EN - ICHAM Newsletter n.4 2017

Page 1

N1/2017 APRIL


Italian Trade Promotion Project in emerging markets 2016 – 2017 (P.6)

MoU between ICHAM and General Department of Vietnam Customs (P.15)


Made in Italy” Hanoi (P.4)

Vietnam: Transition from Paper Invoices to E-invoices (P.25)

“Lifestyle Made in Italy� in Hanoi (P.4) ICHAM members met Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto (P.14) ICHAM Christmas party in HCMC and Hanoi(P.16)


Market info


“Lifestyle Made in Italy� in Hanoi

21 Growing Food & Beverage


Italian Trade Promotion Project in emerging markets 2016 - 2017



CASA 2017 Singapore: Bring Italian Design & Lifestyle closer to Asian market HOST 2017: where business and innovation meet

11 ICHAM participated in 26th World Convention of Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad in Turin 13 ICHAM's Executive Director at Japan and Asean Business Forum in Vicenza 14 ICHAM members met Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto 16 ICHAM Christmas party in HCMC and Hanoi

Sector in Vietnam 25 Vietnam: Transition from Paper Invoices to E-invoices 27 Vietnamese Labor Contracts: What You Need to Know


“Lifestyle Made in Italy” Hanoi


ith the aim of promoting Italian furniture & building materials in Asia in general and in Vietnam in particular, on 12th and 13th October the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam organized the event “Lifestyle Made in Italy” at Hotel de l’Opera, Hanoi. On two consecutive working days, 8 Italian companies had B2B meetings with about 45

potential partners from Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India and the UAE. The event also welcomed the presence of the Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni and the Head of Commercial Department of the Italian Embassy Natalia Sanginiti. Responding to the media, ICHAM President Michele D'Ercole said that Vietnam is considered a key gateway to Asian markets for


ICHAM President Michele D'Ercole and H.E. Ambassador of Italy in Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni

Italian investment thanks to its strategic geographic location which facilitates the connection with other countries in the region. In addition, Vietnam has signed several important free trade agreements (FTA), including the FTA with South Korea and the one with Japan, ASEAN Free trade Area (AFTA), and especially the EVFTA which is expected to take effect in 2018. As a result, it will be easier for Italian products to get access to Vietnamese market and other countries in the continent. From a business perspective, although Vietnam is seen as an emerging market, it still remains a difficult task to introduce Italian products in Vietnam. Therefore it is necessary to

strengthen the promotion of “Made in Italy” products in order to make them more familiar to Vietnamese market. The event received quite positive feedback from the Italian companies, which also showed their interest in the opportunties in investing in Vietnam. After this event, ICHAM will continue its mission in promoting “Made in Italy” by realizing other events and projects in the future. Given the success of the first edition of “Lifestyle Made in Italy”, the second edition is expected to be organized in July 2018.


Italian Trade Promotion Project in emerging markets 2016 — 2017


ietnam and the Asia-Pacific region are becoming strategic markets for Italian exports. In order to internationalize Italian businesses and promote Italian brands in these emerging markets, the Lombardy region (Regione Lombardia) in collaboration with Promos (the Special Agency of the Milan Chamber of Commerce for the promotion of international activities) and the Lombardy Chambers of Commerce Union (Unioncamere Lombardia) launched the “Italian Trade Promotion Project

in emerging markets 2016 – 2017”. Within the framework of this project, the B2B event “Percorsi di accompagnamento in mercati strategici 2016 – 2017” was held on 17th-18th October at Sheraton Saigon Hotel with the support from the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) and the Italian Trade Commission (ICE). The event was attended by 11 Italian companies operating in interior design and furniture manufacturing, decorative paints and zootechnics accessories: Adicolor, Caribul,


