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The practice of awareness and resolving the relationship between economy and culture in Vietnam for over 30 years of innovation
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Preserving and promoting cultural heritages of ethnic minorities

The process of renewing the Party's awareness on the relationship between economy and culture

For more than 30 years of national renewal, the Party's awareness of addressing the relationship between economy and culture has been raised significantly. The 6th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (1986), marking the beginning of the renewal period, affirmed: “It is necessary to fully express the Party and the State's views on the unity between economic and social policy in reality, remedying the disregard of social policy, means downplaying the human element in the cause of socialist construction”(1). The Party's view on renewal at the Sixth National Congress is innovative thinking on economy and politic, as well as the role of socio-cultural and economic development.

The platform for national construction during the transition to socialism (1991) pointed out that an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity is one of the features of socialism in that Vietnam built. The platform emphasized: “... carrying out the socialist revolution in the field of ideology and culture makes the Marxist-Leninist worldview and Ho Chi Minh's thought and morality hold the leading position in the social and spiritual life. Inheriting and promoting good cultural traditions of all internal ethnic groups, acquiring the quintessence of human culture, building a democratic and civilized society for the sake of righteousness and human dignity, with increasing level of knowledge, ethics, physical strength and aesthetics”(2).

Resolution 04-NQ/HNTW, dated January 14th 1993 the Fourth Plenum of Party Central Committee’s 7th session, on “A number of cultural and artistic tasks in the immediate years” confirmed that culture is the spiritual foundation of society, the driving force for socio-economic development, and a goal of socialism.

The 8th National Congress of the Party (1996) also identified culture as the spiritual foundation of society, both as a goal and a motivation for socio-economic development. The Congress offered views on industrialization and modernization: “Taking human resources as the basic element for fast and sustainable development. Encouraging the people to save for the nation construction, constantly accumulating for development investment. Economic growth is associated with improvement of people's life, the development of culture and education, implementation of progress, social justice and environmental protection”(3).

To further develop an important step of the guiding thought of the 8th National Congress, 5th Central Conference Resolution (1998) on "Building and developing an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity" has determined: “Culture is the spiritual foundation of society, both a goal and a driving force for socio-economic development"(4). The Resolution sets out a policy system for cultural development, which emphasizes: “Economic policy in culture is to associate culture with economic activities, exploit economic and financial potentials to support for cultural development, as well as ensuring the political needs, ideology of cultural activities, preserving the national identity”(5). Thus, cultural policy in the economy ensures culture in economic activities, creating more conditions for the cause of cultural development.

At the 9th National Congress (2001), the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) affirmed that economic growth was associated with ensuring progress and social justice in each steps of development. Economic growth inherent in cultural and educational development… “Economic growth is associated with cultural development, gradually improving the material and spiritual life of the people, making progress and social justice, environmental protection and improvement, combining economic development with enhanced national defense and security”(6).

Based on the evaluation of achievements and limitations over the past 5 years of implementation5th Central Conference Resolution of the VIII session, the Tenth plenum of the Party Central Committee of the IX session determines one of the goals of culture is to ensure the coherence between economic developing task as the center, building and reorganizing the Party as the key and continuously improving the culture - the spiritual foundation; creating the synchronous development of the three above fields is condition to ensure the comprehensive and sustainable development of the country.

The Tenth National Congress of the Party (2006) further deepened the relationship between economic growth and cultural development, considering it an important content of socialist orientation. The congress emphasized: "... economic growth is associated with cultural development, health care, education..., well resolving social issues for the purpose of human development" (7).

Platform for building the country during the transition to socialism (supplemented, developed from 2011) has developed, deepened and enhanced the Party's viewpoint on the relationship between economic growth and cultural development. The Congress has an awareness development on culture compared to the past, especially the relationship between economic growth and cultural development focusing on human development targets. The congress identified: “Cultural and social development is in harmony with economic development, ensuring progress and social justice in each steps and each development policies" (8).

