Trade Ministry proposes opening fuel market to foreign retailers

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has sent the Government a draft decree amending and supplementing certain articles of Decree 83/2014 on petrol and oil trading, proposing allowing foreign investors to enter the country’s fuel retail market.

A Petrolimex employee refills a motorbike at a local gas station. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed allowing foreign investors to enter the country’s fuel retail market – PHOTO: VNA

Under Article 1 of the draft amended decree, apart from fuel traders approved to transfer stakes to foreigners by the prime minister, petrol and oil traders can also transfer their stakes of less than 35% to foreign investors, Thanh Nien Online reported.

The ministry said that while fuel is a strategic commodity and has a big influence on energy security and residents’ daily activities, it is necessary to open the local fuel market to foreign retailers.

Upon Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007, the country did not commit to opening its fuel market to foreigners so that domestic firms could solidify their positions.

After 13 years of participation, Vietnam has opened its doors for foreign investors to join most of the major sectors to date, including electricity and aviation.

Foreign investments in various large State-run firms approved by the prime minister, including PV Oil, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company and Petrolimex, have contributed to improving the governance of enterprises, raising business efficiency and competitiveness and pushing up the value of the firms, according to the ministry.

A representative of the ministry told Thanh Nien Online that the drafting team had carefully considered the proposal and made a decision on the stake transfer restriction at 35% in order to limit the interference of foreign investors in the business activities of local firms. 

Fuel retail prices kept unchanged

After increasing four consecutive times, retail fuel prices were kept unchanged following the periodical adjustment of fuel prices on July 13.

E5 bio-fuel and RON95 gasoline now sell for VND14,258 and VND14,973 or less per liter, respectively. Meanwhile, the prices of diesel oil, kerosene and heavy fuel oil are not higher than VND12,114 per liter, VND10,038 per liter and VND10,903 per kilogram, respectively.

Local fuel traders were told to extract VND961 for each liter of bio-fuel E5 RON92 sold to replenish the fuel price stabilization fund. The extraction rate for each liter or kilogram of RON95 petrol, kerosene, diesel oil and heavy fuel oil sold is VND526, VND167, VND88 and VND254, respectively.

Meanwhile, fuel trading firms are allowed to tap VND100 from the fund for each liter of bio-fuel E5 RON92 sold. They can also get VND200 for each liter of RON95 gasoline, VND500 for each liter of diesel oil and VND300 for each liter or kilogram of kerosene and heavy fuel oil sold from the fund.

The ministries of Finance and of Industry and Trade said global fuel prices tumbled during the 15 days before July 13. Each barrel of RON95 gasoline was priced at US$46.679, down 0.34%, while the average price of diesel oil was US$49.237 per barrel, up 3.41%. SGT

 
 
 

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