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Doing business in Vietnam \| TDN Translation

Guide on Doing business in Vietnam

Below are links to informative articles about “Doing Business in Vietnam” provided by AmCham members or other reliable sources of information.

The information will be helpful during a company’s review of Vietnam as a site for sourcing operation or a factory, to provide goods or services, or otherwise as a site for doing business. The information is designed to be responsive to questions on a check list for a business development or a site-selection team. The information provided is, of course, only a summary; however, it provides a significant amount of substantial information on which a company can rely in understanding Vietnam’s business environment, including legal, financial, property, information and communications technology infrastructure, logistics and supply chain management, etc.

“Doing Business in Vietnam”—provided by AmCham Member Companies

Setting Up and Operating in Vietnam, Russin & Vecchi, May 2011, 85 pages plus appendices. pdf file The information in this booklet will be helpful during a company’s review of Vietnam as a site for a factory, to provide a service, or otherwise as an investment venue. The authors have emphasized material that would normally be on a site selection team’s check list. While the information is only a summary, it provides a significant amount of information on which a company can rely to understand Vietnam’s legal context.

Legal Framework for Franchising in Vietnam, Russin & Vecchi, April 2013, 11 pages. pdf file Franchising is well suited to Vietnam, where there is a strong culture of entrepreneurship. It is a good method for small and medium size entrepreneurs who want to start a new business in a short period of time to have a more limited risk, a modest amount of invested capital, and the promise of a stable income. Although most existing franchise operations in Vietnam are in the fast food and beverage business, franchising has potential to develop in other sectors. A strong surge of interest in franchised businesses is anticipated among local entrepreneurs. So too, interest from franchisors is expected to grow.

Ho Chi Minh City and the “Southern Key Economic Region”: Ports, Industrial Parks, and Other Infrastructure Overview of the region, with maps. Several downloadable powerpoint presentations on: the new deep water ports (Saigon New Port Company: Ports Overview, Mitsui OSK New Port Trend and Outlook, etc.); Industrial Parks in Vietnam and the Southern Key Economic Region; “Ho Chi Minh City & Surrounding Area Master Plan to 2020.” A good overall orientation with maps showing the development plans and actual trends for the Southern Key Economic Region.

Taxes in Vietnam: An Overview is a handy reference to tax rules of Vietnam. It aims to explain the overall tax framework clearly and concisely for practical use by businesses and individuals. Vietnam’s tax regime is contained in a myriad of laws, decrees, circulars and official guidance and there is often no simple way of identifying those that are applied in practice. Within one source for the first time in English, Taxes in Vietnam: An Overview reflects the most current information on tax compliance requirements based on the new laws effective from 1 January 2009. With its highly useful commentary on essential tax laws, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complex business system at ease.

Employment Manual for Businesses in Vietnam, Russin & Vecchi and Navigos Group, June 2010, 65 pages. MS-Word .doc file. This Employment Manual is intended to be an easy desk-top reference for the Chief Representative, the General Director, the Human Resources Manager and any person who wants a good understanding of Vietnam’s labor laws. It is designed to orient management to issues with which it must be familiar. Even though the law on each subject has considerably more depth within the Labor Code and the many implementing and companion laws, decrees and circulars, this Manual should provide the reader with a good basic understanding. However, the Manual is a guide; it is not a substitute for a comprehensive understanding of the labor laws.

Telecommunications in Vietnam, Russin & Vecchi, April 2013 Vietnam entered into a Bilateral Trade Agreement (“BTA”) with the United States in December 2001, in which Vietnam agreed to a schedule for opening the telecommunications sector to U. S. entities. Vietnam became a member of the WTO on Jan 11, 2007. In its WTO commitments, Vietnam agreed to open telecommunications services to foreign investors under a given schedule. There was a need for a more comprehensive legal framework to manage a fully liberalized market. The first Ordinance on Post and Telecommunications was approved by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on May 25, 2002, and became effective on Oct 1, 2002. The Ordinance was then replaced by the Law on Telecommunications which came into effect on Jul 1, 2010. It is the first time the regulations on telecommunications exist in a separate comprehensive law, which provides a legal framework for all telecommunications activities.

Vietnam Banking at-a-glance: Cash Management and Trade Services J.P. Morgan provides a snapshot of Vietnam’s cash management operating environment and its treasury services capabilities in the market. J.P. Morgan’s Treasury Services business is a full-service provider of innovative cash management, trade, liquidity, commercial card and escrow services, specifically developed to meet the challenges treasury professionals face today. More than 135,000 corporations, financial institutions, governments and municipalities in over 180 countries and territories entrust their business to J.P. Morgan. For more information, visit www.jpmorgan.com/ts.

Document Preservation in Vietnam, March 2011, Russin & Vecchi

Insurance Law & Regulation in Vietnam, April 2011, Russin & Vecchi

House ownership and land use rights for overseas Vietnamese, Russin & Vecchi

Vietnam’s Stamp of Approval – June 2009, Russin & Vecchi

Vietnam’s Food Law – Jan 2011, Russin & Vecchi, updated Apr 2011.

