Hanoi (VNA) – Seventy-eight years ago, after the great victory of the August Revolution, on September 2, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence, marking the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Taking firm steps on the path chosen by the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh, over the past 78 years, the country has unceasingly struggled to defend its independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity with the spirit of “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”.
Numerous significant achievements have been obtained, demonstrating the Vietnamese people’s solidarity and aspiration to move forward while affirming the country as a friend, trustworthy partner, and active and responsible member of the international community.
Rapid economic growth has been sustained, people’s life quality improved, political and social stability maintained, defence – security guaranteed, external relations expanded, integration into the world promoted, and active and responsible contributions made to help with regional and global peace and cooperation.
Impressive economic attainments
After seizing power, the country faced countless difficulties, including a backward economy. Thanks to numerous efforts, the Party managed to build a creed for the revolution in the new period and outlined a long-term economic development strategy. As a result, the Vietnamese economy has made development breakthroughs.
The annual GDP growth averaged 5% during 1996 – 2016 and exceeded 7% during 2018 – 2019. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while many countries suffered from an economic recession, Vietnam was among the few sustaining growth, with a rate of 2.9% in 2020.
In 2022, Vietnam posted year-on-year economic growth of 8.02%, the fastest pace between 2011 and 2022. The rate stood at 3.72% in the first half of 2023. Amid global economic headwinds, international financial institutions forecast the country’s GDP growth rate at around 5% this year.
The economic structure has been shifted towards modernity, with the shares of the industrial and service sectors expanding and agriculture shrinking.
Export revenue has increased over the years. Total foreign trade topped 732 billion USD in 2022, rising 9.5% year on year and resulting in a surplus of 11.2 billion USD, marking the seventh consecutive year of trade surplus. The trade turnover surpassed 435 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, with a surplus of 20.19 billion USD, statistics show.
With political stability and an increasingly improved investment climate, Vietnam has established itself as an attractive destination for foreign investors. According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the country attracted over 18 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) as of August 20, 2023, up 8.2% from a year earlier.
Particularly, a number of successes have been recorded in tourism, which has become a key sector of the national economy. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Vietnam welcomed 18 million international arrivals, which stood at 7.8 million during the first eight months of 2023 or 97.5% of the year’s target.
People’s life quality improved
Alongside economic development, the Party and State have also consistently paid attention to developing cultural and social aspects and improving people’s quality of life.
An outstanding success over the nearly 40 years of Doi moi (Renewal) is the effective handling of the relationship between economic growth and cultural development, social progress and equality practicing.
As a result, annual per capita income has surged, from 86 USD in 1988 to 4,110 USD in 2022, turning Vietnam into a middle-income developing country from a lower-middle-income country.
In particular, the country has reached impressive goals in poverty alleviation, with the household poverty rate brought down to 7% in 2015 from 58% in 1993. The rate, as measured according to multidimensional poverty criteria, dropped to 4.3% in 2022.
Education has also developed in terms of scale and types of schools from the preschool to higher education levels.
Progress has also been recorded in public health care, with the health insurance coverage expanded and community health indexes promoted. The Human Development Index has continually increased over the past decades, reaching 0.706 in 2020 – one of the highest in the world.
In addition, the care for war invalids, families of martyrs, and other revolution contributors has received attention from the Party, State, and society, helping ensure their living conditions are equal to or higher than the average of residents in their areas.
Defence, security guaranteed
Vietnam has firmly safeguarded its sovereignty and territorial integrity, along with political stability, social order, and safety.
By taking appropriate measures, it has resolutely defended its national sovereignty, including the sovereignty over seas and islands, and maintained peace and stability for national development. Besides, it has made proactive moves to prevent and thwart plots of “peaceful evolution”, sabotage, disturbances, and subversion by hostile forces while curbing the increase of crimes.
The all-round strength of the Vietnam People’s Army and the People’s Public Security has been enhanced, with large and powerful military reserve and militia forces ready to protect the Fatherland under any circumstances. Defence and security safeguarding have been effectively combined with the building of socialism and the protection of the socialist Vietnamese Fatherland. Besides, economic development tasks have also been combined with defence, security, and diplomatic duties.
At the same time, the socialist democracy has been reinforced and the law-governed socialist State “of the people, by the people, and for the people” increasingly consolidated.
Vietnam’s stature in international area unceasingly promoted
The biggest achievement that also affirms Vietnam’s stature in the international arena is that the country has not only succeeded in having embargoes, blockade and isolation removed but also built a fresh perspective on its relations with other countries, in both bilateral and multilateral aspects.
As of 2022, Vietnam had set up diplomatic ties with 190 countries. It has also created a framework for stable and long-term friendship and cooperation with intertwined interests with all neighbouring and regional countries.
Since joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995, Vietnam has made substantial contributions to enhancing solidarity of ASEAN, upholding the association’s fundamental principles, and strengthening intra-bloc cooperation, thus helping promoting the bloc’s role and stature in the region and the world.
Vietnam currently has relations with over 500 international organisations. It has signed more than 90 bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) and nearly 60 investment facilitation and protection deals.
The country has negotiated, signed, and implemented 17 FTAs, including new-generation ones such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU – Vietnam FTA (EVFTA), and the UK – Vietnam FTA (UKVFTA). Notably, it is one of the countries in the region taking the lead in shaping multilateral economic cooperation frameworks.
Given the enormous achievements Vietnam has obtained so far, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has affirmed that the country has never gained such a fortune, strength, stature, and prestige as it is having today./.