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Vietnam announces 84 business lines restricted for foreign investors

Vietnam has for the first time released a list of sectors which foreign investors are restricted or banned from accessing.

The list was issued along with Government Decree No 31/2021/ND-CP dated March 26, 2021.

The list specifies 25 business lines prohibited for foreign investors, including trading in goods and services subject to State monopoly; press activities and information gathering in any form; fishing; judicial administration services; temporary import for re-export activities; and tourism services, except for inbound tourism services for international visitors.

Meanwhile, there are 59 business lines where market access for foreign investors is conditional, for example the production and distribution of cultural products, including visual recordings; the production, distribution, and broadcasting of TV programmes and music, stage performances, and motion picture works; postal and telecoms services; educational services; the exploration, extraction, and processing of natural resources, minerals, and oil and gas; hydropower, offshore wind power, and nuclear energy; and gambling and the casino business, among others.

The release of the list of restricted sector was a daunting effort, as it was quite complex and time-consuming to identify business lines restricted to foreign investors in accordance with Vietnam’s international commitments, according to Tran Thi Thanh Huyen, a lawyer from NHQuang and Associates.

Investors can make a decision only if they know what they are allowed to do and under what conditions, she said.

Foreign investors are treated as domestic investors in terms of market entry conditions when investing in business lines that do not fall within either of the two lists.

The decree took effect on the date of issuance./. VNA

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