Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attend the opening ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit. (Photo: VNA)
– Foreign media view 2020 as a truly special year for Vietnam
as the country has not only performed the dual role of ASEAN Chair and a
non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) but also done a good job
of concurrently containing COVID-19 and sustaining economic growth.
a year full of challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has still been
developing complicatedly and changing the whole world, Vietnam, as Prof. Carl
Thayer at Australia’s University of New South Wales said, has shown its mettle,
promoted its stature, and won over trust in the region and the world.
2020, the name “Vietnam” has repeatedly appeared on international media outlets
and been frequently mentioned by foreign officials, experts, and scholars
thanks to its achievements in domestic and external affairs.
the motto of “leaving no one behind” and highly effective disease containment
measures conducted at minimum cost, international experts and media consider
the country as a model and an example for others to follow.
by the Government to realise the twin target of fighting the pandemic and
ensuring social security and obtaining the best possible economic growth can
make Vietnam “an economic highlight” in a year the global economy fell into the
worst recession since World War II.
international financial institutions have shared the view that Vietnam, posting
a growth rate of 2.91 percent in 2020, is one of the 10 countries with the
fastest GDP growth. The Economist listed it among the 16 most successful
emerging economies this year.
Vladimir Mazyrin from the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies at the Institute
for Far Eastern Studies, the Russian Academy of Science, called this an
extraordinary economic success amid the common recession and crisis, and it
will help Vietnam gain a higher position in world rankings in the time ahead.
Manila Times of the Philippines wrote that: “The
only seeming bright spot in Asia is Vietnam, which ably balanced public health
and economics right from the onset of the pandemic.”
Business Times of Singapore and the Reuters news agency noted strict quarantine
and tracing measures have helped Vietnam quickly curb outbreaks and recover
economic activities faster than many other Asian countries.
Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said Vietnam is one of the
two countries, the other is China, sustaining positive economic growth amid the
COVID-19 pandemic. She held that the successful containment of the disease has
supported the country to maintain growth momentum in 2020.
A border guard in Thua Thien - Hue province distribute leaflets on COVID-19 prevention and control. (Source: VNA)
an article titled “Learning from Vietnam on
how to handle COVID-19” on Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s senior journalist
Veeramalla Anjaiah wrote that: “Vietnam is a
dynamic country with so many success stories: Be it economic growth, exports,
investments or tourism, you name a sector, there’s a success story. Its latest
success story is in the health sector.”
economy, Vietnam has been ranked among countries recording highest growth
worldwide given negative global impacts of the pandemic. The International
Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted a strong economic recovery in 2021 for the
country, with macroeconomic stability seen in all aspects including growth,
current account deficit, and employment. IMF said the economy is diverse enough
to withstand the downturn caused by COVID-19 and achieve positive growth.
UK-based Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) projected that
Vietnam’s economy will move to the 19th places in the rankings of the World
Economic League Table in 2035, overtaking Taiwan (China) and Thailand. It said
that the nation’s annual rate of GDP growth is forecast to pick up to an
average of 7 percent between 2021 and 2025. Over the subsequent ten years, the
economy will expand by 6.6 percent on an annual average.
other perspective, the UK-based Financial Times said Vietnam is emerging as a
prominent link in the global supply chain. Multinationals are looking for
building up their supply bases here as a result of the country’s solid record
in making products to global standards, and to a widening network of free trade
agreements, including recently with the EU and the UK, it said.
the view, an article on seekingalpha.com said Vietnam has the potential to
become a manufacturing destination of the world. The article noted the country
is going into demographic dividend era where more than 70 percent of its
population will be below 35 years of age. With a population of about 100
million as of 2019, there are only about 13 percent who come under the middle
class/income category. This is slated to double by 2025/2026 to 26 percent.
This will give a big boost to their consumption story and push growth rates
higher from the current 6 percent average. Many companies will want to take
advantage of this consumption boom and take a leap to invest further in this
economy, it said.
terms of external relations, Vietnam has recorded outstanding marks in its role
as the Chair of ASEAN and of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, as well as
a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi commended Vietnam’s exemplary chairmanship role
by providing strong leadership in keeping the region cohesive and responsive to
new challenges, particularly the COVID-19.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chair of ASEAN in 2020, attends the signing ceremony of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. (Photo: VNA)
the Sputnik news agency of Russia emphasised that the most remarkable feature
of ASEAN 2020 was online conferences. Vietnam quickly adapted to the situation,
applying cyberspace to organise conferences set in the plan of the ASEAN
Chairmanship Year in the online format. This was warmly responded by all ASEAN
countries as well as the bloc’s partners. It proved that the COVID-19 pandemic
could not break the cohesion of the entire ASEAN.
Moribe, Director of the Vietnam Economic Research Institute (VERI), said
Vietnam successfully accomplished its role as ASEAN Chair 2020 in the context
of COVID-19’s impact being beyond imagination.
As ASEAN Chair, it assumed the burden of responsibility for leading the
bloc in outlining measures to address a wide range of important issues, he
said, adding that many countries have lauded Vietnam’s coordination capacity in
organising the summit, which involved the participation of powerful nations
such as China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
the same view, Prof. Carl Thayer from the University of New South Wales said
Vietnam actively affirmed its strong will and special leadership role in the
fields of uniting ASEAN member states together in response to COVID-19 pandemic
and recovery, creating consensus on neutral stance and ASEAN’s central role
amid competition among major powers, successfully completing negotiations on
the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and consolidating ASEAN’s
statement on the East Sea by underlining the importance of international law,
including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
a non-permanent member of the UNSC, Vietnam was hailed for reflecting its
active, balanced and responsible role, most recently pushing forward the UN’s
adoption of the Resolution on the establishment of International Day of
Epidemic Preparedness (December 27).
of Mozambique Verónica Nataniel said Vietnam made active and effective
contributions to the UNSC’s operations, including practical initiatives to
peace and security in Africa.
Representative of Belgium to the UN, Ambassador Philippe Kridelka said Vietnam
has raised a strong voice and won trust of the world. He expressed his belief
that Vietnam could serve as an effective bridge among nations, thus helping
permanent member states such as Russia, the US and China more understand each
Dian Triansyah Djani, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN,
expressed his belief that Vietnam will continue upholding its contributions in
various areas in the UNSC, particularly bringing peace to the Middle East and
Africa when Vietnam will undertake the role of UNSC Chair in April 2021 for the
On January 21, 2020, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of the Vietnamese mission to the UN, chairs an open discussion of United Nations Security Council on the Palestine-Israel situation. (Photo: VNA)
Permanent Representative of France to the UN, Ambassador Nathalie
Estival-Broadhurst, for her part, lauded Vietnam for fulfilling its
responsibility, including successfully holding an open discussion on the UN
Charter and connecting ASEAN with the UNSC.
described Vietnam as a strong partner in the UNSC and a traditional partner of
France in the Francophone community.
news agency Sputnik also said Vietnam could be
considered a role model in 2020, and the challenges that the country has faced
and weathered have illustrated its people’s steadfastness and the
clear-sightedness of its leaders./.