Category Archives: Vietnam – General

Vietnam Investment Review interviewing lawyer in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann on trends in Mergers and Acquisitions in Vietnam

1. How do you judge the M&A trends in Vietnam at the current time?

The M&A market in Vietnam since the beginning of this year is very active. Foreign investors tend to invest in public listed companies or companies with good brand in the market. Sectors that attract the most interest of foreign investors are finance, real estate, retail, consumer goods, etc.
The reason is that the investors are very optimistic about the development of Vietnam’s market. In addition, the Government has also made several successful attempts to improve the investment environment, including the consideration for the amendment of the Law on Securities, which is believed to bring better financial sources to the country.

2. What should foreign investors benefit from the trends and what should they be aware of?

The Government’s privatization of many state-owned enterprises this year together with the fact that many enterprises with large capitalization and of great interest to foreign investors in these sectors are now preparing for the public listing give foreign investors more investment choices. However, they should conduct a full due diligence on the target to make sure that their investment is secured and in compliance with Vietnam laws.

3. What are still the shortcomings of the M&A deals in Vietnam?

Transparency is a barrier to foreign investors. The local target companies do not adopt international accounting standards or the equivalent, or are not willing to disclose sensitive information to their potential partners. In certain cases, for example, in real estate development projects, under table expenses are of great concern to foreign investors, especially those from the US, EU, UK, Japan and Korea.

4. Many people keep worry of the loss for not only local brands but also the local culture with more foreign domination after the M&A. What are your opinions about the matter?

It should not be of great concern. Foreign investors when buying in local companies/ brands usually bring technology, high-quality management standards and capital, which local companies lack. This helps the local companies/ brands better compete in the market, especially in case of Vietnam’s deep integration into the world and regional economy. Moreover, culture is something that foreign investors have to adapt to be able to survive in Vietnam. The case of Grab and Uber is an example.

5. What is the forecast of the trend in the future? And how they will drive the market?

Leading enterprises with good financial capacity and high growth in the sectors will attract both foreign and domestic investment. It is noted that in 2018, there will be a number of state-owned enterprises privatized under the Prime Minister’s decision. These enterprises include Habeco, Vinamilk, etc. which is believed to be successfully privatized following the recent success of Sabeco, another state-owned enterprise in the beverage sector under the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s management.
In terms of capital sources, we can expect a cash flow coming from major Asian economies such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and especially mainland China which increases their strong presence in the market.
We strongly believe that the equitisation of SOEs of a larger scale and with a strong determination from the top would play a key role in driving the market.

If you have any question on the above, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com or any other lawyer in our office listing. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

VIETNAM – RENEWABLE ENERGIES – Identifying the Amazing Development – what you must know:

In recent years, Vietnam has enjoyed one of the world’s most rapid economic growth rates with an average of more than 6% p.a. Such growth has transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world into a middle-income country. Vietnam has long recognised the important role of renewable energy (including solar power) in achieving energy security, sustainable development and stable growth rate.

The revised Power Development Plan for 2011-2020, vision to 2030 (revised PDP VII), adopted in 2016, is evidence of a growing appreciation of the role alternative sources of energy, targets a 7% share of electricity generated from renewable energy by 2020 and 10% plus by 2030. The revised PDP VII forecasts the electricity demand using an annual average growth rate at 10% from 2011 to 2030. The demand will increase from 86 TWh in 2010 to 265-278 TWh in 2020 and 572-632 TWh in 2030. The estimated installed capacity would be 60 GW in 2020 and 129.5 GW in 2030.

Vietnam has a wide range of primary energy sources such as crude oil, coal, natural gas and hydro power for economic development. However, Vietnam has experienced formidable risks for its economy to be based on fossil fuels. For example, in April 2015, thousands of residents blocked a national highway for more than 30 hours in a protest against pollution by the Vinh Tan 2 coal power plants. It seems most of the hydro resource potential for hydro power plants will be fully exploited soon. Those are just two examples of incidents that could significantly impact on the national power security power of Vietnam. Accordingly, Vietnam must reduce its reliance on less “environmentally friendly” primary fossil fuel, and promoting renewable energy promptly.

Since early 2017, there has been a surge of solar and wind projects approved by the Government after the promulgation of new feed-in-tariffs (“FITs”) for on-grid solar projects and other reforming policies to attract foreign and local investment on this green industry. We highlight below some developments for your reference:

Solar power projects – Amazing development!

Vietnam’s potential capacity for solar power is considered to be similar to Spain or China, but solar power projects capacity, prior to 2017, is extremely low (less than 10 MW). However, hundreds of solar power projects have been approved by the end of 2017. So far, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (“MOIT”) informed that the combined capacity of all approved solar power projects, which will operate prior to 30 June 2019, is over 3 GW.

First time, FIT for on-grid solar power projects

Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg dated 11 April 2017 of the Prime Minister on the mechanism for encouragement of the development of solar power projects in Vietnam (“Decision 11”) set for the first time the FIT of US cent 9.35 pWh for on-grid solar power projects.

Solar power purchase agreement (“PPA”) template has been firstly introduced together with Circular 16/2017/TT-BCT of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. It shows that the Government has given its full support for the development of solar power projects in Vietnam.

Direct PPA Pilot for Private Sectors

Generally, solar Direct PPA is an agreement made between the solar power generator and a corporate customer in which solar power is physically delivered and sold to the corporate customer for its operations. Since early 2017, MOIT has assigned ERAV to cooperate work with USAID and consultants to research international experience and feasible models for solar Direct PPA in Vietnam. ERAV expected that its consultants could prepare the final report on solar Direct PPA models within July 2018. MOIT planned the pilot could be implemented as early as the first quarter of 2019. The pilot could realise at least 300-500 MW private solar power plants under the Direct PPA model.

Wind

With more than 3,000km coastline and plenty of islands, Vietnam has a significant potential for wind energy with an average wind speed of more than 6m/s, surpassing that of all other Southeast Asian countries. From technical perspective, Vietnam’s potential for wind power development is estimated to be 27 GW.

However, Vietnam’s wind market is still in its infancy. Up to now, there have only been five wind farms in operation with total capacity of 197 MW, up 38 MW from 2016. Other 50 projects are under different phases of development. The Vietnamese government sets a target for wind development at 800MW by 2020, 2,000 MW by 2025 and 6,000 MW by 2030.

