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Tran Hong Quan, Minister of Construction (MoC), said the draft would be submitted to the National Assembly next month. If it is approved, it would come into effect from January 1, 2009. Last month the MoC proposed regulating foreigners and foreign-invested enterprises to own residential apartments, not a house or villa in the country.
According to the draft, foreigners or foreign-invested enterprises who buy a residential apartment would have the right to maintain and reconstruct it in accordance with Vietnamese laws. They would be also compensated if their apartment is reclaimed by the government.
However, they could only sell, lend or give their apartment to other people one year after the date of granting a house ownership certificate. Nguyen Manh Ha, director of MoC’s House Management Department, said: “This regulation would prevent the situation of pushing the selling price up and help government authorities manage foreigner residences. This is the experience of some regional countries.”
After 70 years of owning the apartment, the foreign party can sell or give up their residential apartment. The new draft also regulates seven foreigner groups who have conditions to buy residential apartments in Vietnam. These include foreigners who are the head of international organisations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, those who directly invest in Vietnam under the Investment Law, experts and scientists working in Vietnam, foreigners who marry Vietnamese citizens and live in Vietnam, foreigners recognised by the Vietnamese president as Vietnamese honorary citizens and foreign-invested companies which buy houses to lease to their foreign employees working in Vietnam.
The MoC estimated that the proposal would encourage foreign investment and cooperation in acertain important sectors.