The Ministry of Planning and Investment is considering drastic new measures to tighten oversight of outward investment by firms, according to Vietnam Investment Review.

Overseas investment has risen significantly in recent years to around 1 billion USD this year, and is expected to rise to at least 2.2 billion USD next year.

But the newspaper said the existing system was slack, pointing out that of the 558 overseas projects – 70 percent of them belonging to the public sector – only 300 submitted annual reports to relevant agencies while 67 did not exist.

The majority of those filing reports were major firms that account for most of the foreign investment, it added.

However, the others' flouting of rules has caused difficulties for Government agencies responsible for managing overseas investments.

Recently, while trying to gather information on overseas investments to amend a draft decree, the Ministry received responses from only half of the country's 63 provinces and cities.

Significantly, Hanoi and HCM City , which accounted for most of the investments, failed to respond, the review stressed

Because they lacked information on overseas investment, authorised agencies have been unable to control the capital already transferred abroad and firms' use of profits.

Some firms had not repatriated their profits to Vietnam .

To better manage overseas investments in the interim, the Ministry planned to work with agencies like provincial business registration and tax offices and the police to inspect firms that did not file reports on their overseas projects.
In cases where the agencies could verify overseas addresses, the Ministry would ask the police to investigate and possibly revoke the licences issued to invest abroad./.