Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has highlighted the perfection of institutions and promotion of people’s right to mastery and successful implementation of 2014 tasks, laying foundations for the country’s rapid and sustainable development, in a news article at the beginning of 2014.

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

Progress has been seen in socio-cultural development and environmental protection while national defence and security have been maintained. Foreign relations work has recorded numerous achievements, socio-political stability has been secured and the country’s position has been improved in the international arena.

Implementing the Party Central Committee’s conclusion, the National Assembly and Government have issued resolutions on socio-economic development for 2014, which focus on increasing macroeconomic stability, controlling inflation, removing difficulties and creating favourable conditions for business and production, and speeding up economic restructuring with the aim to record a higher growth rate than that of 2013, PM Dung said.

This year, the country strives to reach a Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) growth rate of 5.8 percent and a per capita income of 2,100 USD per year. Export turnover is projected to increase by 10 percent and the Consumer Price Index ( CPI ) by about 7 percent while total investment in social development should be equivalent to 30 percent of GDP . The rate of poor households is set to drop by 1.7-2 percent, and around 1.6 million new jobs will be created.

The Government leader noted that although the world economy has shown signs of recovery and the domestic socio-economic situation has seen positive changes, difficulties and challenges remain great. It requires the entire political system to act in unison with high determination in order to successfully fulfil 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 foundation for rapid and sustainable development, he said.

At the same time, PM Dung stressed the need to exert efforts to build a state governed by the rule of law, strongly promote the people’s right to mastery, complete the socialist-orientated market economic institutions, and accelerate agricultural restructuring in combination with new-style rural building.

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

The Party and State’s sound renewal policies have turned Vietnam from an underdeveloped country into a middle-income developing nation, with impressive achievements in poverty reduction which are appreciated by the international community.

However, the PM noted that in recent years, Vietnam ’s competitiveness has improved slowly, economic growth and structure transfer have slowed down while many pressing issues have emerged in society. One of the reasons behind these is that the momentum that previous reforms created is no longer strong enough to foster development.

“It is time for us to have more driving force to regain our rapid growth and sustainable development. That momentum must come from institutional renovation and the strong promotion of the people’s right to mastery,” he stressed.

Regarding democracy enhancement and institutional perfection, PM Dung affirmed that democracy is a major idea of President Ho Chi Minh, who said Vietnam is a democratic country where all power belongs to the people. The Party also affirmed that democracy is both a goal and a momentum in national construction and defence.

The Constitution (revised 2013), which has just been adopted by the National Assembly, has opened up a new constitutional space for the country to realise President Ho Chi Minh’s great thought. To promote the people’s right to mastery in the best way, the State must well perform its function of facilitating development.

In the spirit, the highest task for 2014 is to make and revise laws in order to implement the Constitution along with supplementing and perfecting mechanisms and apparatus in order to propel the building of a state governed by the rule of law, strongly enhance the people’s right to mastery and further improving the socialist-oriented market economy.

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 apparatus.

In recent years, according to the Prime Minister, Vietnam has made long strides forward in perfecting its socialist-orientated market economy with creating an equal environment for competition and administrative reforms at its core. This is also a strategic breakthrough target set by the 11 th Party Congress’s resolution.

He underlined that uniform measures should be taken in the time to come to well implement the aforesaid breakthrough, with a focus on the two issues of letting market factors decide prices of essential commodities and services along with ensuring fair competition. At the same time, there should be policies to support the poor, beneficiaries of social welfare, ethnic minority people and those in remote areas.

The Prime Minister reiterated the resolve to restructure State-owned enterprises (SOEs), including State economic groups, focusing on equitisation. SOEs should divest investment in areas that are not their core operation to home in on key sectors, important localities and fields related to national defence and security.

Discussing the process of restructuring the agricultural sector and building new-style rural areas, PM Dung pointed out that the implementation of the renewal policy has brought about a number of outstanding progresses for the agricultural sector.
However, the growth speed of the agricultural sector has slowed down during recent years, with many shortcomings revealed which are typical of an agriculture based on small-scale, poor-connected household production with low productivity and poor quality in the context of fierce competition in the world, he noted.

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

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

It is necessary to attract more investments to rural areas and to agricultural production and services, said the PM, adding that attention should be paid to farm produce processing and labour-intensive industries to encourage the concentration of land and the shifting of economic and labour structure in rural areas.

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

The PM also urged more attention to the protection of the environment and the preservation and development of the national cultural identity and good traditions and customs of Vietnam ’s villages.

PM Dung held that over the past three years, the whole party, people and army have faced many difficulties and challenges. The country has exerted many efforts to solve crucial problems and recorded important successes, he said, adding that a good attempt was made to fulfil middle- and long-term tasks. However, the outcomes have not been as high as expected.

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

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

“Today, as our position and strength have grown, our ability will surely shine again, helping the country promote the renewal cause comprehensively in the light of the Resolution of the 11th Party Congress, thus lifting the national construction and defence cause to a new height for a socialist Vietnam of prosperous people, strong nation with democracy, equality and a civilised society,” the PM said in conclusion.-VNA