Public outcry challenges special economic zone lease lengths
  • By Quang Phong | | June 08, 2018 07:23 AM
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said the government will listen to ideas from the public and experts and may propose to reduce the land lease time limit stated in the draft law on special administrative-economic units.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc talks to the media on the sidelines of the ongoing fifth session of the 14th National Assembly on June 7

Talking to the media on June 7 on the sidelines of the ongoing fifth session of the 14th National Assembly, the PM said that he welcomed the ideas and opinions of every citizen on this draft law.

"I've seen a great love for our country from so many Vietnamese people living in or outside the country who are eagerly discussing or giving their opinions about this draft law," Phuc said. "With this kind of spirit, I don’t think we need ever fear losing our country."

The PM, however, stressed the need to create a good business and investment environment for the country's development while ensuring the nation's freedom and sovereignty.

"The law defines that the leasing procedures will be carefully considered and the prices will have to be revised every year by the people's council," he explained. "This is completely different from the cession of land in Hong Kong and Ma Cau."

PM Phuc said that many people misunderstand the definition.

"The special administrative-economic units also have rules on the number of investors from a foreign country," he continued. "This means that investors from one country cannot take all the land and projects there."

Besides giving explanations, the PM also said that he saw the need to reconsider the leasing time following opinions from the public.

"We will propose reducing the leasing time to the National Assembly," Phuc said. "But it is the NA who will decide on the exact time."

Vietnam is planning to establish three special economic zones, Van Don in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Bac Van Phong in the central province of Khanh Hoa, and Phu Quoc in the southern province of Kien Giang.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment estimates that the special economic zones will be able to bring a total of USD9.5 billion each year to the state coffers from tax payments and land related fees.

The Minister of Planning and Investment, Nguyen Chi Dung has announced a proposal of land lease of 99 years in the draft law on special administrative-economic units, which has been largely-opposed by the public who somehow believe the land could be lost after that.

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