Vietnam: Regulatory changes affecting foreign retail enterprises

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A recent circular from the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, impacts the operations of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) in the country:

 If a foreign retailer wishes to open an additional retail outlet past its first in Vietnam, it is required to complete an Economic Needs Test (ENT) based on the district's population, in addition to the population density of a city or province.

A new outlet to be established by a foreign investor with a size less than 500 square meters does not have to complete the ENT if the area has been designated by the local government for commercial activities.

All existing FIEs must submit additional details when applying to amend their Investment Certificate. These additional details include documents stating their financial capacity as well as tax certificates showing that all tax liabilities of the previous two years have been duly paid.

Vietnam-based FIEs that have export rights are allowed to purchase goods in Vietnam to sell abroad. FIEs with import rights are now allowed to sell their imported goods to FIEs with export rights.

Export Processing enterprises are now allowed to apply for import rights, export rights and/or distribution rights.

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