Feb 26, 2021 / 09:24

Vietnam moves up among ranks of world’s top 60 soft power nations

Economic achievements are absolutely crucial for Vietnam’s overall growth, its reputation and contribution to Vietnam’s soft power.

Vietnam moved up three places from 50th to 47th in the Global Soft Power Index 2021, which ranks the world’s top 60 soft power nations by the London-based independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance.

 Medical worker conducts Covid-19 testing on locals. Photo: Pham Hung

The report noted given its effective dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the country “was spared a year of lockdowns, and besieged hospitals, and has one of the lowest Covid-19 infection and death rates in the world.”

Not only the response to the pandemic impressive – given its shared border with China where the first cases of Covid-19 infection were confirmed – but Vietnam also experienced one of the highest economic growth rates globally in 2020 – being among a handful of countries with positive growth in 2020 - while neighboring countries continue to wrestle with deepening recessions, stated Brand Finance.

“Vietnam seems to have managed all aspects of its perception [of soft power] quite well,” said Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia Pacific.

 Vietnam moves up three places to 47th in the Global Soft Power Index 2021. Source: Brand Finance

According to Dixit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the Vietnam National Brand Program from 2020 to 2030, which aims to increase the value and rankings of the nation brand while targeting over 1,000 products to become strong national brands.

The brands from the country are managed through specific efforts and initiatives undertaken by Vietrade, under their nation mark program “Vietnam Value”.

At a national level, Vietnam had established diplomatic relations with 187 out of 193 member states of the United Nations and completed the process of negotiating and signing new-generation FTAs - including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement - making the country an important factor in all regional and intra-regional economic links, which is a booster for Vietnam’s imports and exports.

Meanwhile, the “Vietnam Value” program management agency and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam (MoIT), have actively supported Vietnamese enterprises to improve their capacity through consulting business development, establishing information systems, and updating branding knowledge, he noted.

Thanks to the efforts of the “Vietnam Value” program, Vietnam’s processed food industry now contributes upwards of US$17 billions of Vietnam’s exports. The apparel industry makes up over US$22 billions of the country’s exports.

“These economic achievements are absolutely crucial for Vietnam’s overall growth, its reputation and contribution to Vietnam’s soft power,“ he suggested.

In the Global Soft Power Index this year, Germany replaced the US at the top rank, with the latter was relegated to sixth. Japan and the UK claimed the second and third spots respectively in the index.

Brand Finance defines soft power as a nation’s ability to influence the preferences and behaviors of various actors in the international arena (states, corporations, communities, publics, etc.) through attraction or persuasion rather than coercion.