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Saigon to Remove Makeshift Co Giang Market After 25 Years in Operation

Nearly 350 vendors face an uncertain future as authorities plan to close the impromptu wet market.

According to Tuoi Tre, Saigon authorities announced recently that all market activities must cease in Co Giang Ward by June 2019. Every day, from 5am to 1pm, vendors congregate on Co Giang and De Tham streets of District 1 to sell fresh produce. The makeshift market has been in place since 1994.

The reasons behind the decision to remove the market are the lack of fire safety measures and a waste treatment system needed to ensure food hygiene. The presence of vendors also contribute to disorderly traffic in Co Giang and Cau Ong Lanh wards of the district, the news source states. A total of 349 vendors selling raw meat, vegetables and fruits, clothes, and groceries will be affected by the removal.

To support the transition, authorities are offering compensation to vendors if they have proper business certificates and tax codes. Depending on their income and the amount of taxes paid, they can receive from VND39 million (US$1,677) to VND44 million (US$1,892).

A sum of VND29 million (US$1,247) will be provided for those that don't satisfy some of the above-mentioned requirements. Of the 349 vendors, 122 fall into this second category. The entire scheme is expected to cost more than VND13.8 billion (nearly US$600,000).

The displaced vendors will need to make difficult decisions regarding their future employment. Some such as Tran Thi Sen, a 49-year-old pork seller, said she would find a different job. Others, however, plan to relocate to an already established market or hope that a new market will be established.

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