Vietnam Market Watch: Government Contracts, E-Visa Services, and Tax Competitiveness
Can Tho Officials Award Contract for US$47 million Waste plant
Can Tho city officials have granted China Everbright International Limited, a Hong Kong based environmental services firm, the rights to build a US$47 million waste-to-energy plant. The solid waste disposal plant is being designed to process 400 tons of daily household waste and generate electricity for the national grid. The company would implement its in-house technology including a grate furnace system, gas emission treatment system and leachate treatment system. The construction of the 53 hectare plant in Truong Xuan commune (to be located in Thoi Lai District) will commence from February 2017 with operations starting from February 2018. This is the first project in Vietnam funded by China Everbright International.
Vo Thanh Thong, Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee stated that the company was selected from seven other investors after a visit by the city’s delegation of their Chinese projects. According to Chen Xiao Ping, Director General of China Everbright International, the company currently has 68 waste-to-energy plants with a capacity of 55,000 tons garbage per day and is committed to making this an environmentally friendly project following Vietnam’s environmental standards.
Vietnam to Start E-visas Services from 2017
The Vietnam National Assembly has approved a resolution to offer electronic visas from February 1, 2017, for a trial period of two years. As per the new scheme, foreign tourists can apply online for a single entry, 30 day visa by paying a non-refundable fee. Currently, the Vietnamese government is finalizing nations eligible for the scheme. Vietnam, at present, has a visa-free policy for ASEAN countries along with Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. In 2015, Vietnam attracted almost eight million tourists with China, South Korea and Japan leading among the visiting countries.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has welcomed the resolution stating the move will boost the domestic tourism industry and attract more tourists. The e-visa facility will ease the process for tourists and provide the local immigration control over entry as well. Funds collected from the scheme will also allow for subsidizing the tourism promotion program. Vietnam aims to attract a revenue of US$18 billion to US$19 billion and around 10 million foreign tourists each year by 2020.
Vietnam Climbs 11 Places in World Bank’s Tax Rankings
Vietnam climbed 11 places to 167th position in terms of paying taxes according to the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business report. The World Bank uses criteria of paying taxes to rank 189 countries on the ease of doing business. The Finance Ministry and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the ranking during a dialogue on November 28 in Hanoi.
Recent changes in the tax administrative and payment procedures contributed to the climb in rankings. The sector abolished 32 administrative procedures and streamlined 40 other processes leading to efficiency. The General Department of Taxation also signed agreements with 41 commercial banks for carrying out nationwide e-tax payments and in turn reducing time to pay taxes from 537 hours to 117 hours a year, a reduction of around 78 percent. Changes implemented by the General Department of Vietnam Customs in clearance time from 21 days to 14 days for exported goods and to 13 days for imports also contributed to the rise.
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