The U.S. has overtaken Laos to become the most attractive place for Vietnamese foreign investment in the first nine months of this year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The North American country attracted $101.4 million out of the $356.3 million Vietnamese firms invested overseas during the period, the FIA said.
Laos, which has been Vietnam’s biggest overseas investment destination for a long time, fell to second place in the January-September period with $94.3 million, accounting for 26.4 percent of total foreign investment.
Vietnam channeled $50.6 million into nine new projects in the U.S., representing 25 percent and the largest share of Vietnamese overseas investment, in the third quarter of this year.
The U.S. was followed by Laos with $40.4 million (over 20 percent) and Cambodia with $28.1 million (14 percent).
In the third quarter, the Ministry of Planning and Investment granted investment certificates for Vietnamese investors to pour $200.9 million overseas, bringing Vietnam’s total foreign investment to $356.3 million in the January-September period.
Vietnamese investors focused on two sectors -- including wholesale and retail service -- repair of automobiles and motorcycles, and other motor vehicle services with 16 projects, totaling $97.6 million.
Processing and manufacturing followed with $30.8 million in three new and three existing projects.
In the first half of 2015, the ministry licensed 47 overseas projects worth a total of $155.4 million in 22 countries and territories, with the biggest share of 35 percent going to Laos, the FIA said.
The U.S. was the second biggest destination for Vietnamese businesses to invest abroad during the period, with seven newly-registered projects and one existing one, collectively worth $50.8 million, or 32.7 percent of the total figure, according to the FIA.
As of the end of last year, Vietnam had had 930 licensed overseas projects with a total capital investment of $19.78 billion, the agency said.
Of the total, Laos ranked first with $53.9 million (35 percent), followed by the U.S. with $50.8 million (32.7 percent) and Germany with $26.5 million (17 percent).