The current wind FIT is 1,614 dong/kwh (excluding VAT, equivalent to 7.8 UScents/kwh). The MOIT has proposed the Government to increase wind FIT for inland wind power plants to 8.77 UScent/ kWh for onshore projects and to 9.97 UScent/kWh for near shore wind projects. Vietnam also expects foreign investments on development of its poor grid infrastructure, creating reliable wind speed studies and wind speed towers to measure, and improving technology and skilled workforce.

Biomass

As the agriculture in Vietnam is widespread, the capacity for sustainable power production from biomass amounts to 150 million tons per annum, 700-780 MW for electricity generation alone can be reached.

The Government’s target is to increase the biomass power to 500 MW (0.6 pct. of electricity production) by 2020 and 2,000 MW (1.1 pct.) by 2030. Until now, there have been six sugar factories out of 40 selling electricity to the national grid with a total installed capacity of 76.5 MW. Thus, there is still much potential in the market and the investors should take advantage of locations close to agricultural vicinities and focus on high season (i.e., shortly after seasonal harvests) to have the most output.

For on-grid biomass power projects, EVN is to buy all of the plant’s biomass energy output at the current price of 1,220 VND/kWh (excluding VAT, about 5.8 UScent).

Market access in WTO, CPTPP and EVFTA

Currently, there is no foreign ownership restriction in energy sector in local laws or Vietnam’s international commitments. The foreign investor may choose among permitted investment forms: 100% foreign invested company, joint venture or public private partnership in the form of BOT contract. For your information, Vietnam ties in first place with Singapore in terms of market access liberalisation.

The recent conclusion of the EU- Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) negotiation and the signing of the CPTPP further opens the market to foreign investors. The investors now can bring their technology and know-how, especially those from countries with high level of development in renewable sectors such as Germany, to Vietnam with less market access barriers and being more secured. In particular, the CPTPP and the EVFTA make it possible that foreign investors could sue Vietnam’s Government for its investment related decisions according to the dispute settlement by arbitration rules. The final arbitral award is binding and enforceable without any question from the local courts regarding its validity. This is an advantage for investors considering the fact that the percentage of annulled foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam remains relatively high for different reasons.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com or any lawyers listed in our office listing if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Why you shouldn’t miss out on Vietnam’s industrial property market

Though comparatively young among its regional peers, Vietnam’s economy is turning up some exciting areas of opportunity. One of the most promising is the industrial property market, comprising industrial land, ready-built factories, warehouses and other logistics properties.

 

Slowly but surely, the country is moving from a labour-intensive to a capital-intensive economy, and over the next few years we will continue to see a shift towards the more value-added sector.

 

This means that the industrial sector will begin to incorporate more sophisticated requirements, demanding a higher level of expertise and technical equipment. At the moment, industrial parks remain sparse and there is no concerted effort to gather industries on a regional level.

 

However, Vietnam’s manufacturing and processing sector accounted for over 40 percent of the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) last year, which surged to a record high of US$36 billion overall. This trend looks set to continue.

 

Get in on industry

 

Currently, the city of Hai Phong and province of Bac Ninh are the two localities boasting the highest number of industrial parks in the country. They are also the biggest draws for industrial investment in the northern economic region.

 

France’s FM Logistic, a leading warehouse supplier, recently launched a 5,000 sq.m logistics warehouse in Bac Ninh while purchasing an additional 50,000 sq.m in the north to build the first European-standard storage centre in Vietnam.

 

Other areas around the country are showing similar signs of strong development and investors would be wise to get in early.

 

In fact, the country’s largest supplier of industrial property, the BW Industrial Development JSC, debuted in the southern province of Binh Duong earlier this year. BW is a joint-venture between US private equity fund Warburg Pincus and Vietnam’s Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC), with investment of over US$200 million.

 

Betting on the country’s booming manufacturing sector and rising domestic consumption, the company has bought land for eight projects in five localities around Vietnam, with a focus on developing institutional-grade logistics and industrial properties.

 

A well-connected hub

 

Among several notable advantages increasing Vietnam’s attractiveness to industrial investors, the country’s proximity to some of the world’s major sea trading routes offers huge opportunities to develop maritime transport, particularly for logistics services.

 

The country’s border with China makes it a promising option for manufacturers looking at alternative locations in Southeast Asia while operating costs in China continue to head upwards.

 

Additionally, the nation’s household income is likely to increase. According to recent research, Vietnam is expected to enjoy the strongest growth in the middle-income population bracket, with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19 percent from 2018-2020, and an increase of 14 percent from the previous decade.

 

A young population coupled with growth in average income will boost purchasing power and help the country retain its spot as a top investment destination in Southeast Asia.

 

The fruits of free trade

 

Vietnam’s industrial real estate sector is also expected to get a helping hand once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into effect.

 

The passage of the deal has been smooth so far, and players both at home and abroad are already considering ways in which they can benefit from each other’s markets. Tariff cuts and streamlined regulations will precipitate a surge in investment, and a big slice will go into the industrial sector.

 

Acknowledging the oncoming wave of interest, the Prime Minister approved spending of up to US$921 million on infrastructure development around economic zones and industrial parks by 2020. This heavy investment has been earmarked for roads, drainage and water waste treatment facilities, as well as power infrastructure for industrial parks and clusters, hi-tech parks and hi-tech agricultural zones.

 

Major cities are also eyeing increased industrial attraction, especially from abroad. Under the development plan for Hanoi, the city will have nine more industrial parks on a total area of 2,360 hectares by 2020, an increase of 132 percent against current supply.

 

Easing the entry of foreign players to such parks would help in boosting occupancy. It remains to be seen whether the pledged cash will complete the connection of factories to road networks, as well as promote the growth of residential and commercial areas around the parks. If the strong demand is anything to go by, these requirements are likely to be met soon.

 

For these reasons, Vietnam is becoming more appealing to foreign manufacturers, their associated suppliers and supporting industries. Investor interest in the industrial market is on the up, in industrial zones as well as in income-producing industrial assets, build-to-suit opportunities and logistics-based warehousing.

 

Huge opportunities exist in Vietnam for both existing players and new manufacturing firms to snap up significant market share and get in on the ground floor. This area is certainly one to keep an eye on.

 

For more information about Vietnam’s industrial sector, please contact Giles at GTCooper@duanemorris.com or any of the lawyers in our office listing. Giles is co-General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC and branch director of Duane Morris’ HCMC office.

