Vietnam attracted US$18.47 billion in foreign direct investment in the first half of 2019, down 9.2% compared with the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency. Manufacturing remains the most attractive sector to foreign investors in the first half of 2019. Illustrative photo As of June 25, investment licenses have been granted to 1,723 new projects, worth a total of US$7.41 billion, while an additional US$2.94 billion was committed to 628 pre-existing projects. Foreign investors also poured in an extra US$8.12 billion in capital contributions and share purchases. During the January-June period, an estimated US$9.1 billion was disbursed, up nearly 8% year on year. Manufacturing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors with US$13.15 billion, accounting for 71.2% of total foreign investment pledges, while property trading came second with US$1.32 billion. Hong Kong (China) was the largest investors among the 95 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with US$5.3 billion, followed by the Republic of Korea and China, which poured in US$2.73 billion and US$2.29 billion, respectively. A breakdown of localities showed that Hanoi was the largest recipient of foreign investment, attracting more than US$4.87 billion. Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong province came second and third with US$3.09 billion and US$1.37 billion, respectively.