“Although there remain many difficulties and challenges, the outcomes obtained last year were encouraging, giving favourable conditions for the country to enter a new stage of development with new opportunities,” Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has said
He made the remarks during an interview with Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the threshold of the Lunar New Year.
The domestic and global situation also posed numerous difficulties and challenges in 2016, he said, noting natural disasters such as floods, drought and saltwater intrusion along with serious marine pollution in four central provinces, which heavily affected national socio-economic development and people’s lives.
Facing those facts, thanks to consensus, solidarity and resolve of the entire Party, people and army, Vietnam successfully held many important events, particularly the 12th National Party Congress and the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People’s Committees for 2016-2021.
The State apparatus was consolidated, ensuring stability for the implementation of set targets and tasks, he said, adding that under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the Politburo, the whole political system became involved in the work and made improvements to many social aspects.
The content and spirit of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress was institutionalised through resolutions, directives and action plans. The National Assembly, Government, sectors and authorities at all levels have been working hard to improve, the Party leader said.
As a result, Vietnam posted a good GDP growth rate (6.21 percent), successfully kept the macro-economy stable, controlled inflation, basically ensured big economic balances, and recorded the fastest rise in foreign reserves.
He noted that the private economic sector thrived, foreign direct investment surged and total development investment capital surpassed set targets. The tourism sector welcomed a record 10 million foreigners and 62 million domestic visitors in 2016.
The General Secretary told VNA that strides were made in cultural and social aspects with a declining household poverty rate and an improvement in people’s material and spiritual life. The country paid heed to lawmaking and administrative reforms while strengthening defence-security and safeguarding national sovereignty.
External activities and international integration have been conducted in a comprehensive manner, intensifying Vietnam’s foreign relations and lifting its stature in the region and the world. That has also helped to maintain peace, stability and favourable conditions for national development and protection, he noted.
He underlined enhanced Party consolidation and the fight against corruption and wastefulness. A number of serious corruption and economic-rule-violating cases were brought to trial. Irregularities relating to personnel appointments were uncovered and many senior officials were punished, moves which received strong public support.
General Secretary Trong stressed that growth model reforms aim to raise growth quality and ensure rapid and sustainable development in all economic, social and environmental spheres. Vietnam has to promote growth but not at all costs or by exchanging the environment for economic projects.
He described the marine pollution in four central provinces, caused by Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd, as an “expensive lesson” which reminded Vietnam that it must carefully select investment projects and prioritise ones that use high technology and ensure environmental safety.
Aside from fueling economic growth, it is also necessary to enhance living standards, promote social equality and ensure all people benefit from growth. Raising growth quality improves people’s living conditions, he added.
The investment and business environment should continuously be improved, in each locality, to facilitate start-ups, he stressed, pointing to the must to bolster regional connectivity to fully tap the respective locality’s potential and advantages in service of regional and national fast and sustainable development.
In terms of Party reinforcement, the Party chief considered it a difficult and complex task that is vital. Party building must be conducted in tandem with fostering economic growth, he said.
The leader called on the entire Party, people and army to augment solidarity and join efforts to bring into play their patriotism and Vietnam’s steadfastness, intelligence and traditions to realise the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, build an incorruptible and strong Party while promoting the country’s prosperity and people’s happiness.