British Virgin Islands takes a surprising lead.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in January stood at $663.44 million, an increase of over 67 per cent year-on-year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. There were 44 new projects with $392.18 million in registered capital, 85.5 per cent more than in January 2014. Nineteen projects increased their invested capital, by an additional $271.26 million, 45.8 per cent higher year-on-year.
Remarkably, the British Virgin Islands suddenly became Vietnam’s top investment partner for January, outperforming South Korea, who has held the top position for a number of months. Among 15 countries and territories, the British Virgin Islands led the way in newly-registered and additional capital with $331.32 million, accounting for 49.9 per cent of the total.
South Korea’s new and additional capital reached $110.25 million, or 16.6 per cent of the total. Hong Kong followed, with a total of $105.5 million, or 15.9 per cent.
Ho Chi Minh City was the most popular destination in January, with 20 new projects and four that added to their capital, totaling $347.2 million and accounting for 52.3 per cent of all FDI in the country.
Binh Duong came second, with $100 million in new and additional capital, or 15.1 per cent, followed by Hai Phong with $96.72 million, accounting for 14.6 per cent of the total.
Analysts said that it is probable that February FDI would not increase sharply because the Tet holiday affects the processing of new investment certificates and many investors, especially those from Asia, take a break and delay new projects they may have until March.
$505 million in FDI was disbursed in January, an increase of 8.6 per cent year-on-year. Exports by FDI enterprises reached $8.49 billion, 8.2 per cent more than last January and accounting for 66.8 per cent of total export turnover. Imports by FDI enterprises totaled $7.8 billion, 41 per cent higher year-on-year and accounting for 57.8 per cent of all import turnover.
Eleven fields received FDI, with the manufacturing and processing industry attracting the most interest from foreign investors, with 18 new projects and new and additional capital of $605.6 million, accounting 91.3 per cent of all new and additional capital in January.
The retail, wholesale and repair sector ranked second, with $30.79 million, followed by electricity production and supply with $10.44 million.