Notwithstanding political stability, Vietnam’s rule-of-law remains highly deficient and the country’s human rights records worsened. Other social issues of importance include increasing corruption, inequality and environmental pollution.

Vietnam has made strong commitments to foreign trade in terms of opening its domestic market and promoting exports. In this regard, Vietnam’s free trade agreement with the EU is pending approval in the EU parliament.

A major challenge are anti-democratic actors in Vietnam. The most anti-democratic actors are perhaps the military and public security forces, who are not willing to sacrifice their benefits, special treatment or veto powers. Others include the conservatives in the party who believe in the supremacy of communism.

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