Vuong Dinh Hue, chairman of the National Assembly, told American businesses Thursday that the special consumption tax on sweetened beverages was proposed for the benefit of people’s health and not for earning revenue.
At a meeting with the largest U.S. business delegation to ever come to Vietnam, which included the representatives of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, Hue said that the recently proposed special consumption tax has been under consideration for a long time to curve consumer shopping habits and to protect their health.
The process of applying this tax, however, will be considered thoroughly, taking into account the situation of businesses post-pandemic, he said, adding that there will be no sudden application of the tax.
The Ministry of Finance has recently proposed a special consumption tax on sweetened beverages as well as the same tax on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.
The Ministry last made this proposal in 2014 calling for a tax 10% tax on sweetened beverages, but the proposal was not approved by many government agencies.
Most businesses have said that the tax should be delayed until 2025 as they need time to recover from the Covid pandemic. They also said that sweetened beverages are not the main cause of obesity.
National Assembly Chairman Hue also said that he expects the United States to increase its investment in Vietnam, with priorities on high-technology, green growth, the digital economy, finance-banking and clean energy.
Ted Osius, U.S.-ASEAN Business Council president and former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam said that the United States considers Vietnam a strategic market and is committed to investing long-term in the country.
Osius said that the United States will strive to be the best partner to Vietnam and that it will actively provide consultation to help the country perfect its policies and laws.
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