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Vietnam Regulatory Brief: Pharmaceuticals, Eased Visa Restrictions for US Citizens, and the Finance Ministry's e-Portal - Vietnam Briefing News

This edition of Vietnam Regulatory Brief examines new, streamlined regulations for pharmaceutical companies, possible eased visa restrictions for US business people, and an unveiled e-portal for Vietnam’s finance ministry.

Online registration to aid pharmaceutical companies

The Health Ministry of Vietnam recently launched an online service to aid pharmaceutical companies to register drug and medicine prices.  The service – Online Public Service Level 4 – is a part of the reforms to create a favorable environment for healthcare companies in Vietnam. Service Level 4 is the highest of the administrative service levels in the country.  The service, which will be operational from 2016, will enable companies and individuals to submit documents, pay fees and track the application of documents through an online portal.

Truong Quoc Cuong, Director of the Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAVN), said that the online service would ease operations for healthcare companies. Companies will be able to reduce the time and money spent on physical registration. Digital registration will also increase transparency in the pharmaceutical sector. Meanwhile, analysts believe that firms will be able to reduce the expenses for printing and storing documents. The health ministry is trying to digitize and so far has set up Level 4 Online Public Services for cosmetics, drugs, hygiene and food safety. 

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Vietnam may ease Visa regulations for US citizens

Vietnam may grant one-year, multiple-entry visas to US citizens visiting the country. Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to approve the proposal in the comings weeks. The new regulation will ensure easier access for US businesses to Vietnamese markets. The relaxed visa norms will also make Vietnam an attractive destination for long-term US investors. Such investors will be able to avoid the logistical constraints that shorter visas place on them.

Tran Van Du, deputy head of the Vietnam Immigration Department, announced the prospective change at the recent Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) in Hanoi. Currently, the maximum stay allowable for US citizens under Vietnam’s class DN business visa is three months, available in both single and multiple entry options. The visa regime has faced criticism from the American business community, who have called for the visa period to be extended. The American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam), also said that the current visa laws are detrimental for economic exchange between the two partner countries.

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Ministry of Finance launches their improved e-portal

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently launched their improved e-portal. The Vietnam State Treasury under the MoF also launched their new e-portal. The portals were integrated with electronic public services as well. The portal for the MoF will include information, digital content and the electronic services within the financial sector. There will also be links for the latest financial news and a site on public services and administrative procedures. The State Treasury site will include data about the treasury’s activities and related administrative procedures.

The e-portals are accessible on the following URLs:

  • Ministry of Finance: http://mof.gov.vn
  • State Treasury: http://vst.mof.gov.vn

Local experts believe that the new portals will bridge communication gaps between the government and businesses. The revamped websites will ensure that individuals as well as domestic and international companies have easy access to important information regarding administrative procedures and public services available in Vietnam. The digitization will also create a favorable image for Vietnam for technologically well-informed investors.


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