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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Trade Ministry proposes opening fuel market to foreign retailers

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HCMC – The Ministry of Industry and Trade has sent the Government a draft decree amending and supplementing certain articles of Decree 83/2014 on petrol and oil trading, proposing allowing foreign investors to enter the country’s fuel retail market.

Under Article 1 of the draft amended decree, apart from fuel traders approved to transfer stakes to foreigners by the prime minister, petrol and oil traders can also transfer their stakes of less than 35% to foreign investors, Thanh Nien Online reported.

The ministry said that while fuel is a strategic commodity and has a big influence on energy security and residents’ daily activities, it is necessary to open the local fuel market to foreign retailers.

Upon Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007, the country did not commit to opening its fuel market to foreigners so that domestic firms could solidify their positions.

After 13 years of participation, Vietnam has opened its doors for foreign investors to join most of the major sectors to date, including electricity and aviation.

Foreign investments in various large State-run firms approved by the prime minister, including PV Oil, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company and Petrolimex, have contributed to improving the governance of enterprises, raising business efficiency and competitiveness and pushing up the value of the firms, according to the ministry.

A representative of the ministry told Thanh Nien Online that the drafting team had carefully considered the proposal and made a decision on the stake transfer restriction at 35% in order to limit the interference of foreign investors in the business activities of local firms.

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