I’m not going to point to specific articles, because I haven’t kept track of them, but lately it’s becoming apparent that Vietnam is nearing a purge of projects that have failed to realize.

It’s happened in the past, when a project is on the books for investment development and nothing happens, or very little happens. The government can step in and cancel the project as mere speculation. FDI is a serious business in Vietnam reaching upwards of hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and for one or two or three investors to default on their deals is not a problem, but when they do it publicly, like the Manhattan Towers in Hanoi, or the L’Avenue Crowne in Ho Chi Minh City, those projects are liable to be scrapped by the relevant agencies.

And only in the recent EVFTA has there been a mechanism put in place that allows investors to bring causes of action against the government of Vietnam for takings. This means that unless you’re a European country, you probably won’t get a chance to get any sunken costs back should the government cancel your project as speculation or a failed investment.

Vietnam is no longer a country where land speculation will rest. If you’re looking to build, then build, if you’re looking to buy, then buy, but don’t diddle dawdle in the middle. The government doesn’t like it, especially if it leaves unsightly skeletons of buildings on major golden properties in the downtown districts.