Often, one of the few assurances an investor may reasonably obtain in Vietnam is that legal uncertainties are myriad and varied and will, from time to time, require effort and expense unnecessary in jurisdictions with more consistent, predictable and stable legal institutions. An illustrative example arrived with the issuance of Official Correspondence 1752 dated 18 March 2009 of the MPI (OC 1752).  

Under Decree 139 of the government dated 5 September 2007, one or more foreign investors was permitted to participate, with up to a 49 per cent charter capital interest, in a Vietnamese company without triggering the sometimes onerous requirements applicable to foreign-invested Vietnamese enterprises (eg having an ‘investment project’ approved by, and an investment certificate issued by, the competent state authority). In OC 1752, by contrast, the MPI requires a foreign investor contributing charter capital (of any amount) with a Vietnamese investor for the purposes of establishing a ‘joint venture enterprise’ to submit an application to the competent state authority for approval of the ‘investment project’ and issuance of an investment certificate under the investment law regime.