ベトナム:インフラ開発のジレンマにグリーンボンドは効くか著者:Giles T. Cooper

翻訳:志澤政彦(Masahiko Shizawa)

原文:https://blogs.duanemorris.com/vietnam/2018/05/15/are-green-bonds-the-answer-to-vietnams-infrastructure-dilemma/ 

ベトナムを含む東南アジア諸国では、急成長とともに安定した資金源の確保が困難になってきた。

このことは、インフラ事業において顕著である。アジア開発銀行(ADB)の報告書によると、経済成長に伴い、2030年までにこの地域では2.8兆米ドルに相当する道路、橋梁、鉄道が必要になるとされている。

不安定さを増す政治情勢に直面している東南アジア諸国は、この先数年のインフラ開発の資金調達の選択肢としてより安全なものに目を向けている。「一帯一路」政策の下ですでに1兆米ドルものプロジェクトを支援してきた中国への過剰依存は、国内的解決策を経済が志向するにつれ、その規模が縮小されていくものであろう。従前に表明した境界線を踏み越えようとする中国の計画への恐怖は、資金の不正流用及び失敗したプロジェクトという具体的教訓と相まって、この地域周辺の国々に「一帯一路」の活用の再考を迫ってきた。

南シナ海の領域問題をめぐる政治的緊張及び増加傾向にある国際的な保護主義を前に、ベトナムのような国々は将来的な資金調達を自前で行う途を探る方向でいる。この地域全般で国家予算への負担は増加傾向にあり、この先数年で強く求められる成長のため投下すべき他の資金元を探そうとしている。一つの提案は、「グリーンボンド」の発行促進である。

「グリーンボンド」について知らなければならないこと

グリーンボンドは債券の一つであるが、発行者によって調達された資金は「グリーン」なプロジェクト、つまり、環境に配慮し、気候への懸念を考慮に入れたものに割り当てられる。グリーンボンドの発行が特に利益になるセクターは、再生可能エネルギー、インフラ、および建設業界である。

道路、橋梁、トンネル、そして鉄道の建設には、地域的及び全国的な気候に多大な負担をかけてしまう。そのため、環境フットプリントの低減を志向するプロジェクトの優先度は最も高い。

環境に配慮したプロジェクトに資金調達を集中させることに加えて、グリーンボンドは発行者の持続可能な開発への取り組みの深さを強調する意義もある。さらに、発行者はグリーン・ベンチャーにのみ投資をする特定のグループのグローバル投資家にアクセスできるようになる。国外のプレーヤーによるグリーンな投資への注目が高まっている中、資本調達のコスト削減にも貢献しうる。

ベトナムにとって意味するものとは

ドイツの開発機構であるGIZによれば、現在の炭素依存的成長からより持続可能な道筋へと移行し、その約束草案(Intended Nationally Determined Contribution、INC)に向けた行動をとるため、ベトナムは2020年までにおよそ307億米ドルを必要としている。

グリーンな成長のための資金のうち30%程度は国家予算、すなわち中央と各省の予算及び政府開発援助、からの拠出が見込まれているが、残りは民間セクターから供給されることとなるとみられる。

ベトナム政府が2011年から2020年の期間について承認したベトナム・グリーン成長戦略(Vietnam Green Growth Strategy, VGGS)の下では、資本市場がその目標達成のカギとなるだろう。グリーンボンドが死活的な役割を果たすのは、まさにこの点においてである。グリーンなプロジェクトや事業体のため特別に資金調達を行い、グリーンな商品のデリバティブの流通の素地を作り、さらに民間セクターの投資を持続可能な開発のため活用することになる。

国外からの関心としては、ベトナムのグリーンボンドの発行により、持続可能な開発、再生可能エネルギー、そして環境に配慮した成長を志向している国際投資家の誘致が期待されている。世界中の投資家が、気候変動の課題やエネルギーの移行につき、前にも増して注視している。環境問題を考慮に入れた投資ツール、特に開発途上国におけるものについて要求する投資家は、増加の一途を辿っている。

この地域で、ベトナムが持続可能な資金調達の見通しを見据えている唯一の国というわけではない。アセアン・グリーンボンド基準(ASEAN Green Bonds Standards、AGBS)が2017年11月に開発・実行され、アセアンでのグリーンボンドの発行に共通の基準が制定された。マレーシア、シンガポール、インドネシアの会社は、すでにアセアン・グリーンボンドと称された債券を発行している。

これらのグリーンボンドの発行によって調達された資金は、再生可能エネルギー、廃棄物処理、グリーンな建築物やインフラといった、持続可能性の要件を満たしたプロジェクトに配分され、さらに統合、連帯、アセアン全体の成長といった共通の目標に貢献するものである。何よりも、地域のリーダーたちは将来世代の犠牲のもとに成長は成り立たないことに気づいてきている。AGBSのような新たな取り組みが、環境に配慮した投資への資源の分配を促進するだろう。

成長不全を来しているグリーンな成長

2020年までに達成されるべき指標の一つは、グリーンボンド市場を、現在およそ90兆米ドルのグローバル債券市場の少なくとも1%にまで拡大することである。これを現実のものとするため、ソブリン債発行者は断固たる決断をする必要がある。

流動性の欠如、債券の構造の限定的な多様性、及び確実に収益の見込めるプロジェクトの定期的で大きな流れの不在といったものが、未だにアジアの現地通貨によるグリーンボンド市場の特徴である。

加えて、社会的責任を果たそうとしている投資家からの恒常的な要求はまだ限定的であり、この市場の成長の可能性を阻んでいる。

そうはいっても、ソブリン債発行者が環境を整備し、強力な枠組みが適用される限り、現地通貨でのグリーンボンド市場の成長の見込みは大きい。制約となりうるのは、確実に収益の見込めるグリーンな投資の数と大きさであろう。

もしベトナムが「グリーンボンド」の動きを十全に活用しようとするなら、上述したような方法での資金の注入が解決策を示してくれるだろう。それは、インフラ事業における資金調達の穴を埋め、より速い拡張に向けた基礎を固め、そして、これまで長い間痛めつけてきた環境には休息をもたらすものであるはずだ。

ベトナムのグリーンボンドに関する情報については、GTCooper@duanemorris.comよりGiles弁護士または当事務所の弁護士一覧の弁護士にお問い合わせください。Giles はドウェイン・モリス・ベトナム法律事務所の共同代表であり、ドウェイン・モリス・ホーチミン支所の支所代表です。

Vietnam – Solar Power Breaking News – Possible Extension of deadline for Feed in Tariff (9.35 USD cent per KW) – what you must know:

The current solar Feed-in-Tariff for on-grid projects in Vietnam is 2,086 Vietnamese dong/kWh (equivalent to 9.35 UScents/kWh) (VAT excluded). According to Decision 11/2017/QD-TTg, this solar FIT applies for projects which come into operation before 30 June 2019 and within 20 years from the commercially operational date (“COD”) (i.e., the date when the solar plant is ready to sell electricity to the buyer – EVN).

