Economic reforms, trade openness secret of Vietnam’s development: Ambassador Phong


Ambassador of Vietnam to Pakistan, Nguyen Tien Phong on Thursday said that economic reforms and trade openness are the secret of Vietnam’s modern development.

For the sake of the country’s survival, the Vietnam’ communist party and its Leaders adopted economic reform namely “DoiMoi” (shifting from a planned and centralized economy to a market economy with socialist orientation), the Ambassador of Vietnam to Pakistan told APP here on the occasion of 77th independence day of Vietnam.

The Ambassador said that from a country faced with perpetual food shortages, Vietnam became the world’s second largest rice exporter in 1986-1989.

He informed that after the country was completely reunified, the people of Vietnam have been joining hands to the national construction from the ash of wars.

Replying to a question, he said that Viet Nam had officially signed 15 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), including 14 that have already taken effect and also negotiating two other FTAs.

Ambassador Phong said that among the 14 that have taken effect, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was the first next-generation FTA Viet Nam signed, followed by the EU-VietNam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Nowadays, Vietnam has integrated itself deeply into the world economy at different levels and in different forms, with the formation of strategic partnership with many partners, he said.

So far, 71 countries have recognised Vietnam’s market economy, including many large economic partners.

The Ambassador said that Vietnam has signed 90 bilateral trade agreements, 60 agreements on investment promotion and protection, 54 agreements on double taxation, 18 FTAs with 56 countries and economies in the world, of which 6 FTAs are actively participating outside of ASEAN framework or with ASEAN partner countries.

The new generation FTAs Vietnam has signed including: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), the UK-Vietnam FTA (UKVFTA), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)…

He said that Vietnam is also an active and responsible member of international organisations.

Particularly, in 2020, Vietnam successfully performed three roles at the same time – a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the ASEAN Chair and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) President.

Replying to another question, he said that Viet Nam’s import-export turnover surpassed $500 billion in 2019 and reached $543.9 billion in 2020. Export value increased sharply, to $281.5 billion in 2020 from $176.6 billion in 2016, with annual growth averaging 11.7% in the 2016-2020 period;

The number of export items earning turnover in excess of $1 billion increased from 28 in 2016 to 31 in 2020, accounting for 91.9% of total export value. Of note, six items now post turnover of more than $10 billion, equal to 64.3% of total export value, he added.

He said that Viet Nam exported $281.5 billion worth of products in 2020, up 6.5% over 2019, in which the value of exports by the domestic sector was $78.2 billion, down 1.1% and accounting for 27.8% of the total, while the value of exports by the FDI sector (including crude oil) was $203.3 billion, a rise of 9.7% and equal to 72.2% of the total.

In the first half of 2021, the country’s import-export turnover reached $316.73 billion, an increase of 32.2% compared to the same period of 2020, he said.

The Ambassador said that GDP continues to expand, standing at some $400 billion in 2021, an increase of about 1.7-fold compared to 2015.

According to the IMF, in October 2020, Viet Nam surpassed Singapore and Malaysia and became the fourth-largest economy in Southeast Asia, behind Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. GDP per capita was estimated at $3,521, about 1.6-fold higher than the figure in 2015.

He said that import-export value in 2020 stood at $543.9 billion, an increase of nearly 1.7-fold compared to 2015 and 158% of GDP.

The flows of FDI into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which Viet Nam is a member, went up for a fourth consecutive year, setting a record of $182 billion in 2019 from $155 billion in 2018 and accounting for 11.9% of total global FDI capital, he added.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, as of September 20, 2021, total newly-registered, adjusted, and paid-in capital for share purchases by foreign investors in Viet Nam reached $22.15 billion, up 4.4% against the same period last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

In the first nine months of 2021, the country registered 1,216 new FDI projects with capital of $12.5 billion, while disbursed capital stood at $13.28 billion.

Ambassador informed that on 2 September 1945, President Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam national hero and cultural sage of the world, read the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming before the people of the Country and the world at large the birth of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam – the Socialist Republic of VietNam today.

Over the past 77 years, under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh and the Communist Party of Vietnam and in the spirit of “nothing is more precious than independence and freedom”, with the unity of the strength of the whole nation combined with the strength of the times, the valuable support and solidarity of international friends, Viet Nam has achieved immense and historic triumphs in every area, notably reunification of the Nation in 1975, he said.


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