February 23, 2019 16:17

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Aspiration and faith

20:30 | 11/02/2019

VCN - The New Spring 2019 is Vietnam’s spring, with expectations and beliefs in a bright, glorious future. This spring, Vietnam's position in the international arena is now higher than ever before.

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Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong received Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in Hanoi, on November 20, 2018. Photo: HUY KHAM

The sincere wishes of President Ho Chi Minh right after Vietnam’s first general election in 1946: "I have only one desire, the ultimate desire, which is to make our country completely independent, our people are completely free, the people have rice, clothes, and opportunity to study”. Vietnam is developing constantly and sustainably, so that the country is getting self-reliant with self-sufficient strength, and stands shoulder to shoulder with powerful nations throughout the five continents, the people are given space to maximize their capacity and creativity, so that nobody will be left behind.

More than 70 years after the independence, nearly 45 years after the reunification and over 30 years of the renovation, Vietnam has achieved many great significant historical achievements, that have been highly appreciated by the international community and acknowledged as a model of a transition economy with its many successes in development and poverty reduction. The recent report by the World Bank (WB) called, "New Progress: Poverty Reduction and Commonwealth in Vietnam", noted that in the past three decades, Vietnam has achieved great results in reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for tens of millions of people. Vietnam's economic growth in the three decades since the Innovation Progress has been impressive. The average economic growth in the period of 1986-2017 reached 6.63%/year. In the last 20 years it increased by an average of 6.3%/year, in the last 10 years it increased by 6%/year, and particularly in 2017 it increased by 6.81%, in 2018 the GDP increased by 7.08%, exceeding the National Assembly’s target. This is also the highest increase from 2008 onwards. Vietnam has moved from the low-income group to the middle-income one, the poverty rate fell from over 60% to about 7%, and the economy scale is currently ranked 44th in the world by nominal GDP and ranked 34th by the international purchasing power equivalent

The size of the economy has increased more than 17.4 times, from 14 billion USD in 1985 to an estimated 244 billion USD in 2018. The average income per person in 1985 only reached 230 USD, now has increased to nearly 2,540 USD (based on the purchasing power, it is nearly 7,640 USD). The income gap between Vietnam and other countries has narrowed considerably. If in the early 90s of the last century, Singapore's per capita income was 125 times higher than Vietnam, now it is only 24 times; Thailand was 16 times higher than Vietnam and now it is only 2.5 times; Japan from 267 times to about 16 times; United States from 252 times to 25 times; OECD countries from 184 times to 16 times... Vietnam is not only interested in economic growth but also very well aware of the need to improve the quality of growth, attaching importance to sustainable development.

Vietnam also has contributed to world aid work, step by step participated in the international integration. Vietnam has upgraded its relationship with Australia to Strategic Partner, being the 11th Strategic Partner of Vietnam in G20 countries. Vietnam has established a comprehensive partnership with Hungary, a very important partner for Vietnam in Central - Eastern Europe in the area of development aid. Vietnam has signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and been one of seven countries that approved the world's first new free trade agreement, thereby asserting its role as a link in important economic connections in the region. Vietnam and the European Union (EU) are finalizing the technical steps to officially sign and ratify the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA)... For the first time, we sent a level II field hospital to join the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan. Establishing relations with 188 countries and territories, including important countries, has also created and elevated Vietnam’s international position.

Vietnam is determined to achieve macroeconomic stability; improve investment efficiency; reduce poverty sustainably, protect the environment, promote social progress and justice; ensure human rights, property rights and business freedom of people and businesses; strengthen the entire population’s great unity; take care of the cultural-spiritual life, improve welfare, create educational opportunities, and provide medical access for the people, especially in remote and isolated areas, islands and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities; implement policies to develop “Tam Nong” rural district (including agriculture, farmers and rural areas); ensure security and safety for people in the activities of economic and social life; strengthen defense capacity, protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, be ready to respond and not be surprised in any situation or with any challenge and threat.

Looking back on the journey of innovation over the past 30 years is not only to see faith and pride, but more importantly it helps us to shape the road ahead. With the same growth rate as the average increase of the past 3 decades, by 2045 - the 100-year historical milestone of independent Vietnam (1945-2045), the scale of Vietnam's GDP is estimated to reach about 2,500 billion USD, per capita income is to be about 18,000 USD.

In the context of complicated global changes, Vietnam's development is contributing to regional peace, stability and prosperity. With its geographical location adjacent to the sea and the gateway of the region, Vietnam is an important partner of many countries on the basis of a common strategic interest. Vietnam has made many contributions to regional and international organizations as a member; hosted successfully the 7th Summit of the Francophone Community in 1997, the 6th ASEAN Summit in 1998, the 5th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM - 5) in 2004, the 14th APEC Summit in 2006, with high appreciation from other countries... In 2017, Vietnam successfully organized the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as the Chairman. As the rotating President of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam's position in the international arena will be increasing.

In order to be able to come up with strategic directions well for meeting the requirements and promote creative intelligence in the implementation of the Party's foreign policy, gradually enhancing Vietnam's prestige in the world, the analytical work for predicting situations plays a very important role. Currently, strategic research work, especially research on forecasting, assessing the political and economic aspects of the world as well as the interests, strategies, intentions and capabilities of the main subjects in the world and the region, and importantly, those directly related to Vietnam, is fragmented and limited, affecting the construction of unified awareness, serving as a basis for advising, proposing guidelines for foreign policies of the Party and the State. Therefore, it is necessary to step up the comprehensive, in-depth theoretical research, based on rich practices from the country's innovation and the view of the world today.

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With the new position and power of the country after more than 30 years of the Innovation, with the right leadership of the Party and the State, with the intelligence and bravery of Vietnamese diplomacy, Vietnam will continue to be affirmed, reaping more great achievements, contributing to the construction and development of the country. Therefore, the desire of President Ho Chi Minh and also the aspirations of the nation: "whether the country is to become glorious, its people must stand shoulder to shoulder with powerful nations throughout the five continents” is gradually becoming a reality.

By Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Quang Vinh - Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy/ Ha Thanh