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|Vietnam climbs up Brand Finance’s Global Soft Power Index 2021. Photo: Unsplash|
Ranking 47th in the overall index, Vietnam (33.8) is a nation that objectively managed COVID-19 extremely well. Vietnam 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 is the response to the pandemic impressive – given its shared border with China – but Vietnam also experienced one of the highest economic growth rates globally in 2020 – one of a handful of countries with positive growth in 2020.
Commenting on the achievement, Samir Dixit, managing director of Brand Finance Asia-Pacific, stressed that the historical way of managing soft power through strong individual personalities and political diplomacy are no longer relevant. Soft power today is about a sum of perceptions across all stakeholders, be it consumers, corporates, media, global policymakers, investors, the leadership of other countries, and so on.
According to Dixit, economic growth in the 21st century is all about sustained collaborations amongst various stakeholders and the correlation of perceptions of the nation brand with the brands from the country, which can truly enhance the country’s soft power – both internally and externally. Vietnam seems to have managed all aspects of its perception quite well. Especially the integration and alignment of its nation brand and the brands from the country.
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.
The representative of Brand Finance said that the “Vietnam Value” programme management agency, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, has actively supported Vietnamese enterprises to improve their capacity through consulting business development, establishing information systems, and updating branding knowledge.
All these initiatives and efforts have helped increase the awareness of the public, international consumers, and customers about the programme and Vietnam Value products through various domestic and international media channels.
“Thanks to the efforts of the Vietnam Value programme, Vietnam’s processed food industry now contributes upwards of $17 billion of Vietnam’s exports. The apparel industry makes up over $22 billion of Vietnam’s exports. These economic contributions are absolutely crucial for Vietnam’s overall growth, its reputation, and contribution to Vietnam’s soft power,” he added.