FDI Pledges Could Drop to US$20 Billion in 2009

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Feb. 16 – The head of Vietnam's Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) predicted that pledges of foreign direct investment (FDI) could plunge to US$20 billion this year compared to last year's robust US$64 billion because of the global economic slowdown.

Last year, close to US$24 billion of the $64 billion FDI pledged went to real-estate development projects."New foreign investment will fall this year but that does not mean our investment environment has worsened," Phan Huu Thang, told VietnamNet.

"We believe there are investors that are not seriously affected by the crisis and we need to refocus to tap these sources," Thang added. FIA is looking into attracting investors from the Middle East in addition to investors from East Asia and Singapore.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has set a goal of maintaining FDI flow into the country to be at the same level as 2008 at US$11.5 billion.

Thang also said that forecast FDI disbursements would drop by up to 13 percent from 2008 to US$10- US$11 billion. Vietnam's GDP growth for 2008 slowed to 6.23 percent from the previous year's 8.5 percent.