Tag Archives: oliver

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 – RENEWABLE ENERGY – DIRECT POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS (“DPPA”) – ELECTRICITY REGULATORY AUTHORITY’s (“ERAV”) PLAN FOR DPPAs

On 12 June 2018, at a seminar on renewable energy, ERAV discussed and disclosed further information on regulations for implementation of a pilot for Direct Power Purchase Agreement (“DPPA”) and renewable energy sector. Direct Power Purchase Agreements will allow power generation companies to sell their electricity directly to private off takers. We outline some key topics as below:

Direct PPA
Since early 2017, MOIT has assigned ERAV to cooperate with USAID and consultants to research international experience and feasible models for DPPA in Vietnam. ERAV informed that it is a time consuming process since ERAV and its consultants must have researched and collected massive information on fundamental issues, design, details and criteria for DPPAs, especially for similar cases such as Vietnam. It is also challenging for ERAV to cooperate and consult other departments of MOIT on the DPPA pilot.
Currently, ERAV’s consultants have submitted a first preliminary report on international experience regarding basic design, mechanism and operation of DPPA. It is known that ERAV and its consultants also sent questionnaire papers to several industry and sectors, companies and stakeholders aimed at seeking their opinion on consumer market, demand, participants, and other issues. ERAV expected that its consultants could prepare the final report on DPPA models within July 2018.
By the end of July 2018, if such report is available, ERAV will arrange a seminar for introduction of the same and seeking opinion from all stakeholders. At this stage, there is no final decisions on capacity, licensing process, participants, location, wheeling fee, contractual terms for the piloted DPPA. However, ERAV is considering some models as below:
• Physical DPPA: (a) onsite DPPA where the solar power plants to be constructed around the consumers, and / or (ii) offshore DPPA where solar power plants to be constructed anywhere
• Financial DPPA: this would be formed with competitive market for selling powers.
ERAV also shared that the DPPA pilot would be preferably designed for 110 KV (not 220 KV or 22-25 KV) since this system is the most popular, efficient and feasible in Vietnam. It is expected that the first law that will allow DPPAs will be in effect 4th quarter of this year 2018.

Solar and wind projects
With regards to FIT for solar and wind, such prices remain unchanged under the current FIT regulations (e.g., Decision 11). ERAV stated that the technology and infrastructure costs for solar / wind energy would be lower in the future, then the FITs must be adjusted and decreased accordingly. ERAV also informed that the MOIT is now considering a scheme for determination of FITs through tender / auction in order to avoid the change of FIT annually. However, there is no draft law on this point.
The net-metering under Decision 11 for rooftop solar project is under consideration to be removed since it is very difficult to implement it in practice. It might be replaced by a more workable solution.
It is very likely that no addition to solar / wind master plan can be made until power master plan 8 is finalized. Currently, approved wind / solar powers projects have their combined capacity significantly higher than estimates in power master plan VII (f.e. 3000 MW for approved solar power projects vs. only 850 MW in power master plan VII). The Renewable energy in Vietnam, esp. the Solar sector is developing fast. Watch it happen or be part of it!

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Please do not hesitate to contact Mr Tran Minh Thanh or Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions or want to know more details. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

LAWYER IN VIETNAM DR. OLIVER MASSMANN – E-COMMERCE – THE WORLD BANK IS ASKING DUANE MORRIS VIETNAM ON THE LOGISTICS FOR E-COMMERCE – HERE ARE OUR ANSWERS:

ONLINE PAYMENTS
1. Which types of online payment solutions are available in your country?
Digital wallets[1], Internet Payment service providers[2] (IPSPs, also called as aggregated account or the third‐party biller), and Payment service providers[3] (PSPs).

2. What services do most Payment service providers (PSPs) offer in your country?
Opening merchant accounts[4], or providing access to aggregated accounts, at the acquiring bank, Transact multiple payment methods, and Security services, such as risk management.

3. What categories of PSPs are available to provide digital payment services in your country?
Retail PSP[5], Micropayment PSP[6], Government PSP[7] and Non‐issuing PSP[8].

4. What are the main laws and regulations that establish how PSPs are regulated and supervised in your country?
Law on State Bank of Vietnam 2010, Law on Credit Institutions 2010, Decree No. 101/2012/ND‐CP on non‐cash payment as amended, Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN guiding intermediary payment services as amended, Circular No. 46/2014/TT‐NHNN guiding non‐cash payment services.

5. How many business days does it take for PSPs to obtain a license to provide digital payment services?
60 days by law.

6. What is the main authority in charge of issuing licenses and supervising PSPs in your country?
The State Bank of Vietnam

7. According to the law, how long (in years) is the PSP license valid in your country?
10 years (Article 16.3 of Decree No. 101/2012/ND‐CP)

8. Which of the following documents are required for the PSP license application?
Registration documents (including certificate of incorporation and the Articles of Association); The business model, specifically outlining the type of digital payment services and payment instruments envisaged; Evidence that the PSP applicant holds the minimum initial capital required; A certified copy of the bank guarantee on the initial capital; A description of the measures implemented to ensure adequate levels of operational reliability, including disaster recovery and business continuity mechanisms; A description of how the PSP Applicant will settle payment transactions accompanied by a certified copy of the agreement with a settlement bank or a designated payment system; A copy of the system rulebook, detailing the operational rules of the envisaged payment scheme; A risk management system; A report of a feasibility and risk assessment study; An internal control system; and An outsourcing agreement if any.

9. According to the law, do PSPs have to meet the requirement of minimum initial capital at the time of authorization?
Yes. USD2.2 million (Article 15.2(c) of Decree No. 101/2012/ND‐CP).

10. According to the law, do PSPs have to establish at least one separate account with commercial banks to safeguard User Funds[9]? What are required for PSPs when managing the separate account(s)?
They must ensure all received funds are placed in a ring‐fenced account at commercial bank exclusively dedicated for this purpose as approved by the Central Bank; Ensure that the account balance is not at any time be less than the outstanding balance owed to Users; Not use the Funds to engage in any lending activity, including (but not limited to) the provision of credit and overdraft facilities; Not invest User Funds in any type of financial asset; and Not transfer User Funds to another account used for other business activities.

11. According to the law, do PSPs have to hold and account User Funds separately from any other funds they hold for other business purposes?
Yes. (Article 8.2 of Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN).

12. According to the law, do PSPs have to ensure that User Funds are covered by an insurance policy or a guarantee from a credit institution?
No.

13. According to the law, do PSPs have to seek for approval from the related authority before they intend to outsource any operational functions?
They cannot outsource the licensed activities (Article 6.2 of Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN).

14. According to the law, do PSPs, their agents and users have to comply with Anti‐Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism (AML/FT) law, standards and measures?
Yes. (Article 7 of Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN).

15. According to the law, which of the following documents that PSPs/agents require when performing customer due diligence processes?
For any natural person users: An original copy of a valid ID card/passport
For any legal person users: Investment/ Enterprise registration certificate; and Copy of passports of authorized signatories.

16. According to the law, are PSPs allowed to charge users for registration?
Yes. (Articles 10‐13 of Circular No.39/2014/TT‐NHNN).

17. According to the law, do PSPs have a monthly load limit for Electronics Inc.[10] through an issued payment instrument in your country?
No.

18. According to the law, do PSPs have a single payment transaction limit for Electronics Inc. through an issued payment instrument in your country?
No.

19. What information is required for PSPs to disclose to Electronics Inc. upon the execution of a payment transaction?
A unique reference number enabling the payer/payee to identify the payment transaction; The payment transaction amount; The identity of the payer/payee; and The date on which the payment order was placed.

20. What are the main laws and regulations that govern the payment and settlement system in the country?
Decree No. 101/2012/ND‐CP, Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN, Circular No. 46/2014/TT‐NHNN.

21. Does the PSP require additional information from Electronics Inc. for cross border payment transactions?
Yes. The information include Additional identity confirmation and Detailed transaction purpose.

