Vietnamese firms poured $546.7 million into overseas projects in the first five months of 2021, more than triple the figure of the same period last year.

Of the sum, $144 million was from 21 newly-licensed projects, down 11.3 per cent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Meanwhile, $403.2 million was pumped into nine existing projects, surging 22-fold year-on-year, the ministry said.

A major part of the capital outflow – $271 million – was poured into the science-technology sector, accounting for 49.5 per cent of the total. The wholesale and retail sector came next with $148.4 million or 27 per cent, following by the agro-forestry-fisheries sector and auxiliary services.

Fifteen countries received investment from Vietnam from January to May with the US the top receiver with $303 million, holding the lion’s share of 55.4 per cent. It was followed by Cambodia with $89.1 million or 16.3 per cent. Next were Canada and France with $32.1 million and $32 million, respectively.

Vietnamese firms have increased their overseas investments in recent years to expand their global reach.

As of May 20, Vietnam had 1,420 valid overseas projects worth a total of nearly $22 billion, mainly in the sectors of mining, with 36.4 per cent of total capital, while agro-forestry-fisheries had 15.3 per cent.

Laos was the largest receiver for Vietnam’s overseas investment, making up 24 per cent of the total capital, followed by Cambodia (13.1 per cent) and Russia (13 per cent).