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$57bil of FDI is just registered capital: GSO   2008-10-13 - TBKTVN

Bui Ba Cuong,  Head of the National Accounts Department under the General Statistics Office (GSO), affirmed that the figure of $57bil worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) released by GSO is a reliable figure, which, to some extent, reflects the country’s FDI attraction.


The industrial zone in the southern province of Vinh Long

Some experts have doubts about the $57bil of FDI figure released by GSO, saying that GSO is trying to ‘beautify’ the figure; it does not show the real picture of FDI in Vietnam.


Cuong has denied this, saying that $57bil is an exact figure. However, he adds that this is just registered investment capital, while funds for many big projects, capitalised at $9-10bil, have not been disbursed yet.


Why doesn’t GSO make statistics based on legal capital? This ways seems to give more reliable figures as it shows the capital committed by investors.


The legal capital is the minimum capital investors need to have when undertaking a project. However, legal capital is only set for some business fields like stocks, insurance, money trade and gold trade. Investors have to spend the sums of capital they commit.


However, the investments still depend on investors’ strategies. In some cases, they do not implement projects even five or seven years after they commit the investments.


As I said before, the registered capital can only show the status of our investment environment.


Other countries calculate actual FDI capital by counting the foreign capital transferred through the international payment system. Why don’t we use this method?


It is true that the net FDI figure in the international payment balance can reflect the foreign capital inflow into Vietnam. However, this method does not allow us to count the capital and projects that originate from foreign investors in Vietnam.


Why don’t the monthly and quarterly socio-economic reports by GSO show these figures, which prove to be basic macroeconomic figures?


Figures about capital balance and current balance announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) come out later than GSO’s reports. It is because GSO has to report earlier to the government to serve the government’s management work. Therefore, GSO’s figures are just estimates.


Moreover, under Government Decree 164 on Vietnam’s international payment balance management, only the State Bank of Vietnam has the right to announce figures about international payment balance.


Do you mean that the announcement of the figures is the responsibility of the State Bank of Vietnam?


Under the current laws, statistics about capital balance, currency balances... are national secrets.


In general, there are many ‘no-announcement zones’. We produce many figures from the figures provided by the State Bank, but when we announce the figures, we cannot reveal the bank’s figures, and as we do that, people sometimes have doubts about our figures.

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