With absolute faith in the last words of the great late President Ho Chi Minh and a never-ending affection for him, the Vietnamese nation has worked together incessantly to make his sacred testament a reality.

Looking back over the past 45 years, his testament has acted as a source of spiritual power guiding the nation to victory, again and again: from the liberation of the South to national reunification and moving the country closer to socialism. The testament also outlined the major orientation for the Vietnamese revolution.

Following his last words of advice, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has mobilised its full strength and brainpower to lead the country down the path set out by President Ho Chi Minh, building Vietnam into a socialist country of peace, unification, independence, democracy and prosperity.

Resolute in its objectives and ideals of national independence and socialism, the CPV has led the process of renovation over the last 30 years, with the economy now geared towards industrialisation and modernisation.
From its humble beginnings as an importer of food, Vietnam has now emerged as one of the top rice exporters in the world. Its economy has expanded at a rapid pace, with an annual average growth rate of 7.26 percent for 2001-2010 and approximately 6 percent for 2011-2015.

Many social and cultural achievements were recorded while the general standards of living have remarkably improved. The country has already achieved a majority of the United Nations Millennium Goals for 2015. In 2008, real income per capita was 2.3 times higher than in 2000. Vietnam is among the upper middle group in the Human Development Index ranking, and the country’s poverty rate decreased from 26 percent in 2000 to approximately 10 percent in 2010.

In the past 15 years, driven by a desire to create a progressive culture imbued with the national identity, a multitude of resources has been made available for cultural projects in line with the country’s development trajectories for the economy, national defence and human resources.

The political leadership has stuck to its principle of keeping State power in the hands of the people, promoting democracy and the public interest, and creating and perfecting the State of Vietnam as a state of the people, run by the people and for the people.

External relations and international integration have expanded successfully, contributing to an environment of peace and stability whilst mobilising resources for national development.

Vietnam has become an active and responsible member of international organisations and global forums. As a member of 63 international and regional bodies and a partner of over 500 non-governmental organisations, Vietnam has established diplomatic ties with over 180 countries, not to mention the country’s economic and trade partnerships with more than 200 countries and territories.

Vietnam has actively participated in United Nations (UN) forums, and was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 period, as well as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 period.

The country has also joined negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the free trade agreement with the European Union. At the same time, Vietnam actively participates in the settlement process for territorial and maritime issues with all countries concerned, contributing to maintaining a peaceful environment in the region and the world as a whole.

While being proud of the large successes achieved so far, the nation is aware that it is facing major challenges since its economic and technological competencies are still limited, which means Vietnam still has a long way to go in terms of competitiveness. The development gap between Vietnam and developed economies remains substantial, while factors destabilising the economy and society as well as threatening national sovereignty remain a potential risk.

In light of these challenges, the whole Party, armed forces and people bear all the more responsibilities, prompting them to make the most of the nation’s strengths and opportunities to overcome difficulties and move towards the goal of a “wealthy people, strong nation, democratic, equitable and civilised society”.-VNA