Viewpoint: Nguyen Xuan Phuc
With strong will and resolve to undertake in-depth and comprehensive reforms, Vietnam has grown from a poor, war-torn country with a centrally planned and subsidised economy, to a middle-income developing nation with a market economy. The country is now poised to step into the next stage of even more robust development thanks its ongoing policy of reform and open door, known as Doi Moi. Vietnam is proud to be one of the fastest-growing economies with a sustained GDP growth rate of more than 6% for the past three decades. In 2016, while the global economy and trade slowed, Vietnam retained one of the highest growth rates in the world. The per capita income of our 90m citizens is climbing, currently at $2200, and Vietnam has been able to maintain political, economic and social stability while promoting social progress and justice. The country is one of just six that have completed the UN Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, most notably in poverty reduction.
The success of Doi Moi provides an important basis for the comprehensive integration of Vietnam into international life. Today, Vietnam enjoys diplomatic relations with 187 nations; we have established strategic partnerships with 15 countries and comprehensive partnerships with 10, including all G7 countries. Vietnam is an active member of more than 70 international organisations and multilateral forums, such as the UN, ASEAN, APEC and Asia-Europe Meeting. It joined the World Trade Organisation in 2007, played an active role in the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 and is party to 12 free trade agreements (FTA), including the EU-Vietnam FTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These have helped increase the openness of the Vietnamese economy, and in 2016 the total trade turnover was $360bn, equal to 1.7 times our GDP. Vietnam’s achievement after 30 years of Doi Moi would not be possible without the support and contribution of foreign investors and enterprises. According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2016” report, Vietnam moved up nine notches, ranking 82nd out of 190 economies. Today, Vietnam has more than 22,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in progress, with a total committed capital of $300bn. FDI contributes about 20% to Vietnam’s GDP, so we are committed to creating the most favourable conditions for foreign enterprises that want to do business in Vietnam.
Against the backdrop of rapid developments in the world, Vietnam is intensifying economic restructuring with a growth model based on competitiveness and comparative advantage. Efforts are being focused on better participation in value chains and the global production network, as well as deepening international integration and capacity building to participate in higher value-added stages. The government of Vietnam will continue to promote democracy, social progress and justice, ensure social security and welfare, and raise living standards. We will also place emphasis on a proactive response to climate change, effective management of the country’s natural resources and protection of the environment. Vietnam is committed to reform in order to build an action-oriented government that enables development. Also, we are striving to create the best investment environment possible for development, as we believe that the success of our investors is the success of our country. Business satisfaction in Vietnam will be a measure of the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the government’s performance.
I am confident that with the government’s resolve, the strong will of the people and the business community, and the cooperation of international partners, Vietnam will report greater successes. Vietnam is not just a land of dreams and promises, it is a land of true potential and opportunities.
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