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Quang Ninh Province: Trade plaza project in dispute with provincial authorities


Tam said Bai Tho Trade JSC was awarded an investment certificate for the project in January 2011, nearly five years after the first proposal was approved by the local People’s Committee.

At the time, the company mulled completing the project by the fourth quarter of 2013, but due to economic difficulties, the company later asked the authorities to scale down construction from four floors and a basement, to just two floors.

In January 2012 the People’s Committee put their stamp of approval on Bai Tho’s new plan that incorporated the proposed changes.

In May 2012, the company was granted a construction permit that required the company to begin work no more than three months later.

That deadline was long passed when in July this year the People’s Committee said they would take back the space allocated to Bai Tho for the project.

Last month the People’s Committee went a step further by revoking the trade plaza’s investment license from the company.

Tam said the company did not receive any warning letters or other documents prior to authorities repossessing the land and revoking the license.

“Authorities did not consider the difficulties our company faced with this project that particularly disadvantaged us against foreign players in the same field such as BigC and Metro,” said Tam.

He revealed that in late 2012, the company was requested to change the location of the trade plaza, and that contributed to construction delays.

He also noted that by that time, bank interest rates were as high as 25 per cent per annum and had suspended medium and long-term loans to firms. The company couldn’t move forward with construction until it found a reasonable source of capital.

“We have arranged capital for the project and if we get the necessary documents, we can complete it within nine months after breaking ground,” Tam said.

As of yet there has been no response from Quang Ninh authorities.


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