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Foreigners’ joint ownership of seaports, airports in Khanh Hoa mustn’t be allowed

When discussing the draft resolution on special policies on a trial basis in Khanh Hoa province on May 24, many National Assembly deputies showed concern about the foreign ownership of seaports and airports.
National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue.

Nguyen Thien Nhan, a deputy from HCM City, expressed concern that the draft resolution does not clearly say if foreigners are allowed to own seaports and airports. He believes the issue must be clarified.

In general, seaports and airports are national special assets. Khanh Hoa has a very important economic and political position.

Nhan, the former Party Committee Secretary of HCM City, believes that the resolution must specify that foreigners and foreign companies are not allowed to own seaports and airports.

“If establishing joint stock companies, each shareholder is a co-owner of projects and products, i.e. they own the projects in accordance with capital contribution ratios. There is another business model – a business contract cooperation agreement, i.e. owners do business with partners and share profits with them, but the partners are not owners,” he explained.

Nhan said in other countries, airports are owned by the state and the state leases to private companies to operate. 

Nguyen Sy Quang, Deputy Director of HCM City Police, also said that Khanh Hoa is located in a very special position, and he still cannot see the spirit of the Politburo’s Resolution No 09 in the draft resolution. 

He agreed with Nhan that foreign investors must not be allowed to own seaports and airports and this should be clarified in the resolution. He also suggested that there should be technical barriers for Cam Lam district and Van Phong Bay.

Tran Hoang Ngan, a National Assembly’s deputy, expressed his surprise that Khanh Hoa, with special advantages, has a GDP per capita lower than the country’s average level, just $2,700. Meanwhile, the province in the coastal area of the central region has a very important strategic position for socio-economic development and national defense.

Ngan thinks there should be a special mechanism for Khanh Hoa.

He also believes the mechanism for Van Phong Economic Zone should be mentioned in the resolution. While Phu Quoc and Van Don are developing well, Van Phong isn’t.

National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue emphasized the “extremely important” characteristics of Khanh Hoa which connects with provinces and Central Highlands, and Cam Ranh seaport and Van Phong Bay. The Politburo’s Resolution No 09 says Khanh Hoa needs to become one of the models of economic development combined with national defense and security.

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee agrees with the government’s proposals. The draft resolution designs 10 mechanisms and policies, of which six mechanisms and policies are similar to ones granted to other localities, and four new ones.

Policies

Phan Huynh Son, a deputy from An Giang, noted that of the 10 draft policies, eight policies are wanted by other provinces as well.

For example, all localities want to have special mechanisms in finance management and state budget, especially financial support from the central budget.

Localities have recently complained that they have difficulties when adjusting development plans as they have to follow complicated procedures and submit them to the Prime Minister. The adjustment in decentralization would create favorable conditions for localities.

Regarding the two policies on land management, the deputy from An Giang said the authorization to the provincial authorities to make decisions on changing the land-use right purposes of rice-fields and forest land will allow localities to take the initiative in implementing tasks.

In conclusion, Son said there are eight proposed special mechanisms that all other localities want, suggesting that the mechanisms should become commonly applied.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said this is worth thinking about. “If 10 or more provinces want the mechanisms, they will become common, not special,” he said.

Thu Hang - Tran Thuong

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