Investment in Vietnam and the Commitments made in the ASEAN Investment Area

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Vietnam is fast approaching its next milestone of regional economic integration: as a Member of ASEAN, it is committed to implement the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) whose objective is to create a free and open investment regime by 2015. ACIA provides ASEAN investors with a host of benefits and advantages over what they currently enjoy when investing in Vietnam, in terms of transparency of rules, non-discriminatory market access and operating conditions, protection of investments according to international best practice, and access to an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. This article provides a review of achievements made by Vietnam in attracting FDI and improving the market access conditions for foreign investors, but also highlights some of the challenges faced by foreign investors wishing to establish a commercial presence in Vietnam and makes a strong case for the need for continued reforms by the Vietnamese Government in the area of transparency and, inter alia, elimination of Trade Related Investment Measures.

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