However, from our informal high level contact within the MOIT recently, it is very likely that the solar FIT of US9.35 cents/kWh will continue to apply beyond the original COD (i.e. 30 June 2019). The deadline shall be likely extended for another half a year or another year for solar projects across Vietnam, except for projects in Ninh Thuan. This policy is not yet formally adopted but very likely will be publicized at the end of this year.

For solar projects in Ninh Thuan, the COD deadline extension will be longer (i.e. for another one and a half year from 30 June 2019). This is due to the fact that, in Ninh Thuan province, nuclear energy development has been stopped and the Government would like to develop solar energy there to support the province’s economic development.The special policy for solar projects in Ninh Thuan will be coming very soon, according to our MOIT contact. He informed us that the Deputy Prime Minister has already approved this special policy for Ninh Thuan and all await formal procedures.

We will closely monitor to update on any further changes.

Please contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have questions on the topic or any other lawyer in our office listing. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris LLC.

VIETNAM – THOMSON REUTERS INTERVIEWING DR. OLIVER MASSMANN ON INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERINGS (IPO)

1. Why has there been so much IPO activity in Vietnam of late? What has been driving it?

The investors are very optimistic about the development of Vietnam’s market. Vietnam’s GDP in Q1/2018 is 7.4%, the highest rate in the past 10 years. In addition, there is growing middle class with great purchasing power. The World Bank predicts that the middle class will account for 26% of Vietnam’s population by 2026, double than the current statistics. The Government has also made several attempts to improve the investment environment.

2. How is this resulting in the legal work that the law firm is seeing out of Vietnam? What kinds of clients are you advising, and what kinds of advice are they requesting?

When the investors are new to the market, they will need legal advice to secure their investment and comply with Vietnam laws. We see this a great chance to improve our business and show our expertise in the sector. Most of our clients are from the US and Europe, who would like to take advantage of the upcoming free trade agreements such as the EU- Vietnam FTA and the CPTPP and expand their business to other neighboring countries. We mainly advise clients on due diligence of the partner, how to structure the investment and the best cooperation form.

3. What are some of the key trends you have seen among Vietnamese IPOs? How are these different from other markets in Asia/Southeast Asia?

In my view, the Government of Vietnam is more than ever expected to get money to cover its huge investment and regular payment expenses. This would serve as a key engine for a new waive of equitisiation of large State owned enterprises, especially after the successful placement of Sabeco’s shares.
In a short term, the cash flow may come to portfolio of SCIC’s list including major manufacturing companies but, in a long run, we may expect a come-back of banks, retails and real estate’s shares.
In terms of capital sources, we can expect a cash flow coming from major Asian economies such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and especially mainland China which increases their strong presence in the market.
When it comes to how the IPO market of Vietnam may differ from the rest of Asia/Southeast Asia, we strongly believe that the equitisation of SOEs of a larger scale and with a strong determination from the top would play a key role in driving the market.

4. What industries are seeing the most activity – and can expect to see the most activity going forward? Why?

Financial (with major focus on real estate) sector, banking, consumption services and power sectors have been and will see further significant growth. The reason is in Q2/2018, many enterprises with large capitalization and of great interest to foreign investors in these sectors are now preparing for the public listing.

5. What are your predictions for the Vietnam IPO market in the immediate future?

The Vietnam IPO market will continue the growth. Leading enterprises with good financial capacity and high growth in the sectors will attract both foreign and domestic investment. It is noted that in 2018, there will be a number of state-owned enterprises privatized under the Prime Minister’s decision. These enterprises include Habeco, Vinamilk, etc. which is believed to be successfully privatized following the recent success of Sabeco, another state-owned enterprise in the beverage sector under the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s management.

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Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com or any lawyer in our office listing if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Vietnam – Secteur de l’immobilier – Problèmes actuels et solutions pour l’investissement et les perspectives sur les principaux accords commerciaux CPTPP et EUVNFTA

