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.
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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.
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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.)

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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.

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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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〈ご注意〉こちらの記事は皆様に情報をお届けする目的でのみ作成・掲載しておりますので、法的なアドバイスとして提供・構成することを目的としておりません。詳細につきましては、当法律事務所の注意書きをご一読下さい。
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。

Lawyer in Vietnam Oliver Massmann Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF INVESTMENT CHAPTER

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been characterized as “state-of-the-art” and expected to enhance the investment benefits for the investors of the contracting parties by eliminating the investment barriers. Given the high expectation to the advantages of TPP in comparison to other international treaties, Vietnam was said to be poised as TPP’s biggest winner when officially signing the TPP on 4 February 2016.
Among the others, the foreign investors draw the most attention to TPP Investment Chapter as it directly affects and influents the investment environment in Vietnam to them. Setting aside the actual benefits and advantages that the TPP Investment Chapter will bring to the foreign investors as it will be subject to the approval of the National Assembly to be officially effective and enforceable in Vietnam, it is worth to highlight briefly the provisions of TPP Investment Chapter. Below are the notable treatments provided in the TPP Investment Chapter.
The TPP Investment Chapter
It can be seen in the TPP Investment Chapter that it provides similar investment protection measures with most bilateral and multilateral international investment agreements, although the scope is narrower at some points.
• National treatment: the host state must not discriminate against the foreign investors in favor of domestic competitors in like circumstances. The protection is limited to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation, and sale or other disposition of investments in its territory.
• Most-Favored Nation (MFN): the host state must not treat foreign investors any less favourably than it treats competitors from another contracting state or any third-party state. As similar with national treatment, the protection is limited to certain circumstances.
• Fair and equitable treatment (FET): the host state must maintain fair and equitable treatment and full protection and security of investment environment.
• Prohibition of expropriation: it is well established in the TPP Investment Chapter that expropriation or nationalization shall not be allowed, except for a public purpose; in a non-discriminatory manner; on payment of prompt; and in accordance with due process of law.
• Free transfer of funds related to an investment: in principle, the transfer of funds related to capital contribution, profits from capital contribution, payment under a contract, payments arising out of a dispute, shall be allowed to make freely and without delay into and out of the territory of the host state.
• Prohibition on “performance requirements”: certain performances are prohibited during the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation, or sale or other disposition of an investment of an investor, such as local content or technology localization requirements.
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
The TPP Investment Chapter includes detailed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions. Under the ISDS provisions, the investors who are nationals of other contracting states shall have the right to bring claims against the host state through international arbitration, in case of investment dispute. The ISDS is said as the strong safeguards to the foreign investors because:
• The tribunal has the right to award “attorney’s fees” to the prevailing party in the case;
• The tribunal shall “conduct hearings open to the public” and to “make public all notices of arbitration, pleadings, submissions and awards”, as a sign of transparency procedure;
• There is room to allow the intervention of third parties (such as non-government organizations);
• The award shall only be limited to monetary damages and restitution of property in principle;
• The award can be reviewed either by domestic courts or international review panels”;
• The arbitral tribunal is allowed to consolidate different arbitration proceedings that involve claims arising under “the same events or circumstances”, with the purpose of avoiding the risks of parallel proceedings.
In a study of Peterson Institute in 2012, it was estimated that Vietnam’s income gains in 2025 with a comprehensive TPP would be over 13 percent higher, while its exports in 2025 would be over 37 percent greater, due to the advantages of TPP. Although the TPP may not become enforceable in Vietnam until 2018, but with the benefits from the TPP Investment Chapter, the expectations of a transparent and favorable investment environment will soon become true.
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Please contact Oliver Massmann under omassmann@duanemorris.com in case you have questions on the above. Oliver Massmann is General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.

環太平洋経済協定(TPP) WTOレベルを超えた誓約 – 分析

環太平洋経済協定(TPP)の概要
TPPはもともとアジア太平洋地域の貿易自由化を促進する手段として、シンガポール、ニュージーランド、チリ、ブルネイ(P-4協定)の間で2006年に締結した環太平洋戦略経済協定として知られていました。その名の通り、本来の協定の目的は経済問題に対処するためだけでした。2008年9月に米国が参加するとその他の国々も続いて参加し、2013年7月までにオーストラリア、ペルー、ベトナム、マレーシア、カナダ、メキシコ、そして日本とP-4協定の参加国の数が増加することにより、この協定はTPP貿易大臣により「貿易・投資を自由化し、新たなそして伝統的な貿易問題や21世紀の課題に対処する包括的そして次世代地域協定」として合意されています。2015年6月に米国はオバマ大統領に対し貿易促進権限を承認しました。2015年9月にアトランタで開かれた最終交渉ラウンドがもっとも具体的な交渉だと思われ、厳しい交渉会議を重ねる中で今日協定が最終的にまとまり、TPPは2015年10月6日に締結しています。
TPP交渉の成功裡の妥結は世界のGDPの40%(およそ$28.1兆)を占め、世界貿易の3分の1($11兆)、また約8億人の消費者を占める12カ国のクラブにベトナムを追加することでした。
ベトナムはこの貿易協定の最大の受益者と言われています。ベトナムのGDPはベースラインシナリオよりさらに13.6%の増加するとみられています。世界経済フォーラムによると、ベトナムは他のTPP経済、RECP経済とRCEP-only経済と比較して2025年(すなわち28.2%)にGDPで最も重要な変化を有すると予測されています。TPP加盟国のうち2番目に高い高所得の国のマレーシアをおいて、ベトナムの実質所得は2025年までにまた10.5%増加するとみられています。

TPPはベトナムに国際協力の機会、つまり主要市場とのバランスの関係、米国、日本またカナダを含む巨大市場へのアプローチ、輸出入の後押し、輸入赤字の削減、そして外国からの投資を誘致する機会を最大限活用する為に役立つでしょう。さらに、TPPはまたベトナム経済の再編過程を活発的に支援し、規制改革及び改善、また行政改革を改善できるようにするといった機転の手助けを効果的にするでしょう。
何が次世代貿易協定のためのTPPのテンプレートを作り出しているのか‐WTOレベルを超えて何が約束されているのか?
自由貿易地域
商品に対する取引の誓約
TPPの下で商品、サービスの全ての取引に対する関税及び非関税の障壁は減少し実質的に除去されています。加盟国間での商品の取引に対する輸入税は100%減少し、この協定が施行されれば直ちに90%以上除去される予定です。TPPはまた輸出税、再製造品に対する輸入関税、修理調整品の市場介入、輸出入免許の規制強化、独占商品の輸送といったWTOで対処されていない問題をカバーしています。
TPPによる低関税障壁はベトナムに米国、日本、カナダそしてオーストラリアといった巨大消費市場への参入をよりし易くします。TPPはベトナムの輸出を2025年までに37%以上増加を後押しするような、取引上において潜在的なポジティブ効果が変革するでしょう。特に、ベトナムは8月にEUとのFTAを締結し、4大輸出先のうち3つ(つまりEU、日本そして米国)と自由貿易協定の締結を完了しました。
サービス及び投資に対する取引の誓約
全12カ国の加盟国はこの分野での貿易の自由化について同意しています。電気通信、流通、製造業などWTOと比較するとTPPではより多くの分野が開かれています。
さらに、基本的なWTOの原則(内国民待遇原則(NT)、最恵国待遇原則(MFN)、市場参入、現地拠点)を取り入れたほかに、TPPは加盟国の誓約(すなわち、不適合対策)に示されている以外、加盟国の市場は他のTPP加盟国からのサービス提供者に完全に開放しているといったネガティブアプローチもとっています。条件を明確にするために、加盟国は保全の必要性を証明し、他の加盟国と交渉しなければなりません。もし承認されれば、不適合対策は別のリストに含まれる特定のセンシティブな分野での対策を除くリストのみに制限されます。加盟国は既存の条項よりもより良い規制を導入することが許可されています(ラチェット条項)。TPPには性能除去の義務(すなわち、無条件のローカルコンテンツの要求、輸出条件、特定技術の使用、投資計画の場所など)、また上級管理職と取締役会の合理的な要件が含まれています。特に、TPPの投資章では初めて最恵国待遇原則に関して明確そして透明になり、投資が行われる国に関係なく、マルチ体制をしている国は全ての加盟国の最良投資条件を外国投資家に提供しなければなりません。投資家はまた投資登録段階から政府に対して請願することが可能です。
繊維
繊維製品はベトナムの主要交渉分野の1つです。米国からの提案によると、繊維製品の交渉は他の商品に対する市場参入の交渉とは別に行われます。TPPの特恵関税を適用する為には、繊維商品はTPP加盟国の原糸で生産されなくてはならない原糸基準原則を適用します。しかし、TPPには以下の例外も含まれ(i)TPP以外から供給される特定の材料(供給不足リスト)(ii)TPP以外で行われる特定製造段階(例えば、染め、織りなど)、そして(iii)ある国に特定の繊維製品の輸出と引き換えに別の国で非TPP材料を使用できること。
政府調達
TPPでは特定の商品とサービスの調達を特定の量で公開入札の対象でなければならない政府機関や当局のリストを作成します。この章には内国民待遇原則(NT)及び最恵国待遇原則(MFN)が含まれ、現地商品や現地サプライヤーの使用、技術移転の条件、また双方向の取引及び投資などの現地入札者に有利な入札条件を削除しています。これらの規則は全ての当事者に該当し、中国の入札者が低価格で低品質のサービスで入札に勝利している背景から、特にベトナムは入札手続きを改善し、低パフォーマンスや低容量の入札の資格を剥奪することにより彼ら自身の利益を保護する必要があります。
投資家と国との紛争解決
TPPは投資家と予定地での彼らの投資を非差別の要件を導入することにより保護することを目指しています。つまり、公正衡平待遇、完全な保護及びセキュリティー、補償また適正手続きの無い公共目的のためでない収用の禁止、投資に関係する資金の無料転送、国籍に関係なく上級管理職の任命の自由。
TPPはまた投資家と との間で紛争解決する手段として仲裁手続きを含まれています。これには既存の協定と比較しての次のような新しい条項が入っています。(仲裁手続き、提出書類及び仲裁判断の開示、裁判所に法廷助言者の提出をするための関心のある非紛争当事者の参加)
TPPと古い/既存協定の適用
全てのTPP加盟国はそれぞれが当事者であるために(例えば、WTO協定、北米自由貿易協定(NAFTA)、2カ国間協定)、または少なくても2カ国が当事者として既存の国際協定に下づき既存権利及び義務を承認する必要があります。少なくてもTPP加盟国の2カ国当事者間にTPPの条項とその他の協定の条項との間に一貫性がある場合、当事者間で相互に満足のいく解決策に到達するよう協議を行います。TPPのもとで提供される協定よりもさらに有益な商品、サービス、投資、消費者に対する協定がある場合は矛盾してとらえないようご注意ください。
TPPの遂行期日
この条約が正式に有効になる前に次のステップとして各加盟国で批准されるために、貿易大臣はこの条約の署名式を2016年2月4日にニュージーランドで開催します。TPPは施行されません。TPPは少なくても国のGDPの85%を占める6カ国が批准しない限り施行されません。ベトナム産業貿易省のブー・フイ・ホアン大臣によると、TPPは2018年に有効になる見込みです。
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The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement – Commitments above WTO Level – An Analysis

