VGP – PM Nguyen Tan Dung on January 7, 2016 approved the Overall strategy for international integration through 2020, vision to 2030. The following is the translation of the strategy for reference.
OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNATIONAL INTEGRATION PROCESS
The process of reform, open-door policy and international integration in Viet Nam over the past three decades has brought about great achievements which contributed to heightening the position and enhancing the strength of the country. However, the degree of international integration remains low in many fields while effectiveness of international integration is not high.
- INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
Viet Nam’s international economic integration was accelerated dynamicaly in various forms with a roadmap towards absorbing rules and standards of the global economy and market. Viet Nam has gradually opened its economy and market by establishing bilateral relations in trade, investment and finance and by participating in multilateral mechanisms in those areas. Up to now, Viet Nam has become member of all major international organizations; accessed, signed or joined talks on 15 free trade agreements (FTA) in total. When it comes to the number of signed FTAs, Viet Nam ranks in the middle among ASEAN countries. In the years to come, the contry will focus on realizing FTAs with such partners like Japan, the European Union, and major regional FTAs like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Regarding the degree of integration, Viet Nam has integrated more deeply and widely in the ASEAN Economic Community than in any other frameworks.
International economic integration has produced positive effects on national economic development as it helped expand export markets, lure foreign direct investment, improve business environment and competitiveness of the economy, businesses and products, create impetus for developing and perfecting institutions of the socialist-oriented market economy, etc. Simultaneously, it has also helped heighten Viet Nam’s position evidenced by: Equal participation in regional and international mechanisms and forums like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the Word Trade Organization (WTO); gradual contribution to common rules and standards; and empoyment of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to protect interests of businesses and improve Viet Nam’s position in talks.
However, there remain numerous shortcomings, particularly the effectiveness of integration is still low. Though many international commitments have been signed, domestic innovations, particularly economic institutions and preparations of enterprises-organizations-individuals, took place incommensurately with the level of the commitments; international rules and standards were not fully and effectively utilized in order to safeguard the interests of the State, enterprises and individuals in the process of integration; strategies were not developed to cope with risks and shocks encountered on the path of integration. Information and support policies were not effectively carried out to help businesses grasp opportunities and cope with challenges of international integration. Internal integration and linkages among regions received inadequate attention. The guidelines to “build an independent and self-reliant economy” and “diversify and multi-lateralize international relations” were not thoroughly grasped, dependence on some industries, markets, and foreign-invested sectors increased quickly, etc.
- POLITIC, DEFENSE AND SECURITY INTEGRATION
In general, politic, defense and security integration has been deployed cautiously in terms of steps and scope in each field. Regarding politic realm, Viet Nam has become member of almost all regional and international organizations; set up diplomatic relations with 185 countries, economic ties with 224 countries and territories, strategic partnership with 15 countries, comprehensive partnership with 10 countries. In defense and security sphere, Viet Nam has enhanced and consolidated relations with 80 countries and many international organizations, gradually improved the effectiveness of cooperation with neighboring countries and powers like China, the US, Russia, India and Japan.
Multi-lateral cooperation has gradually been expanded. Viet Nam has joined actively and responsibly in multi-lateral mechanisms, especially regional ones like the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Shangri-La Dialogue, the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting (ADMM), the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+), the Meeting of ASEAN Chiefs of Security Agencies (MACOSA), INTERPOL, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), ASEANPOL, etc and strengthened defense and security ties on global scale, gradually and effectively participated in the UN-led peacekeeping operations.
Political, defense and security integration has produced positively effects on international economic integration as well as integration in other fields but the degree of integration remains low. Bilaterally, degree of intertwinement of interests – between Viet Nam and partners, including strategic and comprehensive partners – is still low; many cooperation aspects are incommensurate with the cooperation frameworks; there remain gaps between political commitments and implementation; cooperation in some areas have not been truly deepened; cooperation in security, intelligence and police with some countries are still limited. At multi-lateral mechanisms, Viet Nam has gradually participated actively and put forward initiatives, however, its contributions are incommensurate with those of other countries in the region. In addition, we have not fully exploited strengths of integration in these domains as a new way to ensure defense and security in the context of globalization and international integration and to support economic integration and integration in other fields.
