Thursday, 15/11/2018
Bringing into full play achievements of 2017, striving to achieve the goals and tasks of 2018
9/5/2018 16:27' Send Print
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Image: baoquocte.vn

1. Since the 12th Party Congress, besides opportunities and advantages our country have faced many difficulties and challenges. The entire Party, people and army have been of one mind, taken resolutely actions, striven to successfully implement the objectives and tasks of annual plans and the five year plan 2016-2020 set out by the Party and the National Assembly in their resolutions.

Looking back at the year 2017, we are very pleased with the country's socio-economic situation, which changed positively and comprehensively in all fields. Vietnam reached and overfulfilled all 13 key criteria. Macroeconomic was stable, inflation was controlled, major balances of the economy were guaranteed. Exports, foreign direct investment, number of newly-established businesses reached record high. After 10 years of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Vietnam's export turnover increased more than four times, reaching nearly US$425 billion. Foreign exchange reserves bagged $51.5 billion; stock market surpassed 980 points, the highest in 10 years. Major branches and sectors recovered and developed well, especially processing, manufacturing and services; tourism attracted nearly 13 million international visitors, up by 29.1%. Despite severely impacts by natural disasters, storms and floods the agricultural sector still increased by 2.9%; and export turnover over $36 billion. With a GDP growth rate of 6.81%, the highest since 2007, Vietnam was among the countries with highest growth rate in the region and the world. Administrative reform achieved clear results, Vietnam’s business investment environment ranking jumped up 14 level, from 82 to 68 out of 190 economies; competitiveness increased 5 levels, from 60 to 55 out of 137 countries and territories. Credit ratings agency Moody’s upgraded its outlook for Vietnam’s banking system from stable to positive. Many of the top 500 global corporations chose Vietnam to invest in and develop it into a regional manufacturing hub and link in the global value chain. Vietnam's renewed determination and important achievements created an atmosphere of enthusiasm in business investment and the whole society, reinforcing the confidence of investors and the business community.

Beside implementing the main task of economic development, we also gained good results in social security, care for people’s material and spiritual life, environmental protection, response to climate change, ensuring political security, social order and safety. Anti-corruption, thrift and waste prevention were affirmatively carried out and achieved clear results; a number of serious corruption cases were investigated, strictly adjudicated without prohibited areas, and supported by people. We successfully organized many important external activities, especially high-level foreign affairs activities and the APEC Year 2017, contributing to enhancing Vietnam's prestige and position in the international arena. To date, Vietnam has established diplomatic relations with 185 countries, 26 comprehensive strategic partnerships and partners, of which five are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and economic relations with 224 countries and territories.

Beside these results, we frankly admit many shortcomings and weaknesses in our economy. There remain constraints in discipline, order, effectiveness, efficiency of direction and law enforcement. Despite the Government’s fierce direction, changes were slow in many branches and some lower levels did not act upon higher level’s guidance. Though economic restructuring was associated with growth model innovation, quality, efficiency and competitiveness did no meet requirements. Equitization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and divestment were also slow; Public investment was scattered and inefficient; disbursement was slow; waste was found in management, use of property, and public expenditure. There were difficulties in restructuring state budget and public non-business agencies. The level of science and technology was generally low; there were not many regional and international competitive products of high bands. Though private businesses increased in number, their efficiency and quality were still poor, and their linkage with foreign investment was week.

There remain urgent problems in cultural, social and environmental aspects, especially food insecurity, environmental pollution, epidemics, domestic violence, child abuse, employment for youth and new graduates. Social order and safety, and crimes saw complicated developments; security and safety of information network was not effectively ensured; there were misinformation, besmearing and harmful allegations affecting public opinion.

Violations of law and corruption occurred in many places; recovery of corrupted property and assets was very low and unsatisfactory. Some ministries, branches and localities did not pay due attention to the settlement of complaints and denunciations, thus "hot spots" caused social disorder. Organizational apparatus of many agencies was cumbersome and ineffective, not yet streamlined. Capacity, qualification and quality of a part of cadres and public employees were weak. Many of them did not fulfill their responsibilities; discipline and order were not strict;

2. Amid difficulties, climate change which happened faster than predictions, natural calamities, storms and floods that caused severe losses, results recorded in 2017 under the leadership of the Party testify to great efforts of the whole political system, levels, branches, business community and people through out the country. We brought into full play synergy of unity, solidarity, democracy, innovation, timely and appropriate settlement of practical issues, effective implementation of lines, and policies on socio-economic development.

