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Uber, GrabTaxi heading towards de-facto recognition

Released at: 09:44, 06/05/2016

Uber, GrabTaxi heading towards de-facto recognition

Draft amendments to transport decree requiring Uber and GrabTaxi to display "Taxi E" sign is de-facto legal recognition, say taxi companies.

by Tue Lam

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN) under the Ministry of Transport has confirmed with VET that a request for Uber and GrabTaxi to display a "Taxi E” sign is only an idea at this stage and it will finalize amendments to the relevant decree at the end of the month.

The request will be contained in draft amendments to Decree No. 86 on the business of transport by motor car, prepared by DRVN. It is expected the Directorate will collect opinions from stakeholders, including Uber and GrabTaxi, before approving a final draft for submission to the government.

The draft sparked a wave of protest from many traditional taxi companies, however, who said it amounts to legal recognition of Uber and GrabTaxi.

Chairman of the Hanoi Taxi Association Do Quoc Binh told local media that traditional taxis are subject to a range of constraints in the number of vehicles and in requirements such having a headquarters and a business license and the need for their drivers to be properly trained and have a taxi driving license. Taxis like Uber and GrabTaxi, meanwhile, will be legalized under decree but face no such constraints.

The net profit of taxi company Vinasun fell in 2015, to VND238 billion ($10.71 million) from VND318 billion ($14.31 million) in 2014. GrabTaxi and Uber appear to be winning popularity among Vietnamese despite not being legal.

Mr. Nguyen Tuan Anh, CEO of GrabTaxi, told VET that because amendments to the decree are only in draft stage he would not comment.

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