HA NOI — Many localities are becoming pickier in licensing new foreign-invested projects, setting more specific conditions on investors and selecting only projects in line with their development objectives.
Many local authorities are halting any projects that fall way behind schedule, including the People's Committee of central Quang Nam Province which recently announced that it would withdraw the investment licences of five foreign-invested projects in the tourism sector due to slow progress.
While the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment has estimated that foreign-invested projects contributed over US$11 billion to the State budget during 2001-09, a large number of projects also have significant shortcomings, including pollution, heavy imports of out-of-date technology and equipment, and failing to meet their commitments.
Many localities have, in the past, paid more attention to quantity than quality of their investments, affecting not only themselves but other sectors and ultimately the national economy.
FIA Director Do Nhat Hoang has said that measures were needed to control the quality of investments, including laws, policies and planning that promoted infrastructure construction and human resources training.
Viet Nam Association of Foreign-Invested Enterprises president Nguyen Mai said that, during 1997-2010, Viet Nam only attached importance to the amount of foreign direct investment but, from next year, would focus more strongly on quality and effectiveness.
The criteria for approving an investment license would now look not only to how many jobs would be created but to whether clean and modern technologies were to be used in production and whether investment would be co-ordinated with support industries and services. Infrastructure and human resources elements of the project would also be taken into account.
Investors would undergo stricter assessments before receiving investment licences – especially for projects requiring large areas of land.
Meanwhile, already licensed projects that continuously racked up delays or failed to make progress would see their investment licences revoked.
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