Government News In Brief

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations, PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials, PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong 

The achievements Vietnam recorded in 2018 have given the country valuable lessons, creating a firm foundation for the country to develop, reform, and integrate further into the world, Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong has said. 

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, the leader said despite a range of difficulties and challenges, the country has maintained rapid and comprehensive development in most spheres last year. 

Vietnam has completed all 12 set targets, with its gross domestic product (GDP) growing more than 7 percent to exceed 245 billion USD and about 2,580 USD per capita, he noted. 

The stable macro economy, controlled inflation, and consumer price index (CPI) at below 4 percent were also marked achievements in the year, he said, adding that the country’s exports continued to rise and trade surplus hit a record of over 7 billion USD. 

Last year, the tourism sector earned 620 trillion VND (26.66 billion USD) from serving nearly 15.6 million international tourists and 80 million domestic arrivals, gradually becoming the country’s economic spearhead. 

The important socio-economic achievements have also contributed significantly to raising people’s material and spiritual life, ensuring political stability alongside social order and safety, the leader said. 

External affairs and international integration have been stepped up, contributing to protecting national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and strategic interests; consolidating a peaceful and stable environment for development and elevating Vietnam’s prestige and position on the world arena, Trong said.  

He affirmed that joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a step forward to materialise policies of the Party and the State in international integration, and assert Vietnam’s important role and geo-political position in Southeast Asia, Asia-Pacific, and the world at large. 

The CPTPP membership is also significant for Vietnam in taking advantage of external resources and mobilising internal strength, thus effectively serving national construction, defence, and development. 

Regarding the fight against corruption and other negative phenomena, he said that competent agencies have taken an active part in the combat and sped up the verification, investigation, and settlement of serious and complex corruption and economic cases, especially those in the fields of oil and gas, banking, and public asset and land management. 

According to the leader, the strict punishment of many officials, Party members, leaders, and managers at all levels who committed violations have demonstrated that there are no restricted zones and exceptions in the fight. 

This is a long-term struggle that requires resolve, patience, and scientific methods for the purity and prestige of the Party, sustainable development of the country, and the wish and happiness of the people, Trong underlined. 

According to the leader, anti-corruption must go in tandem with streamlining apparatus; improving the operational efficiency of public agencies; reforming wage and social insurance policies; building a contingent of key officials at all levels, especially at the strategic one; and perfecting institutions, policies and laws. 

Mentioning major tasks for 2019 and the years to come, the Party and State leader called for more efforts to consolidate the macro economy, maintain the growth pace, improve growth quality, accelerate the implementation of three strategic breakthroughs, reform the growth model, and restructure the economy. 

“There are many more jobs to do and do better, but the first hurdle lies with how to create more remarkable changes in administrative reform and pragmatically remove bottlenecks and barriers to the investment, production, and business activities, thus facilitating the mobilisation of all resources for development,” he said. 

More attention should be paid to building and developing culture and society, building human resources, and promoting social equality and progress in each development step and policy. 

Priority must also be given to addressing issues of public concern, such as the wealth gap, or the morality decline and increase of social evils, he said, stressing the need to further consolidate and increase national defence and security potential; firmly maintain national independence, sovereignty, alongside territorial unity and integrity; and effectively perform external affairs and international integration. 

“A constant key task is to build a pure, strong, and effective Party and political system,” he told the VNA. 

On the occasion of the Tet holidays, the Party and State leader called on soldiers and people nationwide to join hands in order to successfully complete the set targets and tasks, taking the country to the period of rapid and sustainable development, with higher position and greater strength.

PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc worked with authorities of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu in Ho Chi Minh City on January 12 to evaluate its socio-economic performance and discuss a number of major projects in the locality.

After three year implementing the resolution adopted at the 15th provincial Party congress, Bac Lieu’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) has grown 6.74 percent per year averagely and 8.36 percent in 2018, the highest from the beginning of the tenure.

Per capita GRDP has reached 42.05 million VND per year, rising by an average 9.87 percent per year.

Bac Lieu has made renewable energy, including wind, solar and gas-fired power, one of the five key pillars of the province’s socio-economic development. The province has put Bac Lieu wind power plant into operation for the first and second phases, with total power generated so far reaching 639 million kWh.

The province plans to launch four more wind power projects with total capacity of 320MW soon, while asking for permission to include a number of other solar and wind power projects into power development plans. 

