Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
The global public debt crisis in 2011 has caused deep concern for the global economy. Drought, flooding and diseases caused by global climate change, plus tensions in East Sea and new global conflicts confront the world economy with new challenges. In the face of all this, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has performed impressively thanks to his outstanding leadership, successfully steering the Vietnamese economy out of the economic crisis by making economic, fiscal and diplomatic decisions in a flexible and prompt manner in 2011. Consequently, Vietnam has been able to control inflation, maintain a high growth rate and ensure social security.
Offering an overall assessment of the 2011 economy, Korea’s international economic experts have stated that Vietnam has overcome economic stagnation.
Now, stabilizing Vietnam’s macro economy in 2012 in parallel with economic restructuring is the official goal that the head of the government has circulated among international investors and donors.
At a meeting with CG donors, the prime minister achieved consensus and positive feedback from the donors in successfully implementing the fundamental content of Resolution 11 and taking decisive actions in directing the implementation of economic restructuring in 2011 ― a stepping stone in implementing the plans for 2012 ― a year full of challenges not only for Vietnam but also the global economy.
Vietnam’s GDP continues to grow at a steady rate: the GDP of the first quarter 2011 was 5.43 percent, the second quarter 5.67 percent and the third quarter 6.11 percent. The combined GDP over those nine months grew 5.76 percent and the annual growth rate is estimated to be 6 percent.
Despite the global economy’s fluctuations, the realized FDI of Vietnam reached $2.54 billion, an increase of 1.6 percent from the previous year and there was an increase over the months: $420 million in January, $730 million in February, $1.81 billion in March, $2.4 billion in April and $3.6 billion in May.
Since the beginning of 2011, more than 20 nations and territories have carried out investment projects in Vietnam, with Singapore ranked first in total newly registered capital with a $1.08 billion increase and 46.74 percent of the total invested capital nationwide. Korea is ranked fourth with an increase of $193.29 million, equal to 8.15 percent of total invested capital in Vietnam. Japan is ranked fifth at $131 million, amounting to 5.5 percent.
According to a recent list compiled by Goldman Sachs, Vietnam ranks among a group of 11 nations (N-11) with the world’s fastest economic growth rates in 2011, opening new opportunities for investors and making the best international investment destinations in the years to come.
Based on a recent study by a group of senior professors and economic experts from the Korean government on the impact of the debt crisis and global climate change, as well as the skills of prime ministers in Southeast Asia, Vietnam was the country that best overcame the global economic crisis. Dung was ranked as the most influential prime minister in Asia in terms of successfully driving the economy and as the person who made the most determined decisions.
Vietnam targeted a 2011 economic growth rate of 5.8-6 percent while the objective for 2012 is 6 percent. Maintaining this growth rate will help Vietnam stabilize its macroeconomy, curb inflation and ensure social security. Dung has taken decisive action in a timely manner, but has not selected too high an economic growth rate for this period.
In parallel with economic stability, the prime minister has committed to effectively directing and taking proper economic restructuring solutions, focusing on investment reform, financial and banking system reform and improvement of corporate governance. Vietnam will equitize almost all state-owned enterprises with an ultimate goal of improving the effectiveness of production and operation.
Beside these macro-economic objectives, Vietnam continues to ensure social security and welfare for its people. The average income per capita among the Vietnamese people is currently $1,200, but the gap between the rich and the poor is still large. Dung has therefore instructed authorities to implement a strategy of ensuring stable and sustainable employment by improving English skills and providing vocational training to create more than 1.6 million jobs in 2012 and reduce the unemployment rate to less than 4 percent while concurrently reducing the number of poor households nationwide by 2 percent.
Dung has also decided to establish a task force to monitor and speed up the disbursement of funds and effective use of external aids, especially ODA.
In the eyes of international investors, he is highly regarded as always having formed initiatives and ideas to promote close links to the international community due to his firm determination and consistent polices. His firm promises allow investors to place their trust in investing in Vietnam. Dung has made significant contributions, taking Vietnam to a higher level of influence internationally.
He is praised by the Vietnamese people for what he has done during his tenure. He always takes into consideration the valuable contributions of previous generations, he always respects and knows how to employ Vietnamese talents and support enterprises to stabilize business and production, while making policies that support industry and agriculture, as well as policies that support students and the poor. He is the symbol of the Vietnamese people’s spirit in firmly protecting the country’s sovereignty while respecting international law and maintaining good diplomatic relations with other nations.
For what he has done for Vietnam, he deserves to be the person of 2011 ― the prime minister facing challenges and always proving most determined. He is loved by Vietnamese people and many international friends.
By Lee Min-ho, President of Kidmatic Co., Ltd