Saturday, October 06, 2007

Viet Nam calls EU important investor

The European Union (EU) is a huge investor in Viet Nam and the country’s leading trade partner, according to the Department for Foreign Investment (DFI).

The 27-member bloc began investing in Viet Nam in late 1987. By the end of September of 2007, it has pumped US$8.35 billion into 640 projects in the country, ranking second among the regions making direct investment in the country, following East Asia.

The Netherlands is taking the lead among the 19 EU investors in Viet Nam, with 81 projects, capitalised at more than US$2.5 billion. It is followed by France, with 190 projects, valued at US$2.4 billion, and the UK, 94 projects, worth nearly US$1.4 billion.

More than one half of the EU’s investment goes to industry, with heavy industry and oil exploration and exploitation making up 76 percent of capital flow in this field, which has so far reached US$4.8 billion.

EU investors have also poured US$2.8 billion into 251 projects in the service sector, leaving their remaining investment in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture.

According to the DFI, EU-invested projects have been implemented efficiently in Viet Nam, with more than US$4.8 billion being disbursed by the end of September.

Ho Chi Minh City is taking the lead in attracting EU investment, with 228 projects already on the go, worth over US$2.2 billion. Ha Noi ranks second with 127 projects, capitalised at US$1.6 billion and is then followed by the southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai.

Sandra Callagan, First Counsellor-Head of Political, Economic and Trade Section of the Delegation of the European Commission, told the Vietnam News Agency that she believed the EU’s investment in Viet Nam will continue to rise in line with the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the two sides.

While addressing a seminar on Viet Nam’s investment commitments to the World Trade Organisation, Vice Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam Jean-Pierre Achouche said the WTO membership has helped Viet Nam become prominent on the foreign investment map.

According to the DFI, Viet Nam is also boosting its investment in EU member countries, although on a relatively modest scale.

By the end of September, Vietnamese businesses carried out 15 projects worth around US$9.6 million in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, the UK and France.