China invests into Vietnam more than all of 30 European countries combined

Vietnam has attracted investment from more than 30 European countries, but one of its neighboring countries has invested more money in the country than all of these European countries combined.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as of March 20, 2023, Vietnam had 36,881 valid projects with a total registered capital of nearly $444.1 billion USD, with foreign direct investment projects accounting for nearly $278.3 billion USD (or nearly 62.7% of the total valid registered investment capital).

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Foreign investors have invested in 19 out of 21 sectors in the national economic sub-sector system, with the processing and manufacturing industry accounting for the largest proportion at over $264.2 billion USD (or 59.5% of total investment capital). The real estate business comes in second with over $66.7 billion USD (or 15% of total investment capital), followed by electricity production and distribution with over $38.3 billion USD (or 8.6% of total investment capital).

To date, 143 economies have invested in Vietnam, with Korea leading the pack with a total registered capital of over $81.5 billion USD (or 18.4% of total investment capital). Singapore comes in second with over $72.5 billion USD (or 16.3% of total investment capital), followed by Japan, Taiwan (China), Hong Kong (China), and others.

Out of the 35 European countries that have invested in Vietnam, the Netherlands is the top investor with an accumulated total investment capital of about $13.89 billion USD from 421 projects. Excluding the Netherlands, the total accumulated investment capital of the remaining 34 European countries is about $20.39 billion USD.

Meanwhile, neighboring countries Cambodia, Laos, and China have been pouring money into Vietnam for many years. The cumulative total investment capital from Cambodia, Laos, and China into Vietnam has reached $69.43 million USD, $71.11 million USD, and $23.85 billion USD, respectively. Thus, China is a neighboring country with a cumulative total investment capital in Vietnam greater than that of 30 European countries combined (excluding the Netherlands).

China has continuously invested in Vietnam, with $2.52 billion USD invested in 2022 through 283 new projects, ranking fourth among all countries investing in Vietnam. In the first three months of 2023, China invested $511.77 million USD in Vietnam through 77 new projects, with newly registered capital reaching about $334.61 million USD and the value of capital contribution and share purchase reaching about $89.95 million USD.

Vietnam’s flag. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

As of March 20, 2023, China’s accumulated total investment capital in Vietnam had reached $23.85 billion USD from a total of 3,651 projects. Chinese investors have invested in joint ventures, contributed capital in cash or technology and machinery in Vietnamese enterprises across all fields, including textiles, footwear, fiber, thermal power, and mining.

In recent years, investment capital from China into Vietnam has changed significantly, continuously rising in the ranking position, increasing in scale, changing in form and field, and expanding in geographical area. While in the past, China’s capital flow was mainly focused on the fields of hotels, restaurants, and small-scale consumer goods production, there has recently been a strong shift with significant changes in the investment sector.