(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 30, 2011
ELEVENTH CONGRESS OF CP VIETNAM
'Continue Doi Moi More Forcefully
for Successful Construction of Socialism'
N S Arjun
THE recently concluded Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam has resolved to continue more forcefully and comprehensively doi moi (renewal process launched in 1986) in order to ensure successful construction of socialism in the country. After reviewing the 25 years experience of the renewal process, the 20 years implementation of the 'Political Program for National Construction during the period of transition to Socialism' and the '10 year strategy for socio-economic development for 2001-2010', the Eleventh Congress formulated the tasks for implementation during the tenure of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Party. One of the important overall goals for this coming period is to 'continue to raise the Party's leadership and combat capacity' while striving further to improve the people's living conditions.
The Political Report presented in the Congress by the general secretary of the tenth tenure Central Committee, Nong Duc Manh, called for placing special emphasis on handling certain major dialectical relationships while undertaking the tasks. Among the important relationships it identified included between economic renewal and political renewal; between market economy and socialist orientation; between developing productive forces and shaping and gradually improving socialist production relations; and between leadership by the Party, governance by the State and ownership by the people.
The report highlights the achievements on the economic front made during the past five years since the Tenth Congress. Facing many international and domestic challenges, particularly the global financial crisis, the entire Party, people and army did their best to achieve the goals set by the Tenth Congress. The result being that today Vietnam is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia with an average growth rate of 7 per cent. In 2010, estimated GDP at present prices was $101.6 billion, a 100 per cent increase compared to the year 2000. The average GDP per capita at present is $1168. The target is to take it to $2000 by 2015 and to $3000 by 2020. Even in the global financial crisis period, Vietnam attracted an FDI of almost $45 billion during the period 2006-2010, exceeding the set plan target by 77 per cent. The macro-economic stability has largely been maintained. The process of modernisation and industrialisation has helped Vietnam upgrade its infrastructure. There are now around 250 industrial zones and various key economic regions, playing a key role in the goal of making Vietnam a modern industrial country by 2020.
The stable development of agriculture, especially food production has ensured national food security. From being a poor and starving country ravaged by imperialist wars, Vietnam has today become the world’s second biggest rice exporter with 6 million tonnes of rice exported in 2010. The focus on investment to build rural infrastructure, boosting productivity through new breeds of high quality seeds etc has resulted in the improvement of rural economy in general and farmers lives in particular, notes the report. The record as far as hunger elimination and poverty reduction go is also exemplary. Poverty rate fell from 58 per cent in 1993 to 9 per cent in 2010 while 8 million new jobs were created during the past five years. The rate of unemployment in urban areas has been brought down to 4.5 per cent. The UN has acknowledged that Vietnam is on the path of achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals by the year 2015. The HDI improved from 0.683 in 2000 to 0.733 in 2008, ranking 100th out of 177 countries.
The socialist-oriented market economy institutions have been further built and perfected during this period. Party's policy of renewal guidelines have been further institutionalised in the form of laws and regulations resulting in improvement in investment and business environment. The report highlights how the State corporations have been strengthened. In the 2006-2010 period, the State enterprises have increased their production by 2.3 times and their capital by 7.3 times as compared to five years earlier. It may be mentioned here that as per the latest survey conducted by 'Vietnam Report' on top 500 companies in Vietnam, the state-owned companies or corporations account for a dominant 46 per cent, holding a key role in the Vietnamese economy.
On the issue of promoting and broadening socialist democracy within the Party, organisations and society in general, the report notes “the Party and the State continued to map out guidelines and policies in order to further promote the people's right as the owner, ensure people's interests and their supervisory role over the operation of Party organisations, State agencies, cadres, Party members and civil servants”. The great national unity bloc based on the working class-peasantry-intelligentsia alliance under the Party's leadership has been further broadened and intensified with an agreed goal for “a prosperous people, a strong country and an equitable, democratic and civilised society”.
As for Party building and rectification work, the report underlines that after enhanced efforts on this aspect, “the majority of cadres, Party members and people are pleased and confident in the Party and State, the renewal process and the prospect for development of the country. Positive thinking remains the mainstream in social life. Results have been achieved in consolidating and enhancing the capacity of Party leadership and combativeness. More attention has been paid to the building and consolidating of grassroots Party organisations in important and disadvantaged areas and sectors. The number of newly admitted Party members has increased annually during the last five years. The ratio of new members who are young, female, intellectuals and from ethnic minorities has increased compared to the previous term. The expansion and promotion of democracy within the Party has been emphasised. Direct election of standing committees, secretaries, deputy secretaries at Party congresses has been piloted.
The Political Report also self critically takes note of the shortcomings and weaknesses on various fronts. On the economic front, it notes that the “economic development is not sustainable; the quality, efficiency and competitiveness remain low and incommensurate with the potential, opportunities and development requirements of the country”. Stating that the economic growth has been achieved mainly through increased investment and exploitation of natural resources, it underlined that the macro-economic balance is not stable. It called for developing manufacturing and processing industry rapidly. As compared to other countries in the region, the labour productivity remains very low. The efficiency of investment capital is also low and there is wastefulness and loss of investment capital, particularly in the State sector. The gaps in development levels between regions are big and tend to widen. The report self critically notes, “adequate attention has not been paid to factors which ensure socialist orientation of the market economy... Confusion, loopholes and inadequate control have been seen sometimes in market management, especially in real estate market and financial market, leading to speculation and illicit enrichment for certain people”.
