NA devotes itself to serving people

July 26, 2021 | 09:00
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Vietnam’s new National Assembly for the 15th tenure has been officially elected and are expected to create more high-quality legal frameworks for the country across various sectors, as part of the dream of becoming a more affluent nation sooner rather than later.
Vuong Dinh Hue (second from right) has become the 15th National Assembly Chairman
Vuong Dinh Hue (second from right) has become the 15th National Assembly Chairman

The first session of the 15th National Assembly (NA) kicked off last Tuesday and officially re-elected Vuong Dinh Hue, Politburo member and Chairman of the 14th NA, to be the head of the 15th legislative body, with all 475 votes in favour.

After the ballot, Hue took the oath of office, saying “Under the national flag and before the NA and constituents and people nationwide, I vow to be completely faithful to the country, people, and the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. I will do my utmost to accomplish all tasks assigned by the Party, the state, and the people.”

On March 31, professor in economics Hue, who was also Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, became the new Chairman of the 14th legislature as well as chairman of the National Election Council.

Replacing former NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, 64-year-old Hue has become the 12th NA chairperson since 1946 when Vietnam’ first general election was held.

Other NA vice chairmen were also elected last week, including Tran Thanh Man, Nguyen Khac Dinh, Tran Quang Phuong, and Nguyen Duc Hai. Chairpersons of the NA’s committees were also elected.

Big expectations

The new NA, together with a facilitating new government to be elected this week under the law, and under the leadership of the Party, will enable the country to become more prosperous, with favourable conditions to continue being created for all, and with the nation’s stature and prestige continuing to be enhanced in the region and the wider world.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong told the NA last week at the opening ceremony that the new assembly needs to continue strongly enhancing its role and position in creating legal frameworks for the country’s activities, serving socioeconomic development, and ensuring national security and defence.

“It must accelerate and improve the quality of legal documents it enacts, soon building up a complete and synchronous law system with quality ensured and meeting requirements of realities,” Party General Secretary Trong stressed. “A priority must be placed on newly formulating and supplementing laws in key sectors with high feasibility, and being able to create breakthroughs in socioeconomic development.”

The Party chief also asked the new NA to continue renewing and ameliorating the effectiveness in its supervision activities, especially specialised supervision ones, and also to make its Q&A activities more active, with democracy enhanced and a rise in debatement and deep analysis.

“It is necessary to improve the quality of the decisions on important national issues in a more precise and practical manner, especially those decisions on the state budget, socioeconomic development, organisation of state apparatus, and national-level works,” Party General Secretary Trong noted.

For the time being, he said, the NA must institutionalise and concretise important policies affirmed at the 13th National Party Congress organised in early this year, and make thorough preparations for the 15th NA to operate effectively, meeting people’s aspirations.

“All NA deputies in this tenure need to enhance their responsibility and devote themselves to the country and the people, serving the fatherland and the people. They must frequently train themselves and keep their fine ethics and expertise in all facets, and they must always listen to the ideas from the public, and well perform the tasks assigned by constituents,” the Party chief stressed.

This week, the NA will officially elect the state president, vice state president, and prime minister, and deputy prime ministers as well as other ministers.

The incumbent State President is Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and the incumbent Vice State President is Vo Thi Anh Xuan. Meanwhile, the current Prime Minister is Pham Minh Chinh, with five deputy prime ministers being Pham Binh Minh, Vu Duc Dam, Le Minh Khai, Le Van Thanh, and Truong Hoa Binh. The new government will have only four deputy prime ministers.

On May 23, nearly 70 million voters went to polling stations across the country to elect deputies to the 15th NA and all-level people’s councils for 2021-2026. Nearly 100 per cent of voters performed their legal right and obligation, demonstrating their increasing interest in the NA and its relevance to people’s lives. As many as 499 NA deputies and about 264,000 deputies of all-level people’s councils have been elected.

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said, “This was the first biggest-ever election. The success has all the more affirmed the unconquerable strength of the national solidarity bloc. The more difficult it is, the more the national solidarity and patriotism, self-reliance, and aspirations for development are enhanced and pervade everywhere more strongly than ever.”

Striving to reach goals

Under the resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, the Party had specified goals for Vietnam’s development. Specifically, the nation will become a developing country with modernity-oriented industrial development by 2025 when per capita GDP will be $4,700-5,000; a developing upper-middle-income nation by 2030 with modern industrial development; and a developed economy with high income by 2045 – meaning a GDP of $2.5 trillion with per capita income of about $18,000 a year.

To this end, one of the strategic breakthroughs that the Party has specified will be “creating a good system of laws, mechanisms, and policies, while establishing a favourable, healthy, and fair investment and business climate for all economic sectors, with the promotion of innovation and the mobilisation, management, and effective use of all resources for development - especially land, finance, and public-private partnerships.”

Despite the health crisis, after growing 4.48 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, the Vietnamese economy bounced back to 6.61 per cent in the second quarter. In the first six months of this year, it grew 5.64 per cent as compared to the only 1.81 per cent rise in the corresponding period last year. Last November, the National Assembly set an economic growth target of 6 per cent for this year. In January, the government set a target of about 6.5 for the entire year.

The World Bank is expecting Vietnam’s economy will continue to flourish for 2021 as a whole.

“By all standards, Vietnam has managed the crisis very well. Looking ahead, Vietnam’s prospects appear positive as the economy is projected to grow by about 6.8 per cent in 2021 and, thereafter, stabilise at around 6.5 per cent. This projection assumes that the COVID-19 crisis will be brought gradually under control, notably through the introduction of an effective vaccine,” said the World Bank in its recent economic update for Vietnam.

Standard Chartered also remains bullish over the Vietnamese economy’s outlook this year. It continues to expect Vietnam’s strong growth this year and next, with forecast for 2021 at 6.5 per cent, slightly lowered from the previous forecast of 6.7 per cent. The bank maintains its 7.3 per cent growth forecast for 2022, continuing to expect a post-COVID economic acceleration. The current COVID outbreak may pose downside risks to the forecast.

In this week, the legislative body will also discuss the country’s socioeconomic situation for the first six months of this year and for the latter half of 2021; and the 2021-2025 Socioeconomic Development Plan. Also on the agenda of the session will be a discussion on Vietnam’s 2021-2025 financial plan, the 2021-2025 plan for public debt payment, and discussion on the 2019 state budget.

One of the biggest outcomes of the session this week will be the approval by the NA of a hallmark resolution on socioeconomic development for the 2021-2025 period, which set a relatively high economic growth rate of 6.5-7 per cent a year. The resolution also maps out solutions for Vietnam to hit this goal.

By Thanh Dat

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