One of the common complaints from foreign investors is about the lack of transparency in business and in the licensing and approvals processes.
A new Law on Planning is scheduled to be introduced to the National Assembly in June 2017, which according to Mr Nguyen Chi Dung the Minister of Planning and Investment will give the country a unified planning law instead of the current and overlapping 95 planning laws and ordinances and over 19,000 types of planning for sectors and products”
The new law is meant to help prevent conflicts of interest and the remove the “ask and give” habit which is rife in Vietnam, according to Minister Dung, who also went on to further explain that the “ask and give” mechanism is a way of governing by orders rather than by the rule of law.
If passed by the National Assembly this should certainly help drive out a lot of unhealthy and time consuming practices leading to great efficiency and speed in project implementation, for the benefit of the economy as a whole, rather than select individuals. It will particularly benefit the real estate sector where licensing and planning approvals can take years’ rather than months with significant hidden costs and where foreign investors have preferred to buy licensed projects rather than go through the planning and licensing procedures in recent years.