Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Vietnam FDI soars almost fourfold in spite of inflation


Pledged foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam has soared nearly fourfold so far this year, a government official said yesterday, indicating investors are optimistic despite surging inflation.

As of Sunday, overseas companies had agreed to invest US$31.6 billion in 478 projects compared with US$8.5 billion during the same period last year, said Nguyen Thuy Huong, an official with Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment.

“It shows that foreign investors’ confidence in Vietnam remains very strong,” Huong said. “Our economic difficulties are just short-term.”

Investment in 158 existing projects has also been increased by US$661 million.

With its US$7.9 billion steel project in central Vietnam being approved this month, Taiwan has surpassed Canada to top the list of investment by country of origin.

Japan came second with US$7.1 billion in pledged investment, followed by Canada, which had a US$4.2 billion beach resort complex in southern Vietnam approved last month.

Vietnam’s economy has grown rapidly since the communist government decided to open up to the outside world about a decade ago. The country’s admission to the WTO last year has helped to lure more foreign investment.

But this year, Vietnam has been hit by accelerating inflation — reaching 25 percent — and has lowered its economic growth forecast to 7 percent from 8.5 percent. The stock market has also plunged over the last year.

Last year, Vietnam attracted US$20.25 billion in foreign direct investment, a record since the country began accepting foreign investment in 1998.

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