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Rechtsanwalt in Vietnam Dr. Oliver Massmann DAS TRANSPAZIFISCHE PARTNERSCHAFTSABKOMMEN VERPFLICHTUNGEN ÜBER DEM LEVEL DER WTO – EINE ANALYSE

Überblick über das Transpazifische Partnerschaftsabkommen (TPP)

Das TPP wurde ursprünglich bekannt als „Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership“, das 2006 zwischen Singapur, Neuseeland, Chile und Brunei als „P-4-Abkommen“ abgeschlossen wurde als Mittel zur Förderung der Handelsliberalisierung im asiatisch-pazifischen Raum. Wie der Name schon sagt, war der ursprüngliche Zweck der Vereinbarung nur, ökonomische Fragen zu betreffen. Da die Zahl der teilnehmenden Länder in der P-4-Vereinbarung gestiegen ist, beginnend mit den Vereinigten Staaten im September 2008 (welche aber 2017 wieder terminiert haben) und anderen Ländern, wie Australien, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Kanada, Mexiko und Japan bis Juli 2013 zu folgen, wird die Vereinbarung vereinbart “Eine umfassende, regionale Vereinbarung der nächsten Generation, die Handel und Investitionen liberalisiert und neue und traditionelle Handelsfragen und Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts anspricht” von den TPP-Handelsministern. Im Juni 2015 genehmigten die Vereinigten Staaten die Handelsförderungsbehörde für Präsident Obama. Die Vereinbarung endlich wird so, wie es heute durch harte Verhandlungsrunden ist, während die letzte Runde in Atlanta im September 2015 als die intensivste war. Die Verhandlungen zum TPP wurden bereits am 06. Oktober 2015 abgeschlossen. Im Februar kuendigten die USA das TPP worauf alle anderen Staaten sich einigten, das Schicksal des TPP im November 2017 endlich zu beschließen, wobei jetzt schon klar ist, dass die Mehrheit der Unterzeichnerstaaten das abkommen ratifizieren will (TPP11).

Der erfolgreiche Abschluss der TPP-Verhandlungen fügt Vietnam einer Gemeinschaft von 11 Nationen hinzu, die 28% des weltweiten Handels ausmacht.

Vietnam wäre der größte Profiteur dieses Handelspaktes. Das BIP in Vietnam würde eine sich zusätzlich um 13,6% steigern. Nach dem Weltwirtschaftsforum wird Vietnam voraussichtlich im Vergleich zu anderen TPP-Volkswirtschaften, RECP-Volkswirtschaften und RCEP-Volkswirtschaften die bedeutendste Veränderung des BIP im Jahr 2025 (d.h. 28,2%) aufweisen. Die Reallöhne von Vietnam werden bis 2025 ebenfalls voraussichtlich um 10,5% ansteigen, so dass Malaysias als zweithöchstes Einkommensaufsteigerland aus den TPP-Mitgliedern weit hinter sich gelassen werden wird.

Das TTP wird Vietnam dabei helfen, internationale Kooperationsmöglichkeiten zu nutzen, die Beziehungen zu den wichtigsten Märkten auszugleichen, sich größeren Märkten zu nähern, darunter Japan, Kanada, den Im- und Export zu steigern, das Import-Defizit zu reduzieren und ausländische Investitionen zu vergrößern. Darüber hinaus wird TTP auch dazu beitragen, dass die Wirtschaft Vietnams ihre Ressourcen effektiver nutzt und aktive Unterstützung der Prozesse der Umstrukturierung, der Innovation und der Verbesserung der Vorschriften ermöglicht und die Verwaltungsreformen verbessert.

Was macht das TPP zur Vorlage für kommende Vereinbarungen – Welche Verpflichtungen liegen außerhalb des WTO-Niveaus?

Die freiere Handelszone

Verpflichtungen im Handel mit Waren

Tarif- und nichttarifgebundene Handelshemmnisse werden im gesamten Handel mit Dienstleistungen und Waren im Rahmen des TPP erheblich reduziert und entfernt. Einfuhrzölle werden zu 100% für Waren reduziert, die zwischen den Mitgliedsstaaten gehandelt werden, wobei mehr als 90% sofort bei Abschluss des Abkommens beseitigt werden. Das TPP umfasst auch Fragen, die in Abkommen der WTO noch nicht angesprochen wurden, einschließlich der Ausfuhrabgaben, der Einfuhrzölle für Wiederverkäufe, des Marktzugangs für neu gestaltete Waren, strengere Vorschriften für Einfuhr- und Ausfuhrlizenzen, Monopole und Waren im Transit. Niedrigere Tarifbarrieren aus dem TPP geben Vietnam einen größeren Zugang zu großen Verbrauchermärkten in den USA, Japan, Kanada und Australien. Die potenziellen positiven Auswirkungen auf den Handel könnten transformativ sein, mit Schätzungen, dass das TPP die Ausfuhren Vietnams um über 37% bis 2025 steigern wird. Bemerkenswerterweise schloss Vietnam im August auch das Freihandelsabkommen mit der EU ab und ist somit dabei, Freihandelsabkommen mit drei seiner vier größten Exportziele – der EU, Japan und den USA – abzuschließen.

Verpflichtungen im Handel mit Dienstleistungen und Investitionen

Alle 12 Mitgliedsstaaten eröffnen die Möglichkeit eines liberalisierten Handels in diesem Bereich. Mehrere Sektoren werden im TPP im Vergleich zur WTO eröffnet, wie z.B. Telekommunikation, Vertrieb und Fertigung.

Darüber hinaus nimmt das TPP neben der Einbeziehung von grundlegenden WTO-Grundsätzen (nationale Behandlung (NT), Meistbegünstigung (MFN), Marktzugang und lokaler Präsenz) einen negativen Ansatz ein, so dass ihre Märkte für Dienstleister voll offen sind. Andere TPP-Parteien, soweit diese in ihren Verpflichtungen nichts anderes eingegangen sind (d.h. nicht- konforme Maßnahmen). Um solche Vorbehalte zu erheben, muss der Mitgliedsstaat die Notwendigkeit einer solchen Erhaltung und Verhandlung mit anderen Mitgliedsstaaten nachweisen. Bei der Genehmigung sind die nicht-konformen Maßnahmen nur auf solche Listen beschränkt, mit Ausnahme von Maßnahmen in bestimmten sensiblen Sektoren, die in einer separaten Liste enthalten sind. Die Mitgliedstaaten sind nur berechtigt, Maßnahmen zu ergreifen, die bereits besser sind als das bestehende (Ratchet-Prinzip). Das TPP schließt auch Verpflichtungen zur Beseitigung von Leistungsanforderungen ein (d.h. keine Bedingungen für lokale Anforderungen an Inhalte, Exportbedingungen, Nutzungen bestimmter Technologien, Standort des Investitionsprojekts usw.) und angemessene Anforderungen an die Geschäftsleitung und den Vorstand. Bemerkenswert ist, dass das TPP-Kapitel über Investitionen erstmals sehr klar und transparent im Hinblick auf das MFN-Prinzip ist, dass die Länder, die im Mehrstaatsregime tätig sind, den ausländischen Investoren die besten Investitionsbedingungen aller Staaten geben müssen, unabhängig von dem Staat, in dem die Investition findet statt. Investoren sind auch berechtigt, gegen die Regierung von der Investitionsregistrierung Anträge zu stellen.

