VietNamNet Bridge – Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has emphasised internal strength and confidence as driving force for the country to overcome difficulties and continue its sustainable development in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 2014 New Year.


Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. (Source: VNA)


The following is the full interview:

We have gone through half of the path of the 11 th Party Congress in the context of numerous difficulties and challenges. Could you talk about the major outcomes the country has made after the three-year implementation of the Resolution of the 11 th Party Congress?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: Looking back on the past three years, we can see that the world situation, in addition to advantages, has seen complicated developments. Conflicts in many places and the global financial-monetary crisis and economic recession have negatively impacted on our national construction and defence. In the country, high inflation and public debts have threatened macroeconomic stability. Economic growth has slowed down, production and business activities faced many difficulties as did the people in their lives, while natural disasters and epidemics have caused serious damage.

In that context, our Party and State have timely adjusted and well organised the implementation of guidelines, policies and measures to bring the national economy out of difficulty. Many positive and on-track results have been achieved. Notably, inflation was controlled, the macro economy basically stabilised, economic growth rate maintained at a suitable level, and social security has been guaranteed.

The consumer price index (CPI) dropped from 18.13 percent in 2011 to over six percent in 2013, the lowest level in 10 years. Economic growth has been maintained at 5.6 percent per year. Social welfare policies have continued to be implemented, creating nearly 1.6 million jobs and providing a regular social allowance for more than 2.5 million people, while the poverty rate was further reduced.

Attention has been paid to cultural and sports activities in combination with the movement “all people unite to build cultural life” and the new-style rural building programme.

Political security, social order and safety have been maintained while national defence has been strengthened, and national sovereignty and territorial integrity have been protected.

Foreign relations work has been stepped up comprehensively and recorded numerous important achievements, contributing to ensuring a peaceful and stable environment favourable for national construction and defence.

Together with upgrading and developing bilateral relations with many partner countries in a more intensive and practical manner, Vietnam has actively and proactively joined important cooperation mechanisms in the region and the world. Vietnam for the first time was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, and the Board of Governors of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), showing the country’s increasing prestige and position in the international arena.

Despite the world economic downturn, Vietnam’s export turnover has increased 22 percent per year on average and its trade balance has improved remarkably. Newly-registered and increased foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown year-to-year, accounting for 25 percent of total social investment. In 2013 alone, registered FDI reached 22 billion USD, up 35 percent against the previous year.

Vietnam’s tourism has continued to reap successes, serving 7.5 million foreign arrivals and 35 million domestic visitors with total earnings of 200 trillion VND (over 9.5 billion USD), two years ahead of schedule as set in the sector’s development strategy.

The Party Central Committee’s resolutions and conclusions have been carried out seriously by agencies at all levels. The implementation of three breakthroughs in combination with growth model renovation and economic restructuring has yielded a number of initial results. Natural resources management, environmental protection and climate change adaptation have received proper attention. Party and political system building has been enhanced in parallel with studying and following the moral example of President Ho Chi Minh, and intensifying the fight against corruption and wastefulness as well as promoting thrift practice. The democratic environment within the Party and in society has been continuously expanded and promoted.

In particular, with the active participation and high responsibility of the entire Party, people and armed forces, a new Constitution has been approved by the overwhelming majority of deputies in the 13 th National Assembly at their sixth session late last year, creating a premise for our nation to confidently and firmly march forward on its selected path towards building the Socialist Republic of Vietnam into a strong country with wealthy people and a democratic, fair and civilised society.

Lessons learnt and experience gained from respectable achievements seen over the past three years include knowing how to promote the strength of great national unity, always take care of the people and maintain their trust in the leadership of the Party and the management of the State, as well as making full use of internal strength while taking advantage of foreign resources to serve the successful implementation of goals and tasks set by the 11 th Party Congress.

Many major corruption cases have been brought to court and tried in a strict manner recently, which receives the public’s approval and high evaluation. Is this a more drastic step in the implementation of the resolution on Party building issued at the fourth session of the 11 th Party Central Committee (Resolution 4)?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong : Anti-corruption is a major task and content in the Resolution. The Central Steering Committee for Anti-corruption was formed in compliance with a resolution set at the fifth session of the Party Central Committee. Since its inception nearly one year ago, the committee, under the Political Bureau, has made all-out efforts and reaped fruits in some aspects. The anti-corruption apparatus has been consolidated through the re-establishment of internal affairs committees from central to grassroots levels. Seven working missions were dispatched to ministries, branches and localities, including central judicial agencies, to inspect the investigation, prosecution and trial of major embezzlement cases which drew public concern. A number of unsettled corruption cases of public interest have also been fast-tracked. The committee decided to put eight cases and two matters under its direct close watch in 2013, and will add several cases and matters to the list this year.

However, anti-corruption is a long-term and tough task that requires a synchronous and comprehensive approach, as well as the combination of many methods with prevention as the basic measure while fighting must be done in a drastic manner. The best way is to prevent it from occurring, with mechanisms in place to make people not want to, dare not to and unable to take part in corruption activities. In case it does happen, it is a must to strictly treat the violations in line with the law. Severe treatment is also seen as a positive way to prevent corruption.

