Posted at Gnama Internacional on February 16, 2012
THIS year is a crucial one for the Vietnamese people. Accompanied by the positive influence of the Dragon – the zodiac sign which rules 2012 in Vietnamese culture – the government is aspiring to advance in the projects of building socialism and national modernization.
A point has been reached described by Prensa Latina as “marked by an attempt to stabilize the macro-economy and establish the mechanisms of a society with substantial development plans, with much potential as well as burdens and challenges.”
Vietnam recorded notable economic growth in 2011, in spite of the international crisis and its own internal problems. In fact, the country is in 26th place among 100 economies with the most rapid growth. Its gross domestic product reached 5.9%, thanks to increased exports and domestic demand, particularly for agricultural products, textiles and oil.
Looking ahead in the context of the Vietnamese New Year, President Truong Tan Sang stated, “The country’s immediate priority is to pave the way for industrialization and higher living standards.” At the same time he admitted that the problem of inflation persists, although measures have been adopted to reduce increased living costs.
Speaking from the Voice of Vietnam broadcasting station, the President reiterated that the country’s policy “is to be perceived as a trusted friend and partner within the international community, to become part of its dynamic and resolve any differences with a view to the future.”
Since 1986 Vietnam has been involved in a process known as Doi moi, or renovation, whose dialectical essence consists of developing policies which respond to the demands of the particular historic moment. What functioned 25 years ago now requires a new perspective and different approach and Vietnamese authorities are doing just that.
In this context, one of the changes planned for the Year of the Dragon is a reform of the judicial system, the responsibility of a commission headed by President Tan Sang and elected last year by the 13th Parliamentary Legislature. “The country must construct a justice system which defends the current political regime, human rights and citizens’ obligations,” he stated.
The National Assembly has already begun to agree modifications and amendments to the 1992 Constitution, with the aim of adjusting them to contemporary challenges and development goals.
The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs have been working together to reduce poverty and create 1.6 million new jobs this year (a total similar to the number created in 2011). This commitment is backed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which has decided to promote food production in areas with fewer resources.
Last year these government entities made a significant contribution to social security, professional training and care of senior citizens in these areas.
VIETNAM IN ECOSOC
This year Vietnam was admitted for a five-year term to the Social Development Committee of the UN Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC). Together with Nepal and Bangladesh, the nation was appointed Asian representative in this international agency, whose work is directed at eliminating hunger and reducing poverty.
The Vietnamplus web page states, “This appointment constitutes an act of praise on the part of the international community for the achievements of Vietnamese social development and will allow us to have a stronger voice in planning and implementing global policies to promote sustainable social progress.”
In November 2011, the UN Development Program (UNDP) noted that the Vietnamese human development index increased by close to 12% during the last decade. The report specified that higher income contributed 55.7% to this increase. Improvements in life expectancy figures and in education contributed 31.8% and 12.6% respectively. Vietnam has now entered the list of countries with average GDP growth.