Vietnam has been making great strides in projecting itself as an effective ASEAN leader, particularly with its proactive governance in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change policy, and for its political stability, the ASEAN Post reported.
In its article published last weekend, the ASEAN Post highlighted the leading role of Vietnam as the current Chair of ASEAN, saying the country has been actively involved with the association since 1995 when it joined the bloc with the aim of bringing all Southeast Asian countries together to promote regional peace, freedom, and prosperity.
It highlighted that Vietnam is the only Southeast Asian country that has achieved climate action, according to the Sustainable Development Report 2020. Vietnam is powering ahead of the rest of Southeast Asia as it pushes for greater reliance on renewable energy.
Regarding economic growth, even during these unusually rough times, the Vietnamese economy has been remarkably resilient, thanks to the government’s drastic actions such as tax breaks, the delaying of tax payments, and land-use fees for businesses.
FDI worth over 12 billion USD was registered in Vietnam between January and April this year.
In addition, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of more than 9.9 billion USD, the highest compared to the previous four years.
Vietnam’s economy in the third quarter of this year has been positive, registering a 2.6 percent growth driven by the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries sectors, which grew 2.93 percent. The industry and construction sector grew 2.95 percent and services grew 2.75 percent. Overall Vietnam's growth in 2020 is expected to be in the range of 2.9 percent.
The ASEAN Post also highly spoke of Vietnam as one of the more politically stable countries in the region.
As Southeast Asia’s rising star, Vietnam could assume an effective dual leadership strategy with traditional ASEAN de facto leader, Indonesia, it said.
The success of Vietnam's COVID-19 strategy – which is centred on its experience with similar virus outbreaks in the past – has rightly attracted the attention of the international community. The ASEAN member state should be commended for its effective pandemic policies, which has resulted in low levels of transmission and fatalities.
Together with Indonesia, Vietnam can alter the security environment of ASEAN and lead the association in the right direction in terms of all its member states’ individual and collective goals, it said./