Friday, 14 January 2011

Vietnam vows to become a modern industrialised state by 2020

Vietnam's ruling Communist Party opened its 11th National Congress amid talk that its economic policy has steered off course. Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh said it is imperative to boost the economy, curb inflation and better manage state-owned firms in order to achieve modernisation and turn Vietnam into an industrial power.

“We must pay attention to the quality and efficiency of growth and sustainable development…We must combine economic growth with social progress and equality,” said Manh.

Over 1,400 delegates opened the meeting with the singing of the Communist anthem. The task in hand for the congress is to choose party leaders for the new central committee consisting of 200 members, who will be selected by the end of the nine day gathering in Hanoi.

In recent months, Vietnam has been beset by a trade deficit, mounting inflation and a near-bankruptcy of the state-owned shipbuilding conglomerate, Vinashin. Speaking about the plans for the country's future, Manh said that Vientnam aims to raise growth from 7 per cent to 8 per cent by 2020, and intends to triple per capita income to $3,000 in that time.

Manh told the congress that the nation must, "renew the growth model and restructure the economy to speed up industrialisation and modernisation with fast and sustainable development… The strategy is to strive towards 2020 so that our country will basically become an industrialised nation."

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who introduced the speakers and oversaw the proceedings, will find out this week, during the nine day gathering, whether he will be reappointed to the Politburo, a move that would secure him a return as premier when the National Assembly chooses government officials in May.

Sources: Bloomberg, VOVNews, Morning Star Online, BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Vietnam, please see Vietnam Focus.

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