Up to 2,013 projects with $15.58 billion in foreign investment were granted licences as of December 15, surging 26.8 per cent in terms of the number of projects, but plunging 0.4 per cent in terms of capital over the same period last year. Meanwhile, 814 existing projects were also permitted to increase their capital by $7.18 billion.
During the reviewed time, FDI disbursement reached an estimated $14.5 billion, surging 17.4 per cent year-on-year, GSO unveiled.
The manufacturing and processing sector attracted the lion's share of FDI at $15.23 billion, accounting for about 67 per cent of the nation's FDI. The production and distribution of electricity, gas, hot water and steam, and air conditioners ranked second with $2.81 billion FDI or 12.4 per cent, while real estate trading came third with $2.39 billion or 10.5 per cent.
HCM City led among 48 cities and provinces to become the most attractive destination for foreign investors. The city lured more than $2.81 billion, comprising 18 per cent of the total FDI registered in the country. It was followed by Tra Vinh province with $2.52 billion or 16.2 per cent, Binh Duong province with $2.46 billion or 15.8 per cent, Dong Nai province with $1.47 billion or 9.4 per cent and Hanoi with $910.7 million or 6 per cent.
Other localities that also attracted FDI are Hai Phong City ($573.1 million), Tay Ninh Province ($503 million) and Quang Ninh Province ($374 million).
Among 58 countries and territories that have invested in Vietnam, Republic of Korea is the country's largest investor with $2.68 billion, making up 17.2 per cent of the total new FDI, followed by Malaysia with $2.45 billion or 15.7 per cent and Japan with $1.28 billion or 8.2 per cent, besides the United Kingdom with $1.26 billion or 8.1 per cent and Taiwan with $940.4 million or 6 per cent.
According to experts, Vietnam was likely to attract more foreign investment next year and in the future because of the opportunities and advantages resulting from free trade agreements (FTAs).
Vo Tri Thanh, deputy head of the Central Institute of Economic Management, said of the FTAs, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and FTA between Vietnam and the European Union would bring great opportunities for the nation and attract additional foreign investment, especially FDI.
If foreign investors came to Vietnam to participate in production and business, they could approach large markets that are member countries of the FTAs, he noted.
These member countries include the US, Japan, Australia and Canada in the TPP, and European Union nations operating under the FTA.
According to a representative from the HCM City Economics University, Vietnam would enjoy great opportunities from not only Japanese and American investments, but also South Korean ones. There would be investments not in labour-intensive industries, but in fields that required hi-tech and intelligence.
South Korean and Japanese investors might pour capital into agriculture, while the US was likely to inject money into hi-tech fields, according to experts.