Textilien

Textilien gehören zu den wichtigsten Handelswaren Vietnams. Nach Vorschlägen der Vereinigten Staaten wurden die Verhandlungen über Textilien getrennt von Verhandlungen über den Marktzugang für andere Güter geführt. Um für die TPP-Präferenzzollbehandlung qualifiziert zu sein, wendet das TPP das Stoff-Verarbeitungs-Prinzip an, d.h. Textilprodukte müssen in TPP-Ländern aus Stoffen vorbereitet werden. Allerdings enthält das TPP Ausnahmen, die es erlauben, dass (i) bestimmte Materialien von außerhalb TPP bezogen werden (“Short supply list”), (ii) bestimmte Fertigungsphasen (z.B. Färben, Weben usw.), die außerhalb von TPP durchgeführt werden sollen; Und (iii) ein Land, um Nicht-TPP-Materialien im Austausch für die Ausfuhr bestimmter Textilwaren in ein anderes Land verwenden zu können.

Staatliche Logistik

Das TPP macht eine Liste von Regierungsstellen und Agenturen, deren Logistik von bestimmten Waren und Dienstleistungen in einem bestimmten Betrag der öffentlichen Ausschreibung unterliegen muss. Dieses Kapitel enthält NT- und MFN-Prinzipien, entfernt bevorzugte Bedingungen, die lokale Ausschreibungen wie die Verwendung lokaler Güter oder lokaler Lieferanten, Bedingungen für den Technologietransfer oder den Zwei-Wege-Handel und die Investition usw. begünstigen. Diese Regelungen erfordern die Mitarbeit aller Parteien, insbesondere Vietnams, in Bezug auf Chinas Vorreiterstellung durch die vielen Angebote mit niedrigem Angebotspreis, aber qualitativ minderwertigen Dienstleistungen, ihre Gebotsverfahren zu reformieren und ihre eigenen Interessen zu schützen, indem sie die Angebote mit schlechter Leistung und geringer Kapazität disqualifizieren.

Streitbeilegung zwischen Investoren und Staaten

Das TPP zielt darauf ab, Investoren und ihre Investitionen in das Gastland zu schützen, indem sie Anforderungen an die Nichtdiskriminierung einführt; eine gerechte Behandlung einfordert; einen vollen Schutz und Sicherheit wahrt; das Verbot der Enteignung, das nicht für den öffentlichen Zweck, ohne ordnungsgemäßen Prozess oder ohne Entschädigung ist; die freie Übertragung von Mitteln im Zusammenhang mit Investitionen; und die Freiheit, Führungspositionen unabhängig von der Nationalität zu ernennen.

Das TPP enthält auch Verfahren für die Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit als Mittel zur Beilegung von Streitigkeiten zwischen Investoren und dem Aufnahmestaat. Es deckt neue Bestimmungen im Vergleich zu bestehenden Vereinbarungen wie Transparenz in Schiedsverfahren, Offenlegung von Einreichungen und Schiedssprüchen und die Beteiligung interessierter nicht streitender Parteien, um amicus curiae (lat. für: unabhängige Sachverständige) Entscheidungen zu erhalten.

Vereinbarkeit des TPP und älterer / bestehender Vereinbarungen

Die Mitgliedsstaaten des TPP erkennen die bestehenden Rechte und Pflichten jedes Mitglieds im Rahmen bestehender internationaler Vereinbarungen an, zu denen alle TPP-Mitgliedsstaaten Parteien sind (z.B. WTO-Abkommen, NAFTA oder weitere bilaterale Abkommen) oder von den mindestens zwei Mitgliedsstaaten Parteien sind. Im Falle einer Kollision zwischen einer Bestimmung des TPP und einer Bestimmung einer anderen Vereinbarung, auf die mindestens zwei TPP-Mitgliedsstaaten Parteien sind, werden diese Parteien miteinander eine gemeinsame zufriedenstellende Lösung erreichen. Bitte beachten Sie, dass der Fall in dem eine andere Vereinbarung eine günstigere Behandlung von Waren, Dienstleistungen, Investitionen oder Personen als die Behandlung des TPP vorsieht, nicht als Inkonsistenz angesehen wird.

Frist der Umsetzung des TPP

Am 04. Februar 2016 trafen sich die Handelsminister in Neuseeland, um das Abkommen zu unterzeichnen, damit es in den einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten im nächsten Schritt vor dem Inkrafttreten des Abkommens ratifiziert wird. Die TPP wird nicht wirksam, wenn nicht mindestens sechs Länder, die 85% des BIP des Blocks ausmachen, es ratifizieren. Laut dem Vietnamesischen Minister für Industrie und Handel, Herrn Vu Huy Hoang, wird erwartet, dass das TPP im Jahr 2018 in Kraft tritt auch ohne die USA! Dies wird auf dem APEC Treffen im November 2017 entschieden.

***

Bitte zögern Sie nicht, Herrn Rechtsanwalt Dr. Oliver Massmann unter omassmann@duanemorris.com zu kontaktieren, sofern Sie Fragen haben oder mehr darüber erfahren möchten. Dr. Oliver Massmann ist der Geschäftsführer von Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Vielen Dank!

