Continuing Vietnam’s anti-graft campaign beyond Nguyen Phu Trong

• Editorial

Continuing Vietnam’s anti-graft campaign beyond Nguyen Phu Trong

A high-profile feature of current Vietnamese politics is the anti-corruption drive led by Nguyen Phu Trong, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). As the anti-graft campaign enters its fifth year, Trong has announced that 10 more grand corruption cases will be put to trial in 2020. But should Trong step down […]

Pragmatic & risk-averse: little change expected under Nguyen Phu Trong (video)

• Editorial

Vietnam’s top leadership positions, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the president, are traditionally held by two different people. This separation ceased to exist on October 23, 2018 when the National Assembly (NA) elected General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong as president, filling the vacancy created by the sudden death of […]

Fishing militia to spearhead Vietnam’s response to China in South China Sea (video)

• Editorial

China has long been infamous for incorporating maritime militias into its fishing industry to assert its sovereignty claims. With the world’s largest fishing fleet, comprising 370,000 non-powered and 762,000 motor-powered vessels, China has the capacity and resources to push more of its fishermen to the front line of maritime disputes. Recent years have witnessed an […]

Slow Roll-out Planned For Vietnam High-Speed Train

Slow Roll-out Planned For Vietnam High-Speed Train

Vietnam is once again talking about a high-speed train linking Hanoi in the north with Ho Chi Min City (HCMC) in the south. However, by the time the North-South express railway is complete very few of today’s lawmakers are likely to be alive to wave off the first train. First mooted following a visit to Japan […]

Corruption: Singapore Cleanest, Cambodia Filthiest, Thailand Plummets Down The Rabbit Hole

Corruption: Singapore Cleanest, Cambodia Filthiest, Thailand Plummets Down The Rabbit Hole

The 2016 corruption perception index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI) contained few surprises in the Asean region. Singapore remains the country in the Asean Community (AC) with the lowest perceived level of corruption ranking seven globally, while Cambodia remains the Asean Community’s filthiest for a fourth year in a row, dropping to 156 out of […]

Vietnam Increases Debt Ceiling Amid Rampant Spending

Vietnam Increases Debt Ceiling Amid Rampant Spending

Less than a month after claiming they would not raise the Vietnam government debt ceiling, the National Assembly has done just that. The legislature is scrambling to come to terms with the costs associated with the spectacular modernisation and growth experienced under former prime minster Nguyen Tan Dung, who served from 2006 to 2016 and […]

Vietnam Again Hints at Raising Bank Foreign Ownership Cap

Vietnam Again Hints at Raising Bank Foreign Ownership Cap

In what has become something of a regular occurrence the Vietnamese government is considering raising the foreign ownership cap on Vietnamese banks. Currently foreign ownership is limited to 30 per cent. Non-strategic investors can own up to 15 per cent, while strategic partners can own a maximum of 20 per cent. According to Reuters, last week […]

Vietnam’s Burgeoning Public Debt Overshadows 2015 Vietnam GDP Shine

Vietnam’s Burgeoning Public Debt Overshadows 2015 Vietnam GDP Shine

While many Southeast Asian economies are struggling with the impact of China’s continuing slowdown, Vietnam has bucked the trend and posted strong economic growth over the last year. In Q4 2015, Vietnam’s GDP expanded by seven per cent, the fastest rate in five years. For the full year, 2015 Vietnam GDP was 6.68 per cent, significantly […]

Vietnam Work Permit Regulations to Ease From April 1

Vietnam Work Permit Regulations to Ease From April 1

The lack of opacity along with the bureaucratic red tape and hurdles needed to obtain a Vietnam work permit has long been one of the primary complaints of foreign companies operating in the country, as well a favourite gripe among expatriates working there. Multiple documents from an employees home country need to be translated, notorised, […]

Beijing’s South China Sea Missiles Trump Obama’s TPP Push

Beijing’s South China Sea Missiles Trump Obama’s TPP Push

The timing couldn’t have been more calculated: less than 24 hours into an Asean summit hosted by US President Barack Obama, primarily to mull over how best to reduce tensions in the South China Sea and facilitate trade between Asean’s ten member states, Beijing manoeuvred 16 surface-to-air missile launchers and a radar system into position […]

Despite Leadership Drama, Vietnam to Continue on Current Path

Despite Leadership Drama, Vietnam to Continue on Current Path

In single-party Communist Vietnam there is little in the way of political uncertainty. Decisions are made in committees behind closed doors and delivered to the public via state-controlled media, while the party portrays an image of calm, complete control. It was surprising, therefore, that the lead-up to the recently concluded 12th Party Congress featured a […]

Vietnam’s pivot to the West more a shuffle towards the centre (video)

Signing onto the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Atlanta last October and the high-level state visits of half the politburo to the United States put Vietnam in the international spotlight and, when the dust had settled, left the Southeast Asian diplomatic status quo profoundly shaken. Did this represent a decisive pivot to the West by […]