A. INTRODUCTION
Le cadre juridique pour le secteur de l’immobilier au Vietnam est défini par la loi sur le commerce immobilier de 2014 (LREB), la loi sur les logements résidentiels de 2014 (LRH) (tous deux en vigueur depuis le 1er juillet 2015). La LREB est régi par le décret n ° 76/2015 / ND-CP, la LRH est respectivement guidé par le décret n ° 99/2015 / ND-CP. En outre, le décret n ° 01/2017 / ND-CP, attendu depuis longtemps, a été rendu public le 6 janvier 2017 et modifie trois décrets régissant la loi foncière de 2013.
Les dispositions des règlements mentionnés ont attiré plus d’investissement dans le marché immobilier au Vietnam. Ils ont réduit les obstacles à l’investissement et élargi l’accès aux propriétés au Vietnam.
B. ENJEUX
Cependant, tous les problèmes ne sont pas encore résolus.
1. Retard dans la délivrance du certificat d’utilisation des terres (LURC) pour les investisseurs étrangers
La délivrance du certificat de droit d’utilisation des terres aux étrangers est une exigence essentielle pour le développement de projets sur des terres achetées. L’article 75 du décret n ° 95/2015 prévoit l’obligation pour le Département de la construction de délivrer la “Liste des projets interdits de propriété étrangère”. Cependant, la liste n’est pas encore publiée. Par conséquent, le ministère des Ressources naturelles et de l’Environnement s’abstient de délivrer des permis de conduire étrangers aux étrangers.
En conclusion, la Liste des projets interdits de propriété étrangère devrait être publiée dès que possible afin que les étrangers qui achètent des terres au Vietnam puissent obtenir le LURC et soient en mesure de développer leurs projets.
2. Que sont les « entreprises à capitaux étrangers » ?
La LREB, la loi foncière et la loi sur l’investissement de 2014 (LOI) régissent les « entreprises à capitaux étrangers ». Il reste des incertitudes sur ce terme.
La LREB ne fournit aucune définition des entreprises à capitaux étrangers. En outre, la loi foncière prévoit que les entreprises conjointes, les entreprises à capital 100% étranger et les entreprises vietnamiennes dont les étrangers achètent des actions, les fusionnent et les acquièrent sont considérées comme des entreprises à capitaux étrangers sans aucune indication quant au pourcentage de propriété. En vertu de la loi sur l’investissement, une organisation économique dont les investisseurs étrangers sont membres ou actionnaire doit être une entreprise à capitaux étrangers si la part de l’étranger dans l’organisation économique est égale à 51% ou plus. D’autre part, les organisations ayant des membres ou des actionnaires étrangers détenant moins de 51% ne sont pas classées comme des entreprises nationales en vertu de la Loi sur l’investissement.
Cependant, cette question est cruciale en raison du traitement différent des entreprises à capitaux étrangers et des entreprises nationales. Par exemple, les entreprises nationales peuvent transférer des droits d’utilisation des terres sous forme de division, alors que cela est interdit aux entreprises à capitaux étrangers.
En outre, le document n ° 386 / BXD-QLN (28 février 2017) publié par le Ministère de la construction indique que la LREB n’a pas besoin de fournir des dispositions relatives aux entreprises à capitaux étrangers comme l’a déjà fait la lettre d’intention. Cependant, le Document 386 n’indique pas que la LREB peut adopter la même définition d’entreprise à capitaux étrangers, le terme reste ambigu en vertu de la LREB.
3. Restrictions sur les sources de capital
En raison de la limitation des sources de capital pour le logement résidentiel par la LRH, les promoteurs étrangers ne peuvent plus obtenir de prêts auprès d’établissements de crédit offshore et d’institutions non-crédit. Cette mesure réduit la capacité et l’opportunité de lever des capitaux efficacement et la compétitivité pour les développeurs étrangers. Même si, il n’est pas nécessaire de limiter les possibilités de mobiliser des capitaux auprès de sources légitimes.
4. Changement des droits d’utilisation des terres en cas d’acquisition d’actions / d’apport en capital
L’article 2.27 du décret 01/2017 prévoit l’obligation pour les entreprises de céder des droits d’utilisation du sol ou d’enregistrer des changements dans le terrain et les biens attachés au terrain lorsqu’il y a un changement d’utilisateur foncier en cas d’acquisition d’actions ou de contribution droits d’utilisation inclus. En cas d’acquisition de terres, la terre reste toujours avec la même entreprise. De plus, le processus d’attribution peut imposer des obligations financières. Cette question peut entraîner des difficultés pour les investisseurs lorsqu’ils acquièrent des actions ou apportent du capital dans des entreprises.
5. Approbations d’investissement
L’approbation principale pour les développements résidentiels est une décision d’investissement de principe (IID) ou l’approbation de principe de l’investissement (IAA). En outre, un investisseur souhaitant établir une société au Vietnam a besoin d’un certificat d’enregistrement d’investissement (IRC).
a. Circonstances nécessitant un IID :
L’article 32 de la loi sur l’investissement régit l’exigence de l’IID qui ne s’applique qu’aux projets dans lesquels les promoteurs reçoivent des droits fonciers de l’État directement par attribution ou location de terres sans enchères, appels d’offres ou transferts. En outre, la loi foncière stipule que la seule façon dont les promoteurs peuvent recevoir des terres de l’État est d’attribuer ou de louer des terres. En conséquence, il est incertain de quelle manière le promoteur peut recevoir des terres par transfert.
b. Approbation de l’investissement pour la contribution en capital au titre des droits d’utilisation des sols:
Dans le cadre d’une coentreprise entre un investisseur national et un investisseur étranger pour développer des projets de logements résidentiels, l’investisseur national apportera du capital sous forme de droits d’utilisation des terres. Dans ce cas, l’IID n’est requis que dans les cas d’attribution ou de location de terrains par l’Etat sans appel d’offres ou transfert. Il n’est pas certain que l’IIA sera requis en cas d’appel d’offres ou de transfert.
En vertu de la loi sur la construction de 2014, le promoteur doit obtenir le permis de construction avant de pouvoir commencer le projet. Il n’est pas clair si l’IIA est nécessaire pour obtenir le permis de construire. Cette exigence pourrait entraîner un manque de capacité à mener le projet dans les cas où l’obtention de l’IIA a échoué.
D’un autre côté, si l’IID est requis, le développeur aura plus d’assurance en raison de la possibilité d’obtenir l’IID avant que le droit d’utilisation des terres soit apporté.
c. Contourner les approbations d’investissement
