The agency announced the sector lured US$5.18 billion of a total US$9.9 billion, or 52.3% of foreign direct investment (FDI), the country attracted.
Real estate ranked second with US$1.07 billion, while the retail and wholesale sector attracted US$1.02 billion.
Although the FDI in five months of this year was equivalent to only 81.6% of that in the same period last year, experts said FDI quality was higher.
Notably, LG Innotek added US$501 million to its factory in Hai Phong, raising total investment in the project to US$1.05 billion, while Regina Miracle International Vietnam injected an additional US$260 million to its sportswear factory.
Economists said that the increase of investment in projects in equipment and garment will bring more opportunities for domestic enterprises to learn from FDI firms and take advantage of their strengths. This is also what Vietnamese businesses need to do to enhance their competitiveness and engage deeper into global supply chains.
Nguyen Van Toan, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises said that since the beginning of this year, Vietnam saw lower FDI compared to 2017. But Toan held that one giant project will change that situation.
Many other economists asserted that the building of a strategy to lure FDI with a focus on high quality investment influenced the statistics.
FDI projects have been chosen more carefully to suit specific localities and optimise their effectiveness and added value.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency, the change has slowed FDI flow into Vietnam, but improved investment quality.
So far this year, 86 countries and territories have invested in Vietnam, led by the Republic of Korea with US$2.63 billion, accounting for 26.5% of total FDI, followed by Japan with US$1.52 billion and Singapore with US$1.11 billion.
Ho Chi Minh City has been the most attractive destination out of 53 cities and provinces in FDI attraction. The city lured US$2.39 billion, or 24.2% of total investment. Hai Phong ranked second with US$1.07 billion, followed by Hanoi with US$835.3 million.