The Ministry of Justice in Vietnam (the “MoJ”) has recently taken further steps to promote the greater use of commercial arbitration to settle disputes in Vietnam.
In particular, the MoJ has sought to improve the organisation and transparency of the main arbitral centres in Vietnam and ensure that there is an adequate legal framework in place to support the arbitration process. The MoJ’s recent steps include:
- In June 2013, its request that those arbitration centres publically announce their panels of arbitrators and its publication of such panels on the MoJ’s own website;
- In August 2013, its request that the provincial Departments of Justice in the cities where the centres are operating (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho) report on their implementation of the Vietnam’s Law on Commercial Arbitration 2010; and
- On 18 October 2013, its joint hosting with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Vietnam Lawyers’ Association, of a conference on “Setting Aside Arbitration Awards and Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards in Vietnam”.
Although concerns remain amongst foreign investors regarding difficulties and delays which can be experienced when seeking to enforce foreign arbitral awards in Vietnam, the MoJ’s steps have been welcomed. Although foreign investors will generally prefer to specify an “off-shore” arbitration seat (such as Singapore or Hong Kong) in their Vietnam-related contracts, there is an expectation that, at least for disputes of relatively low value and/or complexity, Vietnam will become a more viable alternative seat.
For an overview of the current status of arbitration law in Vietnam, please click here.
For more information on Hogan Lovells’ Dispute Resolution practice in Vietnam, please click here.