Vietnam\'s index of industrial production (IIP) saw a year-on-year increase of 5.4 percent in the first nine months of the year, a positive sign amid the economic slowdown, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said on Friday. In September alone, the IIP is estimated to increase 5.6 percent over the same month last year. The IIP is calculated in four groups, namely mineral exploitation, processing and manufacturing industry, electricity production and distribution, water supply, and waste management and disposal. The IIP in mineral exploitation in September is estimated to decrease 5.1 percent from the same period last year, while the processing and manufacturing sector increase 8.5 percent. The two sectors have a large impact on the overall IIP. Electricity production and distribution, as well as water supply industries, saw surges of 9.4 percent and 11.2 percent respectively. Meanwhile, both heavy and light industries faced difficulties. Specifically, the garment and textile sector is coping with fierce competition from neighboring countries in its domestic market, although they had export contracts for the whole year. The paper sector has also been struggling with competition from imported products. Last month paper production rose 10.4 percent while its inventory increased 25 percent against the same period last year. During the January-September period, more than 42,000 businesses closed down or suspended their operations, of which 6, 700 enterprises dissolved completely, a 2 percent decrease over the same period last year. Firms suspending operations rose 13 percent against the same period last year, reaching 35,700, while 11,300 businesses resumed operations during the 9-month period. The total number of newly established firms for the first nine months of the year was 58,200 with registered capital of 281.3 trillion VND (13.3 billion US dollars), an 11 percent increase in quantity, but a 22 percent decrease in capital year on year.