Vietnam considers Nokia's request for special treatment

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Vietnam's government has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to weigh a request by mobile phone maker Nokia concerning preferential treatment for its first plant in the country.

Nokia plans to build the handset factory in the northern province of Bac Ninh with an initial investment of around 200 million euros (US$275 million).

The company has requested its factory to be treated as a high-tech project, instead of a regular foreign-invested project, in order to receive favorable tax treatments, local news website VnEconomy reported.

If recognized as a hi-tech plant, the project will be eligible for a tax exemption for the first four years of operations and a low corporate tax rate at only 5 percent in the following nine years, the report said.

According to VnEconomy, the authorities in Bac Ninh have been in favor of the request, saying that the project is important for the province.

The government on August 16 issued a statement, ordering the Ministry of Planning and Investment and concerned agencies to look into the request.

However, it noted that the investor's technological commitments and the benefits of the project have to be reviewed carefully before any decision on preferential treatment can be made. 

The plant is scheduled to start production in 2012. It will be Nokia's 11th factory in the world and its first in Southeast Asia.

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