Vietnam – opportunity, admiration and acclaim
6 April 2021
World leaders, heads of international organizations and regional bodies congratulated and acknowledged the election of the leaders of the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) announced on Monday. Chairperson of National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, CPV Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh were confirmed in their leadership roles after the deliberations and consultations of the 13th CPV congress which took place in February 2021.
Vietnam has a collective "four pillar” leadership structure made up of general secretary, prime minister, president and chair of the National Assembly, as the parliament is known. The leaders govern in consultation with the 18-member politburo with the prime minister holding significant influence over project funding and detailed policy implementation.
The blueprint of the February congress stated that the country will “focus on measures to basically complete the elements of a socialist-oriented market economy, better handling the relationship between the state, the market and society. Vietnam’s development achievements, recognized prestige and elevated status over the past five years have created circumstances to realise its true potential.”
The election of the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the General Secretary reflected the effectiveness of the preparatory personnel work, which screened out unqualified or undeserving people from the Party Central Committee while including people with morality, talent, and a good reputation.
Solidarity and responsibility were among the major orientations for Vietnam’s socio-economic development in the next five years, 2021 to 2025, with a vision for 2021-2030. The resolution stressed the necessity to continue revising the growth model and restructuring the economy under the market mechanism, providing supporting policies for agriculture, climate change resilience, and promoting of innovation, digital transformation, productivity, efficiency and economic competitiveness. Improving the legal framework, especially in intellectual property rights and civil disputes, will enhance socio-economic development.
63 year old Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh who rose through the ranks of Vietnam’s national security apparatus has a PhD in Law, and served on the anti-corruption steering committee. Chinh will be the main point person for Vietnam’s interactions with the world.
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, was re-elected to a rare third term while former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 66, was elected as President allowing him to stay among the country’s top leaders providing a continuity of policy implementation. Vuong Dinh Hue, 64, a former minister of finance and ex-deputy prime minister, has been approved as chairman of the National Assembly completing the top four roles in the government.
Prime Minister Chinh will lead the government in implementing the resolutions of the congress with a focus on five guiding tasks. Firstly a plan of action to realise the Party Congress resolutions. Secondly, to continue promoting and building of a socialist rule-of-law state to strengthen discipline in the State administrative apparatus and society. Third, effectively managing, mobilising and utilising all resources for national development. The fourth will focus on, resolutely and firmly defending independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and ensuring national defence, security and social order and safety, and finally, the building mechanisms, policies, and conditions to develop a high-quality human resource.
Prime Minister Chinh and his government will prioritise international relations and diplomacy. According to Bui Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam speaking to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), astute and pragmatic international relations and diplomacy has significantly contributed to maintaining a peaceful, stable environment favourable for national development, as well as national security. Son said the sector has made noted contributions over the past five years through a good combination of Party, State and people-to-people diplomacy.
Vietnam has set up comprehensive partnership with five more countries and upgraded relations with two others to a strategic partnership, raising the total numbers of its strategic partners to 17 and comprehensive partners to 13, including all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and ASEAN member nations. The conclusion of five free trade agreements (FTA) positions Vietnam at the centre of a network of 16 regional FTAs that will attract significant resources and investment to the country.
Amidst the complex development of the East Sea issue, Vietnam has been able to mobilise international support to oppose unilateral infringement, advocate the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, while maintaining stable relations with relevant neighbouring countries, Son said.
In his presentation to the congress Son thanked the 5.3 million Overseas Vietnamese who have put more trust in the Party and the State, and actively contributed to national construction in terms of both knowledge and economic resources, sending home nearly 90 billion USD in remittances during the 2016-2020 period.
Son said diplomacy has played a significant role in raising the country’s position, as reflected through its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017, the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in 2018, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in 2018, the summit between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 2019, its ASEAN and AIPA Chairmanship last year, and non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
He proposed key tasks in external affairs in the upcoming tenure, including deepening political trust and combining interests with 30 strategic and comprehensive partners, with development put at the centre of relations, and Asia-Pacific as the strategic region, while enhancing relations with other potential partners in the region.
More efforts are needed to promote multilateralism and international law, he said, highlighting the significance of economic diplomacy in national development. Diplomacy should prevail in preventing and eliminating security risks through promoting dialogues, building trust and respect for law, the Deputy Minister emphasised.
By Kirtan Bhana