The Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) reported a 20% to 30% increase in the number of trade disputes in recent years. Most disputes went to the court. A very modest number of cases were settled through commercial arbitration.
In Vietnam, commercial arbitration methods are acknowledged in legal and sub-law documents, as well as in international treaties that Vietnam has signed. The Politburo’s Resolution on Judicial Reform Strategy to 2020 underscores Vietnam’s encouragement of settling disputes via negotiations, reconciliation, and arbitration, adding that the court will assist this process by acknowledging arbitration results.
This has laid a basic foundation for setting up legal regulations on alternative dispute resolution methods, including commercial arbitration.
The Vietnamese government has promulgated a Decree on Commercial Mediation, the first legislation specifically governing commercial mediation in Vietnam. It has played a very important role in encouraging dispute resolution via reconciliation, and enhancing mediation methods.
Vu Anh Duong, Vice Chairman of VIAC, said 2017 saw 19 trade disputes settled by arbitration, which were hailed by the Arbitration Council. All parties have pledged to follow the arbitration results.
Vietnam is determined to improve its legal system, including regulations on commercial arbitration, and to enhance Vietnamese arbitrators’ expertise in the near future.