22. Does Electronics Inc. have to pay additional service fees to the PSP for cross border e‐commerce transactions?
Yes. The fees include Currency conversion fee and International transaction fee.

23. Based on the pricing model above, how much transaction fee does Electronics Inc. have to pay on a $20 transaction to the PSP in your country?
Domestic e‐commerce: Below $0.05 USD dollar
Cross border e‐commerce: $0.05 ‐ $0.10 USD dollar

24. What are the main laws and regulations about online payment authentication standards in your country?
Law on Internet information security 2015, Law on Information Technology 2006, Law on E-transactions 2005, Circular No. 35/2015/TT‐NHNN, Circular No. 47/2014/TT‐NHNN.

25. According to the law, do PSPs have to provide two‐factor authentication using standards like 3D Secure?
Yes.

26. According to the law, do PSPs and users (like Electronics Inc.) have to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?
Yes. (Section 2, Point 3.1.3, Decision No. 488/QD‐NHNN).

27. According to the law, do PSPs and users (like Electronics Inc.) have to install Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on webpage or internet browser?
Yes. (Article 15 of Circular No. 47/2014/TT‐NHNN).

28. According to the law, how long (in years) does PSPs have to store and retain all user and transaction data from that of the original transaction?
20 years (Article 9.1(a) of Regulation attached to Decision No. 376/2003/QD‐NHNN).

29. According to the law, how long (in years) does a PSP have to store all details data of users’ personal information after the user relationship is terminated?
20 years from the original transaction, not depending on the relationship termination

30. According to the law, PSPs should keep user identification data and transaction records confidential and can only be made available to?
The corresponding User, the State Bank of Vietnam, or By a court order in the country.

31. What are the main laws that regulate chargebacks regarding online payments in your country?
The Civil Code of Vietnam, Circular No. 39/2014/TT‐NHNN.

32. The legal framework on chargebacks apply to:
Fraudulent transactions, Credit and service not processed; and An error in the amount.

33. According to the law, do banks hold initial amount to cover prospected chargebacks?
No.

34. Is there a legal time limit for Electronics Inc. to notify the PSP of any unauthorized/incorrectly executed payment transaction?
No.

35. After a successful dispute, how many business days it usually takes for customers to get a full chargeback of the original form of payment or an Electronics Inc. gift card?
3-10 days.

36. Do PSPs set a maximum predetermined threshold of monthly chargeback rate for Electronics Inc.?
No.

DIGITAL MARKETS
1. Are merchants selling goods through Electronics Inc. legally mandated to comply with a legal framework on online consumer protection? (i.e. is there an online consumer protection law in your country?)
Yes. Law No. 59/2010/QH12 on Consumer Protection.’

2. Are merchants selling goods through Electronics Inc. (i.e. engaged in distance or off‐premises selling) legally mandated to comply with online information disclosure rules?
Yes.

3. What information are merchants on Electronics Inc. legally mandated to disclose to consumers prior their online purchase?
Full business address of the merchant (i.e. geographical address); Identity of the merchant (i.e. trading name, phone number, fax number, email address, etc.); Product information (availability, price, description, etc.); Delivery information (time, price, etc.); Information about payment processes; Information about the existence of a right of withdrawal (or cancellation); Information about complaint handling; Information about the party bearing the cost of returning the goods in case of cancellation; Information on out‐of‐court complaint and redress mechanism; Information on product guarantee, rights and obligations of the merchants and customers in each transaction.

4. Are online information disclosure rules specified above applicable to mobile devices?
Yes.

5. Considering a domestic merchant selling a computer charger on Electronics Inc.’s platform, he is legally mandated to comply with the following general rules related to the right of withdrawal (or cancellation) for online purchases:
Information duty: Electronics Inc. must inform the customer of his right of withdrawal
Absence of reason: Electronics Inc.’s customer can withdraw from contract with no reason
Withdrawal period: Electronics Inc.’s customer can withdraw from contract after receiving the product

6. What is the period (in number of days) during which the customer of Electronics Inc. can withdraw (cancel) its purchase without any penalties and without giving any reason (also called cooling‐off period), if applicable?
It depends on policy of each merchant.

7. In case of a dispute between a domestic customer and a domestic merchant on Electronics Inc. for a low value sale (less than 30USD), what types of procedures are legally available for the domestic consumer acting individually?
Use of the general judicial system for addressing online disputes; Use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism such as consultations, conciliation, or mediation; and Other provision for a dispute resolution mechanism (e.g. administrative procedures before a specific authority).

8. Are merchants on Electronics Inc. legally mandated to comply with redress rules for online purchase of goods?
Yes.

9. What types of remedy are legally enforced for online purchase of goods?
Monetary remedy: monetary payment
Non‐monetary remedy: repair, replacement

10. Is Electronics Inc, an e‐commerce platform, considered as an internet intermediary in your jurisdiction?
No.

11. Bearing in mind that it processes data such as name, surname, data of birth, email address, mail address, credit card information, preferences of its customers, does Electronics Inc., an e‐commerce platform, have to comply with a legal or regulatory framework on data privacy?
Yes. Decree No. 52/2013/ND‐CP.

12. Bearing in mind that Electronics Inc. is managing the data it collects, does it have to process differently non‐sensitive and sensitive personal data?
Yes.

13. What categories of personal data are considered sensitive in Electronics Inc.’s jurisdiction?
Political opinions, Sex life, Sexual orientation.

14. Under which conditions can Electronics Inc. lawfully process computerized personal data of its adult customers (also called data subject)?
The customer has given consent to the processing of his personal data for one or more specific purposes;
Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the customer is party;
Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which Electronics Inc. is subject.

15. Regarding consent, what are the legal grounds on which Electronics Inc. can lawfully get its customer’s consent (the customer is an adult) when collecting (non‐sensitive, if applicable) personal data:
Consent must be freely given
Consent must be specific
Consent must be informed
Consent must be non‐ambiguous
Consent must be distinguishable from (or tied to) other matters
Consent must be obtained by a specific method.

16. Regarding data access, if a customer (an adult) requests Electronics Inc. information on the processing of his personal data and is ready to bear the cost of it, to what degree is Electronics Inc. obliged to provide it?
The customer can access all his personal data with no condition

17. Regarding data deletion (or erasure), if a customer (an adult) requests the deletion of his personal data to Electronics Inc., to what degree is the latter obliged to comply?
All personal data must be deleted (or erased) under certain conditions; and Electronics Inc. can apply suitable measures to protect the data or inform the customer that the request cannot be processed due to a technical reason or any other reasons.

18. Is Electronics Inc. required to establish a procedure for the deletion of personal data if requested by a customer (an adult)?
Yes.

19. To what degree is Electronics Inc. allowed to transfer personal data of local customers (also local citizens) to non‐domestic third parties?
Totally free with certain countries but subject to certain conditions.

20. What are the general conditions under which Electronics Inc. can engage in cross‐border data trade with a nondomestic third party? (general conditions exclude specific conditions such as model contract clauses, binding corporate rules or other contractual arrangements.)
Adequacy approach: The country in which a non‐domestic third party is based has an “adequate level of protection”, “an equivalent protection”, “a sufficient level of protection”, or any provision entailing an adequacy approach.

21. What circumstances constitute an “adequate level of protection” when trading personal data with a third‐party country?
the nature of the personal data, the country of final destination of that information, the law in force in the country in question, the international obligations of that country, any relevant codes of conduct or other rules which are enforceable in that country; any security measures taken in respect of the data in that country.

22. Bearing in mind that Electronics Inc. is considered as a data controller, does Electronics Inc. have to comply with any of the following security requirements for automated (computerized) personal data?

Adoption of an internal policy for establishing procedures for preventing and detecting violations; Performance of internal controls; Assessment of the harm that might be caused by a data breach; Awareness program among employees.

23. Bearing in mind that Electronics Inc. processes personal data for marketing purposes, is it monitored by a supervisory authority?
No.

