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Vietnam's FDI Increases 43.2% in 2008 - Vietnam Briefing News

Dec. 24 – An estimated US$11.5 billion in foreign direct investment flowed into Vietnam this year, a rise of 43.2 percent from last year, the state-run newspaper An Ninh Th Do reported.

Investors have also pledged a record $60.22 billion in new investment projects this year. While 2008 was a banner year for foreign investment, FDI into Vietnam is expected to slow in 2009 due to the global downturn.

"It is certain that we will see a decline in FDI registration next year," said Phan Huu Thang, head of the Planning and Investment Ministry's Foreign Investment Department. Thang told the newspaper in an interview. "Maybe we can reach $20 billion (in pledged FDI), and that would already be a high result."

According to Reuters, foreign investment inflows coupled with remittances from overseas worth about $8 billion are key sources of funds to help Vietnam narrow its trade deficit, which is estimated to have risen 20.6 percent this year to $17 billion.