Radical proposals for special administrative-economic zones

Van Don in ​Quang Ninh ​province is a special administrative-economic zone which is expected to see sea changes under a proposed new law (Photo: qtv.vn)


HCM City (VNA) – The
abolition of people’s councils, permitting casinos to be set up and allowing
foreign investors to lease land for 99 years are among the main provisions of a
proposed new law to govern the three special administrative-economic zones in Vietnam.

Speaking
at the 2017 M&A Forum organised in HCM City on August 10 by the Vietnam Investment
Review, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the Special
Administrative Economic Zone Law is expected to create a proper legal framework
for the three zones in Van Don (Quang Ninh Province), Van Phong (Khanh Hoa
Province) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang).

It aims to create a new development
model with breakthrough policies and mechanisms meant to improve the investment
environment and make Vietnam competitive in attracting investment.

The
zones will only have an administrative committee and no people’s council, and
the people’s council’s role related to legislation and inspection would be
taken over by provincial authorities, he said.

“To
effectively operate these special zones, we should remove unnecessary and
inappropriate levels of special economic zones,” the minister said.

The
ministry has also proposed increasing the maximum land lease tenure to 99 years
from the current 50-75, and allowing the
zones to have casinos.

Dung
said the zones have been established to develop certain strategic industries
based on their geographic conditions.

For
instance, Van Phong is the best place to develop a transit port in Vietnam and
can develop logistics while Van Don has great potential in healthcare,
education and biology, he said.

All
three would welcome industries with high value-addition, which would be
identified for investment and announced soon, he said.

The
bill would be tabled in the National Assembly for approval, according to Dung.

The house will consider their
provisions related to preferential treatment for investors in terms of
currency, land, manpower, tax and others.

Businesses are proposed to be given a
tax waiver for four years, tax cuts for 30 more years, low land rents and
flexible labour policies.

Van Phong covers an area of 66,000
hectares and is expected to become an international hub for marine transport,
finance, tourism, medicine and education.

The three zones are expected to
contribute billions of dollars to the economy from 2020, and enjoy average per
capita income of 12,000-13,000 USD by 2030.

The ministry said building the zones
has become an urgent task since in the last 25 years, other models like
industrial zones, processing zones, economic zones and hi-tech parks have not
been sufficiently flexible.

Besides, the current models are not
attractive enough for foreign investors and face shortcomings related to
administrative procedures and poor human resources.

Since 1942, many countries have
successfully developed special economic zones, special administrative zones,
freedom cities and smart, industrial and hi-tech cities.

Vietnam’s special administrative and
economic zones would have positive effects on neighbouring countries too, the
ministry said.-VNA



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