Vietnam one step closer to fulfilling WTO promise

23 Apr 2009

VietNamNet Bridge is reporting that the country’s draft Bill of Law on Telecommunication has been put forward for discussion at the National Assembly Steering Committee. If passed, the bill will allow private companies to build network infrastructure for the first time and will open up the telecoms market to foreign investors, as part of Vietnam’s commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Under the current law, foreign companies are only allowed to enter the telecoms market via business cooperation contracts (BCCs), which sanction overseas operators to invest in a state-run enterprise and receive a share of its profits for between five and 15 years, but which leaves control with the state. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Vietnam joined the WTO in 2007 and gave a commitment that the sector will be opened up to overseas investment.