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Vietnam must ‘go ahead, not follow’



Vietnam has never had the strength and position as good as it has now to rise up. We need to have a mindset of going ahead. Only when we carry that mindset will we be able to seize the opportunity. 

VietNamNet introduces the last part of the presentation by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

Focus on transport infrastructure, energy

Phải vượt lên trên trước chứ không đi theo, đi sau

Three North – South expressway projects will start this September.

In terms of investment, Vietnam needs to focus on major transport infrastructure and energy projects to improve the competitiveness of the economy, and build the North-South expressway soon. No country can develop without expressways.

South Korea, under President Park Chung Hee’s time, built a 460 km highway within 2.5 years, which was considered a ‘miracle’.

In Vietnam, what exists besides the 500kV power transmission line and the Ho Chi Minh trail? Why have we not made miracles like other countries?

Since 2010, we have just built 400km of expressway and we will have to build more than 1,300km. It takes up to 5-6 hours to travel from Hanoi to Nghe An (around 330km). It is planned that the expressway will not be completed until 2030. Meanwhile, the system of seaports, airlines, digital infrastructure and roads, among others, all need to be upgraded.

Preserving land and forests in the northern mountainous regions and Central Highlands instead of setting unrealistic economic development goals

I want to emphasize the need to build a system of reservoirs, from the Central Highlands to the central part of the central region, to the Mekong Delta. The Mekong River has been blocked to build hydroelectricity plants, which has reduced the amount of water to Vietnam, causing rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion, affecting production and the life of the people. If we have reservoirs and interconnected channels, we can both store and transfer water to the Mekong Delta, An Giang from the Southwestern region, and the Tien and Hau River. Without reservoirs, up to 85% of fresh water will flow to the sea.

Some localities in the Northern mountainous provinces and the Central Highlands find it difficult to attract investment because of their remote location, lack of seaports and lack of human resources. Should we set a high GDP growth target for these regions?

Not being able to attract investment, including FDI, how can they realize economic transformation and high GDP growth. In my opinion, it is necessary to keep the land, the people and the forests, as well as solidarity and stability, instead of setting too high economic development goals in these areas. If every locality builds airports, highways and industrial zones, it will be very expensive but less effective.

That money instead can be invested in areas that are driving forces to help them grow faster and contribute more to the budget, and healthcare and education services, security and defense can be regulated in other regions.

Change the national management and governance mindset

Changing the national management and governance mindset is a real necessity. Instead of pre-checking, let’s switch to post-checking. If something is difficult to do, it should be trialed first and if the trial is successful, then it will be replicated. In management, if there are problems with documents, it is necessary to handle them flexibly and dynamically for common purposes, not to criminalize economic relationships.

In terms of agricultural development, we support the development of a more highly efficient agriculture, not a high-tech agriculture. “High efficiency” is associated with processing and consumption markets, while “high technology” is to accelerate output. Speeding up production without knowing to whom we should sell products always leads to the situation of having good crops but a drop in prices of agricultural products. Agriculture should be oriented towards organic and clean production.

Human, material, financial resources

To develop any field, there must be human, material and financial resources. Which kind of resources, how to manage them, and how to use them must be calculated from the perspective of efficiency.

Our human resources are of low quality; the proportion of skilled workers is very low. We call for investment in high-tech projects, but it is difficult as the quality of human resources is still low. We talk about welcoming the new FDI wave, but how will it occur without high-quality human resources? Intel previously invited students from five universities in Vietnam to test their English skills, and only 40% passed.

Human resources include overseas Vietnamese. We have a skilled workforce in localities, but we cannot build a database on this workforce so that when businesses need it, they can mobilize it immediately.

3.8 million hectares of land for agricultural development, not just for rice cultivation

The use of land in many localities is still subjective and wasteful. Many provinces continue to focus on selling land to contribute to the budget, which is very worrying because land is a resource that cannot expand. Some localities use land very wastefully. They are willing to provide as much land as investors’ request, regardless of whether they know the investors are doing it right or not, whether they need 500 hectares or 1,000 hectares.

Many localities do not verify and do not appraise, and have no land allocation norms. There are projects in which investors had not invested a coin for 17 years, but then sold land to other investors to earn hundreds of billion VND. They earned money on the backs of other investors, on the back of the state. After selling all the land, what will happen to our descendants? I think it is impossible to use the criteria of selling land to contribute to the state budget as a criteria for achievement.

