Vietnam, A Brief Outline

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam ("Viet Nam") is a Southeast Asian country with a long history. Since 1990, it has opened its doors, heralding a new period of changes and challenges.

The national language is Vietnamese, which is widely spoken throughout the country by all ethnic groups. Major foreign languages are English, French and Chinese. Russian, German and Japanese are also used by some overseas trained scholars and technicians.


Major Investment Opportunities

  • Export production and import substitution;
  • High technology industries which utilize skilled labor and local natural resources;
  • Labor-intensive production which utilize local raw material;
  • Building of infrastructure, facilities and services with foreign currency earning potential such as tourism, ship repair, airports and seaports.


Five Tips For a Succesful Venture in Vietnam
  • First time visitors to Viet Nam are advised to engage a business travel consultant to handle travel arrangements and obtain pre-arrival registration. Although newcomers may initially wish to explore direct contact with local companies independently, it is advisable to deal with business contact agencies or consultants;
  • Prior market research should not be underestimated. Advanced project research can save a great amount of time. Prospective investors are advised to personnally visit the local government department. The best way to set up a business in Vietnam is to enter into a joint-venture with some Vietnamese counterparts;
  • Although the workforce is generally skillful, they need training to cope with modern equipment and Western standards of working;
  • Foreign investors should be realistic in their expectations of Viet Nam. Initially, it is advisable to have only a small or medium scale presence in the country, for ex. a representative office. Once the company is established, investors and entrepreneurs should be patient and not to expect immediate profits;
  • In case of disagreement with your local partners, it is advisable to use Alternative Dispute Resolution settlements.


Legislation Relevant to Investors
  • Decree 28-HDBT adopted by the Council of Ministers on 6 February 1991 which deals with the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law.
  • Decree 133-HDBT adopted by the Council of Ministers on 22 June 1990 which deals with labour regulations for enterprises with foreign-owned capital.
  • The Statute of Foreign Exchange Control promulgated together with Decree 161-HDBT (adopted on 18 October 1988) which deals with Foreign Exchange Control.
  • The Ordinance on Accounting and Statistics (adopted on 10 May 1988) and Circular 46-TC-CDKT (issuded by the Ministry of Finance on 21 October 1989) which deal with accounting matters.
  • Matters relating to land and land use are stipulated under Land Law passed on 29 Dec. 1987.
  • The Ordinance on Technology Transfer (5 December 1988), the Ordinance on the Protection of Industrial Property Rights (28 January 1989), and the Decree on Licensing of Patents, Utility Solutions, Industrial Designs, Trademarks and Know-How (28 December 1988, are issued with Circular 201-HDBT) which deals with matters relating to intellectual and industrial property.
  • The Ordinance on Royalties (30 March 1990) which imposes royalties on the exploitation of certain resources.
  • Royalties and rents payable for the use of land, water and sea surfaces are detailed in Decision No. 210A-TC-VP (issued by the Ministry of Finance persuant to Article 27 of the FIL on 1 April 1990). The latest Circular No. 51 TC/TCT issued on 1 October 1992 concerns the implementation of the above Decision.
  • The Law on Turnover Taxes was adopted on 30 June 1990, which imposes tax on business turnover.
  • The Ordinance on Economic Arbitration (10 January 1990), which establishes a State body to be the arbitrator in disputes beween parties to economic contracts, which is governed by the Ordinance on Economic Contracts (25 September 1989).
  • The Ordinance on Income Tax on High Income Earners (27 December 1990), which imposes imcome tax on foreigners and Vietnamese citizens who receive "high level of income".
  • The Law on Export and Import Duties (issued on 26 December 1991).
  • The Circular on Taxation of Foreign Investment in Vietnam (issued on 1 October 1991), on regulations for the implementation of provisions relating to taxation of foreign enterprises.
  • The Regulations on Representative Offices of Foreign Economic Organisations issued together with Decree No. 382-HDBT on 5 November 1990, relating to issues onresident representative offices in Vietnam.


VIETNAM useful links

Vietnam Embassies Worldwide

Law of Vietnam Online Search
Swiss Business Network in Vietnam
Business Culture in Vietnam
Vietnam Trade Offices worldwide
Travel to Vietnam
Business Travel Services
Major Government Bodies
Tradefair Calendar of Events
Vietnamese Language Crashcourse
Find a Vietnamese Translator in Vietnam


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