First Vietnamese businesswoman awarded prestigious French honor

By Duc Minh   April 15, 2021 | 12:15 am PT
First Vietnamese businesswoman awarded prestigious French honor
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao receives the Legion of Honor in Hanoi, April 15, 2021. Photo courtesy of Vietjet Air.
Vietjet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has become the first Vietnamese businesswoman to be conferred the Legion of Honor, the highest French order of merit.

The Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur was awarded to Thao for her contributions to promoting ties between Vietnam and France.

Thao, 51, received the order from French Ambassador to Vietnam, Nicolas Warnery, at a ceremony organized in Hanoi Wednesday.

Warnery described Thao as "a friend of France," noting she has been working actively to strengthen economic and cultural ties between both countries. She has also provided pandemic-related support to the French people by donating a large quantity of masks, he said.

Thao’s business operations in Vietnam cover finance, banking, aviation, real estate, and retail sectors.

She launched Vietjet Air in 2011. The budget carrier leads the domestic market with a 45 percent share.

Vietnam's only female billionaire had a net worth of $2.8 billion as of March this year.

Last year, Thao was the only Vietnamese representative in Business Insider’s latest list of 100 persons who’ve changed the Asian economy. In 2019, she was named among the world’s 100 most powerful women by American magazine Forbes.

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