Allens Arthur Robinson

Allens has been active in Vietnam for more than 20 years and works with local organisations, as well as those from across the world investing into the country. Partner Robert Fish talks about the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices and the clients they help from a wide range of sectors – especially financial services, insurance, food and beverage, and oil and gas.
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Our lawyers have a depth of experience in Vietnam in the areas of banking and financial services, manufacturing, trade and distribution, resources, infrastructure, and real estate and construction matters.

We are widely regarded as the premier provider of legal translation services in Vietnam. Our database of more than 3,500 law translations is available on our website www.vietnamlaws.com.

To keep our readers up to date with the latest news on legal and commercial developments in Vietnam, Allens publishes the Vietnam Legal Updates on a monthly basis.

Allens also publishes a Legal Guide to Investment in Vietnam. This publication provides an overview of Vietnamese laws affecting investment, including coverage of topics such as enterprises, land, securities and contract.

Our presence in Vietnam is supported by our office in Singapore, which has an excellent track record advising multinational corporations, banks and governments on transactions throughout South East Asia, including in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and IndoChina, over the past 30 years.

Our recent experience includes:

  • advised Germany's third-largest insurance provider, Talanx Group, on its strategic Vietnamese partnership with Hanoi Stock Exchange-listed insurer PVI Holdings
  • advised BTMU on its loans to customers in Vietnam. The work includes advising on a variety of regulatory and security issues
  • advised CLSA Limited on the Vietnam collateral and security arrangements under its US$2 billion Asian Securities Program which involved the offering of swaps instruments and Vietnamese equity-linked certificates
  • advised Azure City Company Limited on a joint venture between international and local investors in relation to a villa development with in excess of US$16 million
  • having advised Keppel Land (Singapore) on a US$30 million 'Saigon Riviera' joint venture residential 'for sale' development in An Phu, Ho Chi Minh City
  • advised Vietnam Infrastructure Supero Limited (VinaCapital) in relation to its investment in Vietstar, a solid waste treatment plant project
  • having advised AMP Capital Investors Limited on Vietnam legal issues in relation to a US$400 million private placement of shares in a Mauritius fund which will invest in Vietnam real estate projects
  • having acted as Vietnam counsel to JSM Indochina Limited on its June 2007 admission to the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market. Our work included due diligence; drafting Vietnam sections of the Admission Document; and provision of a formal legal opinion
  • provided general legal advice to Sharp Corporation in relation to establishing a subsidiary and increasing charter capital. The client has a large presence in the international technology sector
  • provided regulatory advice to Area Mobile in relation to Vietnamese telecommunications and aviation laws and how these interact
  • having advised GE (US) on the participation in equitization of Vietcombank; and advice on other acquisitions

Centre Notary Office

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Centre Notary Office is amongst the first notary offices e stablished in H CMC. With years of experience and first-class facilities, customers’ satisfaction is guaranteed. The chief notary, Mr. Phạm Xuân Thọ, has 13 years experience working as the Chief Judge of the HCMC Economic Court and 10 years as a HCMC economic arbitator.

GALLERY

Awareness Group

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Awareness id is an award winning PR consultancy specializing in strategic PR for Healthcare; Food & Drink; Consumer Lifestyle and Finance & Investor relations. The firm commits to achieving results that matter to client corporate business goal in local market. By providing trusted strategic consultancy at high level of professionalism coupled with in depth understanding on local media and politic environment, Awareness id helps its clients execute aggressive communication strategies that raise awareness, influence behavior and change attitudes of our clients’ stakeholders delivering our client’ corporate/marketing objectives in a complex market.

Awareness id is the only independent PR firm in Vietnam to win regional PR recognitions - the Excellent PR Campaign of Year of the Asia Pacific PR Awards 2007; the Best PR stunt of Marketing Event Awards 2012, and the Excellence in Public Relations award 2014 due to its contribution to development of PR Industry in Vietnam.


Saigon Notary Office

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Located right in the heart of the city, the office offers notary services of any kind. With a professional team graduated from Judicial Academy and the lead of Phan Văn Cheo, the first notary in Vietnam, they guarantee to provide customers with the best services.

GALLERY

G4B - Great 4 Business

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Each market has its own unique needs, marketing strategy, operating style and customer/consumer profiles. Only by tailoring a program that fits the market's unique characteristics will you be able to strengthen your brand image, create differences and maximize sales.

G4B was established in 2004 and has gained a reputation as a highly energetic, professional marketing company that focuses on brand communications and promotion services. For years, we have been working with creativity and passion in brand empowering techniques and have found that our unique mix of procedure, dedication, commitment and attention to detail serves our clients well in a highly competitive business environment.

G4B is achieving its mission and is now recognized as a provider of high quality brand communication and promotional services to fast growing, high potential companies that are supporting the development of the Vietnamese economy.

