AIC shares the Government of Vietnam’s goal of developing a vibrant and competitive digital economy. For several years, many foreign investors and business groups in Vietnam have engaged relevant authorities on the Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS). During this time, we have raised concerns that certain aspects of the LOCS will negatively affect company operations in Vietnam and dampen Vietnam’s overall investment environment. In this regard, we ask for your consideration of the following concerns on the requirements imposed by Decree No. 53/2022/ND-CP detailing the implementation of a number of articles in the LOCS – particularly on data localization.
The Decree requires “foreign” and “domestic” enterprises – presumably those that are online service providers providing the services listed in Article 26.3 of the LOCS – to store user data within Vietnam’s territory and establish a branch or representative office in Vietnam, upon a direction pursuant to Article 26.3.a of the LOCS. These obligations are a significant burden on affected enterprises and may have considerable impact on the investment and business climate in Vietnam. This is especially so given that the wording of certain Articles/Clauses within Decree 53 is ambiguous and creates uncertainty as to what compliance actions are necessary. At the present time, affected enterprises are unable to accurately assess the cost and effort of doing business in Vietnam. We respectfully request that the Government provide more detailed guidance on the interpretation of the LOCS and Decree 53.