24. Does Electronics Inc. have to comply with the following administrative procedures with the supervisory authority to lawfully process personal data for marketing purposes?
There is no administrative procedures to process personal data for marketing purposes.

25. Given that Language Inc.[11] and free‐lance instructors[12], based abroad, sign a local contract (Language Inc. is based in your country), what are the types of e‐signature granting the same legal status as handwritten contracts?
E‐signature (click wrap, digitized signature, etc.)
Digital signature (need for a public key)

26. Does Language Inc. need to comply with any requirements on the use of a specific technology (e.g. PKI) for a digital signature to have legal validity?
Yes. PKI.

27. On the contrary, is any form of digital signature including the following requirements equally acceptable?
The digital signature helps verify the identity of the signatory (origin).

28. Does the use of a specific technology (e.g. PKI) grant additional legal benefits in terms of the legal recognition of the digital signature (e.g. validity in terms of burden of proof)?
No.

29. Does Language Inc.’s signature need to be certified by a Certification Authority (CA) in order to be recognized as having full legal validity?
Yes.

30. Do certification authorities (CAs) need a license to operate?
Yes. The conditions include: (1) Being enterprises established under the laws of Vietnam; (2) Having sufficient financial capacity to establish a system of technical equipment, organization, and maintenance of activities in accordance with the scale of service provision; (3) Depositing at a commercial bank operating in Vietnam or having a guarantee of a commercial bank operating in Vietnam of not less than 5 (five) billion VND, or insurance buying commitments to solve risks and the compensation that may occur during the course of service provision and make payment for expenses receiving and maintaining database of enterprises in the event of withdrawal of licenses; (4) Having team of technical staffs, managers, administration staffs, security managers and customer service personnel meeting professional requirements and scale of services deployment of having no criminal records; (5) The legal representative having knowledge of law on digital signatures and certification service of digital signatures; (6) Suitable formulation of technical equipment system; (7) Having feasible technical plans and business plans, consistent with the technical regulations and mandatory standards to apply; (8) Having plans to control the entrance and exit of head offices, the right to access the system, right to enter, exit the place where the equipment is located for providing for certification service of digital signatures; (9) Having contingency plans to maintain the continuous, safe operation, and overcome when the problem occurs; (10) The entire system of equipment used to service providers is located in Vietnam; (11) Construction of offices, places where the machinery and equipment is located in accordance with the requirements of the law on prevention and combat of fire and explosion; having ability of fighting against floods, earthquakes, electromagnetic interference, illegal intrusion of man; and (12) Having public certification regulations in the form issued by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, and contents in accordance with relevant laws.

31. How many CAs are available in your jurisdiction?
6-10 CAs.

32. Please list the most popular Certification Authorities available in your city:
1: VNPT‐CA 2: CA2‐CA 3: Viettel ‐CA

33. What is the average time and cost for Language Inc. to obtain a digital signature from a certification authority (if applicable)?
5‐10 days; USD50‐210 per 15-month package

34. Does your country have a national VAT/GST scheme applying to imported services bought on the internet?
Yes.

35. If applicable, is there a registration process for VAT/GST purposes for foreign‐based companies (like tutors) selling through Language Inc.?
Yes. There is no threshold under which foreign‐based companies do not need to register.

BROADBAND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

1. Does your country have a national broadband plan or policy to develop a high-speed access network?
Vietnam has a national broadband plan in 2016 under Decision No. 149/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister dated 21 January 2016 approving the program on the development of broadband telecommunications infrastructure through 2020

2. What is the main body responsible for planning implementing the national broadband plan
Ministry of Information and Communications is the main body to plan and implement the national broadband.

3. Does the plan include blended finance or PPP investment schemes for broadband expansion?
We are not aware of the plan includes blend finance or PPP investment schemes or applicable financial instruments.

4. Does the plan include government investment in infrastructure to make broadband more broadly available?
The Government focus to investment in the following area:
First Mile: international gateways or the segment of a telecommunications network where the internet enters a country such as through cable landing stations or satellite links
Middle Mile: national backbone networks, or the segment of a telecommunications network linking a network operator’s core network to the local network plant

5. Does the plan include investments in cross border links and networks?
The plan under WTO’s Commitment include investments in cross border links. There are agreements in effect or in preparation with other countries to foster cooperation or joint investment for cross border.

6. Does the plan or policy include new internet exchange points (IXPs)?
We do not see any updates related to internet exchange points in the policy

7. Does the plan have a universal service fund (USF)
Yes. Vietnam has a universal service fund at http://www.vnpt.vn and there is implicit funding arrangement for USF

8. Are there fiscal incentives to accelerate internet deployment?
Now there are not fiscal investment to accelerate internet deployment.

9. Does Vietnam have a unified licensing regime?
Yes. WTO’s Commitment, Law on Investment 2014

10. Does Vietnam have a policy for releasing more licensed spectrum?
Yes. Circular 46/2016/TT-BTTTT on list of license-exempt radio serves and accompanying technical and operational conditions.

11. Does Vietnam assign spectrum on the basis of competitive auctions?
Yes. The spectrum auction winner are primarily evaluated on speed of build out, technology and quality of spectrum.


12. Does Vietnam have policies and regulations that allow the following practices for spectrum allocation?

Yes. Vietnam has spectrum shortage evaluations and spectrum caps.

13. What is the duration of the spectrum license?
15 years

14. Is there equal access to shared and/or government owner infrastructure such as road, railways, water and power lines?
No.

15. According to the law, does Vietnam require its cable operators to provide open access for internet services?
No.

16. Does your country have unbundling and line sharing rules?
No.

17. What restriction, if any, are placed on the level of foreign ownership of foreign telecom operators?
We see the minimum level of local ownership mandated.

18. Are there regulations regarding portability or preventing customer lock-in
No.

19. Does your country’s national broadband plan or policy set performance targets?
Vietnam has the national broadband plan with minimum download speed 22.77 mbps and minimum upload speed 22.28 mbps.

20. Does Vietnam’s national broadband plan or policy allow different access technologies?
Yes

21. Are there backward compatibility requirements with legacy infrastructure?
Yes

22. Does Vietnam’s national broadband plan or policy set date localizations requirements
Yes

23. Are there spectrum harmonization efforts in the national broadband strategies?
No.

24. Does Vietnam’s national broadband plan set coverage targets?
Yes. The plan includes population with broadband with 40% of the population, schools with broadband with 99% of schools and e-government with 100% national information portal, government portal.

25. Are peak usage charges allowed
No.

26. Are there fiscal incentives to increase access to broadband?
Yes. Incentives in rural broadband subsidies

27. Does Vietnam’s broadband plan or program include the rollout of free, public access points?
Enterprise Registration Certificate
ID Card or Passport of the legal representative
Contract Service with the broadband provide

28. What documents are needed in order to secure a business broadband connection?
Enterprise Registration Certificate
ID Card or Passport of the legal representative
Contract Service with the broadband provide

29. Please list what Broadband Access Providers are available to connection in Vietnam?
VNPT, Viettel, FPT

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

Rechtsanwalt in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann ARBEITSRECHT IM TRANSPAZIFISCHEN PARTNERSCHAFTSABKOMMEN (CPTPP) und die Auswirkungen auf das vietnamesische Rechtssystem

