Vietnam’s SEZs promise competitive regulatory environment compared to other countries: minister

By Anh Minh   May 17, 2018 | 11:02 pm PT
Vietnam’s SEZs promise competitive regulatory environment compared to other countries: minister
Fishers on Phu Quoc Island, which has been planned for one of three new special economic zones in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Duong Thanh
Lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the special economic zone bill next week.

Vietnam’s planned special economic zones (SEZ) will be a new “playground” for investors, offering an attractive and competitive regulatory environment compared to other countries in the region, a conference heard on Tuesday.

“With participation of experts and researchers from across the country, we believe that the SEZ bill will be able to attract investors once it is approved by the National Assembly,” said Nguyen Chi Dung, minister of planning and investment at the 2018-2021 Economic Outlook conference.

The minister affirmed that the establishment of SEZs does not impact Vietnam’s national security, sovereignty, environment or people’s health.

The bill on SEZs has basically been completed after many modifications and suggestions, said Nguyen Van Phuc, former deputy chairman of the Economic Committee of the National Assembly.

The bill gives leaders of the proposed SEZs more autonomy than the current administration, Phuc said. The authority to make decisions regarding investments, which currently lies with the central government or provincial authorities, will be handed to SEZs leaders, he added.

“The leaders of these SEZs will have the authority to make a decision right on the spot, saving investors’ time who would otherwise have to travel to Hanoi or other big cities and provinces to acquire an investment permit,” Phuc said.

Vietnam is proposing the establishment of three SEZs, Van Don in northern Quang Ninh province, Bac Van Phong in central Khanh Hoa province, and Phu Quoc in southern Kien Giang province.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment estimates that the SEZs will be able to bring a total of $9.5 billion each year to state coffers from tax payments and land related fees. In 2030, the total number of jobs created in the three areas is estimated to be over 760,000, with income per capita up to $13,000, 5.4 times the current level.

The draft law on SEZs is expected to be discussed for the second time at the next National Assembly meeting on May 21.

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