The 12th National Congress of the Party (2016) defines the goals: “By 2020, strive to complete the synchronous system of socialist-oriented market economy institution based on universal standards of modern market economy and international integration; ensuring uniformity between economic and political institutions, between the State and the market; ensuring the harmony between economic growth and cultural development, human development, implementation of social progress and justice, social security, environmental protection and sustainable social development”(9). One of the Party's new perception of the relationship between economy and culture is paying attention to the economic function of culture, attaching much importance to economic policy in culture and cultural policy in economy; at the same time, determining the important task in the process of building, developing culture and people of Vietnam to meet the requirements of sustainable development is the building of culture in economy, regularly paying attention to building culture in economy. People really are central to the process of socio-economic development.

Thus, the Party's view on the relationship between economic development and cultural development is formed and constantly supplemented, evolved from the 6th National Congress Documents VI (1986) to the 12th Congress (2016), and showed the consistency in the Party's political line. The Party's view on the relationship between economic development and cultural development can be specified as follows:

Firstly, economy is the material foundation, culture is the spiritual foundation of society. The relationship between economic development and cultural development is immanent, intrinsic and must be properly and harmoniously resolved so that economic development is really a premise and condition for developing culture, and cultural development is the goal and motivation for economic growth.

Secondly, resolving the relationship between economic development and cultural development must be put in the overall relationship between economy, politics, culture and society; must ensure the cohesion between developing economy as the center, building the Party as the key and constantly improving the culture - the spiritual foundation of society, considering the synchronous development between these three fields is a decisive condition to ensure the comprehensive and sustainable development of the country.

Thirdly, ensuring the harmonious combination between economic development and cultural development through a comprehensive policy system, including the unity between economic policies in culture and culture in economy. The requirements of cultural development, progress and social justice must be immediately implemented in each steps and development policies of the country, instead of sitting and waiting for a highly developed economy.

The practice of handling the relationship between economy and culture in Vietnam for over 30 years of renovation

In the process of national renewal, the practice of handling the relationship between economy and culture has achieved many important successes, but there are many limitations that should be properly and objectively recognized in order to overcome and correct timely. Thereby, there are appropriate orientations in the next stage.

After more than 30 years of renovation, the economy has grown continuously and relatively stable, the economic structure has shifted in a positive direction, the material and spiritual life of the people has been improved. In 2018, the gross domestic product reached approximately 240 billion USD; GDP per capita reached 2,587 USD, Vietnam now becomes a middle income country. The economic structure has shifted towards progress, GDP of agriculture, industry, construction and service have shifted markedly, respectively from 40.5%, 23.8%, 35.7% per year in 1991 to 14.57%, 34.28%, 41.17% in 2018 (10). Over 30 years of renovation, Vietnam's economic position in the international arena has been significantly improved.

The world highly appreciates the achievements of economic growth associated with solving social problems in Vietnam. In 2007, the United Nations recognized Vienam's target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on hunger eradication and poverty reduction completed nearly 10 years ahead of schedule. On September 21st, 2015, in the Announcement Ceremony “The result of 15 years of implementing the Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam”, the United Nations recognized that Vietnam had accomplished the Millennium Development Goals, such as hunger eradication, poverty Reduction; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and make progress in health indicators; achieve the goal of controlling malaria and tuberculosis as well as reducing the rate of HIV / AIDS transmission...

Implementing the perspective of sustainable development, linking the GDP growth target with the implementation of social and environmental targets, harmonizing the economic development with culture in Viet Nam has achieved important results over the past time. Human development index (HDI) of Vietnam includes: GDP growth, life expectancy, literacy and universal primary education, job creation, hunger eradication and poverty reduction tend to increase continuously in 27 years from 0.475 in 1990 to 0.694 in 2017.

Especially, the work of building culture is focused, forming new and good values in the lifestyle and personality of Vietnamese people. The preservation and promotion of cultural heritages, including the culture of ethnic minorities, has been invested more. The system of cultural heritage has been invested, embellished and brought into play its role in promoting socio-economic development and improving the spiritual life of the people. Many cultural heritages are internationally recognized as World Cultural Heritage.