 

 

 

 

 

ドナルド・トランプ氏への手紙 環太平洋経済連携協定 – 絶好のチャンスを逃す危機 オリバー・マスマン  ドウェイン・モリス・ベトナム法律事務所 代表

 

米国トランプ大統領

環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)から離脱するという就任初日に出した声明に関して、TPP批准の可能性を再考して頂きたくお願い申し上げます。

TPPから離脱するということは即ち、米国は他のTPP諸国の政府調達へのアクセスを失うことになり、その額は1兆4,920億米ドルに上ります。TPPのように高い基準の政府調達規制は既存の国際協定にはどこにも見当たりません。その上、米国がTPPと同等の高い政府調達基準で二国間協定を締結するには、さらに10年を要する可能性があります。新たに交渉をする代わりにこのTPPを批准することで、米国は時間、労力そしてもちろん何十億米ドルを節約することができる為、非常に重要になるはずです。

以下の事実が今後の決断に役立ち、TPPがどのように米国を再び偉大な国にするのに役立つか明確に示してくれると我々は確信しています。興味をお持ちだと思うことは、米国が利益を得ることができるTPP加盟国の政府調達額が非常に高い点でしょう。

既にご存知のように、TPP諸国の人口は2015年7月時点で4億9,400万人を超えています。TPP諸国は2014年に米国の総輸出額の44.8%、また一般輸入額の37.6%を占めています。TPPに関する18,000品目以上の関税を削減することで、新しい市場に参入することが可能になれば米国の輸出入業者にとって大きなメリットになるでしょう。

米国の国際貿易委員会が推定したように、TPPにより米国の商品・サービスの世界への輸出は2032年までに272億米ドル増加し、米国の輸入は489億米ドル増加すると見込まれています。

次の表には各TPP諸国のデータが記載されており、米国の投資家が利用できる調達市場を示しています。

  GDP(米ドル) 政府調達のGDPのパーセンテージ(%) 政府調達の総額(米ドル)
オーストラリア 1兆5,600億 12.44 194,064,000,000
ブルネイ 114億7,000万 4.1 470,270,000
カナダ 1兆8,270億 13.34 243,721,800,000
チリ 1799億 2.9 5,217,100,000
マレーシア 3053億 25 76,325,000,000
メキシコ 1兆2,610億 5.16 65,067,600,000
ニュージーランド 1858億 14.56 27,052,480,000
ペルー 1926億 17.6 33,897,600,000
シンガポール 2741億 9.74 26,697,340,000
ベトナム 1714億 12.84 21,000,000,000 -22,000,000,000
日本 TPP批准済) 4兆9,200億 16.22 798,024,000,000

注釈、上記は2006年~2017年の期間のデータです。

上記に示したように、TPP諸国の政府調達額は総額1兆4,920億米ドルにもなります!

またそれらは古い数字です。多くの国は経済成長が著しい国となっています。現在の総額はさらに高いでしょう。

米国はこの絶好の機会を逃すつもりですか?

TPPの大きな進展は、これまで政府調達に同意せず、また既存の米国自由貿易協定(FTA)やWTOの政府調達協定(GPA)に同意していないベトナム、マレーシア及びブルネイの3カ国でさえも同意すると約束したことでしょう。これは米国の商品生産者やサービス企業にとって重要な輸出機会となります。現在、中国企業が最も利益を上げています。ベトナムの国営企業の電力、鉱業、製造、鉄鋼そして化学プロジェクトの90%を中国企業が請け負っているのです。中国国家建設エンジニアリング社(CSCEC)は業績が芳しくなく、贈賄罪により世界銀行のブラックリストに載ってはいますが、それでも重要な契約を獲得し続けています。TPPにより市場が米国企業に対し開かれ、おそらく歓迎されるでしょう。

一部のアジア太平洋諸国及びその他の国々では、外国の入札者に不利益をもたらす政策を実施しています。TPPでは初めてベトナムやマレーシアなどの国がアメリカの協力を求めることが可能になります。政府調達に関する手続き及び法改正は米国の輸出業者に対し以前閉ざされていた市場への介入、そしてより効果的に競争することを可能にします。

その上、カナダはNAFTA(北米自由協定)の公約をTPPの基準まで引き上げることに同意しました。新たなGPAの水準は2014年度のWTOガイダンスに基づきNAFTAよりも強力な公約となっています。

米国は二国間協定が締結するまで待てないはずです!

最初にTPPの交渉が始まってから既に12年が経過しています。NAFTA(4年)、COMESA(16年)、そしてSAFTA(9年)などの国際条約が締結までに膨大な時間を要したように、二国間協定も同様に時間を要します。また成功するという保証などありません。実際はむしろ上手くいかないでしょう。マレーシア、ブルネイ及びベトナムのような国々は政府調達の規制に合意するという大きな措置をとりました。二国間協定がどのくらいの期間を要するかは、4年前に締結された欧州連合とベトナム自由貿易協定(EVFTA)に示された通りです。しかしながら、EVFTAは政府調達の規則に関するTPPの基準に達していません。公正で透明性が高く予想可能で被差別的な市場の創設を延期すべきではありません。GPAの水準がこれまで以上に高くなる可能性があるからです。これ以上良い協定を交渉する可能性は極めて低いですし、中国やロシアが米国に取って代わる可能性は非常に高いです。日本の安倍晋三首相は既に中国に中心が移る可能性があると述べています。しかし、中国に目を向けているのは日本だけではありません。オーストラリア、ニュージーランド、ベトナム、マレーシア、シンガポールそしてブルネイが既に中国とのFTAの交渉を進めています。

この協定を見送ることで米国は何十億もの経費がかかり、多くの労力を失うことになります。二国間協定の交渉は多大な時間及び費用がかかり、またTPPに近いGPA基準に達することは非常に難しいでしょう。

それでも米国は待つことができますか?

答えはNOのはずです!

敬具

オリバー・マスマン

*上記に関し更なる情報をご希望の場合は、直ぐにご提供致します。

 

 

Letter to Mr. Donald Trump – Trans-Pacific Partnership – Don’t drop your Slice of the Pie

 

From Oliver Massmann – General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC

Dear Mr. Trump,

With respect to your recent statement that you will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) right on day one of your office, we kindly request you to reconsider the possibility of your ratification of the TPP.

Dropping the TPP means that the U.S will lose access to government procurement of other TPP countries which amounts to USD1.492 trillion. The high standard of the government procurement chapter in the TPP can nowhere be found in existing international agreements. Moreover, it could take the U.S another decade to reach a bilateral agreement with government procurement standard as high as in the TPP. It is of utmost importance for the U.S to save time, jobs, and of course, billions of dollars by ratifying the TPP instead of negotiating a new one.

We believe the following facts will help with your decision and clearly show how TPP would help you to make America great again. What may interest you is the extremely high number of government procurement in the TPP country members from which America could benefit.

As you may already know, the population of the TPP countries exceeds 494 million people as of July 2015. The TPP countries account for 44.8 percent of U.S. total exports and 37.6 percent of U.S. general imports in 2014. By cutting over 18,000 taxes in regards to TPP, there would be a great benefit for American im- and exporters by enabling them to enter new markets.

As the U.S. international trade commission estimates, the U.S. exports of goods and services to the world would expand by USD27.2 billion by 2032 due to the TPP, while U.S. imports would expand by USD48.9 billion.