We have 3.8 million hectares of rice. If we keep the paddy land, there will be no land to develop industry and services. Rice production yields low added value, with VND10 million per hectare, while other products result in VND100 million or billions of VND.

This means that rice production is of very low value, while the farmers work hard. Foreigners say Vietnam takes care of food security for the world, while our farmers are poor. This is a matter for thinking and this must certainly be discussed. Around 3.8 million hectares of land is for agricultural development, not just for rice cultivation.

Vision is needed

Phải vượt lên trên trước chứ không đi theo, đi sau

3.8 million hectares of land for agricultural development, not just for rice cultivation

The use of resources is currently wasted. Many works only need to be small, but they are built on a big scale and have not been fully exploited. In some places, roads 70m wide are built but there are no vehicles running on them.

There are many provinces that build very big things such as headquarters, monuments, squares, highways … I have advised officials of a province to build high-speed roads only, not expressways. They should build a large separator so when they expand the road in the future, they will not need to clear the ground.

However, there must be a vision. While visiting the central province of Quang Tri, I advised local authorities to build a key road of 12km, where each side can expand 100m, connecting to the coastal area to create an administrative center axis. With 12km of road, there will be 240ha, which is extremely valuable for development.

Vietnam is at a time, once in a thousand years, of rapid and sustainable development. If we do not take advantage of the opportunity quickly, we will lag far behind and the development gap with other countries will widen, and we will stuck in the middle-income trap, and the goal of becoming a developed country will be more difficult. This is a time that requires us to actively plan and decide for the future of the country.

Never before have we been as strong and powerful as we are now to rise up. Vietnam has signed 12 free trade agreements, including EVFTA and CPTPP, and we are facing the 4.0 industry revolution with many opportunities for rapid transformation and resurgence. Therefore, in some developmental issues, we need to have a mindset of going ahead, going first, not following or going after others.

Only when we carry that mindset we will seize the opportunity to catch up and progress with the development of the progressive and civilized world.

Tu Giang



Foreign Ministry hails press agencies’ contributions



The Foreign Ministry held an annual meeting with the press at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi on January 19, praising press agencies and reporters nationwide for their contributions to achievements made by the diplomatic sector in the past year.

Foreign Ministry hails press agencies' contributions hinh anh 1

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (right) presents the insignia “For the cause of the diplomatic sector” to Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Le Quoc Minh (Photo: VNA)

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the sector scored important achievements amid difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Vietnam successfully accomplished the roles as ASEAN 2020 Chair, Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 tenure.
Vietnam actively led and coordinated regional efforts to overcome challenges and achieve successes in building the ASEAN Community, effectively coped with the pandemic, flexibly held over 550 online meetings, and adopted a record number of documents in a year, he said.

During the first year of serving as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure, Vietnam made a number of hallmarks such as pushing forward the UNSC’s adoption of the Presidential Declaration on the compliance with the UN Charter, organising the ASEAN-UN dialogue, and especially proposing and promoting the UN General Assembly’s Resolution on designating December 27 as International Day of Epidemic Preparedness for the first time.

According to him, Vietnam further deepened bilateral ties via online meetings at all levels, including 34 phone talks and virtual meetings between high-ranking leaders.

Additionally, Vietnam also effectively conducted citizen protection work, assisted overseas Vietnamese in overcoming difficulties caused by the pandemic, and conducted over 300 flights carrying home more than 80,000 citizens from countries and territories worldwide. Positive results were seen in protecting territorial border and sovereignty, including determinedly and consistently safeguarding legitimate rights and interests of the country.

Minh affirmed that such achievements will not be popularised without great contributions by domestic press agencies and reporters who successfully conveyed the Party and State’s important diplomatic messages to the public at home and abroad.

On the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year, the official wished that the press would continue working closely with the Foreign Ministry to popularise external activities and enhance understanding and friendship among nations, contributing to accomplishing diplomatic tasks assigned by the Party and State.

In his speech, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Le Quoc Minh hailed the Foreign Ministry’s units for providing effective support for press agencies and reporters.

