Foreign investment in Vietnam rose 9% in 2000

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Thu Jan 18 17:48:18 MST 2001


Tuesday
16 January 2001

Foreign investment in Vietnam rose 9% in 2000
HANOI: New foreign direct investment pledges in Vietnam rose nine per cent
in 2000 to $2.398 billion, an official said on Monday.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment said $1.972 billion of that was
promised as investment in new projects - a 26 per cent rise on last year -
while the remaining $426 million was promised as additional capital for
existing projects.
Comparative on-year figures were not immediately available.
Of the 334 new projects, 24 were licensed by the MPI in Hanoi, 166 were
licensed by provincial authorities, and 154 were licensed by local
industrial or export processing parks.
The large number of locally approved projects shows that Hanoi is making it
easier for local authorities to approve new foreign investment without
interference from the central government, the ministry said.
An MPI official said the increase in pledged investment last year followed
efforts by the government to improve the country's investment environment.
Vietnam is trying to improve its foreign investment climate, which many
investors say is unattractive following Asia's financial crisis. The crisis
weakened Vietnam's competitive edge by making other regional currencies more
attractive.
In response, Hanoi last year adjusted its Law on Foreign Investment and
helped raise investor sentiment by approving a long-awaited $1.5 billion gas
investment by a consortium of foreign companies. It also promised greater
market reforms under a trade deal with the United States and launched its
first postwar stock market.
But despite the changes - which took place in the latter half of the year
and therefore were not expected to affect investor mood immediately - actual
foreign investment into Vietnam rose just two per cent to $2.28 billion last
year from 1999, an MPI report said.
It said foreign-invested enterprises accounted for 12.7 per cent of
Vietnam's gross domestic product and 23 per cent of its total non-oil
exports. They accounted for 48 per cent of total exports if oil export
revenues are included, it said.
Most of Vietnam's oil is exported by a Russian-Vietnamese joint venture.
Foreign-invested companies had combined revenues of $6.5 billion last year,
or 35 per cent more than in 1999, the report said. They employed 349,000
people, or 18 per cent more than in 1999, and contributed $280 million to
the government's coffers through tax payments - a three per cent rise on
year.
On average, foreign-invested companies grew by around 18.6 per cent in 2000
from 1999, the report said.
As of the end of the year, Vietnam was home to 2,620 operational
foreign-invested projects with total registered capital of $36.4 billion, it
said. (AP)
 For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service







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