Development of Vietnam-Brazil People-to-People Diplomacy Entering New Phase

At the recently concluded 13th Party Congress, it was identified that people-to-people diplomacy should be one of the main pillars of Vietnam's foreign policy. Vietnam-Brazil relations particularly have great potential to expand and diversify by building more connections between individuals of both countries.

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Vietnam-Brazil People-to-people Diplomacy to Enter New Stage of Development
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets with Brazilian President Lula Da Silva within the framework of the expanded G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 21, 2023. Photo: VGP

On the occasion of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to Brazil, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations Phan Anh Son shared about Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomatic activities.

Three main areas of cooperation through people-to-people diplomacy

What are some general and outstanding features of people-to-people diplomacy activities between Vietnam and Brazil deployed by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations in recent times?

Vietnam and Brazil officially established diplomatic relations in 1989. In recent years, Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomacy has been implemented through various channels, involving different units and organizations.

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations and the Vietnam-Brazil Friendship and Cooperation Association play a key role in maintaining and developing the traditional friendship between the two peoples.

Since 2010, the two sides have coordinated to organize numerous activities in diverse forms and rich in content. This includes seven delegations exchanged between the two sides, three Vietnam-Brazil friendship meetings, four international conferences and seminars, and the release of three propaganda publications.

Currently, three main areas of cooperation are being pursued through people-to-people diplomacy channels including information dissemination, language exchange, and business connections.

Regarding information exchange, news about Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomacy activities is regularly published in the media.

On the Brazilian side, the Brazil-Vietnam Friendship Association (ABRAVIET) also actively promotes Vietnam’s image in Brazil through publishing books about President Ho Chi Minh, articles on the association’s website, and organizing seminars about Vietnamese culture. They also support economic and trade cooperation activities and facilitate connections between Vietnam and Brazilian partners in sports and education.

Despite the geographical distance and language barriers, Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomacy has achieved a wide range of activities that have preserved and developed the valuable traditional friendship between the two peoples. These activities have also promoted cooperation among students, workers, and businesses.

Vietnam-Brazil People-to-people Diplomacy to Enter New Stage of Development
President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations Phan Anh Son.

Promote cooperation in potential fields

How will the focuses and key points that need to be prioritized in people-to-people diplomacy activities between Vietnam and Brazil be implemented in the coming time?

There is a need to focus more strongly on certain potential areas such as trade cooperation, educational exchange, and promotion of culture, arts, and sports through people-to-people exchanges.

Brazil has many prestigious universities, and Vietnam’s universities are also transforming and attracting more international students. This provides an opportunity for people-to-people diplomacy to promote effectiveness in educational exchanges between the two countries.

Student exchanges will play an important role in educating the younger generation about the relationship between Vietnam and Brazil and creating a bridge for other areas of bilateral cooperation.

Culture, arts, sports, and tourism are fields that easily connect people. Both Vietnam and Brazil have their own strengths in these areas, and efforts will be made to promote cooperation in these fields through people-to-people diplomacy.

Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomacy has room for development

What are the prospects for cooperation between Vietnam and Brazil, and in people-to-people diplomacy activities between the two countries particularly after the Prime Minister’s visit?

The official visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to Brazil in September 2023 is the first high-level visit since President Lula da Silva’s visit to Vietnam in 2008.

It is expected that the relationship between Vietnam and Brazil will experience strong development momentum following this visit. The two countries will expand economic, trade, defense, and security cooperation, as well as boost cooperation in education, sports, and culture.

Opportunities for educational and cultural exchange activities will be opened up through the signing of the Vietnam-Brazil education cooperation agreement. This will lay the foundation for people-to-people exchanges and mutual understanding.

Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomatic activities still have a lot of potential and room for development. It is expected that after this visit, there will be more connections between localities, departments, organizations, businesses, schools, and research institutes of the two countries. With the attention of the leaders of both countries, people-to-people diplomacy will mobilize the participation of a large number of people. This will help deploy good initiatives and ideas to connect the people of Vietnam and Brazil, attracting the interest and contribution of young people and students from both countries. Vietnam-Brazil people-to-people diplomacy will enter a new stage of development.

Rosie Nguyen