Thursday , February 22 2024

Prime Minister grants interview to Romanian media ahead of visit

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

BUCHAREST – On the threshold of his official visit to Romania, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính granted an interview to the Romanian media on Việt Nam’s development experiences, important policies of the 13th National Party Congress and the prospects of the Việt Nam-Romania relationship.

The PM reviewed significant historical milestones over the nearly 40 years of Đổi mới (Renewal) in Việt Nam, including an over-53-time increase in the economy’s scale and 28-time rise in per capita income. The poverty rate has decreased from 60 per cent in the early 1990s to 2.93 per cent in 2023. Việt Nam has fulfilled Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, ranking high in human development among economies of similar development levels.

He went on to say that the country ranks high in human development among economies of similar development levels, and plays a crucial role in global and regional supply chains, being one of the world’s 20 largest economies with a network of 16 signed FTAs and 3 FTAs under negotiation.

PM Chính noted that despite global complexities in recent years, Việt Nam has maintained a stable macroeconomic foundation, controlled inflation, promoted economic growth, ensured major economic balances, and kept state budget, public debt, and foreign debt below regulated limits. In 2023, key indicators such as CPI, GDP growth, trade surplus, and FDI attraction demonstrated robust performance, particularly in the agriculture sector, contributing significantly to both domestic food security and global supply.

According to him, those significant achievements are attributed to various factors and practical experiences, among which there are five outstanding lessons.

First of all is the firm commitment to national independence and socialism, which is a fundamental principle aligned with Việt Nam’s revolutionary path and essential in the ideological legacy of late President Hồ Chí Minh.

Second, the revolution is of the people, by the people, and for the people, with the people placed at the center and considered the subject, the driving force, the goal, and the most important resource for development.

Third is the lesson of constant consolidation and strengthening of unity: unity within the Party, unity within the people, unity among ethnic groups, and international unity. Unity is also a fundamental factor in garnering support and assistance from progressive forces worldwide for democracy, progress, and peace.

Fourth is the need to combine the strength of the nation with the strength of the times, domestic strength with international strength.

Fifth, the sound leadership by the Party is the foremost factor determining the success of the Vietnamese revolution.

Asked about how Việt Nam manages to harmonise communist ideals with certain principles of a market economy, the PM said the significant achievements in developing a socialist-oriented market economy in line with the communist ideals in Việt Nam in recent years are primarily thanks to a solid grasp of Marxist-Leninist principles, the ideology of Hồ Chí Minh, the innovative application of them to Việt Nam’s specific conditions, and the embodiment of a patriotic spirit rooted in the country’s cultural and historical traditions.

He stressed that Việt Nam’s socialist-oriented market economy is characterised by modern market principles, international integration, and efficient operation following the laws of the market economy. It is managed by the socialist law-governed state, led by the Communist Party of Việt Nam, ensuring a socialist orientation for the goal of a prosperous, strong, democratic, just, and civilised country.

The PM said this economy features diverse forms of ownership, with the State sector playing a leading role, continuous consolidation and development of collective and cooperative economies, and a significant contribution from the private sector as a crucial driving force. Encouraging and developing foreign direct investment (FDI) is part of the strategy, evident in Việt Nam attracting $36.6 billion in FDI in 2023, a more than 32 per cent increase compared to 2022, even amidst challenging global conditions. Such success demonstrates Việt Nam’s attractiveness to the international business community and foreign investors, he said.

Chính explained that in the socialist-oriented market economy, the State manages through policies, laws, strategies, and planning, utilising market mechanisms, market tools, and the laws of value, supply and demand, and competition. The State regulates these factors harmoniously, effectively releasing production potential and mobilising and utilising resources efficiently. The State issues and effectively enforces a legal system, mechanisms, and policies to create a transparent, fair legal environment conducive to the development of economic components and economic entities. The State regulation is aimed at achieving development goals in each period, connecting economic development with the realisation of social progress and justice, and addressing market mechanism shortcomings, ensuring a balanced benefit, creating a favourable environment and conditions for rapid and sustainable development.

Regarding the most important decisions made by the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Việt Nam, especially the short-term and medium-term development goals of Việt Nam, PM Chính stressed that the 13th Party Congress clearly defined the goal of striving for Việt Nam to become a developing country with modern industry by 2025, surpassing the low average income level; By 2030, it will be a developing country with modern industry and upper middle income, and by 2045 it will be a developed country with high income.

He said to achieve the above strategic goals, Việt Nam focuses on building the foundational elements for rapid, sustainable development – that is socialist democracy, the socialist rule of law state and the socialist-oriented market economy.

The country is promoting the implementation of three strategic breakthroughs on institutional improvement, human resource development and building a synchronous and modern infrastructure system.

