French investor loses lawsuit against Vietnamese government

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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Ministry of Justice Spokesman Tran Tien Dung speaks about the case DialAsie filed against the government of Vietnam in 2011. Photo: Thai Son Ministry of Justice Spokesman Tran Tien Dung speaks about the case DialAsie filed against the government of Vietnam in 2011. Photo: Thai Son
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) dismissed the lawsuit a French investor has pursued against the Vietnamese government since 2011, Ministry of Justice Spokesman Tran Tien Dung said Wednesday.
The PCA found no evidence that a single Vietnamese government agency had violated the Bilateral Investment Treaty between France and Vietnam or a single Vietnamese investment law, he said.
According to Dung the PCA dismissed the complaint filed by DialAsie Hospital of Nephrology and Dialysis on November 17 freeing the government of any obligations to the healthcare firm.
The case began in 2001 when DialAsie signed a contract with Saigon Co-op Company to rent a building on Ho Chi Minh City’s Dien Bien Phu Street for US$23,000 per month.
Saigon Co-op filed a lawsuit to Vietnam International Arbitration Center after DialAsie did not pay its rent.
In 2005, the Vietnam International Arbitration Center ordered DialAsie to pay Saigon Co-op over $571,000.
In the same year, the Ministry of Health asked DialAsie hospital to stop admitting patients and transfer its inpatients to other facilities.
After that, Saigon Co-op filed a lawsuit to PCA after DialAsia refused to follow the rulings by Vietnam International Arbitration Center.
In 2011, DialAsie filed a lawsuit to the PCA after alleging that it had been treated unfairly.
In its latest decision, PCA also said Saigon Co-op obeyed Vietnamese law and called DialAsie's attempt to conflate the company with the Vietnamese government unreasonable.
Dung said that this was a second time the Vietnamese government had won a recent lawsuit filed by a foreign investor.
“The win is important given that many international investors file or threaten to file lawsuits against us,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Justice, in 2013, the PCA dismissed a case filed by the US investor South Fork filed against the authorities in Binh Thuan Province demanding VND43.75 billion.
Vu Thi Huong of the Ministry of Justice said Vietnam has grown increasingly vulnerable to international litigation as it becomes a larger part of the global economy.
“The Prime Minister has instructed relevant agencies to build an early alert system to catch possible signs of litigation to ensure we remain thoroughly prepared from the moment an investment plan is approved,” she said.

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