The new investment law aims to improve fairness and transparency, the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Legal Department deputy director Quach Ngoc Tuan told Dau Tu (Vietnam Investment Review).
Q: The proposal in the draft Investment Law to eliminate investment certificates in many projects has been described as a progressive step in improving the business environment. Please elaborate about the proposal.
A: The elimination of investment certificates is one of the five new elements in the draft law. However, conditional investment projects, which affect national defense, security, social order and safety, ecological environment and education and training, still need investment certificates.
I hope that when the draft law is approved by the National Assembly, it will drastically change the investment environment in our country. The decision will improve the administrative procedures for investors and eliminate the duplications required by Vietnamese management agencies.
The draft law describes procedures that a project has to follow and the responsibilities of the local management agencies in supporting the investors to prepare their projects.
If the investors need to themselves find information about work done on project sites in the past, under the new law it is the responsibility of the local management agencies to provide the information to them.
Q: What are the other new components in the draft law?
A: The second component, which is also very important, is the elimination of unfair legal treatment of foreign investors on the right to establish their business and on investment activities in all economic sectors.
The third one is that except some restrictions on the percentage of capital investment and the scope of activities in line with Vietnamese laws and international treaties, foreign investors have the right to establish all forms of enterprises as regulated in the Business Law. They are allowed to contribute capital or buy shares in Vietnamese enterprises without any limitations.
The fourth one is that there will be no discrimination in investment activities between the Vietnamese and foreign investors.
And last but not least is the need for information disclosure about conditional investment projects, including factors such as areas of investment; applied conditions, application rationale and the authorised management agencies.
Q: Does the new Investment Law come with a clearer definition of "foreign investor"?
A: One of the purposes of defining the concept of foreign investors or enterprises with foreign capital investment is to apply investment conditions and procedures on the investors' enterprises. The definition will provide a legal basis for a unified application nationwide.
The draft law also covers the definition of foreign investors based on certain information, including their nationality, business registration place, ownership percentage (at least 51 percent of company's registered capital) and others.
Q: Do you think the new law will create problems for foreign investors who are already doing business in Vietnam?
A: No! What's been written in the new law reflects our existing legal documents, including the Investment Law, guiding documents on the implementation of the Law on Business, the Prime Minister's decisions No 88/2009/QD-TTg and No 55/2009/QD-TTg.
I just want to reiterate that the new regulations, basically, do not alter the investment and business conditions applying to the foreign investors. The new Investment Law ensures unity and conformity with all other relevant laws in Vietnam, including the Vietnam Securities Law and the Land Law.