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Vietnam passes updated draft investment, enterprise laws

Ben-Thanh-MarktThe National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam, the country’s legislative body, passed on November 26 the revised drafts of the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprise, both aimed at improving the business climate in the country by creating a clear, open, and transparent environment for investors.

The revised investment bill, which includes seven chapters and 76 articles, was adopted with 84.91% of votes. Meanwhile, the revised Enterprise Law, which is comprised of 10 chapters and 213 articles, was approved with 85.51% of votes.

The changes in the draft revised investment law as well as reforms in the foreign direct investment policy, especially on tax incentives, will help Vietnam increase FDI inflows, according to experts.

Among the major amendments to the bill is the reduction from the current 51 prohibited investment domains and 386 conditional investment fields to six sectors banned from investment and 272 areas specified as conditional investment domains, according to a report by the online newspaper VietnamNet Bridge.

The draft law also provides in great detail the forms of investment incentives, and the principles, procedures, and conditions to apply to those incentives. There will no longer be a separate investment license for foreign investors, and the duration for granting investment license will be shortened to 15 days from the present 45 days.

The legislation also clarifies state areas and sectors prioritized for investment, while addressing problems related to conditional investment domains, said the report.

The six prohibited sectors banned from investment and businesses are corpse, tissue and body-part trading; prostitution; human asexual reproduction; trading of drugs and chemical substances specified in an appendix of the law; and trading of species of wild plants and animals as specified either in appendices of the law or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The amended investment law will become effective on July 1, 2015, said the report.

Meanwhile, the approved Law on Enterprise allows all citizens to engage freely in any business not banned by the law. Enterprises do not need to include their business lines in the business registration certificate, which helps to simplify bureaucratic procedures and reduce a large amount of work for registration offices, according to reports.

The NA also discussed the amended draft Law on State Audit, as well as passed the amended Law on Management and Use of State Property, the Law on Special Consumption Tax, and other tax laws.

It also discussed the draft Law on Occupational Safety and Hygiene that is expected to create a legal framework for entities to establish labor relations, contributing to the safety, health, rights, and lawful interests of employees and employers. The law will strengthen occupational accident and disease prevention through better control of risks and adverse factors in workplaces, while simplifying administrative procedures and ensuring greater enforcement of existing laws.

Photo: Hajjothu


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