Zusammen mit dem Globalisierungsprozess wurden Inhalt und Umfang der Freihandelsabkommen (FTA) erweitert, um nicht nur traditionelle kommerzielle Angelegenheiten wie den Abbau von Zollschranken abzudecken, sondern auch die Felder Arbeit und Umwelt, die nicht direkt im Zusammenhang mit dem traditionellen Handel stehen. Im Hinblick auf die Arbeit enthalten viele der jüngsten Freihandelsabkommen Anforderungen an das Arbeitsumfeld, da man der Ansicht ist, dass die Globalisierung bestimmte negative Auswirkungen auf das Arbeitsumfeld hat, insbesondere in Ländern mit niedrigen Produktionskosten durch die Aufrechterhaltung niedriger Arbeitsstandards, Löhne und Arbeitsbedingungen, was zu einem unfairen Wettbewerb zwischen den Parteien führt. Dies ist ein Ansatz, der in vielen kürzlich abgeschlossenen Handelsabkommen verfolgt wird. Die Zahl der Freihandelsabkommen, die Arbeitsangelegenheiten regeln, ist von 4 im Jahr 1995 auf 72 im Januar 2015 gestiegen. Die Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) wird als das Handelsabkommen des 21. Jahrhunderts bezeichnet und enthält die stärksten arbeitsrechtlichen Bestimmungen in der Geschichte. In insgesamt 14 Freihandelsabkommen, an denen Vietnam beteiligt ist, ist das TPP auch das erste Freihandelsabkommen mit Arbeitsbestimmungen. Wenn TPP vollständig umgesetzt wird, wird es dazu beitragen, die Arbeitsbedingungen vor Ort in seinen Mitgliedsländern zu verbessern, indem es verbindliche und vollständig durchsetzbare Verpflichtungen einführt, unter anderem zu frei formierten Gewerkschaften und Tarifverhandlungen. Das TPP schafft auch eine Chance für die Mitgliedsländer, insbesondere Vietnam, den Lebensstandard und die Arbeitsqualität für die eigenen Arbeiter zu verbessern. Im folgenden Abschnitt wird die derzeitige Situation in Vietnam hinsichtlich des Rechts auf Kollektivverhandlungen, der Vereinigungsfreiheit sowie der Frage untersucht, wie die TPP Vietnams Arbeitspraktiken verändert.
Aktuelle Situation der Kollektivverhandlungen und der Vereinigungsfreiheit in Vietnam
Tarifverhandlungen
Tarifverhandlungen sind Diskussionen und Verhandlungen zwischen dem Arbeitnehmervertreter und dem Arbeitgeber, um (i) eine harmonische, stabile und fortschrittliche Arbeitsbeziehung zu formulieren; (ii) Schaffung neuer Arbeitsbedingungen, um die Grundlage für die Unterzeichnung eines Gesamtarbeitsvertrags zu schaffen; und (iii) Probleme und Schwierigkeiten bei der Ausübung der Rechte und der Erfüllung der Verpflichtungen jeder Partei des Arbeitsverhältnisses zu lösen. [1]
Regelmäßige Tarifverhandlungen werden einmal jährlich durchgeführt, und die Zeitspanne zwischen zwei Tarifverhandlungen darf 12 Monate nicht überschreiten. [2]
Ein Ergebnis des Tarifverhandlungsprozesses ist ein Tarifvertrag (“GAV”), der als eine Vereinbarung zwischen dem Arbeitskollektiv und dem Arbeitgeber über Arbeitsbedingungen, Arbeitseinsatz, Rechte und Pflichten jeder Partei in ihrem Arbeitsverhältnis definiert wird. Die Vereinbarung muss auf freiwilliger, fairer und transparenter Basis getroffen werden. Es muss günstigere Bestimmungen für Arbeitnehmer enthalten als gesetzlich vorgeschrieben, jedoch nicht gegen arbeitsbezogene Dokumente verstoßen. [4] Es dient als grundlegendes Dokument, das die rechtlichen Anforderungen in Übereinstimmung mit dem geschäftlichen Charakter jedes Unternehmens aufführt und den Arbeitern die Möglichkeit bietet, mit ihrem Arbeitgeber bessere Arbeitsbedingungen als die gesetzlichen Bedingungen auszuhandeln. Daher ist ein GAV rechtlich in einem Arbeitsverhältnis entscheidend, um zustehende Rechte und aber auch Pflichten jeder Partei zu gewährleisten.
Die Gewerkschaft (TU) spielt die Rolle der Vertretung und des Schutzes der Rechte und legitimen Interessen von Gewerkschaftsmitgliedern und Arbeitnehmern an der Verhandlung, Unterzeichnung und Überwachung der Umsetzung von GAV, Lohn- und Gehaltslisten, Arbeitsnormen, Lohn- und Bonusregelungen, internen Arbeitsbestimmungen, Demokratievorschriften in einem Unternehmen teilnehmen; beteiligt sich und hilft bei der Beilegung von Arbeitskonflikten; hält Dialoge und kooperiert mit einem Unternehmen, um harmonische, stabile und fortschrittliche Arbeitsbeziehungen in einem Unternehmen aufzubauen.
Angesichts der Bedeutung eines CLA haben die meisten Unternehmen in Vietnam diese vorbereitet und umgesetzt. Der Inhalt einer solchen Vereinbarung stellt alle vertretbaren Rechte und Pflichten für Arbeitnehmer sicher, einige Vereinbarungen beinhalten sogar eine bessere Behandlung der Arbeitnehmer als die Gesetze. Einige Unternehmen verfügen jedoch über ein solches Dokument, das nur vorübergehend auf den Druck der Behörden reagiert und Bedingungen enthält, die den gesetzlichen Anforderungen entgegenstehen oder weniger günstig sind. Gründe sind sowohl die Führung der Arbeiter als auch die Arbeiter selbst, die sich der Verfahren, des Verständnisses der gesetzlichen Anforderungen und der schwachen Verhandlungsfähigkeiten nicht bewusst sind.
Vereinigungsfreiheit
Vietnam ist keine Vertragspartei des Übereinkommens Nr. 87 der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation über die Vereinigungsfreiheit, sondern ist dem Internationalen Pakt über bürgerliche und politische Rechte von 1966 beigetreten, in dem das Recht auf Vereinigungsfreiheit erwähnt wird.
Vietnam stimmte auch mit den Vereinigten Staaten in einer TPP-Nebenvereinbarung überein, die als Konsistenzplan bezeichnet wird, wobei Vietnam verpflichtet ist, sein Verbot unabhängiger Gewerkschaften aufzuheben und allen unabhängigen Gewerkschaften die gleichen Rechte einzuräumen wie den mit der Regierung verbundenen. Diese unabhängigen Gewerkschaften müssen sich auch untereinander verbünden können, um eine breitere nationale Föderation zu bilden. Dieser Prozess wird “Cross-Affiliation” genannt. Dieser Konsistenzplan muss bestanden werden, bevor Vietnam im Rahmen der TPP in die USA exportieren darf.
Das geltende Gesetz über die Gewerkschaften in Vietnam hat jedoch nicht das Recht gewährleistet, TU der Arbeitnehmer frei zu gründen und beizutreten. Zum Beispiel heißt es in Artikel 1 des Gewerkschaftsgesetzes: “Eine TU ist eine sozio-politische Organisation der Arbeiterklasse und Arbeiter, […] ein Mitglied in einem politischen System Vietnams, unter der Leitung der Kommunistischen Partei Vietnams, [ …]. ” Als solches hat Vietnam den Pluralismus nicht anerkannt. Mit anderen Worten, Vietnam hat es den Arbeitern nicht erlaubt, eine Gewerkschaft zu gründen oder ihr beizutreten, von der sie glauben, dass sie während ihrer Beschäftigung ihre Interessen nutzen und schützen könnte. Stattdessen können sie nur der einzigen TU im vietnamesischen TU-System und unter der Leitung der vietnamesischen Kommunistischen Partei beitreten. Unterdessen hat die TU ihre Rolle als Organisation, die die Rechte und legitimen Interessen von Gewerkschaftsmitgliedern und Arbeitnehmern ausübt und vertritt, nicht gut ausgefüllt. Wir haben die Anwesenheit der TU bei Demonstrationen und Streiks für Sozialversicherung oder Zahlung kaum gesehen, als ein Unternehmen geschlossen wurde. Aufgrund der fehlenden Darstellbarkeit ist der Betrieb einer TU sehr eingeschränkt. Im Wesentlichen sind die Mitglieder des Allgemeinen Gewerkschaftsbundes Vietnams ab Distriktsebene alle Regierungsbeamte anstelle von Arbeitnehmern. Daher ist eine unabhängige TU mit Repräsentationsfähigkeit und ohne Assoziation das, was Arbeiter wirklich brauchen.
Wie TPP Vietnams Arbeitspraktiken verändert
Mit dem TPP hat Vietnam eine kritische Verpflichtung eingegangen, d. h. Die Einrichtung einer Organisation, die Arbeiter auf einer Basis repräsentiert, die unabhängig vom Vietnamesischen Allgemeinen Gewerkschaftsbund ist. Anders gesagt, das TPP hat eine Grundlage für den Pluralismus der TU gelegt. Wenn unabhängige Gewerkschaften in Vietnam gegründet werden, wird der Lebensstandard und die Rechte der Arbeitnehmer viel besser sein, da ihre TU eine Stimme haben wird, welche ihre Stimme auch erhebt. Insbesondere wird in der oben erwähnten Nebenabrede mit den Vereinigten Staaten ein separater, von der TPP unabhängiger Durchsetzungsmechanismus angewandt, wenn die Vereinigten Staaten mit der Umsetzung Vietnams unzufrieden sind. Daher muss Vietnam die geltenden TU-Vorschriften an internationale Arbeitsnormen anpassen. Die Prinzipien, die in der Natur des Zeitplans für Vietnam liegen, um seine Verpflichtungen zu erfüllen, sind bereits in der Nebenabrede mit den Vereinigten Staaten wie folgt angegeben: Prinzip 1: Recht der Arbeiter, eine Gewerkschaft ihrer Wahl frei zu bilden und zu vereinigen Prinzip 2: Fähigkeit der Gewerkschaften, ihre Angelegenheiten mit Autonomie zu verwalten Grundsatz 3: Arbeitnehmervertretung an nicht gewerkschaftlich organisierten Arbeitsstätten Grundsatz 4: Vertretbarkeit bei der Auswahl von Gewerkschaftsfunktionären Grundsatz 5: Nichteinmischung von Arbeitgebern in die organisatorische Tätigkeit von Gewerkschaften.
Wir sind optimistisch, dass das TPP in den nächsten fünf Jahren definitiv positive Veränderungen im Arbeitsumfeld in Vietnam mit sich bringen wird. Um diese Vorteile wirklich zu nutzen, muss Vietnam dringend Maßnahmen ergreifen, um das derzeitige nationale System für eine bessere Zivilgesellschaft zu reformieren.
***
Bitte zögern Sie nicht, Oliver Massmann unter omassmann@duanemorris.com zu kontaktieren, wenn Sie Fragen zu den oben genannten Themen haben. Oliver Massmann ist der Generaldirektor von Duane Morris Vietnam LLC. VIELEN DANK!

