Photo: Duc Anh
Lawyer from GM Vietnam points out law's shortcomings at VCCI seminar.
A lawyer for a foreign auto maker in Vietnam has called for the repeal of the current Law on Investment due to its complexity hindering business activities.
Mr. Ngo Viet Hoa, lawyer at the US’s General Motors Vietnam (GM Vietnam), said that the Law on Investment 2005 is “too complicated” and has opaque regulations for business activities in Vietnam.
The law should only be applied to foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) but now also regulates domestic enterprises, Mr. Hoa told a seminar on amending laws on investment and businesses held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on July 22.
It stipulates certain incentives for investors that he believes are inappropriate. “In reality there are no incentives for investors, only for the company established by the investor,” he said.
Most articles on conditional business fields in the Law on Investment should be moved to the Law on Enterprises. “If this was done there would be nothing important in the Law on Investment,” said Mr. Hoa.
The Law on Investment, he went on, has created overlaps in licensing, business registration, and the issuing of investment certificate, which should be combined into one process only, according to Mr. Hoa.
“I am aware that the repeal of the Law on Investment would be quite difficult,” he told the seminar. “But if it could be done and its important content moved to the Law on Enterprises it would be great.”
Sharing the same view, Deputy Chairman of the Office of the Government Le Manh Ha said that he “personally did not support the launch of the Law on Investment at the time.”
Mr. Nguyen Tien Vy from the Vietnam Beer Alcohol Beverage Association (VBA) told the seminar that there are overlaps between the Law on Investment and the Trade Law 2005 on classifying conditional business fields, particularly for beer.
“The Law on Investment, during its draft stage, was said to be removing beer from the list of conditional business fields, but it remains a conditional business sector regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade,” Mr. Vy said.
“Since Vietnam has the Law on Food Safety, which regulates all kinds of food, including beer, it should be removed,” he insisted.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong, the ministry that compiled the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprises, said he would collect all comments for review and submission to higher levels for consideration.
Mr. Vu Tien Loc, VCCI Chairman, acknowledged there are at least 50 laws with 150 articles in need of adjustment or removal in the view of the corporate community.
“It is necessary to review all inappropriate rules and regulations that are contrary to both the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprises so as to create a more favorable business environment,” said Mr. Ha from the Office of the Government.