Citterio F.LLI, ELPA, F.LLI Allievi, Fratelli Radice, F.LLI SNC, Marchingenio, Milano Bedding, Taramelli SRL and WTS Group. On two consecutive working days, Italian companies were arranged to have B2B meetings with potential business partners from Vietnam, explore market trends and exchange their experiences with renowned universities in Vietnam in those fields. Located in northern Italy, surrounded by Switzerland and other Italian regions such as Emilia-Romagna, Trentino-Alto Adige, Veneto and Piedmont, Lombardy is the most populous and most prosperous region in Italy, with GDP per capita about 35% higher than the European average. Lombardy represents one fifth of Italy's GDP and is also the leading region in the national economy (as measured by total production and exports), according to OECD. There are currently over 800,000 businesses active in Lombardy, distributed in 16 industrial districts (local production systems characterized by a significant concentration of specialized manufacturing companies) and 5 "metadistricts" (advanced production areas closely linked to the spheres of research and innovation), according to the official website of the Lombardy region. More and more Italian businesses and investors have expressed their interest in Vietnam in recent years. There have been many positive signs in the area of trade and investment between the two countries: bilateral trade has seen remarkable achievements and sustainable development (a tenfold increase in 10 years), hitting $ 4.6

billion in 2016; investment from Italy to Vietnam reached $ 360 million in 2016 with 78 projects implemented. Italy is currently Vietnam’s 3rd largest trade partner in the EU (according to statistics of 2015). Major Italian exports to Vietnam include machinery, leather products and electronics. This relationship has opportunities to go even further, especially as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is expected to come into effect in 2018. Through the project, many Italian companies have found their potential partners and new business opportunities in Vietnamese market. This would just be the first step to promote the trade and investment of Italy in Vietnam in particular and in Asia in general.


ICHAM BRINGS VIETNAMESE BUYERS TO JOIN HOST & CASA 2017 CASA 2017 Singapore: Bring Italian Design & Lifestyle closer to Asian market


n 26th and 27th October, two Vietnamese companies were accompanied by ICHAM staff to join “CASA 2017”, taking place at National Design Center in Singapore. This is a project of The Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (ICCS) for interior design sector, hosting 13 Italian exhibitors and various international Buyers (South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Hongkong). Two Vietnamese companies taking part in the event were Cao Dong Design and Casamia Interior. The participants had 2 consecutive working days with B2B meetings. In addition, some mini-seminars were included in the program with the purpose of introducing new interior trends and potential business opportunities. At the end of each working day, the companies from both sides could join a cocktail event to relax, network and get more contacts. In general, Vietnamese Buyers all found for themselves a potential partner after the event.

"Casa 2017” is one of the projects implemented by ICCS to promote “Made in Italy” in Asian market. ICHAM and ICCS share a close partnership and have been collaborating in different projects in these recent years.


(Photo). October 24, 2017. From: http://host.fieramilano.it

HOST 2017: where business and innovation meet


rom 20 to 24 October, a delegation of Vietnamese companies operating in trading of equipment for hospitality sector was led by ICHAM to participate in HOST 2017, within the framework of the project Hosted Buyer funded by Fiera Milano. The Vietnamese Buyer group consisted of 8 companies: Bach Hop International Corporation, Dan & Dan Co., LTD, An Phu Tan Co. Ltd, Vinh Phu Thinh Company, Food & Beverage solution company limited, BG Supply JSC, Hong Hung Trade Import Export JSC and Vinaparts. This is the third consecutive year in which Icham collaborated with Fiera Milano in this project. In four working days at the fair, Vietnamese and international Buyers visited and had B2B

meetings with more than 2000 exhibitors. It was such a unique opportunity for enterprises to approach the most innovative technology, look for potential partner and new business contacts in new markets. In addition, Buyers were allowed to explore profiles and book meetings with interested exhibitors through MyMatching platform before and during the fair. The organizer also reserved a Buyer Lounge where there were offices to assist Buyers for any urgent requests and offered them an area to relax and network after the meetings. There were more than 1500 Buyers from all over the world to join Hosted Buyer, whose representatives are CEO or decision maker. The feedback from Buyers, including


The delegation of Vietnamese companies at HOST 2017

Vietnamese ones, was very positive and most of them had found potential partners for themselves. HOST is the leading international hospitality exhibition of Equipment, Coffee and Food, organized every two years by Fiera Milano at RHO FIERA exhibition center, situated in the outskirt of Milan, Italy. HOST 2017 welcomed in total 187.602 professional visitors (38.8% international from 177 nations). In addition to

the display booths, more than 500 events were held in the context of the fair, including the FIPGC World Cup for Pastry, Ice-cream and Chocolate, hosted by Italian Federation of Pastry, Ice-cream and Chocolate. The next edition of HOST will take place from 18th to 22nd October 2019. For more information, please visit its website: http://host.fieramilano.it/

