Ministry plans change to foreign investment procedures

Investment authorities are mulling changing registration procedures to help streamline the process of and make the country more attractive to incoming foreign investors.

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“Business and investment registration procedures of foreign invested enterprises (FIE) are currently viewed as overly complicated and difficult and are likely to be a major area of change when the Enterprise Law amendments are submitted to the National Assembly’s upcoming session in late October,” said deputy head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s (MPI) Business Registration Management Department Bui Anh Tuan.

Deputy head of the MPI’s Legal Department Quach Ngoc Tuan said the current law requires incoming projects to get both business registration and investment certificates. This slows their entry into the market.

“One of the key amendments in the draft is allowing foreign investors to apply for and receive business registration certificates first, the foreign investors then execute other procedures to invest in Vietnam and be given investment certificates,” explained Tuan from the legal department.

“New businesses must pay due heed to market entry conditions while those already doing business and looking to change or expand must critically analyze the conditions required,” he added.

The proposed change was welcomed by participants of a recent Ho Chi Minh City workshop which sourced opinions on potential amendments to the Enterprise Law. It was notably lauded for recognising recent market developments such as foreign investors pooling resources and buying stakes in Vietnamese firms.

The law will allow investors to buy stakes in or accept capital transfers from Vietnamese firms before going through the investment registration process.

“The amended law will create a legal framework that welcomes foreign investors and efficiently facilitates investment management authorities, while also supporting enterprises in dealing with their problems quickly and effectively,” said registration department Tuan.

There will also be another five proposed amendments regarding the registration of new businesses, information transparency and publication, governance of dissolutions and operation termination, acquisition of and restructuring of businesses, and corporate governance.

By Hong Son

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