In the following table the data of each TPP country is listed to show you the procurement market American investors may get access:

  GDP (USD) Government procurement’s percentage of GDP (%) Total value of Government procurement (USD)
Australia 1.56 trillion 12.44 194,064,000,000
Brunei 11.47 billion 4.1 470,270,000
Canada 1.827 trillion 13.34 243,721,800,000
Chile 179.9 billion 2.9 5,217,100,000
Malaysia 305.3 billion 25 76,325,000,000
Mexico 1.261 trillion 5.16 65,067,600,000
New Zealand 185.8 billion 14.56 27,052,480,000
Peru 192.6 billion 17.6 33,897,600,000
Singapore 274.1 billion 9.74 26,697,340,000
Vietnam 171.4 billion 12.84 21,000,000,000 -22,000,000,000
Japan (ratified TPP) 4.92 trillion 16.22 798,024,000,000

Note: Data taken during the period of 2006-2017

As shown above government procurement of the TPP states is $1.492 trillion in total!

And those are old numbers. Most of the countries are states with strong economic growth. The sum may be much higher now.

How could America not want to get a slice of this fat pie?

The great advance of the TPP will be that even the three countries Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei which have not agreed to coverage of their government procurement ever before and are currently not covered by an existing U.S. Free Trade Agreement or the Government Procurement Agreement of the WTO (GPA), have undertaken to do so. This is a key export opportunity for U.S. goods producers and services companies. Currently Chinese companies profit the most. 90% of power, mining, manufacturing, ferrous and chemical projects of state-owned companies in Vietnam are awarded to Chinese contractors. China State Construction Engineering Corp. (CSCEC) keeps winning important contracts although it has a poor track record and has even been blacklisted by the World Bank due to bribery charges. With TPP that market would be open to US companies which probably would be welcomed.

Some Asian-Pacific and other countries have formal policies in place disadvantaging foreign tenderers. TPP will make it possible for the first time that an American cooperation could sue for example the Republic of Vietnam or Malaysia. The procedural and legal changes regarding government procurement will enable U.S. exporters to reach markets that were closed before and compete more effectively.

In addition Canada has agreed to replace the commitments in NAFTA and update them to the level of TPP. The new level of GPA is based upon the WTO 2014 guidance and provides stronger commitments than the NAFTA.

America cannot wait until bilateral agreements might be settled!

12 years have already passed since the first negotiations on TPP started. As international agreements like NAFTA (4 years), COMESA (16 years) or SAFTA (9 year) require a lot of time to be settled, bilateral agreements will do so as well. And there is no guarantee of success. In fact it is rather unlikely. Countries like Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam took huge steps by agreeing to a regulation of government procurement. How long a bilateral agreement would take, may be shown by the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which took 4 years before it was concluded. However, the EVFTA does not reach the standard of the TPP regarding the Chapter on Government Procurement. The creation of a fair, transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory market should not be postponed. The level of GPA might be as high as never before. It is extremely unlikely that a better agreement could be negotiated but more likely that the U.S. will be replaced by China or Russia. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe already stated that China would be a possible replacement. But not only Japan would turn towards China. Negotiations of Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei regarding an FTA with China already began.

Skipping this agreement would cost America billions of money and would cut off American jobs. Negotiating bilateral agreements would cost America many years, billions of Dollars and it is highly unlikely that it would reach a GPA standard  that would be even close to TPP.

Is America’s interest able to wait?

The answer is NO!

Sincerely,

Oliver Massmann

 

*Should you require any supporting evidence for the statements above, we will provide them immediately.

 

 

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Why it is best to start preparing for transactions now in Vietnam ?

 

Vietnam has concluded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) and the EU- Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (“EVFTA”). Meanwhile, the ASEAN Economic Community (“AEC”), which Vietnam became a full member in 1995, has been established since the end of 2015. With such deep integration into the multilateral and regional economy, Vietnam is expected to be an attractive investment environment for investors and witness a significant growth in the upcoming years.

Vietnam has made progress over 3 continuous years to reach 56th position in 2015 on the Global Competitiveness Index list, a jump of 12 positions compared to 2014. It is noteworthy that Vietnam is more competitive than 6 European Union countries on this list. Even more notably, 4 out of these 6 countries, namely Slovenia, Cyprus, Slovakia and Greece, are considered as advanced global economies, and have the GDP per capita of at least USD17,700, eight times more than Vietnam.

Samsung Electronics Company has decided to choose Vietnam as the Number 1 country to put their world largest mobile and tablet production and invested more than 6 Billion USD after a researching worldwide. Also major Japanese companies are convinced Vietnam is a top investment destination and become the largest investors in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Government has made great attempts to develop itself by opening its economy to international trade, investments and free movement of people. The following section provides an overview of these free trade agreements and the AEC to help investors understand what is awaiting them ahead and decide their investment in Vietnam.

TPP

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.

TPP Market Snapshot
·         GDP: US$28,136.0 billion (2012)

·         GDP per capita: US$35,488 (2012)

·         Population: 792.8 million (2012)

·         TPP % of world GDP: 39.0% (2012)

·         TPP % of world population: 11.3% (2012)

·         TPP % of world trade: 25.8% (2012)

The TPP includes thirty chapters with deep focus on comprehensive market access, a fully regional agreement, cross-cutting issues (regulatory coherence, competiveness and business facilitation, small and medium sized enterprises, and development), and new trade challenges (particularly rules on state owned enterprises and government procurement).

The TPP would expand market access in goods and services among its signatories. The market access issues include liberalization of trade barriers protecting dairy, sugar, and rice; tariffs and origin rules affecting textiles, clothing, and footwear; and services trade reforms, especially financial services, insurance, and labor services.

Vietnam would be the largest beneficiary of this trade pact, resulting from its strong trade ties with the United States, high level of protection against its main exports (i.e., apparel and footwear), and its highly competitive positions in industries such as manufacturing where China is gradually losing its competitive advantage. Statistics shows that by participating in the TPP, Vietnam’s GDP would add an additional increase of 13.6% to the baseline scenario.

TTP will help Vietnam make good use of international cooperation opportunities, balance relationships with key markets, approach larger markets including the U.S, Japan, Canada, boost import-export, reduce import deficit, and attract foreign investment. In addition, TTP 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.

Higher income will help Vietnam to invest more and grow more

Vietnam is among the largest income gains in TPP

The TPP is now being submitted for ratification in each country before it officially takes effect. Despite all political concerns, we strongly believe that the TPP will finally be implemented in 2018.

AEC

The AEC originates from the ASEAN Vision 2020, which was adopted in 1997 on the 30th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, made up of Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (ASEAN). With a population of more than 600 million and a nominal GDP of about $2.31 trillion, ASEAN is a strong economic community in Asia and also a driver of global growth.