The Party Central Committee promulgated resolutions on perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy, restructuring the economy in line with the renewal of the economic growth model and international economic integration, restructuring state-owned enterprises, developing the private economic sector into an important driving force of the economy, renovating public non-business units, improving healthcare, and population work in the new situation, and renovating and streamlining the political system’s apparatus for effectiveness and efficiency. The implementation of these resolutions contributed significantly to step by step removing bottlenecks to growth, promoting the development of all areas in social life.

The Government, Party committees at all levels, ministries, branches and localities proactively and actively implemented resolutions of the Party and the National Assembly through specific action programs and plans, identifying objectives, tasks, solutions, creatively and flexible applying lines and policies in leading, management, direction and management. In particular, the Government renovated its direction, promoted the start-up movement and innovation in the whole society; persistently implemented targets, built quarterly growth scenario for each branch and field and organized implementation; organized many seminars to discuss concrete solutions, and removed difficulties; simplified, reduced administrative procedures and costs for people and businesses; took urgent and long-term measures to adapt to climate change, especially in the Mekong River delta; proactively prepared for and prevented and overcome consequences of storms and floods; handled ineffective projects which suffered big losses, directed localities to stop illegal deforestation and sand mining, strengthened discipline and order; brought into play the role of the Task Force to supervise and urge ministries, branches and localities to implement tasks assigned by the Government and the Prime Minister; closely monitored, promptly detected and solved pressing social problems; rectified behaviors such as drinking alcohol and beer in working hours, using of public vehicles, granting blue plate to businesses' vehicles, gifts from businesses, and ensured transparency and confidence in people.

Through developments in 2017, we draw many valuable experiences in leadership, management, direction, and implementation. It is especially important to have high political will, consensus among the Party, people and army, resolute and disciplined leadership, direction and management of all levels and branches, especially innovation in the Government’s operation; and identify right direction, right focus such as concentrating on developing hi-tech agriculture, processing industry and manufacture, promoting innovation, and business development. At the same time, economic development must be closely linked to cultural development, social progress and equity, environmental protection and defense, security and foreign affairs.

3. The year 2018 is key to the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress and the Resolution of the National Assembly on the five-year Socio-Economic Development Plan 2016-2020. There are advantages and disadvantages, and challenges in the world and regional situation. Peace, cooperation and development are still the main trends, but geopolitical tensions, terrorism and conflicts have continued in many places. The world economy is forecasted to grow more than 2017 but there are many risks. Protectionism has increased in some countries and regions. Though economic, trade and investment links have been strengthened, obstacles remain. The Asia-Pacific region continues to be a dynamic development hub, but it is also one of the fiercest strategic geographic foci. Non-traditional security challenges under new manifestations continue to pose many of issues that nations must tackle. Science and technology has developed strongly under the wave of industrial revolution 4.0, having increasingly deep and multidimentional impacts on all countries, creating new impetus for economic development and competitiveness, but also posing challenges and problems in political, economic, cultural, social, defense, security and foreign affairs fields which need to be addressed.

Internally, we have inherited great achievements of historical significance of the 30-year renovation, and development in all aspects in 2017, and stable socio-political situation. However, constraints, and shortcomings in the economy continue to show; bad debts is high; public debt nears limit; fiscal and monetary policy space is growingly tightened while demands for resources to invest in development, social security, national defense and security are very high; climate change, natural disasters, droughts, floods and typhoons, salinity intrusion, and extreme weather often occur.

In order to successfully implement the objectives and tasks of socio-economic development in 2018 in line with the Conclusion of the Party Central and Resolution of the National Assembly, the Government sets out the motto "Discipline, integrity, action, creativity, effectiveness" and defines the focus of direction and operation: Continue to stabilize the macro-economy, make obvious changes in the implementation of strategic breakthroughs, restructure the economy in association with renovating the growth model, improve productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness; encourage innovation, start-ups, step up administration reform; strengthen discipline and order, and raise the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement and the leadership, direction and operation of all branches and levels. Strengthen prevention and fight against corruption and waste. Attach importance to cultural and social development; exercise democracy and social equity, improve people's life; enhance environmental protection, natural disaster prevention, response to climate change; ensure national defense and security; heighten the efficiency of foreign affairs and international integration; and maintain a peaceful and stable environment for the development of the country.

