Vietnam Official Says FDI Licensing Needs Stricter Regulations

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Oct. 10 – An official from the Investment Promotion Center for Central Vietnam said that the government’s licensing process needs stricter regulations to prevent inefficient and environment polluting projects.

The director of the Investment Promotion Center for Central Vietnam, Le Huu Quang Huy, told Thanh Nien News that he expects the country to attract US$62 billion worth of FDI this year.

The latest slew of foreign investments to enter the country include the US$6 billion oil refinery project in the southern province of Ba Ria–Vung Tau and a US$9.8 billion steel project in central Ninh Thuan Province.

In the last nine months, investment by foreign businesses in the country has amounted to more than US$57.12 billion, a fivefold increase over the same period last year, reports the Foreign Investment Agency. Currently, only US$8.1 billion of this amount has been disbursed because investors were still working at raising the funds.

In addition, delays in obtaining the land for their projects have also hampered disbursements.

The Foreign Investment Agency has sent out teams to work with local authorities nationwide to manage the status of FDI projects. Investors who fail to begin construction after acquiring land will have have their licenses revoked.

Huy said that the Ministry of Planning and Investment had reviewed the licensing process, which some experts have complained of being too lax by allowing inefficient and polluting projects to invest.

For the long term, Huy said the country should set up a “filter” to help ministries and local authorities assess FDI projects prior to issuing licenses.

Vietnam's top investors in the last nine months are Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Brunei and Canada. Most FDI in the country went to industry and construction accounting for 57 percent while agriculture, forestry and fisheries made up 3 percent.