Thursday, January 3, 2013

Indochina Law Quarterly, Dec 2012

In this issue, you will find reports on a number of important legal and economic developments in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam from September to December 2012. With Lao’s accession to the WTO, and all of Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao preparing for full implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community commitments by 2015, there is much happening in terms of new legislation opening up markets to foreign goods and services.

For Vietnam, in addition, the Government has continued to focus mainly on macro-economic stability, but it has also used tax measures to alleviate the impact of the current difficult economic environment for local enterprises. The National Assembly’s fall session was particularly productive, adopting new or substantially amended laws in areas ranging from cooperatives to electricity. Among the most impactful, the Law on Tax Administration clarified procedures for handling tax disputes and preserved the 275 limit for re-exports of processed products (a proposal to reduce the limit to 90 days to fight fraud had been hotly debated). Other encouraging signals, such as the suspension of the controversial “automatic import licensing” system, showed that awareness of the need to maintain competitiveness while complying with international commitments is being taken seriously.

Across the legal, political and economic landscapes of the region, there have been other significant changes to the rules on investment, import and export, and labor, providing both opportunities and challenges for businesses in the region.

We trust that you will find this issue informative, and would very much appreciate your valuable comments and suggestions to help us to improve this publication. If you have any questions on the topics covered or need further clarification on any particular issue, please contact your regular Baker & McKenzie contact or any of the lawyers listed in the bulletin.

We are now distributing the Indochina Law Quarterly in soft copy only. We have taken this step based on regular feedback from our clients and to bring you updates in a more timely manner. This also enables us to support and implement an integral part of our environmental initiative - to use less paper. We hope that you will find this new version more user-friendly and we welcome any feedback.

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