He congratulated the Foreign Ministry on its achievements in 2020, contributing to making Vietnam a bright spot in the region and the world amid the pandemic. He affirmed that the press will continue working closely with the diplomatic sector to deliver correct information, thus bringing Vietnam to the world and the world to Vietnam.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Minh presented the insignia “For the cause of the diplomatic sector” and the Foreign Minister’s certificates of merit to several collectives and individuals for their outstanding contributions to external affairs over the past year./.VNA


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Public security intelligence force recognised for its contributions over the past 75 years



Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) attends the 75th founding anniversary of the public security intelligence force on Tuesday. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc yesterday presented the first-class National Defence Order to the intelligence team of the public security force on its 75th founding anniversary.

He said that over the past 75 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, officers and soldiers of the intelligence force have brought into full play the intelligence tradition of their predecessors and recorded various achievements, contributing to national liberation, reunification and safeguarding.

To fulfil the heavy responsibilities assigned by the Party, State, Ministry of Public Security, and people, he urged the force to be well aware of the situation and its tasks while following and serving the Party and State’s leadership and governance.

The people’s public security intelligence force must always put itself under the Party’s absolute and direct leadership in all aspects, the State President’s command, the Prime Minister’s united governance and direction, and the Minister of Public Security’s direct management, PM Phúc said.

The force must build an action programme to carry out the Resolution of the coming 13th National Party Congress, have a better grasp of the situation, and improve strategic counselling to meet new requirements in the national development and defence process, the PM said.

The force was also requested to take action to help enhance Việt Nam’s relations with external partners and promote the country’s position and prestige, serving the cause of national industrialisation and modernisation.

PM Phúc also asked for increased education in terms of politics, tradition, revolutionary morality and occupational skills for intelligence officers, as well as the building of a contingent of intelligence officers with firm political mettle, steadfastness, and absolute loyalty to the Party, Fatherland, and people, ready to sacrifice for the Party and nation’s revolutionary cause, and have a sharp vision and outstanding qualifications to fulfil both short- and long-term tasks.

The Government leader expressed his belief that under the Party’s leadership, the people’s public security intelligence force will obtain even greater achievements, contributing to the cause of national construction and defence and deserving the Party, State, and people’s trust.

On February 21, 1946, President Hồ Chí Minh signed Decree No 23/SL on unifying public security units nationwide into the Việt Nam Công an vụ (Public Security Department of Việt Nam) and regulating tasks for it, including intelligence affairs. —


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Vietnam ready for 13th Party Congress



Vietnam has made an impression on the international community as a safe country with great economic potential, and its success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining economic growth has been miraculous, a Japanese expert has said.

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Addressing the event, Head of the Party Central Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan stressed the significance of the 13th National Party Congress in the development of the Party and the country. The Party Central Committee, Politburo and Secretariat are strictly supervising all the preparations for the event.

The political report submitted to the upcoming Congress sets out the overall objectives, which are: to enhance the Party’s leadership, ruling capacity and combativeness; build a clean and strong Party and political system in all aspects; to consolidate people’s trust in the Party, State and the socialist system; to promote innovations, the willpower and aspirations for developments and the great all-nation unity strength, combined with the strength of the time; to push forward in a comprehensive and concerted manner the Doi Moi undertaking, national industrialisation and modernisation, rapid and sustainable development of the nation; to firmly defend the Homeland, maintain peace and stability; to strive for our country to become a socialist-oriented developed nation by mid-21st century.

Plenum completes preparation for Party Congress

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The 15th plenum of the Party Central Committee wrapped up on January 17 after completing all the contents of its agenda.  

At the plenum, the last of the 12th tenure, the Committee discussed and passed the lists of first-time nominees and the special cases to the Committee of the coming 13th tenure, as well as that of the nominees to the key leading positions of the Party and the State, among others.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong stressed that the current Committee has weathered all the difficulties and completed the working agenda, leading the whole Party, people and army to very important achievements, leaving deep imprints and creating new trust and driving forces to bring the country into a new development period.

The leader asked the Committee members to continue bringing into play their sense of solidarity and responsibility in finishing the remaining work, and working as nucleuses so as to ensure the coming Congress a fine success that meets the expectation and hope of the whole Party and people./.

Vietnam ready for 13th Party Congress


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