The AEC encompass the following characteristics: (i) a single market and production base, (ii) a highly competitive economic region, (iii) a region of equitable economic development, and (iv) a region fully integrated into the global economy.

The AEC is expected to be an area where goods can circulate freely and in which custom duties on goods will be gradually reduced to 0%. It will establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, making ASEAN more dynamic and competitive with new mechanisms and measures to strengthen the implementation of its existing economic initiatives; accelerating regional integration in the prioritized sectors; facilitating movement of business persons, skilled labor and talents; and strengthening the institutional mechanisms of ASEAN.

The free flow of investment will also offer enhanced investment protection to all ASEAN investors and their investments in other ASEAN member countries, including the settlement mechanism of an investor state dispute based on a non-discrimination principle when investing in other ASEAN countries. Those principles play a very important role in providing investor confidence when making cross-border investment.

Once the AEC is completed, it will be a unified market, a common manufacturing area seeking for more dynamic and competitive development and to create new opportunities for tariff reductions as well as other trade incentives.

AEC Market Snapshot
·         GDP: US$2311.3 billion (2012)

·         GDP per capita: US$3748.4 (2012)

·         Population: 620 million, 60% under the age of 35

·         AEC % of world GDP: ~3.3%

·         AEC % of world population: 9%

·         AEC’s merchandise exports: US$1.2 trillion – ~54% of total ASEAN GDP and 7% of global exports

·         If ASEAN were one economy, it would be the 7th largest in the world – 4th largest by 2050 if growth trends continue

EVFTA

On 02 December 2015, after nearly 3 years with 14 rounds of negotiations, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, H.E. Vu Huy Hoang and the European Commissioner for Trade, H.E. Cecilia Malmström have signed the EVFTA. Both parties will finalize the ratification process as soon as possible for the EVFTA to take effect from the beginning of 2018.

The EVFTA is considered one of the most comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreements. It is the second agreement in the ASEAN region after Singapore and it will intensify the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the EU.

The agreement has separate chapters on Trade of Goods, Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade in Services, Investment, Trade Remedies, competition, State-Owned Enterprises, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property, sustainable Development, Cooperation and Capacity Building, Legal and Institutional Issues.

Nearly all customs duties – over 99% of the tariffs will be eliminated. The small remaining number is mainly due to the transition period. Vietnam will liberalize 65% of import duties on EU exports to Vietnam at entry into force and the remaining duties will be eliminated due to the next ten years; EU duties will be eliminated over a seven year period. The market will be opened for most of EU food products, i.e. wine, spirits and frozen pork meat will be liberalized after seven years and dairy products after a maximum of five years. The EU will eliminate duties for some sensitive products in the textile and footwear sector. The EU has offered access to Vietnamese exports via tariff rate quotas (TRQs), because some sensitive agricultural products will not be fully liberalized. Furthermore, the agreement will contain an annex with provisions to address non-tariff barriers in the automotive sector. Vietnamese exports of textile, clothing and footwear to the EU are expected to more than double in 2020 as a result of  the EVFTA.

The EVFTA will help to increase quality of investment flows from EU, accelerate the process of sharing expertise and transfer of green technology and the creation of more employment activities.

The real wages of skilled laborers may increase by up to 12% while real salary of common workers may rise by 13%. The macro economy will be stable and inflation rate is controlled. Vietnam’s business activities will be booming in the next few years once the EVFTA officially comes into force and Government’s policies as well as institutional reforms start showing their positive effects.

Vietnam’s GDP is expected to increase by 0.5% annually, increase in exports is 4-6% per year. If this trend continues until 2020, Vietnam’s exports to EU will increase by USD 16 billion. Until 2025, the EVFTA is estimated to generate an additional 7-8% of GDP above the trend growth rate.

In 2013, the EU was Vietnam’s second biggest trade partner with a total value of trade in goods of EUR 24.2 billion. In the same the EU was also Vietnam’s biggest export market with EUR 21 billion, representing 19% of Vietnam’s total export. Vietnam’s export to EU increased by 28% from 2012 to 2013. In addition, the EU is among the biggest investors in Vietnam, with 1,810 FDI projects in 2013. The EU committed to continuing to support with the foreseen assistance amount of EUR 400 million in the coming six years. EU exports to Vietnam are dominated by high-tech products including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products. Vietnam’s key export items to the EU include telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, aqua products, and furniture.

Conclusion: Why investment in Vietnam now?

  • Vietnam ties in first place with Singapore, thus it provides highest possible protection for investment
Country Limitation of market access* Country Limitation of market access*
Malaysia medium Myanmar high
Indonesia medium Cambodia medium
Philippines medium Laos medium
Singapore low India high
Thailand medium China medium
Brunei high Vietnam low

*Typical restrictions: number of opened sectors, JV requirement, limits on foreign-owned shares, permission requirement

  • Vietnam has the fastest growing middle class with a very good demographic situation: about 90 Million people of which about 50 percent are under 30 years old.
  • Expectations of Vietnam parties might get unreasonable, the same as after Vietnam acceded to the WTO in 2007 and no projects could be done.
  • Market opening in certain sectors, for example, media, and there could be more competing companies from the AEC with better market access to Vietnam. Thus, it is vital that investors start working on their projects now to position themselves as early as possible before the coming into effect of the trade pacts.

***

Please do not hesitate to contact 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.

 

The National Assembly of Vietnam invited Oliver Massmann to present on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and its Impact on Vietnam

VIETNAM – FIRST TIME IN HISTORY: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF VIETNAM INVITED OLIVER MASSMANN TO PRESENT IN VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON VIETNAM ON JUNE 17th: HERE IS HIS PRESENTATION:

English:

Vietnamese:

I thank the Members of the National Assembly of Vietnam very much for giving me the opportunity to present. I am very happy about the very positive feedback the Members of the National Assembly gave me for my presentation. I feel very honored!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
Oliver Massmann

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement – Ratification and Key Impact for Vietnam

