The recently-adopted amended Constitution and six new laws will come into force on January 1, 2014.

The laws include the Laws on amendments and supplements to some articles of the Laws on Residence, Value-added Tax and Corporate Income Tax, plus the Law on Science and Technology, the Law on National Defence and Security Education, and the Law on Mediation at the Grassroots Level.

Divided into 11 chapters with 120 articles (one chapter and 27 articles fewer than the previous version), the amended Constitution clearly states that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is governed by law and mastered by the people.

It fully specifies political and economic regimes, showing the nature of Vietnam’s economy as a market-based one following the socialist orientations.

The document also highlights culture, science-technology, environment protection, human rights, basic citizens’ rights and obligations, national defence, the State apparatus, the validity and amendments to the Constitution.

On the State apparatus, it basically inherits the State organisation model mentioned in the old version, but better explains the principle that State powers are unified and decentralised to State bodies in the exercise of their legislative, executive and judiciary powers.

On the amendments to the Law on Value-added Tax, low-income earners will have chances to buy their own houses thanks to reduced value-added tax.

It also issues tighter regulations on the refund of value-added tax.

Meanwhile, changes to the Law on Corporate Income Tax are expected to stimulate production and trading in line with the 2011-2020 tax reform strategy.

Those with annual revenue of less than 20 billion VND (950,000 USD) are subject to a tax level of 20 percent from July 1, 2013.

Since January 1, 2016, the general corporate tax will stand at 20 percent and preferential tax, at 17 percent.

With eight chapters and 47 articles, the Law on National Defence and Security Education clearly states that it is meant to raise public sense of safeguarding the nation and the State.

It also says the State ensures resources for defence and security education and issues incentives for border, island, remote and mountainous areas.-VNA