Vietnam will apply a zero tariff policy to all automobiles imported from ASEAN countries by 2018, making it easier for consumers to buy cars.

The lowest special consumption tax will be imposed on vehicles with 16-24 seats, while eco-friendly lines will benefit from a preferential tariff.

Nine-seaters and vehicles with an engine capacity of more than 3 litres will be subject to high taxes, said Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Industrial Policy and Strategy Institute Duong Dinh Giam at a recent Hanoi conference announcing a strategy and master plan for the Vietnamese automobile industry.

Firms are encouraged to become part of the global supply chain with the support of preferential loans and benefits arising from domestic trade promotion and key mechanical programmes, particularly the production of spare parts.

Vietnam is expected to produce nearly 1.5 million automobiles between 2020 and 2035. The support industry will cater to more than 65 percent of domestic demand, while a total of approximately 90,000 units worth 10 billion USD will be assembled for export, said head of the ministry’s Department of Heavy Industry Nguyen Manh Quan.

Chairing the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang said relevant laws should be valid for at least 10 years so as to give peace of mind to investors and boost sales.

The institute suggested locally-made automobiles better meet international technical standards, and import outlets qualify requirements on financial capability, parking, and maintenance.

Under the automobiles development strategy, Vietnam sets to become a supplier of spare parts in the global chain of automobile manufacturing.-VNA