COVID-19 drags Vietnam FDI by 18.9% in January-September

Vietnam saw foreign direct investments (FDI) plunge during the first nine months of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has been continually dampening global economies.

A report by Xinhua and was picked up by Vietnam News on Tuesday said that Vietnam attracted only $21.2 billion of foreign investments for the said period, or 18.9 percent lower than the same period last year.

Specifically, the country issued 1,947 FDI licensed projects worth a total of $10.4 billion and saw 798 operational FDI projects raise their capital by more than $5.1 billion, data from the General Statistics Office showed.

Foreign investors also shelled out some $5.7 billion buying shares or contributing capital to Vietnamese companies, or down by 44.9 percent from the first nine months of last year.

According to the office, among nearly $13.8 billion disbursed, 71.2 percent were invested in the processing and manufacturing industries, 14.3 percent in the real estate sector, while the remaining 6.9 percent were poured into the electricity, gas, hot water, steam, and air-conditioner production and distribution sector.

Among 72 countries that have investment projects in Vietnam, Singapore was Vietnam’s largest source of foreign investments with $4.7 billion and which accounted for 44.9 percent of the total investment.

China followed with over 10.4 percent while South Korea ranked the third with less than 10.4 percent.

In a recent forum on attracting FDI, the Korea Chamber of Commerce (KoCham) said South Korean companies are leaving China and Vietnam was one of the countries they are looking to place their businesses in.

“Korean businesses are preparing to move from China to other countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, and India,” he was quoted as saying in a report by VN Express International.

KoCham deputy chairman Hong Sun said that while Vietnam was hailed for its proactiveness in combating COVID-19, the country should still tweak tax procedures and build better infrastructures. After all, the FDI game, he said, is not a competition between localities but between countries.