Overview on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (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.
The successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations adds Vietnam to a club of 12 nations accounting for 40% of world’s GDP (about $US28.1 trillion, $39.1 trillion), one-third of global trade ($US11 trillion) and about 800 million consumers.
Vietnam would be the largest beneficiary of this trade pact. Vietnam’s GDP would add an additional increase of 13.6% to the baseline scenario. According to the World Economic Forum, Vietnam is predicted to have the most significant change in GDP in 2025 (i.e., 28.2%) compared with other TPP economies, RECP economies and RCEP-only economies. 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.

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.

What makes the TPP the template for next generation trade agreements – What commitments are beyond the WTO Level ?
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 TPP. Import tariffs are reduced for 100% goods traded among member states, with more than 90% being eliminated immediately when the Agreement takes effect. The TPP 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 TPP will give Vietnam greater access to large consumer markets in the US, Japan, Canada and Australia. The potential positive effect on trade could be transformative, with estimates that the TPP will boost Vietnam’s exports by over 37% until 2025. Notably, Vietnam in August also concluded FTA with the EU, putting it on course to complete free trade agreements with three of its four largest export destinations – the EU, Japan and the US.
Commitments in Trade in services and Investment
All 12 member states give consent to a liberalized trade in this area. More sectors are opened in the TPP 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 TPP takes a negative approach, meaning that their markets are fully open to service suppliers from other TPP 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 TPP 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 TPP Chapter on Investment for the first time makes it very clear and transparent with regards to 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 TPP preferential tariff treatment, the TPP applies the yarn-forward principle, meaning textile products must be produced in TPP countries from yarn forward. However, the TPP includes exceptions that allow (i) certain materials to be sourced from outside TPP (“Short supply list”), (ii) certain manufacturing phases (for example, dying, weaving, etc.) to be conducted outside TPP; and (iii) one country to be able to use non-TPP materials in exchange for its export of certain textile goods to another country.
Government procurement
The TPP 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 TPP 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.
TPP 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.