If embezzlement is a stinging furuncle, wastefulness in all forms from property, money, natural resources, to time and labour, is also a headache. Resolution 4 aims to fight against corruption, wastefulness, group interests, and the degeneration of Party members, including leaders and managers, among others. Reality proves that the implementation of Resolution 4 has allowed each organisation, Party official and Party member to look back on themselves and adjust their thoughts and actions. It has also helped alert and prevent violations. Through criticism and self-criticism, the Party’s committees and organisations at all levels as well as each Party official and member have conducted pragmatic activities to correct their shortcomings. At the central level, a range of mechanisms, policies and regulations have been rolled out in order to bring into full play achievements while preventing and limiting negative phenomena. Apart from the planning of strategic-level officials, refresher courses have been opened for members of the 11 th Party Central Committee, and training classes for potential officials. Regulations have been issued on how Party officials and members, especially those holding chief positions, should set example for others to follow, on votes of confidence on several leadership and management posts, what Party members are permitted to do as well as the inspection, monitoring of Party officials and members’ observance of Party disciplines have been issued. Many localities checked, adjusted and withdrew licences of delayed projects or those which could not be implemented due to investors’ difficulties. They also rearranged the organisation of State apparatus and reappointed several officials, while focusing efforts on addressing a number of prolonged petitions and complicated cases of public concern. Many agencies and units have tightened the use of public cars and budget for organising conferences as well as revamped working styles. Expenditure for working trips to localities and formalities have also been cut. More meetings with people were organised in an effort to grasp their thoughts and aspirations. Via such frank and open talks, officials at central level have been able to understand better the situations of localities and units, learn about useful experiences to disseminate as well as difficulties that need to be remove, thus gaining more information and reference for policy making.

Such meaningful and necessary activities have received a warm response from Party officials and members as well as the public. People hope that Party officials and members will always set good examples, improve themselves, keep in close contact with the public, do their best to serve the people, listen to the people and learn from the people even in the smallest thing.

The market economy and integration process have its negative sides which impact on the thinking and aspirations of a section of Party officials, members and people. At the same time, negative phenomena, corruption, and degradation in political thoughts, morality and lifestyles have harmed the prestige of the Party and State and eroded people’s confidence. In that context, the effective implementation of three urgent issues and four groups of solutions set in Resolution 4 is of vital importance in order to make the Party stronger and purer, worthy of its role as leader of the country.

In the last two years of the Party’s 11th tenure ( 2014-2015 ), the country’s economy will still be in difficulty. In your opinion, which things should be prioritised in order to fulfil the set targets of the 11 th Party Congress’s Resolution?

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong: During the next two years, heavy duties are awaiting, requiring great effort of the Party, the whole people and army to fulfil the set targets. The top priority remains to maintain macroeconomic stability, curb inflation, keep an appropriate growth rate and ensure social security. In the immediate future, it is necessary to remove difficulties and mobilise resources for business and production sectors, creating a driving force and building confidence for the people and enterprises, and recovering the pace of growth. At the same time, it is a must to improve the economy’s quality, effectiveness and competitiveness on the basis of achieving three strategic breakthroughs (in institutions , human resources and infrastructure) in combination with renovating the growth model, restructuring the economy by taking specific and suitable measures to support growth recovery and ensure fast and sustainable development for the coming years.

After eight plenums, the 11 th Party Central Committee issued many resolutions and decisions to orientate the settlement of key issues for the country’s long-term development, such as science-technology development; comprehensive reform of education-training; response to climate change, effective management and use of land, forests and minerals; and building and improvement of infrastructure, meeting the requirements of the country’s industrialisation and modernisation. In addition, the Party Central Committee also requested paying attention to dealing with socio-cultural issues, unceasingly improving people’s spiritual and material lives and maintaining political security and social order and safety.

The targets and orientation have been set clearly. But to actually create changes in reality, specific steps need to be taken with creative application by authorities at all levels and sectors which are suitable to each locality and agency’s potential, strengths and conditions. During working trips and meetings with local officials, I repeatedly stressed that implementing industrialisation does not mean developing industry without planning and at any cost. It is necessary to select priority and key industry for investment on the basis of each locality’s conditions with a view to maximising the increasing influence of industry on agricultural development. In the context of the economic downturn, production and business activities are facing many difficulties, it is the agricultural sector that upholds its important role in ensuring social security. For localities with advantages in agro-forestry development, it is necessary to reorganise production to produce goods on large scale in combination with developing the processing industry, building effective production models, and suitable and high quality products to serve domestic markets and for export. Even those with high industrialisation and urbanisation rates, such as Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Bac Ninh provinces should not neglect agriculture, instead they have to focus on developing the sector using high-technology. In industrial development, it is essential to select high added value and environmentally friendly sectors; invest more into support industries to reduce dependence on imports; focus on growth value and quality to bring practical benefits for the people.

In 2014, apart from favourable conditions, there will be difficulties and challenges. In this context, we should hold our firm belief and raise high our determination and consensus. Every action should be aimed at fulfilling the set targets, creating changes in reality.

On the occasion of the New Year, I would like to extend best wishes to all people and soldiers nationwide and the overseas Vietnamese community. I wish every Vietnamese family welcome a warm traditional New Year with new impetus, determination and belief, together with the whole Party, people, and army to successfully implement the set targets and tasks, helping the country overcome difficulties and continue to develop sustainably.

Source: Vietnam Plus