Vietnam investors struggle with arbitral awards

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 17 Jun 2016

Vietnamese courts are regularly denying arbitral awards issued overseas, while the process of seeking domestic arbitration is increasingly protracted. That was the message from panelists speaking at IFLR's Southeast Asia Forum earlier this month.

Vietnam has recently joined Indonesia in launching so-called 'big bang’ liberalisation of foreign investment thresholds, having introduced the biggest FDI reform package since 2007. Over the past year, the country has both lifted and relaxed restrictions on foreign ownership of listed companies, real estate properties, as well as on investment into the domestic aviation industry.  

But international parties hoping to settle disputes are facing problems. "Even though the court does not have the power to review the substance of the dispute, it might be able to deny the award under grounds permitted under the New York Convention, which may be interpreted arbitrarily," said  Vo Ha Duyen, chairperson at Vilaf in Ho Chi Minh City.