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Vietnam Turns Down Foreign Textile Investments Worth Millions

Vietnamese authorities have rejected two foreign-invested textile and dyeing projects because of environmental concerns.

According to VietNamNet Bridge, a $200-million proposal registered to a Hong Kong investor and another by a backer from South Korea have been turned down by Da Nang, an area known for its sandy beaches, because the city only wants to encourage facilities that use clean technologies.

Likewise, authorities in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Hai Duong have said they plan to refuse potentially polluting investment projects, including dyeing and textiles. Some analysts have voiced their worries that such limitations could prevent Vietnam from taking full advantage of the pending U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“We are a little picky,” admitted Huynh Van Thanh, vice president of Da Nang’s Department of Planning and Investment, in a recent interview with Bloomberg—which explains why the city experienced a sharp decline of 45 percent in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first three months of the year. Furthermore, the country as a whole had licensed only 448 new FDI projects by April’s end, a drop of 17.1 percent from the previous year.

Mai Hung Dong, director of Binh Duong Planning and Investment Department, told Bao Moi, “The added value that textile and garment projects can bring to the locality is smaller than the losses they cause to the environment.”

Vietnam is currently the second largest garment exporter to the U.S.—shipping $911 million products to the country in March—and is the fastest growing garment manufacturer in the world.