President Tran Dai Quang (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – On the threshold of the year 2017, President Tran Dai Quang called on all the people to do the best in their work and unite to strive for a prosperous country and a better live for everyone.

The President shared with the media his evaluations of the country’s achievements in socio-economic development and international integration as well as opportunities and challenges facing the nation in the road ahead.

He noted that 2016 was the first year that the Party, people and army implemented the Resolution adopted at the 12th National Party Congress, which has set overall goal, crucial targets and key tasks for the 2016-2020 period.

In the context of the slow recovery of the global economy along with many complicated changes, Vietnam overcame great difficulties in the first and second quarters of this year to regain the momentum for recovery and development of production, business while maintaining stable macro economy from the beginning of the third quarter, the President said, adding that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate failed to reach the yearly set target, but remained among the highest in the region.

He went on to say, “We have firmly and persistently fought to protect the country’s independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, and maintain peace and stability. The external relations and international integration have been deepened and expanded, contributing to enhancing Vietnam’s position and prestige in the global arena.”

At the same time, the President pointed to challenges facing the country, such as unsustainable macro-economic stability, poor growth quality, and slow implementation of major breakthroughs and restructuring of industries and sectors of the economy, along with low labour productivity compared to that of other countries in the region and around the world. Meanwhile, people in remote areas and regions hit by flood, drought, saltwater intrusion and environmental pollution are encountering a lot of hardships.

President Quang also mentioned complicated developments in the East Sea, and stressed that seas and islands are a sacred and indispensable part of the country. He underlined that firmly safeguarding the national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity is the responsibility and duty of each Vietnamese.

The President said while Vietnam’s rights and interests in the East Sea are recognised and protected by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the country must resolutely and persistently fight to firmly defend national independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, as well as to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national development, and deal with disputes via peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law.

According to the President, the building and safeguarding of the country in the new situation require the entire nation and political system, with the people’s armed force playing the core role, to prepare well in all aspects, keep high combat readiness and avoid falling into the passive or being taken by surprise in all situations. He stressed that strengthening the implementation of national defence-security tasks along with building comprehensively strong people’s armed forces is a critical factor to carry out effectively socio-economic development targets, international integration, and firm protection of national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Regarding the country’s attainments in external affairs, President Tran Dai Quang said Vietnam has proactively and actively brought into play the diplomatic guidelines set by the 12th National Party Congress. Despite complicated regional and global developments, the external affair sector, with timely, appropriate and synchronous measures, has continued to meet the requirements of national construction and development, thus increasing the country’s position in the international arena.

He elaborated that Vietnam continued to be a bright example of political stability and development potentials. The nation has pushed ahead with cementing and deepening the friendship and cooperation with other countries and partners for common sustainable development, he said.

Apart from playing an active role in building the ASEAN Community, Vietnam has fulfilled its duties as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, UN Economic and Social Council, and UNESCO Executive Council. A Vietnamese diplomat has been elected to the UN International Law Commission. The country has also actively participated in and made significant contributions to multilateral forums, winning appreciation from international friends.

As regards the fight against corruption, wastefulness and negative phenomena, President Tran Dai Quang took note of positive outcomes in the field with serious corruption and economic violation cases brought to light, winning the public’s support. However, those results have not met set requirements and the public’s expectations, he said.

For the fight to meet set requirements, it is necessary to build and implement tight management and supervision mechanisms to prevent corruption, together with strict deterrence mechanisms and punishments, the President said.

He stressed that corrupt elements must be dealt with strictly without being affected by pressure from any organisations and individuals, and judicial authorities must coordinate closely with relevant agencies of other countries to promptly arrest criminals hiding abroad, ensure the law’s effectiveness and serve as a deterrence to others.

President Tran Dai Quang took this occasion to extend his best wishes to people and soldiers nationwide and overseas Vietnamese in 2017 and the traditional Year of the Rooster./.