Vietnam attracted nearly 400 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in January. Although this was only 78.1 percent of that in the same period last year, some projects last month were large, and this underlined the country’s continued attractiveness to investors. Insight by the Vietnam Economic News on February 20.

According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in the month Vietnam attracted an additional 40 FDI projects with total registered capital of 211.04 million USD, 47.6 percent of that in January 2013, while six FDI projects increased their registered capital by a total of 186.11 million USD, up 183.9 percent from the same period the previous year.

In other words, in January this year, Vietnam attracted an additional 397.15 USD million in FDI, which was 78.1 percent of that in the same month last year.

FDI projects attracted last month were found in nine fields, with the processing industry becoming the top FDI attractor with 189.04 million USD in newly registered and increased capital, accounting for 47.6 percent of all FDI capital attracted in the month. The industry was followed by the real estate sector with 176.33 million USD (44.4 percent) and transportation and forwarding with 17.05 USD (almost 4.3 percent).

Singapore ranked first among 19 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in January 2014 with 132.65 million USD in registered capital, accounting for 33.4 percent of all FDI capital attracted in the month, while the Republic of Korea (RoK) ranked second with 88.8 million USD (22.36 percent), and Hong Kong ranked third with 44 million USD (11.08 percent).

The Singaporean-owned VSIP Hai Phong Co., Ltd increased its investment capital by 122.303 million USD, while the Midea Consumer Electric Vietnam Co., Ltd in Binh Duong province increased its capital by 40 million USD, and the Lotte Vung Tau trade center project was registered by a Korean investor to build, manage and operate a modern trade center.

Talking to the Vietnam Economic News earlier this year, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said that the Vietnamese investment environment is improved with Vietnam’s political stability, social safety, macroeconomic stability, favorable geographical location in the heart of Southeast Asia, plentiful human resources, low labour cost and big market with an increasing purchasing power and income which is connected to the 600-million people market of ASEAN, China, Japan and the RoK.

The process of international economic integration of Vietnam is taking place on a deep and wide basis, according to Minister Vinh, as Vietnam is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), ASEAN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), and has diplomatic relations with over 180 countries and territories around the world.

Vietnam is negotiating to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and a number of important free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU and the RoK. The Government and various industries always attach much importance to the FDI sector, while investment institutions and policies are gradually improved. All these factors help build up foreign investor trust and facilitate foreign investment in Vietnam, Vinh said.-VNA