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FDI capital to exceed 40 billion USD in 2008

Hanoi (VNA) – A Ministry of Planning and Investment official has forecast foreign investment capital to exceed 40 billion USD this year.

Head of the ministry’s Foreign Investment Department, Phan Huu Thang, said with a new licence to build a 3.5-billion-USD university urban area in Ho Chi Minh City , FDI capital flow into the country up to early July hit 35 billion USD, equal to the yearly target.

He said that with a series of projects under negotiation, a total foreign investment capital of 40 billion USD would gradually become a reality.

The prospect was based on foreign investors’ long-term appraisals about Vietnam ’s economy. Thang said they have large expectations about the economy and want to invest now and wait for Vietnam ’s strong growth after the current difficult period.

He said the country attracted a record 31.6 billion USD during the January-June period, 48 percent more than the 2007 figure. Of the capital, 55.4 percent was invested in industry and construction, and 44 percent in services.

The trend was suitable for the country’s investment policy, in its efforts for economic integration and foreign tourists attraction, he said.

In the first six months of the year, the country disbursed 5 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 37.6 percent. It is expected that about 10 billion USD would be disbursed by the end of this year, 25 percent more than 2007.

However, a sharp increase in foreign investment capital has created several problems for management agencies in human resources, infrastructure and legal policies.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment says it has been trying to complete a “one-stop-shop” mechanism for investment licensing and management and speed up the implementation of large-scale licensed projects and the establishment of investment promotion units at key areas.

The ministry has also focused on investment in construction and upgrading infrastructure including transport, seaports, telecom alongside maintaining regular dialogues between managing agencies and investors to solve any difficulties.

Additionally, the ministry has carried out cooperation programmes including the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Programme third phase and the cooperative mechanism with the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Singapore.

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