Vietnamese businesses’ overseas investment activities have been actively implemented with satisfactory results, helping boost the export and consumption of Vietnamese goods in foreign countries, said an official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

Phan Huu Thang, Director of the MPI’s Foreign Investment Agency, said the rapid increase of overseas investment activities recently is an objective development that is suitable to the domestic economic development as well as the country’s international economic integration.

To date, Vietnam has more than 440 projects in 49 countries and territories with a total registered capital of over 6.8 billion USD, of which 1.5 billion USD has been realised.

In the first eight months of 2009 alone, Vietnamese enterprises registered an overseas investment capital of 2.1 billion USD, accounting for 20.8 percent of the total.

Thang said that these results not only prove the grown-up of the Vietnamese businesses but also show that overseas investment has brought about positive efficiencies such as strengthening businesses’ economic cooperation capacity, boosting international economic integration, increasing the export of Vietnamese goods and creating processing and distribution establishments in foreign countries.

The overseas investment has also helped Vietnamese enterprises take the advantage of business opportunities abroad and improve their competitiveness in the international business environment, he said, adding that it has also been an important channel to attract foreign investment to the homeland.

According to the MPI official, Vietnam’s overseas investment activities are enjoying unprecedented advantages as the global economic crisis, besides negative impacts, has opened new opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to get access to foreign markets.

He, however, noted that Vietnamese businesses are facing a lot of difficulties in investing abroad due to poor financial potentials and lack of knowledge of host countries’ laws. In addition, the lack of coordination among enterprises is hindering their investment activities abroad.

Thang said that the Prime Minister has approved an overseas investment promotion project which is considered an important legal foundation for further strengthening Vietnam ’s investment activities abroad.

Apart from investment in traditional markets, including Laos, Cambodia, and Russia, Vietnamese businesses should expand their activities to new markets such as Latin America, East Europe and Africa .

The ministry will give priority to investment in such areas as energy, power production, mineral and oil and gas exploitation, and industrial tree planting, he added./.