ASEAN has long been considered to have strategic implications for Vietnam, as it is directly related to the security and development environment of the country. A united ASEAN unity with an important international role is perfectly suitable for Vietnam’s fundamental and long-term interests. Indeed, Vietnam has always identified ASEAN, in terms of both multilateral and bilateral relations, as an important part of its foreign policy of independence, sovereignty, multilateralization, and diversification.

Vietnam and ASEAN – Opportunities and Challenges Credit:

Vietnam and ASEAN – Opportunities and Challenges

According to Vice Minister Pham Quang Vinh in his interview with VietnamPlus, Vietnam’s decision to join ASEAN and the process of joining ASEAN in the past has helped Vietnam to join in a cooperative environment with peace and stability when Vietnam is in the process of Vietnam of renovation, overcoming the consequences of the war towards integration into the region and the world. The impacts of ASEAN to Vietnam in each area are to be discussed further below.

1. Economy

ASEAN supports Vietnam in taking advantage of the help and investment of countries in the region. In parallel with the tariff reduction program, Vietnam also coordinates with ASEAN countries to implement a work program to identify, classify and move towards the elimination of non-tariff barriers.
In addition to the above mentioned economic benefits, active participation in ASEAN economic cooperation activities also contributes to stabilizing the domestic trade environment, avoiding major fluctuations which negatively affecting national trade balance, contributing to the healthy business environment in the country, putting pressure on domestic enterprises to improve their competitiveness, contributing to strengthen and improve the quality of trade activities,…

2. Political Security

ASEAN helps to enhance the image and position of Vietnam. Vietnam can not only expanded bilateral relations with other countries in the region, but also with other countries, major partners of ASEAN.
First of all, mutual understanding and trust among ASEAN members and Vietnam is increasing through a variety of activities, including maintaining regular contact at all levels, especially among the leaders.

ASEAN initiated the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to provide an appropriate framework for ASEAN and its external partners to engage in dialogue and cooperation on political security issues in the Asia-Pacific. ASEAN has also actively promoted cooperation with each other and with external partners through a variety of frameworks, forms and measures to address traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as national terrorism transnational crimes, natural disasters, etc. ASEAN has a huge role to play in resolving the South China Sea dispute, stabilizing the political situation in the Asia-Pacific region, reducing tensions and confronting large economies such as China and the United States.

3. Culture and Society

ASEAN is well-known for its diverse cultural mosaic thanks to the uniqueness of different culture and civilization in the region. Through cultural exchange within the region, Vietnam has had deeper integration and cooperation in the field of culture-society. Specifically, a wide variety of programs about culture, training, science and technology, environment, health, drug prevention, trafficking of women and children, HIV/AIDS, and epidemics have been initiated over the last few years. Those activities have contributed to capacity building in problem-solving skills, shape regional cooperation, and raise awareness of the Vietnamese people. Ensuring “unification in diversity” becomes a unique feature of ASEAN, a regional identity that Vietnam always treasure.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc together with other leaders in ASEAN Credit:

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc together with other leaders in ASEAN

On the whole, participation in ASEAN also helps Vietnam to gain practical benefits from ASEAN’s economic, trade and professional cooperation, contributing to expanding Vietnam’s relations with regional countries on many fields and supporting efforts to integrate regional and international integration. ASEAN can be seen as a small playground, helping Vietnam get acquainted with international rules before participating in broader integration processes such as APEC and WTO. With ASEAN, Vietnam also have the conditions to promote and expand economic relations, access to information and modern scientific and technological progress; study and share development and management experience with ASEAN member countries, which are considered to be dynamic young economies in the region, many countries have entered the ranks of new industrial countries (such as Singapore , Malaysia), contributing significantly to Vietnam’s economic reforms and development efforts at the time. To Vietnamese people, ASEAN is a united community which strives to build a community of people in harmony, solidarity, and coexistence.





By NGUYEN Thu Thao, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam

Writer: Nguyen Thu Thao