(Photo). From: http://host.fieramilano.it

9 11

ICHAM participated in the 26th World Convention of Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad in Turin


rom 04th to 07th November, ICHAM’s Chairman Michele D’Ercole and Executive Director Hoang Hai Pham participated in the 26th World Convention of Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad (abreviated as ICCE). The event took place in Turin, organized by The Turin Chamber of Commerce and Assocamerestero, in collaboration with UnionCamere. The agenda was divided into two internal working days and two days open for public. On 4th and 5th November, the representatives had private meetings to discuss the role and development tendency for Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad in the upcoming year. The mutual goal is to support at most for Italian enterprises in their internationalization and approaching new markets through ICCE’s network. On 6th November, a plenary session was held, in which topics such as the reconfiguration in Italy, new business services and opportunities were brought up to the table. The last working day, as usual, was dedicated to B2B meetings between Italian companies from Piedmont and


ICHAM's representatives had B2B meetings with Italian companies

representatives of ICCEs. A good opportunity for Italian companies to have more information about new markets and their business potential, to be directly advised by representatives of the Italian Chamber of Commerce located at the country. There were almost 500 companies to join the session. Moreover, the Convention also welcomed the participation of international Buyers from Japan, China, UAE and Turkey from various

fields coming to find potential Italian partners. The 26th World Convention in Turin hosted 180 representatives of ICCEs from 54 nations, with a network of 18 thousand members and 300 thousand contacts worldwide. In 2018, ICCEs will make more effort to assist Italian companies in their integration in the global market and promote further “Made in Italy�.


ICHAM Executive Director at Japan & Asean Business Forum Vicenza


CHAM's Executive Director Hoang Hai Pham was one of the speakers at "Japan & ASEAN Business Forum", organized on 8th November 2017 by Made in Vicenza - the Vicenza Chamber of Commerce Promotional Bureau, in collaboration with the Italian Chambers of Commerce from Vietnam (ICHAM), from Singapore (ICCS) and from Japan (ICCJ). It is a part of the project A.S.I.A of Veneto Region to promote the internationalization of Italian companies. Other speakers of the event were Executive Director of ICCS Giacomo Marabisio and Executive Director of ICCJ Davide Fantoni.

Asia is currently seen as an emerging and interesting destination for Italy. The morning session of the Business Forum focused on the analysis of each market, in which each speaker gave a presentation about the country's economy and business opportunities for Italian

companies of Vicenza. In the afternoon, a B2B meetings session was held between the speakers and participants interested in having more information about these markets.

Founded in 1989, Made in Vicenza assists companies from Vicenza in the international process. Working in close synergy with different Associations, Credit Institutions and all those dealing with the internationalization in Vicenza Province, this structure is at the service of entrepreneurs and of all member companies of the Chamber of Commerce of Vicenza, as well as to the entire territorial economic system.


ICHAM members met Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto


the morning of 29th November 2017, Icham members in particular and Italian business community in general had a meeting with Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto at Park Hyatt Saigon. The event took place within the framework of the state visit to Vietnam of the business delegation led by Mr. Scalfarotto, which was jointly organized by the Italian Federation of Industries Confindustria, the Italian trade commission (ICE), Italian Banking Association (ABI) and Unioncamere. At the meeting, ICHAM’s Chairman Michele D’Ercole briefly presented to the Deputy

Minister and the delegates the activities of ICHAM and ICHAM’s members. Mr Scalfarotto expressed his satisfaction with the growth of Italian business community in Vietnam and highly appreciated the role of business associations, economic & diplomatic institutions in strengthening Italy-Vietnam trade link. Additionally, he emphasized the potential of Vietnamese market for Italian key industries such as energy, mechanism and infrastructure and encouraged Italian enterprises to keep looking for business opportunities and investing in this emerging market.


