Vietnam climbs up three spots to rank 47th out of 105 countries in Brand Finance’s Global Soft Power Index Report 2021. (Photo: Brand Finance)

Vietnam was the only country among 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to see improvement this year.

Its overall score was 33.8 out of 100 points, 2.5 points higher than last year, putting it ahead of the Philippines (53rd), Cambodia (89th) and Myanmar (90th).

Among other ASEAN countries, Singapore was at 20th, Thailand 33rd, Malaysia 39th, and Indonesia 45th.

According Brand Finance, the improvement was largely owing to the fact that Vietnam has objectively managed the COVID-19 pandemic 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,” the report said. “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.”

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the Vietnam National Brand Programme from 2020 to 2030, which aims to increase the value and rankings of the nation brand while targeting over 1,000 products to become strong national brands.

The brands from the country are managed through specific efforts and initiatives undertaken by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Department of Trade Promotion (Vietrade), under their nation mark programme “Vietnam Value”.

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 Free Trade Agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), making the country an important factor in all regional and intra-regional economic links.

At the same time, the Vietrade and the MoIT have 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.

The MoIT also focuses on building and promoting geographical indications and collective marks of Vietnam in foreign markets; supporting to improve the competitiveness of businesses based on quality reputation, environment-friendly production, and professionalism, thereby contributing to consolidate the position of Vietnamese brands in the world market.

The Brand Finance Global Soft Power Index is a comprehensive research study on perceptions of 100 nation brands from around the world. It surveys the general public as well as specialist audiences, with responses gathered from over 75,000 people across more than 100 countries.

The countries were graded on awareness and familiarity, influence, global reputation, and performance in key sectors like trade and business, governance, culture and heritage, media and communication, education and science, and people and values.

China represents largest import market of Vietnam over two-month period

China made up the nation’s largest import market during the first two months of the year with an estimated turnover of USD17.3 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 85.7%, reported the Voice of Vietnam according to data recently released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO).

Cargo trucks are waiting for export procedures to China through a border gate in the northern province of Lang Son.

The Republic of Korea ranked second with a turnover of USD8.4 billion, marking a rise of 6.7% compared to the same period from last year, followed by ASEAN, Japan, the EU, and the United States.

Throughout the reviewed period, import turnover stood at an estimated USD47.26 billion, an increase of 25.9% over last year’s corresponding period, of which the domestic economic sector reached USD15.62 billion, a boost of 16%, with the foreign-invested sector rising to USD31.64 billion, a surge of 31.4%.

Most notably, there were 11 commodities in total which recorded an import turnover of over UD1 billion, accounting for 67.6% of the country’s total import turnover, while nine items had an export turnover of over USD1 billion, making up 73.8% of the overall export turnover.

With regards to export markets, the US was the largest Vietnamese export market during the two-month period with a turnover of USD14.2 billion, posting a rise of 38.2% on-year.

Nationwide economic census begins on March 1

The General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) launched the 2021 Economic Census across the nation on March 1, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Production inside a firm in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

According to GSO Deputy Director General Nguyen Trung Tien, results of the census are part of the foundation for the compilation of targets on gross domestic product (GDP), gross regional domestic product (GRDP), and many other statistical indicators.

Objectives of the census are production and business enterprises and cooperatives; production and business establishments under administrative agencies and productive agencies; branches and representative offices of foreign enterprises and foreign non-governmental organisations; religious and belief establishments; and individual non-agricultural, fishery and forestry business and production establishments.

The census will collect information about production and business types; forms of operation, labour and labourers’ income, production and business outcomes and costs,  information technology application, and access to loans and international economic integration.

The census aims to serve the assessment of the country’s socio-economic development, thus helping the Party and State with making development plans and policies.

The preliminary data will be released in December 2021, while the official results are expected to be announced in January 2022.

Results of the 2017 Economic Census showed that there were more than 5.86 million economic units in the country as of July 1, 2017, including over 517,900 enterprises, which employed 26.9 million employees and more than 14 million labourers respectively, up 13.7 percent and 18.6 percent as compared to 2012.

The census also revealed several shortcomings of the local enterprises, including employment downsizing and ineffective application of information technology at State-owned agencies./.

Compiled by BTA