Officials plug legal gaps that allow Chinese 'investors' to linger in Vietnam

By Nguyen Dong   July 26, 2016 | 10:08 pm PT
Chinese investors can stay in Vietnam for up to 50 years regardless of their project scale.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment held a meeting with authorities in Da Nang on Tuesday to discuss the wave of Chinese investors entering the city and finding ways to stay for as long as possible.

Tran Van Son, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Investment, said that some Chinese people involved in “very small” projects were still asking for 50-year residency permits.

“Many investors take advantage of their investment licenses to conduct activities other than the ones they are permitted to do," Son said. "With an investment license, they can move freely without visas or immigration procedures.” 

He added that Chinese people who seek to stay legally in Vietnam often try to obtain Investment Registration Certificates by contributing small portions to a project. As Vietnamese legal framework does not specify the minimum threshold of investment capital, authorities are unable to reject these applications.


Tran Van Son, director of Da Nang’s Department of Planning and Investment. Photo by VnExpress/D.X

To solve the problem of Chinese investors, Son asked the government to add maximum operating terms for small-scale projects and consider carefully before granting Investment Registration Certificates to foreign investors whose projects involve land.

This isn’t the first time the popular tourist city has expressed concerns about Chinese people owning property.

Last year, the city found that a number of coastal plots of land in Ngu Hanh Son District had been purchased by Vietnamese people on behalf of Chinese investors.

However, Vo Cong Tri, the vice chief of the city’s Communist Party Unit, claimed that “the area is still in the hands of the authorities and doesn't pose a threat to the country’s defense and security”.

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