For the new year, Vietnam has introduced several changes of importance to foreign businesses and investors. Among them:
- An increase in the mininum monthly wage of between $5 and $18, depending on location, for the 10 million laborers including 1.5 million working for foreign companies.
- A cut in auto import taxes by 1%-3% — which drops the 83% tariff for imported cars to 82%.
- Permission for foreign banks to mobilize capital in Vietnamese currency — which gives them parity with domestic banks in this regard.
- A 10% tax on gold exports in order to limit and stabilize gold exports to regulate the domestic market that experienced record-high gold price last year.
- Environmental taxes on petroleum, oil, coal, and plastic bags — for example about $1 per pound for plastic bags and nearly 20 cents for a gallon of gas.
- Maximum land prices in Hanoi and HCM City set at about $400 per square foot — with the minimum set at about $10. For Ho Chi Minh City, the range is $6 to $400.