Vietnam Attracts US$20 Billion in FDI for 2009

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Dec. 28 – Vietnam attracted US$21.48 billion in foreign direct investment in 2009, the Foreign Investment Department for Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment said on Sunday.

Although it was just 30 percent of last year’s total foreign investment, the amount wasn’t bad given the economic crisis, the department stated on local newswire Vietnamnet, noting that they initially expected inflows of US$20 billion this year.

According to the agency, investments included 839 new projects with a registered capital of US$16.34 billion and 215 ongoing projects supplementing their capital with US$5.13 billion.

The hospitality sector accounted for most of the investment, followed by real estate and processing industries, according to the news source.

The United States remained the country’s biggest investor, followed by Cayman Islands, Samoa and South Korea, the department said.

The southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau attracted most of the FDI, while the central province of Quang Nam and the southern province of Binh Duong ranked second and third respectively. Foreign investment inflows are a key source of foreign exchange helping Vietnam offset its trade deficit.

Vietnam’s economy grew 5.2 percent this year, but economic stability had not been sustained due to an increasing trade deficit and lower foreign reserves after falls in foreign investment, exports and remittances in 2009.

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