Visiting Vietnam this time, Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto led a delegation consisted of representatives from Confindustria, ICE, ABI and Unioncamere along with 50 Italian companies of different fields. The delegation had 3 working days (27-29/11) in Hanoi and HCMC, in which the delegates had direct meetings with municipal governments, business communities and especially B2B meetings to connect Italian companies in the delegation with Vietnamese potential partners.

MoU between ICHAM and General Department of Vietnam Customs On the occasion of the Deputy Minister’s visit, ICHAM’s Chairman Michele D’Ercole and Deputy General Director of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Cong Binh signed a MoU on antismuggling & anti-trade frauds on 28th November 2017. This represents a huge contribution to the success of strategic cooperation between Italy & Vietnam, boosting the bilateral commercial relations and the fight against smuggling and trade frauds.

ICHAM President Michele D'Ercole and Deputy General Director of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Cong Binh signed the MoU



event was open not only to ICHAM’s members he year 2017 is about to end and

but also to Italian community living and

the annual Christmas Party is

working in the city. ICHAM Christmas Party in

always a good occasion for ICHAM to thank its

Hanoi brought a traditional Italian Christmas

members and partners for their contribution to

atmosphere to the guests with its peculiar

the Chamber during the year. ICHAM Christmas

decoration, music, Tombola for kids and

Party 2017 was held in HCMC on 5th December

interesting Lucky Draws prizes. Following the

at Riverie Saigon, and in Hanoi on 8th at Casa

welcome speech of Italian Ambassador to

Italia, the house of Italian culture and brands.

Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni and ICHAM’s Chairman

The Christmas Party in HCMC, as usual, was dedicated exclusively to ICHAM’s members and partners, with the participation of around 60 guests. The Head of the Consulate general of Italy in HCMC Roberto Cajati was present at the event and delivered a short welcome speech, in which he highlighted the importance of ICHAM’s members’ contribution to the growth

Michele D’Ercole, a special farewell address was dedicated






Department of the Embassy, Natalia Sanginiti, whose mandate is going to end at the end of this year, for all of her work and contribution during her stay in Vietnam. At the event in Hanoi, all participants also had a chance to do networking and join the Lucky Draws.

of Italian business community in HCMC. Icham’s

On this occasion, ICHAM would like to express

Chairman Michele D’Ercole also made a brief

its sincere thank to all sponsors: Turkish

presentation about ICHAM’s activities in 2017.

Airlines, GIVI, Maserati, Piaggio Vietnam,

He expressed his joy toward the constant

Xuan An Style (Kiton; Godiva), SIR TAILOR,

growth of the Chamber as ICHAM has reached

Liquid Gold Asia, Red Apron, Da Loc wines,

76 members this year, which is a record

Park Hyatt Saigon, WMC group, Wyndham

number since its foundation. After that, the


party continued with the serving of exquisite


Italian buffet to the guests, networking and


ended with the tradition Lucky Draws.

Barbaard, Gelato Italia and The Loop.

The Christmas Party in Hanoi was held by the Chamber along with the Embassy of Italy. The



Redwood Divella




Namo Agnesi;




(10% discount on each ticket for ICHAM's members)

Dear Members & Friends, We are pleased to inform you of the following upcoming events co-hosted or supported by ICHAM.

2nd Annual Transport Infrastructure 21st-22nd May 2018, Park Hyatt Saigon Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2nd Annual Transport Infrastructure conference provides a platform for Transport/Infrastructure developers, to understand business opportunity throughout Asia Pacific Region, to access and analyze the market trends in the Transport & Infrastructure Industry across the globe, to comprehend functions, included to tackle the diversifying market. This summit is a hub of discussion for investment in transport development, engaging the Governing bodies, Infrastructure developers, Architects and Interior designing firms to collaborate and implement the foundation for growth and development. Get the depiction of Business Expedition, where 2nd Annual Transport Infrastructure will enable you to network, discover, learn and make deals. Highlights of the Conference - Exploring business opportunities in the transport & infrastructure Industry across the Asia Pacific region - Gain insights into the best practices of planning, designing, developing, operating and maintaining multimodal transport infrastructure - Acquire preferential access to the senior executives of target markets and showcase upcoming projects - Key success factors of projects and methodologies to tackle the bottlenecks that are hampering the project implementation and delivery - Networking with the governing authorities, major transport & infrastructure developers and solution providers. Contact name – Mr. Adnan Shaikh Contact email and Tel – adnan@bricsaconsulting.com - +9122 6242 2908 Organizer name and URL – Bricsa Consulting Pvt. Ltd. - http://bricsaconsulting.com/ To download the brochure click on the link mentioned: https://bricsaconsulting.com/event/2nd-annual-transportinfrastructure-2018/ For further details kindly send us an email to: adnan@bricsaconsulting.com


