PM: Vietnam to Grow by 6.5%-7% in 2010

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Jun 7 – Vietnam expects an economic growth of 6.5 percent to 7 percent this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at the 19th World Economic Forum on East Asia on Sunday.

Speaking at the forum’s opening ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, Dung said that despite difficulties from the Global Financial Crisis, Vietnam was able to effectively deal with the negative impact of the crisis and maintained a high economic growth rate of 5.32 percent last year.

Because of this, the country has become an attractive and safe destination for foreign investors, he said.

Foreign direct investment dropped by 70 percent in 2009 but has since seen a 40 percent growth year-on-year, reaching US$7.5 billion in the first five months of 2010.

In May alone, the country licensed 97 new foreign direct investment projects, with a total registered capital of US$1.5 billion. In addition, 15 operational projects sought approval to increase capital size by an extra US$78 million last month, the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency said in its monthly report.

The bulk of the investment came in the energy sector, where foreign investors pledged to invest US$2.2 billion in the production and distribution of electricity, gas and water, accounting for 28.6 percent of total registered FDI in the first five months of the year.