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Der lächelnde Drache – Chinas Soft Power-Einfluss in Südostasien

Implikationen und Handlungsempfehlungen für Deutschland und die EU

Chinas Einfluss und Ambitionen im Ausland nehmen zu – genauso wie die Spannungen mit dem Westen. Vor dem Hintergrund der COVID 19-Pandemie sowie negativer internationaler Berichterstattung über Menschenrechts- und Sicherheitsfragen hat Peking in den letzten Jahren stärker als zuvor auf Soft Power gesetzt. Dadurch soll der Imageschaden minimiert, die Attraktivität des Landes geschützt und der Einfluss weiter vergrößert werden. Chinas Soft Power-Bemühungen reichen von Infrastrukturinvestitionen und Medienpräsenz über verschiedene Formen des diplomatischen, akademischen, professionellen und kulturellen Austausches bis hin zu medizinischer Hilfe und humanitärer Unterstützung. Die neuesten Soft Power-Instrumente der Volksrepublik China sind als „Impfdiplomatie" und „Wolf Warrior"-Taktiken bekannt. Entwicklungen in Südostasien – einer Region mit 650 Millionen Einwohnern und einem Bruttoinlandsprodukt von insgesamt drei Billionen US-Dollar, aber auch mit territorialen Streitigkeiten im Südchinesischen Meer und strategischem Wettbewerb zwischen wichtigen Akteuren – sind für Entscheidungsträger und interessierte Beobachter in der gesamten Region Asien-Pazifik, in Europa und darüber hinaus von größter Bedeutung. Dieser Bericht fasst wichtige Ergebnisse der KAS-Regionalstudie mit dem Titel „The Smiling Dragon – China‘s Soft Power in Southeast Asia“ zusammen. Er liefert einen Einblick in Chinas Soft Power-Einsatz in fünf Ländern Südostasiens – Kambodscha, Malaysia, Singapur, Thailand und Vietnam – und den lokalen Reaktionen auf diese Bemühungen. Ziel ist es, Auswirkungen und potenzielle Folgen für die Akteure in der Region und in Europa besser zu verstehen.

International Economic Review 2021 and Outlook 2022

The joint research project between Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Vietnam and Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research

This in-depth research is to review the world economic situation with up-to-date information from international economic organizations as well as analysis from the prestigious consulting firms in the world in key industries, economic fields, and investment.

Policy Opinion

Assessment of Vietnam’s Economic Recovery Packages and Policy Implication in the "New Normal"

With an aim of evaluating the effectiveness of the Government’s resolution and economic recovery packages, KAS Vietnam co-operated with Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research to implement a policy review comprising a comprehensive report analyzing the effectiveness of the government’s economic stimulants for the Covid-hit enterprises and policy recommendation.

Japan – ASEAN Study

Japan's Role for Southeast Asia Amidst the Great Power Competition and its Implications for the EU-Japan Partnership

Southeast Asia in focus: In no other region is the economic, the political and military rise of China so striking and so powerful; in no other region does Beijing question the rules-based international order (especially in the South China Sea) so aggressively. Adaptation strategies to the rise of Beijing and the growing conflict with the former Pacific superpower differ from country to country. Amid a (fear and/or perceived) declining US engagement in the region, Southeast Asia invariably needs to seek alternatives.

Japan – ASEAN Study (now available in Japanese)

大国間競争時代の 東南アジアにおける 日本の役割 ――日・EUパートナーシップへの 政策的含意

The publication "Japan's Role for Southeast Asia Amidst the Great Power Competition and its Implications for the EU-Japan Partnership" is now also available in Japanese.

The Mekong Sub-region Dynamic Cooperation for Prosperity Security and Sustainability

The book aims at providing an overall picture of current situation of non-traditional challenges and the various cooperation mechanisms in the Mekong sub-region, analyzing the dynamics of these mechanisms, especially those led by major powers and map out directions for sustainable development and cooperation in the sub-region.

Enhancing the quality of agricultural products by setting up Short Food Supply Chain under the EVFTA

