Vietnam to Launch National Foreign Investment Information System

January 4, 2015

Vietnam Briefing

HANOI – Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) will officially launch a new national foreign investment information system on January 1, 2015. In addition to simplifying administrative procedures, the e-system allows enterprises to submit reports on their investment projects and apply for investment certificates online. The reforms are intended to create a comprehensive database of public information on foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam.

In accordance with Law on Investment 2014, it is compulsory for investors to submit all required documents online. Investors will be able to receive their investment certificate online, and their transactions and management systems will be monitored. People’s Committees have held training classes for enterprises across the country to promote a better understanding of the information system.

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The system is intended to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country through increasing confidence in reporting standards. Reporting mechanisms had previously involved the Ministry physically sending documents to each municipal and provincial People’s Committee requesting information every quarter.

It was reported that by the end of November, 14 of the 63 relevant committees had made mistakes in data submission, and four had submitted reports 20 days after the deadline. This has led to the MPI’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) usually announcing its annual report by February of the following year, and having to base its monthly reports on estimated figures of capital inflows.

These changes are also intended to enhance the post-licensing monitoring of foreign direct investment projects in Vietnam. Procedures in the pre-licensing period have been tightened of late, including for business plans, construction schedules, and environmental impact assessments.

Nguyen Mai, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises, has said that state authorities have not been adequately monitoring the operations of foreign companies after the issuance of investment certificates – this now appears set to change. Until December 15, 2014, there have been 1,588 new FDI investment certificates given out, with total registered investment capital of US$20.23 billion.

The national foreign investment information system will include lists of projects calling for investments at the FIA. It will be used to monitor the disbursement of foreign-invested projects, their business operations, and the commitments of investors to stated goals. Lastly, it will contain reports collected from local authorities on the delay, resumption, or end of foreign-invested projects.

Sources of the data will include departments under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Export Processing, Industrial Zones, Hi-tech Park and Economic Zones Management Authorities. It will manage licenses granted by other state authorities, including the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam.

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