Part 1: Sturdy boat crossing waves

“A beacon in the region,” “New tiger in Asia” are statements on foreign press on socio-economic achievements that Vietnam has obtained. It is not by chance that many major Western newspapers have made such an assessment. 

An exception

In the world economic picture with a gray tone due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, Vietnam has emerged as a bright spot with faster-than-expected growth. The World Bank (WB) has recently raised Vietnam's 2022 growth forecast to 7.2%, significantly higher than the 5.3% forecast made in April. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessed that Vietnam's optimistic growth outlook is completely different from the slowing trend in other Asian countries. With inflation under control, Vietnam is considered an exception to the general rule in the region.

Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam's large economic hub (Photo: The Diplomat)

The prominence of Vietnam is also reflected in the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s development outlook freshly released in September. Particularly, ADB has cut its growth forecasts in 2022 and 2023 for developing economies in Asia. However, it has maintained the forecasts in the period for Vietnam in its last three Asian development outlooks. According to this Manila-based institution’s forecasts, Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) will increase by 6.5% this year and by 6.7% next year. With such a forecast, Vietnam will be the economy with the strongest growth in Southeast Asia in 2022 and 2023.

Successful development lessons

Without following the long journey that Vietnam has gone through to achieve the present successes, some people might wonder “What has made a poor, underdeveloped, war-torn country transform itself into a country ranked among the world's high-growth economies?,” or some have a stricter view that “Is it possible that Vietnam has traded its environment, culture, and social civilization for such a fast-growing economy?”

The answer to these questions can be seen in what Vietnam has done in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as the pandemic broke out in Vietnam, the Party, the government and entire people exerted all-out efforts to cope with it, seriously implemented social distancing, and took strong and drastic measures to minimize human losses when the COVID-19 spread widely.

Development for people is the model chosen by the Party and State of Vietnam in developing a socialist-oriented market economy. Accordingly, the requirement is that fast and effective economic growth must be associated with human development. So is the COVID-19 prevention and control. With the viewpoints that “People's health and life protection first,” “No one will be left behind,” Vietnam is willing to sacrifice its economic interests to protect people's health. This has been repeatedly affirmed by leaders of the Party and State of Vietnam.

More importantly, many international experts have assessed that the COVID-19 control ability and political stability has created conditions for Vietnam to quickly begin to recover the economy. They also confirmed that the Government of Vietnam has been making right policies for development.

Talking with a People's Army Newspaper’s reporter, Dr. Nguyen Trong Binh, an overseas Vietnamese in the U.S. said that the first reason why Vietnam has achieved such proud economic achievements must be the policies of multilateral diplomacy and proactive international economic integration. It is these policies that has helped Vietnam take advantage of support from international partners and friend countries through economic assistance and non-refundable aid programs.

It is also worth mentioning the successes that Vietnam has made in expanding export markets, especially to the European Union, the U.S. and Japan. Policies on investment incentives and careful staff selection to reduce harassment, difficulties for production, business activities and enterprises are also factors that enhance internal strength of the economy.

Meanwhile, according to The Diplomat, Vietnam has achieved incredible economic achievements over the past 40 years, making it an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). This international magazine said that Vietnam is attractive to foreign investors thanks to its advantages of developed infrastructure and favorable policies for the business investment environment. In fact, more and more enterprises in the world are shifting production to Vietnam thanks to its strategic position and advantages in delivery, competitive labor and production costs. Another great advantage is that Vietnamese businesses significantly benefit from 13 free trade agreements.

Not being subjective, satisfied

From an agriculture-purely based country with majority of people living in rural areas and a low level of development, Vietnam has transformed itself into a middle-income country in the world. Together with economic growth, the maintenance of macroeconomic stability has helped Vietnam be more proactive in international economic integration.

Comprehensive achievements in economic development and international integration have contributed to creating resources for people's enjoyment of human rights, promoting growth quality with commitments on labor and sustainable development. This is a testament to Vietnam's consistent policy of ensuring and promoting human rights, as noted by The Diplomat that the Government of Vietnam has always cared for, and put lives, health and livelihoods of the people on top.

The aspiration for a prosperous and happy country is always in the hearts of generations of Vietnamese people. Looking back on the past journey helps us be more confident, and learn from experience to not be satisfied and subjective. Taking the people as the root, relying on the people, believing in the people's strength and intelligence, and taking care of the people's material and spiritual life are the foundation to create unity strength and close relationship between the Party and the people. This is also the premise for the ‘boat’ Vietnam to be sturdy to cross all waves.

(to be cont.)

Translated by Mai Huong