12 July 2017

Vietnam announces six new business-oriented laws

This morning, the President’s Office held a press conference to announce State President Tran Dai Quang’s order to publish six laws which were adopted at the third session of the 14th National Assembly, offering more incentives for the business community.

State President Tran Dai Quang

The laws include the Law on Management of External Trade, the Law on Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises, the Law on Technology Transfer (amended), the Law on Tourism (amended), the Law on Irrigation, and the Law on Railways (amended).

Taking effect on January 1, 2018, the Law on Management of External Trade regulates measures on external trade management, development of external trade activities, and dealing with disputes in the application of external trade management measures.

This law is expected to prevent “ask-give” mechanisms and unhealthy competition among traders. Especially, it has regulations on the import-export rights of foreign traders who are not present in Vietnam, in line with the country’s commitments to the World Trade Organisation.

The Law on Supporting Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)—the first of its kind in Vietnam, is set to take effect on January 1, 2018. The law includes incentives for taxation, accounting, bank loans, land, high-tech transfers, training in product development, mobilisation of investment capital, and intellectual property consultancy.

The amended Law on Technology Transfer is another important legal document for the business community. Coming into effect on July 1, 2018, the law creates a legal foundation on financial support, loan guarantees, and preferential interest rates for investments in technical infrastructure for technology decoding and the establishment of research and development (R&D) units. The goal is to attract and encourage co-operation to develop technology innovation projects and research activities.

This law also has one article on technology transfer in agriculture, which is attracting international groups with high-tech expertise.

The amended Law on Railways is expected to create a milestone in the sector’s development. With the new law, investors in the railway industry will enjoy specified incentives on site clearance, land use fees, loans, and import duties that were missed by the Railway Law 2005.

The amended Law on Tourism, which will take effect on January 1, 2018, aims to promote tourism development, increase service quality in tourism, create favourable conditions and a healthy environment for tourism businesses, increase professionalism for tour guides, and protect legitimate rights of tourists, aiming to develop tourism into a spearhead industry.

The law focuses more on ensuring tourism service quality via the regulations on granting licences for domestic travel agencies and professionalising travel business activities by requirements on the qualifications of heads of travel agencies. The law also simplifies administrative procedures and further facilitates business activities in the industry.

The Law on Irrigation will take effect on July 1, 2018. It will create a driving force for units and individuals to join irrigation activities. The law regulates the fees and prices of irrigation products and services.

Especially, under the law, the state offers financial support for public irrigation products and services, regardless of state or private investment capital.

By Bich Thuy



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