Rechtsanwalt in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann IMMOBILIEN Vietnams Immobiliensektor – Aktuelle Probleme und Loesungen fuer Anleger mit Ausblick auf die Handelsabkommen TPP 11 und EUVNFTA

A. Einleitung
Der gesetzliche Rahmen fuer den Immobilienbereich wird seit dem 01.07.2015 durch das Immobiliengeschaeftsgesetz (LREB) und das Wohnhausgesetz (LRH) vorgegeben.

Das LREB wurde durch das Dekret Nr. 76/2015/nd-CP eingefuehrt, das LRH durch das Dekret Nr. 99/2015/nd-CP. Darueber hinaus wurde mit dem lang ersehnten Dekret Nr. 01/2017/ND-CP vom 06.01.2017 drei Verordnungen, die das Grundbesitzgesetz betreffen, geaendert. Durch diese Aenderung konnte der Immobilienmarkt neue Investitionen verzeichnen.

B. Fragen
Allerdings bleiben weitere Fragen offen:

1. Verzoegerungen bei der Erteilung von Flaechennutzungsrechten (LURC)
Die Erteilung von Flaechennutzungsrechten an Auslaender ist eine wesentliche Voraussetzung fuer die Durchfuehrung von Immobilienprojekten. Artikel 75 des Dekrets 95/2015 verpflichtet das Bauamt zum Erlass einer “Liste von verbotenen Bauprojekten fuer Auslaender”. Eine solche Liste wurde bisher jedoch noch nicht veroeffentlicht. Aus diesem Grund verzichtet das Amt fuer Natur und Umwelt auf die Erteilung der LURCs an Auslaender.
Deshalb sollte diese Liste sobald wie moeglich veroeffentlicht werden. So koennten Auslaender, die in Vietnam Land kaufen, die LURC erhalten und ihre Bauprojekte verwirklichen.

2. Was sind “auslandsfinanzierte Unternehmen”?
Das LREB, das Grundbesitzgesetz und das Investmentgesetz 2014 (LOI) nennen das “auslandsfinanzierte Unternehmen”. Dennoch bleiben Unklarheiten bestehen. Das LREB nennt keinerlei Definition. Das Grundbesitzrecht besagt, dass Joint-Ventures, zu 100% auslandsfinanzierte Unternehmen und vietnamesische Unternehmen, an denen Auslander Anteile halten, miteinander fusionieren koennen oder untereinander Anteile voneinander erwerben koennen ohne Anteile zu nennen. Laut des LOI soll eine Gesellschaft mit auslaendischem Investor ein auslandsfinanziertes Unternehmen darstellen, wenn der Auslaender 51% oder mehr der Anteile haelt. Auf der anderen Seite werden Gesellschaften mit weniger als 51% nicht als inlaendische Unternehmen klassifiziert. Dieser Unterschied ist jedoch aufgrund der unterschiedlichen Behandlung inlaendischer und auslaendischer Unternehmen entscheidend. So sind z.B. inlaendische Unternehmen in der Lage, Fleachennutzungsrechte in Form von Teilen einer Flaeche zu erwerben, waehrend dies den auslandsfinanzierten Unternehmen versagt ist. Dies entspricht auch dem Inhalt des Dokuments Nr. 386/BXD-Qin vom 28.02.2017 des Bauministeriums, indem festgestellt wird, dass das LREB keine Bestimmungen ueber auslaendisch finanzierte Unternehmen erbringen muss, wie es das LOI bereits getan hat. Das Dokument 286 sagt jedoch nicht aus, dass das LREB dieselbe Definiton uebernehmen kann.

3. Beschraenkungen der Kapitalquellen
Aufgrund der Beschraenkung der Kapitalquellen bei Wohnhaeusern durch das LRH koennen auslaendische Bauunternehmer keine Kredite von Offshore-Kreditinstituten mehr erhalten. Diese Massnahme verringert die Moeglichkeit zur effektiven Kapitalerhoehung und letztendlich auch die Wettbewerbsfaehigkeit der auslaendischen Bauunternehmer. Dies gilt, obwohl keine Notwendigkeit dazu besteht.

4. Aenderung der Rechte des Grundbesitzers im Falle des Erwerbs von Anteilen/Kapitaleinlage
Artikel 2.27 des Dekrets 01/2017 verpflichtet ein Unternehmen zur Abaenderung von Grundbesitzrechten oder zur Registrierung von solcher Aenderungen am Land selbst oder an Zubehoer des Grundbesitzes, sobald eine Aenderung der Eigentumsverhaeltnisse eintritt. Im Falle des Erwerbs von Grund bleibt dieser solang beim alten Eigentuemer. Ausserdem kann der Uebertragungsprozess zu finanziellen Verpflichtungen fuehren. Dies kann fuer Investoren zu Schwierigkeiten fuehren, wenn Aktien erworben wurden oder Kapital ins Unternehmen eingebracht wurde.

