Vietnam PM orders compensation for foreign firms after riots

Thanh Nien News

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Workers at an industrial park in Binh Duong Province. PHOTO: DO TRUONG
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has officially asked cities and provinces to compensate foreign-invested companies damaged in the riots that erupted out of peaceful protests organized against China's positioning of a giant oil rig in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
On Tuesday, the PM ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to pass the news along to countries and territories doing business in Vietnam to ensure their continued cooperation.
He officially ordered the governments of cities and provinces to send officials to work directly with each company in calculating losses they may have suffered from rioters who looted and vandalized their factories last week.
He asked the Ministry of Finance to work with local authorities and instruct insurance companies to calculate the relevant damages and compensate the vandalized companies.
The ministry was also tasked with ordering tax agencies to offer up to two-year extensions to vandalized companies, based on the extent of the damages.
Customs offices were told to reduce export and import taxes for vandalized companies and refund any export and import taxes the affected companies paid on goods which were later vandalized.
Customs offices were directed to clear products still pending customs clearance due to unpaid taxes.
PM Dung has also ordered local governments to reduce or exempt the land rent for affected companies.
He asked the Ministry of Public Security to expedite entry visas for companies seeking to replenish lost foreign laborers.
As for companies which still haven't resumed operations and are unable to pay salaries to their workers between April and June, the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs and social insurance agencies have been tasked with working with local governments to cover those wages.
PM Dung also asked the State Bank of Vietnam to instruct local banks to provide loans to affected companies.
He asked the Ministry of Public Security to quickly track down looters and recover any property stolen from the companies.
On May 13-14, peaceful demonstrations took place across Vietnam as people from all walks of life took to streets to protest China's deployment of the US$1-billion oil rig in Vietnam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone on May 1.

But some cashed in on the demonstrations to instigate the workers to torch up to Chinese-owned factories and other foreign businesses, mostly Taiwanese, mistaken for being Chinese in Ho Chi Minh City, the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Binh Duong and Ha Tinh in the central region.

This has prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to order officials at every level of the government to tighten security for foreign investors, prevent further riots, and punish violators.

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