Growing Food & Beverage Sector in Vietnam By: Dezan Shira & Associates. Editor: Koushan Das


he food and beverage sector in Vietnam has shown strong growth in the last decade, driven by not only foreign brands, but also local brands. In the last few years, numerous foreign brands have invested heavily in the market and are predicted to continue to do so, largely driven by rapid urbanization, increased spending, and growth of the middle-class population. Local brands offering Vietnamese cuisine and street food are also emerging as a tough competitor to the global food chains. In fact, foreign fast food chains in the last 2-3 years have underperformed and slowed down their expansion plans due to consumer preferring the

local taste and lower prices. However, few foreign brands such as Jollibee, Lotteria, and KFC who were early market entrants are performing much better in comparison to new players such as McDonald’s, Burger King or Subway. Consumer Profile Out-of-home consumption According to Decision Lab, a Ho Chi Minh Citybased market research firm, the out-of-home consumption for food and beverage, are divided into a number of segments, of which full-service restaurants and quick service restaurants lead the group at 36 percent each. Street food

22 accounted for 11 percent, while convenience stores, canteens, bars, clubs, and hotels account for the remaining share. Food Preference According to the study, 35 percent of the Vietnamese out-of-home consumption share is from Western food, driven by the growing number of foreign franchisees. The share of Western food in the F&B market has been growing steadily as more and more companies introduce new food products catered to local taste, rather than continuing with their already existing menu. Visiting hours As per the study, in Q1 2017, there were 328.6 million visits to foodservice outlets and breakfast accounted for almost a third of the visits at 30 percent. This has been attributed mostly to the modernization of traditional Vietnamese cuisines, growing number of convenience stores, and increasing number of urban office professionals. Restaurant choice Location has been highlighted as the main criteria for choosing a restaurant due to the growing urban population and traffic. About 63 percent of the surveyed population highlights location, followed by cleanliness, and food quality at 34 percent each as the top three criteria for choosing a restaurant. Online ordering preference With the growing internet and smartphone penetration, restaurants have also started focusing on online ordering to increase their sales. Online ordering currently accounts for almost half of all food delivery orders in the major cities.

License requirements To establish a restaurant in Vietnam, a company requires a number of licenses for conducting operations and usually takes much longer in comparison to neighboring countries. It depends on: • Legal framework including Vietnam’s WTO Commitments, Vietnam Investment Law, Vietnam Enterprise Law, Regulations applicable to specific industries. It also depends on the master economic development plan of the city where the restaurant is located. • Financial capability, capital, facilities, and human resources of the investment project. According to applicable Law on Investment 2014, an investment in the form of the establishment of an economic organization will require a foreign investor to go through a twostep licensing process as follows: - Obtaining an Investment Certificate (IRC); and


- Registering for establishing an enterprise by obtaining an Enterprise Registration Certificate (ERC). In addition to the mentioned-above licenses, restaurants are required to obtain other relevant sub-license such as: • Certificate of satisfaction on food safety and hygiene; • Certificate of satisfaction on conditions for firefighting and prevention; • Commitment to environment protection before officially operating; • Construction of renovation license; • License for Advertisement.

