For the index, the U.K. consultancy polled 1,000 experts including politicians and business leaders and 55,000 members of the public to rank the 100 countries and territories on their “ability to influence others through the art of diplomacy and persuasion.”
They were graded on awareness and familiarity, influence, global reputation, and performance in key sectors like trade and business, governance, culture and heritage, media and communication, education and science, and people and values.
Vietnam scored an overall 33.8 out of 100 points, putting it ahead of the Philippines (53rd), Cambodia (89th) and Myanmar (90th).
Of other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore was 20th, Thailand was 32nd, Malaysia was 33rd, and Indonesia was 41st.
In Asia, Vietnam was the 9th most influential country.
Vietnam scored 5.3 out of 10 for familiarity, or the level of awareness about a country, 5.5 in global reputation and 3.3 in terms of its influence on the world stage.
It did not fare well in categories such as business and trade, international relations, media and communication, and education and science.
The report highlighted the fact that many nations do not get credit where it is clearly due for their efforts against the Covid-19 pandemic. Vietnam ranked 59th in familiarity despite recording staggeringly low Covid-19 cases and deaths, it said.
“Vietnam was spared a year of lockdowns and besieged hospitals.”
The country has had fewer than 3,000 infections and just 35 deaths in a population of 96 million.
Germany topped the index followed by Japan and the U.K.
The U.S., the world’s most powerful economy, fell from top spot to sixth due to its shockingly poor response to the pandemic.