Brief Guide to IP Law in Vietnam, Rouse Legal, updated May 2012.

Doing Business in Vietnam: A Country Commercial Guide for U.S. Business, prepared by the U.S. Commercial Service in Vietnam

Vietnam: A guide for business and investment, prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, (pdf 5.8 MB)

Investment Guide to Vietnam 2013, Rodl & Partner

Reviews of Vietnam’s Investment Policy, Industrial Relations, Economic Development

Summary: World Bank Update on Vietnam’s Economic Development, Dec 6, 2011 Vietnam’s ambition to maintain high growth into the next decade will require as bold a set of reforms as the one adopted with Doi Moi.

World Bank Vietnam development report 2012 : market economy for a middle-income Vietnam, Dec 6, 2011 Factors that have contributed to Vietnam’s success and explores the emerging challenges: restructuring state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the public investment program and how to raise its effectiveness, transparency needed to support Vietnam’s middle income status, a critical issue that needs to be tackled if Vietnam is to achieve its socioeconomic aspirations.

Sustaining Vietnam’s Growth: The Productivity Challenge (McKinsey Global Institute) Feb 2012 Vietnam now needs to boost labor productivity growth by more than 50 percent to maintain its rapid growth. It can do so by (1) Stabilizing the macroeconomic environment; (2) Strengthening productivity and growth enablers to enhance competitiveness; (3) Shaping a coordinated, industry-specific government growth agenda by targeting investment; and (4) Improving government performance to deliver a growth agenda.

Vietnam Competitiveness Report, 2010 – Michael Porter, et. al. Nov 20, 2010 Vietnam’s growth since the mid-1980s has been driven by transition and structural change. Growth has been fueled by these macroeconomic, “systemic” changes. More recently, the policy response mainly focuses on intensifying investment, especially in SOEs and infrastructure, to generate growth rather than on upgrading productivity and efficiency. However, the economic logic behind this growth model ultimately has limited potential. The highest level of prosperity that Vietnam can reach given this approach is defined by the level of productivity unskilled workers can reach in manufacturing. If Vietnam is not able to move beyond this model, it will be stuck at lower middle income level, with poorer economies threatening its position.

Prime Minister’s Official Letter: Time to take stock of foreign direct investment, May 20, 2008 A situation analysis is critical for Vietnam to boost FDI. The analysis will be helpful in drawing conclusions on Vietnam’s comparative advantages and disadvantages, suitable FDI promotion strategies, especially with respect to the FDI leaving or expanding from China to the ASEAN region.

UNCTAD Investment Policy Review of Vietnam, Nov 2007 ~ Oct 2008
Key point: The proposed new policy would shift from promoting labor-intensive, export-oriented manufacturing FDI to promoting international investment in infrastructure (electric power, transportation & distributinon, telecoms, etc.) and in services, to provide higher value-added to Vietnam’s economy, including higher-income jobs for Vietnamese.

OECD Policy Framework for Investment (Executive Summary), Feb 14, 2008
Key point: The Policy Framework for Investment (PFI) is a tool, providing a checklist of important policy issues for consideration by any government interested in creating an environment that is attractive to all investors and in enhancing the development benefits of investment to society, especially the poor. Click the link to access the PFI Executive Summary, as well as an OECD-MPI PFI Assessment of Vietnam’s Investment Policies (62 pages, 14 Feb 2008) and Key Findings and a Roadmap for Future Reform (6 pages, 04 Mar 2008).

Revised Labour Code, 2009-2010, and National Conference on Industrial Relations, Apr 1-2, 2010
Key point: In response to widespread strikes with violence that occurred mostly in FDI factories in the Southern Key Economic Region in the spring of 2008, and the concerns expressed by FDI and Vietnamese business associations to the government, the Prime Minister’s Decision 1129/QD-TTg, 18 Aug 08: Action Plan for the Implementation of Directive No. 22-CT/CW of the Secretariat of the Central Committee established a framework for enhancing leadership, providing direction for the development of harmonious, stable and progressive labor relations within enterprises. The first priority was for the ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to review and revise the Labour Code.

Revised Labour Code, 2009-2011: National Employers Conference, Oct 24, 2011 After three years of consultations about the Revised Labour Code with the “Tri-Partite Partnership” (MOLISA, VCCI, VGCL), speakers at the National Employers Conference summarized their recommendations to the National Labour Relations Committee.

Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010

Mar 18 Special Lunch: Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010
. Presentation by Dr. Edmund Malesky on the FDI Survey (pdf, slides)
. Executive Summary (pdf – text)
. Chap 2. FDI Survey (pdf – text)
. Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index 2010 (full report, pdf, text)
. Welcome Remarks by AmCham Chairman

Using 2010 survey data from 7,300 businesses in Vietnam that describe firm perceptions of their local business environments and hard data, the 6th year iteration, the Vietnam Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2010 continues to assess and benchmark the performance and capacity of all 63 provincial and city governments within Vietnam to develop business-friendly regulatory environments for private sector development.

