Vietnam's richest man among Asia's top philanthropists: Forbes

By Nguyen Quy   November 11, 2020 | 08:34 pm PT
Vietnam's richest man among Asia's top philanthropists: Forbes
Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of Vingroup. Photo courtesy of Vingroup.
Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of Vietnam's largest private company Vingroup, has joined Forbes' list of 15 altruists committed to issues facing the Asia-Pacific region.

Known as Vietnam’s richest man, Vuong was the only Vietnamese representative in the annual "Heroes of Philanthropy" list released Wednesday by Forbes Asia, which sifted through dozens of entrepreneurs committed to causes in the Asia-Pacific region who are donating from their personal fortunes.

"Vuong donated $77 million this year through his charity, Kind Heart Foundation, to help needy people with educational scholarships and free healthcare programs in the country," Forbes wrote.

Aged 52, Vuong founded Kind Heart Foundation in 2006 as a platform to build homes, health centers, libraries and infrastructure for low-income communities, and provide natural-disaster relief.

Vingroup also spent $55 million on various Covid-19 causes, such as providing ventilators and other equipment to healthcare organizations, Forbes noted.

The Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Vietnam last January, with the country having recorded 1,226 infections and 35 deaths to date.

This year’s list featured many famed entrepreneurs from across the region, including Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing who channeled HK$250 million ($32 million) through his foundation, including HK$100 million to communities in Wuhan, epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in China. Also on the list was Fast Retailing chief and Japan’s richest man Tadashi Yanai who gave ¥11.2 billion ($105 million) to two Japanese universities.

Some of the biggest donors this year focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, including China’s Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Automobile Holdings, and Singapore property tycoons and brothers Robert and Philip Ng.

Vuong ranked as the world's 286th richest person on Forbes with a net worth of $6.7 billion.

His conglomerate Vingroup boasts the country’s largest real estate operations and is also involved in retail, healthcare, education, automobiles, smartphones and electronics.

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