Audier & Partners has two well-established offices in Vietnam as follows:
Partners, Bernadette Fahy and Nicolas Picard lead the Hanoi office, and are supported by senior associates, Tran Long and Tran Trong Binh, and a team of associates, trainee lawyers and professional translators.
The Ho Chi Minh City office is led by managing partner, Nicolas Audier, a partner, Etienne Laumonier, and supported by senior associates, Le Thuy Lan, Nguyen Cong To and Clémence Le Van Quyen, and a team of associates, trainee lawyers and professional translators.
The structure of the Vietnamese economy has significantly developed during the last twenty years. Many reforms have been undertaken, particularly to promote international trade relations with other countries, to attract foreign investors and to reinforce cooperation in the field of development.
Vietnam is engaged in a period of economic reform which began in the late 1980s with the adoption of the Doi Moi (Renovation) economic policy, aimed at adapting market oriented economic systems within the Socialist regime. The Doi Moi policy has opened a new era of economic development in Vietnam which has already achieved great success. Vietnam has become one of the most dynamic countries in South East Asia, and offers a favourable environment for foreign investors. The foreign invested sector plays an important role in the economic growth of Vietnam.
Since the end of the 1980s, the Doi Moi policy has led to the opening of Vietnam to foreign investment and to its reappearance as an active participant on the international scene. The decision by the United States to lift its embargo against Vietnam on 3 February 1994, and Vietnam's entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 27 July 1995 sealed the normalization of its relations with other countries in addition to its traditional allies. A further major milestone in Vietnam’s rapid economic development was its accession to the WTO in January 2007.
The United States is now involved in the negotiation of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The goal is to enhance trade and investment relations bilaterally with the ten countries in ASEAN as well as Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. President Obama announced the United States’ intention to participate in this project, which reflects US priorities and values, by seeking to boost US economic growth through increasing American exports to a region that represents more than 40% of global trade.
Relations between Vietnam and the EU have progressed rapidly since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations in 1990. The new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), was officially signed on 27 June 2012 and replaces a Cooperation Agreement dating back from 1995.
In the context of the new PCA, on 26 June 2012, the EU and Vietnam officially launched negotiations for a Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is expected to bring two-way trade and investment to new levels.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth indices of Vietnam have reached relatively high levels in recent years despite the impacts of the global financial crisis and economic downturn.
Income levels and living standards of Vietnamese citizens furthermore have improved, leading to increased consumer demand.
Figure1: Achieved economic results and targets
According to the General Statistic Office, as of 20 September 2012, 775 projects funded by foreign direct investment were licensed with a total registered capital of USD6.108 billion (equaling 82.6% of licensed projects and 61% of the registered capital in the same period in 2011).