On the 17th November 2022, the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City (DoIT) held a meeting with the foreign business associations in the city for 2022.
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (CanCham) Executive Director - Mr. Zach Herbers has joined in this event along with representatives from the other Chambers.
Attending the meeting, representatives from Departments, Ministries and Agencies also shared about the economic situation in the third quarter of 2022 as well as key sectors Ho Chi Minh City is calling for investment; the process in which the City is receiving and handling administrative procedures related to Chambers of Commerce; regulations on labor management, granting work permits to foreigners working in Vietnam; recruitment and management of Vietnamese employees working for foreign organizations and individuals;
On a topic discussion at the end, the Departments and Chambers talked about measures and mechanisms for cooperation between foreign business associations and domestic professional associations; Q&A session for recommendations and questions from the Associations.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (CanCham) advocacy is to continue working with other chambers to echo feedback on the need for streamlining work permits and business licensing for Chambers - putting emphasis on a positive message of continued collaboration and communication between Chambers & government to support growth in bilateral trade and investment. With 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Vietnam, CanCham will continue to support its members and take part in creating opportunities for businesses and individuals from both countries with ease of information & process.
The meeting's attendees included representatives and directors from the Department of Planning and Investment HCMC (D.P.I. HCMC), HCMC Department of Labors, Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA), FOSCO Service Company to Foreign Missions, Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) and other Foreign Business Chambers (Canada, USA, BeLux, Korea, France, Germany, EuroCham, Thailand, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan etc.).
According to the report from the Department of Trade & Industry (DoIT), there are currently 20 foreign business associations in the city with about 6,000 members from countries such as the US, France, Germany, Japan, Europe, and South Korea etc., which have made many contributions to the common cooperation, as a bridge between the foreign business community and Vietnam. At the same time, through associations, the businesses also participating in giving feedback and developing policies and laws, making an important contribution to the process of improving the business investment environment in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).
Ho Chi Minh City in particular and Vietnam in general, promotes innovation and sustainable growth. Hence, the City's focus on investment for the upcoming year would be on Clean energy (e.g. Wind, Solar); Green industry; Textile technologies; Medical & Life sciences; Hi-tech industry and Smart city initiatives.
In order to welcome foreign investment inflows, over the past years, Ho Chi Minh City has continuously innovated, cutdown on administrative procedures, and improved the environment to support investment and businesses.
Statistics show that, in the first 10 months of 2022, HCMC attracted 693 projects with a total capital of 444 million USD, 135 adjusted projects with an additional capital of 1.55 billion USD; the number of times of capital contribution, share purchase, and redemption of contributed capital reached 1.43 billion USD. This shows the confidence of foreign-invested enterprises and proves the attractiveness of the investment environment of the city.
However, during the past time, foreign enterprises still face many difficulties in carrying out the paperwork related to the association's activities. Accordingly, the problem that many foreign associations are interested in is that the permit to use foreign workers is still inadequate; enterprises have not been updated with information on the operating procedures of foreign associations; problems with the procedure to apply for a seal and stamp etc.
Responding to the issue of work permits, Ms. Tran Le Thanh Truc - Head of Employment and Occupational Safety Department - Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Ho Chi Minh City (DoLISA) stated:
"According to the city's records, there are currently about 30,000 foreign workers licensed to work in Ho Chi Minh city. On average, each year, the Department receives about 15,000 - 18,000 foreign worker applications for a permit.
For enterprises, it should also be noted that a dossier of application for the proposal to issue a work permit for the foreign worker must be submitted to the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA) at least 15 working days before the date the foreign worker is expected to start working. Within 5 working days from the day on which the complete application for a work permit is received, DoLISA shall issue a work permit to the foreign worker using the form set by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). For foreign workers working under labor contracts, after being granted a work permit, the employer and the foreign worker must sign a written labor contract in accordance with the provisions of Vietnamese labor law before the expected date of employment." (Decree 152-2020 and Article 1.1 & 1.7 of Labour Law for foreigner work permit)
Speaking at the end of the conference, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade - Mr. Le Huynh Minh Tu affirmed that the amendment of Decree 08 of the Government (2008) is necessary to prolong the operation time of foreign associations, not the current limitation of 3 years. The Department of Industry and Trade Ho Chi Minh City (DoIT) will report to the City People's Committee to continue proposing the Government to amend this Decree.
By CanCham Vietnam