|Headphones are manufactured by workers at South Korean Glonics Viet Nam Co. South Korea was the country's leading source of FDI in the first quarter. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Nguyen
HA NOI (VNS) — Disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 7 per cent to end at US$3.05 billion in the first quarter of the year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency.
During the reviewed period, the country attracted more than $1.83 billion in FDI, equivalent to 55.1 per cent of the same period last year. Of the total, $1.21 billion came from 267 newly licensed projects and the remainder came from 102 operating projects that raised their level of earnings.
The agency's newest report noted that the first quarter saw new registered FDI and capital added to existing projects dropping by 40.6 per cent and 51.8 per cent, respectively.
Manufacturing and processing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors during the period, as it absorbed $1.4 billion, accounting for 76.6 per cent of the total capital registered in the country. Estate trading ranked second, luring approximately $203 million, and wholesale and retail industry came third, attracting $123.4 million.
From January to March, South Korea surpassed 32 countries and territories to become Viet Nam's leading source of FDI with $491 million, making up 26.7 per cent of the country's total registered FDI. It was followed by the British Virgin Islands ($351.6 million or 19.1 per cent) and Japan ($294.4 million or 16 per cent).
Among 28 localities, the southern economic hub of HCM City attracted the largest share of FDI with $540.2 million, following by Hai Phong with $235.2 million and the southern province of Binh Duong with $140 million.
According to the report, the foreign-invested sector recorded a trade surplus of $1.98 billion in the first quarter of this year. It exported $25.08 billion in goods, up 12.9 per cent year-on-year, while its imports saw a yearly rise of 24 per cent to $23.09 billion.
Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), said there was a new wave of investment in 2014. Implementation capital reached $12.6 billion, with registered capital totalling more than $21 billion.
Mai said there were various signs that indicated the new wave of investment last year. The quality of foreign investment was better than previous years. Big projects were carried out very quickly.
"The new wave will maintain its pace until 2020," he said. "How well Viet Nam welcomes the wave depends on administration systems in the country, including tax and customs, and the management of the Government, ministries and of chairmen of People's Committees in cities and provinces." — VNS