HA NOI- “Although there remain many difficulties and challenges, the results obtained last year were encouraging, providing favourable conditions for the country to enter a new stage of development with new opportunities,” Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet).
The domestic and global situation presented numerous difficulties and challenges in 2016, he said, pointing to the floods, drought and saltwater intrusion along with serious marine pollution in four central provinces, which heavily affected national socio-economic development and people’s lives.
But the solidarity and resolve of the Party, people and army enabled Vietnam to successfully hold important events, particularly the 12th National Party Congress and the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People’s Committees for 2016-2021.
The State apparatus was consolidated, ensuring stability for the implementation of targets and tasks, he said, adding that under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the Politburo, the whole political system was involved in social and economic improvements.
The content and spirit of the 12th National Party Congress was institutionalised through resolutions, directives and action plans. The National Assembly, Government, sectors and authorities at all levels had been working hard to improve, the Party leader said.
As a result, Viet Nam posted good GDP growth rate (6.21 percent), successfully kept the macro-economy stable, controlled inflation, ensured economic balance, and recorded the fastest rise ever in foreign reserves.
He noted that the private economic sector thrived, foreign direct investment surged and total development investment capital surpassed set targets. The tourism sector welcomed a record 10 million foreigners and 62 million domestic visitors in 2016.
The General Secretary told VNA that strides were made in cultural and social affairs, and household poverty rate declined along with an improvement in people’s material and spiritual life. The country paid heed to lawmaking and administrative reforms while strengthening defence-security and safeguarding national sovereignty.
External activities and international integration had been conducted in a comprehensive manner, intensifying Vietnam’s foreign relations and lifting its stature in the region and the world. That also helped to maintain peace, stability and favourable conditions for national development and protection, he noted.
He underlined enhanced Party consolidation and the fight against corruption and wastefulness. A number of serious corruption cases were brought to trial. Irregularities relating to personnel appointments were uncovered and many senior officials were punished, moves which received strong public support.
General Secretary Trọng stressed that growth model reforms aim to raise growth quality and ensure rapid and sustainable development in all economic, social and environmental spheres. “Vietnam has to promote growth but not at all costs or by giving up environmental protection in exchange for economic projects, he said”.
He described the marine pollution in four central provinces, caused by Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd, as an “expensive lesson” which reminded Vietnam that it must carefully select investment projects and prioritise ones that use high technology and ensure environmental safety.
“Aside from fueling economic growth, it is also necessary to enhance living standards, promote social equality and ensure all people benefit from growth. Improving the quality of growth improves people’s living standards,” he added.
The investment and business environment should continuously be improved, in each locality, to facilitate start-ups, he stressed, pointing to the need to bolster regional connectivity in order to fully tap potential and advantages.
The Party chief conceded that the task of Party building and rectification is difficult, complex but vital, adding that Party building must be conducted in tandem with fostering economic growth.
The leader called on the Party, people and army to strengthen solidarity and patriotism, as well as Vietnam’s steadfastness, intelligence and traditions, in order to realise the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, build an incorruptible and strong Party while promoting the country’s prosperity and people’s happiness.-VNS