Particularly, the province has lured a 4.3 billion USD liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fueled power project with a capacity of 3,200MW. Bac Lieu has submitted a proposal on adding the project into the National Power Development Plan to 2020. 

Recognising the importance of the project, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with relevant agencies to give final conclusion on it, while requesting Bac Lieu and other ministries and agencies to coordinate with the investors to evaluate and launch the project when all necessary requirements and conditions are met.

He lauded Bac Lieu’s socio-economic performance so far, with budget collection hitting 3.2 trillion VND in 2018 thanks to local efforts to expand hi-tech shrimp farming and attract investment, especially in power area.

In the future, the PM asked Bac Lieu to design action plans to implement the Government’s resolutions on socio-economic development and business environment improvement with targets higher than those in 2018.

Bac Lieu should work harder in climate change response and design measures to prevent river bank and coastal erosion, he said.

The Government leader also advised Bac Lieu to focus on boosting shrimp sector’s growth with a goal of 1 billion USD in export revenue, along with developing tourism and services and luring more green power projects.

At the working session, the PM also responded to the province’s proposals regarding coastal erosion and flooding in national highways and the northern session of the Highway 1A.

PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations, PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials, PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) greets participants in the meeting of PetroVietnam in Hanoi on January 11

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a meeting of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) in Hanoi on January 11, asking the firm to overcome ups and downs to re-establish the sector as a growth engine of the country.

The group reported that PetroVietnam successfully fulfilled the targets for 2018, noting that it exploited 23.98 million tonnes of oil equivalent, including 13.97 million tonnes of crude oil, respectively up 5 percent and 5.6 percent from the set targets. Meanwhile, 10.01 billion cubic metres of gas was exploited.

It produced 1.63 million tonnes of nitrogen fertilizer, rising by 5.7 percent from last year’s target.

PetroVietnam also surpassed financial targets as it earned 626.8 trillion VND (26.9 billion USD) in revenue, up 18.1 percent and 25.9 percent from the set target and the previous year, respectively. It contributed about 121.3 trillion VND to the State budget, up 64.3 percent and 24.3 percent.

Addressing the meeting, PM Phuc stressed PetroVietnam’s leading role among State-owned enterprises, elaborating that it not only greatly contributes to the State budget but also plays an important role in the external work, ensuring defence-security, and helping with the economy’s self-reliance.

Applauding the groups’ achievements, he emphasised that these will be prerequisites for further development in the time ahead.

The firm has made substantial contributions over more than 30 years of Doi moi (Reform), he said, noting that the sector has ensured the gas supply for the production of 35 percent of electricity, 75 percent of fertilizers and 64 percent of liquefied gas consumed in Vietnam.

The Government leader requested PetroVietnam be determined to overcome shortcomings as well as challenges and difficulties to deserve the “Hero of Labour in the reform period” title.

It must nurture the ambition to regain its leading position in the national development and become a stronger group, he said.

PM Phuc also asked it to take the lead in applying science-technology amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

Deputy PM: transport sector must be forefront in socio-economic progress

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has affirmed that the Government will continue partnering with the transport sector to promptly clear its obstacles, making it a vanguard in socio-economic development. 

During a conference in Hanoi on January 11 to review the Ministry of Transport’s activities in 2018 and launch its tasks for 2019, Deputy PM Dung asked the sector to make breakthroughs in developing synchronous infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure to improve economic competitiveness and lay a foundation for industrialisation and modernisation. 

He requested restructuring transport services to cut logistics costs and accelerating the construction of large-scale transportation works with quality and progress ensured, namely the north-south and Trung Luong-Can Tho highways, the Long Thanh international airport, the upgrade of Lach Huyen and Cai Mep-Thi Vai seaports, and inland waterway projects. 

The ministry was asked to work closely with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to consider investing in ports specialising in coal import-export, contributing to ensuring national energy security. 

It was also assigned to review, adjust, and supplement planning related to transport infrastructure, focusing on national road, railway, aviation, seaport, and inland waterway planning for the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050. 

Planning must ensure connectivity among transport modes, economic and industrial zones, seaports, and between regional and national transport networks, he said, adding that the sector must work with ministries, agencies, and localities to reduce traffic accidents during 2019 and subsequent years, especially during peak time such as the upcoming Lunar New Year festival and spring festival this year. 

