Jun 06, 2018 / 17:17

Economic minister allays concern over China influence in future SEZs

The Hanoitimes - Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said many people are deliberately distorting the nature of the draft law for special economic zones (SEZs), which contains no word about China.

The draft law ensures fairness among economic components and countries, Dung said in a pullover meeting with reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing one-month parliament sitting on June 6.
Illustration photo.
Illustration photo.
"The draft law contains no word about China, while someone is making this up and causing a division between Vietnam and China," Dung replied over concern that China may take advantage of preferential treatment set for SEZs.

According to Dung, Vietnam is a sovereign state, in which everything has to go in accordance to the law.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment, which was assigned to compile the draft law, is open to recommendations and willing to clarify unclear matters if needed, Dung noted. 

Dung stressed the importance of preventing loopholes in the law, but warned "you do not achieve anything by not doing anything."

On the reportedly lack of regulations on institutional framework and business environment, Dung said "these are the two most important issues, in which 25 out of 85 articles in the draft law are aimed to address them."

However, preferential policies are a must, but should be at a reasonable level, with a view to create a favorable business environment for investors, Dung added.

With regard to the proposed 99-year land leasing tenure, Dung said it is applicable only to exceptional cases, proposing a higher authority to be tasked for approval, such as the National Assembly. 

Dung also reminded the foremost principle in drafting this law is to ensure national security, thus, there is no way for Vietnam to trade off national security for economic gains. ​

The draft law on SEZs to be built in Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc - all offshore Vietnam - is expected to be voted for approval at the National Assembly on June 15. The draft law, however, has stirred controversial opinions during previous discussion sessions over the necessity of land leasing duration up to 99 years and tax incentives.