VIETNAM – Bloomberg News interviewing Dr. Oliver Massmann on impact of anti-corruption push
VIETNAM – Bloomberg News interviewing Dr. Oliver Massmann on impact of anti-
1. While Vietnam’s anti-corruption push has been ongoing for several years, 2022 marked an acceleration in the
process with several high-profile take downs. How is this being seen by your clients, and is it having any impact
on the speed at which business is being conducted in Vietnam?
Answer: On the one hand, this is considered as a good sign for foreign investment in Vietnam. Top authorities would
still welcome big projects to maintain the country as a destination for investments. Corruption in licensing process,
which is quite frequent in Vietnam, varying from small to big ‘gifts’, will possibly be less as authorities are fear of being
investigated and caught up. On the other hand, this could also slow down business approvals and project implementation
progress. Officials fearing potential charges on wrongdoings or alleged corruption are more likely to delay approving
projects that might put them at risks.
2. We’ve heard some rumblings about slowdowns in license acquisitions and in public financing for approved
infrastructure projects because officials have become a bit scared of being caught up. Have you experienced
anything like this? How does that level of scrutiny compare to previous years?
Answer: As mentioned in our answer above, there are actually certain delays in approving infrastructure projects. We
have been given several reasons for this delay but only the authorities know exactly the underlying obstacles. This
happens more to big projects rather than small sized ones.
3. I’d be curious in any specific examples if its possible to avoid naming names — just to give our readers a sense
of what’s happening on the ground.
Answer: Ho Chi Minh metro project should have been operated about 10 years ago but there is still a lot to be done.
Government-officials have less interest in implementing capital-investment projects because they fear exposure to
4. How big an issue is this kind of scrutiny/slowdown likely to be, especially if Vietnam continues its anti-graft
campaign at the same tempo in 2023? And ultimately, how does that jive against the country’s other major
priority — to encourage foreign investment?
Answer: In the short term, the anti-graft campaign will not jeopardise Vietnam’s growth. Mr. Trong wants Vietnam to
become a middle-income country by 2030. Friendly and attractive business environment is still among top priorities as
the country economy needs foreign investment. Party cleanup is political and might be at the expense of those who are
foreign investment friendly. However, in the long run, clean companies will benefit more from this anti-corruption
campaign while state related companies/ projects might face more slowdown. Honest officials should be able to approve
projects without being fear of being arrested.
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Oliver Massmann under email@example.com if you have any questions
or want to know more details on the above. Dr. Oliver Massmann is the General Director of Duane Morris Vietnam
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