Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam is striving to boost its development in the ASEAN bloc and rise to the upper half within five years, according to the country's latest strategy on international integration.

The long-term strategy, approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently, set goals for 2020 regarding regional and global integration as well as a long-term vision outlined for 2030.

The ultimate aim is for Vietnam's economy to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the current top four ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines by 2025.

In order to achieve such ambitions, Vietnam would need to keep expanding its market and make good use of foreign investment, technology and management experience to strengthen the competitiveness of domestically-made products, local enterprises and the country's economy as a whole, the strategy indicated.

The strategy was released following a year-end announcement that Vietnam's economy bounced back in 2015 when the GDP growth rate rose to 6.7 percent, the highest it had been in the last five years.

Encouraged by the promising figure, the new GDP growth target for this year was set at the same rate by the National Assembly in November, which was deemed feasible by HSBC in its latest report on the nation's economy. According to the report, Vietnam's export growth has rebounded to double digits, reflecting new investment.

The country's participation in a number of global trade agreements, including the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is also expected to propel a significant development boost to the economy. The World Bank recently predicted that Vietnam would be the biggest beneficiary of the 12 TPP members with a 10 percent GDP gain by 2030.

Apart from economic goals, the five-year strategy on international integration also listed national defence and security as key elements in its plan, especially as tensions escalate with China regarding the East Sea dispute.

One of the general goals of the strategy was to "firmly uphold Vietnam's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity", which was supported by a handful of sub-goals in which the country would strive to maintain a peaceful environment favourable to development.

Vietnam, according to the strategy, would also make use of "external resources to build up a modern military force" in order to "strengthen its ability to ensure the nation's security and defence".
Vietnamese leadership aims to turn Vietnam into one of the "core members" that would play the leading role in all regional defence co-operation mechanisms by 2030. The country's security and stability will be closely attached to those of the region, the strategy indicated.-VNA