After almost 2 years of limited access, it will become easier for foreigners with a business visa, visa exemption, temporary or permanent residence cards, overseas Vietnamese and their family members to enter Vietnam. Tourists are expected to be able to come to Vietnam later this year without having to join an organised tour.
The 2019 Law on Securities for the first time ever mentions foreign investors' participation on the securities market. The law also amends and adds definitions, and separates the initial and additional public offering. Furthermore, the conditions for both public and non-public offerings will be tightened, and the maximum fine will be increased.
As of 1 July 2020 it will become easier to switch to a different type of visa for foreign investors and job-finders who entered the country on a tourist visa. There will also be more types of visa available for foreign investors and duration depends on investment but can be up to 10 years.
Decision 26 is expected to speed up the equitisation of SOEs and divestment of State capital to create a level playing field for business entities, generate funds for infrastructure projects and comply with international commitments and free trade agreements.
Decree 75 contains a general framework for administrative penalties such as warnings and fines, additional sanctions and remedial measures such as suspension of operations, confiscation of profits or revocation of enterprise registration are amongst the additional sanctions, and correction of false information, restructuring of dominant entities, removal of illegal terms.
Circular 6 results in changes on use of foreign exchange related to foreign direct investment in Vietnam. The definition of FDI enterprise, and the scope of when a direct or indirect investment capital account should be used have changed. Guidelines are provided about the use of foreign currencies and VN Dong.
The EVFTA has been signed and is expected to enter into force in 2020. It is an ambitious agreement that not only addresses trade issues, but also sustainability (environment/human rights), and covers dispute settlement. There is a separate agreement that will cover the investor's protection. Companies that would like to take advantage of the EVFTA will - amongst others - have to take into consideration the country of origin and SPS requirements.
Amendments are expected related to conditional business lines; and clarifications are provided for Business Investment and Market Access Conditions. Notable are also the proposed amendments about M&A approval requirement, investment incentives, IRC, offshore investments, legal representatives and minority shareholders.
Vietnam’s new draft law on Public-Private Partnerships takes inspiration from legal frameworks around the world and provides an opening to satisfy the country’s growing demand for infrastructure investment. The Draft Law’s provisions on viability gap funding, risk-sharing, and project-financing are all laudable improvements compared to the current situation.
Decree 15 offers detailed instructions on the implementation of the Law on Vocational Education and Training. It sets out requirements that need to be met before a project of vocational institution could be launched by a foreign investor. Decree 15 is expected to attract foreign investment in the vocational training.
Decree 13 provides strong incentives to invest in the science and high-tech sectors in Vietnam by simplifying the procedure and providing preferential treatment for investors. The incentives are related to tax, and loans. Decree 13 is expected to accelerate research and development activities.
Following the entering into force of Decree 108 in October last year, Circular 2 now introduces new templates for registration of a business. All 89 templates are renewed. Furthermore, it provides for some changes related to the legal basis for the procedure related to the registration and to the relevant authority.
Circular 17 will ensure that companies are taking an active approach towards their compliance with labour laws and correlatively, employer obligations and employee rights. It provides guidelines on the scope, timing and reporting. Employers are required to implement solutions to improve if the self-inspection shows this.
Vietnam is a dynamic country with an economy that continues to grow and modernise and has a lot to offer. It is a unique country and provides extensive opportunities if you are willing to spend the time to understand the market and the people living and working in it.
Since Vietnam has joined the WTO in 2007, investment opportunities in Vietnam have developed immensely. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly many challenges in doing business here, some of which we will touch upon the main points in our guide “Doing Business in Vietnam".
In this guide you can find information about:
Ways to invest and available incentives;
Types of legal entities you can setup;
The do’s and don’ts of borrowing or lending money;
Competition law, contract law, intellectual property rights law, the labour code and dispute resolution;
What to do in case of insolvency, bankruptcy, or dissolution; and