Ministry insists on ’99-year policy’, but economists oppose

VietNamNet Bridge - While National Assembly’s deputies believe that allocating land for up to 99 years in special economic zones (SEZs) is not a good policy, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) still persists in its opinion, saying that this would be an outstanding preference to attract investors to SEZs.


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MPI insists on '99-year policy'




Pham Chi Lan, an economist, commented that it would be a bad idea to lease land for such a long time. Vietnam offers many investment incentives related to land leasing conditions, and land rental and transfer could be risks to sovereignty. 

“I strongly recommend removing the tentative provision about allocating land to investors for 99 years,” Lan said. “70 years is also too long.”

“If investors are given such a long time of use and the right to transfer, they will sell land to others after 10-20 years of use. They will get benefits from this, but Vietnam will not,” Lan said.

She said the country will be at a  disadvantage when giving incentives for too long. Besides, the transfer and house ownership will also bring risks.

“There might be investors who make investment in SEZs not just to do business, but also to settle down there,” she warned.

While National Assembly’s deputies believe that allocating land for up to 99 years in special economic zones (SEZs) is not a good policy, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) still persists in its opinion, saying that this would be an outstanding preference to attract investors to SEZs.

Luu Bich Ho, another economist, said there is no need to offer land-use rights for such a long time. It would be better to reconsider the ’99 year policy’ not only in the context of conditions of Vietnam, but also international integration.

“Why does Vietnam have to set such excessive preferences?” an analyst ssif, adding that in the context of the 4.0 industry revolution, what investors need most is not excessive preferences, but equality, unconstraint, and lawfulness.

He also said that Vietnam must not lure foreign investments into SEZs at any cost, while ignoring problems related to economic security and national defence.

However, MPI Minister Nguyen Chi Dung persists in his opinion, preserving the tentative provision of allocating land for up to 99 years instead of 49 years, as suggested by some National Assembly deputies.

Explaining his view, Dung said this would be an outstanding policy of Vietnam to attract foreign investors.

The analyst argued, however, that he cannot find any good point in the policy which Dung describes as ‘outstanding’ or ‘preeminent’.

“Vietnam must learn lessons from stories in the past. Just some years ago, the rental for one square meter of forestland with the land use right for 49 years was just high enough to buy a bunch of rau muong (a kind of popular vegetable in Vietnam),” he said.


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Kim Chi

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