Nestled in Southeast Asia, Vietnam captivates with its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Renowned for natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Sapa’s terraced rice fields, Vietnam also showcases a blend of ancient traditions and modern vibrancy in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The nation’s cuisine, including pho and banh mi, has gained global fame.

Economically, Vietnam thrives with a booming manufacturing sector and a growing tech industry. However, challenges like environmental sustainability, income inequality, and access to quality education and healthcare persist, requiring ongoing attention and strategic efforts.

But, what do global rankings and indices have to say about Vietnam – its sustainability, country brand strength and reputation?

Let’s take a closer look at: 

  • Vietnam’s soft power and country brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labour, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and well-being
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

Vietnam’s soft power and country brand strength

How does Vietnam compare in terms of reputation and country brand value globally?

In the Global Soft Power Index 2024 by Brand Finance, Vietnam secures the 53rd spot, above Georgia (54th) and Maldives (55th). Vietnam’s score has grown by +1.80, which improved the country’s position from the 69th in last year’s index.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, Vietnam secures 44th position, behind the Philippines (43rd) and Costa Rica (42nd). Vietnam ranks best in those key areas: Movers (17th) and Power (27th). However, key areas such as Social Purpose (72nd), Movers (73rd), Cultural Influence (53rd), Entrepreneurship (42nd), and Adventure (42nd) need attention and improvement.

Appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

What is the global perception of Vietnam as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 considers Vietnam 14th best country for expats to live in. It performs well in Local Friendliness (5th), Finding Friends (11th), or Work and Leisure (5th). Moreover, Vietnam is the number one for Personal Finance. However, the country ranks relatively low in Environment and Climate (50th), Travel and Transit (44th), Healthcare (44th), Work Culture and Satisfaction (44th), and Career Prospects (37th).

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasizing perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, Vietnam ranks 12th, behind Saudi Arabia (11th) and Thailand (10th). Worldwide, Vietnam ranks 31st.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places Vietnam 16th in Asia, dropping by two positions since last year’s ranking. Vietnam ranks behind the Philippines (15th) and Taiwan (14th). Worldwide, Vietnam ranks 46th.

How “Good” is Vietnam?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2024, Vietnam ranks 134th, trailing behind Bulgaria (133rd) and Lithuania (132nd). Vietnam performs best in the subfactor of helping a stranger, with 47% of the adult population partaking in such activity. Vietnam experienced a significant drop from the 47th position in the Caf World Giving Index 2023.

In the Good Country Index, Vietnam currently holds the 120th overall position, climbing from 138th in 2022. Vietnam’s best sub-factor ranked 32nd in International Peace and Security, improving from 89th position in 2022. The country experienced the most significant improvements in Culture (from 144th in 2022 to 93rd place in 2023) and the most significant drop in Prosperity and Equality (from 103rd in 2022 to 141st place in 2023).

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, Vietnam ranked in the darker orange zone (2-3 range) with a 2.60 out of 10. This is a similar score to that of other neighboring countries, such as China (2.10), Cambodia (3.00), or Laos (1.80).

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index ranks Vietnam 77th.

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranks Vietnam 55th. The Report highlights that the country faces significant challenges in certain SDGs (SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being, SDG 14 Life Below Water, SDG 15 Life on Land, SDG 16 Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions). SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities and SDG 15 Life on Land are experiencing a downward trend.

Peace and happiness 

Is Vietnam a happy and safe place?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks Vietnam 41st, climbing four positions since last year’s edition. Vietnam now sits ahead of Botswana (42nd) and South Korea (43rd). It falls at the high end of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum, as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Vietnam is positioned 7th regionally.

The Institute for Economics & Peace ranks Vietnam within the no impact zone regarding the ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2024 Global Terrorism Index. Vietnam ranks 89th, tying with countries such as Turkmenistan (89th) or Moldova (89th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2024, which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year average (2021–2023), ranks Vietnam 54th, behind the Philippines (53rd) and ahead of Portugal (55th). Vietnam improved from 65th place in 2023. Vietnam also ranked 65th for happiness amongst the Youth (age below 30) and 69th for happiness amongst the old (age 60 and above).

Environmental performance 

How well does Vietnam perform in terms of environmental sustainability?

The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks Vietnam 178th. The EPI analyses the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available, as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. Vietnam has experienced a change in its positive score of -0.60 in the past ten years.

Talent attraction and competitiveness 

What are the conditions for talent attraction and retention in Vietnam?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2019 places Vietnam at 67th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

Vietnam, classified as a high-income country within the European regional group, currently holds the 75th overall position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Vietnam doesn’t rank better than 55th in all pillars, the strongest being GROW (55th) and ENABLE (59th). The RETAIN pillar presents Vietnam’s biggest challenge, ranking 98th.

In terms of education excellence, Vietnam does not have any universities within the top 100 worldwide, according to the World University Rankings 2024.

Last updated in June 2024. Find more country profiles here

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