Database

Browse Database
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2007

Chapter Competition policy  |  Sub-chapter Competition
Partial deregulation
The telecommunication market is only partially deregulated since 2007. This is an ongoing process and not yet finalised.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM


Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Copyright inadequately enforced
While there are laws in place for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations, Vietnam has yet to draft the implementing guidelines to the 2009 amendments to the 1999 Criminal Code, which would allow law enforcement agencies and courts to levy deterrent criminal penalties against IPR violators.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2005

Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Copyright
Intellectual Property Law 50/2005
There are no explicit copyright exceptions like fair use/fair dealing clause. Only temporary copying exists as an exception to copyright infringement.

Nevertheless, Article 25 from the Intellectual Property Law sets out the case of use of published works where permission and payment of royalties and/or remunerations are not required. It requires that the user must indicate the authors' names, sources and origins of the works and should not affect the normal utilization of such works.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2005

Chapter Intellectual Property Rights  |  Sub-chapter Patents
Intellectual Property Law 50/2005
Patent applications by non-Vietnamese residents must be filed via recognised Vietnamese patent agents.
Coverage Horizontal
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2013

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Decree No. 181/2013/ND-CP on Cross-Border Supply of Advertising Services
Decree 181 requires foreign websites to work through local agents in order to place advertisements on-line for Vietnamese advertisers.
Coverage Online advertisement
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since July 2013

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP of July 15, 2013, on the Management, Provision and Use of Internet Services and Online Information
Vietnam has licensing/registration requirements in place for online social networks, general information websites, mobile telcoms network-based services and certain online games services. These contemplate that companies must be established in Vietnam in order to fulfil the licensing and registration requirements. As a result, it is unclear whether an offshore entity must create an entity in Vietnam before providing social network services or general information to users in Vietnam.
Coverage Providers of online social networks, general information websites, mobile telcoms network-based services and certain online games services
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2013

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Other restrictive practices related to foreign investment
Art. 18 (3)(b) of the Law on Telecommunications

Law on Investment

Law on Enterprises
In addition to the basic licenses required by telecommunications legislation, foreign investors who intend to provide telecommunications networks and services must first obtain an investment certificate issued by the licensing authorities.

If the project is not covered by a plan approved by the Prime Minister, the licensing authority must seek opinions on the project from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Information and Communications and any other relevant organization.

They must then request that the Prime Minister renders a decision on the investment policy, adjust the national plan or open the investment market further to foreign investment.

The Law on Investment, the Law on Enterprises (November 2005) and their implementing regulations provide rules and criteria for any foreign invested enterprise to receive an investment certificate.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Sources
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since April 2011

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Screening of investment and acquisitions
Arts. 23 (1) (e) and 23 (2) (d) of the Decree No.25/2011/ND-CP
Foreign investors are required to show net economic benefits. The application documents for licence in the telecom sector must include a business plan for the first five years from the date of licensing and include the following contents:
- market analysis and forecast,
- business scheme,
- revenue,
- total expenditure for investment,
- expenditure for each year;
- the form of investment, scheme to raise capital, etc.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2008

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on board of directors and managers
Nationality requirement
At least three of the managers, executives and specialists, but no more than 80% of them, may be foreigners.
Coverage Horizontal
Source
  • World Bank
    Services Trade Restrictions Index (STRI): http://iresearch.worldbank.org/servicetrade/default.htm#
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since December 2008

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Arts. 8 (2) (b) and 9 of the Decree 121/2008/ND-CP

Decree No.25/2011/ND-CP
According to article 8 and 9 of the Decree 121/2008/ND-CP, a condition to entry in the telecom market (with or without network) in Vietnam is to form a joint venture. Art. 4 of Decree 25/2011ND-CP regulates the procedure. For the case of telecom services without network, the requirement was supposed to be valid only within the first three years after Vietnam's accession to the WTO.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Sources
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

SInce November 2009

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Art. 17 of the Law on Telecommunications
The State holds dominant shares (51%) in telecommunication service providers with network infrastructure which are particularly important to the operation of the entire national telecommunications infrastructure. Therefore, foreign investors can only own 49% of shares in government controlled firms.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Establishment restrictions

VIETNAM

Since December 2008

Chapter Investment  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions on ownership
Decree 121/2008/ND-CP
Decree 121/2008/ND-CP establishes caps on foreign equity. According to the WTO Trade Policy Review on Vietnam, the equity caps applicable to foreign investment in both fixed and mobile communications as well as virtual private networks are set at 49% in facilities-based services (i.e. infrastructure) and 70% (since 2010) only if they have passed the initial three-year investing period in Vietnam in non-facilities-based services (i.e. telephony services with no network infrastructure).

Additionally, for mobile telecommunication services, the following limitation applies: if an enterprise or individual owns more than 20% of the charter capital or shares in a telecommunications enterprise, it is not allowed to own concurrently more than 20% of the charter capital or shares in another enterprise in the same telecommunications market.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Sources
  • http://english.mic.gov.vn/vbqppl/Lists/Vn%20bn%20QPPL/DispForm.aspx?ID=6151
  • WTO, Vietnam Trade Policy Review, 13 August, 2013, p. 139: https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/s287_e.pdf
  • Circular 10/2012/TT-BTTTT: http://english.mic.gov.vn/vbqppl/Lists/Vn%20bn%20QPPL/DispForm.aspx?ID=6338
  • No limitations on foreign equity/ ownership in the manufacturing of electronic goods: http://www.legal500.com/assets/images/stories/firmdevs/lct.pdf
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

Since 2012

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
Vietnam is currently only an observer to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement.
Coverage All sectors
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

Since April 2010
Since July 2014

Chapter Public Procurement  |  Sub-chapter Preferential purchase schemes covering digital products and services
Directive No. 494/CT-TTg

Law No. 43/2013/QH13 on Tendering (Law 43)
The local preference directive for government procurement (Directive No. 494/CT-TTg) restricts bidding by foreign firms on government-issued procurement tenders to those cases where domestic bidders cannot provide the necessary services or supplies.

Vietnam’s Law No. 43/2013/QH13 on Tendering (Law 43) came into force in July 2014 and continues to give preferences to domestic suppliers of goods and services as well as domestically made goods. Accordingly, foreign suppliers/contractors are only selected when domestic companies cannot provide goods/services or when financing agreements between the government of Vietnam and donors require international biddings.

Some concessions have been offered within the recent EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Coverage Horizontal
Sources
Fiscal Restrictions

VIETNAM

ITA signatory? I II

Chapter Tariffs and Trade Defence  |  Sub-chapter Applied tariffs on digital goods
Average MFN rate
4.11%
Weighted average MFN rate
2.12%
Maximum tariff rate
35.00%
Coverage rate of zero-tariffs
59.75%

Coverage: Digital goods
Sources