If the TPP is ratified and goes into effect, what do you see as the key areas of impact on Vietnam and its economic future?
Answer: Vietnam would be the largest beneficiary of this trade pact. Statistics show that by participating in the TPP, Vietnam’s GDP would add an additional increase of 13.6% to the baseline scenario. According to the World Bank and other institutions, Vietnam’s GDP in 2020 will increase by USD 23.5 billion and USD33.5 billion in 2035. Export value will also increase by USD 68 billion in 2025. Vietnam’s real income by 2025 is also forecast to increase by 10.5%, leaving Malaysia’s as the second highest income rising country out of the TPP members far behind at 5.6%.
TTP will help Vietnam balance relationships with key markets, approach larger markets including the U.S, Japan, Canada, boost import-export, reduce import deficit, and attract foreign investment. In addition, TTP 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 industries do you see within Vietnam would benefit the most, and where do you see major risks to established industries if the TPP is ratified?
Answer: The TPP will have significant positive impact on Vietnam’s exports in textile, footwear, agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. This is due to major reduction in import duties for goods from Vietnam, especially in Japan and the United States. Supply chain established after the effectiveness of the TPP will also bring Vietnam a lot of new opportunities. Recently, many big corporations have chosen Vietnam as a part of their production chain of high tech products. The TPP will help to develop this trend.
The livestock industry will suffer from fierce competition as a result of the TPP. In Vietnam, the livestock industry is still small, not modernized, mainly household scale with participation of small and medium enterprises. Products have certain difficulties in meeting high quality and sanitary standards.
Textile industry is also a sector which bears negative impact from the TPP. The yarn-forward rule of origin makes Vietnam’s textile products difficult to be entitled with preferential import duties, as the domestic weaving industry has not well developed. Vietnam still has to import cloth and fabrics from non-TPP countries (for example, China). The textile industry sees this as an opportunity to re-structure the whole industry and improve the supply chain.

In your view, if the US does not ratify the TPP, do you see the RCEP as a replacement for Vietnam? And if so, what do you see as the major impacts (positive or negative) on Vietnam, as a result of implementing the RCEP without having a TPP?
Answer: I take a positive view that the TPP will sooner or later be ratified. However, in the unlikely worst scenario that the TPP will not be materialized, Vietnam will lose a great opportunity to integrate its economy deeper in the Asia- Pacific Region. RCEP has a lower level of trade liberalization and smaller commercial scale. RCEP does also not take a single-package approach, or in other words, it is not a comprehensive trade agreement which covers new issues of the era such as labour and environment standards, competition, SOEs, government procurement, IP rights, etc.) as the TPP. Thus, RCEP’s positive impacts on transforming Vietnam’s economy will not be as large as the TPP’s. Without the TPP, Vietnam will face strong competition from China – which is not a party to the TPP and this is Vietnam’s advantage over China. RCEP will put Vietnam in a disadvantaged situation in its relationship with China as a result of more liberalized and preferential bilateral trade from RCEP. Vietnam will no longer benefit from RCEP due to the similarities in the export structure between Vietnam and China.

If the TPP is ratified and goes into effect, do you see any effect with Vietnam – China trade? Especially given that there is already a trade agreement in place as part of the ACFTA.
Answer: Vietnam’s participation in the TPP will not harm Vietnam – China trade. I note that Vietnam has great trade deficits with China. However, while China is the biggest trading partner of Vietnam in terms of two-way trade, the United States is still Vietnam’s largest market. By being part of the TPP, Vietnam can take advantage of this opportunity to access to other TPP members’ market, improve its competitive capacity, thus reducing its reliance on China. Vietnam – China trade relations will then be improved towards better balance, stability and for mutual benefits.
***
Please contact the author Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have questions on the above. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

The TPP: A Win for Vietnam’s Workers

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the first trade agreement to subject Vietnam to enforceable labor commitments.”
By Oliver Massmann for The Diplomat
April 20, 2016

In the last decade, free trade agreements (FTAs) have expanded to cover more than traditional commercial matters like tariff reductions. Recent FTAs have increasingly included labor requirements to protect workers, especially in countries where companies pursue low-cost production through depressed wages, poor working conditions, and other subpar labor standards. This has dramatic effects on countries like Vietnam, where I have practiced law for 20 years. But even though FTAs regulating labor matters have increased dramatically in recent years, from four agreements in 1995 to 72 by 2015, Vietnam has refused to commit to labor requirements in FTAs — until now.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the first trade agreement to subject Vietnam to enforceable labor commitments like freedom of association, collective bargaining, and minimum work conditions. Additionally, Vietnam signed a labor implementation plan with the United States that identifies specific actions needed to comply with TPP and which are subject to an additional layer of enforcement. It is clear TPP lives up to its name as a “21st century agreement,” enacting the strongest labor provisions of any trade deal, giving the opportunity to improve living standards and the quality of work for Vietnam’s people. These advances range across a number of different areas:
Freedom of Association
The most far-reaching change to Vietnam’s labor landscape is on freedom of association. Currently, Vietnam only recognizes a limited right to organize. Vietnam’s Trade Union Law states that a trade union is a “socio-political organization of the working class and laborers… part of the political system of the Vietnamese society, placed under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.” As such, Vietnam does not have a pluralistic union regime. In other words, workers are not allowed to establish more than one trade union focused on protecting their interests regarding their employment. Instead, the only option is to join the one trade union available, Vietnam’s General Confederation of Labor (VGCL), under the direction of the Communist Party.
The VGCL has poorly represented and protected the rights and legitimate interests of its members and workers. In my time here, we have barely seen the presence of VGCL in demonstrations and strikes for social insurance or payment of backwages to hundred of workers when enterprises close down. This inaction is due to the lack of independence and representation in trade union leadership. Essentially, members of VGCL from the district level all the way to the top are government officials instead of workers. This will change with the TPP.
Article 19.3 requires all TPP parties to adopt and maintain regulations that comply with the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, including freedom of association. This broad requirement is detailed in the U.S.-Vietnam Plan for the Enhancement of Trade and Labor Relations, which lays out the statutes and language for Vietnam to come into compliance with the TPP. Key reforms include provisions that ensure all workers be permitted to “form a grassroots labor union of their own choosing … without prior authorization” and with the right to “autonomously elect its representatives.” This means that workers can finally organize unions independent from the VGCL that are run by workers. This is significant because it empowers employees to protect their own interest — particularly when it comes to collective bargaining.
Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining is the negotiation between the representatives of the labor collective and the employer to establish working conditions formalized in a collective labor agreement (CLA). As a result, a CLA between employees and employer will define working conditions, labor usage, and obligations of each party in their employment relationship. The CLA serves as the basic document detailing legal requirements in each enterprise and grants workers the chance to negotiate with their employer for labor terms better than statutorily required. As such, a CLA is critical in an employment relationship.
Given their importance, many enterprises in Vietnam have prepared and implemented CLAs. However, many enterprises often use CLAs to temporarily deal with pressure from authorities and include terms contrary to or less favorable than statutorily required. The reason for such low-quality CLAs range from a lack of awareness of procedure to government influence on self-selected union leaders. Given the wide range of issues preventing high-quality CLAs in Vietnam, the TPP makes a number of important reforms.
Article 19.3 requires all TPP parties to adopt and maintain regulations for the “effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.” Moreover, the TPP supports better negotiating outcomes by ensuring unions can consult “international worker organizations” regarding labor union activities like collective bargaining and securing autonomy of grassroots labor unions from upper-level unions. Combined with the protection for independent association, the TPP gets to the heart of the system plaguing collective bargaining from adequately serving worker’s interests in Vietnam–setting the regulatory framework for improved labor conditions.
Enforcement
Vietnam is held accountable to these labor commitments through TPP’s enforcement mechanism. Like all TPP partners, Vietnam is subject to dispute settlement with the weight of trade sanctions if it systematically fails to uphold its commitments under the Labor Chapter. More significantly, the details in the implementation plan must be completed before any benefits of the trade agreement can flow to Vietnam. Therefore, there are two layers of enforcement specifically for labor obligations: one to facilitate rapid regulatory reform, and another to maintain compliance.
With this comprehensive approach, I am optimistic the TPP will bring positive changes to the labor environment in Vietnam over the next five years. When labor unions finally speak with the voices of workers, there will be improvement in living standards and individual rights. This is exactly what the TPP promises. As such, both the United States and Vietnam must urgently take action to pass the TPP and seize the opportunity for a better civil society in Vietnam.
***
Please do not hesitate to contact Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com if you have any questions on the above. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Trans Pacific Partnership Impact on labor environment – Asia Pacific Economic Review Interview:

