Vietnam house hands reprieve to foreign firms

TN News

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The National Assembly has amended a provision in the Enterprise Law requiring foreign firms licensed before 2005 to register afresh, making it optional rather than mandatory as it was earlier.

Ninety percent of 461 members present approved the amendment.

The 2005 law had given the 6,000 firms then present in the country five years for the reregistration, failing which their licenses would not be renewed and they were prohibited from expanding.

But only around half of them did.

The amendment is set to benefit 2,916 firms who have a combined capital of US$18.5 billion and provide 446,000 jobs.

About 40 of the firms saw their licenses expired last May. The number is expected to rise more than sixfold in the next two years, Nhan Dan newspaper said, citing data from the Ministry of Investment and Planning.

The government had said earlier that revoking the provision was "necessary and urgent."

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The amendment takes effect July 1.

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