The Vietnam News Agency has selected the 10 most outstanding events of Vietnam in 2015 as follows:
A view of the Hanoi municipal Party Congress (Photo: VNA)
1. Successful Party congresses at all levels: Party congresses at all levels across the country reaped success, setting out orientations, missions and measures for socio-economic development, and electing Party committees for the 2015 – 2020 tenure. They were an important prerequisite for the successful organisation of the 12 th National Party Congress.
2. GDP growth rate at five-year high: Amid global economic hardships, Vietnam’s GDP growth rate exceeded 6.6 percent, the fastest pace for the last five years and higher than the 6.2 percent target set by the National Assembly. Inflation was controlled at a low level (0.63 percent) while overall social welfare has been ensured. However, macro-economy has not been firmly stabilised, and the economy’s productivity, quality, effectiveness and competitiveness remained modest. The country still struggled to keep a balanced budget, while public debt rose and the equitisation of State-owned enterprises fell short of expectations.
3. Celebration of major anniversaries: Vietnam observed a number of major anniversaries in 2015 such as the 85th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3), 125th birth anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh (May 19), 70 years of the August Revolution and National Day (September 2), and 40 years of the South Liberation and National Reunification (April 30). Those activities once again fuelled national pride and the will of independence, encouraging the entire Party, people and army to continue on their path to renovation, integration and development.
The grand ceremony and parade marking 70 years of the August Revolution and National Day (Photo: VNA)
4. Successful organisation of 132nd IPU Assembly: With the Hanoi Declaration “The Sustainable Development Goals: Turning Words into Action”, the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132), hosted by Vietnam for the first time, reflected the active role and responsibility of the IPU’s member parliaments. It also affirmed Vietnam’s standing and prestige in the international arena.
5. Vibrant international economic integration: Vietnam completed negotiations on four free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union, the Republic of Korea, and members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), bringing the number of FTAs it has joined to 14. The ASEAN Economic Community, scheduled to take shape on December 31, 2015, is especially expected to create more opportunities for Vietnam to intensively integrate into the regional and global economies.
6. Breakthroughs in transport infrastructure: The completion of a number of major transport projects in 2015, including National Road 1’s upgraded section from Thanh Hoa province to Can Tho city, the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway, Ho Chi Minh Road’s section through the Central Highlands, and the Hanoi-Hai Phong and Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highways, created breakthroughs in the country’s infrastructure development. Those facilities have helped improve transport capacity, boost trade activities, facilitate economic development in different regions, and help the country’s infrastructure keep up with the integration progress.
A view of Hanoi-Hai Phong Highway (Photo: VNA)
7. First-ever “two-in-one” national high school examination: With the goal of fundamentally and comprehensively renovating education and training, a national high school examination was held for the first time combining the high school graduation and university entrance examinations. It was intended to ease examination pressure and better the exam’s effectiveness in the years ahead.
8. Improvement in judicial reforms: Judicial reforms made progress in 2015 as seen in law making, the reshuffle of judicial and judicial support agencies along the direction of enhancing the effectiveness of prevention of law violations and unjust judgment while increasing the protection of human rights. The open apologies and compensation offered to persons who received unjust verdicts were welcomed by the public.
9. Success of Vietnamese athletes, swimmer Anh Vien a shining example: Vietnam maintained its place among the top three countries in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) with 73 gold medals at the 28 th SEA Games with 85 percent of the golds coming from Olympic sports. A number of excellent young sportspersons also emerged in 2015, including swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien who won the biggest number of individual gold medals (8) at a SEA Games since 1977. She also won a silver and a bronze medal at the International Swimming Federation World Cup in Russia.
Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (Photo: VNA)
10. Activities marking 250th birth anniversary of Great Poet Nguyen Du (1765 – 2015): The anniversary was a major cultural event of Vietnam with a series of activities nationwide, peaking with a grand ceremony on December 5 in Ha Tinh province – Nguyen Du’s hometown. Other events also took place at the international level in line with the UNESCO resolution honouring the poet. They once again highlighted the life and career of Nguyen Du, especially his “Truyen Kieu” (The Tale of Kieu) which is regarded as one of the world’s most renowned cultural works.