Photo for illustration (Source: VNA)

The real estate sector ranked second with USD6.6 billion, or 18.5 percent, and the retail sector came third with USD3.67 billion, or 10.3 percent.

According to a report by the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in 2018, Vietnam attracted USD35.46 billion in total foreign direct investment (FDI), including newly-registered and added capital and that for share purchase, equivalent to 98.8 percent of the 2017 figure.

By December 20, FDI commitment for 3,046 newly-licensed projects reached nearly USD18 billion, equivalent to 84.5 percent of the same period last year.

After a yearly decline of nearly 10 percent in FDI added to operating projects totaled at USD7.59 billion, the capital pledged for stake acquisitions rose by 60 percent year on year to USD9.89 billion, the report said.

As per the data, foreign-invested enterprises gained a trade surplus of USD32.8 billion this year as they exported USD175.5 billion worth of goods, up 13 percent while their imports hit USD142.7 billion, up 12 percent.

Statistics showed that 112 countries and territories invested in Vietnam from January to December. Among them, Japan took the lead with USD8.59 billion, making up 24 percent of the nation’s total FDI. The Republic of Korea and Singapore were the runner-ups with USD7.2 billion and USD5 billion, making up 24.2 percent and 14.2 percent of the nation’s total FDI, respectively.

The capital city lured the lion share of FDI with USD7.5 billion or 21.2 percent of the total capital pledged for the country.  It was followed by the southern economic hub of HCM City with USD5.9 billion or 17 percent, and the northern port city of Hai Phong with USD3.1 billion, or 8.7 percent.

In a wider scope, there have been more than 27,350 valid foreign-invested projects in Vietnam so far with a total registered capital of USD340 billion. Over half of the FDI was disbursed, according to the above-mentioned report.

The Republic of Korea was the leading source of FDI with USD62.5 billion and Japan came next with USD57 billion. Several others included Singapore, Taiwan (China), British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong (China)./.