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Jun 04, 2018 / 21:50

99-year land leasing tenure not key in preferential policies for SEZs: PM

For special administrative - economic zones (SEZs), the important issue would be to create favorable business environment, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has been quoted by local media as saying.

The said model, according to Phuc in a pullover meeting with reporters on the sidlines of the ongoing one-month parliament sitting on June 4, has been a success in many countries, and "Vietnam should have done it a long time ago."
Illustration photo.
Illustration photo.
The PM said the proposed 99-year land leasing tenure is only applicable to exceptional cases, which must be approved by the government leader as well as higher leadership.

The draft law on SEZs at Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc 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. 

The backbone of the draft law should be creation of a smooth business environment, not just land leasing duration limits, the PM stressed, promising the government and himself will look into the legislation thoroughly and take into account diverse opinions.

"The lengthy duration of land leasing will only be beneficial to real estate firms but not necessarily to hi-tech investors," said Duong Trung Quoc, representative of the National Assembly. 

Economist Pham Chi Lan raised the question of offering maximum duration of 99 years for land leasing.

"In a fast-changing world, who could ensure that they will focus solely on a certain business field in 70 or even 90 years," said Lan at an event held by Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR). 

Lan pointed to the enterprises' risk of bankruptcy in a period of 10 or 20 years and raised the question of who will be responsible for the land transfer process and change of use purposes afterwards. 

Regarding this issue, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at a discussion session dated May 23 insisted on the efficiency of the draft law, citing its "superior nature" to current legislation as reason. 

However, Dung also agreed on having a clear definition and details of preferential policies, which requirements are subject to the PM's approval, especially with regard to a project applicable to 99-year land leasing.