Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Photo: VNA
Implementing the Working Agenda of
the whole tenure, the Party Central Committee convened the 4th Plenum
to discuss and provide opinions on the socio-economic situation in 2016,
the socio - economic development plan in 2017, a number of big lines
and policies to renew growth model and improve growth quality, labor
productivity, competitiveness of the economy; the effective
international economic integration; socio-political stability while
Vietnam joins new-generation free trade agreements; Party building and
rectification, reversing the degradation of political ideology, ethics
and lifestyle, manifestations of internal “self-evolution”,
“self-transformation” and some other important issues.
On behalf of the Politburo and the Secretariat, I warmly welcome members of the Central Committee, and invited delegates to the Plenum and would like to convey my best wishes to you.
Over the last time, the Politburo instructed the Party caucus of the Government and Party committees to actively prepare reports and scheme. In keeping with the working regulation, the Office of the Party Central Committee sent you documents for study. Now, I would like to raise other issues relating to the contents and tasks of the Plenum as suggestions and recommendations for your attention, consideration and decision during discussion.
On the socio-economic situation in 2016, and socio-economic plan in 2017
2016 is the first year of implementation of 12th Party Congress’ Resolution, besides opportunities and advantages, there were also many difficulties and challenges. The success of the 12th Party Congress created a new momentum and impetus for renewal, national construction and defense. After the 12th Party Congress, the Central Committee successfully led the elections to the 14th National Assembly and People's Councils at all levels for the 2016 - 2021 Legislature, early completed the leading bodies of the Party and the State, urgently developed and actively organized the implementation of the 2016 Socio-economic Development Plan and the five-year Socio-economic Development Plan (2016 - 2020). The entire political system built on past achievements, overcame limitations, weaknesses and constraints; calmly, soberly and promptly dealt with problems that arouse due to adverse effects of unfavorable situation, such as impacts from the slow recovery of the world economy, potential uncertainties and unpredictability, falling crude oil prices much lower than plans which significantly affected the state budget revenues and the development of the oil and gas industry; prolonged drought in the south central region and the Central Highlands; drought, salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta; severe and harsh cold spells, floods in several northern provinces, and the serious environmental incident in some central provinces which severely affected agricultural development, and farmers' lives.
You are requested to keep to reports, the Politburo’s submission and the actual situation of branches, sectors and localities to discuss, objectively and comprehensively assess the socio-economic development in the first 9 months and forecasts to the end of 2016. Pinpoint results and achievements, constraints and shortcomings and analyse to clarify causes. Compare with objectives and tasks, especially objectives and tasks to stabilize macro economy, and growth at about 6.7%, develop culture and society, care for people's lives, ensure social security, defend national independence, sovereignty, political security and order, social security and maintain peaceful and stable environment for national development.
Based on analysis and forecast of possibilities that may occur in the coming time, seize opportunities, advantages, disadvantages and challenges, define the overall objectives, the basic and most important targets for 2017 and map out highly feasible policies and measures. Pay special attention to breakthrough policies and measures to control public debts, settle bad debts and restructure the state budget, boost restructuring of public investment, state-owned enterprises, public entities and commercial banking system, improve investment and business environment in order to mobilize and use resources more effectively, and ensure the major balances of the economy.
On renewal of growth model, improvement of growth quality, productivity and competitiveness of the economy
These are issues of strategic significance and special importance deciding the success of the renovation. Prompted by the 5-year implementation of the 11th Party Congress’s Resolution in the context of deep international integration and the 4th rapid industrial revolution, the 12th Party Congress supplemented and set out this important line, requiring continued efforts to renew growth model, improve growth quality, productivity and competitiveness of the economy.
The submission and scheme presented to the Central Committee Plenum this time have assessed growth model renewal in association with restructuring of Vietnam's economy over the past few years, pointing to 7 achievements, 6 constraints and weaknesses, 3 major causes and 5 lessons learned, proposing points of view and some lines and major policies to continued renewing growth model in the future. You are requested to study and discuss thoroughly, make realistic comments to each issue, noticeably big issues, new and difficult problems, especially the important and sensitive renovation recommendations as stated in the submission of the Politburo.
When assessing the situation, it is necessary to analyze thoroughly the causes to limitations, weaknesses, especially subjective causes. The major causes can be incorrect understanding of a new growth model with full components, including the driving force, resources and methods to create growth, even simple perception on or taking the growth model for development model. Renovation of the socialist-oriented market economy is slow with no breakthrough in the mobilization, allocation and efficient use of development resources following market signals and mechanism. Another causes are lack of awareness and poor implementation of the three strategic breakthroughs to restructure the economy, first of all the three priority areas raised by the 11th Party Congress. Obvious changes have not yet been made in radical and comprehensive renovation of education and training and development of high quality human resources, science-technology, innovation, research and application of science and technology, especially information technology, and network technology. Full efforts have not been made to bring into play opportunities, advantages and overcome the difficulties and challenges of international economic integration for the economy in general and renewal of growth model, improvement of quality growth, labor productivity and competitiveness of the economy in particular.
On viewpoints, policy orientations and policies, you are requested to closely follow the Resolution and documents of the 12th Party Congress to discuss, concretize, make supplement to successfully realize the Resolution. Clearly define the desired growth pattern as compared to the current model of growth, roadmap and steps for the next 5-10 years, with a vision to 2030; lines, policies and measures to promote the role of science and technology, restructuring and improvement of labor quality, the level of production, business, mobilization and effective use of social resources, especially resources of the private sector; lines on capital accumulation and concentration of agricultural land use rights; policies and measures to handle problems of bad debt and weak commercial banks in a more fundamental manner.
