Vietnam’s Impressive Regional Standing: A Swiss Reporter’s Perspective

"Vietnam is on the cusp of something extraordinary," says Swiss reporter Alain Jourdan. With a strategic location and an emerging economy, Vietnam is poised to become a pivotal country at the heart of a region that is capturing the world's attention.

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Vietnam has garnered unprecedented attention on the global stage, as evidenced by the multitude of economic deals and partnerships forged with international allies. This remarkable shift in Vietnam’s standing was highlighted in an article by Alain Jourdan, published in the Tribune de Geneva newspaper and cited by VNA.

Jourdan’s article underscores the transformative impact of economic reforms and globalization on Vietnam. Since the initiation of these reforms in 1986, Vietnam has emerged as a middle-income country, shedding its previous label as one of the poorest nations in the world.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, emphasized the nation’s commitment to building and fostering a modern diplomacy with a strong national identity, coined as “Vietnamese bamboo diplomacy.” This statement was made at the National Conference on Foreign Affairs held in Hanoi on December 14, 2021.

Vietnam’s foreign policy, cultivated over decades, prioritizes multilateral mechanisms and forums, aiming to foster friendships with all countries. This approach is exemplified by the agreements reached with the US and China in 2023.

Vietnam is poised to become a pivotal nation at the heart of the region, attracting global attention. Jourdan shared his impressions of Vietnam’s economic development, predicting that the country will achieve the highest growth rate in Southeast Asia in 2024, estimated at 6-6.5%.

In his conversation with VNA reporters in Geneva, Jourdan elaborated on his thoughts about Vietnam and its people. He expressed admiration for the country’s remarkable economic achievements and the unique approach to rebuilding after the war.

This assessment is supported by numerous studies, confirming Vietnam’s ascent from poverty to globalization. Jourdan attributed this success to the resilient and forward-thinking spirit of the Vietnamese people, highlighting their ability to focus on the future rather than being mired in the past.

Additionally, Jourdan offered insights into Vietnam’s “bamboo diplomacy.” He commended Vietnam’s ingenuity in managing relations with major countries, striving for balanced relationships to enhance its role in international affairs and multilateral forums. He emphasized the need for moderation in world affairs and praised Vietnam’s policy of strengthening relations with other nations, which fosters confidence in financial markets and attracts investors.

The concept of “bamboo diplomacy” was introduced by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during a diplomatic conference in 2016 and reiterated at the first national conference on foreign affairs in 2021. Trong likened Vietnam’s foreign policy to bamboo, characterized by strong roots, solid stems, and flexible branches.

In January, Swiss journalist Guy Mettan also recognized Vietnam’s “bamboo diplomacy” and its efforts in “Make in Vietnam” chip production in an article for bonpourlatete.com. This was followed by a feature on Argentina’s Equilibrium Global news website, which emphasized the unique values of Vietnam’s diplomatic approach and its rising influence on the world stage.

Equilibrium Global’s journal commended Vietnam’s strategic balance in relations with world powers, rooted in the core principle of ensuring national interests, independence, and self-reliance in external relations. This approach, inspired by President Ho Chi Minh’s diplomatic ideology, has elevated Vietnam’s role in international affairs and facilitated its maintenance of relations with global superpowers while safeguarding its national interests.

Hannah Nguyen
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