5. Investitionsgenehmigung
Bei der Hauptgenehmigung fuer Wohnsiedlungen handelt es sich entweder um eine Entscheidung als “in-principle decision (IID)” oder um ein “in-principle approval (IAA)”.
Darueber hinaus benoetigt ein Investor, der in Vietnam ein Unternehmen gruenden will, ein Investitionsregistrierungszertifikat (IRC).

a) Wann es einer IID bedarf
Gemaess Artikel 32 des LOI bedarf es der IID nur, wenn Bauunternehmer Fleachennutzungsrechte direkt vom Staat durch Zuteilung oder Pacht erhalten. Ausgenommen sind Versteigerung, Ausschreibung und Uebertragung des Eigentums. Die einzige Moeglichkeit Grund und Boden zu erhalten, ist gemaess des Grundbesitzrechts, durch Uebertragung oder Pacht. Es ist unklar, wie Bauunternehmer Grund uebertragen bekommen koennen.

b) Investitionsgenehmigung fuer Kapitaleinlagen im Wege der Flaechennutzungsrechte
Im Rahmen eines Joint Ventures zwischen inlaendischem und auslaendischem Investor zur Entwicklung von Wohnsiedlungen traegt der Inlaender durch Einbringen der Landnutzungsrechte bei. Der IID bedarf es in diesem Fall nur bei Zuteilung oder Pacht von Grundstuecken vom Staat, mit Ausnahme der Versteigerung, Ausschreibung oder Uebertragung. Unklar ist, ob eine IIA bei Ausschreibungen oder Eigentumsuebertragungen notwendig sein wird.
Nach dem Baugesetz 2014 bedarf es der Baugenehmigung vor dem Beginn des Baus. Ob die IIA die Genehmigung erhalten muss, ist nicht geklaert.

c) Die verschiedenen Investitionsgenehmigungen
Das LOI stellt die Anforderungen der IRC, abgesehen von der IID und der IIA. Fuer Projekte, die die IID benoetigen, wird die IRC automatisch fuenf Tage nach Erteilung der IID ebenfalls erteilt. Inhaltlich aehneln sich IID und IRC, sodass keine zusaetzlichen Dokumente erforderlich sind. Infolgedessen braucht es keiner IRC, wenn die IID erteilt wurde.
Sollte es der IIA beduerfen, muss man sich zuerst um die IRC kuemmern, ehe das Unternehmen eingerichtet werden.

6. Kapitalbeitrag in Form der Flaechennutzungsrechte
Das Grundbesitzgesetz und das Gesellschaftsrecht von 2014 bieten fuer natuerliche Personen die Moeglichkeit der zeitweisen Beiteiligung ueber Landnutzungsrechte an. Gemaess Artikel 80 des Dekrets 43/2014/nd-CP vom 15. Mai 2014 erlischt die Kapitalbeteiligung in Form des Landnutzungsrechts, wenn der Anleger verstirbt. Im Ergebnis wuerde die Kapitalbeteiligung beendet und die LURC des Unternehmens inklusive seines Flaechennutzungsrechts versagt. Auf der anderen Seite schreibt das Gesellschaftsrecht 2014 vor, dass ein Unternehmen das Recht ueber eine Flaeche hat, wenn es von einer naturlichen Person als Kapitaleinlage eingebracht wurde. Deshalb hat Artikel 80 des Dekrets Nr. 43/2014/nd-CP Verwirrung und Unsicherheit unter den Bauunternehmern gestreut.

7. Durchfuehrung eines Immobiliengeschaefts mittels Flaechennutzungsrecht als Kapitaleinlage
Unter dem Grundbesitzgesetz koennen in- und auslaendische Unternehmen Kapitalbeteilungen in Form von Flaechennutzungsrechten erhalten. Jedoch ergibt sich aus dem LREB keine gesetzliche Bestimmung fuer Verbaende und natuerliche Personen. Demzufolge sind Verbaende nicht berechtigt Kapitaleinlagen in Form von Flaechennutzungsrechte zu erhalten. Dies stellt eine Ungleichbehandlung im Immobiliensektor dar.

C. Ausblick auf die Handelsabkommen TPP 11 und EUVNFTA
Nach dem Zurueckziehen der USA aus dem TPP im Januar 2017, einigten sich die verbleibenden TPP-Mitglieder im November 2017 auf einen Verbund ohne die USA. Dieser traegt den Namen CPTPP (TPP 11). Dieses Abkommen soll von allen Mitgliedern im ersten Quartal 2018 unterzeichnet werden. Danach muesste es in allen Mitgliedsstaaten ratifiziert werden, um Wirksamkeit zu entfalten. Das TPP 11 verspricht grosse Vorteile fuer Vietnams immobiliensektor. Das Abkommen zielt auf die Aufhebung von Zoellen zwischen den Mitgliedsstaaten fuer gewisse Waren und Gueter ab. Dies wird der vietnamesischen Wirtschaft als Ganzes fuer auslaendische Investoren interessanter machen und koennte dazu fuehren, dass sich auslaendische Bauunternehmen aufgrund der neuen Dynamik des Markts zum Bau von Kaufhaeusern oder Bueros entscheiden bzw. sich anderweitig am Immobilienmarkt beteiligen.

Ebenfalls interessant ist in diesem Hinblick das Handelsabkommen zwischen der EU und Vietnam, das sog. EUVNFTA. Das EUVNFTA bietet die Moeglichkeit, sowohl fuer die EU als auch fuer Vietnam, neue Maerkte zu erschliessen. Aufgrund des leichteren Zugangs und der Abschaffung von 99% aller Zoelle, wird Vietnam mehr Kapital anziehen. Von dem erwarteten Wachstum in den Bereichen Gesundheitswesen, Technologie und Bildung wird auch der Immobilienmarkt profitieren.

Es kann von einer allgemeinen Staerkung von Vietnams Wirtschaft infolge des EUVNFTA ausgegangen werden. Ausserdem gilt der Gleichbehandlungsgrundsatz fuer Unternehmen. Aufgrund der neuen Moeglichkeiten Geschaefte zu machen, wird eine nachhaltige Entwicklung hin zu einer noch dynamerischeren Wirtschaft mit besseren Investitionsmoeglichkeiten sichergestellt.
Ausserdem wird die Moeglichkeit zur Streitbeilegung zwischen Anleger und Staat (Investor State Dispute Settlement [ISDS]) den hoechsten Standards der Rechtssicherheit –und durchsetzung genuegen. Anlegerschutz wird so gewaehrt.

Wir raten Ihnen, diese Standards fuer sich zu nutzen. Gerne beraten wir Sie hierbei.

Dieser Standard wird unter dem TPP 11 und der EUVNFTA Anwendung finden. Hiernach haben Anleger bei Rechtsstreitigkeiten die Moeglichkeit, die Klage im Gastland nach den Standards der internationalen Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit zu erheben. Um Transparenz sicherzustellen, wird das Schiedsverfahren oeffentlich gehalten. Im Zusammenhang mit der Diskussion um die Zukunft des TPP wurde im November 2017 der Anwendungsbereich der ISDS um die Kapitel “Investitionsvereinbarungen” und “Investitionsbewilligung” verringert.
Weitere Sicherheit wird durch das Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) gewaehrleistet, das ebenso Teil beider Handelsabkommen sein wird. Das GPA stellt vor allem sicher, dass auslaendische Investoren zu vietnamesischen Investoren gleichbehandelt werden, wenn die Regierung Waren oder Dienstleistungen ueber einen gewissen Grenzwert kauft. Vietnam verpflichtet sich zur Veroeffentlichung von Information zur Ausschreibung, sowie den Bietern ausreichend Zeit zur Vorbereitung und Abgabe von Angeboten zu gewaehren und die Vertraulichkeit der Angebote zu wahren. Zudem verlangt das GPA von den Parteien die Bewertung der Angebote auf Grundlage der Fairness und Objektivitaet. Angebote sind nach Massstab von Bekanntmachungen und Ausschreibungsunterlagen zu bewerten und zu vergeben, die wirksame Regelungen fuer Beschwerden und Streitbeilegung inne haben.
Dieses Instrument wird fairen Wettbewerb und Qualitaetssicherung gewaehrleisten.

