Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, August 2, 2013

RAISE COUNTRY RISK FOR VIETNAM DUE TO DECREE BANNING NEGATIVE INFORMATION


The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyen Tan Dung, has signed a decree that effectively bans any negative information about Vietnam, on blogs or social media of its citizens. No Vietnamese shall engage in the sharing or exchange of information from local newspapers, press releases or other state-owned media , effective as of September. After that time, only personal information will be permitted online.

Additionally, any foreign ISPs are prohibited from publishing any negative information about Vietnam. Since there is no private media operating in Vietnam, foreign news websites, blogs, and social media, are the only way that negative information is made available. Under Vietnamese law, such news is regarded as anti-state activity, which constitutes a criminal act there.

The import of this decree is that online due diligence searchers will no longer be able to find negative information posted about corruption, internal problems in Vietnam, economic information, and even the filing of civil or criminal cases. This will make it extremely difficult to ascertain risk levels of Vietnamese banks, companies, individuals, or even government entities or agencies. For that reason, I feel that one must raise Country Risk on Vietnam at this time. When open-source information is suppressed by governmental edict, one cannot be sure that research has revealed all the information necessary to make an informed decision, based upon risk.

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