VIETNAM: Overseas Investment Restrictions List Released
04 May 2021
A list of business sectors where overseas investment is either prohibited or restricted has been issued by the government. The measures also feature guidelines related to the implementation of both this negative list and the Investment Law (2020), which came into effect as of 1 January this year.
For its part, the restricted list is divided into two – sectors that are closed to overseas investors (The Prohibition List) and sectors where overseas investment is subject to certain conditions (The Market Entry List). Among the 25 business activities to feature on The Prohibition List are the trading of goods and services subject to a state monopoly; security and investigation services; fishing; media activities and information gathering; and judicial administration services. Other off-limits sectors include overseas-contracted employment agency services; the manufacture and trading of weapons, explosives and ancillary equipment; the import and dismantling of used seagoing vessels; goods transshipment; temporary importing for re-exporting; and tourism services (other than those related to international tourists visiting Vietnam).
The Market Entry List, meanwhile, designates 59 business sectors as only suitable for overseas investment if certain specified conditions are met. The sectors that fall within this proviso include insurance, banking, securities brokerage and related services; the transport of goods and passengers; and betting/casino businesses. Also subject to the same stipulation are real estate; veterinary and legal services; auditing, accounting and bookkeeping services; e-commerce; ship building and repair; and the sale and purchase of goods and activities directly related to the trading activities of overseas services providers in the country. Hydropower, offshore wind power and nuclear energy; the production of construction materials; educational services; commodity exchange operations; aircraft manufacturing; commercial arbitration services; and sea and air transport services also fall into this conditional category.
Full details of the new arrangements can be found in Decree 31/2021/ND-CP, which came into effect as of 26 March this year.
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