Since December 2006 due to the knowledge and experience of the founders and associates in real estate, marketing and finance we have extended our business in to Real Estate Consulting. We are known as the first Vietnamese company to organize professionally the first Investment Conference, a showcase on Real Estate, after Vietnam joined the WTO in 2006.

We also organized successfully the first International Networking and Co-operation in Real Estate Brokerage & Investment Conference of Vietnam in March 2009. Focusing on real estate investment marketing, G4B Real Estate Marketing aimes to meet the investment needs of international investors and project-owners investing in Vietnam. G4B delivers values to Clients via its good wills in partnership and G4B’s man power.

The combination of experienced people with energetic ones and of Vietnamese with Expatriate allows G4B to pursuit its passion for solving Client’s marketing problems by the most innovative and effective communication solutions that exceed Clients' expectations.


Is Sidewalk Culture at Risk in HCMC?

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Getting rid of sidewalk vendors would definitely change the way Saigon feels, looks and smells as we know it today. University of Southern California (USC) Professor Annette Miae Kim provides some insight on what could be lost if the sidewalks are cleared.

How did you become interested in Ho Chi Minh City’s sidewalks?

I have a personal family background – my father was born in North Korea, so I was interested in these Asian communist countries who were starting to make reforms, and I came to Vietnam with my advisor as a grad student and just really liked it there. While I was living in Saigon in 2000, researching [my book, Learning to be Capitalists], I would walk on the sidewalks. I loved living in the city but could never quite put my finger on what exactly was so wonderful about living in Ho Chi Minh City.

SidewalkImage source by Hoang Thach Van

What did you find out when you began researching sidewalks for your second book, “Sidewalk City”?

Basically, one of the biggest things I found out is that sidewalks are a very democratic space. People from different classes were coexisting and hanging out with each other and helping out each other. There’s an incredible amount of sharing of the sidewalk space. There’s a social system that allows people to take turns.

How do you think the sidewalks in Ho Chi Minh City differ from sidewalks in other cities?

After organizing an international conference about global street-vending where I could compare it to other places, it became clear to me that Vietnam is very different. Usually the store owners are the ones most vehemently against street vendors because they think it’s unfair competition and/or they’re degrading the physical environment and they’re going to lose their real estate value. But in Ho Chi Minh City while these arguments are also made, there are also so many accounts in which the store owners were helping [street vendors] out. They were hiding them during police raids, they were giving them free water, free electricity, they would store their goods overnight for a small fee.

I realised that there’s a high degree of legitimacy in Vietnamese culture, especially in the South, and that there’s a lot of accommodation made for vendors.

Do you think the sidewalk clearing campaign we’re seeing today is different from any past attempts?

SidewalkImage source: infonet.vn

I think what was really remarkable was how [District 1 Deputy Chief Doan Ngoc Hai] was towing government cars and demolishing government office buildings. I hadn’t seen that before, and I think that’s why it’s gotten a lot of attention. It’s a “no one’s above the law” kind of act, and I haven’t seen that before.

Are you aware of any options or alternatives that might be available to street vendors if this initiative takes away their place to work?

I haven’t heard of any government suggesting what the alternative would be. With a lot of migrant populations and immigrants – not just in Vietnam, but globally – I think, a lot of times the city’s approach is “just don’t be here”, and not really thinking of alternatives. We’re seeing an anti-immigrant sentiment sweeping the globe, and people have not come up with good ways to deal with the fact that millions of people are already here.

What about motorbikes, and how the sidewalks are used as parking lots?

They take up a lot more space than vendors. In my book, we meticulously measured the use of sidewalk space and found that vendors take less space but employ a lot more people. And I think it’s really serious how, as incomes have grown there are so many more cars. The city really wasn’t built for that many cars. There really needs to be serious control of cars, because that’s going to lead to gridlock.

Are there any other cities that are incorporating vendors in different or innovative ways, so residents get the best of both worlds?

SidewalkImage source: thanhnien.vn

What I brought to [the HCMC city planning department] was the example of Boston’s Freedom Trail. It’s like a red painted line that goes around the city, so tourists can follow the line as they walk around. What’s neat is that it goes from historic things as well as shopping as well as different ethnic towns like little Italy and Chinatown. The city planning department was intrigued by that. They invited me to make a mock proposal for HCMC, and it was approved by the People’s Committee to be a pilot project.

The whole approach was that you don’t need to radically change things and sanitize the city. People want to see the regular living life of Ho Chi Minh City.

SidewalkImage source: phunuvietnam.vn

When you go to Ho Chi Minh City, what are some of your favorite street foods?

So many things! I love nuoc mia, and all the drinks. I get xoi, the sticky rice, and banh mi. And lots of the snacks, like the crackers and cookies that they grill on the sidewalk.

Banner photo by Travis Hawk

 


Address: Suite 605, Saigon Tower, 29 Le Duan, District 1

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