Vietnam laws

Door opens to foreign logistics firms.

Numerous foreign investors are eyeing the Vietnamese logistics service market but are facing difficulties because of unclear regulations. Chau Huy Quang, director of Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers, a law firm, noted that foreign investors were having problems when registering their investments in the logistics sector.

Vietnam, which joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) seven years ago, has fully opened its logistics market to foreign investors under its WTO commitments.

However, in July 2014, the HCM City People’s Committee released a document asking to stop licensing foreign-invested logistics firms.

Quang said in Thoi bao Kinh Te Saigon that he does not understand whether foreign logistics investors are welcomed in Vietnam.

“A Singaporean investor cannot set up a logistics firm in HCM City because of legal documents, though no ban is found in the laws,” he said.

Meanwhile, Quang said his client, a foreign invested logistics company, has just been licensed by Ba Ria – Vung Tau provincial authorities. It seems that the ban is not applied in the province.

“Eighty percent of the 1,000 Vietnamese logistics firms are very small with the chartered capital of VND1-2 billion only.

Meanwhile, the large projects capitalized at $5-7 million are not welcomed. Is Vietnam now trying to protect domestic firms?” he asked.

In reply, HCM City Vice Mayor Le Manh Ha said the city’s authorities released a document requesting appropriate agencies to halt licensing foreign invested logistics firms because it is still necessary to clarify legal issues.

“It will be very dangerous if we misunderstand the laws,” he explained, adding that the city authorities do not intend to ban foreign invested logistics in the city.

A senior official of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said the ministry has received documents from many businesses asking to clarify the regulations in the Decree No 140 which addresses the conditions logistics enterprises must have.

He said the ministry has sent a dispatch to the Prime Minister asking to clarify the regulations for investors’ consideration.

The Vietnamese logistics market is a very lucrative one for foreign investors. Dau Tu reported that many investment deals in the logistics sector were announced recently by German investors.

DHL, the German world’s leading express delivery service provider, last week announced the opening of a new air route in Asia which aims to connect the express delivery networks in Bangkok, Hanoi and Hong Kong.

Several days later, DHL decided to provide six flights a week instead of five on the Penang (Malaysia) – HCM City – Hong Kong route, which helps increase the transport capacity by 20 percent on the air route.

In September 2014, DHL announced the largest ever investment deal in Vietnam worth $10 million.

In mid-July, MBS Logistics, another well-known German logistics firm, opened its branch in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Karl Gross, which set up its representative office in Vietnam in 2008, decided to set up a subsidiary based in HCM City to expand its business in the country.

Key laws to bring new momentum
 Party and State documents also confirmed that increasing the number of lawyers and improving their quality were the responsibility not only of individual lawyers but also of the Party and the State, he said.

Dung urged the federation to focus on more training and education courses for lawyers and he agreed to give financial support to create favourable conditions for the federation’s operation and development.

Lawyer Le Thuc Anh thanked the Party, State leaders and Prime Minister for creating favourable conditions for the confederation to build its legal framework and activity orientation towards 2020.

The federation would try its best to have 30-50 lawyers qualified to attend international courts, he said.   Vietnam’s garment and textile export saw strong growth in several new markets in the first quarter of this year, with the rate as high as 134 percent in Norway and 120 percent in New Zealand, according to statistics from the General Customs Department.

Garment export to Cambodia also increased by 103 percent in the period, hitting 45.7 million USD.

The ASEAN as a whole also bought more garment and textile products from Vietnam, generating a total turnover of 111.4 million USD, up 44.4 percent.

Vietnam earned 3.7 billion USD from the export of garment and textile in the January-March period, up 18.3 percent.-

Treasury mobilises more money from Gov’t bonds

The State Treasury mobilised 6.45 trillion VND worth of Government bonds through a tender organised by the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) on April 25.

The HNX put forward Government bonds worth 7 trillion VND in total for tender on the day.

The mobilised money included 2 trillion VND in two-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 7.37 percent, 2 trillion VND in three-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 7.68 percent, 1.65 trillion VND in five-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 8.45 percent, and 800 billion USD in 10-year bonds with an interest rate of 9.1 percent.

The State Treasury has so far this year mobilised over 67.9 trillion VND worth of Government bonds via tenders, including over 15 trillion VND in April alone.

HCM City export rises in first four months

Ho Chi Minh City recorded a high export growth in the first four months of the year, it was reported at a meeting of the Municipal People’s Committee on April 24.

The city’s export value reached 9.2 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 15.6 percent, the Department of Industry and Trade said.

Another good sign was that export growth was higher than imports, which rose to 8.04 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 19.5 percent. Imports comprised mostly raw materials, equipment and facilities.

Huynh Khanh Hiep, Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade said this sign shows that the production situation of enterprises has improved.

In the first four months, revenue growth was seen in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, industry and transport sectors.

Total retail sales and service as well as tourism revenue also rose compared to the same period last years, while industrial production increased by 4 percent.