As for education, it notes that there has not been a vigorous shift in education and training to meet the requirements of industrialisation and modernisation. It also notes that science and technology have not really become driving forces and have not closely linked to the objectives and tasks of socio-economic development. Although there has been progress in poverty reduction, the report accepts that it has not been sustainable. “The ratio of re-impoverishment is high. The rich-poor gap remains relatively big and is widening.” On the social and cultural front, it notes as “worrying problems” the “penetration of harmful products and services which degrade people's morality, especially of the adolescents and youngsters”.
As for the Party organisation, the report notes very self critically that there has been “political, ideological, ethical and lifestyle degradation in quite a segment of cadres and Party members”. Corruption, wastefulness, bureaucratism, negative practices and social evils have not been checked and repelled, and continue to develop complicatedly. The report starkly highlights the danger thus: “Combined with the rich-poor gap and weaknesses in governance at many levels and in many sectors these trends have reduced the people's confidence in the Party and the State, threatening the stability and development of the country”. It also notes that the building of grassroots Party organisations has been slow in private and foreign-invested enterprises, where the role of Party organisations remains limited. The report calls for taking more widely and in depth the campaign 'To learn from and follow Ho Chi Minh's moral example' within the Party.
The Central Committee of the tenth tenure drew the following lessons from the practice of leading and steering the implementation of the Resolution of the Tenth Congress of the Party:
Firstly, in whatever condition and eventuality, to persevere in implementing the renewal guidelines and objectives; steadfastly and creatively apply Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought and persist with the goals of national independence and socialism.
Secondly, to attach serious importance to quality of growth and making it sustainable; raising the quality and efficiency of the economy while sustaining a reasonable growth rate and macro-economic stability.
Thirdly, to lay emphasis on closely combining economic growth with execution of social progress and equity; ensuring social security care for the people, particularly the poor and inhabitants of remote areas, especially in the context of economic difficulty and recession.
Fourthly, to pay particular attention to consolidating and building the Party politically, ideologically and organisationally; develop a contingent of cadres and Party members who are politically steadfast, clean in ethics and lifestyle, with high combativeness and professional proficiency.
Fifthly, leadership and guidance should be sharp, determines and creative, closely following the realities of the country; attach importance to forecasting while suggesting solutions relevant to new situations.
The discussions in the Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam, in the words of the new general secretary, were “heated and democratic”. They focussed on a range of issues centred around how to apply and develop Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thought creatively in accordance with the new global context and specific conditions of Vietnam.
CPV Central Committee member and Editor-in-Chief of Communist Review, Party ideological monthly, while participating in the discussion highlighted the need to creatively apply Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thoughts in the transitional period to socialism in Vietnam. He said “The course of implementing the renewal policy over the past 25 years has shown that the more our national construction and development advance, the more complicated and difficult issues we will face, which will place our country in new opportunities as well as new challenges.”
Many delegates underscored the need to develop multi-sectoral economy in which the State-run economy plays a key role. In addition, State-owned enterprises (SoEs) need equitising to be turned into major economic groups under the strict control of the State so that SoEs can perform well its role as an economic engine. The government should hold sway in managing businesses. To help businesses deal with their losses or low profits, the State needs to revamp institutions and management mechanisms for investment and the use of State capital and assets to offer favourable conditions for businesses to be more active, dynamic and creative in production and business.
CPV Central Committee member and president of Vietnam General Conferderation of Labour, Dang Ngoc Tung, in his speech stressed the necessity of building a strong Vietnamese working class – a force on the nation's path to industrialisation and modernisation. He noted that although the working class accounts for only 21 per cent of the country's total labour force and 11 per cent of the population, it contributes more than 60 per cent of social products and 70 per cent of the State budget. He stressed the need to provide more training in politics to the working class and imbibe them with greater national spirit.
Given the rapid advancement in economy, there is an associated problem of corruption that is plaguing the government and the Party. CPV Central Committee member and chief of the the Central Office on Anti-Corruption, Vu Tien Chien while participating in the discussion called on Party committees from all levels and Party leaders to take a lead in the fight against corruption. He stressed the link of successfully fighting this menace in order to win the people's confidence and also help in promoting socio-economic development of the country. Conceding that the struggle against corruption is a complex and difficult struggle, he wanted the participation of all citizens in the struggle.
Both in the discussions as well as in the Political Report, the danger posed by hostile forces has been highlighted. These forces continue to execute “peaceful evolution” scheme, stir up subversive unrest and use “democracy” and “human rights” covers in order to change the political system of the country. In this context it has been noted how the People's Army and People's Police have proactively contributed in preventing and defeating the hostile forces' ploys of “peaceful evolution”.
The Eleventh Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam concluded with the call to the entire Party, people, army and overseas Vietnamese to further uphold the glorious tradition of the nation and Party and promote patriotism, self-reliance and persistence in pursuing national independence and socialism. It affirmed that “only socialism can ensure genuine independence and freedom for our nation, prosperity and development for our country, and a life of plenty and happiness for our people”. Despite the apparent difficulties arising out of both national and international factors, the more than eighty years of fighting history of the Communist Party of Vietnam gives us the confidence that it will definitely overcome these challenges and emerge victorious, as always.