Since the Doi Moi (Renewal) process was initiated in 1986, the entire Vietnamese nation has joined hands to build a socialist-oriented market economy and achieved initial results.
Undoubtedly, global economic integration has opened up many opportunities, but also posed challenges for Vietnam. The country was first confronted with the fall of the socialist system in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, and then the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, presenting a major challenge to the country in its initial period of global integration.
However, under the clear-sighted leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and with the aggregate strength of the great national unity bloc, Vietnam gradually rode out the most difficult times and showed signs of steady recovery.
The country experienced a 10-year period of constant development, recording important achievements in socio-economic affairs, security, national defence and diplomacy. Today it can hold its head high on a par with international friends on the five continents as expected by President Ho Chi Minh when he was alive.
2011 was a difficult and challenging year for Vietnam. Domestically, inflation and interest rates were too high while the gold and foreign currency markets were unstable. Globally, the financial and economic recession and political instability exerted a big impact on all economies.
In the face of this situation, the Party and State introduced a number of immediate and long-term solutions which received support from the whole political system. The Party Political Bureau issued Conclusion No2 and then the Government released resolution No11 with synchronous solutions to rein in inflation, stabilize the macroeconomy and ensure social welfare.
As a result, Vietnam secured a GDP growth rate of 5.89 percent in 2011, an export value of US$96.3 billion, up 33.3 percent against 2010, and food output of 42.3 million tonnes - a 10-year record high. In addition, foreign businesses poured US$14.5 billion into investment projects while foreign donors committed US$7.9 billion in official development assistance for Vietnam.
Vietnam is proud of the achievements made in 2011 and is confident of its chosen development course. Yet, it needs to look at the real challenges ahead.
The global financial and economic meltdown seems to get worse with the debt crisis spreading across Europe, inflation rearing its head across the globe, and gold and crude oil prices going wild. Political instability in the Middle East and North Africa, and disputes over natural resources and territory are likely to flare up at any time. Hostile forces are intensifying activities to undermine national unity and sow division within the Party.
In Vietnam, the economy continues to encounter difficulties and challenges. Inflation and interest rates remain high, market prices fluctuate unexpectedly, natural disasters and epidemics require firm response, and traffic accidents have become a national scourge, affecting macro-economic stability and social security.
In addition, moral decadence amongst a segment of officials, Party members and managers along with overgrown bureaucracy, corruption, opportunism and individual self-interest is eroding people’s trust in the Party.
History has shown that in whatever circumstance the Communist Party of Vietnam stands firm to ride out the stormy weather and reap success in the end. The Party leadership is the decisive factor behind every victory of the Vietnamese Revolution.
The success of the 11th National Party Congress and elections to the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels has given fresh impetus to Vietnam on its development path.
Vietnamese people treasure the traditions of national patriotism, diligence in labour, creativity in production, and the spirit of mutual assistance and unity. These are invaluable assets that help the Vietnamese nation move forward and claim more successes no matter how enormous the obstacles.
The Doi Moi achievements over the past 25 years have elevated Vietnam’s role and position in the world arena. The international community has acknowledged Vietnam’s achievements and committed to supporting the country in the process of development and global integration.
A new spring has arrived, offering Vietnam a new ray of hope. The achievements the country has made in the past year bode well for new successes in the New Year – the Year of the Dragon.
Nguyen Dang Tien – VOV General Director