Welcoming the year 2019, reviewing the three-year-implementation of the political resolutions of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, in the threshold of Ky Hoi Spring, Comrade Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Party Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, wrote an article with the title: "Strong Party, Growing Country, Long-lasting Nation," exclusively for the Communist Review. The Communist Review presents the article of comrade Nguyen Phu Trong.
Bidding farewell to 2018, looking back on the 3-years- implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress, we are extremely happy with the achievements gained by our country, especially in socio-economic development, Party building and rectification, national defense and security; preservation of peace and stability, expansion of external relations, proactive and active international integration.
The socio-economic panorama has become bright. Notably, GDP growth rate reached 7.08%, the highest ever in the past decade; exports gained $238 billion, trade surplus reached a record of $7.2 billion; public debt in GDP fell sharply; the consumer price index (CPI) was below 4% on average, the 3rd year in a row below 4%; State foreign exchange reserves bagged a record high of over $60 billion. The economy size increased sharply in 2018, it was estimated at over VND 5.5 million (about over $240 billion), more than 1.3 times higher than that of 2015. GDP per capita bagged $2,580, an increase of nearly $200 compared to 2017. Startups and innovations have been supported and promoted with more than 131,000 newly established businesses. In tourism industry, Vietnam welcomed nearly 15.6 million international visitors, 80 million domestic tourists, gaining a total revenue of VND620,000 billion. Tourism has gradually become an economic spearhead of the country. In general, in 2018 we fulfilled and overfufilled all 12 targets (9 targets exceed plans). The economy’s independence and autonomy were gradually improved. The successful implementation of the dual objectives of growth and inflation control has created room to perform the tasks of ensuring social security, stabilizing order and social safety. Those positive results have had spreading effect, boosting confidence of people and strategic investors at home and abroad.
On November 12, 2016, the 14th National Assembly passed a Resolution, ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), which officially came into effect on January 14, 2016. This is a high quality relatively comprehensive new- generation free trade deal with highest commitment of Vietnam so far. We successfully hosted the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF-ASEAN) 2018 in Hanoi in September with the participation of many ASEAN heads of state, senior leaders of partner countries and 1,000 representatives of ASEAN and international multinational businesses, with the theme "ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the Fourth Industrial Revolution." The founding president of WEF Klaus Schwab stated that this was the most successful forum in the 27 years of the WEF forum on ASEAN and East Asia.
In January 2018, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliament Forum (APPF-26) took place in Hanoi with the participation of 22 parliamentary delegations and more than 300 guests. This was a highlight in the external affairs of the 14th National Assembly. APPF-26 strongly conveyed the message and image of a renewed, dynamic, active and responsible Vietnam to international friends.
At the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, Vietnam for the first time was elected to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for the tenure of 2019-2025. The UNCITRAL membership will help the country to enhance consultation and share international experience to improve its legal corridor in support of a favorable investment and business environment for sustainable development.
At the end of March 2018, the 6th Greater Mekong Sub-regional Cooperation Summit (GMS-6) and the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Summit (CLV-10) were organized in Hanoi with the participation of more than 2,000 delegates and 200 corporations and businesses. In 2018, Vietnam continued to be a destination for foreign investment, with foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching more than $30 billion, of which $19.1 billion were disbursed. Vietnam “has become Asia's hottest investment destination." It "was at the top position for two consecutive years among the destinations expected to attract the most foreign investment in the APEC region." As of November 2018, Vietnam boasted 27,000 investment projects from 128 countries and territories, with a total registered capital of nearly $340 billion and a total implemented capital of about $188.8 billion. The number of foreign tourists tripled that of 2010, the highest level so far.
Regarding institutional building, the National Assembly and the Government have enacted a string of policies to address pressing issues faced by the country while the 12th Party Central Committee issued several resolutions: "Perfecting the socialist-oriented market economy"; "Continuing to restructure, innovate and improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises"; "Developing the private economy into an important driving force of the socialist-oriented market economy."
Regarding organizational structure, the Party issued resolutions and regulations on continuing the renovation of apparatus for a streamlined, effective and efficient political system; reform salary policy for cadres, public employees, civil servants, armed forces and workers in enterprises; reform social insurance policies; continue to renovate the organization and management system, improve the quality and operational efficiency of public non-business units, and continue to create a fundamental foundations and strong impetus for socio-economic sustainable development.
Regarding Party building and rectification, the Central Committee Resolutions on preventing and repelling degradation of political ideology, morality, lifestyle, manifestation of "self-evolutions" and "self-transformation"; on building a contingent of cadres at all levels, especially at strategic level who are qualified, capable and prestigious on a par with requirements; on criteria of positions, criteria for assessing officials under the management of the Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat; on the responsibility for setting example of cadres, party members, first of all members of the Politburo, the Secretariat, the Central Committee breathed a new life and strength in leading and directing the implementation of political tasks of strategic level.