On effective international economic integration, and maintenance of socio-political stability in the new context
Nearly 10 years ago, to timely lead and direct the country’s international economic integration when joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), on 5 February 2007, the Central Committee of the 10th Tenure issued Resolution No. 08-NQ/TW “On lines and policies for fast and sustainable economic development when Vietnam becomes a member of the World Trade Organization.”
Since then, especially in recent years, there has been progress in Vietnam’s international economic integration in both scope and scale through the signing and implementation of many new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), including not only agreements on the liberalization of trade and investment but also commitments on labor, trade union, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises and political, culture, social, complicated and sensitive issues. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in late 2015, the enforcement of FTAs with the Republic of Korea, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the upcoming ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the FTA with the EU will bring opportunities along with challenges not only in economy but also in national defense and security, foreign affairs, culture, and society.
You are requested to study carefully documents, discuss and provide opinions on whether a specific resolution on this issue must be issued, make comprehensive and objective assessment on the context, situation, positive and negative impacts, especially factors affecting socio-political stability and sustainable development of the country. Correctly pinpoint opportunities and challenges to international economic integration and national construction and defense for the next 5-10 years. Clarify stance, guiding ideology and a number of lines and policies to ensure successful international economic integration and maintenance of socio-political stability.
In this process, the Central Committee should keep to the 12th Party Congress Resolution on global integration, the implementation of Resolution No. 08 / NQ-TW of the Central Committee, 10th Tenure “On lines and policies for fast and sustainable economic development when Vietnam becomes a member of the World Trade Organization,” Resolution No. 22/NQ-TW on 10 April 2013 of the Politburo, 11th Tenure on international integration and Resolution No. 28/NQ-TW on 25 October 2013 of the Central Committee, 11th Tenure “On the national defense strategy in the new situation” towards issuing a Resolution on global economic integration that inherits, supplements and develops the Party’s stance, lines and policies on integration international economic in line with national, regional and global realities. Focus on clarifying the guiding viewpoint for integration in the new situation, along with policies and measures to address challenges and negative impacts from the international commitments, particularly the effects of opening the market on agriculture, farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises when import-export taxes of almost all goods stand at zero or how commitments in labour-trade unions, liberalisation of services market including financial-monetary, telecommunications, the Internet and social media fields will affect national defense-security and socio-political stability.
On Party building and rectification
The leadership of the Party is the primary decisive factor to every success of the Vietnamese revolution. Party building and rectification are always a particularly important and vital task, for the Communist Party of Vietnam. The 12th Party Congress set out 10 basic tasks for building a clean and strong Party, confirming the continued persistent and resolute implementation of the Resolution of the Central Committee 4th Plenum, 11th Tenure on Party building.
To put the 12th Party Congress Resolution into action, the Party Central Committee has decided that this Plenum must discuss and issue the Resolution “On building and strengthening the Party, curbing the degradation of political ideology, ethics and lifestyle along with signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within the Party.” This is a critical, basic, and urgent issue. At the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Party Congresses the Party stressed the need to prevent and reverse degradation of political ideology, ethics and lifestyle. The 12th Party Congress continued warning and demanding the Party to “fight, prevent and curb degradation of political ideology, ethics and lifestyle along with signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” (1), considering it as one of six key tasks of this tenure. Initial significant progress has been made in the implementation of the Resolution of the Central Committee 4th Plenum, 11th Tenure on Party building with high political will of the entire Party, people and armed forces; however, degradation, “self-evolution,” “self-transformation” have not been prevented or repelled. There have been more sophisticated and complicated developments which can cause unprecedented consequences.
The report of the Politburo and related documents sent to the Central Committee have contained the contents of the scheme. Comments and recommendations as well as supplement and adjustment are to be made on the name, theme and scope of the scheme. Accordingly, correctly assess the situation and causes, clearly identify objectives, perspectives, guiding ideology and lines and measures suitable for each content, and problem. On the basis of inheriting the previous resolutions of the Party Central Committee, especially of the 4th Plenum of the 11th Tenure, study, supplement and clarify degradation of political ideology, ethics, lifestyle. Are manifestations as mentioned in the submission, scheme and the draft resolution clear enough? What else need to be identified? What are internal “self-evolution”, “self-transformation”? To what extent? What are the causes? What is the harm?
In the spirit of looking straight at the truth, assessing reality, you are requested to analyze, clarify, point out root causes, and put forth effective measures. The scheme outlines four groups of task and solutions on political and ideological education, self-criticism and criticism; mechanisms and policies; Party inspection, supervision and discipline; promotion of the role of the people, the Fatherland Front and other socio-political organizations. Are they accurate, feasible and strong enough to transform the situation? What are other measures to be supplemented? What are other issues that each group of solution must take into consideration? What solutions can we implement immediately? For those solutions which need regulations and guidelines, what is the implementation methods?
The contents of this Plenum are very important issues for the successful implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress, including the implementation of the central task of socio-economic development and the key task of Party building and rectification. You are asked to bring into full play sense of responsibility, study, discuss and provide comments to finalize reports, scheme, draft resolutions and conclusions of the Party Central Committee and consider and decide at the end of the plenum.
In that spirit, I hereby declare the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 12 th Tenure open. I wish the Plenum great success.
* Headlines are selected by Communist Review
(1) Documents of the 12th National Party Congress, Party Central Committee Office, Hanoi, 2016, p. 201
This article was published on Communist Review No 889 (November 2016)