Vietnam seeks suitable environmental technologies from Japan

The first Vietnam-Japan Environmental Week has provided the opportunity for Vietnamese environmental service providers to access suitable technologies in the field, said Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan.

The event was successfully held in Hanoi on January 9-11, with the participation of the two countries’ businesses.

According to international organisations, Vietnam boasts great potential in its environmental industry and environmental technology development, particularly in pollution control, technology transfer, and environmentally-friendly product manufacturing, among others, Nhan noted.

Japan’s Vice Minister of the Environment Takaaki Katsumata said the two ministries share mutual concerns in dealing with environmental issues, and as such, Japan was eager to share its technologies during the first Vietnam-Japan Environmental Week.

Vietnam is facing many environmental problems, such as waste treatment and management, global warming, ocean garbage, and especially plastic waste.

According to the organisers, within the event’s framework, the two countries’ businesses joined in exchanges and meetings. As a result, some agreements on water treatment technologies, air quality, and urban waste solid management were signed. 

In addition, within Vietnam, the central city of Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, the northern port city Hai Phong, and Hanoi have all accelerated their air quality control projects. 

PMs exchange greetings on 50 years of Vietnam-Sweden ties

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 11 offered his greetings to his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations (January 11).

For his part, the Swedish PM also sent a congratulatory message to PM Phuc the same day.

Also on January 11, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong sent a letter of congratulations to King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf. 

Leader congratulates Swedish King on 50 years of diplomatic ties

General Secretary of the Party Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong on January 11 sent a letter of congratulations to King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (January 11). 

In the letter, he stressed that Vietnam has always prioritised the strengthening and expansion of its traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Sweden – its most important partner in Northern Europe. 

He said both countries hold a long-standing relationship and supplementary strengths in diverse areas. 

The leader expressed his belief that with great cooperation potential and the common determination of the two countries’ leaders and peoples, Vietnam-Sweden ties will grow strongly for the sake of the prosperity of each nation, and for peace and cooperation in the region and the world.

Ministry appreciates foreign correspondents, press attachés in Vietnam

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations, PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials, PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong (R) and foreign correspondents, press assistants and cultural and press attachés toast the 2019 new year at the meeting in Hanoi on January 11 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a meeting in Hanoi on January 11 with correspondents and press assistants of foreign press agencies, along with cultural and press attachés of foreign representative agencies in Vietnam on the occasion of the 2019 new year.

This was the ministry’s annual event to thank foreign press and representative agencies in Vietnam for their contributions to and support for the external information services and popularisation of the country’s image.

It was attended by more than 70 reporters and assistants of 30 foreign news agencies’ offices, and over 40 cultural and press attachés of other countries’ representative agencies.

Reviewing Vietnam’s diplomatic landmarks last year, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong highlighted the important contributions by the press, including foreign media outlets and their correspondents and press assistants.

He said they have stood side by side with the ministry, the nation and people of Vietnam over the past years to help the world understand more about the country’s situation, socio-economic development attainments, efforts, and commitments to common affairs of the region and the world.

He also thanked cultural and press attachés of foreign embassies and diplomatic agencies for promoting cultural exchange and enhancing their countries’ understanding of and friendship with Vietnam.

In 2019, Vietnam prepares to hold the 2020 ASEAN Chair and runs for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, Cuong said, expressing his hope that the reporters, press assistants, and cultural and press attachés will continue their roles as companions to Vietnam so that the country can become closer to its friends around the world. 

Vietnamese, Cambodian provinces reinforce friendship

Vietnam’s Central Highland province of Dak Lak has maintained its twin ties with Cambodia’s eastern province of Mondulkiri over the past time, according to Ho Quang Tam, Chairman of the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association’s chapter in Dak Lak.

He made the remark at a meeting in Dak Lak on January 11 to mark the 40th anniversary of the victory of the southwest border defence war and the joint victory of Vietnam and Cambodia over the Pol Pot genocidal regime (January 7, 1979).

Tam said the 20th century witnessed a rare humanitarian and just event when the Vietnamese army and people stood side-by-side with Cambodians to escape from the Pol Pot genocide, liberating and rebuilding the nation.

Promoting the traditional solidarity between the two countries, Dak Lak and Mondulkiri have supported each other for mutual development, he added.

Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee H’Yim Kdoh said on January 11, 1979, armed forces of Dak Lak coordinated with their counterparts from Mondulkiri to liberate the Cambodian province.

Following the liberation, Mondulkiri was still a wasteland, with the lives of locals still full of difficulties. 

Given that situation, within 10 years from 1979 to 1989, Dak Lak sent more than 300 experts to Cambodia, standing alongside people in Mondulkiri to prevent the return of the Pol Pot genocidal regime and support the province to build its Party and government.

Dak Lak volunteer soldiers and experts supported Cambodia in various fields such as training, agriculture, finance, banking, education, healthcare, mass mobilisation, youth development, and security.

As a result, Mondulkiri reaped encouraging socio-economic outcomes with the reinforcement of national defence and security, he said.

Over the past 40 years, the sound neighbourhood, traditional friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, and Dak Lak and Mondulkiri in particular, have been constantly strengthened and developed, bringing practical benefits for the two peoples, he added. 

Press conference marks 50 years of Vietnam-Sweden ties

A press conference took place in Hanoi on January 11 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Sweden (January 11, 1969-2019).

Speaking at the event, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg stated that Vietnam is sure to continue its socio-economic success story, and that Sweden has remained a close friend of Vietnam in the past, today, and will continue to be in the future.

He stressed that Sweden has been a friend and partner of Vietnam for over half a century, even when the Southeast Asian country was enduring its hardest times.  

According to him, on January 11, 1969, when the war was at its peak in Vietnam, Sweden was the first western nation to establish diplomatic relations with the country. Swedish official development assistance for Vietnam lasted for 46 years and amounted to more than 4 billion USD. Sweden was Vietnam’s second biggest ODA donor in the 1970s, the biggest in the 1980s, and the fourth biggest in the 1990s. 

Bilateral cooperation has been focused on the sectors of health, paper production, afforestation, and administrative reform regarding taxation and law, with popular projects including the Uong Bi hospital, the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, and the Bai Bang paper plant. 

Sweden has also assisted Vietnam’s Doi Moi (reform) process and poverty alleviation. The country continues its support for Vietnam via its regional aid programmes for Mekong sub-region countries and other funding within the EU and UN frameworks targeting Vietnam.

The diplomat stated the Vietnam-Sweden partnership is shared between their governments and peoples. Over the years, the two exchanged thousands of people working and living in their respective countries. In 2017, more than 50,000 Swedish tourists made trips to Vietnam.

He said that as Vietnam becomes a middle-income economy, the bilateral partnership is moving toward a more balanced state with a focus on business and trade. 

The ties are growing across trade-investment, research exchange, education, culture, and tourism, with two-way trade exceeding 1 billion USD on an annual basis and projected to rise even further. Sweden’s popular firms like ABB, Eriksson, H&M, IKEA, Volvo, AstraZeneca, Atlas Copco, SKP, Tetra Pak, and Electrolux have all operated in Vietnam. With the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement ratified, Swedish presence in Vietnam will no doubt increase.

Hogberg said 2019 will see bilateral high-level visits, cultural exchanges, an internet forum, and the Vietnam-Sweden business summit taking place.

He said he believes the two nations’ friendship will grow, particularly in trade, science, culture, and civil society development.

Dinh Toan Thang, head of the Foreign Ministry’s Department of European Affairs, highlighted the period of half a century that Vietnam and Sweden have made their way through together.

Vietnam appreciates Sweden’s spiritual and financial assistance during its struggle for independence and later national construction period, he affirmed.

He said the ties are sustained in the new context based on their common goals toward sustainable development and a world of peace and cooperation.

Thang pointed to sectors that both sides are interested in, including trade-investment, heath care, education, transport, information-telecomunication, and environmental protection.

He stated the celebration of the 50-year-old ties this year will open up new prospects for both nations and boost mutual understanding among their peoples. 

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations, PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials, PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role

Vietnam, Cambodia share experience in religious affairs

A conference to exchange experience in religious affairs between Vietnam and Cambodia kicked off in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on January 11 as part of a cooperation agreement between the Government Committee for Religious Affairs and the Cambodian Ministry of Religions and Cults.

Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs Vu Chien Thang and Deputy Minister of State at the corresponding Cambodian ministry Ke Sam Oeun chaired the event.

