The Law on Enterprise and Law on Investment that took effect in 2015 introduced refreshing changes to Vietnam's investment and business landscape. Designed to stimulate and better facilitate foreign investments in the country, the two new laws have since given rise to several implementing regulations that expound on important subjects such as foreign ownership up to 100% in listed companies, private public partnerships, trade, and representative offices. A new Civil Code also took effect in 2017 with provisions that promote the principles of freedom of contract and individual business autonomy.

Influenced by the same momentum of reform, the growing sectors of technology and electronic commerce in Vietnam saw a new Law on Technology Transfer in 2018 as well as considerable legislative efforts to improve cyber security and privacy. The years following 2015 also bore witness to important courtroom reforms in Vietnam. Notably, a new Civil Procedure Code and Penal Procedure Code took effect in 2016 and 2018 respectively, marking the Government's continuing effort to improve courtroom transparency and enforce adversarial principles.

On the international arena, Vietnam has concluded negotiations of free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association, the European Union, and Israel. It has also signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is awaiting ratification.

In view of these reforms and developments, this Guide answers some of the most common questions which potential investors in Vietnam might have.

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Originally published January 2020

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