FDI approvals for both fresh and operational projects totaled $19.29 billion in the firth ten months of this year, representing a year-on-year increase of 40.8%, the Foreign Investment Authority (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment has said in a report.
South Korean businesses won licenses to invest $6 billion in Vietnam in the year to October 20, making the Northeast Asian country the largest investor here, the status it has retained since March 2015.
South Korean investors got nods for 587 new projects worth a combined $2.06 billion and approvals to raise capital by $3.94 billion for 257 projects.
Malaysia came second with $2.53 billion, followed by Japan with $1.49 billion, the UK with $1.27 billion and British Virgin Islands with $1.25 billion.
China took the 10th position with $454.78 million while U.S. investors pledged to invest $210.87 million in Vietnam in the ten-month period, according to the FIA.
The sharp rise in FDI in Vietnam has been attributable to the licensing of a number of large-scale projects, such as Malaysia’s $2.4-billion coal-fired power plant in the southern province of Tra Vinh, the addition of $3 billion to a project rolled out by Samsung Display Vietnam in the northern province of Bac Ninh, and the $1.2-billion Empire City project in Ho Chi Minh City.
In terms of locality, Bac Ninh, which is home to several Samsung projects, is at the top with $3.52 billion. The runners-up are Ho Chi Minh City with $2.71 billion, Tra Vinh with $2.53 billion and Dong Nai with $1.65 billion.
The FIA adds that FDI disbursements advanced 16.3% year-on-year to $11.8 billion in the ten-month period.
Between January and October, exports by foreign-invested enterprises, including those operating in the oil industry, grew 14.3% year-on-year to $95.05 billion, making up 70.6% of Vietnam’s total export revenue.
Their imports, meanwhile, rose 19.3% year-on-year to $82.09 billion, leading to a trade surplus of $12.9 billion in the ten-month period, the agency said.