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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs