Investors Missing Out on Benefits of Vietnam’s Free Trade Agreements

By Vietnam Briefing

Posted: 20th August 2015 10:39

HCMC – Vietnam has a range of free trade agreements (FTA) in place, and even more currently in the negotiation phase. However, many investors are still unaware of the potential benefits of these trade deals for their businesses. In fact, many investors are unaware that Vietnam even has an applicable FTA that could be of use to them.
Over the past few years, Vietnam has been quite active in signing bilateral trade agreements with countries throughout the world. Additionally, due to its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam has become a party to a number of FTAs that the regional trade bloc has signed.

Wading one’s way through the legalese that many of these FTAs use to spell out their rules and regulations can often be headache inducing. This frequently is one of the most cited reasons why businesses fail to take advantage of the benefits available to them. Therefore, it is strongly suggested that businesses and investors consult with a legal and tax professionalwith strong experience in the region. This will allow a business to have a reliable, and clear, source of information on this complex topic.

Key free trade agreements that Vietnam has already signed and which are in effect include the following:

Chile-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: Japan-Vietnam Economic Partnership Agreement: Vietnam-Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan Free Trade Agreement: Republic of Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: ASEAN Free Trade Area:
Inclusion List (IL) for Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, have been reduced to the 0-5 percent tariff range. ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement: ASEAN-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement: ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership: ASEAN-People’s Republic of China Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement: ASEAN-Republic of Korea Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement:
Vietnam has also recently reached an agreement in principle on an FTAwith the European Union (EU). The deal, which is expected to be finalized before the end of this year, will eliminate tariffs on over 99 percent of all items, among other benefits.

Additionally, Vietnam is currently in negotiations on a number of other trade agreements, these include:
Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):  
Since its establishment in 1992, Dezan Shira & Associates has been guiding foreign clients through Asia’s complex regulatory environment and assisting them with all aspects of legal, accounting, tax, internal control, HR, payroll and audit matters. As a full-service consultancy with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India and emerging ASEAN, we are your reliable partner for business expansion in this region and beyond.

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