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Interested in doing business in Vietnam?

If you are interested...

Go to our new Business Guide and details of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) available now in the member area.

For members with business interests in Southeast Asia, and in particular in Vietnam, Mackrell International and sister network MGI Worldwide have published a new Doing Business Guide for Vietnam, including an introduction to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

On 30 June 2019, the European Union and Vietnam signed a Trade Agreement and an Investment Protection Agreement (EVFTA). This agreement with the EU is an ambitious pact providing the elimination of almost 99 percent of all customs duties between the EU and Vietnam.

The FTA will increase Vietnam’s exports to European countries, namely in the textile and garment industry, footwear, computer parts and smartphones. European countries will also benefit from Vietnam’s market of 95 million people and its fast-mushrooming consumer class.

About the Guide

The new Mackrell International/MGI Worldwide guide provides a range of business information, including details on:

• Legislative system

• Making an investment

• Setting up branch and representative offices

• Foreign contractors

• Land rentals and ownership

• Taxation

• Forex controls and the stock market

• Mergers and acquisitions

In addition to this the Guide provides an introduction to the recent EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), providing an overview of its salient features as well as reporting on the positive outlook for European business in Vietnam.

Click HERE to view the full Doing Business Guide and EVFTA overview

About Vietnam

Vietnam is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia and borders Cambodia and Laos in the west, and China in the north. Historically, Vietnam had a predominantly agricultural economy based on wet rice cultivation. However, manufacturing, information technology, and high-tech industries now form a large and fast-growing part of the national economy. Though a relative newcomer to the industry, oil is now a fast-growing sector – Vietnam being the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia.

Fast facts

• Vietnam is the EU's 16th trade partner and the EU's second largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

• The EU's main exports to Vietnam are high tech products, including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products.

• Vietnam's main exports to the EU are telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, seafood, and furniture.

• With a total foreign direct investment stock of €6.1 billion (2017), the EU is one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam. The largest sector of investment by the EU is industrial processing and manufacturing.

(Facts taken from EU Commission website)

For further information please contact Sandeep Peters, Mackrell International APAC Business Development Coordinator

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Musings from the MD 2

What sets us apart…

A number of things have struck me on my travels around the network recently. The first is what sets us apart.

Compared to my experience of many other networks and groups, MI members are genuine, open, friendly and unpretentious. You can truly be yourself and you will be welcomed. These simple but powerful qualities unite us wherever we are in the world - that’s why I often refer to us as ‘family.’

As we travel into the future, raise the network profile and build our membership, I promise you that I shall do my utmost to maintain that ethos and identity.

Network insights

We have shared a lot with each other in recent months, particularly at the recent Regional Meetings in Moscow and the Dominican Republic.

At our EMEA meeting, we each suggested a word that best captured the network, resulting in the Wordcloud below:

Tom Durkin, new member for Massachusetts, Gesmer Updegrove LLP, suggested ‘relationships’ was missing – any others you can think of? Let me know and I’ll add them.

Our Purpose

One key thing I shared with you at the Conferences – which will help create clarity and maintain our unique quality – is our ‘vision statement’ or MI Purpose. To reiterate:

“We are a close-knit, effective organisation, where every client gets looked after as if you yourself were taking care of them.
We are an organisation which shares openly, its challenges, learnings and flaws as well as its opportunities and successes.
Where we look to raise standards and we look to the future, fostering the next generation to carry the flame – not just for the network, but for the rule of law, for sustainable business and for a better world. Where, through building deep, long-term relationships, cross-culturally, we learn from each other, grow with each other, look after each other and each other’s clients and increase business.”

This is very much your network, so if I have missed something, please do email me and let me know. I will be adding this to our new website in the new year, so it’s important we get it right.

And talking of your network, here’s that video snapshot of the Bangalore AGM on the MI YouTube channel:

Videos of the Moscow and Dominican Republic events are on their way…

Please encourage your colleagues, your BD and marketing staff, your attorneys and associates who are curious about MI or who work internationally to follow and engage with MI on LinkedIn and Twitter.

And do keep sending us your posts and telling us what you’re doing, so we can share it across the network and also, so the MI team and I can connect you where relevant and helpful.

PS – why wouldn’t you be here next February 2020?

