Vietnam to tighten golf course licensing

28th July 2008

Vietnam to tighten golf course licensing

Vietnam will freeze new golf course licensing unless investors meet local land-use criteria and environmental protection requirements, according to local newspaper Vietnam Investment Review on Monday.

Local governments should cease issuing new golf licenses if the projects are built on land which is currently used to cultivate two rice crops each year, the country's Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a report submitted to the government.

"In the cases of golf courses already given in-principal approval for establishment, each specific license issuance must be referred to the ministries of Planning and Investment, Construction, Natural Resources and Environment, and Agriculture and Rural Development," said the report.

 To date, the country has had 78 licensed golf-related projects totaling 13.3 billion U.S. dollars and covering a total area of 26,170 hectares in 39 cities and provinces, but only 13 of which are currently operating.

Sixty-six other golf-related projects have been given in-principal approval with total estimated investment of 4.8 billion dollars and acreage of 22,100 hectares.

"The density of golf courses in some localities is unbelievable. For example, northern Bac Giang province's Yen Dung district has three approved golf courses, Hanoi capital's Long Bien district has two, and southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province's Chau Duc district has three," the report said.