From the Public Service Sector to diplomacy – an Interview with the new Ambassador for Viet Nam to Switzerland, H.E. Mr Phung The Long

“If you visit Viet Nam, you will see a lot of renewable energy plants in the centre of Viet Nam, with solar and wind farms. It develops quickly, and we are ready to share our experience with the Swiss partners.” – H.E.Mr. Phung The Long

We had the honour to interview the Ambassador for Viet Nam to Switzerland, His Excellency (H.E.) Mr Phung The Long, regarding his journey of becoming the Ambassador and questions about this year’s exploreASEAN theme. The interview took place during our one-week Seminar in Switzerland. The seminar was attended by the exploreASEAN delegation soon travelling to Viet Nam, Malaysia and Singapore but also other students, who took the seminar as an elective course. The primary purpose of the seminar was to provide an understanding of the different cultures, getting to know companies relating to our 2023 theme (Renewable Energy and Automation) and networking with fellow students and potential employers.

The journey of becoming the Ambassador of Viet Nam to Switzerland

Before ever being appointed as an Ambassador 15 years ago, H.E.Mr. Phung The Long had been working in the public service sector for 20 years. His first position as an ambassador was that for the State of Qatar from 2008-2011. Between that role and his current role as the Ambassador of Viet Nam to Switzerland since 2022, H.E.Mr. Phung The Long was employed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Director General and Vice-Chairman of the National Boundary Committee. Furthermore, he served as Consul General of Viet Nam in Perth, Australia.

From the inspiring conversation with the ambassador, here two inputs on Switzerland – Viet Nam relations we would like to share with our readers:

What potential do you see regarding renewable energy and automation to enhance the relationship between Viet Nam and Switzerland?

“First, I would like to talk about our development philosophy. Our development philosophy is putting the interest of people and the planet on top. We have a big development and aspiration. We have aimed to become a modern and industrialised country by 2020 and a high-income developed country by 2045. At the same time, we are timely carrying out the economic transition to a green, circular, low-carbon emission economy to achieve a net zero carbon emission by 2050 (…). We focus on financing services, high technology, automation, machine manufacturing, engineering and renewable energy (…). We also want to learn from Switzerland’s experience in research and education, especially in vocational training.”

Do you think Switzerland could take inspiration from Viet Nam regarding renewable energy to implement its sustainability strategy and vice versa?

 “I think the two countries could share experiences and learn from each other. I would like to talk about Viet Nam’s renewable energy strategy. We have a huge potential to develop renewable energy. Switzerland has the technology, and we would like Switzerland to share its experience with us to develop a green economy. I think Switzerland can learn from the experience on the Vietnamese side. If you visit Viet Nam, you will see a lot of renewable energy plants in the centre of Viet Nam, with solar and wind farms. It develops quickly, and we are ready to share our experience with the Swiss partners.”

Our explore ASEAN Seminar in Switzerland was a big success, and we thank every party involved. We hope to have sparked your curiosity about this seminar – and our project. We happily invite you to follow our social media channels,LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Do not miss out on any upcoming posts – and keep following us during our on-site seminar in Viet Nam, Malaysia and Singapore!

Your exploreASEAN communications team 22/23


Clean energy is a Winner!

Cooking with the lid on the pan! Reducing the heat by 1°C less! Don’t use the tumbler! Only use the dishwasher when it is fully loaded! Those are all recommendations on how to get through the winter without risking an enormous energy bill and ensuring a successful future for Switzerland in terms of energy efficiency. Sounds doable, right? Another way to help overcome the energy crisis is renewable energy, such as Solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower and biomass.

Clean energy is a Winner!

Renewable energy and automation are this year’s topics. Delving into the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Singapore, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia and Laos, we can see rich renewable energy sources. A 2019 published article by Erdiwansyah, Mahidin, Mamat R, Sani M, Khoerunnisa F and Kadarohman A, states that some of the ASEAN countries are experiencing rapid population and economic growth, leading them to developing renewable energy.

According to an article published by MDPI in 2022, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand contribute to the rich hydropower resources in the ASEAN countries with an annual rainfall of over 200 cm and plentiful rivers.

Thailand and Vietnam have the most installed solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity. In 2020, the total installed solar PV was 47% of that of hydropower, making it the second largest installation capacity of all renewable energies in ASEAN. A minimum wind speed of 4 m / s (metre per second) is needed for the efficient use of wind turbines. As the average wind speed is below this threshold value, wind is the least-used renewable energy in ASEAN and is only used in the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Geothermal ranks fourth in installation capacity among ASEAN countries with the most substantial geothermal potential obtained in Indonesia and the Philippines due to their close location to the ring of fire, where active tectonic movements cause hot magma to rise close to the earth’s surface. Lastly, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines have the highest bioenergy potential, which is the third-largest installation capacity among renewable energy in ASEAN. In our on-site seminar, we will be discovering some interesting enterprises that are focused on renewable energy. Check out our website and access the newest information!

In conclusion, ASEAN countries have the best natural conditions to fight against the energy crisis, which also has the upside of being the cheapest power option in many of Southeast Asia. If this article sparked your interest and you also want to become a part of this exciting journey with exploreASEAN, apply for the delegation! For more information go to our Social Media channels; LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.