Vietnam ponders easing casino investment requirements in special economic zones

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) is considering easing the minimum capital requirements for foreign casino investors in order to boost investment into the nation’s Special Economic Zones (SEZ).

According to local news outlet VN Express, the MoF has put a proposal to the Prime Minister that would allow any capital allocated to other projects within SEZs, including infrastructure contributions, to be included in minimum investment calculations as a means of making life easier for investors.

Current regulations require a minimum investment of US$2 billion into an integrated resort complex including a US$1 billion pre-development disbursement before a registration certificate can be granted. However, no provision is currently provided for any external development contributions such as roadworks.

The proposal is said to be largely targeted at Van Don – one of three SEZs nationwide and one deemed to be particularly lacking in key infrastructure – where a single IR is currently being developed by Vietnamese real estate giant Sun Group. The other two SEZs are Phu Quoc in the nation’s south and the central coastal area of North Van Phong.

It remains to be seen whether the MoF’s proposal becomes a reality, however, with the Ministry of Defence one of a number of departments to have objected on the grounds that it would be unfair on those corporations to have already invested.

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