23 Licensing procedure timeline It usually takes around 30-45 working days from submission of final application dossier to the authority for obtaining the Investment Registration Certificate. Following the Investment Registration Certificate, it takes around 7-10 working days for obtaining the Enterprise Registration Certificate. The timeline for other licenses are: • Certificate of food safety and hygiene – 20 working days from submission of application dossier to Licensing Agency; • Certificate of satisfaction of fire prevention condition – 15 working days from submission of application dossier to Licensing Agency; • Commitment to environment protection – 15 working days from submission of application dossier to Licensing Agency; • Construction of renovation license – 30 working days from submission of application dossier to competent authority; • License for Advertisement – 05 working days from submission of application dossier. After the completion of licensing process, it usually takes another two weeks for obtaining seal and tax code registration. Franchising Franchising in Vietnam started in the 1990s with the entry of fast food chains such as KFC, Lotteria, and Jollibee. As per January 2017, 160 foreign brands had registered their franchising businesses in Vietnam. Food and beverage franchises accounted for 30 percent of the registered franchises. Most of the overseas firms are from US, South Korea, and Thailand. Not only the foreign brands, but also local

brand such as Trung Nguyen Coffee, Kinh Do Bakery, Wrap and Roll, Cafe Cong, AQ Silk, and Shop and Go, have allowed franchising to increase their presence. Franchise laws Foreign franchisors have to register their activities to receive the certificate of franchise registration, without which a franchisor can face sanctions as well as fines ranging from VND 10 million to 20 million (approximately US$439-878). Before registering their activities, franchisors have to fulfill a few conditions: • Franchise network have to be in operation for at least one year. • Sub- franchisors have to operate for at least one year before sub-franchising activities. • Goods and service used should not on the Government’s list of banned good or services. If they are on the restriction list, one has to obtain a special license. While registering, the registration dossier should include: • Introduction of the franchise business with information as required by Circular 09/2006/ TT-BTM; • Copy of the certificate of business registration or a legally equivalent document; • Copy of the certificate of protection of industrial property rights in Vietnam or in foreign countries if the franchise includes a license of industrial property rights; • Approval from the primary franchisor to the sub-franchisee in case of a sub-franchisor; • Other documents as required by the competent authority (including the franchise agreement or form of agreement).

24 Cold Storage Logistics Cold storage is classified as climate control logistics, which refers to a system controlling the temperate and humidity to increase the storing period for particular categories of goods. The first commercial cold storage was built in 1996, by Konoike VinaTrans, a joint venture between Konoike transport Co. Ltd (Japan), Vinatrans Co. (Vietnam), Vinalink Co. (Vietnam), and Vinafreight Co. (Vietnam). Since then, the development of cold storage logistics was relatively slow until 2007, after which the cold storage market grew rapidly. The demand for refrigerated deliveries and warehouses has mostly developed around major population centers, with current occupancy rate reaching 90 percent at all facilities. The industry capacity has quadrupled in the short span of 10 years, highlighting the growing use and importance of cold storage solutions in the retail and food & beverage sector.

Foreign companies lead the market in terms of modern facilities, while local players dominate in terms of capacity. The growing number of convenience stores, food chains, and retail stores are largely responsible for the rapid growth in the last decade. Agricultural products in Vietnam have an average loss rate of 25-30 percent during harvesting, processing, storage, and transportation due to a lack of cold chain infrastructure in the country. Vietnam is expected to have about 1,200-1,300 supermarkets, 180 shopping centers, and 157 department stores by 2020. Distribution centers including cold storage offer investment opportunities for foreign investors, as such centers continue to increase in capacity and number to satisfy the increasing demand of the F&B and retail sector.

About Us Vietnam Briefing is published by Asia Briefing, a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. We produce material for foreign investors throughout Eurasia, including ASEAN, China, India, Indonesia, Russia & the Silk Road. For editorial matters please contact us here and for a complimentary subscription to our products, please click here. Dezan Shira & Associates provide business intelligence, due diligence, legal, tax and advisory services throughout the Vietnam and the Asian region. We maintain offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as throughout China, South-East Asia, India, and Russia.







vietnam@dezshira.com or visit us at www.dezshira.com






Vietnam: Transition from Paper Invoices to E-invoices By: Dezan Shira & Associates. Editor: Koushan Das


Last year, a number of firms introduced a program for e-invoices, leading to savings and increased efficiency. The number of companies using e-invoices has increased from 30 in 2011 to 331 in 2015 and 656 in 2016. The number of e-invoices issued also increased from 9,014 in 2011 to 277 million in 2016.