1. How do you evaluate the impact of TPP on labor environment of Vietnam?

Answer: Being touted as the 21st century trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also includes the strongest provisions on labour in history. In total 14 FTAs to which Vietnam is a party, the TPP is also its first FTA including labour provisions. If TPP is implemented fully, it will help improve on-the-ground labour conditions in its member countries by adopting binding and fully enforceable obligations to, among other, freely form unions and bargain collectively. The TPP is also the chance for member countries, especially Vietnam, to improve living standards and work quality for its own employees.

2. If TPP is fully implemented, does it help improve the labor conditions in its member in general and in Vietnam in particular?

Answer: Please see my answer also to Question 1 above.

3. According to you, how will TPP transform Vietnam Labour’s practices?

Answer: In the TPP, Vietnam has made a critical commitment, i.e., establishment of organization representing employees at grass-root level being independent of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. Differently speaking, TPP has laid a foundation for pluralism in trade union area. If independent TUs are established in Vietnam, employees’ living standards and rights will be much more improved as their TU will be one which can speak their voice.

Notably, in the side agreement mentioned above with the United States, a separate enforcement mechanism independent of the TPP if the United States is dissatisfied with Vietnam’s implementation.

Therefore, Vietnam must amend the current TU regulations towards international labour standards, despite the fear that rights of employees may be made political, resulting in instability of the country. The schedule for Vietnam to amend its legal system to materialize its commitments is already indicated in the side agreement with the United States as follows:

Principle 1: Right of workers to freely form and joint a labour union of their choice

Principle 2: Ability of labour unions to administer their affairs with autonomy

Principle 3: Worker representation in non-unionized workplaces

Principle 4: Representability in Selection of union officials

Principle 5: Non-interference of employers in organizational activity of labour unions.

4. Do you have any advice for Vietnam regarding to law on trade union to make the best use of TPP (export to its members, especially the US)?

Answer:

In addition to my answer in Question 3 above, the Law on Trade Union must be amended:

(i) to allow workers to freely form and joint a labour union of their choice.

(ii) to protect workers from discrimination, especially in the use of trade union’s fee.

(iii) to ensure the right to go on strike of workers (remove cases where workers are not allowed to go on strike or go on strike outside their working place, etc.)

***

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

THANK YOU

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Labour requirements in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and their impact on Vietnam’s legal system

Together with the globalization process, content and coverage of free trade agreements (FTAs) have been further expanded to not only include traditional commercial matters such as reduction of tariff barriers (tariffs, quota, customs) but also include labour and environment which are not directly related to traditional trade.
Regarding labour, many recent FTAs include labour requirements as they view globalization has certain negative impacts on labour environment, especially in countries in pursuing of low production cost by maintaining low labour standards, wages and working conditions, thus resulting in unfair competition among parties in their commercial relations. This is an approach taken by many recent concluded trade agreements. The number of FTAs regulating labour matters has been increasing from 4 in 1995 to 72 up to January 2015.
Being touted as the 21st century trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes the strongest provisions on labour in history. In total 14 FTAs to which Vietnam is a party, the TPP is also its first FTA including labour provisions. If TPP is fully implemented, it will help improve on-the-ground labour conditions in its member countries by adopting binding and fully enforceable obligations to, among other, freely form unions and bargain collectively. The TPP also creates a chance for member countries, especially Vietnam, to improve living standards and work quality for its own workers. The following section assesses the current situation in Vietnam on the right of collective labour bargaining, freedom of association as well as analyses how the TPP transforms Vietnam’s labour practices.
Current collective labour bargaining and freedom of association situation in Vietnam
Collective labour bargaining
Collective bargaining means debate and negotiation between the labour collective representative and the employer to (i) formulate a harmonious, stable and progressive labour relationship; (ii) establish new working conditions to provide the basis for signing a collective labour agreement; and (iii) resolve problems and difficulties in exercise of rights and implementation of obligations of each party to the labour relationship.[1]
Periodic collective bargaining is conducted once a year and the time lapse between two collective bargaining sessions must not exceed 12 months.[2]
One result of collective bargaining process is a collective labour agreement (“CLA”), which is defined as an agreement between the labour collective and the employer on working conditions, labour usage, rights and obligations of each party in their employment relationship.[3] The agreement must be reached based on voluntary, fair and transparent basis. It must include more favourable provisions for workers than what are required in the law but not in violation of labour related documents.[4] It serves as the basic document detailing legal requirements in accordance with business nature of each enterprise and grants workers the chance to negotiate with their employer better labour terms than statutory terms. As such, a CLA is legally critical in an employment relationship to ensure lawful rights and obligations of each party.
Trade Union (TU) plays the role of representing and protecting the rights and legitimate interests of trade union members and employees; participate in negotiating, signing and supervising the implementation of CLA, wage scales and wage tables, labour norms, wage payment regulations and bonus regulations, internal labour regulations, democracy regulations in an enterprise; participates in and assists the settlement of labour disputes; holds dialogues and cooperates with an enterprise to build harmonious, stable and progressive industrial relations in an enterprise.
Given the importance of a CLA, most enterprises in Vietnam have prepared and implemented it. Content of such agreement all ensures justifiable rights and obligations for workers, some agreements even include better treatment for workers than that in laws. However, some enterprises have such document in place only to temporarily deal with pressure from the authorities and include terms contrary to or less favourable than statutory requirements. Reasons are leader of the workers as well as the workers themselves lack awareness of procedures, understanding of legal requirements and weak negotiation skills.
Freedom of association
Vietnam is not a party to Convention No. 87 of the International Labour Organization on freedom of association but has acceded to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in which mentions the right of freedom of association.
Vietnam also agreed with the United States in a TPP side agreement called consistency plan where Vietnam is required to remove its ban on independent unions and allow all independent unions the same rights as those affiliated with the government. These independent unions must also be allowed to affiliate with each other to form a broader national federation. This process is called “cross-affiliation.” This consistency plan must be passed before Vietnam may export to the United States under the terms of the TPP.
However, the current Law on Trade Union in Vietnam has not ensured the right to freely establish and join TU of the workers. For example, Article 1 of the Law on Trade Union states that “a TU is a socio-political organization of working class and labourers, […], a member in a political system of Vietnam, under the direction of Vietnam’s Communist Party, […].” As such, Vietnam has not recognized TU pluralism regime. In other words, Vietnam has not allowed workers to establish, or join a TU that they think could benefit and protect their interests during their employment. Instead, they can only join the only TU in the Vietnam’s TU system and under the direction of Vietnam’s Communist Party. Meanwhile, TU has not played its role well as an organization representing and protecting the rights and legitimate interests of trade union members and workers. We have barely seen the presence of TU in demonstrations and strikes for social insurance or payment when an enterprise is closed. Due to the lack of representability, operation of a TU is very limited. In essence, members of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour from district levels onwards are all government officials instead of workers. Therefore, an independent TU with representability and without association is what workers really need.
How TPP transforms Vietnam’s labour practices
In the TPP, Vietnam has made a critical commitment, i.e., establishment of organization representing workers at grass-root level being independent of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour. Differently speaking, the TPP has laid a foundation for TU pluralism. If independent TUs are established in Vietnam, workers’ living standards and rights will be much more improved as their TU will be one which can speak their voice.
Notably, in the side agreement mentioned above with the United States, a separate enforcement mechanism independent of the TPP will apply if the United States is dissatisfied with Vietnam’s implementation.
Therefore, Vietnam must amend the current TU regulations towards international labour standards. The principles, which are in nature the schedule for Vietnam to materialize its commitments are already indicated in the side agreement with the United States as follows:
Principle 1: Right of workers to freely form and joint a labour union of their choosing
Principle 2: Ability of labour unions to administer their affairs with autonomy
Principle 3: Worker representation in non-unionized workplaces
Principle 4: Representability in selection of union officials
Principle 5: Non-interference of employers in organizational activity of labour unions.
We are optimistic to say the TPP will definitely bring positive changes to the labour environment in Vietnam in the next five years. Again, to really grasp such benefits, Vietnam must urgently take actions to reform the current domestic system, for a better civil society.

