Businesses from South Korea, Malaysia
and Japan poured the largest sums into their projects in Vietnam in 2015, with their commitments and disbursements totaling $11.04 billion, accounting for 48.5% of the total, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Foreign investors won licenses to start 2,013 projects worth $15.58 billion and raised capital in 814 projects by $7.18 billion in the year to December 20, resulting in a sum of $22.76 billion, up 12.5% from 2014, the FIA said in a report on December 30.
The agency added that foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in Vietnam raked in $115.1 billion from exports in the year, rising 13.8% year-on-year and accounting for 70.9% of the country’s export revenue. The firms, meanwhile, spent $97.9 billion on imports, up 16.4% year-on-year and making up 59.2% of the country’s imports.
FIEs recorded a trade surplus of $17.15 billion in 2015, helping narrow Vietnam’s trade gap to $3.2 billion in the year.
Among the landmark projects, Samsung
Display Vietnam poured an additional $3 billion into a display project in the northern province of Bac Ninh, raising the investment to $4 billion. Malaysia’s Janakuasa Sdn. Bhd invested $2.4 billion in a coal-fired power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh.
Foreign investors have so far committed to invest $279 billion in valid projects in Vietnam, of which $160.6 billion would go to the manufacturing and processing sector, $50.47 billion to the real estate industry and $12.66 billion to the power and water sector.
Foreign investment flows to Vietnam are poised to increase following the entry into force of free-trade agreements it has signed with other major economies such as the European Union, South Korea, the U.S. and Japan.
Vietnam's economy grew 6.68% in 2015, the fastest pace since 2011, driven by manufacturing, foreign investments and domestic consumption.