On 26 March 2021, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 31/2021/ND-CP, effective on the same day, to detail and guide the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on Investment 2020 (“Decree 31/2021”).


This Decree has concretized the provisions of the Law on Investment 2020 on the principle that foreign investors shall have access to the Vietnamese market as domestic investors, except for investments in the market access restriction list for foreign investors. Accordingly, the business lines in Vietnam can be divided into 03 groups depending on the conditions for access to the Vietnamese market of foreign investors as follows:

1. Group 1: Business lines in the list of business lines with prohibited market access for foreign investors

According to Section A of Appendix I of Decree 31/2021, foreign investors are not allowed to invest in 25 business lines (1), including some business lines such as:

  • Trade-in goods and services on the list of goods and services under state monopoly;

  • Press activities and collection of the news;

  • Catching or harvesting marine resources;

  • Guest worker services;

  • Public survey services;

  • Merchanting trade of goods;

  • Temporary import for re-export of goods;

  • Export, import, distribute some goods on the list of goods which foreign investors and foreign-invested enterprises do not have the right to export, import or distribute;

  • Industrial property representative services and intellectual property assessment services;

  • Travel services, except international travel services for inbound tourists;

  • And some other business lines.

2. Group 2: Business lines in the list of business lines with restricted market access for foreign investors

According to Decree 31/2021, there are 59 business lines with conditional market access for foreign investors, listed in Section B of Appendix I. To be able to invest in these business lines in Vietnam, foreign investors will have to meet the market access conditions posted on the National Investment Portal (2). These business lines include to mention a few:

  • Manufacture and distribution of media products;

  • Provision of audio and television broadcasting services;

  • Insurance; banking; securities trading and relevant services;

  • Postal and telecommunications services;

  • Advertising services;

  • Education services;

  • Transport of goods and passengers by rail, air, road, river, sea, pipeline;

  • Real estate business;

  • Legal services;