III. INTEGRATION IN CULTURE, SOCIETY, ETHNOLOGY, EDUCATION-TRAINING, SCIENCE-TECHNOLOGY AND IN OTHER FIELDS
Integration in culture, labor, social security, healthcare, education and training, science and technology, etc has become increasingly deep and wide, in diverse forms and modes, with various partners and more substances. Bilaterally, Viet Nam has signed a number of agreements based on some common standards like those on conservation and promotion of cultural-art values; international treaties, agreements on labor, natural resources and environment, and improvement of capacity of organizations and individuals working in the fields of healthcare, education, technology, science, etc. Multi-laterally, Viet Nam has made practical contributions to the establishment of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and acceleration of integration in all fields of the Community. At the same time, Viet Nam has deeply and widely participated in multi-lateral mechanisms and forums at regional and global levels, especially the UN agencies including UNESCO, WHO, ILO, etc.
For further integration in these fields, Viet Nam will focus on applying the regional and global norms and standards in accordance with Viet Nam’s available commitments in order to supplement and improve its policies and laws as well as regulations of each sector; voluntarily employ regional and international norms and standards selectively in designing its own framework of norms and standards for sectors; gradually harmonize Viet Nam’s norms and standards with those of the world.
Integration in culture, society, healthcare, education, training, science and technology, etc has reaped important achievements, facilitated and opened up new cooperation opportunities in these areas. Cultural and social integration has helped enrich the national culture and advance social progress, contributed to improving institutions, accessing international standards and practices, developing labor market and social security system, reducing poverty, and realizing the millennium development goals. Integration in education and training has been increasingly intensified: Viet Nam became members of many international education organizations; many education cooperation models with developed countries have been expanded, especially under the forms of partnership programs and construction of high-quality universities in Viet Nam, or acquirement of advanced programs, etc. In general, integration in education, training, healthcare, science and technology has played an important role in human resource development, especially high-quality workforce and contributed to the development of national science, education and healthcare systems towards narrowing the gap between Viet Nam and other countries in these areas.
Integration in culture, labor, social security, healthcare, education, training, science and technology, etc has generated positive effects on integration in other domains, especially economic domain. However, integration in culture, society, healthcare, education, science and technology is broader compared to economic and political-security-defense integration. The volume of voluntary integration activities – through active application of international norms and standards or harmonization of Viet Nam’s norms and standards with the global ones – are immense. Although the degree of participating in and implementing international commitments and standards increased, the works generally remain limited and incomprehensive; many complicated and sensitive issues have not been timely studied and implemented. Besides, integration in these domains was pushed forward in accordance with the development roadmap of each sector, thus it lacked coordination and led to overlapping and resource wastefulness. In comparison to the regional countries, the quality of Viet Nam’s workforce and education, diploma, scientific and technological products, and services has not been widely recognized internationally; the number of inventions protected abroad, products and services of international trademarks remain modest, etc.
INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC BACKGROUNDS
- INTERNATONAL BACKGROUND
Peace, cooperation and development remain the prevailing trend in international relations. From now to 2030, multi-polar state of affairs may take clearer shape thanks to fast changes in the power of countries. The US still remains the superpower, but China continues moving forward and has an increasingly important voice over many regional and international issues. India and some countries in other regions keep on bettering themselves to become relatively large economies, leading to their stronger influences in the region. The way to a multi-polar order may contain tensions, or conflicts, even among powers.
Asia-Pacific continues its dynamic economic growth and may become a new power center of the world. Peace, stability and development in the region will basically be maintained, however, competition among big countries, arm race, territorial and maritime disputes may be complicated. Regional political-security architecture continues evolving and taking clearer shape. The ASEAN Community will continue beefing up regional connectivity, perserveringly maintaining its central role in multi-lateral mechanisms, and coordinating relations among big countries. However, ASEAN may face more complicated internal challenges as well as challenges due to competition among big countries.
Regional and international economies continue restructuring process, recovery and growth again. The global economy is forecast to expand 3%per year on average from now to 2050 and may double the current size by 2037. Global growth may be buoyed by population expansion, technological advances, free trade and urbanization process. The correlation of economic strength keeps changing. Chinese economy is likely to surpass the US in the next decade despite slowdown forecast. India is likely to emerge as the second biggest economy of the world in terms of purchasing power by 2050. Viet Nam and Nigeria may become the fast-growing economies from now to 2050.
