Business Environment

The Communist Party’s and Renovation (Doi Moi) policy in 1986 has been the catalyst for significant changes in Vietnam’s economic growth, political stability, investment and legal environments, and international relationships in recent years. Yet despite the many changes that have already occurred, Vietnam is still a country with significant growth potential. Its economy is still relatively small and regulated by regional standards, but this is expected to gradually change. Vietnamese companies and individuals are quickly acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to compete in the international market. By combining these new skills with Vietnam’s abundance of natural resources (including labour) Vietnam is certain to outpace the growth of its regional neighbors for some time to come.

Other major economic events over the last few years include:

    • Becoming a member of the Associations of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July 1995, ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in January 1996, and Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) in 1998
    • The passing of the Enterprise Law in 1999 has legitimized the many private business that exist within the country and is a strong signal of the government’s support of private enterprises.
    • Opening the country’s first stock exchange in Ho Chi Minh City as the commercial hub of the country in July 2000.
    • The lifting of the US Trade embargo in 1994 and the US Bilateral Trade Agreements (BTA) took effect since 11 December 2000. This agreement is expected to create major opportunities for foreign investors in the future.

Foreign Direct Investment

Under the Law on Foreign Investment, a foreign organization or individual can establish business activities in Vietnam under one of three types of investment:

Vietnam Enterprise

The Law on Promotion of Domestic Investment and Enterprise Law permit a foreign individual(s) possessing a Permanent Residence Certificate issued by relevant Vietnamese authorities to contribute capital or acquire shares in one of the following types of Vietnamese entities: