The southern province of Dong Nai attracted over US$1.3 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, $300 million higher than the set target.

According to the provincial industrial zones’ management board, it has attracted 1,733 FDI projects, so far, with total investment of $31.3 billion. Investors from 45 countries and territories have invested in the locality.

South Korea is the largest foreign investor in the province, following by Taiwan (China) and Japan.The board said despite laying down stricter conditions for investment projects, FDI capital that poured into the province still increased this year. In particular, disbursement reached $1.1 billion, equivalent to 88 per cent of the total registered capital.

In recent years, Dong Nai has given priority to FDI projects using hi-tech, skilled labourers and are environment-friendly.

Mai Van Nhon, deputy head of the board, said investors believed in the province’s support for businesses.

The provincial Department of Industry and Trade also said the province’s export turnover this year reached $17 billion, posting 11.8 per cent year-on-year increase. It achieved trade surplus of $2 billion, while the country’s total trade surplus was expected to reach $3 billion.

Some export products reported high export turnover in 2017, such as garment and textile at $2 billion, or 15 per cent increase from 2016; rubber at 49,000 tonnes; cashew at 350,000 tonnes; and computers and spare parts at $590 million.

Duong Minh Dung, the department’s director, said the high export turnover was because exporters found new markets while effectively exploiting traditional ones.

In addition, firms have effectively taken advantages of FTAs to expand production and increase productivity.

The province’s industrial production this year also saw stable growth.

Dinh Quoc Thai, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said its index of industrial production this year was expected to rise by 8.6 per cent from 2016. The industrial production value was VND731 trillion, or an increase of 9.1 per cent from the previous year.

In 2018, Dong Nai has targeted enhancing its economic restructuring, promoting economic growth with higher productivity and increasing businesses’ competitiveness. It will also further improve the business environment and focus on high quality human resources training.

The People’s Committee forecast that its economic growth in 2018 would continue to be positive thanks to increase in manufacturing, trade, construction, retail and tourism.

Thai said investment in key projects such as the Ben Luc-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway and the upgraded Long Thanh International Airport would facilitate the province’s development.

Dong Nai has targeted GRDP of 8-9 per cent, average income per capita of VND94-96 million and export turnover increase of 9-11 per cent in 2018.