Economic competition becomes increasingly complicated. Big countries compete with each other by accelerating economic connectivity initiatives. Some economies in other regions have strengthened to compete with Asian economies in the future. In the next decade, economies continue to accelerate restructuring, transform growth strategy and model, foster changes in economic and development thoughts. Many new economic forms are taking shape such as network economy, sharing economy, recirculation economy; global value and supply chains are expanding quickly. The process of reforming global economic governance systems such as WTO, WB, IMF is taking place slowly; institutional changes remain modest. In the medium term, WTO, WB, and IMF are still the key economic governance pillars of the world.
Globalization continues its course. Regionalization is taking place vigorously with the Asia-Pacific region as a typical example. The combination of the existing free trade agreements (FTAs) into single ones in order to maximize trade benefits tends to strengthen. From now to 2020, new-generation FTAs, especially TPP, Viet Nam-EU FTA, and RCEP will come into effect. The idea of forming other FTAs like the free trade area of the Asia-Pacific region and the ASEM free trade area may be further pushed forward. Other forms of economic integration include sub-region and cross-border integration. Thanks to the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, the free movement of capital, workforce, and goods will become real by the end of this decade.
The development of science and technology will continue to reshape the global economy. Science and technology will advance quickly and outstandingly in some domains, especially information technology, manufacturing and automatic technology (including 3-D printing technology); solar energy technology, social-mobile- analysis-cloud (SMAC) technology; biotechnology; genome sequencing technology; e-commerce; development of advanced production systems. Technological advances will contribute to improving productivity but they also pose challenges to the current business models.
International relations are becoming increasingly democratic thanks to changes in the aggregate strengths of countries; multi-lateral mechanisms, international organizations, international law, communication, press, social networks and awareness of people across the world will have increasingly greater role. Small and medium-sized countries have more opportunities to join global issues, especially at the United Nations and regional organizations, and have rising voice in strategic competition among powers.
From now to 2030, the world may continue facing numerous global issues like climate change, environmental pollution, energy-food-water-cyber security, diseases, transnational crime, terrorism, and migration. In addition, the world population keeps on rising and becomes more aging while urbanization is taking place fast and vigorously, especially in developing countries, which pose challenges to job generation, social welfare guarantee, development of social security system, healthcare and education, and human migration. Rising middle class in some emerging economies requires their governments to better satisfy their new requirements.
- DOMESTIC SITUATION
After 30 years of Rennovation, the aggregate strength and position of Viet Nam in the region and the world have been heightened, creating favorable conditions for fostering international integration in the new stage but great difficulties and challenges still lie ahead.
Although Viet Nam was removed from the list of least developed countries to become a middle income country, its macro-economy, growth quality, competitiveness of the economy, business environment, development gap among regions and between Viet Nam and the world, middle-income trap, etc will still be the key issues in the decade to come.
Political security, and social order and safety situation is basically maintained and stable; the political system continues to be consolidated; the law-governed State continues improvements. However, risks that may cause political and social instability like pressing issues, legal violations, crime, social disorder and unsafety, terrorism, cyber war, information insecurity and unsafety, etc keep rising in the context of increasingly fast globalization and scientific and technological advancement, especially information technology. Territorial security issues, especially East Sea issue, may become more complicated, even sudden happenings, causing negative impacts on national security and stability, and undermining peaceful and favorable environment for the national development.
The process of reform, open-door policy and international integration of Viet Nam over the past three decades brought about remarkable achievements, contributing to enhancing the country’s position and strength, laying foundation to a new stage of comprehensive international integration. However, the degree of international integration remains at low level, mainly in width. The process of deeper integration into the region and the world faces greater challenges such as the risk of vulnerability due to global happenings and fiercer competition, which increases the danger of lagging behind if the targets set by the Party are not achieved.
OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING VIEWPOINTS
- General objectives
The overall objectives of international integration through 2030 are to contribute to strengthening the country’s aggregate strength; take full advantage of favorable global conditions to soon turn Viet Nam into a modern-oriented industrialized country, improve people’s living standards; maintain independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity, and firmly defend the socialist Fatherland of Viet Nam; heighten the country’s position and prestige in the world.
- Specific objectives
– Expand markets, take advantage of capital, technology, management knowledge; improve the competitiveness of the economy, businesses and products; foster the development of domestic industries, establish higher positions in the regional and international production and supply chain; actively make contributions to the process of transforming growth model and restructuring the economy; beef up industrialization and modernization, enhance internal strength, reduce dependence from the outside, and narrow development gap with ASEAN-6 countries. Regarding the degree of international integration, strive to catch up with ASEAN-6 countries by 2020, ASEAN-4 countries by 2025, and to become one of the top ASEAN countries in such areas that Viet Nam has strengths and have a catch-up strategy, including improvement of business environment, by 2030, etc. In the short run, successfully realize the socio-economic development targets that have been figured out.
– Consolidate and maintain peaceful environment conducive to national development; heighten Viet Nam’s position in the international arena and in relations with partners, especially major partners in the areas of defense, security and development; make more effective contributions to the protection of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity; firmly maintain political security, social order and safety, protect the regime, the Party and people; fruitfully exploit external resources in order to gradually modernize armed forces, strengthen the capacity of ensuring national security and defense. By 2030, Viet Nam strives to become one of the key members that play central role at security and defense cooperation mechanisms in the region; enhance the bonds of security and stability between Viet Nam and the region.
– Actively contribute to the development of Vietnamese people to meet the requirements of the process of industrialization, modernization and international integration. To absorb the world’s culture values; preserve, promote and diffuse Vietnamese culture values; improve the image and people of Viet Nam so that by 2030 the image of the nation would become popular around the world and Viet Nam’s new contributions to the global culture would be recognized; take full advantage of foreign resources to successfully realize strategic targets on labor, social security, education, training, healthcare, science and technology; attach special importance to improving workforce quality and science-technology capacity; create jobs and ensure rights of laborers and vulnerable groups; push social justice, guarantee social security and improve’s material and spiritual life of people.
- GUIDING VIEWPOINTS
Fully grasp and creatively employ the guiding viewpoints enshrined in the Resolution No. 22 of the Political Bureau on international integration, the Overall Strategy for international integration through 2030 needs be deployed in accordance with following viewpoints:
- Proactive and active international integration is the major strategic orientation in the implementation of strategies for socio-economic development and sectoral development. The Overall Strategy for international integration needs to be incorporated into the strategies on socio-economic development and sectoral development. Effectively exploit international integration to contribute to national construction and socialist Fatherland of Viet Nam.
- Enhance the Party leadership and State management over the process of implementing the Overall Strategy for international integration. Uphold democracy, facilitate all organizations and individuals to actively and creatively engage in the integration process; effectively exploit potentials of the society, social strata, including overseas Vietnamese communities.
- The orientations of the Overall Strategy for international integration must be deployed in parallel with the process of developing and bringing into full play internal strength; closely combine and accelerate the process of enhancing aggregate strength, national competitiveness, and capacity of sectors and enterprises, connectivity among regions, renovation (especially growth model transformation and economic restructuring); speed up reform in all areas in order to raise the efficiency of international integration.
- Comprehensively deploy the Overall Strategy for international integration in all areas towards deepening this process to better support national development and Fatherland protection. Economic integration is the focal point; focus on improving business environment and institutional system; attach special importance to implementing the signed international commitments. Intensify combination of economic integration with integration in politics, defense, security and other fields.
- International integration is the process of both cooperation and struggle, consistent pursuit of national interests, preservation and promotion of the identity of the national culture and political regime; it is not the process of amassing alliances against the others.
- Consistently pursue the policy of “independence, self-reliance; diversification and multi-lateralization of international relations”; deeper international integration must go together with enhancing independence and self-reliance as well as inter-dependence between Viet Nam and partners, especially the partners that are important for the development and protection of the Fatherland; avoid dependence in any domain or circumstance.
ORIENTATIONS AND SOLUTIONS TO INTEGRATION
- ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
Until 2030, the degree of economic integration is equal to the average level of ASEAN-4 countries; international integration will be accelerated in parallel with the process of enhancing linkages among sectors and regions; focus on implementing effectively inked agreements, especially the new-generation FTAs. Accordingly, the following orientations need to be deployed comprehensively:
- Speed up institutional improvement, administrative reform; continue the implementation of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 10th Party Central Committee on some major guidelines and policies for fast and sustainable economic development following Viet Nam’s accession to the World Trade Organization in the new context in association with the implementation of socio-economic development tasks defined in the Resolutions of the 11thand 12th National Party Congress.
– Review, systemize, amend, supplement and replace legal documents or issue new legal documents to perfect the legal system and economic institutions in accordance with international commitments; quickly and comprehensively establish elements of the socialist-oriented market economy; ensure the operation of the economy in accordance with market rules. Comprehensively develop, smoothly and effectively operate different types of markets, including goods market, service market, finance market, real estate market, labor market, science-technology market to support international economic integration.