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South Korea has become the biggest foreign direct investor in Vietnam thanks to its involvement in building new towns and leisure facilities, a state trade agency said Thursday.

At the end of July its direct investment reached 10.33 billion dollars, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Singapore was second with 9.69 billion dollars, followed by Taiwan with 9.1 billion dollars, it said.

In the first seven months of this year alone, South Korea's investment in the country stood at 1.43 billion dollars compared to Singapore's 1.31 billion dollars, the agency said.

Vietnam has become one of South Korea's biggest business partners since they normalised relations in 1992.

Bilateral trade soared to 4.85 billion dollars last year from 490 million dollars in 1992, according to South Korean figures.

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