Vietnam became a full ASEAN member on 28 July 1995. Vietnam’s accession to the various ASEAN agreements that come with full membership demonstrated Hanoi’s commitment to economic and political cooperation in the region, the liberalisation of the Vietnamese economy and its interest in regional trade; a logical next step following its ‘Doi Moi’ economic reform process. Politically, Vietnam’s accession symbolised that previous animosity towards communism by the original ASEAN founding states had been overcome, heralding a new era in Southeast Asian relations and a higher degree of maturity for ASEAN.
A country of Vietnam’s size and economic and political weight inevitably changes a regional organisation. As the ASEAN family celebrates the 20th anniversary of the completion of the ASEAN-10, this RSIS seminar will examine the reciprocal impact membership expansion had on both Vietnam and ASEAN itself. How did ASEAN membership change Vietnamese politics, its economy, its society and its foreign relations? And vice versa, what impact did it have on the association? This seminar will discuss the economic and political implications for Vietnam as well as the benefits and challenges Vietnam’s membership brought for ASEAN.
About the Speaker
Dr Le Hong Hiep is Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. At ISEAS, he works for the Vietnam Studies Program and the Regional Strategic and Political Studies Program. He is also associate editor of the Institute’s flagship journal Contemporary Southeast Asia.
Hiep holds a BA from the Institute of International Relations (now Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam), and MA in International Relations and Master of Diplomacy from the Australian National University. In 2015, Hiep earned his PhD in Political and International Studies from the University of New South Wales, funded by the Prime Minister’s Australia – Asia Award.
Before joining ISEAS, Hiep worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam from 2004 to 2006, and taught at the Faculty of International Relations, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University -HCMC.
Hiep’s scholarly work has been widely published, including two books: Living next to the Giant: The Political Economy of Vietnam’s Relations with China under Doi Moi (2016) and Vietnam’s Foreign Policy under Doi Moi (2018, co-editor with Anton Tsvetov).
About the RSIS Seminar Series on Multilateralism Studies: “ASEAN and the CLMV States”
In 2019, 20 years after the last wave of admissions into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Centre for Multilateralism Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) is hosting a series of four seminars assessing the impact of ASEAN membership expansion on a country specific case-by-case basis. The goal is to gauge the impact of ASEAN membership on each one of the CLMV countries and vice versa. In what multifaceted ways did ASEAN membership change the countries, and how did their accession change the Association, its development and future prospects – those are the questions we are trying to answer over the course of the Seminars.