Experts support proposal to open fuel market to foreign investors
Eight experts have thrown their weight behind the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s proposal to allow domestic petrol and oil traders to transfer their stakes of no more than 35% to foreign investors.
|An employee of a local gas station refills a car. - Photo: VNA|
The proposal is part of a draft decree amending and supplementing certain articles of Decree 83/2014 on petrol and oil trading.
The ministry has sent the draft decree to the Government for approval three times. During the third time in March, 24 of 25 comments from Government members approved the draft decree, while one disagreed.
However, the Government asked the ministry to seek consultancy from experts for some contents of the draft decree, including the proposal to allow foreign investors to hold stakes of up to 35% in local petroleum businesses.
“We sought advice from eight economic experts and all of them supported the proposal,” a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade told Thanh Nien newspaper.
“The Government should open the fuel market to foreign investors. This will help domestic petrol and oil businesses mobilize capital and take advantage of the management experience and business culture of foreign investors,” said Assoc. Prof., Dr. Ngo Tri Long, one of the eight experts.
“The stake transfer restriction at 35% will help limit the interference of foreign investors in the business activities of local petrol and oil firms,” he added.
A leader of the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which is in charge of compiling the draft decree, said the proposal does not violate international commitments and prevailing regulations.
“Therefore, the proposal to allow domestic petrol and oil traders to transfer their stakes of no more than 35% to foreign investors is suitable with the current situation,” he said.
After receiving support from economic experts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will send the draft decree to the Government for approval for the fourth time.
Since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2007, Vietnam has opened its doors to foreign investors to join most of its major sectors, including electricity and aviation.
Foreign investments in various large State-run firms have contributed to improving the governance of enterprises, raising business efficiency and competitiveness and pushing up the value of the firms.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed removing the rule in a decree that says foreign investors are allowed to hold no more than 35% of shares in petroleum trading businesses.