VIETNAM, January 31 –
HÀ NỘI — Viet Nam attracted foreign investment worth US$1.69 billion in the first month of 2023, down 19.8 percent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and the investments.
One bright spot in January was that 153 new projects with foreign investment valued at $1.2 billion received licenses, up 48.5% in number and 3.1 times in value, a signal to confirm the confidence of foreign investors in Vietnam’s investment environment, the FIA said.
During the month, capital added in operational projects by foreign investors saw a year-on-year drop of 76 percent to $306.3 million, while their capital contributions and share purchases also fell 61 percent year-on-year to over $174 million.
At the same time, paid-out capital also saw a 16.3 percent decline to approximately $1.35 billion in the first month, the FIA said, adding that $1.05 billion worth of foreign investment was paid out in the manufacturing and processing industry, representing 77 .6 percent of the total.
As there were two long holidays in January – New Year and Lunar New Year, the recorded decrease in registered foreign investment capital or even disbursement has not yet reflected the overall trend of foreign investment capital flows to Vietnam in 2023, according to the agency.
Projects related to wholesale, retail, and repair of automobiles and motor vehicles accounted for the lion’s share of the total recorded, 54.1 percent or $651.9 million. They were followed by those in manufacturing and manufacturing, which together registered $351.2 million in capital or the equivalent of 29.1 percent, and those in other sectors with $202 million or 16.8 percent.
Also in January, 28 foreign countries and territories invested in Vietnam. Singapore is the biggest with $767.6 million, followed by China with $198.2 million.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese investors poured $126.7 million into their overseas projects, up 3.4 times from the same month in 2022.
Among three countries and territories receiving investment from Viet Nam, South Korea was the leading country with $125.1 million, accounting for 98.7 percent of the total investment capital; followed by Thailand ($1.5 million or 1.2 percent); and Laos ($140,000 or 0.1%).
The foreign investment zone
Viet Nam is expected to attract a lot of FDI this year due to its impressive economic performance in 2022, improved business climate and benefits brought by free trade agreements it has signed, experts said.
Đỗ Văn Sử, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Department, said Vietnam is likely to attract US$36-38 billion worth of FDI in 2023.
South Korea, Japan and Taiwan (China) are expected to be among the main sources of investment as they continue to pump money into Southeast Asia.
Economist Lê Đăng Doanh said the country needs to further accelerate administrative reforms, improve its investment environment and ensure policy stability.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that priority will be given to projects that use new and green technologies and have high added value.
Although there are undoubtedly still issues related to the quality of human resources, Vietnam remains an attractive destination for foreign investors due to its supportive policies, he added.
A recent survey by the Ministry of Planning and Investment found that 76 percent of businesses said they were satisfied with the government’s support policies.
They were most satisfied with policies to exempt and reduce VAT, as well as those to stabilize gasoline prices, improve the work permit process and customs clearance procedures, and support import-export and workers’ livelihoods.
To continue attracting foreign investment, Dung said it is vital for Viet Nam to develop innovation and financial centers regionally and internationally.
It is also important to stabilize the economy and improve infrastructure and the quality of human resources, he added.
Last year, foreign direct investment was worth nearly $22.4 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
Of the more than 100 nations and territories that invested last year, Singapore topped the list with $6.46 billion, followed by South Korea ($4.88 billion) and Japan ($4.78 billion).
They invested in 54 provinces and cities, of which HCM City attracted the most: $3.94 billion.
Bình Dương is second with $3.14 billion and Quảng Ninh is third with $2.37 billion. — VNS