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Viet Nam coordinates efforts to prevent and tackle investor-state disputes

15 January 2021

Ha Noi, 15 January 2021 –  Viet Nam’s Ministry for Planning and Industry, supported by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Programme (AECSP) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, held a workshop on the development of a Handbook for Implementing International Investment Commitments. The one-day workshop took place on 15 January.

The workshop brought together 55 relevant officials from central and local governments across Viet Nam to discuss the effective management of investment treaty commitments to improve investor confidence, avoid investor-state disputes, and facilitate new investment. Participants also deliberated on how to present and address these issues in a form of a handbook.

The handbook, set to be completed in 2021, will contribute to improving the on-the-ground implementation in Viet Nam and awareness of the country’s international investment commitments including those under the AANZFTA.

“The implementation of investment treaty commitments poses significant challenges for government officials,’’ said Deputy Director General, Department of Legislation, Ministry of Planning and Investment Vu Thi Chau Quynh. “Therefore, we would like to develop a handbook to assist our officials in managing and implementing those commitments.  This workshop has helped to launch that project by identifying the issues to be addressed in the handbook,” she concluded.
 
The workshop included presentations by the lead author of the Viet Nam Handbook, Professor N. Jansen Calamita of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore, and Vietnamese legal expert Dinh Anh Tuyet of IDVN Lawyers in Hanoi.

"The central goal is to develop a handbook providing a concise, practical explanation of the operation of Viet Nam’s international investment law obligations and how those obligations apply to the day-to-day decision-making of Vietnamese government officials,’’ explained Professor Calamita.

Further, the workshop addressed dispute prevention, coordinated government decision-making, and investment facilitation and retention.

Participants claimed to have gained a deeper appreciation of the challenges raised by investment treaties and the importance of developing whole-of-government tools to manage treaty commitments. They also valued the discussions of common challenges among government peers and the importance of having such a handbook to help officials address those challenges in a practical way.

This workshop is part of an AECSP-supported pilot project which aims to enhance the awareness and understanding of Viet Nam’s investment treaty commitments among the country’s government officials and establish a model for future investment handbooks in the other ASEAN Member States.


CONTACT:

For more information on the project or the AECSP, please contact the AANZFTA Support Unit at https://aanzfta.asean.org/contact-aanzfta. 


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