while for some of the reviewed EU partners, the activities are aimed at catching up with the influx of investment capital that could follow the signing of the Vietnam-Europe FTA in the near future, especially in the areas of industry, energy and infrastructure.

Exploitation of investment opportunities with RoK businesses after the signing of the Vietnam-RoK FTA, which was slated to be effective as of the first half of this year, would also be included in these plans, Hoang told the newspaper.

Attracting investments from small- and medium-sized enterprises was also a point of focus, besides attracting large-scale groups, as these firms would make effective contributions toward fostering the development of domestic support industries, not only through manufacturing and supplying products for domestic and export markets but also by helping to bolster local enterprises' capacities via partnerships and business alliances, he noted.

Statistics from the agency showed that Vietnam attracted 20.23 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, an increase of 19 percent against the target.

The RoK led the 60 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in 2014, with 7.32 billion USD in investment capital, accounting for 36.2 percent USD of the country's total FDI capital. It was followed by Hong Kong with 3 billion USD, or 14.8 percent; Singapore with 2.79 billion USD, or 13.8 percent; and Japan with 2.05 billion USD, or 10.1 percent.

FDI in Vietnam was forecast to increase significantly this year, as many large foreign-invested projects were expected to be issued licences in the next few months, the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper reported.

Experts said that licensed projects worth billions of dollars had so far helped Vietnam attract many other supporting projects. This was in accordance with the government's sustainable growth strategy involving enhanced investments to high-tech industries and the creation of value-added exports and supporting industries.-VNA