Especially, the Party and State has time and again led and directed the fight against corruption, wastefulness, bureaucracy and negative phenomena for many years which was vigorously stepped up in recent time and achieved concrete and obvious results. Serious and complicated corruption and economic cases involving high-ranking leaders of the Party and State, generals and officials in the public security force and army, incumbent cadres and pensioners were brought to trial and were resolutely and strictly handled in keeping with the Party rules and State laws. Since the 12th Party Congress in January 2016, in less than three years, more than 60 cadres under the direct management of the Party Central Committee were disciplined, including 5 incumbent members of the Central Committee, one of them was removed from the Central Committee, one Politburo member was dispelled from the Party and sentenced to 30 years in prison and 11 former members of the Party Central Committee who had already retired. This is a breakthrough in Party building and rectification in order to tighten discipline throughout the State apparatus and the political system, which has contributed to consolidating trust of people from all social strata in the Party’s leadership.
Despites many difficulties, challenges and limitations, our country’s status and strengths have been strengthened. Many international organizations have said Viet Nam is a socially and politically stable country with good economic and cultural development, a fast-growing economy in the region and the world. Major markets, such as currency, securities and real estate have operated stably, in line with macroeconomic developments. Never before has Vietnam had opportunities, potentials, position and prestige as today. Is this a feat when our country is facing difficulties and the world is undergoing many strong and complicated changes? What is more important is that we have learned valuable lessons.
What are the reasons to our achievements and successes? There are a lot of reasons. But perhaps the main one is that we have inherited important and historically significant achievements after more than 30 years of renovation and the comprehensive results in the 2 years of 2016 and 2017. We have the solidarity, unity, joint efforts, consensus of the entire Party, people, and army. The whole political system, including the leading bodies of the Party, National Assembly, Government, Vietnam Fatherland Front and branches, levels and unions, has been renovated. They have closely, harmoniously and systematically coordinated in leading and directing the study and implementation of the 12th Party Congress Resolution, created positive changes, brought into full play the Party leadership, the State management, the people's mastery, timely, properly and effectively settled problems, especially important, sensitive and pressing issues in society. Another reason is consensus, agreement, support, encouragement, timely suggestions of cadres, party members, senior comrades, people of all strata, including overseas Vietnamese, and the media which have created synergy, unanimous consensus of the political system and the whole society. As we have seen, it is clear that an exciting atmosphere and trust in the Party’s leadership, innovation, national construction and protection are spreading across the country following the 12th National Party Congress.
Revolutionary reality shows that over the past 89 years since its inception, the Party’s right and clear-sighted leadership has proved to be the decisive factor behind every victories and wonderful achievements of the Vietnamese revolutions. It is during the process of leading the revolution that the Party has been tested, and fostered. It has grown, gained experience and proved to be worthy of its role as a revolutionary leader and people’s trust. Also during the reviewed period, in Viet Nam, no other political force other than the Communist Party of Viet Nam that has enough will, brainpower, experience, prestige and capacity to lead the country through all difficulties and challenges to successes, and to win one victory after another. And also in that process, our Party has accumulated and drawn up many valuable lessons, built up glorious traditions that we have the responsibility to preserve and promote. It is the tradition of loyalty to the interests of the nation and class, steadfastness in the goal and ideology of national independence associated with socialism on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought. It is the tradition of independence and self-reliance in lines; mastering, applying and creatively developing Marxist-Leninism, consulting international experience to set correct lines and effectively organize the implementation of revolutionary tasks. It is the tradition of close ties between the Party and people. The Party always considers the service of the people the raison d’être and an objective to strive for. It is the tradition of unity, organization and strict discipline in the principle of democratic centralism, self-criticism, criticism and compassion for comrades. It is the tradition of pure and loyal international solidarity based on noble principles and objectives.
Currently, the entire Party, people and army have been striving to implement the Party Platform and the State's Constitution, comprehensively and synchronously accelerating innovation, industrialization and modernization, developing the socialist-oriented market economy, actively and proactively integrating into the world, implementing two strategic tasks to firmly build and protect the socialist homeland to achieve the goal of prosperous people, strong country, democracy, equity, and civilization. This is a great revolutionary cause, "a huge battle," "harsh self-operation" as Uncle Ho put it, but also extremely difficult and complicated. There are advantages, opportunities as well as difficulties and challenges in international and national situation. We are facing many new problems and complicated issues which need to be settled. This situation requires that the entire Party, people and army to bring into full play patriotism and revolutionary traditions, solidarity, responsibility, and strive to overcome all difficulties and challenges to build a more dignified and beautiful country. The resilience and innovation of the entire people, sectors, localities and economic sectors are extremely important factors for the development of our country. We must not be subjective and complacent, "not to rest on our laurels."
