Foreign investors pledged less, but paid more into their Vietnamese operations this year, according to a recent report from the Foreign Investment Agency.
Foreign investors pledged to invest US$17.33 billion into businesses in Vietnam this year -- a 16.7 percent year-on-year drop, according to officials.
According to the FIA report, the Ministry of Investment and Planning had licensed 1,427 new projects worth $13.41 billion by November 20 of this year, down 2.7 percent from the same period last year, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon reported.
During the same period, 515 projects were registered for a total cost of $3.92 billion, an annual drop of 44.3 percent, the paper said, citing the FIA.
The agency said November's year-on-year dip was the smallest in ten months, largely due to Samsung Electronics, which secured a license to invest $3 billion in its handset business in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on November 17.
Samsung has already been operating a $2 billion smartphone plant in the province.
FIA said the three biggest foreign projects registered this year are all Samsung's.
The other two were a US$1.4 billion electronics factory in Ho Chi Minh City’s hi-tech park, which was approved in September, and a $1 billion screen factory in the northern province of Bac Ninh.
South Korean investors also led foreign investment this year by registering $6.82 billion, or 36.4 percent of the total registrations.
They were followed by Singapore, which pledged $2.75 billion, and Japan which pledged $1.71 billion.
Manufacturing and processing industries remained a top interest, attracting $13.15 billion or 76 percent of this year's total pledged investments.
The property market followed with 1.27 billion in investments.
The local construction sector drew another $1 billion in pledged investment.
FIA said that not every aspect of foreign investment declined in 2014.
The disbursements of previously pledged funds increased 6.1 percent year-on-year to $11.2 billion, which insiders called more significant than mere commitments.
Many of the funds that were previously committed came late or not at all, they said.
The FIA reported that FDI businesses have also seen an upswing, this year, despite the economic slowdown.
Export revenues from the sector, including crude oil, climbed 14.1 percent year-on-year to $92.21 billion.
The sector contributed to 67.3 percent of the country’s export revenue.
FDI export revenues reached $85.35 billion excluding crude oil, up 15.1 percent.
Imports from FDI businesses increased 12.5 percent to more than $76.67 billion in the same period, leaving a trade surplus of $15.54 billion.