Application of the TPP and older/ existing agreements
Member states of the TPP acknowledge existing rights and obligations of each member under existing international agreements to which all TPP 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 TPP and a provision of another agreement to which at least two TPP 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 TPP is not considered as an inconsistency.

Implementation deadline of the TPP
Trade ministers will meet in New Zealand on 04 February 2016 to sign this Agreement for it to be ratified in each member states as the next step before the Agreement officially takes effect. The TPP will not take effect unless at least six countries accounting for 85% of the GDP of the bloc ratify it. According to Minister of Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade Mr. Vu Huy Hoang, the TPP would promisingly take effect in 2018.

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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.

Vietnam – Energy Sector – Direct Awards of Public Procurement Projects and The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – What You Must Know

Q: Under what conditions can power projects be awarded without Government tender?

A: Power projects can be awarded directly without Government tender if the projects are not:
a. Investment projects for development using state funding by state agencies;
b. Investment projects for development of state-owned enterprises;
c. Investment projects for development other than those in a) and b) which are financed by the state; has 30% or more of total investment capital contributed by state-owned enterprises ; or less than 30% but more than VND 500 billion of the total investment capital of the project;
d. Procurement projects using state funding to provide public goods and/ or services; or
e. Investment projects in the form of public-private partnership or investment projects using land.

Q: Under which circumstances is direct appointment of an investor applied?
A: Direct appointment of an investor applies in the following cases:
a. There is only one investor registering the project’s implementation;
b. There is only one investor being able to implement the project as the project is related to intellectual property, commercial secret, technologies or capital arrangement;
c. The investor who proposes the project satisfies requirement of implementing the project with the highest feasibility and efficiency in accordance with regulations of the Government.
However, please note that direct appointment of an investor is still a part of a Government tender, meaning that this applies only when the abovementioned cases occur in the Government tender process.

Q: Under which circumstances is direct appointment of a contractor applied?
Direct appointment of a contractor applies in the following cases:
a. An event of force majeure such as disasters, war, change of the state policies, …which are objective, unpredictable and cannot be solved despite using all necessary measures within one’s own capacity. Vietnam is likely to face energy crisis in the coming years due to significant growth in energy demand. Thus, this is a good chance and foreign energy investors and companies should be prepared.
b. Bid packages need to be performed to ensure national secrets. National secrets are information in politics, national defence, security, foreign affairs, economics, science, technology sectors and other sectors that has not been disclosed or will not be disclosed by the state, and if disclosed, it will cause damage to the country.
c. Urgent bid packages need to be carried out to protect national sovereignty, national borders, and islands;
d. Bid packages of providing advisory services, non-advisory services, procurement of goods which must be purchased from previous contractors to ensure the compatibility of technologies and copyright which are unable to be purchased from other contractors; bid packages with research and testing nature; purchase of intellectual property right;
e. Bid packages of providing advisory services for making feasible study reports, construction designs which have been appointed to authors of designs of architectural works who won in a selection or are selected when authors have full capability in accordance with regulations; bid packages of constructing statues, reliefs, monumental paintings, art works in association with author right from the creation stage to construction stage of the works;
f. Bid packages of relocating technical infrastructure works directly managed by a specialized unit for site clearance;
g. Bid packages of providing public goods and services, bid packages with bid package price ranging from VND 500 million to VND 1 billion depending on types of projects.

Q: How is government procurement addressed under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”) ?
A: The TPP on Government Procurement mainly deals with the requirement to open up bidding to companies in other nations when a government buys products or orders a public works project worth over a certain amount. Governments undertake to timely publish information on tender, allow sufficient time for bidders to prepare for and submit bids, maintain confidentiality of tenders. The TPP also requires its Parties assess bids based on fair and objective principles, evaluate and award bids only based on criteria set out in notices and tender documentation, create an effective regime for complaints and settling disputes, 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.

Q: How to appeal Government tender decision?
A: The TPP 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.
TPP also includes procedures for arbitration as means of settling disputes between investors and the host state. It is expected to cover new provisions 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.

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If you would like to have a legal concept for direct awards or detailed guidance on this topic please contact Oliver Massmann under: omassmann@duanemorris.com. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam LLC.