Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao has been named the 44th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, up 11 places from last year.
Thao is the only Vietnamese to make the magazine’s list of 100 most powerful women this year.
Forbes estimated the CEO of budget carrier Vietjet Air and the richest woman in Vietnam to have a net worth of around $2.6 billion.
Forbes compiles the list based on assets, impact, spheres of influence, media presence, and social media power.
Thao has extensive experience in doing business in Vietnam and abroad in multiple fields such as finance, banking, aviation, real estate, and retail.
She launched Vietjet in 2011. The airline leads the domestic market with a 45 percent share. It operates 385 flights daily within Vietnam and to Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, mainland China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.
Thao also has interests in banking and real estate, which includes owning three beach resorts.
Topping the list of the most powerful women in the world, for an astonishing eighth year, was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
She was followed by British Prime Minister Theresa May, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
The list comprises business leaders, politicians, investors, scientists, philanthropists, and people who are finding solutions to the world’s most difficult problems or have the most global impact.
Photo: Vietjet Air