The electronic motor production line of the Japanese-funded Mabuchi Motor Vietnam in southern Dong Nai province's Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Zone. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The southern region has received 1.7 billion USD worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency.

This value accounted for 51.6 percent of the total FDI registered in the country, making the region the leading performer in terms of FDI attraction. The agency said in its recent report that the positive results were due to the region’s huge potential in developing industries such as hi-tech, IT, oil and gas, in addition to several services in banking, finance and tourism sectors.

During the three-month period, 246 new foreign-invested projects received licences while 305 existing ones were approved to raise capital in the region, which include HCM City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai, and Binh Duong, in addition to Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc.

Among large projects included 115 million USD steel mill emissions processing facility, developed by Zincox Resources PLC from the United Kingdom in Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province; a 55 million USD-garment factory, invested by Brunei’s Promax Textile Vietnam Co in Dong Nai Province’s Nhon Trach 3 Industrial Zone and a Brunei-funded furniture manufacturing project, worth 38 million USD, in Dong Nai’s Giang Dien Commune.

There were 41 countries and territories making investments in the region in the reviewed period. Of them, Japan ranked first with 309.3 million USD or equivalent to 18.1 percent of the region’s total FDI. The Republic of Korea and Brunei came second and third with about 270 million USD, or 15.7 percent, and 148.2 million USD, or 8.6 percent, respectively.

Among six localities, Dong Nai attracted the lion’s share of FDI with 585.4 million USD, making up 34.2 percent of the region’s total FDI. It was followed by Binh Duong with 376 million USD, or 22 percent, and HCM City with 354.2 million USD, or 20.7 percent.

From January to March, the manufacturing and processing sector was the most attractive sector to foreign investors as it absorbed 1.29 billion USD, totalling 76 percent of FDI pledged in the region. Water supply and waste treatment ranked second with 115 million USD while wholesale and retail came third with 105.7 million USD.-VNA