D. Fazit
Die genannten Probleme beeinflussen die Wettbewerbsfaehigkeit des Immobiliensektors. Die bestehenden Beschraenkungen, zusaetzliche Verpflichtungen fuer auslaendische Investoren und das Fehler klarer Richtlinien zur Implementierung der Durchfuehrungsbestimmungen sind alles Huerden fuer Investoren, die gern in diesem Markt investieren wuerden.
Angesichts des Engagements der Regierung fuer Wachstum zu sorgen, wird es notwendig sein, diese Probleme zu beseitigen. Zwar werden die Handelsabkommen grossen Einfluss auf die Entwicklung des Marktes nehmen. Dennoch muss die Regierung weitere Massnahmen zur Umsetzung der rechtlichen Vorgaben des Abkommens gewaehrleisten.

Falls weitere Fragen zum Thema bestehen, wuerden wir uns ueber Ihren Kontakt freuen. Melden Sie sich hierzu bitte an Dr. Oliver Massmann (omassmann@duanemorris.com).

Vielen Dank.

VIETNAM – BOOM TIME – The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement now becomes the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership – What is next?

 

Overview on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – now the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The TPP was originally known as the Trans- Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership concluded in 2006 among Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei (P-4 agreement) as a means to promote trade liberalization in the Asia- Pacific Region. As its name indicates, the original purpose of the agreement was only to address economic issues. As the number of participating countries in the P-4 agreement increased, starting with the United States in September 2008 and other countries to follow being Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Canada, Mexico and Japan until July 2013, the agreement is agreed to be “a comprehensive, next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment and addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st-century challenges” by TPP Trade ministers. In June 2015, the United States approved the trade promotion authority for President Obama. The Agreement finally becomes as it is today through tough negotiation rounds, while the last round in Atlanta in September 2015 was considered the most intensive one. The TPP was already concluded on 06 October 2015. However, in January 2017, right after President Trump took his office, the United States formally expressed its withdrawal from the agreement, leaving other 11 parties with the decision to continue the agreement without the United States or not. In November 2017, during APEC meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, ministers from 11 countries decided to push ahead with the TPP with its new name – CPTPP with only 20 items suspended out of an around 5000-page document, mainly in the Intellectual Property chapter.

CPTTP will help Vietnam make good use of international cooperation opportunities, balance relationships with key markets, approach larger markets including Japan and Canada, boost import-export, reduce import deficit, and attract foreign investment. In addition, CPTTP will also help Vietnam’s economy allocate its resources more effectively, enabling active supports to the processes of restructuring, innovation and improving regulations, and improve administrative reforms.

What makes CPTPP the template for next-generations trade agreements – What are beyond the WTO?

Freer trade zone

Commitments in Trade in goods

Tariff and non-tariff barriers are reduced and removed substantially across all trade in services and goods under the CPTPP. Import tariffs are reduced for 100% goods traded among member states, with more than 90% being eliminated immediately when the Agreement takes effect. The CPTPP also covers issues which have never been addressed in the WTO, including export duties, import duties for re-manufactured goods, market access for re-furbished goods, stricter regulations on import and export licensing, monopolies and goods in transit.

Lower tariff barriers from the CPTPP will give Vietnam greater access to large consumer markets in Japan, Canada and Australia. The potential positive effect on trade could be transformative, with estimates that the CPTPP will boost Vietnam’s exports by over 37% until 2025.

Commitments in Trade in services and Investment

All 11 member states give consent to a liberalized trade in this area. More sectors are opened in the CPTPP compared with the WTO, such as telecommunications, distribution and manufacturing sectors.

In addition, besides incorporating basic WTO principles (national treatment (NT), most-favored nation treatment (MFN), market access, and local presence), the CPTPP takes a negative approach, meaning that their markets are fully open to service suppliers from other CPTPP Parties, except otherwise indicated in their commitments (i.e, non-conforming measures). In order to make such reservations, the member state must prove the necessity of such preservation and negotiate with other member states. If approved, the non-conforming measures are only limited to such list, except for measures in certain sensitive sectors which are included in a separate list. Member states are only allowed to adopt policies that are better than what they commit (ratchet principle). The CPTPP also includes obligations on removal of performance requirements (i.e., no conditions on local content requirements, export conditions, use of certain technology, location of the investment project, etc.) and reasonable requirements on senior management and board of directors. Notably, the CPTPP Chapter on Investment for the first time makes it very clear and transparent concerning the MFN principle, that countries operating in multi-state regime must give foreign investors the best investment conditions of all states, regardless of the state where the investment takes place. Investors are also allowed to petition against the Government from the investment registration stage.

Textiles

Textiles are among Vietnam’s core negotiating sectors. According to suggestions by the United States, negotiations on textiles were conducted separately from negotiations on market access for other goods. To be qualified for CPTPP preferential tariff treatment, the CPTPP applies the yarn-forward principle, meaning textile products must be produced in CPTPP countries from yarn forward. However, the CPTPP includes exceptions that allow (i) certain materials to be sourced from outside CPTPP (“Short supply list”), (ii) certain manufacturing phases (for example, dying, weaving, etc.) to be conducted outside CPTPP; and (iii) one country to be able to use non-CPTPP materials in exchange for its export of certain textile goods to another country.

Government procurement

The CPTPP makes a list of government entities and agencies whose procurement of a particular̉ goods and services at a particular amount must be subject to public tender. This chapter includes NT and MFN principles, removes tender conditions favoring local tenders such as using local goods or local suppliers, conditions on technology transfer or two-way trade and investment, etc. These rules require all parties, especially Vietnam, in the context of China’s bidders predominantly win the bids with cheap offer price but low-quality services, to reform their bidding procedures and protect their own interests by disqualifying tenders with poor performance and low capacity.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

The CPTPP aims at protecting investors and their investment in the host country by introducing requirements on non-discrimination; fair and equitable treatment; full protection and security; the prohibition of expropriation that is not for public purpose, without due process, or without compensation; the free transfer of funds related to investments; and the freedom to appoint senior management positions regardless of nationality. For the first time investors may sue the Government for its violation of investment-related commitments.

CPTPP also includes procedures for arbitration as means of settling disputes between investors and the host state. It covers new provisions compared with existing agreements such as transparency in arbitral proceedings, disclosure of filings and arbitral awards, and participation of interested non-disputing parties to make amicus curiae submissions to a tribunal. Arbitral awards are final, binding and fully enforceable in CPTPP countries.

Application of the CPTPP and older/ existing agreements

Member states of the CPTPP acknowledge existing rights and obligations of each member under existing international agreements to which all CPTPP member states are parties (for example, the WTO Agreement, NAFTA, or bilateral agreements) or at least two member states are parties. In case there is any consistency between a provision of the CPTPP and a provision of another agreement to which at least two CPTPP member states are parties, these parties will consult with each other to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. Please note that the case where an agreement provides more favourable treatment of goods, services, investments or persons than that provided for under the CPTPP is not considered as an inconsistency.

Implementation deadline of the CPTPP

Brunei, Canada, Malaysia and Vietnam still have some outstanding issues, so further negotiations are necessary. Canada and Japan will also have to agree on auto rules in the CPTPP. However, negotiators have set the goal of signing the CPTPP in the first quarter of 2018. After that, all 11 countries will have to ratify it before it can come into effect.

***

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

 

THANK YOU !

 

 

Lawyer in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann – Solar Power – Payment mechanism from Vietnam Electricity (former Electricity of Vietnam, EVN) to Solar IPP – What you must know:

1. The periodicity of payment for energy sales by client (EVN) to IPP

The IPP and EVN will together read the metering result on a monthly basis on a mutually agreed date to determine the power delivered and received in a month. The IPP will record the result in writing and send it together with the invoice to EVN within 10 working days from the result reading date. The payment deadline for EVN is within 15 working days from the receipt of the IPP’s invoice.

