HÀ NỘI: Foreign direct investment (FDI) commitments in the first quarter of the year reached a three-year record of US$10.8 billion, up 86.2 per cent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).
During the reviewed period, FDI disbursement also saw a positive increase of 6.2 per cent to $4.12 billion, the FIA, which is under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, announced on Tuesday.
Up to 785 new projects were granted licences with total registered investment capital of $3.82 billion in the first three months of the year, up 80.1 per cent from the same period last year, while 279 existing projects were injected with an additional $1.3 billion, equivalent to 72.5 per cent of the level from the corresponding period last year.
Although the number of capital adjustment projects increased sharply (40.2 per cent), the capital scale was small with an average of $4.65 million per project, down from $8.99 million in the same period last year.
The number of projects with large capital adjustment was also very small. There was only one project with a large capital increase of $110 million. In the first quarter of 2018, there were five projects that increased investment capital by $100-500 million, accounting for 55 per cent of the total.
Overseas players spent $5.68 billion to acquire shares in Vietnamese companies in the first quarter of the year, triple that of the same period last year and accounting for 52.6 per cent of total FDI commitments.
From January to March, foreign-invested businesses gained a trade surplus of $7.57 billion, including crude oil with exports topping $41.45 billion, 2.7 per cent higher than the same period last year, and imports hitting $33.88 billion, up 6 per cent.
Foreign investors poured their funds into 180 sectors. Manufacturing and processing remained the most appealing sector by attracting $8.4 billion in three months, accounting for 77.7 per cent of the total investment inflow. It was followed by real estate with $778.2 million (7.2 per cent) and science and technology with $383.2 million (3.5 per cent).
Hong Kong was the leading source of foreign investment with $4.4 billion among 74 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam, making up nearly 40.7 per cent of the country’s total FDI. Singapore ranked second with $1.46 billion (13.5 per cent), and South Korea came next with $1.3 billion (12.2 per cent). China and Japan took fourth and fifth with total registered capital of $1 billion and $700 million, respectively.
In the first three months of the year, the capital city lured the largest share of registered capital with $4.15 billion, or 38.4 per cent of total investment. It was followed by HCM City with $1.57 billion (14.5 per cent) and the southern province of Bình Dương with $526.6 million (5.8 per cent).
In the first quarter of the year, big FDI projects included Hong Kong’s Beerco Limited spending $3.85 billion on a stake in Việt Nam Beverage Co Ltd, a local unit of Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd. Also notable was a factory manufacturing electronics, network equipment and multimedia products for Goertel Co Ltd in Bắc Ninh Province with total investment of $260 million; Singapore’s Royal Pagoda Private Limited investing in a textile project in in Nghệ An Province; and China’s Guizhou Tyre Co Ltd investing in a truck and bus tire plant in Tiền Giang Province to the tune of $214.4 million.
Economists say stability has been an advantage for Việt Nam in attracting FDI. The Government’s efforts to improve the investment environment also contributed to the record level.