WTO membership opens gates for foreign direct investment
Vietnam's membership of the World Trade Organisation was approved in November last year, helping to open the floodgates of foreign direct investment that followed.
Under the commitments made by the country was a guarantee of fair treatment for foreign investors and that capital and assets held in Vietnam would not be expropriated or confiscated through legal or administrative measures. A guarantee was made that no foreign-invested company would be nationalised.
Foreign investors would also be allowed to remit capital, profits, loan principal and interest abroad, and expats working for businesses with foreign invested capital would be allowed to remit their income abroad.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a commitment to allow unlimited foreign shareholding in almost all domestic companies starting from January next year will follow. 'As the ongoing equitisation process of state-owned enterprises gathers pace, with several large enterprises such as Vietcombank and Mobifone hitting the market this year, we expect foreign investors to focus their attention on building strategic partnerships with these established players,' it said.