FDI in VN rose 44% to hit new record in 2017

VGP Viet Nam has remained an attractive destination for foreign investors in 2017 with total FDI capital registered in the country hitting a record high of US$35.88 billion, up 44.4% against last year.

Reports from the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that of the sum, US$21.27 billion came from 2,591 new projects, up 42.3% against last year.

Another US$8.41 billion was added to 1,188 existing projects, 49.2% higher than last year.

The remainder of the FDI, worth US$6.19 billion, came from 5,002 deals made by foreign investors to contribute capital to businesses and to buy shares of Vietnamese businesses, jumping 45.1% compared to last year.

In 2017, FDI disbursement also saw a record setting, as it increased 10.8% to US$17.5 billion. In the previous years, the capital influx reached only some US$11-12 billion.

Among 19 industries and sectors attracting FDI capital in 2017, manufacturing-processing industry remained the top sector, receiving US$15.87 billion, accounting for 44.2% of the total registered FDI.

The electricity production and distribution sector ranked second with US$8.37 billion, representing 23.3% of the total FDI. The real estate sector was in third place with US$3.05 billion, totalling 8.5%.

Among 115 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam this year, Japan topped the list, with US$9.11 billion, making up 25.4% of the FDI pledged to the country. It was followed by the Republic of Korea with US$8.49 billion or 23.7% of the FDI, and Singapore with US$5.3 billion or 14.8%.

The southern economic hub of HCM City was at the top, among 59 localities receiving FDI during the year, followed by the northern province of Bac Ninh and the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Among some of the mega projects in 2017 were three BOT thermal power projects. They were Japan's US$2.8 billion Nghi Son 2 thermal power plant in the central province of Thanh Hoa, Japan's US$2.58 billion Van Phong 1 thermal power plant in the central province of Khanh Hoa and Singapore's US$2.07 billion Nam Dinh 1 thermal power plant in the northern province of Thai Binh.

Large projects in other industries included the Republic of Korea's US$2.5 billion Samsung expansion project in the northern province of Bac Ninh, the US$1.27-billion Block B O Mon gas pipeline project in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and the Republic of Korea's US$885.85 million smart complex project in HCM City's Thu Thiem New Urban Area.

To fully capitalise on the FDI capital source in the new stage, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is drafting the foreign direct investment strategy for 2018-23. With assistance from the World Bank, the FDI strategy drafts that Vietnam at this stage should focus on sectors having advantages, and those that foreign firms could bring more benefits to, rather than domestic firms.

Under the draft strategy, Viet Nam should set out priority sectors for attracting FDI, such as those that needs increased value and competitiveness, including manufacturing (high-grade metals/minerals/chemicals/plastics and high-tech/electronic components); service (logistics and maintenance, repair and overhaul); agriculture (innovative and high value agricultural products such as rice, coffee, seafood, fruits); and travel (high-value tourism services).

Source: Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam