Enhancing Image and Position of Vietnam in Int’l Arena

10:07:50 AM | 6/18/2020

In the process of extensive international integration, the press has significantly contributed to multilateral foreign relations and helped to boost the image and position of Vietnam in the eyes of international friends and partners. On the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the Vietnam Revolutionary Press (June 21, 1925 - June 21, 2020), Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Ms. Le Thi Thu Hang, Director of the Press and Information Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nguyen Mai reports.

Could you please tell us about recent remarkable achievements of the press in Vietnam's multilateral foreign policy?

Over the past time, although the region and world landscape has evolved rapidly with a lot of uncertainties and complicated matters, Vietnam has still managed to achieve good socioeconomic development, laying a foundation for diplomacy to promote its role and notch up many successes, both bilaterally and multilaterally. Vietnam is an active member of more than 70 regional and international multilateral organizations and institutions. The country has signed and negotiated 16 FTAs, including new generation FTAs such as CPTPP and EVFTA. In recent years, Vietnam has successfully hosted many major multilateral conferences such as APEC 2017, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF-ASEAN) 2018, and the 2019 U.S.-North Korea Summit. In the process of extensive international integration, the foreign press has always closely supported multilateral foreign relations and made practical contributions to boosting the image and position of Vietnam in the eyes of international friends and partners.

The press has contributed to creating a favorable international environment for multilateral diplomacy, making an important bridge to bring Vietnam to the world with timely and accurate information, helping foreigners understand more about reform guidelines and policies of the Party and State of Vietnam, including the diplomatic policy that Vietnam is a reliable friend and partner in the world community. The press has strongly promoted the potential of cooperation and advantages of Vietnam to attract the attention of international businesses and multilateral organizations.

The press has conveyed information about the world situation to the people in the country, helping them better understand the meaning and value of Vietnam's participation in multilateral mechanisms and common tasks like successfully hosting multilateral events of international and regional stature, thereby helping create a consensus of the masses on guidelines, policies and multilateral activities of the Party and State. The recent U.S.-North Korea Summit is an example. The press successfully interpreted Vietnam as a country of peace, security and safety and earned the trust of these two partners. The press also makes an important contribution to countering distorted allegations about Vietnam, protecting and enhancing Vietnam's prestige and image in multilateral forums.

Would you please tell us how to strengthen and expand the duties of the press in the effort to raise the position of Vietnam with the multilateral foreign policy in the coming time?

In the coming time, countries will continue to revise their policies, pragmatic populism will increase and multilateralism faces challenges. Vietnam takes on a dual role and, also, a "dual" challenge at the same time as the country is assuming two important positions: Chair of ASEAN 2020 and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. In this context, in order to well fulfill multilateral foreign affairs, the press needs to pay attention and promote the following points:

- Always understanding and adhering to the priority focus of multilateral diplomacy where the greatest goal is ensuring the peace and security of the country and the region, and ensuring the sustainable development of the country, with national interest placed above all; disseminating widely to the public mechanisms and forums that Vietnam participates in, with the key contents of each specific period suitable to the situation and interests of the country.

- On the content, actively promoting communications on Vietnam as an active and responsible member in multilateral institutions, forums and conferences, informing Vietnam's stance on the fight to protect and uphold the basic principles of the UN Charter and international law, and advocating peaceful settlement of disputes; broadly informing the people of the country and the international community of Vietnam's stance and views on international issues, especially those related to our national interests and our initiatives in multilateral mechanisms such as the Security Council, ASEAN as well as our international cooperation with other countries in multilateral forums in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

- Regarding the method, the press needs to enhance the diversity of forms and means of information, to make the most of new media forces and new communication applications on the internet, including social networks and highly interactive multimedia forms.

- Regarding resources, currently the foreign press force is still modest. I still hope that Vietnam will have a newswire like CNN. To do so, it is necessary to make appropriate investments in human resource quality for the foreign press because external correspondents require foreign language skills. Clearly, training a foreign press correspondent costs more. In addition, in order to maintain the gray matter in foreign press, there should be specific and practical incentives and support mechanisms together with appropriate facilities for work.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a complicated and evolving issue in the world; however, Vietnam is highly appreciated by the world for its successful prevention. Could you please tell us the role of the press in this matter?

It is true that Vietnam is highly appreciated by the international community for its success in pandemic prevention and containment. Watching foreign public opinions in the past time, I see politicians and press agencies in other countries, representatives of international organizations have positively praised Vietnam's handling measures, the resolution and policies of the Party and the Government, and the solidarity and unwavering efforts of the entire political system and the people of Vietnam for making Vietnam a phenomenon, a model of containing the outbreak for many countries. The world also spoke highly of the Vietnamese media for doing a very good job from content to form and way of expression.

In the context of the epidemic outbreak, with entry restrictions imposed on foreign journalists to Vietnam, the foreign press is a bridge connecting Vietnam with the international community. A lot of foreign ambassadors in Vietnam asked me about official English channels for them to follow. Therefore, information channels in foreign languages are an official, timely and reliable source of information about the pandemic development in Vietnam and changes in immigration policies.

The press once again demonstrated its role of conveying the most meaningful message about Vietnam - a humane country and caring, humane Vietnamese people who are willing to share and take care of foreigners trapped by the epidemic. Thank-you letters from cured foreigners are stories that will touch the bottom of our hearts.

The press has also conveyed reviews and compliments from international leaders, citizens and friends to the domestic public. This is also a source of encouragement and motivation for the people to extend their efforts for further success of Vietnam and join closer hands with the international community to fight off the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you very much!