The Government has promulgated and requested ministries, branches and localities to effective implement Resolution No. 01/ NQ-CP on 1 January 2018, on key tasks and solutions to implement the socio-economic development plan and State budget estimate for 2018. It is the first time in many years that a resolution is developed in the spirit of innovation in terms of method, form and concise content with focus, objectives and concrete targets, minimizing contents related to regular tasks of branches and levels while focusing on organizing implementation, monitoring, evaluation, inspection and supervision. In particular, attention should be paid to a number of major orientations in the Government’s direction and regulation towards various levels and branches:

First, concentrate on studying, thoroughly grasping and implementing resolutions of the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly, especially on perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy institutions, restructuring the economy in association with reforming growth model, deepening international economic integration, restructuring state-owned enterprises, developing the private economy into an important engine of the economy, renovating public non-business units, and improving people’s healthcare and population work in the new situation. These are crucial issues, especially important for the implementation of the key socio-economic development tasks set forth by the 12th Party Congress.

Reality shows that the resolutions can only be implemented with efforts of the whole political system. The Government requires all levels, and branches, especially heads of agencies, organizations and units to heighten their responsibilities and roles together with Party committees at the same levels and administrations to lead and guide the implementation of the Party lines, the State policies and laws, and the Party's 12th Congress Resolution to create a new atmosphere in the Party, people and army for successful realization of the objectives and tasks of socio-economic development.

Second, enhance macroeconomic stability, improve business investment environment, and promote economic growth. Actively, flexibly, cautiously regulate monetary policy, coordinate closely with fiscal policy and other policies. Tighten fiscal discipline and state budget in all sectors and levels. Push up export in association with building Vietnam’s brands, strive for a sustainable trade balance. Take comprehensive measures to control prices and market, and prevent smuggling and trade frauds. Concentrate on perfecting mechanisms, policies and laws on business investment; review, remove cumbersome business conditions, simplify administrative procedures, and intensify inspection, and supervision. Create condition for business development, innovation, business start up.

Third, further implement strategic breakthroughs. Prioritize the development and institutionalization of the Party's viewpoints and lines to meet requirements of perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy institutions and building a socialist rule-of-law State. Clearly define the role and functions of the State and the market in conformity with international practices, principles and standards. Develop market elements and assorted markets, and ensure their completeness, uniform and smooth operation, and close link with economies in the region and the world.

Concentrate on training high-quality human resources associated with businesses’ needs, promote innovations and application of science and technology to raise labor productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness, meet requirements of economic restructuring, growth model renovation and industrial revolution 4.0. Consider improving the quality of human resources a key, urgent and long-term task of both the political system and the business community in order to achieve the strategic objective of fast and sustainable development. Attach importance to technology absorption capacity, consider businesses the center of innovation, development and transfer of scientific and technological advances.

Concentrate resources on public investment, further attracting non-state capital sources, including foreign investment in order to develop a synchronous, effective and modern system of socio-economic infrastructure, prioritize developing infrastructure of information technology, transport, urban, energy, healthcare and education. Accelerate and early complete key transport infrastructure project to connect and assist the socio-economic development of localities, regions and the entire economy.

Fourth, make clear and substantial changes in economic restructuring in line with growth model reform in alignment with resolutions of the Party and the National Assembly. Speed up agriculture restructuring in connection with building new rural areas; and develop processing and manufacturing industries, agricultural-supporting industry; supporting industries linked to the value chain of multinational corporations, high value-added services, information technology, communication, finance, banking, insurance, logistics, and tourism. Review and perfect mechanisms and policies to promote regional economy, development, improve inter-regional coordination effectiveness, and strongly uphold the role of key economic regions and big economic centers.

Restructure credit institutions in association with settlement of bad debts in implementing resolutions the National Assembly and the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Credit Institutions. Speed up the restructuring of the state budget and public debts in accordance with the resolution of the Politburo; restructure public investment and state budget and ensure safe and sustainable public debts. Selectively attract foreign direct investment (FDI) projects. Boost equitization of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and divest capital in accordance with market principles, ensure openness and transparency; make fundamental changes in the handling of enterprises and projects suffering losses. Establish state capital management committees in businesses, separate the function of State management from State ownership. Renovate and raise the efficiency of public non-business units in association with socialization.

Make a breakthrough in the way of thinking and action, remove all prejudices and barriers to develop private economy in all branches and domains which are not prohibited by law. Encourage private corporations to participate efficiently in the process of divesting, and equitizing SOEs and develop strongly to catch up with regional and international level; and contribute to building an independent, and autonomous economy. Support innovation, technology modernization and develop competitive human resources, and participate in regional and global production networks and value chains. Raise political awareness, self-reliance, patriotism, pride, self-respect, sense of law observance, social responsibility of business owners.

