Citing National Security, Vietnam to Limit Foreign Investment in Forestry Projects

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Oct. 25 – Provincial administrations in Vietnam are no longer allowed to grant licenses to foreign investors for new forestry projects, according to a government report released at a National Assembly meeting on Saturday.

Furthermore, the Vietnamese government has ordered its Ministry of Defense to inspect all current foreign-invested forestry projects and cut back the size of those located in areas deemed critical for national security.

As of August, there were eight foreign-invested forestation projects in the country with total investment levels just over US$286 million, the government report said. The projects occupy an estimated 288,874 hectares of forest land with 18,571 hectares already approved for growing and harvesting purposes.

The new regulations seem to be the result of concerns raised by national legislators that renting out forest lands to foreign enterprises could damage the environment and compromise the country’s security.