Comme mentionné ci-dessus, la Loi sur l’investissement fournit l’exigence de l’IRC en dehors de l’IID et de l’IIA. Pour les projets nécessitant l’IID, l’IRC sera automatiquement délivré après 5 jours ouvrables à compter de la délivrance de l’IID. Le contenu de l’IID est similaire à l’IRC et aucun document supplémentaire n’est nécessaire pour l’émission de l’IRC. Par conséquent, l’IRC n’est pas nécessaire lorsque le IID est émis.
Pour les projets nécessitant l’IIA, le développeur doit d’abord obtenir l’IRC, puis mettre en place l’entreprise avant d’obtenir l’IIA. Comme mentionné ci-dessus, le développeur est incapable de développer le projet dans les cas d’échec de l’obtention de l’IIA. En outre, l’IIA et l’IRC traitent avec les autorités et leurs approbations et l’IIA est délivré sur la base de l’approbation de planification au 1/500, de sorte que la nécessité de l’IRC n’est pas requise.
6. Contribution du capital sous forme de droit d’utilisation des terres
La loi foncière et la loi sur les entreprises de 2014 prévoient la possibilité de verser des droits d’utilisation des terres par des individus d’une terre à titre de capital à une entreprise pendant une certaine période.
En vertu de l’article 80 du décret no 43/2014 / ND-CP (15 mai 2014) relatif à l’orientation de la loi foncière, la contribution en capital sous forme de droits d’utilisation des terres prend fin en cas de décès du contributeur individuel. En conséquence, si le contributeur de capital est en train de disparaître, l’accord de contribution en capital sera résilié, ce qui affectera le LURC de l’entreprise et de ses droits d’utilisation des terres. D’autre part, la loi sur les entreprises de 2014 stipule que si une personne apporte des terres en tant que capital, l’entreprise aura le droit sur la terre.
Par conséquent, l’article 80 du décret no 43/2014 / ND-CP a causé de la confusion et de l’incertitude chez les promoteurs au cas où ils envisageraient de recevoir des droits d’utilisation des terres de particuliers.
7. Conduite d’affaires immobilières sur des terrains apportés en capital
En vertu de la Loi foncière, les entreprises à participation nationale et étrangère ont le droit de recevoir une contribution en capital sous forme de droits d’utilisation des terres. Cependant, il n’y a aucune disposition dans la LREB concernant les contributions en tant que capital pour les organisations et les individus. Par conséquent, les organisations n’ont pas le droit de recevoir une contribution en capital au titre des droits d’utilisation des terres pour développer des projets immobiliers. Cela provoque des inégalités et une concurrence déloyale dans le secteur immobilier.
C. PERSPECTIVES SUR LES PRINCIPAUX ACCORDS COMMERCIAUX CPTPP (TPP 11) ET EUVNFTA
En janvier 2017, le président américain Donald Trump a décidé de retirer les Etats-Unis de l’accord TPP. En novembre 2017, les membres restants du TPP se sont rencontrés lors des réunions de l’APEC et ont conclu à la promotion de l’actuel CPTPP (TPP 11) sans les États-Unis. L’accord doit être signé par tous les États membres au premier trimestre de 2018. Ensuite, il doit être ratifié dans chaque État membre avant d’entrer en vigueur.
Les effets du TPP 11 promettent de grands avantages pour le secteur immobilier au Vietnam. Le TPP 11 vise à éliminer les lignes tarifaires et les droits de douane entre les États membres sur certains biens et produits à 100%. Cela rendra le marché vietnamien plus attractif et pourrait inciter les entreprises étrangères à s’installer au Vietnam pour construire des entrepôts, des bureaux, installer des usines ou même investir dans le secteur immobilier car le marché devient plus dynamique avec le TPP.
Un autre accord commercial important est l’accord EUVNFTA entre l’Union européenne et le Vietnam. L’EUVNFTA offre une excellente opportunité d’accéder à de nouveaux marchés pour l’UE et le Vietnam. Cela aidera à apporter plus de capitaux au Vietnam. En outre, l’EUVNFTA stimulera les secteurs les plus économiques au Vietnam. Les établissements dans d’autres secteurs économiques au Vietnam auront un impact sur le secteur immobilier en raison de son association avec ces secteurs tels que la santé, la technologie ou l’éducation.
En outre, le Règlement des différends entre investisseurs et États (ISDS) garantira les normes les plus strictes de sécurité juridique, d’applicabilité et de protection pour les investisseurs. Nous alertons les investisseurs pour qu’ils utilisent ces standards! Nous pouvons vous conseiller sur la meilleure façon de le faire! Il va être appliqué dans le cadre du TPP 11 et de l’EUVNFTA. En vertu de cette disposition, pour les litiges liés aux investissements, les investisseurs ont le droit d’introduire des demandes d’indemnisation auprès du pays hôte au moyen d’un arbitrage international. La procédure d’arbitrage doit être rendue publique par souci de transparence dans les cas de conflit. En ce qui concerne le TPP, la portée de l’ISDS a été réduite en supprimant les références aux « accords d’investissement » et aux « autorisations d’investissement » suite à la discussion sur l’avenir du TPP lors des réunions de l’APEC les 10 et 11 novembre 2017.
D’autres titres sont assortis de l’Accord sur les marchés publics (GPA) qui fera partie du TPP 11 et de l’EUVNFTA.
Le GPA dans les deux accords, traite principalement de l’exigence de traiter les soumissionnaires ou les soumissionnaires nationaux avec du capital d’investissement et les soumissionnaires vietnamiens également quand un gouvernement achète des biens ou des demandes de service valant au-delà du seuil spécifié. Le Vietnam s’engage à publier en temps opportun les informations sur l’offre, à laisser suffisamment de temps aux soumissionnaires pour préparer et soumettre leurs offres, maintenir la confidentialité des offres. Le GPA dans les deux accords exige également que ses Parties évaluent les offres sur la base de principes objectifs et équitables, évaluent et attribuent les offres uniquement sur la base des critères énoncés dans les avis et les documents d’appel d’offres, créent un régime efficace pour les plaintes et règlement des différends.
Cet instrument assurera une concurrence loyale et des projets de développement de qualité et efficaces.
D. CONCLUSION
Les problèmes mentionnés affectent la compétitivité dans le secteur immobilier. Les restrictions données, les obligations supplémentaires pour les investisseurs étrangers, l’absence de directives claires sur les règlements d’application constituent des obstacles pour les investisseurs qui cherchent à investir dans ce secteur au Vietnam. Compte tenu des engagements du gouvernement à assurer la croissance et les problèmes mentionnés ci-dessus, il est nécessaire de créer des lignes directrices claires pour éliminer la confusion pour les investisseurs et les acheteurs immobiliers. En outre, les principaux accords commerciaux à venir auront un impact important sur le développement du secteur immobilier au Vietnam. D’un autre côté, le gouvernement vietnamien doit encore améliorer l’environnement juridique pour assurer la mise en œuvre des accords.

