New policy highlights in 2017

VGP � A series of remarkable polices on trade reconciliation, minimum wage level, corporate governance for public companies, duty-free goods business, pilot casino business activities for Vietnamese residents and limits on horse, dog racing, international football betting took effect in 2017.

Trade reconciliation

Decree No. 22/2017/ND stipulating the scope, principles, sequence and procedures for resolving disputes through trade reconciliation came into effect since April 15.

The settlement of disputes via trade reconciliation must ensure the principle of voluntarism and equality in terms of rights and duties between parties to the disputes who participate in reconciliation activities. Information relating to the reconciliation case must be kept secret, except in the case of a written agreement between parties or other regulations of the law.

The contents of the reconciliation agreement shall NOT violate the law, go against social norms, seek to evade obligations and infringe the rights of the third party.

A dispute could be handled through trade reconciliation if relevant parties have a reconciliation agreement. Parties can choose to resolve the dispute via trade reconciliation before, after the dispute occurrence or at any time of the dispute settlement process.

Minimum wage level

Decree No. 47/2017/ND-CP dated April 3, 2017 on statutory pay rate for public officials, public employees and armed forced personnel took effect since July 1, 2017.

Under the Decree, the minimum wage shall be increase to VND1,300,000 per month from the current VND1,210,000.

Fees for using land, renting land, renting water surface

The Government on April 3 promulgated Decree No. 35/2017/ND-CP on collection of fees for land use, land rental, water surface rental in economic zones and hi-tech zones.

The Decree also specifies cases for levy exemption and reduction.

Corporate governance for public companies

The Government's Decree 71/2017/ND-CP , which was designed to help improve the transparency of the country's business environment, came into effect since August 1.

The Decree stipulates that chairman of a public company shall not allow to hold concurrently the position of general director.

Duty-free goods business

The Government promulgated Decree No. 167/2016/ND-CP dated on December 27, 2016 on duty-free business took effect since February 15, 2017.

The Decree stipulates locations, time, and conditions for passengers to purchase duty-free goods at international airports as well as conditions for enterprises to carry out duty-free goods business.

Pilot casino business activities for Vietnamese residents

Decree 03/2017/ND-CP, dated January 16, 2017, was designed to provide a legal framework of casino business activities, took effect since March 15, 2017.

Under the Decree, a casino is a conditional business, and can only be conducted as an ancillary business in association with the main business (e.g. regarding tourism, hotel, resort or a complex entertainment activity).

A casino company shall have to apply for two main licenses, including investment registration certificate and satisfaction certificate (satisfaction of conditions applicable to casino business activities).

Limits on horse, dog racing, int'l football betting

Decree 06/2017/ND-CP dated January 24, 2017 on horse, dog racing and international football betting came into force since March 31, 2017.

Accordingly, Vietnamese and foreigners aged full 21 years or older shall be allowed to bet on horse races, dog races or international football matches.

Each gambler can place a wager with an authorized betting firm between VND 10,000 and VND 1,000,000 for each betting product per day.

Re-lending ratio of ODA, preferential loans to local authorities

The Government promulgated Decree No. 52/2017/ND-CP on re-lending of Government's ODA preferential loans to the provincial People's Committees.

The Decree aims to enhance the responsibility of local authorities in using ODA and preferential loans in an effective way while reducing the financial burden of the State.

New regulations on wine businesses

Decree 105/2017/ND-CP dated September 14, 2017, which took effect since November 1, 2017,regulates wine business including wine production, import, distribution, wholesale, retail sale.

Wine business is listed among conditional business lines.

Source: Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam