Thinking About the Prime Minister’s 2014 New Year Message

PM Nguyen Tan DungSome say that it was ” … a powerful, substantive, and persuasive case for the need for reforms. His speech was unprecedented in its intellectual force and clarity. Among other things, it called for greater democracy, accountability, and transparency, as well as the need for a more competent, disciplined, and market-regarding state.” So it may be worth reading again and thinking about some of the key points.


Competitiveness 
“Many international organizations have ranked economies in terms of competitiveness. It is an important reference index about each country position in the global race. Those having higher competitiveness will have more opportunities to overtake and head for rapid and sustainable development.”

“Competitiveness is determined by many factors. Among those, institutional quality and business environment are of primary importance. Institutional quality generates not only intrinsic impacts but also influences the business environment and competitiveness of the economy as a whole and each enterprise. As a result, it is the prerequisite to fully tap national advantages. It is impossible to attain high competitiveness without high quality institutions and modern national governance.”

“In recent years, our competitiveness has not been significantly improved. Economic growth and restructuring have slowed down, social pressing issues emerged. One of the main causes is that driving force created by reforms is no longer strong enough to further promote development. It is time we need a new momentum to regain impetus for growth and sustainable development. Such a driving force must come from institutional reform and stronger promotion of the mastership right of the People.”

Democracy and Law
Democracy and law-governed state are twins in a modern political institution. President Ho Chi Minh wrote ‘Hundred things must have the God of legitimacy.’ The people have the rights to do anything that are not prohibited by law, interpret laws to protect their legitimate rights and benefits. State agencies and civil servants are only allowed to do things stipulated by laws. Every decision by State must be transparent.”

“The State must ensure and bring into full play the real mastership right of the People, particularly the right to participate in the policy-making process, the right to choose their representatives and the property ownership.”

Work Force Development
“The State needs to adopt policies to build high-quality workforce and mobilize resources for socio-economic infrastructure to meet the development requirements. It is crucial to actively integrate into the global community and create favorable conditions for national construction and protection.”

Consultation on Law/Regulations
“The interaction between State agencies, between the State apparatus and socio-political organizations must be strengthened. Dialogues with the people and businesses must be expanded under various forms to promote closer relationship between the State, cadres, civil servants and the people and better match policy and legislation with reality.”

Strategic breakthrough of the socialist-oriented market economy

“In the past years, great strides have been made in the completion of the socialist-oriented market economy with focus on creating a leveled playing field and administrative reform. … a strategic breakthrough defined by the Resolution of the 11th National Party Congress. … market economy rules must, in the first place, be fully respected while regulatory tools and distribution policies be put in practice to guarantee social equality and social progress. Focus should be made to address two important and closely-related issues, namely market price mechanism for essential goods and services and fair competition. The pricing of essential goods and services by the State must be accurate and sufficient in terms of costs; price-formulating elements must be made transparent and the market price mechanism must be persevered with a suitable roadmap.

Restructure SOEs
“Resolute efforts must be made to restructure State-owned enterprises, focusing on SOEs equitization, including economic corporations; withdrawing capital from non-core businesses and selling shares that the State does not need to control even in profit-making enterprises under market rules.”

Modernize the Agricultural / Food Sector
“In recent years, agricultural growth rate has gradually slowed down, the shortcomings of an agricultural sector on the basis of scattered household economy, low productivity and quality in the context of increasingly fierce competition have been revealed. Therefore, it is a must to effectively realize the three strategic breakthrouhgs, renew the growth model and restructure the economy, especially speeding up agricultural restructuring towards value-added improvement, sustainable development in combination with new rural area building makes up an essential part. This pressing task needs to be fulfilled by implementing comprehensive solutions, in which focus must be made to combine scientific and technological application with the reorganization of agricultural production.”

Need a 2nd Doi Moi
“This is an opportunity to move forward with bolder reform. our country faced and overcame the socio-economic crisis in the early 1980s with the launching of the reform policy. Our country  move forward with comprehensive reform … to strengthen national building … with a prosperous people, strong, democratic, just, and advanced country.”

Full Text
Tiếng Việt:  Thông điệp năm mới của Thủ tướng Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Jan 1, 2014
English:      Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s New Year Message, Jan 1, 2014

Published: Mar 9, 2014. Updated: Mar 12, 2014