China law expert points investors to Vietnam

Many companies are expected to follow the Microsoft example of shifting production from China to Vietnam - a shift being tracked by the China Law Blog which declares that 'China's golden age for foreign companies is over'.

Vietnam could be a competitor to China for certain types of business Cristal Tran

Author of the blog Dan Harris, partner in Seattle-based Harris & Moure, says that foreign businesses have largely all understood the legal reality of operating in the People's Republic as 'virtually all foreign companies now realise that they must either get legal in China or leave'. This also means that fewer organisations are thinking of entering China for the first time. But Mr Harris says: 'Despite our law firm getting fewer contacts from potential clients, our workload has greatly increased'. This is partly because of the complexity of the issues that remaining businesses face - particularly on compliance and enforcement of contracts.

Vietnam gets easier

The Microsoft preference for Vietnam could well encourage many other organisations to follow. Mr Harris adds: 'Doing business in Vietnam is not all that tough and it gets easier pretty much every year. Both Hanoi and Saigon are considerably cheaper cities for expats than Shanghai or Beijing.' Source: China Law Blog

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