Newly pledged foreign investment, representing a 7.2% increase on a yearly basis, included newly registered capital, additional capital to existing projects, and share purchase by foreign investors.
The disbursement of FDI capital also reached a record of US$20.38 billion.
Specifically, a total of 3,883 new projects were licensed during the year, up 27.5% year on year, bringing in US$16.75 billion of new capital, equivalent to 93.2% of the figure recorded in the same period last year. The average capital per project was down from US$5.9 million in 2018 to US$4.3 million this year.
Meanwhile, 1,381 projects raised their capital, up 18.1% from 2018. They added a total US$5.8 billion worth of capital, equal to 76.4% of the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the period also saw a surge in foreign indirect investment.
Foreign investors had conducted more than 9,800 transactions to contribute funds and acquire shares in local firms, a surge of 56.4 percent, raising the amount to US$15.47 billion.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency, foreign investors were increasingly keen on capital contributions and share acquisitions. In 2017, foreign indirect investment made up 17.2% of the total foreign investment, while the 2018 and 2019 rates were 27.9% and 40.7%.
Foreign investors were committed to 19 sectors, of which the manufacturing and processing sector has attracted the most capital, at US$24.56 billion, nearly 45.8% of new capital.
The real estate sector came in second, with US$3.88 billion, representing 17.8%, followed by the wholesale-retail and science-technology sectors.
The FDI sector earned US$181.35 billion from exports, including crude oil, a year-on-year rise of 4.2%. Excluding crude oil, the sector’s export revenue stood at US$179.33 billion, up 4.4% year on year, and accounting for 68.1% of the country’s total export earnings.
The FDI sector spent nearly US$145.5 billion on imports, up 2.5% form 2018 and making up 57.4% of the country’s total spending on imports.
As a result, the sector posted an export surplus of nearly US$35.86 billion, if crude oil is included, and US$33.8 billion if not. It compensated for the deficit of US$25.9 billion of the domestic sector.
South Korea was Vietnam’s largest investor in the period, with US$7.92 billion, or 20.8% of the total. Hong Kong ranked second, with US$7.87 billion, followed by Singapore with US$4.5 billion.
Of note, Chinese investment rocketed by nearly 1.65 times, compared to the same period last year.
As for localities, Hanoi attracted the most registered foreign investment, with over US$8.45 billion, accounting for 22.2% of the nation’s total. It was followed by HCMC, with nearly US$8.3 billion.
In 2019, the number of foreign business delegations to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities has surged by 30%. They are mainly from Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Moreover, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has held multiple meetings with enterprises from these markets, as well as those from Germany, Thailand, the Netherlands and India.
The disbursed foreign investment had also reached a new record of US$20.38 billion in the year to December 20, up 6.7% over the same period last year.