Since the 12th Party Congress, our Party has spent time and effort in Party building, considering it a key task. Recently, Party building and rectification has been stepped up in the spirit of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 12th Tenure, gaining initial results and experience, contributing to preventing and repelling negative phenomena, enhancing the Party leadership and fighting capacity. However, a lot of work needs to be done in Party building, especially fighting against degradation of political ideology, morality and lifestyle; manifestations of "self-evolution," "self-transformation"; corruption, wastefulness, bureaucracy, staying aloof from people. Hostile forces have tried all means to undermine the revolutionary cause of our people, distorting and slandering the Party and State, directly, maliciously and dangerously attacking the Party ideology, platform and political lines, inciting and dividing the Party within, dividing the Party and State from the people in order to disintegrate our Party, our regime from the root, and inside.
In order to develop the country, foster people’s trust, build the Party into "the worthy successor” of the nation, "the leader and the true loyal servant of the people," and lead the renewal process, the Party must strive to strengthen Party building and rectification, making the Party clean and strong to fulfill its responsibility as the vanguard leader of the revolutionary in the new period. The overall line of Party building and rectification is to continue promoting good traditions, retaining and strengthening the Party’s revolutionary and vanguard nature, building a pure and strong Party politically, ideologically organizationally and morally, innovating the leadership method, consolidating the close ties between the Party and people, ensuring the Party leadership of the country in its development.
As our Party is a ruling party operating in an environment of market economy and international integration, cadres and party members hold important responsibilities, and daily contact with goods and money associated with personal interests, facing many temptations, and weaknesses of the market mechanism, we must attach importance to retaining the revolutionary and vanguard nature of the Party. If cadres and party members are not fully aware of this, and not active and steadfast in self-training, they can easily degenerate. The issue of retaining the nature of the Party, a Communist Party, a genuine revolutionary party working for the cause of the working class, the nation, for the benefit of the people, is a basic and important one.
The Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Tenure on strengthening Party building and rectification affirmed that it is necessary to actively, resolutely and strongly build and rectify the Party to make more obvious changes in all fields, prevent and repel degradation, steadfastly stick to goals and ideals of the revolution, uphold unified will and action; tighten organization; consolidate close ties with the people; enhance the Party leadership and fighting capacity, considering it a vital issue of our Party, and our regime. A genuine revolutionary party having correct lines, organization, clean, exemplary and devoted cadres and party members, close ties with the people, supported by the people, has unrivaled and unstoppable power in the path of leading the nation to go forward.
This year we celebrate the Party founding anniversary at a time when our country has undergone more than 30 years of renovation, 50 years of implementing President Ho Chi Minh's Testament. It is an important historical journey in the development of our country, marking the growth in all aspects of the Party, the State and people. The renovation of high stature and revolutionary significance is a profound, comprehensive and thorough process of transformation, a great cause of the whole Party and people. Generally speaking, after more than 30 years of innovation, our country has made great achievements of historical significance. The achievements of 2018, and 3 years of implementation of the 12th Party Congress Resolution further strengthen our confidence in the bright future of the nation and the country.
The year 2019, the fourth year of the Party’s 5-year term, is very important for the successful implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Party Congress and the Socio-Economic Development Plan 5 for the period of 2016-2020. It is the first year of preparations for the coming Party congresses at all levels in anticipation of the 13th National Congress of the Party. The international and domestic situation has brought about many opportunities and advantages, but also posed many difficulties and challenges which require the entire Party, people and army to strive hard with great determination to successfully fulfill the tasks of 2019, focusing on: fulfill socio-economic development tasks at a highest level; strengthen macroeconomic stability, promote implementation of strategic breakthroughs, restructure the economy in association with innovation of growth model, ensure social security and welfare, and improve people’s life. Maintain independence, sovereignty and a peaceful and stable environment to develop the country; enhance foreign relations. Continue to implement the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Tenure on strengthening Party building and rectification, the Politburo Directive No. 05-CT/TW on studying and following Ho chi Minh’s ideology, ethic and style, creating more dramatic changes in Party building and rectification.
With elation and pride, we firmly believe that the Communist Party of Vietnam, the Party of President Ho Chi Minh, will definitely fulfill its responsibility. Let the entire Party, people and army join efforts to make Vietnam a peaceful, independent, unified, democratic, and strong country moving toward socialism.
Strong party, growing country, lasting nation!