Much remains to be done to attract quality foreign direct investment (FDI), and State agencies will do their best to facilitate FDI firms’ operation and bolster their confidence in Vietnam, Director of the Foreign Investment Agency Do Nhat Hoang said.

The agency reported that registered FDI in the country approximated 6.6 billion USD in the first half of 2014, representing 64.7 percent of the same period last year’s figure. The implemented FDI rose by 0.9 percent annually to 5.75 billion USD.

Dang Xuan Quang, Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Agency, said existing incentives have failed to pull the FDI flow along desired directions. He noted that the flow still focused on certain localities and little went to remote and rural areas which are in urgent need of investment to improve local socio-economic situation.

On the other hand, real estate has attracted a great amount of FDI even though no incentive is offered for the sector, while important sectors such as agriculture have not interested foreign investors despite numerous impetus.

Chairman of the Vietnam Association of FDI Enterprises Nguyen Mai said it is vital to change investment promotion methods, of which publicising the necessary information for investors via the Internet is an effective way.

At the same time, the process of FDI project verification needs to be streamlined so that investors can quickly begin their projects, he added.

Selecting the right projects and investors is decisive to the success of FDI attraction, economist Le Dang Doanh said, noting that authorities should not make commitments when they haven’t known thoroughly investors’ intention and potential.

He stressed that instead of offering too many incentives, localities need to work harder to improve their investment climate, infrastructure and manpower quality to draw FDI.

Brian Portelli, an expert from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, said financial incentives can play an important role in FDI attraction, but they should not be crucial elements, but supplementary ones.
Reports by the General Statistics Office said as of the end of December 2013, there were 9,093 FDI businesses in Vietnam, 83 percent of which completely owned by foreigners.

FDI enterprises accounted for 45.4 percent of total profit and 30.5 percent of contribution to the State budget of all enterprises in Vietnam.

Pham Dinh Thuy, Director of the office’s Industrial Statistics Department, said this year 31.7 percent of FDI firms plan to increase their capital, 79 percent expect higher revenues, and 81.1 percent hope to gain better yields compared to 2013.-VNA