Investors in Laos confront new policies
HCM CITY (VNS)— Vietnamese investors in Laos and Cambodia must prepare for several changes in foreign investment policies made by Laos and Cambodia, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has said.
According to a report by Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper, the ministry's Foreign Investment Department said that Laos has suspended the issuance of new investment certificates for mineral exploitation as well as rubber and eucalyptus cultivation in the country.
It has also decided to suspend certificates to the end of 2015 while it reviews and amends its licensing procedures for foreign investment projects.
Many foreign-invested projects have either not started or have begun very late, according to government officials in Laos.
In addition to new restrictions on licences, Laos has banned exports of unprocessed crude ore from the country.
Cambodia has also made changes to its foreign investment procedures.
In May, Cambodia suspended the allocation of land for rubber cultivation until December 21, 2015, and last month, it suspended wood exploitation in all old-forest areas, except for projects that build housing for war invalids and for police who live in border areas.
Cambodia also said it would not clear land in areas where residents have lived a long time, and foreign investors would be discouraged from exporting unprocessed wood and ore.
The new policies of both countries would affect many Vietnamese companies, according to the Foreign Investment Agency.
To protect their legal rights and prevent risks to their projects, Vietnamese investors must follow foreign investment regulations and other laws of both Viet Nam and other countries, the department said.
Projects involving the cultivation of industrial trees, including rubber and eucalyptus, must be carefully reviewed, the department added.
To further protect the legal status of their projects, investors should also thoroughly understand land-allocation procedures and regulations in Cambodia and Laos.
The department said it had encouraged investor associations in Laos and Cambodia to support Vietnamese businesses by sending petitions to relevant agencies in Laos and Cambodia about several projects.
It has also encouraged the Viet Nam Rubber Group to review all of its rubber and other industrial-tree projects in Cambodia, and follow through on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia on the cultivation of 100,000 ha of rubber.
The department said Vietnamese businesses should seek help from government agencies to solve any problems that may arise.
As of the end of September, Vietnamese investors had been issued licences for a total of 214 projects in Laos, with total registered capital of $3.45 billion.
Vietnamese investors have 120 projects in Cambodia, with total registered capital of $2.64 billion. — VNS