Since June 1, administrative procedures in issuing operating licenses for NGOs will be streamlined and licenses will be valid for three years instead of the initial one year to enable the organizations to save money and time and focus more on long-term projects.
This is part of the newly-approved decree 12/2012/NĐ-CP dated March 1 which would replace Decision 340/QĐ-TTg dated May 24, 1996.
Under the new decree, the organizations will be able to apply for operating licenses by directly submitting paperwork to the Committee for Foreign Non-governmental Organization Affairs, which is obliged to reply within 45 days.
NGOs will be encouraged to implement long-term projects of at least five years, in terms of humanitarian and development initiatives.
Organizations will be allowed to set up representative offices in one of the three big cities of Hanoi, HCM City and Danang.
They will, however, be prohibited from conducting political or religious activities and operations deemed unsuitable to national security, defense and solidarity.
Statistics show that the number of NGOs operating in Vietnam increased quickly from 183 in 1992 to around 900 in 2011.
In Vietnam, cooperation between NGOs and State offices chiefly focuses on global issues such as prevention of violence against children, same-sex marriage, scientific research, support to the disadvantaged, and supervision over social responsibility of enterprises.
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