In interviews with the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the lunar New Year, ambassadors to Vietnam praised the country's efforts in the context of global headwinds and instability, while expressing their hope for more effective and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam in the coming time.

President Vo Van Thuong attends U.N. peacekeeping force deployment ceremony on June 29, 2023.

The facts and figures show that Vietnam's efforts could not be more impressive. The country now has diplomatic relations with 193 countries, including 30 countries with strategic partnerships or comprehensive partnerships.

Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo said that the most crucial political outcome that China and Vietnam obtained in 2023 was the joint declaration by the top leaders of both parties on building a Vietnam - China community with a shared future that carries strategic significance, helping determine a new position in China - Vietnam relations and opening up a new chapter in the China - Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong (right) and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping

“This event is a historical turning point in the relationship between the two parties and two countries, undoubtedly having a deep impact on the development of the China - Vietnam relationship from now on,” said Ambassador Xiong.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper affirmed that Vietnam - U.S. relations have witnessed major progress since the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1995. The year 2023 became a special milestone in bilateral relations as the two countries announced the upgrade of their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of President Joe Biden's Vietnam visit, opening up new opportunities for cooperation in the future.

"It [the visit by the president] was a very public statement that our two countries’ futures are now inextricably linked to the fact that the success of the U.S. is Vietnam’s success, and Vietnam’s success will be the U.S.’s success, whether it's in terms of promoting prosperity, promoting security, promoting the health of our peoples," said Ambassador Knapper.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong (right) chairs an official welcome ceremony at the highest level for a head of state for U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on September 10, 2023.

U.K. Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew said that the strategic partnership between the two countries is an outstanding achievement in bilateral relations. In 2023, the two countries organized many high-level political visits with a special highlight being the visit to the U.K. by President Vo Van Thuong on the coronation ceremony of King Charles III in May.

“This year, we've seen a range of high-level political visits…. I think that shows the level of trust and the importance of the political relationship,” stated Ambassador Frew.

Russian Ambassador to Vietnam G. S. Bezdetko affirmed that the relationship between Russia and Vietnam is a bond of friendship and trust, forged in the Vietnamese people’s struggle for freedom and independence, and has been tested by time.

Looking back at 2023, Ambassador Bezdetko said despite many geo-political changes in the world, even tragedies, the Vietnam - Russia relationship, founded by previous generations, remains stable and creates a foundation for the development of cooperation between the two countries in the new historical context.

Regarding bilateral relations between Cuba and Vietnam, Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén stated that Cuba has pinned high hopes on the development of the ties with Vietnam. He praised Vietnam’s outcomes in economic growth despite complex developments of the world situation, and expressed his hope that the two countries’ investment cooperation activities will benefit both Vietnam and Cuba.

Vietnam is the largest Asian investor in Cuba, he said, adding that his country hopes Vietnamese businesses will continue to increase investment activities in Cuba.

Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Sandeep Arya lauded the robust and healthy progress of the Vietnam - India comprehensive strategic partnership in 2023 which creates the framework for further joint work in 2024 and beyond. In addition to progress in bilateral relations, he highlighted the two countries' effective coordination at international forums and fruitful cooperation results in tourism, culture and people-to-people exchanges in 2023.

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For his part, Singaporean Ambassador to Vietnam Jaya Ratnam expressed his hope for the strong development in Singapore - Vietnam cooperation in innovation, energy, and sustainable development. The year 2023 marked Singapore as Vietnam's largest investor with a total investment of more than 6.8 billion USD, accounting for nearly 19% of total foreign investment capital in Vietnam. By the end of last year, Singapore had poured 74.51 billion USD into Vietnam, becoming Vietnam's second largest investor.

“Indeed, we are standing at a high point of the relationship, and well placed to take our relationship to the next level,” stated the diplomat.

For Canada, the year 2023 marked an important hallmark in Vietnam - Canada relations as the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Shawn Steil said that the two countries saw a deepening and broadening of the relationship in all aspects, such as trade, politics, defense-security, science-innovation, education, and people-to-people exchanges, particularly after they established a comprehensive partnership in 2017.

According to Ambassador Steil, 2023 was special one for Vietnam as it was the only country in the world to host presidential visits from the world's two superpowers, the U.S. and China. That in itself is a sign of the attention that Vietnam is attracting from around the world.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski spoke highly of Vietnam’s foreign policy of diversifying its relationships and building resilience in the national interest. He expressed his optimism about the prospects for Vietnam - Australia diplomatic ties to be elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2024.

“Vietnam elevated its bilateral relationship with some very important countries, Korea, Japan and the United States, which I think was an important statement of Vietnam’s perspective on the world,” said Ambassador Goledzinowski.

Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolai Prytz had positive assessments of Vietnam, especially its economic development. He said with an estimated economic growth of about 5% in 2023, it is safe to say that Vietnam – in spite of the global headwinds – has done quite well comparing to other countries. In fact, it is among the best performing economies in the region and the world.

Vietnam and Thailand enjoyed a fruitful partnership in 2023 with bustling exchange in all fields, which creates a firm foundation for the further expansion of their ties in 2024, Thai Ambassador to Vietnam Nikorndej Balankura said.

Vietnam welcomes 12.6 million foreign visitors in 2023.

The ambassador stressed that Thailand and Vietnam will continue deepening political and diplomatic relations, strengthening mutual understanding, enhancing political trust, setting more ambitious goals of increasing two-way trade and investment, and intensify their efforts in strengthening sub-regional and regional frameworks, such as the Mekong River Commission (MRC), ACMECS and ASEAN.

Not only gaining notable achievements in bilateral relations, Vietnam has made its mark at many global and regional forums and summits including the United Nations, the group of seven major industrial countries (G7), the ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit (EAS), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2023.

Looking back 2023: Important values and messages

It can be seen that 2023 was a hallmark year with the establishment of Vietnam’s extensive relationship network that helps create its solid positioning foundation in the international arena. Maintaining independence and self-reliance, multilateralizing and diversifying international ties, increasing the intertwining of strategic interests with partners is the optimal way for Vietnam to exploit its geo-strategic advantages and maintain a favorable international environment to attract external resources for national development and defense.

2023 was also the year Vietnam made a breakthrough in maintaining harmony in relations with major countries in the new context. For the first time, the U.S. President paid a state visit to Vietnam, during which he negotiated and signed a joint declaration to upgrade the two countries’ relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

Vietnam synchronously deployed diplomatic fields, especially in economic diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, as well as the improvement of the effectiveness of people-to-people diplomacy.

Through its own efforts, Vietnam has conveyed to the world a strong message about the typical values of the country and people of Vietnam. Vietnam is a peace-loving country, ready to welcome and befriend all countries that are willing to cooperate for mutual development. This shows a dynamic image of Vietnam in innovation and intensive, extensive and effective international integration, and in an effort to positively, proactively and responsibly contribute to the international community to solve global problems.

With those values, Vietnam is certainly an attractive destination for countries in 2024, the Year of the Dragon.

Source: VNA