ietnam’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has introduced a draft circular to replace paper bills with electronic invoices from the start of 2018. The new draft will replace Decree No.51/2010/NDCP and Decree No. 04/2014/ND-CP on invoices for the sale of goods and services to facilitate the implementation of electronic Implementation timeline invoices (e-invoices). Invoices already The following businesses will be required to printed will be allowed until 2018. use e-invoices, from 1 January 2018:

26 • Companies located in industrial zones, tax collection and making invoice payments. economic zones, export processing zones, In addition, it also helps in curbing in high-tech zones; invoice fraud currently prevalent amongst enterprises. • Companies and banks with a contributed charter capital of VND15 billion or more. Challenges The following businesses will be required to The transition from paper bills to e-invoices use e-invoices with verification codes issued in the initial few months will be challenging by the tax authorities from 1 January 2018: for buyers and suppliers. Enterprises will take time to get familiar with the system • Newly established companies not falling and government agencies have to ensure into the above groups; that the information technology • Businesses purchasing invoices from the infrastructure is capable enough of handling tax authorities, which are specifically multiple e-invoices requests at the same requested by the tax authorities to use time. e-invoices with verification codes.

Government agencies also have to ensure From 1 January 2019, 30 percent of all that they themselves are well versed with remaining business will be required to issue the regulations and systems, before the e-invoices and by 1 January 2020, 90 rollout. percent of businesses will be required to Going forward use e-invoices. Moving forward, the government should Enterprises can use freely available ensure a smooth transition to ease the invoicing software launched by the General burden on enterprises. Paper bills should be Taxation Department’s website or third- phased out slowly during the next year, to party software to issue e-invoices. allow all enterprises to shift to e-invoices. Advantages of e-invoices

Until 2018, enterprises should be on the Electronic invoicing will lead to a number of lookout for further amendments or changes long-term benefits for enterprises. to the decree before it is finally in effect Companies will save a lot on the cost of from January of next year. issuing paper bills, which can be ten times more costly than e-invoices. E-invoices also increase efficiency by reducing the time in


Vietnamese Labor Contracts: What You Need to Know By: Chet Scheltema – Regional Director, Dezan Shira & Associates


outh East Asia continues to attract foreign investors seeking to draw from its ever-more-skilled, abundant and still relatively inexpensive labor resources. However, historic sensitivity to abusive labor practices, and in some cases combined with the influence of litigious jurisprudence, has led to an environment where foreign investors are advised to tread cautiously and lay a solid foundation for human resources management, lest they run afoul of local

labor laws or trigger costly labor disputes. One pillar of this firm foundation is typically a well-crafted employment contract. Certain South East Asian countries, including Vietnam – and Indonesia and Malaysia – distinguish themselves by mandating a formal, written labor contract signed by the parties. Rather than viewing it an additional administrative burden, foreign investors should consider this as an opportunity to establish a firm foundation for human resources management in

28 Vietnam.

terminating the relationship and calculating severance. If termination is unlawful, then Written contract reinstatement may be required or Where a worker is hired in Vietnam for additional severance. more than several months, a labor contract Probation may not exceed thirty days, sixty is required, both in the Vietnamese days in instances where the work is highly language and in the native language of the technical. Probation contracts are treated as employee. a distinct contract from a standard contract. The contract should lay out the key terms of During the term of probation contacts, both the employment relationship, including the the employer and the employee may cancel location of work, scope of work, work and the agreement without prior notice if the rest hours, length of the employment term, position or performance fails to live up to salary, and details of social insurance the terms agreed to. Once the probation provided, and matters relevant to contract reaches its end, the employer may preserving health and safety. decide if it would like to engage the If such a contract is not signed, then a employee under a standard labor contract. penalty may apply in the amount of a minimum of VND 500,000 (US$20) up to a maximum of VND 20,000,000 (US$800) per infraction. Additional fines and penalties may apply and outstanding taxes and/or social insurance would be due and owing. Employment term The term of the labor contract should normally range from twelve to thirty-six months, although it could be an indefinite term contract, and in some cases a seasonal employment relationship of less than a year is permitted.

Special provisions: confidentiality, intellectual property, and non-compete clauses Although employees are bound by a statutory duty of confidentiality and while intellectually property in theory belongs to the employer, investors are advised to clearly set the tone of the relationship in the labor contract with strong confidentiality and intellectual property protection terms and to address special circumstances. For instance, if the employee works nontraditional hours, then where will the line be drawn between work time and personal, thus helping to avoid confusion about who owns any intellectual property developed.

