In January 2021, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) held its 13th congress and elected a new 200-member Central Committee and an 18-member Politburo. In 2021, the new National Assembly was elected. The power and influence of Nguyen Phu Trong, president and CPV secretary-general, has consolidated.

Despite a challenging global environment and continuing tensions between the United States and China, Vietnam’s economy has shown resilience, supported by robust domestic demand, export-oriented manufacturing and unprecedented private sector growth. In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s growth rate was positive at 2.91%.

The CPV has intensified party discipline, and its performance on rights and other governance measures remained poor. The adoption of the Law on Cybersecurity in 2020 was a further step back in freedom of speech, and corruption remains a serious issue. Vietnam was heralded as a model in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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