Of specific relevance to AmCham and policymakers this year is the PCI 2010 report’s special feature on the first time survey results from 1,155 foreign invested enterprises from 47 different countries located throughout Vietnam, including:

• Performance profiles;
• Drivers of firm investment location decisions;
• Perception and perspective of the Vietnamese business environment.

Equip yourself with the most up-to-date information on the current foreign investment profile and governance and competiveness of all 63 provinces in Vietnam.

Click here to view and download information and presentations at recent AmCham meetings and events, including
—comments by business association representatives at the Vietnam Business Forum, May 30, 2007
Powerpoint presentation on Asian Trends and Vietnam’s Consumer Future.

AmCham Member Companies Can Help You Set Up and Operate in Vietnam

AmCham member firms would be happy to respond to specific questions, and are prepared to bring the information contained in online pages and downloads to the next level of detail. Read this summary of Who You Need to Know in Ho Chi Minh City and How to Find Them, then click here for a list and links to AmCham member and associate companies and their contact information for the following key business sectors:

Accounting, Auditing, and Consulting

Banking, Finance, and Insurance

Information and Communications Technology

Legal Services

Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Real Estate

The Foreign Companies in Vietnam Yearbook

Foreign direct invested companies account for 42% of the industrial output and 59% of the exports of Vietnam.

The Foreign Companies in Vietnam Yearbook 2011 and CD-Rom 2011 is a researched company database of major international companies in Vietnam. A unique Vietnamese companies directory, the Foreign Companies in Vietnam Yearbook database provides hard-to-find information on this growing emerging market. The ‘Multinational Companies in Vietnam CD-ROM’ contains the latest available, individually researched data on 1930 senior executives at 720 leading African, American, Asian, European and Middle Eastern multinational companies and key local companies in Vietnam.

About the Multinational Companies in Vietnam CD-ROM It’s a powerful, cost-effective business development and research tool delivered by CD-ROM in an easy-to-use Windows format. It allows unlimited access to search, copy, print, export or save data selections of multinational companies in Vietnam and their key contacts. In response to demand from our customers, BMI has created newly enhanced search functionality in our 15th edition, allowing you to easily refine your campaign selections.

Key benefits for Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance and Research Teams Our Multinational Companies Directories are a must-have marketing tool for all executives conducting business in Vietnam, ideal for market assessment and planning, benchmarking, competitor tracking and securing new customers, partners or suppliers for sales and marketing.

Macroeconomic Trends and Analysis

Below are links to reports on Vietnam’s macroeconomic trends and analysis by international financial institutions (Asian Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund). Click the links to download the reports (in pdf files)

Asian Development Bank: Development Outlook, April 2008: Vietnam Section

Asian Development Bank: Development Outlook, April 2008: Full Report

World Bank: East Asia Update, April 2008: Vietnam Section

World Bank: East Asia Update, April 2008: Summary, Highlights, Links to Full Report

World Bank Report on Vietnam’s Macroeconomic Situation, June 5, 2008.

IMF Public Information Notice: Article IV Consultations with Vietnam, Dec 3-18, 2008

IMF Public Information Notice: Article IV Consultations with Vietnam, Nov 2007

IMF Country Report (No. 07-385): Selected Issues

IMF Country Report (No. 07-386): Statistical Appendix

IMF Country Report (No. 07-387): Staff Report, Supplement and Statement, etc.

Ho Chi Minh City and the “Southern Key Economic Region” (SKER)

Ho Chi Minh City and Southern Key Economic Region: Ports, Industrial Parks, and Other Infrastructure Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is Vietnam’s economic and business hub, the largest and fastest growing city, with more than two-thirds of international flight arrivals and departures, 80 percent of container shipments, 75 percent of consumption of steel products, and together with neighboring provinces in “Southern Key Economic Region,” account for nearly 40 percent of Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product. In 2010 a more prosaic indicator was announced when a large beverage can manufacturer planned investments to expand production to 4.7 billion cans/year in Vietnam, of which 3.2 billion would be in the SKER and 1.5 billion in the Northern Key Economic Region. The city center is 60 km (37 miles) from the Eastern Sea, with a population of about 5.6 million, or 6.7 million including the suburban and rural areas. The “greater metropolitan area,” which consists of Hồ Chí Minh City metro area, Thủ Dầu Một, Di An, Bien Hoa and surrounding towns, is 9 million people. By 2020, the population of the “Greater HCM City Metropolitan Area”, also known as the “Southern Key Economic Region” is projected to reach 20 million.

Background Reading

Books that cover history, cultural and general socio-economic background. In addition, links to online handbooks/country studies with general statistical information (economics, trade, demographics) information, prepared by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, and the World Bank. Click this link.


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