My best wishes to you all.

Keith Heddle, Managing Director

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Musings from the MD 1


Four months into my new role, I re-learnt something valuable at the recent IBA Conference in Seoul. And in many ways, it’s at the heart of the MI network.

A Swiss show-jumper, an Australian space lawyer & an Icelandic singer walk into a bar… What I re-learnt is the fundamental importance of building long-term connections and international friendships, of linking with peers and developing the real human side to what we do. Generating business and extending the rule of law come out of that, not secondary, but as an extension.

This was clear on a grand scale at the IBA Conference. 6,000 lawyers descended on South Korea to a white whirl of Tae-Kwando specialists, a storm of drums and the wise words of Ban Ki Moon and the activist Mayor of Seoul. But, as with our own, more intimate MI conferences, the ‘diamond moments’ were almost always to be had in the informal settings - sitting with ‘strangers’ over lunch, swirling around at a cocktail reception, in the coffee queue, discovering a late-night, low-lit bar where all the music was on vinyl.
Or when we sat on a rooftop oasis thanks to our Korean friends from Sojong Partners and spent time with a cross-section of the Mackrell International ‘family’ sharing stories. What made interactions rich and meaningful were what we found out about each other – the ‘wow’ or the smile moments – and they were almost always about our journey, not our jobs.

So, I look forward to connecting the ‘wow’ in all of us over the coming months – so we can all do better business with each other and for each other.

And talking of ‘wow’ moments - you’ve been busy …

Did you know …

That Tokyo’s Kojima Law have helped a global beer giant, (possibly the best lager in the world…), create an App helping visitors locate all the places across Japan where they can slake their thirst during the current Rugby World Cup?

That Anna-Christina Chaves from Stehlin & Associés in Paris is presenting at the prestigious, “Assises du Droit Social,” one of France’s premier Employment Law events on ‘Why and how firms need to reinvent instruments to keep pace with social change’?

That Jade & Fountain in Shanghai fought through a pitch process to become counsel for FIBA at the International Basketball World championships in China?

That our Mexico firm, González Calvillo SC, has been recognised by ‘Latin Lawyer’ as one of the elite in Mexico, no less?

That we went cross-Atlantic with** Hoge Fenton** in California and SKW Schwarz in Hamburg presenting a bustling webinar,‘Exporting IT from the US and Europe' for anyone concerned about cyber-security: ?

That Kraemer Burns partner Raymond Patella's article on the Tenth Circuit’s United Western decision over ownership of tax refunds, (now before the U.S. Supreme Court this term), was published in the October 2019 edition of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s ABI Journal.

MI Next generation

That we’ve now held two buzzing Next Generation lawyer meetings in the US, one west coast and one mid-west, with the attendees commenting on how valuable making new connections have been?

That we recently held an international call about ‘Aviation & Aerospace’ that linked our firms from Calgary & Colombia, to Turkey to Thailand, with many more in between?

Social media interaction is not the solution to building our profile, but it creates a picture of who we are and what we do. The content we produce also improves our search engine rankings and our ‘discoverability’.

Our Social Media channels will also be the first place you get to see a new Mackrell International video – in which many of you feature, some in unexpected ways (it’s fine, you look gorgeous…).

• Please encourage your teams, your BD and marketing staff, your attorneys and associates who are curious about MI or involved in international affairs to follow and engage. And do keep telling us what you’re doing, so we can share it across the network and so the BD team, Sandeep Peters and Cynthia Stewart, and I can connect you where relevant and helpful.

My best wishes to you all.

Keith Heddle, Managing Director

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

IBA Networking Reception : Seoul : September 2019

In the hurly-burly of the IBA Conference in Seoul, where 6,000 eager lawyers from across the world converged on the city, Benjamin Kim and Jennifer Kim of Sojong Partners, our Korean firm, provided an oasis of calm and hospitality for Mackrell International members.

On the Thursday evening, the team at Sojong graciously hosted a cross section of the MI family, from the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Europe, on the roof garden of the Art Nouveau hotel in the famous Gangnam district.

We paused for breath, connected, laughed and swapped stories from far and wide in that relaxed and open way MI members do – like being at a family gathering.

To keep up-to-date on MI news please follow us on LinkedIn.