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October 22, 2021, 2:55 pm

Super-rich an elite minority as gap between rich and poor widens

(19:48:13 PM 17/07/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - The World Bank (WB) believes that Vietnam has about 110 super-rich people. However, analysts say no one can say for sure how many super-rich there are in Vietnam, and it is also unclear how they got rich.


A report released recently by the World Bank showed that Vietnam has about 110 super-rich people, or those who have total assets valued at $30 million (VND630 billion) and higher.


As such, the number of super-rich people has increased by threefold over 2003, when 34 people were recognized as super-rich.


More super rich in stagnant economy


Regarding the figures released by the World Bank, Pham Chi Lan, a renowned economist, said the number of super-rich was not a reliable index to measure Vietnam’s economic growth or Vietnam’s wealth.


The higher number of super rich only shows the widening gap between the rich and the poor.


According to Lan, the high number of super-rich people in an underdeveloped economy is not something Vietnam should take pride in. It is “abnormal” that people should be getting rich in a stagnant economy.


Meanwhile, Dr. Trinh Hoa Binh from the Sociology Academy thinks this is good news that Vietnam has more rich people, because with the more powerful financial capability, they would be able to make greater contributions to the country’s development.


However, both Lan and Binh have noted that unlike the billionaires in the world, many of the Vietnamese super-rich follow “uncommon” ways to get rich.


Lan noted that the majority of the rich listed in the annual top 100 stock millionaires report are real estate developers, who got rich because they seized opportunities or exploited the problems of the real estate market, which lacks transparency.


Meanwhile, Vietnam does not have industry or technology tycoons, the ones who get rich through their brainpower.


One in 1 million


The World Bank’s report pointed out that there is one Vietnamese rich person for every one million Vietnamese, and that inequality exists between the rich and the majority of Vietnamese in accessing opportunities.


Dr. Binh noted many of the super-rich people got rich by taking full advantage of their power as high-ranking officials of ministries and state agencies, or making corrupt use of an unreasonable management mechanism.


Many others got rich thanks to their privileges to access confidential information, which helped them make reasonable investment decisions.


“I believe that there are not many people getting rich with their intelligence,” Binh said.


He went on to say that many people become poorer in order for one person to get richer. For example, a person who knows in advance about new land programming will surely have advantages over others when making decisions on whether to buy or sell a land plot.


Lan said that most of the rich real estate developers have “special relations” with the local authorities and high ranking officials. The “special relations” allow them to access confidential information which determines the success of their investment deals.


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