A survey of investment-related costs in Asia carried out by the Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has revealed that Vietnam has an overall cost advantage as compared with other countries in the region, according to the Vietnamese News Agency. Vietnam has considerable potential because it has a highly skilled workforce and moderate wage levels, said a JETRO official. The average rate of corporate income tax of 28% in Vietnam last year was lower than the regional average of 30%.

The Hiep Thanh duty-free trading centre is being developed within the Moc Bai border gate economic zone on Vietnam’s border with Cambodia, according to the same agency. The trading centre will cover an area of 50 hectares. Investors in the centre are exempt from corporate tax during their first four years of operation. In the following nine years (years 5-14), they will pay tax at a rate of 5%, and a rate of 10% in the following 15 years (years 15-29). Investors are also exempt from import tax, special consumption tax and VAT. Foreign investors from Cambodia and China have expressed their interest in the economic zone and trade centre.