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Si vous avez des questions sur ce qui précède, n’hésitez pas à contacter Dr. Oliver Massmann à l’adresse suivante : omassmann@duanemorris.com. Dr. Oliver Massmann est le directeur général de Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.
Merci beaucoup!

Anwalt in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann – ERNEUERBARE ENERGIEN – DIREKTE STROMABNAHMEVERTRÄGE („DPPA”) – DER PLAN DER ELEKTRIZITÄTSREGULIERUNGSBEHÖRDE FÜR DPPAs

Am 12. Juni 2018 erörterte und veröffentlichte die Elektrizitätsregulierungsbehörde von Vietnam [engl. Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam („ERAV‘)] auf einem Seminar über erneuerbare Energien, weitere Informationen über Regelungen für die Umsetzung einer Pilotvereinbarung zu direkten Stromabnahmeverträgen [engl ‚Direct Power Purchase Agreement‘ (“DPPA”)] und über den Sektor der erneuerbaren Energien. Die direkten Stromabnahmeverträge werden es Energieerzeugungsunternehmen ermöglichen, ihren Strom direkt an private Abnehmer zu verkaufen. Wir möchten die folgenden Schlüsselthemen skizzieren:

Direkte PPA
Seit Anfang 2017 hat das MOIT die ERAV beauftragt mit USAID und Beratern zusammenzuarbeiten, um internationale Erfahrungen und umsetzbare Modelle für DPPA in Vietnam zu recherchieren. Die ERAV teilte mit, dass dies ein zeitaufwendiger Prozess sei, da die ERAV und ihre Berater umfangreiche Informationen zu grundlegenden Fragen, Gestaltung, Details und Kriterien für DPPAs, insbesondere für ähnliche Fälle wie Vietnam recherchieren und sammeln mussten. Darüber hinaus ist es für die ERAV eine Herausforderung mit anderen Abteilungen des MOITs an dem Pilot-DPPA zusammenzuarbeiten und diese zu beraten. Gegenwärtig haben die Berater der ERAV einen ersten vorläufigen Bericht über internationale Erfahrungen in Bezug auf grundlegende Gestaltung, Mechanismen und die Ausführung von DPPA vorgelegt. Es ist bekannt, dass die ERAV und ihre Berater Fragebögen an verschiedene Industriezweige und Sektoren, Unternehmen und Interessenvertreter geschickt haben, um ihre Meinung zu Verbrauchermarkt, Nachfrage, Teilnehmern und anderen Themen zu erhalten. Die ERAV erwartet, dass ihre Berater den endgültigen Bericht über die DPPA Modelle im Juli 2018 ausarbeiten können. Wenn ein solcher Bericht vorliegt, wird die ERAV gegen Ende Juli 2018 ein Seminar zur Vorstellung desselben organisieren, um sich die Meinungen der Interessenvertreter einzuholen. Gegenwärtig gibt es noch keine endgültigen Entscheidungen im Hinblick auf Kapazität, den Lizensierungsprozess, Teilnehmern, Standort, Netzdurchleitungsgebühr und Vertragsbedingungen für das Pilot-DPPA. Die ERAV prüft jedoch einige Modelle, wie die Folgenden:
• Physisches DPPA: (a) Onshore-DPPA, bei dem die Solarkraftwerke um die Verbraucher herum gebaut werden, und/ oder (ii) Offshore-DPPA, bei dem die Solarkraftanlagen irgendwo gebaut werden,
• Finanzielles DPPA: dies würde mit einem wettbewerbsfähigen Markt für den Verkauf von Strom gebildet werden. Die ERAV teilte auch mit, dass das Pilot- DPPA vorzugsweise für 110 KV (nicht 220 KV oder 22-25 KV) ausgelegt sein sollte, da dieses System in Vietnam am beliebtesten, effizient und machbar ist. Es wird erwartet, dass das erste Gesetz, das DPPAs ermöglichen wird, im 4. Quartal dieses Jahres 2018 in Kraft treten wird.

Solar- und Windprojekte
In Bezug auf den FIT für Solar- und Windenergie bleiben diese Preise unter den geltenden FIT-Vorschriften unverändert (z. B. Decision 11). Die ERAV erklärte, dass die Technologie- und Infrastrukturkosten für Solar- / Windenergie in Zukunft niedriger sein werden, sodass dann die Einspeisetarife entsprechend angepasst und gesenkt werden müssten. Die ERAV teilte darüber hinaus mit, dass das MOIT nun ein System zur Bestimmung von Einspeisetarifen durch Ausschreibung / Versteigerung in Erwägung zieht, um eine jährliche Änderung des FIT zu vermeiden. Zu diesem Punkt gibt es jedoch keinen Gesetzentwurf. Es steht zur Diskussion, die Nettomessung gemäß der Entscheidung 11 für Dach-Solarprojekte zu beseitigen, da sie in der Praxis sehr schwer umzusetzen ist. Sie könnte durch eine praktikablere Lösung ersetzt werden. Es ist sehr wahrscheinlich, dass keine Ergänzung zum Solar- / Windmasterplan gemacht werden kann, bis der Energiemasterplan 8 fertiggestellt ist. Gegenwärtig haben genehmigte Projekte für Windkraft- / Solarkraftwerke ihre kombinierte Kapazität deutlich über den Schätzungen des Strommasterplans VII (z. B. 3000 MW für genehmigte Solarstromprojekte gegenüber nur 850 MW im Strommasterplan VII). Die erneuerbaren Energien in Vietnam, insb. im Solarsektor, entwickeln sich schnell. Schauen Sie zu, wie es passiert, oder seien Sie ein Teil davon!
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Bitte zögern Sie nicht, Herrn Tran Minh Thanh oder Herrn Dr. Oliver Massmann unter omassmann@duanemorris.com zu kontaktieren, wenn Sie Fragen haben oder mehr über das obenstehende erfahren wollen. Oliver Massmann ist der Generaldirektor von Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

What’s next for green energy in Vietnam – 4 steps to the future

Now that the United States has retreated from the Paris Climate Accords, and relinquished its leadership role in the fight against climate change, it remains to be seen whether smaller nations will stick to their pledges of greenhouse gas reduction.

Eyes are on countries like Vietnam to see if they keep to their commitments or revert to the pursuit of cheap and dirty coal-powered solutions for their energy needs.

Vietnam, in particular, faces some of the biggest risks. Global warming is a major threat to the country, where rising sea levels are predicted to swallow up nearly half of the Mekong Delta, a crucial area for domestic food production, in coming decades.

Currently, coal-fired plants in Vietnam contribute to thousands of premature deaths and air quality in big cities is getting worse. In 2017, the capital Hanoi enjoyed just 38 days of clean air, with contaminant levels four times those deemed acceptable by the World Health Organization.

Business as usual?

Unlike Obama, the Trump administration seems unlikely to apply any real pressure on other countries to pursue clean energy or combat climate change, and so it will be up to domestic forces to really push for change.

According to the government’s current national plan, electricity generated from coal will rise five-fold between now and 2030, and GHG emissions will increase in lockstep. This is at odds with Vietnam’s pledge to the Paris Climate Accord, which targets 8 percent emissions reduction by 2030, and could rise as high as a 25 percent reduction with international support, such as financing for solar panels and wind turbines.

Energy and environment experts worry that the country’s next national power development plan, which is under revision this year, could hold to those figures or, worse, embrace a more aggressive coal strategy.

The story, however, is not all doom and gloom. Vietnam does have the potential to become a regional clean energy leader, if only the country’s energy development and investment environment can be reshaped. Business involvement in this process will be crucial, as the commercial and industrial sectors consume more than 60 percent of Vietnam’s electricity.

Khanh Nguy Thi, founder of the Vietnamese nonprofit Green Innovation and Development Centre, recently won the 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize for her work convincing state agencies to increase their use of renewable energy. Her efforts were instrumental in halting the construction of two hydropower plants in a national park and securing a 20,000 MW reduction in planned coal expansion.

Government leaders have also demonstrated a desire to utilise Vietnam’s abundant sunlight and over 2,026 miles of coastline in the pursuit of renewable energy.

4 solutions for a sustainable energy sector

Clearly, clean energy opportunities are available, the question is how to encourage more investment. Obstacles persist with the regulatory environment, preventing the country from tapping its potential in this area. Here are four small changes which could bridge the gap between policy and implementation, ensuring the green energy dream becomes a reality:

  1. Streamline regulations regarding Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and support the use of Direct Power Purchase Agreements (DPPA).

