News

Half of Companies Bribe Officials in Vietnam

<span style="display:block">From <a target="new" href="http://www.rferl.org/">RFA</a></span>

Policemen on motorcycle in Hanoi, Vietnam, June 11, 2010
Policemen on motorcycle in Hanoi, Vietnam, June 11, 2010
Joshua Lipes

Nearly half of Vietnam’s companies say they have had to bribe officials in order to do business, a new survey conducted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) revealed.

Some 80 percent of businesses in the country reported their operations had been negatively affected by corruption, the survey, released Wednesday, claimed.

Of the 270 business and entrepreneurs, business associations, and civil servants interviewed for the survey, nearly 50 percent said they had to pay bribes, which consisted of cash, luxury items or holiday packages, to officials in return for the right to bid on contracts for public sector work.

Around 63 percent of respondents said that the system of licensing a business was too confusing and was a leading reason for the graft.

“There are many reasons for businesses to opt to give bribes to state officials, and when they are doing so, they think about the short time benefits they can gain," said Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the VCCI.

“However, in the long run, such a practice will undermine their business ability and damage their competitiveness, since they have become much more reliant on bribes than on their capabilities to obtain their goals,” he added.

Forty percent of businesses polled said that “unofficial” expenses account for one percent of their annual operating costs, while 13 percent of respondents said the rate was as high at five percent of costs.

Only 31 percent of those polled said the procedure of granting land use rights had become more simplified, but half of the respondents complained about the complexity of land allocation, and 40 percent said maintaining “close relationships” with land officials would get a company through the process more easily.

‘Unofficial expenses’

According to VCCI, “unofficial” expenses are routinely paid by firms to agencies which safeguard food quality and cleanliness, natural resources and the environment, and social welfare.

And more than 10 percent of the businesspeople polled said that the “under-the-table” money they had to pay to tax, customs, and market management agencies was remarkable, and sometimes “huge.”

More than 50 percent of respondents said that they could not obtain a loan without paying a “tip” to officers at the bank, while 60 percent said they had to establish “good relationships” with banks if they wanted to get a loan.

In many cases, the survey said, officials personally suggested that businesses pay them a bribe or a gift in return for assistance resolving problems. It said the phenomenon was most commonly seen in the land, banking, and business registration industries.

As many as 87 percent of surveyed businesses said corruption in Vietnam was a result of legal loopholes exploited by corrupt state officials, while 75 percent said ineffective law enforcement had allowed the spread of corruption.

About two-thirds of the respondents said low salaries for civil servants are among the main causes of corruption.

In order to combat corruption, VCCI suggested that the Vietnamese government take measures to increase legal income for civil servants, strengthen the moral education of state employees, and raise the level of punishment for those convicted of accepting bribes.

Vietnamese officials have said corruption and rising inequality poses “the biggest risks to the ruling party.”

Find more coverage at Radio Free Asia
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs