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Vietnam begins sails forward to the open sea
8/3/2007 15:43' Send Print

In 2006, Vietnam attained great and comprehensive achievements. It was the year in which important national events took place: the 10th Party Congress was crowned with success, the 14th APEC Meeting was successful, Vietnam became the 150th member of the WTO and, in addition, Vietnam was selected by Asian Countries as the single candidate for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the term 2008-2009. These important successes have opened a new stage for the national development.

On the eve of Spring 2007, His Excellency Nguyen Minh Triet, Politburo member, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam granted an exclusive interview to a reporter from the Communist Review. The Review has the honor to present this important interview.

Communist Review (CR): His Excellency, comrade President, on the occasion of Spring 2007, would you outline the outstanding achievements attained by our Party and people in 2006?

President Nguyen Minh Triet: In 2006, we acquired a number of fundamental and favorable advantages but were also faced with great difficulties and challenges such as great losses caused by natural disasters in many localities, bird flu and other epidemics contracted by people, domestic animals and plants, critical fluctuations of world prices, especially prices of crude oil and gasoline, new barriers in international trade etc. Thanks to great efforts of the entire Party, people and armed forces, we were able to overcome such difficulties and barriers to constantly drive our socio-economic development forward.

Because we grasped opportunities and dealt with challenges in a timely fashion, in 2006 we achieved a great deal of success: our economy continued to grow at a high pace of 8.17%; the economic structure was positively transformed to socialist-oriented industrialization and modernization; important progress was registered in many aspects of culture and society; peoples’ lives were improved; the political and social situation remained stable; national defense and security were strenghthened and external relations were rapidly expanded.

2006 also witnessed impressive changes in the renewal process. These were the great success of the 10th Party Congress which opened a new stage for national development, the successful organization of the 14th APEC Meeting the results of which were admired and appreciated by international friends and the acquisition of the 150th membership of the WTO. These achievements reinforced the position and prestige of Vietnam in the international arena.

CR: His Excellency, how do these achievements impact our national development?

President Nguyen Minh Triet: These events have been greatly impacting and strongly fostering our national development.

The success of the 10th Party Congress reflect the highly unified spirit of our nation under the leadership of our Party in continuing to comprehensively fortify the renewal process.

Documents passed by the Party Congress deeply recapitulated theory and practical experience of 20 years of successful renovation to lay the foundation for perfection and development of our platform and viewpoints of renovation in the new revolutionary stage. The Congress made important decisions on policies in fundamental and key aspects for the national development and defense of our socialist country.

The successs of the 14th APEC Meeting contributed to the enhancement of Vietnam’s position and prestige in the region and the world. It affirmed the view of international community on a Vietnam which has a bright prospect with high economic growth, a stable society and attractiveness to foreign investment highlighting its bold integration into both the regional and world economies. The success of the 14th APEC Meeting and active diplomatic activities adjacent to the Meeting, and the important results of bilateral visits of the leaders of the People’s Republic of China, the United States, The Russian Federation, Japan and Chile, and major contracts signed during this time again affirmed the correctness of our Party and State’s external policy. These are a great encouragement to us in the process of actively enhancing internationally economic cooperation.

Vietnam’s accession to the WTO and the acquisition of the 150th membership of the WTO by Vietnam are a great success. This means that Vietnam has begun to sail from the river to the open sea. Now we have the necessary and appropriate conditions and strength to conduct equal trading with partners in the world. By joining the WTO, we have more opportunities and advantages to develop our nation and enhance our economic development. Nevertheless, we also face a lot of difficulties and challenges. The essential matter is that we should correctly grasp opportunities in a timely fashion, actively overcome challanges and turn them into opportunities and practical development for our country.

CR: Some foreign economists and press agencies view Vietnam as an active economy, a new dragon, a young tiger etc. What is your judgement about these opinions.

President Nguyen Minh Triet: Vietnam always has a beautiful image in the eyes of international friends. We were heroic in both our struggle for national salvation and our national construction and development. With only 20 years of renovation, we have achieved great and historic successes. Moreover, in the eyes of international friends, Vietnam is not only rich in traditions but also has great potential and resources. Out of our available resources, human resources are the most important. With a young population and an abundant and quality labor force, Vietnam is making a new stage of development with promising prospects.

Based on the acquired achievements together with our great potential and opportunities, our friends encourage us by giving us the name of a new tiger or a young tiger etc. However, we should not be self-satisfied, instead we should severely assess our weaknesses and mistakes. We must fully realize both advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and challenges so as to strongly and correctly render our endeavor for the development of our country.

CR: Mr. President, can you outline basic opportunities and challenges for our national development in 2007 and the years to come?

President Nguyen Minh Triet: The achievements attained in 20 years of renovation and in 2006 are great conditions and opportunities for 2007 and the years to come. However, we face many difficulties and challenges such as weaknesses in economy management, social managment, corruption and waste which are pressing issues to our people. The competitiveness of the economy and the backwardness of technology are also constraints on the economy. The tasks of 2007 and the years to come are to address these weaknesses and contraints so as to ensure the sustainable and high growth of the economy; actively transforming economic structure towards the orientation of industrialization and modernization; strongly developing agriculture and rural areas, health care, education, science and technology; effectively addressing pressing issues in society and the environment; enhancing administration reforms and struggle against corruption and waste. These are legitimate requirements of our people.

In expanding international economic integration and having joined the WTO, we also face new challenges: stronger competition, bankruptcy, unemployment and polarization will become common features. Environmental matters, national security, traditional culture, national characteristics and life-style will witness severe threats and changes. We should give due attention to these newly arising matters and adopt appropriate solutions and measures to tackle them.

CR: What should we do to create strong changes in 2007 and the years to come?

President Nguyen Minh Triet: In entering 2007, we are really happy and proud with the great achievements attained by our Party and people. In order to create great changes in 2007 and the following years, we need to grasp the spirit of the resolution of the 10th Party Congress. We should fully mobilize the strength of the great national unity, bring into full play all potential and resources to successfully achieve basic socio-economic objectives set forth by the resolution of the 10th Party Congress.

In the immediate future, after having joined the WTO, we should concentrate our efforts on implementing the following targets: Improving the legal system for the implementation of commitments. Strongly carrying out administrative procedures to make the investment environment more favorable and attractive. Restructuring State managerial agencies into multi-sector managerial institutions. Renewing and actively developing human resources. Developing material-technical infrastructure. Enhancing the transformation of economic structure towards industrialization and modernization. Making due investment so as to create a breakthrough in the development of agriculture and rural areas. Diversifying the development of services, especially those products and branches which are strongly competitive and have potential for expanding markets. Improving the competitiveness of Vietnamese businesses. To achieve these targets, we must firmly hold the leadership of the Party and maintain the spirit of independence and self-reliance, protect the national sovereignty and socialist orientation.

CR: Mr. President, we ended 2006 with great successes, on the occassion of the new year 2007-golden pig year, do you have any message to the Vietnamese people and friends in the world.

President Nguyen Minh Triet: Great and proud achievements attained by our people in 2006 and 20 years of renovation are the outputs of tenacious efforts and creativeness of our Party and people. In 2007, Vietnam sails in to the open sea, however, big waves and strong winds cannot make us shrink from difficulties and we will constantly move forward and fully implement our international commitments. Vietnam wants to have peace in Vietnam, the region and the world. Vietnam will try its best to protect peace and develop the nation. Vietnam wishes to be friends with every country in the world and cooperate with each other for development.

CR: Thank you ever so much Mr. President! On the occasion of the new year 2007, the entire staff and reporters of the Communist Review wish you good health.

Nguyen Minh Triet