2. Frequency of price adjustment such that payment in VND reflects equivalent USD value

It is not clear in both Decision 11 and Circular 16, but we understand that the adjustment will be made at the time of payment for grid connected projects. For on-grid rooftop projects, the adjustment is made annually. Provision have been included in previous power project documents.

3. Mechanism for price adjustment (e.g. is applicable price adjustment is weighted average of adjustment period such that seller is not exposed to changes to VND/USD exchange rate).

For on-grid projects, the adjustment is made at the time of payment. For on-grid rooftop projects, the adjustment is made annually. It means that the FiT for on-grid rooftop projects remains the same in a year. The FiT for on-grid rooftop projects for the next year will be adjusted based on the announced VND/USD exchange rate on the last working day of the preceding year.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions or want to know more details on the above.

THANK YOU !

 

 

 

 

VIETNAM SOLAR POWER – THE FIRST OFFICIAL PPA – VIETNAM INVESTMENT REVIEW INTERVIEWING DR. OLIVER MASSMANN

1. Could you point out for me the good point of this solar PPA?

While the previous draft solar PPA does not require the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) conversion between USD and VND be according to the exchange rate at the time of payment, this newly issued solar PPA repeats the language in Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg (Decision 11) that the FiT will be adjusted according to the fluctuation in the VND/USD exchange rate. This is consistent with what is stipulated in Decision 11.
In addition, I note that while the FiT for power output from on-grid projects is adjusted according to the fluctuation in the VND/USD exchange rate, meaning at any time during the year, it is not the same for rooftop projects. Instead, the mentioned FiT for excessive power output generated from rooftop projects remains the same throughout the first year of operation, and the new FiT for the next year will be adjusted based on the announced VND/ USD exchange rate of the last working day of the previous year.

2. Are there any concerns of investors that the solar PPA has not solved?

The rights of the investors are not fully protected in the following cases:
– when EVN is in the process of installing equipment, or making repairs, replacement, inspection or examination of the grid connection of the seller’s power plant;
– when the transmission grid or the distribution grid connected to EVN’s grid has a problem or grid equipment directly connected to EVN’s transmission grid or the distribution grid has a problem; and
– when EVN’s grid needs support to recover after the incident in accordance with the provisions of operation of the national power system and the standards, technical regulations of the electric industry.
– allocation of feeding points into the grid
It is quite risky for the producer if the output is ready to be fed to the grid but the connection is not available to do so. Absent a clear indication of whether the Solar PPA is a ‘take or pay” agreement, investors will find it difficult to secure and ensure the profits and revenue of their projects.
• No international arbitration dispute resolution clause
• No Government guarantee to enhance the credit of EVN as the sole off-taker;
• No provision addressing the risks of changes in applicable laws; and
• The Solar PPA is required to follow a specific template, which is not bankable.

3. Is this PPA solar bankable or not?

This PPA is not bankable due to reasons specified in 2).

4. In your opinion, how Vietnam government should do in order to reach their target for solar power capacity in the coming to time?

There is an increasing interest of foreign investors in the sector, proven by the fact that there are many solar projects with total capacity of 10,000 MW registered with the MOIT. However, not many of them have submitted the pre-feasibility study to the MOIT for consideration. There are many reasons behind this, but the most important ones are the lack of Government guarantee of EVN’s payment obligation in the PPA and currency hedging. Thus, the Government should consider a mechanism where EVN has to fulfil its payment obligation and the investors are ensured that they will be able to remit their profits abroad in foreign currency.

***
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com 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.
Thank you!

Vietnam – Solar Power Taking Off –  PPA Breaking News- The text of the PPA is issued – How to work with it:

Following the issuance of Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister on mechanism for encouragement of development of solar power in Vietnam (Decision 11), on 12 September 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade officially released Circular No. 16/2017/TT-BCT guiding Decision 11 (Circular 16). Circular 16 is aimed at providing regulations on formulation, approval and amendment of the national as well as provincial power master plan. In addition, the solar Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PPA), which is of great interest for many foreign investors, is also provided in Circular 16 as a mandatory template for future on-grid and rooftop solar power projects with only minor changes expected to be permitted during the contract negotiations.

In essence, the Solar PPA is almost the same as current applicable PPAs for renewable projects. This creates bankable issues for solar projects and a hindrance to foreign investors planning an investment in the sector.

Feed-in-Tariff (FiT)

Circular 16 repeats the solar FiT for power output from on-grid projects and excessive power output generated from rooftop projects specified in Decision 11 to be VND2,086/kWh or US 9.35 cents/kWh. This FiT only applies to on-grid projects and rooftop projects coming into commercial operation before 30 June 2019 and will remain within 20 years from the commercial operation date. We note that while the FiT for power output from on-grid projects is adjusted according to the fluctuation in the VND/USD exchange rate, meaning at any time during the year, it is not the same for rooftop projects. Instead, the mentioned FiT for excessive power output generated from rooftop projects remains the same throughout the first year of operation, and the new FiT for the next year will be adjusted based on the announced VND/ USD exchange rate of the last working day of the previous year.

EVN’s rights and obligations as the sole off-taker

EVN is delegated to purchase all power output generated from solar power projects pursuant to terms and conditions of the Solar PPA within 20 years.

It is noteworthy that the Circular 16 and the Solar PPA list out certain circumstances where EVN is not obliged to purchase power as negotiated with the seller, for example:

  1. when EVN is in the process of installing equipment, or making repairs, replacement, inspection or examination of the grid connection of the seller’s power plant;
  2. when the transmission grid or the distribution grid connected to EVN’s grid has a problem or grid equipment directly connected to EVN’s transmission grid or the distribution grid has a problem; and
  3. when EVN’s grid needs support to recover after the incident in accordance with the provisions of operation of the national power system and the standards, technical regulations of the electric industry.

Unfortunately, the current Solar PPA does not include provisions protecting the interests of the seller in the abovementioned circumstances. It is quite risky for the producer if the output is ready to be fed to the grid but the connection is not available to do so. Absent a clear indication of whether the Solar PPA is a ‘take or pay” agreement, investors will find it difficult to secure and ensure the profits and revenue of their projects.

Dispute resolution

The Solar PPA allows either party to the agreement to bring the dispute to local courts for litigation and other energy-related state bodies of Vietnam (General Directorate of Energy and the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam) for mediation and resolution.

The Solar PPA does not provide for international arbitration to be an option to resolve the dispute. This could be a great concern for foreign investors, especially those of large utility scale projects.

Other key issues of concern

  • No Government guarantee to enhance the credit of EVN as the sole off-taker;
  • No provision addressing the risks of changes in applicable laws; and
  • The Solar PPA is required to follow a specific template, which is not bankable.

Conclusion

Although these abovementioned bankability issues remain in the Solar PPA as the same for other renewable energy PPAs, we have assisted our clients on different large scale power projects, also in the Renewable Energy sector  and managed to win bankable PPAs with EVN. We strongly believe that our track record experience will help investors and the same will be done for the Solar PPA.

***

Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com 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.

 

 

 

 

Vietnam Wind Power is taking off – The new Feed in Tariff – what you must know:

Decision No. 37 of the Prime Minister on supporting regime for wind power projects provides an FIT of 7.8 UScent/ kWh. This FIT applies to two current projects in operation in Binh Thuan, namely Phu Lac and Binh Thuan No. 1. For Bac Lieu near shore wind project, the FIT follows a special financial regime, being 9.8 UScent/kWh. However, with the current FIT, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) opines that it will be difficult for these plants to recover their investment capital.

Thus, the MOIT has recently proposed the Government to increase wind FIT for inland wind power plants to 8.77 UScent/ kWh and to 9.97 UScent/kWh for near shore wind projects. This proposal is expected to attract more investors in the market as well as create incentive for current projects whose pre-feasibility reports have been approved by the MOIT to come into real operation.

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

Thank you very much!