Clear end offered to abandoned projects

07:40 | 16/08/2012
A clear end is in sight for mothballed projects with absent investors.

Projects will soon be able to be liquidated under a draft decree to amend Decree 108/2006/ND-CP guiding the Investment Law, which has recently been submitted to the government and is waiting to be approved.

In the case of the Vungtau Wonderful Theme Park project, the People’s Committee of Ba Ria – Vung Tau has taken on the latest movement to revoke the investment license due to the investor’s slow implementation, according to Dang Nhu Dat, deputy chief of Vung Tau’s Office of Urban Management.

However, the movement was not successful because the project investor, Good Choice USA Vietnam, Ltd. had fled and could not be reached.

The $1.3 billion project was planned to include a five-star hotel with 2,500 rooms, four four-star hotels with 4,000 rooms and an entertainment centre consisting of an aquarium, thrilling games and replicas of Vietnam’s and the world’s famous landmarks.

Even though the license was granted in 2008 with several investment incentives, Vungtau Wonderful Theme Park project has not yet been executed.

Dang Minh Thong, deputy director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment said the department has failed to identify the address of Good Choice USA Vietnam, Ltd. in the province and thus has informed the investor of the province’s decision through mail sent to its address in the US and also through Vietnam Embassy in America.

The draft decree to amend Decree 108 is based on three scenarios.

In the simplest case when the project has not been executed at all and no debts are incurred, the issuing agency shall revoke the investment licence and inform relevant agencies. The handling of assets shall comply with the provisions of the civil law on properties with absent owners.

Local authorities, people’s committees and management boards of the industrial zones shall be responsible for the storage and preservation of these assets in accordance with provisions of the civil law. The procedure shall be similar if the project has been executed but no debts have arisen.

In complicated cases where projects incur debts and assets to be resolved, state agencies shall have to take the responsibilities of the project investors and solve for the interests of third parties including the state, partners and employees.

Specifically, Departments of Planning and Investment and management boards of industrial zones shall act as liquidation agencies which announce and construct the liquidation plans in accordance with decisions of provincial people’s committees.

“The principled mechanism shall create the legal basis for local authorities to handle liquidation of projects abandoned without the investors’ representative for the process,” said Tran Hao Hung, director general of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Legislation Department.

Le Quoc Tuan, lawyer at Indochina Legal Law Firm, said that the liquidation of the abandoned projects not only relied on the Investment Law, but also requires a combination of regulations on civil law, labour and finance.

Tuan said that the handling of these projects needed to be decided by provincial people’s committees on a case-by-case basis. “After the approval of the draft decree, specialised agencies would issue circulars guiding on procedures and coordination mechanisms for relevant parties,” said Tuan.

By Dinh Bac

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