On December 7, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in collaboration with Foreign Investment Agency (Ministry of Planning and Investment) and American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) held a workshop on “Challenges of policy and regulatory changes for foreign investors in Vietnam”. Participating in the workshop are representatives of Vietnam and international business associations, related administrative agencies and economic experts such as Mr. Nguyen Mai, Chairman of Vietnam Foreign Investment Association (VAFIE) and Madam Pham Chi Lan.
Overview of the workshop.
Giving the opening speech at the workshop, Head of VCCI Legal Department- Dau Anh Tuan said the FDI has contributed significantly to the Vietnams’ economic development. Meanwhile, Vietnam is becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors, thanks to stable tax policies and numerous preferential treatments.
As of present, Vietnamese policy and regulatory have significant change with important commitments. Specifically, Article 13 on the Investment Law No.67/2014/QH13 on investment guarantees in event of changes in law stated that where a new legal instrument which is promulgated provides lower investment incentives than those which the investor has previously enjoyed, the investor shall continue to be entitled to the investment incentives in accordance with the previous regulations for the remaining duration in which the project is entitled to incentives. As such, the stability in policy and regulatory will be an important factor for investors to invest long term in Vietnam.
The Head of VCCI Legal Department Dau Anh Tuan gave an opening speech at the workshop.
Comparing to 10 years ago when Vietnam first joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), consulting enterprises was quite uncommon, but at present, this activity has been carried frequently. Mr. Tuan considered the workshop as an opportunity for foreign investors to suggest and recommend the government to improve the investment environment.
Sharing the same view with Mr. Tuan, Executive Director of Amcham Adam Sitkoff stressed the importance of enforcing the law in a fair and equal manner, also, changes in policy and regulations expose many foreign investors to considerable risks and obstacles in executing their investments. Amcham remained committed to helping improve business conditions in order to strengthen the private sector and promote economic and social development in Vietnam. Trade is the cornerstone of the US-Vietnam relationship and featured prominently in President Trump’s recent visit to Hanoi. During President Trump's meetings in Hanoi, the two countries pledged to deepen and expand bilateral trade and investment relations - in line with the President’s commitment to pursuing fair and reciprocal trade with key trading partners.
Currently, many american companies operating across the spectrum of economy activity here, including many efforts to help Vietnam become more productive, efficient, safe and cleaner. American companies have invested billions of dollars here, integrating Vietnam into the global supply chain, creating quality jobs for Vietnamese workers, and opening a new market for US goods and services.
On the changes of FDI investment policy and regulations, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Mai said, since the Law on Foreign Investment in 1987 to the Investment Law and Law on Enterprises in 2014, the system of Vietnam’s laws has transformed progressively, significantly contributed to the FDI attraction from 100 countries and regions, with 165 billion USD, taking 19% of GDP, 55% industrial output and 70% export value in 2017.
As such, changes in policy and regulations in over 30 years are the fight between reformist and protectionist, between opening and integrating to the world economy with protectionism. So the priority would be to create a fair playground for both domestic enterprises and FDI sector.
The workshop received valuable comments from its delegates. Economic experts and businesses agreed that Vietnam should maintain a stable regulatory environment, create favorable conditions for businesses, to become a competitive and attractive destination for investors.