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NEWS UPDATES 18 February 2010

Vietnam to auction mining rights

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Vietnam plans to auction mining rights towards making more effective use of the nation’s natural resources, reported, quoting Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen.

The natural resources available in the country are supposed to play a large part in economic growth, but so far the permit-granting system has failed to tap the huge potential, Nguyen said.

The ministry plans to auction mining and exploration rights as well as commercialise information and data on natural resources to raise money for the government’s budget, Nguyen said in an interview published on the government’s website Tuesday.

A land auction system, for instance, could generate 30 trillion dong ($1.6 billion) for the government every year, instead of the current 3-5 trillion dong, he said.

“The goal is to make the natural resources sector contribute more to the country’s budget in the next 10 years, at least at the same level as the oil sector.”

Crude oil is one of Vietnam’s top export earners. Crude exports last year stood at $6.19 billion, down 40.2 percent due to falling prices, according to the General Customs Department.


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