A Guidebook to the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement


Date: 24 April 2014

By: European Trade Policy and investment support project (EU-MUTRAP)

The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) is a binding legal instrument to which Viet Nam is a party. It is a new agreement that was signed on 26 February 2009 and entered into force on 29 March 2012. ACIA, which replaced its precursor agreements, the ASEAN Investment Agreement (AIA) and the ASEAN Investment Guarantee Agreement (IGA), is among the very few plurilateral investment treaties of the world after NAFTA Chapter 11 and the Energy Charter Treaty. In the absence of own jurisprudence and a multilaterally agreed investment framework similar to what exists for international trade, the interpretation by Vietnamese authorities of the provisions of ACIA and their transposition into national law, are not straightforward exercises.

In view of these challenges, the Foreign Investment Agency of MPI requested MUTRAP’s support for the precise interpretation of ACIA in the form of a Guidebook that will help MPI and other governmental bodies assess the impact of ACIA on the national legal framework and implement its provisions as appropriate.

The present Guidebook, which has been prepared as part of MUTRAP’s support to Vietnam’s participation in the ASEAN Economic Community, is intended to be used primarily by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the provincial Departments of Planning and Investment as well as the investment licensing authorities, namely the provincial People’s Committees and the Management Boards of industrial and export processing zones. Hopefully it will also contribute to a better understanding by a larger public – including businesses, the academia and other stakeholders – of the ACIA and the challenges of, and opportunities for, completing by Viet Nam the Final Phase of the progressive reduction/elimination of investment restrictions and impediments according to the Strategic Schedule of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint.

The Guidebook is attached below: