Total foreign investment inflows in Vietnam reached US$12.33 billion in the first four months of this year, a year-on-year decrease of 14.5 per cent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).
|The Bac Lieu Wind Power Plant in the southern province of Bac Lieu which ranked top in terms of FDI attraction with $4 billion in the first four months of this year. - VNA/VNS Ngoc Ha |
The figure, however, was much higher than that of the same period of 2018 and 2017 with $5.8 billion and $9.2 billion, respectively, the FIA said.
The four-month period saw 984 new foreign-invested projects licensed with a total registered capital of $6.78 billion, down 9 per cent in term of number of projects but up 27 per cent in value year-on-year.
Of them, the Bac Lieu LNG-to-power project marked the first billion-dollar project in 2020 with investment capital of $4 billion, accounting for 59 per cent of the total registered FDI.
Meanwhile, 335 existing projects were allowed to raise their investments by more than $3.07 billion, surging 46 per cent over the same period last year.
From January to April, foreign investors spent nearly $2 billion buying shares or contributing capital to Vietnamese firms, down 65 per cent year-on-year.
According to the agency, FDI disbursement reached $5.15 billion in four months or equivalent to 90.4 per cent of the last year’s corresponding period.
Foreign investors pledged to pour capital in 18 sectors, in which manufacturing and processing took the lead with nearly $6 billion, accounting for 48.4 per cent of the total capital. It was followed by power production and distribution ($3.9 billion); wholesale and retail ($776 million); and real estate ($665 million), the FIA said.
Singapore was the country’s largest source of FDI as the committed volume accounted for 41 per cent or $5.07 billion. Thailand and Japan were the runners-up with $1.46 billion and $1.16 billion, respectively, followed by mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea.
Among 54 localities receiving FDI in the four-month period, the southern province of Bac Lieu ranked top with $4 billion. Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province came next with $1.9 billion and HCM City placed third with $1.31 billion, followed by Hanoi, Ha Nam and Binh Duong provinces.
Foreign-invested sector’s exports rose by 1.5 per cent against last year to $55.75 billion, making up 69.3 per cent of the nation’s four-month export value. Meanwhile, the sector’s import value also picked up 3 per cent to $46.32 billion, accounting for 58 per cent of the nation’s import volume.
Despite the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector gained a trade surplus of $10.2 billion, according to the FIA.
The study from Standard Chartered forecast that FDI inflows will see a plunge to below $10 billion this year, with downside risks if virus worries continue in the second half of the year.
Construction activity is likely to decline on subdued sentiment and declining FDI investment. Export growth is likely to slow sharply given lower global demand while import growth will also likely moderate with a slower growth, keeping the trade balance in surplus in 2020.