Vietnam and UK sign investment treaty

Jul 14, 2002 02:00 AM

An agreement on investment promotion and protection between Vietnam and the UK was signed in Hanoi by Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Xuan Gia and Minister of State at the UK Department of Trade and Industry Alan Johnson. The agreement in English, designed to encourage the confidence of investors of both countries and ensure them equal treatment, will become binding when it is signed in both English and Vietnamese.
Britain currently has 53 investment projects totalling $ 1.7 bn in Vietnam and is the biggest non-Asian investor in Vietnam.

The agreement is the fruit of Gia's trip to Europe in June to promote investment in Vietnam. He said a memorandum of understanding on construction of a $ 500-mm cement project in Quang Nam Province was signed by the Swiss company Holcim and Vietnam Cement.
The 3-mm-tpy cement project will be located near a limestone source and the Ho Chi Minh Highway. Gia said the MPI announced the project before 2000 but no investors were interested in it due to the poor infrastructure in the area. However, with the construction of the Ho Chi Minh Highway, transport now has become more convenient.

Gia also revealed that a number of big European investors have expressed interest in big projects in Vietnam. German investors want to develop a multi-million dollar mobile phone system and a large international hospital.
Vietnamese officials and representatives of some big British oil and gas companies discussed the possibility of increasing the capacity of the Nam Con Son gas pipeline to 12-15 bn cm from 6 bn cmpy, which will cost some $ 800 mm.

Foreign investment in first half of 2002
Fresh capital $ 473.5 mm, down 55.6 %
Realized capital $ 950 mm, up 6 % year-on-year
Sales $ 3.8 bn, up 19 %
Export $ 1.99 bn, up 18 %
Import $ 3 bn, up 38 %
Tax payment $ 247.1 mm, up 24 %

Source: The Financial Times
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