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has now come into force which shall bring up tremendous opportunities to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to EU’s market. Accordingly, 71 percent of EU imports from Vietnam will be tariff-free from the moment the EVFTA takes effect, rising to over 99 percent across the next seven years. The reduction of import tariffs supports the expansion of the export market of Vietnam agricultural products such as rice, sugar, honey, vegetables and seafood, creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to access to the market of 27 EU member countries. However, Vietnamese enterprises and cooperatives will face many challenges related to requirements on food safety, animal and plant quarantine measures, Rules of Origin, Geographical Indication Protection, etc. Enhancing the quality of agricultural products through and by an effective food supply channel/chain is expected to support Vietnamese agricultural products to meet requirements stated in the EVFTA in relation to the food safety traceability. Sustainable short food supply chains are defined as food systems with direct producer-consumer relations including different types of direct sales such as farm outlets, farmer’s markets, local food shops or spatially extended for exporting. SFSCs are often perceived as a way to implement a more sustainable food system that provides healthier and better quality food with reasonable prices, more value added to the food producers and environmental protection. SFSCs can also be seen as means to restructure food chains in order to support sustainable farming methods and generate resilient farm based livelihoods. Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) is characterized by few intermediaries between producer and consumer; sometimes producers distribute products directly to consumers. The short food supply chain aims to provide consumers with products that reflect characteristics such as: local identity, nature, healthiness and trust worthiness (Luane et al., 2018) Policies and/or regulations to encourage the development of sustainable short food supply chains is so far still absent to a large degree in Vietnam. Also, the direct linkage among farmers and agricultural enterprises/cooperatives remains weak with lots of intermediaries in between that lead to the missing of requirements for food safety and traceability. A growing body of literature on food supply chains show that the influence of the free trade agreement (FTAs) from the past have a strong impact on the development of SFSC. This is especially relevant for the post-socialist countries and EU member’s states. Several studies on SFSCs have been implemented in the European Union such as Poland, France and Germany, etc.

EU Policy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethics and Policy Recommendations for Vietnam

Artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to transform the economy and impact almost every aspect of human life over the next few decades. This provides a boost to the growing investments in AI research and development (R&D), as well as the rapid adoption of AI among the public, enterprises, organizations and governments worldwide. By 2030, AI could contribute up to $13 trillion to the global economy, a figure roughly equal to the current annual economic output of China, the world's second-largest economy. Moreover, as AI applications are expanding into many fields, early adopters will benefit in reaping economic benefits and have appropriate strategies in developing this field. The combination of large economic dividends, and social and military benefits, has spurred states to join in a race in this area to rapidly and effectively adapt AI in as many areas as possible. It can be seen that AI is the inevitable trend, having been and will continue to thrive, dominate in many areas and affect every aspect of human life. In the process of developing that besides the benefits it gives people also raises many ethical issues related to development, applications. Being a main player in the field of AI, EU also face problems arising from it and take preparation steps to be ready in AI times.

Smart Village: Solutions for Sustainable Development of Rural Areas in EU, Lesson Learnt for Vietnam

One of the solutions towards achieving the higher commitments of the Sustainable Development Goals is to find appropriate ways to address economic inequalities, climate change, accessibility access to modern technologies and other necessary infrastructure. While the concept of smart city has been studied well such as "Smart City", the concept of "Smart Village" is still a matter of debate among scholars, researchers and policy makers. In fact, in recent years, the rural areas of the EU are facing increasing difficulties and challenges, which are the increasing decline of the rural population, the ongoing trend of population aging. In addition, income disparities are widening between rural and urban residents (GDP per capita in rural areas is 66% in EU-28 compared with 118% in urban areas). The proportion of people living in rural areas at risk of poverty and lack of social cohesion is higher in cities with 22.4% of the population compared with 21.3% in urban areas. Besides, in many remote rural areas, it is difficult for them to access public services, etc. With an objective to implement initiatives based on the global trend of building smarter and more sustainable communities, the European Union has launched an action program called “Smart Villages” in 2017. Accordingly, Smart Villages are understood as communities in rural areas that use innovative solutions to demonstrate resilience by exploiting local strengths and opportunities. Rural communities will rely on a participatory approach to implement development strategies to improve economic, social and environmental conditions on the basis of applying technology platforms and solutions. Models aimed at ensuring rural areas will continue to play an essential role in creating a stronger, resilient community, leading to more prosperous development.

Economic policy studies in the context of Vietnam's participation in new generation FTAs

Three studies on (1) Agriculture and Free Trade, (2) Development of Digital Currencies, (3) Vietnam's International Economic Integration

The new context presents many opportunities for the Vietnamese economy. First of all, this leads to an increase Vietnam's position in global trade, investment, and value-added chain. Strategic competition and policy adjustment of major economies help Vietnam take advantage of cooperation frameworks, strategic partnerships, and comprehensive partnerships. The implementation of signed FTAs helps Vietnam increase the quantity and improve the quality of trade and investment flows, diversify partners and participate in value chains led by the West. Then, the trend of digital transformation brings many benefits to the economy such as (i) promoting a change of mindset in policymaking and business operations to improve the productivity of the whole society; (ii) promoting technology transfer, narrowing the technology gap between enterprises in the value chain; (iii) opening up opportunities for service development and cross-border trade in services for Vietnam and other developing countries in the region. Moreover, climate change and new-generation FTAs are the driving forces to promote economic integration towards sustainability.