Vietnam vows to improve FDI climate

By Nurfika Osman | Source: ANN
Vietnam will further concerted efforts to attract and effectively use foreign direct investment (FDI), pledged Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a national conference held yesterday in Hanoi.

Reviewing the nation’s 25 years of absorbing FDI, the government leader said, “Attracting foreign investment is the right policy as it has contributed greatly to realising many important socio-economic development goals in the country.”

The foreign invested sector has made positive contributions to Vietnam’s economic growth over the past 25 years, he noted.

More efforts will focus on improving the investment climate, perfecting market mechanisms, accelerating administrative reforms and human resource training, he stressed.

The sector was encouraged to develop in a stable, long-term manner and on an equal footing with other economic sectors, thus making use of the country’s internal strength and comparative advantages.

More and more foreign investors chose Vietnam as a trusted destination for their long-term investment, Dung said.

As of February this year, foreign investors had poured nearly US$211 billion into 14,550 projects in Vietnam while the disbursed volume stood at some $100 billion.

The foreign-invested sector accounted for 25 per cent of the country’s total investment capital and over 60 per cent of the total export value in 2012. It also contributed $3.7 billion to the State budget in 2012 and created millions of jobs for the locals.

Despite these positive results, there remained weaknesses and limitations in the counntry’s FDI attraction such as an investment imbalance regarding industries, slow capital disbursement and a low content of high technology and new technology in invested projects.

“All these limitations and shortcomings required comprehensive solutions to be addressed,” Dung said.

He asked relevant ministries, sectors and localities to supplement regulations to attract large projects in infrastructure construction, hi-tech and support industries.

Approved socio-economic infrastructure planning schemes would be made public to all investors, including foreigners, enabling them to better prepare for their investment, Dung said.

Future investment promotion activities needed to be co-ordinated on a national scale to prevent unhealthy competition among localities, he said.

Tran Du Lich, a member of the National Advisory Council on Monetary and Financial Policies, said now was the right time to take further initiatives in seeking new FDI.

The nation should select strategic investors based on specific areas, he said, outlining hi-tech industries such as IT, biological technologies for agriculture, support industries, infrastructure construction and finance as promising sectors for FDI attraction.

Stronger commitments from local authorities to cut off administrative procedures are also necessary to create more favourable conditions for foreign investors, he said.

Baking Lich’s suggestion, the Japan Business Association in Vietnam chairman Daiken Murakami said Vietnam should clarify which products the support industries should focus on, and the government then should have concrete policies to attract investment in those industries.

Hai Phong People’s Committee chairman Duong Anh Dien petitioned the State to select localities which have abundant potential to attract FDI to provide financial assistance for their infrastructure development.

Investment promotion should also target specific foreign investors, he said, adding that solving difficulties facing investors were also needed.