Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, September 2016
On 5 October 2015, the United States and 11 countries in the
Pacific Rim, including Vietnam, which have been negotiating the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), announced that the terms of the
groundbreaking treaty had been reached. Vietnam is generally
considered to be one of the nations that stands to gain the most by
acceding to the TPP. Its economy will be further liberalised
through TPP membership and, in particular, foreign investors in the
manufacturing and financial services sectors are optimistic that
TPP membership will further open Vietnam's market beyond its
WTO commitments. What is the process for Vietnamese ratification of
the TPP, and when can we expect this to occur?
Ratification and implementation of an international treaty in
Vietnam is regulated by the Law on Conclusion, Accession, and
Implementation of Treaties, dated 16 June 2005 (the "Law on
Treaties"). A treaty may be executed by either the Government
or the State, and different procedures would apply depending on the
executing body. Based on the Law on Treaties, we expect that the
TPP would be executed by the Government.
Under the Law on Treaties, the President has the right to ratify
a treaty himself, or to submit the treaty to the National Assembly
for ratification. Given the importance of the TPP and the broad
media coverage of the negotiations process, it is likely that the
President will submit the TPP to the National Assembly for
ratification. Ratification by the National Assembly is a three step
The TPP first needs to be verified by the Foreign Affairs
Committee of the National Assembly (the "Committee"). The
Committee will conduct a meeting to verify the TPP within 15 days
from the date it receives the TPP documents. After its meeting, the
Committee will submit a report on the verification of the TPP to
the National Assembly.
The National Assembly will ratify the TPP by a resolution at its
next working session.
The President will then issue an order promulgating the
ratifying resolution of the National Assembly.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will notify the depository of
the ratification of the TPP within 15 days from the date the
President issues the promulgating order. A plan for implementing
the TPP in domestic legislation will then be prepared and submitted
to the Prime Minister for approval.
Vietnamese media has reported that the National Assembly may
ratify the TPP during its working session at the end of this year.
If so, Vietnam may be able to notify the depository in early 2016
and prepare for implementing TPP domestic legislation shortly
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issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
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