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Vietnam business injected US$1.3 bil. overseas: gov't

HANOI -- Vietnamese businesses ploughed nearly US$1.3 billion into overseas investment in the first nine months of this year with 66 licenses granted, according to Foreign Investment Agency.

The department also said it has agreed to add US$95 million in investment capital to nine ongoing oversea projects.

Despite six more projects having been approved compared to the same period last year, overall registered investment capital has dropped by US$313 million.

Overseas investment projects have been spread between agriculture (14 projects), wholesale and retail (11), processing and designing (8), mineral exploration (8), with the rest covering services, food and education.

Vietnam will also strengthen its promotion campaign to call on foreign investors to seek opportunities in Vietnam. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and provinces will focus their investment promotion programs on concrete fields as opposed to the general investment promotion they have concentrated on to date, said Director of the Foreign Investment Department Do Nhat Hoang in Ha Noi yesterday.

Hoang added that many projects are unappealing to foreign investors. To attract foreign investors, Vietnam needs to improve its legal framework for foreign investment practices and regularly update its investment and business information, he said.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) poured into Vietnam in the first nine months of this year fell, with the total registered capital of US$9.52 billion accounting for just 72% of the figure for the same period last year.

Among the 18 countries and regions investing in Vietnam in 2012, Japan ranked top with 203 projects worth US$3.7 billion, followed by the Republic of Korea with 159 projects totaling US$432 million and China's Hong Kong with 31 projects worth US$431 million.

Meanwhile, the country's FDI disbursement reached only US$8.1 billion during the period, a year-on-year decrease of 1.2 percent.

Recently, Vietnam has experienced a wave of investment from Japanese firms. According to the Vietnam Embassy in Japan's commercial counselor, Le Huu Quang Huy, the high consumption and income taxes in Japan mean many Japanese companies see foreign investments as more lucrative than domestic ventures.

Nguyen Thi Minh Hien, commercial counselor of Vietnam's Seoul embassy said many large Korean corporations are interested in investing in Vietnam, but they are lacking of up-to-date information on investment and trading patterns from Vietnam.

Economic experts have suggested Vietnam needs to adjust its investment policy to lure potential foreign businesses.

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