It should be noted that a fixed term employment contract twice renewed becomes an open term employment contract, with ramifications when As for non-competition, an employer may

29 attempt to include provisions restricting the Severance future activities of an employee postEmployees completing twelve (12) months employment, although such clauses will of employment are entitled to severance generally be treated as unenforceable. within seven (7) days in the amount of half Terminating or amending an a month of salary for each year of work employment contract completed (determined by the average of last six months). A full month of salary is A labor contract may only be amended by required when terminated for reason of mutual agreement of the parties in writing, structural or technological change, except of course in instances of promotion economical restructuring, or because of or salary increase, in which case a notice merger or consolidation. should be sent to the employee. Dispute resolution Either the employer or employee may unilaterally terminate employment by 30 Dispute resolution in Vietnam is managed in days prior notice, or by 45 days prior notice a way consistent with a cultural preference under an indefinite term contract. for resolving disputes through mediation and settlement. Employers must establish a An employee may be immediately “labor conciliation council” within the dismissed in unusual cases where an act of company to serve as the first recourse to severe or gross misconduct has occurred, resolve disputes. A public district including in such instances as theft or conciliation panel may become involved to repeated violation of company rules. address intractable disputes. In some However, the employer must follow a unusual cases, the dispute may be brought number of steps, including conducting a directly to the courts. formal hearing, and should formally document that it has done so. In such an Personal income tax and social instance, severance may not be required. insurance Vietnamese labor law also allows an employer to terminate the employment relationship where an “act of god” has occurred (force majeure), although specific steps and procedures must be followed. Employee(s) would be entitled to statutory severance.

Although not specifically addressed in the labor contract itself, the employer is under a statutory requirement to withhold and pay personal income tax at the rates specified below. For any additional tax due, the employee would become responsible and file and contribute at the year end.


Social insurance allowances must be withheld and contributed by the employer as follows, if the term of the contract is greater than three months. The specific allowances withheld are for sick leave, maternity, work-related accidence and occupational illness, pension, and mortality. For employees working less than three months in duration, the contribution is included in the salary, and the employees then becomes responsible to make payment.

Conclusion Establishing a firm foundation to human resources management in Vietnam starts with preparing and signing well-considered employment contracts. Far from being an administrative nuisance imposed under Vietnamese law, when handled deliberately with guidance from experienced counsel, they should be regarded as the first step in establishing robust human resources for a company by cultivating stability in the workforce and limiting disputes and disruption.

NPV JOINT STOCK COMPANY - SIR TAILOR 10% discount on all the bespoke and RTW products (not cluding VAT & not in conjunction with any other promotions or packages at the shop)

PRINCESS D'ANNAM RESORT & SPA 15% off on Best Available Rate. Discount is on the rate only excluding 5% service charge and 10% VAT (rate before taxes & service charges).


SAIGON SPORTS CLUB 30% discount for 6-month or 12-month membership (terms & conditions applied)

LUNE PRODUCTION Discount of 15% based on the public price for all shows: A O Show, Teh Dar, The Mist and My Village at: - Saigon Opera House, 07 Lam Son Square, District 01, HCMC - Hanoi Opera House, 01 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi - Vietnam Tuong Theater, 51 A Duong Thanh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

TA LAI LONGHOUSE - 10% on accommodation rate - 400,000 VND for Kid camps (Early bird and return gibbon discount will not be applied)

ANH TUKK RESTAURANT 10% off on A la carte menu, not combine with other promotions

MERCURE HOI AN ROYAL - 15% discount on room at best available rates; - 10% discount on Food & Beverage; - 10% discount on Spa services.

LA RESIDENCE HUE HOTEL & SPA - 10% discount on Best Unrestricted Rate - 10% discount on Food & Beverage - 10% discount on Spa

BEIRUT RESTAURANT 10% discount on each bill

GREEN TANGERINE HANOI RESTAURANT 5% discount for all meals


For further information, please visit: bit.ly/discounts-ICHAM

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