The Voice of Russia said on Oct. 16 that foreign direct investment into Vietnam has increased rapidly and Japanese businesses are paying more attention to the country.

Of the 9.5 billion USD of foreign direct investment injected into Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, half came from Japan, the radio said.

It went on to say that at present, Japanese investors are currently operating more than 1,700 projects in Vietnam, including several large-scale ones such as the Nghi Son oil refinery and the Bridgestone tyre factory. Recently, Japanese companies have also begun to invest in small and medium-sized projects in Vietnam .

Compared to China, Vietnamese labour costs are two to three times cheaper, said the head of the Economic Department at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Marina Tregubenko, when explaining why ‘Asian tigers’ as well as Western developing countries have chosen Vietnam as their investment destination.

A strong growth in domestic industries and a large population have created a big domestic market, she added. She went on to say that many overseas investors are focusing on improving road, air and maritime transport links in Vietnam and upgrading the country’s infrastructure.

She also listed some of Vietnam’s other advantages, such as the application of high-technologies, its accommodating legal system for overseas investors, its stable political scene and the substantial support provided by the overseas Vietnamese community.

However, Tregubenko pointed out a number of shortcomings that put off many foreign investors, including the country’s poor infrastructure and the high rental costs of commercial premises as well as housing./.