Lowy Institute Survey: Australians Think Positively of Vietnam

The twentieth edition of the annual Lowy Institute Poll reveals Australians' affection for Vietnam is increasing
June 05, 2024 | 09:53
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A new opinion poll of the Australian-based international policy think tank The Lowy Institute, shows Australians continue to regard Vietnam positively.

Every year, the Lowy Institute surveys Australians to see what they think about global affairs and key foreign policy questions.

The increasingly close relationship in all aspects from politics, economics to education, and people-to-people exchanges between Australia and Vietnam is bringing the people of the two countries closer together and the affection that Australian people have for Vietnam is increasing day by day. And this has been shown through the results of the poll that the Lowy Institute announced June 2.

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Notably, the ‘feelings thermometer’ measures Australians’ warmth towards other countries and territories on a scale of 0° (coldest feelings) to 100° (warmest feelings), with each score reflecting the mean of responses.

New Zealand has topped the feelings thermometer in every year it has been included, and 2024 is no exception with it registering 84°. Australians also continue to feel very warmly towards Japan (75°) and the United Kingdom (74°), and warmly towards Germany (69°), South Korea, and Taiwan (both at 64°) — all steady on their previous readings.

Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands countries occupied much of the upper-middle band of the thermometer, with Vietnam (63°), the Philippines (61°), Solomon Islands (60°), and Indonesia (56°) all stable on previous years.

While still warm, feelings towards the United States fell four degrees to 59°, its lowest reading in the 20-year history of this Poll, and down from an all-time high of 73° in 2015. Warmth towards Papua New Guinea also fell four degrees to 56°, while India slid four degrees to a lukewarm 54°.

Australians’ feelings towards China (34°) have remained consistently cold for the past four years, following a sharp cooling from 58° in 2018. This echoes the decline in trust in China and drop in confidence in its leader.

Feelings towards Iran dropped to 26°, eight degrees below its last rating in 2021. Australians reserved their coldest feelings for North Korea, which registered an icy 15°, steady from last year.

The Interpreter, a publication of The Lowy Institute, has recently published two articles mentioning Vietnam-Australia relations and Vietnam's economic potential within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), against the backdrop of the upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne from March 4-6.

In an article titled “What to watch at the ASEAN-Australia summit,” author Susannah Patton noted that Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his Philippine and Malaysian counterparts Ferdinand Marcos and Anwar Ibrahim are undertaking separate bilateral programs to mark their first visits to Australia since taking office.

Meanwhile, another article titled “The parts within the whole: Understanding Southeast Asia’s economies" by Hannah Denson, assessed that Vietnam’s large manufacturing base and low-cost production have made it a key trade beneficiary as global companies shift. Combined with the return of overseas tourists, this partly explains Vietnam’s steady 5.1% growth rate in 2023.

PM Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse will attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sides’ dialogue relations, and pay official visits to Australia and New Zealand from March 5-11, VNA cited the announcement of the Foreign Ministry.

The PM's attendance at the summit and visits will be made at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister of New Zealand Christopher Luxon.

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