Việt Nam is building an independent and self-reliant economy associated with active and proactive international economic integration, and at the same time, focuses on implementing major policies and guidelines in all fields in the short, medium and long term.

The Vietnamese Government leader highlighted the country’s diplomatic achievements, saying that guided by the spirit of “putting aside the past, respecting differences, promoting commonalities, looking to the future,” Việt Nam has orchestrated a transformative journey—turning erstwhile adversaries into steadfast allies, replacing confrontation with constructive dialogue, and evolving into a beacon of healing and progress.

Việt Nam now boasts diplomatic ties with 193 countries worldwide. Within its circle of 30 strategic and comprehensive partners, five are permanent members of the UN Security Council, seven belong to the G7, and 16 align with the G20—a testament to Việt Nam’s global resonance, he said.

The PM attributed this success to a foreign policy deeply rooted in practicality, inheriting and advancing Marxism-Leninism and Hồ Chí Minh’s diplomatic legacy. Embodied in the metaphor of “Vietnamese bamboo: solid roots, strong trunk, flexible branches,” this diplomatic identity reflects Việt Nam’s unwavering commitment to self-reliance, national benefit, and a spirit of solidarity, kindness, and loyalty.

This foreign policy, marked by independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation, development, diversification, multilateralisation, initiative, and active integration, is implemented with solidity, flexibility, and adaptability across all facets of governance. Việt Nam’s dynamic approach, combined with achievements in socio-economic development and an unyielding commitment to the “four nos” defense policy, has elevated the nation’s international standing.

As the regional and global landscape continues its unpredictable evolution, marked by unprecedented challenges, Việt Nam’s foreign affairs confront new difficulties. Yet, with a shared wish to collaborate with other nations and the international community, Việt Nam stands ready to proactively, positively, and effectively contribute to preserving a peaceful, stable, and conducive environment for rapid and sustainable development, the PM said.

Regarding the Việt Nam-Romania ties, Chính said Việt Nam and Romania share a longstanding and robust traditional friendship and cooperative relationship, which has been flourishing for almost 75 years. He noted that Romania is one of the earliest nations to formally recognise Việt Nam, extending invaluable support and assistance during Việt Nam’s fight to reclaim national independence and reunification, as well as its ongoing journey towards nation-building and development.

He underlined that approximately 4,000 Vietnamese officials and experts have been trained with the help of Romania, constituting a significant intellectual asset crucial for the country’s progress and prosperity.

The PM also highlighted that Romania has played an active role in assisting Việt Nam with the EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations, leading to the ratification and implementation of the Việt Nam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Moreover, Romania was among the pioneering EU members to endorse the EU – Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), showcasing its support for enhanced economic integration between Việt Nam and the European Union. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when global health was in peril, Romania distinguished itself as the first EU country to provide vaccine aid to Việt Nam.

Việt Nam holds in high regard and is deeply thankful for the timely, generous, and heartfelt aid extended by the Romanian government and its people, Chính said.

He praised Romania’s notable socio-economic advancements in recent times, particularly its persistent economic growth despite global uncertainties, consistently ranking among the upper echelons within the EU.

PM Chính noted that in tandem with Romania’s achievements, the bilateral relationship with Việt Nam is witnessing substantial progress across multiple sectors. Trade exchanges have solidified, with two-way turnover nearly doubling from $261 million in 2019 to $425 million by 2022. Additionally, both nations have inked an Education Cooperation Programme for the period of 2023 – 2026, deepening their collaborative efforts in the field of education. People-to-people exchanges are increasingly robust as more Romanian tourists explore Việt Nam.

The PM affirmed that with significant opportunities for collaboration and ample potential within the framework of the established and cordial traditional ties between the two countries, Việt Nam aspires to enhance its cooperative relationship with Romania. Việt Nam wants to fortify political trust by increasing the exchange of delegations at all levels and through every channel; intensify participation in multilateral and regional forums; and create new milestones in trade and investment, solidifying them as cornerstones of the bilateral relations.

He went on to say that Việt Nam is keen to advance collaboration in sectors where Romania possesses expertise and Việt Nam has potential, including education, culture, civil society, labor, and the burgeoning spheres of digital economics, green and circular economies, science and technology, artificial intelligence, and emergent industries.

He also called for the Romanian Government’s continued support in safeguarding the legitimate rights of Vietnamese workers in Romania, facilitating conditions conducive to the Vietnamese community’s integration and stable long-term business pursuits, and enhancing their role as a conduit between the two nations.

The PM also shared memories of the time he studied in Romania and worked at the Vietnamese Embassy in Bucharest. He said he believes that this visit will serve as an impetus for further enrichment, deepening, and practical advancement of the amicable ties between the two countries. Such enhancement serves not just the two peoples, but also fosters peace, collaboration, and progress on a regional and global scale, he said. VNS

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