Prime Minister Dung delivers New Year message of growth

HA NOI (VNS)— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has highlighted the need to improve institutions and promote people's rights for a successful 2014, laying the foundations for the country's rapid and sustainable development.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung — VNA/VNS File Photo

In his New Year's article, the Government leader affirmed that last year, the Party, army and people exerted efforts to overcome difficulties and challenges, and achieved important results, with macroeconomic stabilisation, higher growth and lower inflation than 2012.

Progress has been seen in socio-economic development and environmental protection, while national defence and security has been maintained. Foreign relations have been enhanced, socio-political stability has been secured and the country's position in the international arena has grown.

Implementing the Party Central Committee's conclusion, the National Assembly and Government had issued resolutions on socio-economic development for 2014, which focus on increasing macroeconomic stability, controlling inflation, creating favourable conditions for business and production, and speeding up economic restructuring with the aim of recording higher growth than in 2013, Dung said.

This year, the country targeted to reach a GDP growth rate of 5.8 per cent and per capita income of US$2,100 per year. Export turnover was projected to increase by 10 per cent and CPI by about 7 per cent, while total investment in social development should be equivalent to 30 per cent of GDP. The rate of poor households was set to drop by 1.7-2 per cent, and around 1.6 million new jobs would be created.

The Government leader noted that although the global economy had shown signs of recovery and the domestic socio-economic situation had seen positive changes, difficulties and challenges remained great.

The entire political system needed to act in unison in order to successfully fulfill the 2014 socio-economic development tasks. At the same time, middle- and long-term measures should be implemented in a drastic and synchronous way to lay the foundations for rapid and sustainable development, he said.

Dung stressed the need to exert efforts to build a state governed by the rule of law and people's rights on the path to a socialist-orientated market economy, while accelerating agricultural restructuring in combination with new-style rural development.

Looking back over the past 30 years, he said the country's gigantic developments had been closely attached to decisive institutional renovations to expand democracy and implement a market mechanism, with a major and comprehensive breakthrough made by the 6th National Party Congress.

The Party and State's renewal policies had transformed Viet Nam from an underdeveloped country into a middle-income developing nation, with impressive achievements in poverty reduction which were appreciated by the international community.

However, the PM noted that in recent years, Viet Nam's competitiveness, economic growth and structure transfer had slowed, while many pressing issues had emerged in society. One of the reasons behind this was that the momentum previous reforms created were no longer strong enough to foster development.

"It is time for a driving force to regain rapid growth and sustainable development. That momentum must come from institutional reform and the promotion of the people's right to be masters of their own destiny," he stressed.

Regarding democracy and institutional reform, PM Dung affirmed that democracy was a major part of President Ho Chi Minh's vision, who said Viet Nam was a democratic country where the power belonged to the people.

The revised 2013 Constitution adopted by the National Assembly has opened up a new constitutional space for the country to realise President Ho Chi Minh's ideals. To promote people's rights, the State must perform its function of facilitating development.

The PM also highlighted the need to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement, maintain discipline and order, and build transparent and strong state support.

In recent years, Viet Nam had made progress towards its socialist-orientated market economy by creating an equal environment for competition and administrative reform. This was also a strategic breakthrough target set by the 11th Party Congress Resolution.

He underlined that uniform measures should be taken to implement the breakthrough, with a focus on letting market factors decide the cost of essential commodities and services, while ensuring fair competition.

At the same time, policies were needed to support the poor, beneficiaries of social welfare, ethnic minority people and those in remote areas.

The Prime Minister reiterated his resolve to restructure State-owned enterprises, including State economic groups, focusing on equitising SOEs and divesting from non-core areas.

Discussing the process of restructuring the agricultural sector and building new rural areas, Dung pointed out that the implementation of the renewal policy had significantly benefited the agricultural sector.

However, growth in the agricultural sector had slowed down in recent years, with many shortcomings revealed which were typical of small-scale, poorly-connected household production with low productivity and poor quality compared to other countries, he noted.

It was vital to step up agricultural restructuring in the direction of enhancing added value and promoting sustainable development in line with the building of new-style rural areas, he stressed, adding that this was an important part of the country's economic reforms.

This was an urgent matter that needed to be addressed through synchronous measures, particularly the application of science and technology and the reshuffling of the sector, Dung said.

More investment was necessary in rural areas for agricultural production and services, said the PM, adding that attention should be paid to processing and labour-intensive industries to encourage productivity.

Reforms should also be carried out in vocational training to enhance efficiency. In addition, resources should be mobilised for infrastructure, while sustainable poverty reduction should be implemented effectively, he said.

The PM also highlighted the need to protect the environment and preserve cultural traditions and customs.

Dung said that over the past three years, the party, people and army had faced many difficulties and challenges, but the country had worked together to solve crucial problems and record important successes. However, the outcome had not been as high as expected.

"Our tasks are huge, while difficulties and challenges remain. However, this is a chance for us to speed up stronger reforms," he emphasised.

The PM also made it clear that the situation required political resolve from the Party and people. The Party and people had demonstrated their ability during the past struggle for national independence and unification as well as at the time when the country faced socio-economic crisis in the early 1980s, helping form the renewal policy, he noted.

"Today, as our position and strength grow, our ability will surely shine again, helping the country to promote the renewal cause in light of the 11th Party Congress Resolution, he concluded.


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