From Philip Heijmans published by Bloomberg. Here is an excerpt:
Vietnam’s Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong has likened his anti-graft campaign to a “blazing furnace,” one that’s caught hundreds of senior officials, business executives and others in its blast over the years. While the country’s position has improved by more than 30 spots over the past decade on a global corruption perception index, it was still at 87th place out of 180 ranked in 2021. Now as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy seeks to bolster its appeal as a destination for foreign investment in the midst of mounting trade tensions between the US and China, the fight seems to be flaring again.
1. What is Vietnam targeting?
Trong, who won a rare third term in 2021, said in a televised speech that “each party cadre and member needs to shoulder the responsibility of being a role model. The higher the position and rank, the more responsibility one must take.” Eight inspection teams have been set up to deal with corruption cases, including at party committees and agencies, according to the Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption.
2. Who’s in the crosshairs?
Authorities last year initiated criminal investigations of at least 4,646 individuals in about 2,474 cases for alleged corruption, abuse of power and economic wrongdoing. The Politburo and the party have disciplined around 70 officials, including five ministers and former ministers, since early 2021. Police have also detained a number of executives as part of investigations into alleged fraud tied to corporate bond issuance and equity trading and stock price manipulation. Here are some instances:
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