Vietnam. Vietnam introduced a law in January that would allow all adult citizens to donate blood once a month. The reason was that there was anemia in the country’s blood banks.
According to Countryaah.com, one of the 19 members of the Politburo, Đinh La Thăng, was dismissed in May for suspicion of malpractice in his role as chairman of the board of the state oil and gas company Petrovietnam in 2009-11. As a member of the Politburo, the country’s governing body, Thăng was one of Vietnam’s highest ranking politicians. According to media reports, he was deposed in connection with a major scare against corrupt officials in Petrovietnam and its subsidiaries.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 648,700,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||6.80%|
|GDP per capita||$ 6,900|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||11.3%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||7.00%|
|Investment volume||42.5% of GDP|
|National debt||58.50% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 38,750,000,000|
|Number of visitors||7,874,000|
In June, 37-year-old blogger Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, known as Me Nam or Mother Mushroom, was sentenced to ten years in prison for spreading state-hostile propaganda on social media. Among other things, Me Nam wrote about environmental problems and social injustices. Almost a month later, another blogger, 39-year-old Trần Thị Nga, was sentenced to nine years in prison. The judges were condemned by several human rights organizations, including the UN agency OHCHR, who expressed concern that human rights campaigners in Vietnam are being treated as criminals.
One of the former chairman of the oil company Petrovietnam, Trịnh Xuân Thanh, was abducted in Germany in July, where he was seeking asylum. Thanh left Vietnam in 2016 after allegations of causing losses in Petrovietnam of the equivalent of US $ 150 million, according to Reuters news agency. A little over a week after the abduction, Thanh appeared on Vietnamese TV to tell him that he voluntarily went home to “acknowledge his mistakes and apologize”. But in Germany, it was reported that Thanh was kidnapped by the Vietnamese intelligence service, which according to German authorities was contrary to German and international law. Following the incident, in August, the Czech Republic arrested and extradited a Vietnamese intelligence agent to Germany, suspected of participating in the kidnapping of Thanh.
In a comprehensive trial of Ocean Bank in September, the bank’s CEO Nguyễn Xuân Sơn was sentenced to death for fraud and abuse of power. That was the case, both in his role as CEO of Ocean Bank and as former chairman of the board of Petrovietnam. Ocean Bank founder Ha Van Tham received life imprisonment. At the same time, a dozen people were sentenced to prison sentences of up to 22 years. In total, 51 banking and business officials were involved in the trial of Ocean Bank, which was taken over by the central bank in 2015 after it failed to pay its debts. Since Vietnam got a new prime minister last year, the Communist Party’s fight against corruption in the country has intensified.
As a result of heavy rains across central and northern Vietnam, authorities reported in October that 68 people had been killed. The weather was described as the worst in years. Only a few weeks later, Vietnam was hit by further flooding in the tracks of the typhoon Damrey. Over 100 people were reported dead and around 200 injured.
Several of the world’s leaders gathered in November for the APEC Economic Cooperation Summit in the Vietnamese port city of Đa Năng. In conjunction with the meeting, Vietnam and ten other countries agreed to continue the TPP free trade agreement despite the US deciding to step down.