The fourth session of the 13 th National Assembly passed six laws during the November 20 sitting.

The revised Publication Law expands the private sector’s participation in various publication activities. However, they are not allowed to set up a publishing house.

The six-chapter, 54-article law supplements a separate chapter on publication and e-publications, which is more in tune with information technology and e-publication activities at home and abroad.

According to the Law on the Amendment and Supplement to a Number of Articles of the Law on Lawyers, foreign law organisations founded and operating legally abroad are permitted to operate in Vietnam if they pledge to abide by Vietnam’s Constitutions and laws and have at least two foreign lawyers - including the chief representative and director who are present and work in Vietnam for at least 183 days within 12 continuous months.

The foreign law firm’s chief representative or director in Vietnam is required to have a minimum of two consecutive years practising law.

The law does not allow officials who are teaching law to work as lawyers.

The NA also passed the Law on the Amendment and Supplement to a number of Articles of the Law on Tax Management to maintain the current regulations on the grace period for imported goods and material used for producing goods for export, but categorise enterprises to apply the grace period.

The supplement and amendment is to create favouble conditions for firms’ business and operation, and ensure the effectiveness of State management, financial disciplines and prevent tax evasion.

In the six-chapter, 66-article Law on National Reserve, the “market stabilisation” target is not included.

It provides regulations on the formation, management, steering and use of the national reserve, and the rights and duties of organisations, agencies and individuals associated with national reserve activities.

According to the law, the State set up and uses the national reserve to meet the urgent demands for the prevention and control of natural calamity, fire, epidemics as well as recovery work and to serve national defence and security.

Items stipulated in the list of national reserve goods include essential goods serving security, national defence and emergency cases, such as food, material, rescue and search equipment and preventive medicine.

NA deputies agreed to approve the amendment of the Electricity Law. The price of power is implemented according to market mechanisms and State regulation.

The law says that the retail price of power needs to be based on an average power price. The pricing adjustment and price list approved by the Prime Minister need to conform to the development of the electricity market.

Changes of retail prices adjustments need to be made public and transparent.

The State takes measures to stabilise the price of power in compliance with Vietnam ’s pricing regulations.

Concerning hydroelectric development, the revised law expands the content of some duties to abide by hydroelectric dam safety and reservoir operation regulations.

The NA also passed the amended Law on Cooperatives.-VNA