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

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

________________________________________
[1] Article 66, Labour Code 2012.
[2] Article 3, Circular No. 29/2015/TT-BLDTBXH.
[3] Article 73.1, Labour Code 2012.
[4] Article 73.2, Labour Code 2012.

ベトナムにおける弁護士 オリバー マスマン:TPP協定の投資章に関する重要項目

環太平洋パートナーシップ協定(TPP)は「最先端」として特徴付けられ、投資障壁を取り除くことにより締結国の投資家たちにとって投資利益を高めると期待されています。2016年2月4日に正式に署名した際、ベトナムはTPPの最大の受益国だと言われており、他の国際協定と比べてTPPの効果に対し大きな期待を寄せています。
 外国人投資家はTPP投資章が彼らのベトナムにおける投資環境に直接影響すると考え最も注目しています。正式にベトナムで実施され、執行可能となるには国会の承認次第である為、TPP投資章が外国人投資家にもたらす実際の利点及び効果に関してはさておき、ここではTPP投資章の条項を簡単に確認します。TPP投資章の重要な待遇は以下の通りです。
TPP投資章
 範囲はいくつかの点において狭くなっていますが、TPP投資章は他の二国間そして多国間国際投資協定と同様の投資保護措置を提供しています。
• 内国民待遇:投資受入国は次の状況において国内の競合他社が有利になるように外国人投資家を差別してはなりません。保護の対象はその地域での設立、買収、拡大、管理、経営、運用、売却、そして譲渡に制限されています。
• 最恵国待遇:投資受入国は第三国または他の締結国の投資家に与えている待遇よりも不利な待遇を外国人投資家に与えてはなりません。内国民待遇と同様に、保護の対象は特定の状況に制限されています。
• 公正衡平待遇:投資受入国は投資環境の公正衡平待遇及び完全な安全保証を維持することが義務づけられています。
• 収用の禁止:公共目的のため、差別的ではない方法、迅速な補償、及び正当な法手続きのもとである場合を除いて収用や国有化が禁止されていることがTPP投資章で細かく制定されています。
• 投資に関連する資金移転の自由:原則的に、出資に関連する資金、資本拠出による利益、契約にもとづく支払いそして紛争から生じる支払いに関する資金を遅延なく自由に移転することが可能です。
• 投資活動に対する特定措置の履行要求の禁止:現地調達や技術移転のような、ある特定の要求は投資家による設立、買収、拡大、管理、経営、運用、売却、譲渡の際に禁止されています。
投資家と国家の国際仲裁手続き
 TPP投資章には投資家と国家の国際仲裁手続き(ISDS)規定の詳細が含まれています。ISDS規定にもとづき、他の締結国の国民である投資家は投資に関する問題が発生した際に国際仲裁を通して投資予定国に対し訴訟を起こす権利を保持します。その為、ISDSは外国人投資家にとって以下の点において強い保障措置と言われています。
• 法廷は訴訟の勝訴当事者に「弁護士費用」を裁定する権利を保持します。
• 法廷は透明性が高い手続きの証として、「聴聞の公開」及び「全ての事案の審理、申立、判断内容を公開」することが義務付けられています。
•(非政府組織のような)第三者の介入が可能となります。
• 裁定は原則的に、損害賠償及び財産の返還に制限しなければなりません。
• 裁定は国内裁判所または国際審査委員会のどちらかで確認することが可能です。
• 仲裁廷は「同様の事例や状況」の下で生じたクレームを含め、平行手続きの危険性を避ける為に異なる仲裁手続きを確立することが可能です。
 2012年のピーターソン研究所の研究によると、TPPの効果により2025年のベトナムのインカムゲインは総合的に13%以上高くなり、一方で2025年の輸出は37%以上高くなると予測されています。2018年までTPPがベトナムで施行されるとこはありませんが、TPP投資章による利点を踏まえ、透明性及び良好な投資環境への期待は確実に高まっています。
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オリバー・マスマンはドウェイン・モリス・ベトナム法律事務所のディレクターです。上記に関するご質問等はomassmann@duanemorris.comまでお気軽にご連絡ください。