Prohibited and uncommitted business sectors in WTO

The same business sectors permitted for operation in other countries can be prohibited in Vietnam. There are also new sectors that investors can anticipate though they have yet to be regulated.


Prohibited business sectors

For reasons of security, defense, economy, politics, culture and social, ect., Vietnam strictly prohibits investment and business activities in the following 7 areas:

  • Prostitution
  • Firecrackers
  • Trading of human beings, tissues, and body parts
  • Business activities related to human reproductive cloning
  • Drugs specified in Annex 1 of the Investment Law 2014
  • Chemicals and minerals stipulated in Annex 2 of the Investment Law 2014
  • Specimens of plants and wild animals as stipulated in Annex 1 of the CITES and Annex 3 of Investment Law 2014


Uncommitted sectors

Regarding those business sectors in which Vietnam has not committed to open in any international treaties and on which the laws of Vietnam do not yet have regulations, specialized competent authorities of Vietnam will consider granting investment licenses.

With respect to sectors already prescribed by specialized regulations of Vietnam though have not been committed in any international treaties, provisions of Vietnamese law will apply.

There are several international treaties to which Vietnam is a party, including:

  • Vietnam’s WTO Commitments on Services,
  • ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS),
  • ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA),
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)
  • Etc.

Concerning unregulated business sectors, since investors would have to go through complicated procedures and consult several competent authorities, seeking advice from legal consultants is essential should they intend to invest in such sectors.

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