Vietnam 32nd most powerful country in the world: report

By Nguyen Quy   December 21, 2019 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnam 32nd most powerful country in the world: report
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and children welcome U.S. President Donald Trump to the Government Office in Hanoi, February 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Surpassing several of its Southeast Asian peers in the latest global power ranking, Vietnam proves key player on world stage.

Vietnam ascended two spots from last year to 32nd out of 80 economies in the 2019 power ranking released by multi-platform publisher U.S. News and World Report.

Listing is based on an equally weighted scores average related to a country's leader, economic influence, political influence, international alliance and military.

Vietnam scored an average 0.9 points on a scale of 10 in power ranking. Its military strength scored 3.0 points, economic influence 0.6 and political influence 0.6, while two elements "strong international alliances" and "a leader" recorded 0.2 and 0.4 points respectively.

Singapore was named most powerful Southeast Asian country, ranked 20th. Vietnam's level of global influence is ahead of several neighbors including Indonesia (47th), the Philippines (51st), Myanmar (53rd), Thailand (54th) and Malaysia (58th).

The U.S. retains top spot as the most powerful country in the world, followed by Russia and China. The top 10 further includes Germany, the U.K., France, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Vietnam's military ranked 23rd globally, according to an October report by Global Firepower, a U.S. non-governmental military website.

The Vietnamese army is now equipped with six submarines, Su-30 MK2 strike fighters, anti-aircraft missile systems, surface-to-shore missiles, radar systems, technical reconnaissance, and armored tank units.

In the new White Paper on Vietnam National Defense released last month, the nation reconfirmed its stance on avoiding all military alliances, emphasizing it would not use force in its international relations.

The 2019 White Paper states current defense spending is commensurate with the country's economic development, increasing from 2.23 percent of GDP in 2010 to 2.36 percent in 2018 to approximately $5.8 billion.

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