FDI pledges contract as pandemic spreads havoc

By Dat Nguyen   March 26, 2020 | 02:00 am PT
FDI pledges contract as pandemic spreads havoc
Employees work at the assembly plant of a foreign direct investment car factory in northern Hai Duong Province. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
FDI pledges for new projects, capital supplements and stake acquisitions in Vietnam in Q1 fell 20.9 percent year-on-year due to the new coronavirus impact.

The figure hit $8.55 billion, with $4 billion coming from the Bac Lieu liquefied natural gas power project in southern Bac Lieu Province, which received its investment certificate in January, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The investment ministry attributed the drop to the coronavirus pandemic, which has restrained investors from pouring money into new initiatives.  

Recent surveys show over 70 percent of U.S. and German companies in Vietnam anticipate direct impacts from the pandemic.

Ford Motors has suspended its auto assembly plant in northern Hai Duong Province for several weeks in response to the disease.

Chief representative Takeo Nakajima of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Hanoi told a forum in February the outbreak could have a negative impact on Japanese business plans to expand across Vietnam in the next two years.

Data from the investment ministry shows Singapore was Vietnam’s leading FDI contributor in Q1, accounting for 53 percent of total value, followed by Japan, mainland China and South Korea.

Foreign investors injected capital into 18 fields. Electricity production and distribution led with 47 percent of total investment, followed by manufacturing and retail.

Localities that attracted the most FDI were Bac Lieu, Ho Chi Minh City and southern Tay Ninh Province.

In Q1, FDI disbursement fell 6.6 percent year-on-year to $3.85 billion.

Last year, FDI pledges reached a decade high of $38 billion.

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