Vietnam up in Asia power ranking thanks to successful Covid-19 control

By Nguyen Quy   October 19, 2020 | 05:02 pm PT
Vietnam up in Asia power ranking thanks to successful Covid-19 control
A Czech man (L) says goodbye to the medical staff at Cu Chi field hospital in HCMC as he is discharged following Covid-19 treatment, March 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Vietnam’s level of influence in the Asia-Pacific region has moved up a notch in an annual power ranking, its reputation strengthened by the competent handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The country was the 12th most influential in the Asia-Pacific region, ahead of New Zealand (13th), the Philippines (16th) and Myanmar (20th), according to 2020 Asia Power Index, released Sunday by Australian think tank Lowy Institute.

The ranking measured 26 countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region and scored them on distribution of power, based on eight main categories, including defense networks, cultural influence, diplomatic influence, economic resources, economic relationships, military capability, resilience and future trends.

Vietnam, classed in the "middle powers" group, scored an overall 19.2 points out of 100, up 1.2 from last year, and performs best in thanks to big improvements in diplomacy.

Vietnam performs best in the diplomatic influence sphere, where it placed 9th, up three spots from last year thanks to successful containment of the Covid-19 crisis, the report says.

The country of 96 million has recorded 1,140 infections and 35 deaths. Thanks to aggressive tracing and mass testing, Vietnam has successfully contained its second Covid-19 outbreak that hit the country last July after more than three months clear of community transmission.

It said Vietnam also saw notable improvements in its score for economic capability (13th) and defense networks (11th).

The report said: "Hanoi has become an effective multilateral player in regional forums and trade initiatives whether in terms of steering negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement as ASEAN chair, or as one of 11 countries to have resuscitated the Trans-Pacific Partnership."

Vietnam is among few countries likely to post positive GDP growth this year while most economies contract due to the impacts of Covid-19.

Its lowest ranking is in the resilience sphere, coming in 19th.

Lowy Institute's ranking showed the U.S. remains the most powerful country in the Asia Pacific region with an overall score of 81.6, followed by China at 76.1. Both these countries were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic with the U.S. now the world's largest coronavirus hotspot.

Japan, India, and Russia rounded up the top five most powerful countries in Asia-Pacific.

go to top