However, the practice of solving the relationship between economy and culture still has many limitations. Economic development is not sustainable, the quality of growth, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy are low and not commensurate with the potential; economic restructuring towards industrialization and modernization is still slow; The internal divisional structure is not reasonable. Growth is based on broad-based factors, slowly shifting to in-depth development. The quality of human resources and infrastructure are still the "bottlenecks" hindering the development. The criteria to turn Vietnam into a modernity-oriented industrial nation is still out of reach, with many potential factors causing instability, and the Party point out there are many great risks for development. Organizing and implementing the opinion linking economic growth with cultural development is not comprehensive and absolutely. Awareness of leaders and managers in some branches and localities is inconsistent; The role of culture has not been clearly recognized as a goal and driving force of socio-economic development. Due to the pressure of economic growth, many industries and localities pay little attention to cultural development and environmental protection. In the process of planning and building socio-economic development programs and projects, while many localities have just only focused on economic benefits, they haven’t paid proper attention to cultural development, education and health. and environment for workers. The building of cultural lifestyle has not turned positive, especially in festive activities, community communication, transport and office culture. Degradation of ideology, morality, and lifestyle have not been effectively repulsed. The increase in social evils and crimes, especially among young people, school violence is a cause for concern. Weaknesses in state management of culture have not been overcome. The struggle to prevent harmful cultural products, especially on the internet, is still inadequate.

Some solutions to address the relationship between economic growth and cultural development in the future

From the above situation, in order to contribute to effectively addressing the relationship between economic growth and cultural development in the coming time, the following directions and solutions must be implemented:

Firstly, raise the awareness of cadres, party members and people, first of all, to the leadership, management, socio-economic policy-making agencies and enterprises on the essence of linking economic growth and cultural development in every steps and development policies; resolutely fight against the tendency to make profits at any price, separating economic goals from cultural and social goals.

Secondly, economic growth must be in harmony with cultural development, constantly improving all aspects of life physically and mentally. Combining State investment with mobilization of social resources for cultural, educational, scientific and technological development. Promoting the development in key economic regions, and support difficult areas. Establish a system of urban areas with reasonable distribution in the regions; harmonious development between urban and rural areas. Encouraging legal enrichment in parallel with hunger eradication and poverty reduction, realizing the goal of “a prosperous people and a strong, democratic, equitable and civilized country”.

Thirdly, promoting the role of culture, education, science and technology for economic growth and national development in general, focusing on building an advanced Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity, both inheriting and promoting the fine cultural tradition of Vietnamese ethnic community, and absorbing the cultural quintessence of mankind so that culture truly becomes the spiritual foundation of society. Developing and improving human resources, especially high-quality human resources. Strongly develop science and technology to motivate productivity, quality, efficiency, rapid and sustainable development of the economy. Renovate vigorously scientific and technological development institutions, management mechanisms and policies with objective and task of socio-economic development. Directing scientific and technological activity in the goal of renewing the growth model and restructuring the economy, stepping up industrialization, modernization and development of the knowledge economy and digital economy.

Fourthly, the relationship between economy and culture must be determined as a dialectical relationship, as premise and condition for mutual development. Therefore, the Party's right view on the closer cohesion between the three tasks must be steadfast: economic development is the central task, Party building is the key task with continuous cultural development, and making progress and social justice. Along with the priority of economic innovation, it is necessary to pay due attention to cultural development, building new people, creating a healthy environment for economic development. However, depending on time, each department, region and locality to emphasize economic or cultural factors to suit specific situation, overcome dogma, mechanical or subjective, voluntarist.

Fifthly, continue to improve the method of the Party’s leadership, State's management, promoting the role of ownership and supervision of the people in implementation of associating economic growth with cultural development. All levels and branches regularly check, supervise and draw experience to promptly handle problems posed by practical issues in dealing with the economic and cultural relationship.

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(1) Collective Party Document, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006, t. 47, p. 420
(2) Collective Party Document, p. 51, p. 135
(3) Eighth National Assembly Congress Document, National Politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 1996, p. 85
(4), (5) Document of the tenth plenum of the Party Central Committee of the VIII session, National politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 1998, p. 55, 73.
(6) Document of the 9th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, National politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2001, p. 89
(7) Document of the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, National politics Publishing House, Hanoi, 2006, p. 77 - 78
(8) Document of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, National Politics Truth Publishing House, Hanoi, 2011, p. 40
(9) Document of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Central Office of the Party, Hanoi, 2016, p. 104
(10) http://www.gso.gov.vn/default.aspx?tabid=382&idmid=&ItemID=19041

Source: Communist Review (No 927, October 2019)

PhD. Vu Thi HoaAcademy of Journalism and Communication