Negotiating standard PPAs with EVN, the sole power purchaser, is time-consuming, which cause rising total project costs. The streamlining of such deals would render them more attractive to power producers and cut lengthy approval time, which often leads to execution delays or complete abandonment of projects.

USAID and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade are working together to enable private sector electricity buyers and renewable energy providers to enter into DPPA. This would allow industrial energy buyers to purchase electricity directly from independent renewable energy producers.

Such a mechanism would help companies enjoy constant power prices and ultimately save power costs. By signing a long-term DPPA to buy power from a clean energy generator, businesses can have a constant power price, reducing risk and helping firms establish long-term business plans with no surprises down the road.

  1. Improve the transparency of electricity rate forecasting.

Electricity prices will have to increase in order for Vietnam’s national utility to finance new energy projects, but the schedule for such increases remains vague. Better transparency of expected price increases will allow buyers and investors to more accurately value fixed-cost renewable energy contracts, which can offer some price protection.

Additionally, improving the quality and sourcing of data on renewable energy can help clarify for investors available locations, infrastructure capabilities and government targets, as well as other information to help reduce risk on investment decisions.

  1. Encourage supporting industries.

Supporting industries plays a crucial role in the development and adoption of renewable energy technologies. The government should promote domestic SMEs through capital subsidy and incentives such as tax breaks and preferential loans. A competitive supporting industry will help in reducing the tariff and investment costs for renewable projects, nurturing their development as part of Vietnam’s energy sector.

  1. Develop a renewable energy model for industrial parks.

Given the expectation that industrial areas will continue to play a big role in Vietnamese manufacturing and commerce, these parks are an important place to explore renewable solutions. Aggregating demand from tenants in the parks would help scale clean energy and make it more affordable for all.

Green power pioneer

Renewable energy has the capacity to power Vietnam and with the right policies in place, the country can deliver affordable, safe and clean power for continued economic growth.

Vietnamese businesses and the government could chart an unprecedented course for clean energy, and represent a role model for Southeast Asia — if they can address some key barriers. The changes detailed above would help drive the country’s energy transition toward a sustainable, greener future, and demonstrate that the fight against climate change can continue without American leadership.

For more information about Vietnam’s renewable energy sector, please contact Giles at GTCooper@duanemorris.com or any of the lawyers in our office listing. Giles is co-General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC and branch director of Duane Morris’ HCMC office.

Cometh the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

The Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), a new-generation free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU’s 28 member states, is a comprehensive and high-quality trade pact that is expected to bring a range of benefits to both Vietnam and the EU.

For many years the EU has been the second largest overseas market for Vietnamese products and Vietnam’s second most important two-way trading partner after China. On average, Vietnam’s exports of commodities to the EU account for around 19 percent of its exports to global markets. This figure has seen double-digit growth for the past decade, annualised at 13-15 percent, and even reaching 25 percent in certain years.

The EVFTA, which is expected to be signed this year, will have a wide-ranging impact on bilateral trade and investment thanks to tariff cuts and strong commitments from both sides. The deal has been heralded as the most ambitious of its kind between the bloc and a developing nation, and one which will put an end to 99 percent of customs duties on goods. Some predictions are that the agreement will boost the Vietnamese economy by up to 15 percent of GDP and exports to Europe by a third or more.

On top of providing more development opportunities for Vietnam’s industries it will also help to improve the country’s investment environment and raise the quality of its export products.

What can investors expect to change with the new deal?

The most prominent benefits to be expected are an increase in the trade of goods promoted by the reduction or elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers, whereby key economic sectors as textiles, footwear and the high-technology industries in Vietnam would benefit most.

One sector in particular hoping for a big boost is fisheries. Under the EVFTA, aquatic products, excluding canned tuna and fish balls, will enjoy a zero tax for a maximum of seven years. Similarly, in good news for shrimp processing firms, Vietnam will enjoy a reduction in import duties on raw shrimp and export duties on processed shrimp to the EU.

The reduction of tariff lines will help Vietnamese seafood exporters reduce prices significantly, improve competitiveness and export turnover. Vietnamese aquatic firms will also have space to improve technology and product quality, join regional supply chains and diversify supply sources.

Additionally, Vietnam’s commitments to ensure an open and transparent investment and business environment will help to boost high quality investment from the EU into Vietnam.

Sink or swim

However, Vietnamese companies should also be aware of the challenges brought about by free trade agreements, and especially the EVFTA. These are related to higher requirements from the EU market in terms of transparency and competition, both for private and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

The FTA is not necessarily seeking complete privatisation, but rather the opening up of those economic sectors where SOEs are present. Vietnamese enterprises may expect to see an impact from this process, provided that the FTA promotes reforms in public procurement.

The tax cuts will put a greater burden of competitiveness on domestic producers in terms of prices, product quality and food hygiene and safety. Firms will face a choice – either adapt and move up the global supply chain, or stand by while imported goods flood the market.

The livestock industry is forecast to be at the biggest disadvantage as taxes on chicken and pork will be cleared under an 8 to 10-year roadmap, while import duties on beef, milk and dairy products will be eliminated over a shorter period of 3 years. Consequently, over the short and long term, the animal husbandry industry will be under fierce competition with products imported from the EU.

Additionally, many Vietnamese products have not yet met the necessary food hygiene and safety regulations or the technical standards of importers.

To benefit from the trade deal’s incentives will require exports to satisfy the EU rules of origin, which presents its own challenges for several Vietnamese sectors. For instance, the EU has set rather stringent rules of origin on the cashew nut sector that depends on 63 percent of imported materials. To satisfy all EU regulations, Vietnam is required to use local raw material supply.

The EVFTA also stipulates detailed regulations on procedures and legally binding conditions covering the time-limit and manner in which countries must obey certificates of origin procedures for each specific case. This is a big challenge for Vietnam as the origin traceability capacity to prove those origins remain inadequate and the necessary system for such diligence is yet to be seen.

Short term pain, long term gain?

As Vietnam’s economy grows and the country continues to integrate more deeply into the global marketplace, the kind of dilemmas thrown up by pacts like the EVFTA will become more commonplace. In the short term, domestic firms may feel the heat as increased competition takes its toll. However, greater export opportunities and requirements to reach higher standards will underpin future economic growth.

If predictions are correct and the EVFTA is signed within the next few months, Vietnam is destined to become the most promising business destination for European businesses in ASEAN.

For more information about investing in Vietnam, please contact Giles at GTCooper@duanemorris.com or any of the lawyers in our office listing. Giles is co-General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC and branch director of Duane Morris’ HCMC office.