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Revised law on allowing foreign lease of ocean surface raises concern in Vietnam

Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 14:21 GMT+7

Foreign entities may be able to lease Vietnam’s ocean surface, according to a draft version of a revised law on aquaculture.

The draft was submitted to the Standing Committee of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly on Tuesday.

One of the revised law’s articles states that foreign individuals and organizations be allowed to lease Vietnam’s ocean surface to grow marine plants or operate fish farms.

However, the legislation was approached with caution by the congressional Committee of Science, Arts and Environment, which advised that the matter be studied at length to avoid putting the country’s national security at risk.

“The leasing of the ocean surface for the purpose of aquaculture is unprecedented, and it’s therefore advisable that national defense and security be taken into serious consideration, given that Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone spans nearly one million square kilometers, and is bordered and overlapped by many countries,” the committee said in its statement on Tuesday.

“A cautious approach is advised with detailed requirements needed in order to strike a balance between economic benefit and national security.”

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