Thang said that in the context of fine developments in friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, the relationship between the two offices in charge of state management on religions has been consolidated, gaining multiple positive achievements. 

Along with delegation exchanges, the two sides coordinated in holding a conference to share experience in religious affairs with Cambodian officials in Vietnam, and for the first time organising a ministerial meeting on religious affairs between Vietnamese and Cambodian border provinces.

He affirmed that Vietnam will do its utmost to actively carry out the cooperation agreement with the Cambodian Ministry of Religions and Cults, and improve the efficiency of bilateral cooperation in this field, thus contributing to consolidating and developing the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional friendship.

The conference will last until January 15. Together with experience sharing, the two sides’ delegates will visit several religious establishments in Lam Dong.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Yen, Lam Dong is home to 1.3 million people, including about 800,000 followers of seven state-recognised religions, or 65 percent of the total population. 

Party inspection commission officials visit Cambodia

A high-ranking delegation from the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission led by Tran Cam Tu, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the commission, had meetings with the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate leaders and Deputy Prime Minister on January 10.

The delegation met Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Chairman of Cambodia’s National Assembly Heng Samrin; Vice President of the CPP and President of the Cambodia’s Senate Say Chhum; and Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An.

At the meetings, Tu briefed the hosts on major events in Vietnam and the outcomes of talks between the Vietnamese delegation and the CPP Inspection Commission delegation.

He congratulated Cambodian people on their important achievements in national construction and development, expressing his belief that under the reign of King Norodom Sihamoni and the leadership of the Cambodian National Assembly, Senate, and Government, the Cambodian people will go on to achieve even greater success.

Tu thanked the Cambodian people for their support and warm sentiments towards Vietnam so far, affirming Vietnam’s unrelenting policy of exerting every effort together with the Cambodian side to preserve and promote the traditional friendship, solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia on the foundation of the substantial principles and orientations defined by the two parties and countries.

The Cambodian side conveyed their delight at the great achievements that Vietnam has made during the renewal cause, as well as the working results between the two commissions.

They expressed deep gratitude for Vietnam’s timely and effective help given to Cambodia during its national liberation, saving Cambodian people from the genocidal regime and ending the darkest period in Cambodia’s history and reviving the nation, as well as during its current period of national construction and defence.

The traditional solidarity, friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia is a priceless asset shared by both nations that needs to be passed on to the younger generations.

During the visit, Ty and the Vietnamese delegation also burnt incense and laid flowers at the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument. They worked with the Anti-Corruption Unit of Cambodia and the municipal Party Committee of Phnom Penh, while visiting the Vietnamese Embassy and representatives of the Vietnamese Cambodian Association, as well as Vietnamese investors in Cambodia.

Vietnam expands international cooperation in maritime issues

The promulgation of Resolution 36-NQ/TW at the eighth session of the 12th Party Central Committee in October 2018 on the marine economic development strategy illustrates Vietnam’s broad strategic vision of turning the country into a strong maritime nation.

In an article titled “Proactively enhancing and expanding external relations and international cooperation in maritime issues” published on Nhan dan (People) newspaper on January 11, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung said the resolution affirms Vietnam’s special attention to this matter.

Trung, also head of the National Border Committee, said promoting foreign relations and cooperation in sea-related issues is one of the five major guidelines set in the resolution, aiming to build and maintain a peaceful, stable environment and legal order at sea as the basis for the safe and efficient use of maritime resources.

Vietnam also wants to join the global efforts in sustainable use and preservation of sea and ocean while obtaining international support to enhance maritime management and exploitation, he said.

Pursuing a consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism and diversification, and active international integration, Vietnam will continue enhancing relations with countries, especially those with strong marine potential, on the basis of respecting independence, sovereignty, equality and mutual benefits.

Vietnam will also firmly defend its national sea and island sovereignty as well as its legitimate interests in addition to solving disputes via peaceful means based on international law to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for mutual development, Trung said.

At the same time, the country will join regional and international forums to promote cooperation in the field, he added.

He also reiterated Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint of addressing disputes in the East Sea on the basis of international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

The country will conduct cooperation in various maritime fields with other countries for mutual benefits and sustainable development, according to the Deputy FM.

Party, State leader: Vietnam moves forward with firm foundations, PM discusses Bac Lieu province’s performance with local officials, PetroVietnam requested to regain growth engine role