ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnam works to facilitate foreign investment
Foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises have asked the Vietnamese Government to shorten the time and simplify procedures involved in granting investment certificates.
During a dialogue with authorities in HCM City on Monday, foreign company representatives said it took too much time to obtain an investment certificate since investors are required to hand in other auxiliary permits as well.
A representative of Pizza Hut, for instance, said the company had spent 14 months to get an investment licence to open its first branch in Ha Noi.
Earlier this month when the company applied to open three more restaurants in Ha Noi, besides completing auxiliary certificates for food hygiene and safety, environment, financial demonstration and audit reports, licence-issuing agencies asked the company to submit comments from localities where the restaurants will be built.
A representative of LNT & Partner, a law firm, said that when applying for investment licence, investors take up too much time fulfilling procedures required by licence-issuing agencies.
Licensing agencies process necessary documents one by one, instead of together.
Le Manh Ha, deputy chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, said the city had faced a lot of difficulties in granting investment certificates.
Last year, the city received 2,218 applications for new business licences. Despite much effort, the city missed the deadline in giving certificates to many investors, he said.
He attributed the situation to the time spent in consulting ministries, and completing other auxiliary procedures.
As regulated, ministries have to comment on an investment license within 15 working days, but in most cases, they reply after one or two months, he said.
To overcome the problem, he suggested that the Government allow localities to ask opinions of ministries on investment projects, if necessary.
In addition, Ha said starting next month the city would make public the progress of handling investment procedures on the internet so that both management agencies and investors can follow.
Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment, said after three dialogues held in the north, centre and south to collect opinions on amending the Investment Law, the ministry had received mixed feedback, with some foreign firms expecting the issuance of investment certificates to be scrapped but others wanting it to stay.
Most firms in the latter group wanted to keep this certificate so that they could enjoy the Government's incentives prescribed on the certificate, including incentives for land rental and bank loans.
The ministry would consider removing the issuance of investment certificates, except in four sectors: a conditional business sector like banking; those sectors that use a lot of land; polluters of the environment; and sectors that need licences to get investment incentives.
The ministry wants to simplify investment procedures to make investing in Viet Nam more appealing, Vinh said.
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