Fifth, along with economic development, we must fulfill the tasks of cultural development, and exercise democracy and social equity. All levels and branches must be proactive, active in leading and directing the implementation of social policies, build the Vietnamese culture and comprehensively developing people, ensure social security, and constantly improve the material and spiritual life of people so that no one is left behind. Fully implement policy towards people with meritorious services, ensure social security, poverty reduction, education job training and job creation; prioritize the allocation of state budget and mobilize non-state budget resources for development of disadvantaged, disaster-prone and ethnic minority areas. Effective implement resolutions of the Party Central Committee on healthcare and population. Conserve and promote national values, cultural heritage, and traditions; prevent moral and lifestyle degradation, domestic violence, and abuse of children and women. Implement well policy on ethnic minority and religion, care for the elderly, people with disabilities, family, children, youth, gender equality, physical education and sports development.

Sixth, proactively respond to climate change, practice thrift in resource use and protect environment which is decisive for the sustainable development of the country. Focus on improving environmental quality and pollution treatment, especially in craft villages, industrial clusters, economic zones and residential areas in rural regions. Overcome the effects of tidal waves, and sea level rise causing flooding in some big cities, salinity intrusion in coastal provinces and the Mekong Delta. Resolutely stop deforestation, and illegal exploitation of natural resources, minerals, sand, stones and gravels. Strengthen the capacity of forecasting and warning, actively prevent and mitigate natural disasters. Effectively take active measures to respond to climate change, promote green growth, and sustainable development; mainstream environmental protection objectives in development strategies, plans and projects of each branch and locality.

Seventh, build an effective, efficient, and disciplined administration; all levels and branches must consider renewal, and streamline of apparatus to make it effective and efficient an important task. Concentrate on reviewing, rearranging, consolidating and streamlining apparatus and focal points within administrative agencies; issue more stringent regulations on payroll, number of cadres, public employment and civil servants; develop a mechanism on competitiveness, openness and transparency in recruitment, appointment and promotion. Step up application of information technology and build e-government. Request branches, levels, agencies and units to strictly implement regulations on corruption and waste prevention; Inspect, supervise and strictly handle and make public violations; there is no prohibited areas of acts of corruption, wastefulness, negative phenomena and group interests. Scale up and expand the thrift and anti-waste movement in the whole society, first of all in the State administrative system. Handle people’s complaints and denunciations. Strictly implement the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee on strengthening the Party building and rectification; prevent, and repel political, moral, lifestyles degeneration, "self-evolution", and "self-transformation."

Eighth, resolutely and persistently struggle to safeguard sovereignty, and maintain enabling peaceful environment for socio-economic development. Consolidate the people's defense and people's security posture. Focus on prevention, and fight against crimes. Carry out synchronous solutions to ensure traffic safety and order, and fire and explosion prevention. Be more proactive in foreign affairs, international integration; successfully carry out bilateral and multilateral external relations; take advantage of the opportunities offered by free trade agreements (FTAs), not to let Vietnam lagging behind. Enhance protection of citizens, create favorable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to contribute to national construction.

In 2017, we achieved very important and comprehensive results, and have entered in 2018 with a new momentum. The implementation of the 2018 tasks is very important. It is necessary to exert highest efforts and innovations to implement these tasks with more creative and effective methods to not only gain achievements for 2018 but also create a foundation for faster growth and more sustainable development in the coming years, strive to successfully realize the five-year socio-economic development objectives and tasks in 2016-2020 set out by the 12th Party Congress and of the National Assembly.

At the online meeting of the Government with localities to roll out tasks and plans of 2018, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong reminded all localities not to be satisfied with successes and achievements; overcome constraints, limitations, and weaknesses; strive harder to boost sustainable development; avoid lagging behind and gradually catch up with advanced countries in the region and the world.

Bringing into play the strength of great national unity, patriotism, self-reliance, let us join forces and implement the motto of innovation, creativity, integrity, discipline, and order, overcome difficulties and challenges, take advantage of new opportunities, strive to successfully realize the socio-economic development objectives and tasks set out by the Party and the State to build Vietnam into strong country with prosperous people and democratic, equitable and civilized society.

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This article was published on the Communist Review No. 905 (March 2018)

Nguyen Xuan PhucMember of Politburo, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam