Kenno Vietnam Pulse - April 2024

Vietnam's economy showcased robust growth in the first quarter of 2024, with its GDP expanding by 5.66%, the fastest Q1 increase in five years. This period also saw a significant 13.4% year-on-year rise in registered foreign direct investment (FDI) to reach $6.2 billion. The industrials and services sectors were major growth drivers, with the former registering a 6.28% growth. Noteworthy contribution came from processing, which increased 6.98% YoY. The positive economic trend was further supported by an increase in export and retail sales, along with a high volume of new business registrations totalling 36,224 (+7% YoY). Additionally, Vietnam attracted substantial foreign investments, particularly in manufacturing and real estate, highlighting ongoing confidence in its market potential.

On April 11, 2024, a court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced business executive Truong My Lan to death for her involvement in a significant financial fraud case. As the chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group, Lan was found guilty of embezzling approximately $12 billion from Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank, significantly impacting Vietnam's financial sector. This case is one of the most high-profile instances of Vietnam's rigorous anti-corruption efforts, highlighting the government's stringent stance against corruption and financial crimes. In addition to her capital sentence, Lan received 20-year sentences for bribery and violating lending regulations, and she was ordered to pay nearly $27 billion in damages (~6% of 2023 GDP). This sentencing underscores Vietnam’s commitment to maintaining financial integrity and trust as it seeks to attract more international investment.

On April 15-16, 2024, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Hanoi, Vietnam, for a series of engagements with local app developers, content creators, and Apple users. During his visit, Cook highlighted his enthusiasm for learning how Apple's products are utilized in Vietnam and announced several initiatives aimed at deepening Apple's commitment to the region. Apple's expanding presence in Vietnam is marked by recent launches such as the Apple Store Online and Apple Pay, and ongoing projects to enhance Apple Maps and recruit engineers for Siri development in Vietnamese. This visit underscores Apple's strategic interest in Vietnam, reflecting the country's growing importance in the global tech landscape and its potential as a hub for technological innovation.

Tim Cook
Tim Cook and his team walking from the Hanoi Post Office. Photo courtesy of VnExpress International.
On 26 April 2024, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam accepted Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue’s resignation as Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, following violations of party regulations. His resignation is part of a consistent political cycle for power transition in Vietnam, reflecting a typical positioning of political succession. These high-profile resignations, although exceptional, are seen as efforts to bolster the Communist Party's credibility, impacting minimally on Vietnam's economic reforms. A vice Chairman temporarily runs the National Assembly of Vietnam to make sure that all functions such as law approvals will be conducted as usual. The government continues to support rapid growth in the economy, capital markets, and banking sector. Notably, Vietnam recorded the fastest Q1 GDP growth of the last five years in 2024.
Mr. Vuong Dinh Hue, Chairman of the National Assembly. Photo courtesy of


Published 05/2024

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