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Moc Bai EZ dying because of changeable policies

2013-12-24 14:40:36

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The unreasonable non-tariff policies, the inconsistency in tax policies and investment incentives have all driven the Moc Bai Economic Zone (EZ) to death.


The Moc Bai border gate EZ in Tay Ninh province, covering an area of 21,300 hectares, which was so bustling in the first years of operations in 2008-2009, has become the “dead land.”


Fuso, the duty free shopping center in the Hiep Thanh zone, near the Moc Bai border gate, has nearly stopped its operation. Nguyen Thuy Trang, Director of Tri Hoi Company, the investor of Fuso supermarket, said Fuso has been operating at a moderate level over the last two years, while preparing to shut down.


Tri Hoi once put a high hope on the development of Fuso when it injected big money in the supermarket in 2008-2009. However, it was wrong, because it did not anticipate the changes of the policies.


In 2011, the investor got shocked when hearing that buyers would no longer enjoy the tax exemption from 2012, which means that the shopping center would not be attractive enough to lure customers.


In operation since 2012, Fuso has been focusing on clearing the stocks, while it does not intend to expand the business.


A lot of other businessmen in the Moc Bai EZ are facing the same problems like Fuso’s. A report by the Tay Ninh provincial Industry and Trade Department showed that the trade activities have been on the sharp decline. Of the 36 enterprises registering their business, six have suspended their operation.


In 2012, Moc Bai received 2.7 million visitors, or 226,000 visitors a month. Meanwhile, only 1.5 million people came to the EZ in the first nine months of the year, a sharp decrease of 25 percent over the same period of the last year.


The total turnover of the trade & industry zone was VND1.2 trillion in 2012, while it was VND746 billion in the first nine months of the year, down by 1.98 percent.


Dying of changeable policies


According to Le Thanh Cong, Deputy Director of the Tay Ninh provincial Industry and Trade Department, in the first period of operation, Moc Bai attracted a high number of visitors thanks to the tax exemption policy.


However, the policy became no longer valid in late 2012. Anticipating the difficulties to come once the tax exemption was removed, the provincial authorities asked for the extension of the policy. However, the decision on the extension only came in late January 2013. While waiting for the decision, enterprises suffered heavily from the narrow custom.


The changeable policies are the main reason that keeps customers away and discourage investors.


At first, planning to develop Moc Bai into a trade, industry and eco-tourism area, the State applied very flexible policies, including the one on allowing every person to buy VND500,000 worth of duty-free products a day.


However, in July 2012, the tax exemption policy was abrogated, which led Moc Bai into a doldrums. The normal operation was only resumed when the government agreed to extend the tax exemption until the end of 2012. However, every person could only buy VND500,000 worth of duty-free products a week.


In early 2013, the zone once again closed the doors for one month before it resumed the operation on January 24.


The changeable policies have discouraged investors. Japanese, Malaysian investors have canceled the negotiations on setting up supermarkets there because they feared the policies would change in the future.


Source: vietnamnet