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Period 2001-2010

Press Conference on Foreign Policy and International Economic Integration

(07/11/2006-05:19:00 PM)


Press Conference on Foreign Policy and International Economic Integration

I. Achievements of External Affairs of the Party in the past 20 years of Doi Moi

The Doi Moi, initiated in 1986 and led by our Party, has recorded remarkable achievements of historical significance, changing the image of the country and creating premises and momentum for Vietnam to advance more rapidly and firmly on the path of industrialization and modernization. Vietnam's diplomacy is proud of its important contribution to the common victory of the country.

In pursuing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, openness, diversification and multilateralization of external relations and active international integration, the Diplomacy has become an important front in time of peace and made important contribution to maintaining and securing the peaceful environment and creating a favorable international environment conducive to national construction and defence, thus enhancing the position and prestige of our country in the international arena.

Our over-all achievement on the external front is that from a country isolated politically and embargoed economically, Vietnam has been able to actively expand its external relations towards diversification and multilateralization. Over the past 20 years of Doi Moi, diplomatic ties with additional 57 countries have been set up. In total, Vietnam now has diplomatic relations with 169 countries and trade ties with 224 out of 255 countries and territories.

Vietnam has also established a framework of friendly, long-term and effective relations with neighboring and regional countries, making worthy contribution to the maintenance of regional security for the benefit of national economic development.

Treaties and Agreements signed with China and Cambodia in recent years have laid a legal basis to turn the border between Vietnam and its neighboring countries into that of peace, friendship and shared prosperity.

A significant breakthrough of Vietnam's Diplomacy in the Doi Moi era is that Vietnam has normalized diplomatic ties and then gradually upgraded toward the establishment of a framework of equal and mutually beneficial relations with major powers, economic and political centers and industrialized countries.

In implementing the foreign policy of diversification, multilateralisation of international relations, Vietnam has been active in consolidating and developing relations with traditional friends and other developing countries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Multilateral diplomacy has also made great strides in enhancing the prestige and stature of Vietnam in international organizations and forums including the UN, Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN, APEC and ASEM, helping the country gradually integrate into the region and the world.

Considering economic development a central task, Economic Diplomacy has been playing an increasingly important role. Economic tasks have increasingly manifested themselves in diplomatic activities. Political diplomacy has been closely combined with external economic activities, mobilizing more external resources, expanding export markets and establishing ties with more partners to serve socio-economic development.

Works on Overseas Vietnamese has been promoted strongly, yielding positive and important successes. The number of Overseas Vietnamese coming back and exploring business opportunities in Vietnam continued to increase.

The political report of the Party Central Committee at the 10th Congress states "External relations have been expanded with worthy contribution to maintaining the peaceful environment conducive to socio-economic development and enhancing the prestige of Vietnam in the region and the World."

II. Lessons drawn from foreign policy reform

First, new thinking in diplomacy: this is reflected in the observation and evaluation of the world situation, international relations, new trends, the interactive relations between Vietnam and the world, opportunities and challenges for Vietnam, the use of Ho Chi Minh' thoughts in diplomacy. Based on that, sound and appropriate measures and foreign policies suitable to the situation of Vietnam and the world have been proposed with a good combination of national strength and that of the time in the new context. During the past 20 years, Vietnam's foreign policies have continued to be perfected in substance, diversified in activities and serve as the foundation for putting forward new guidelines and measures to expand external relations, address emerging issues, meet the critical needs of the nation in different periods.

Second, uphold independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, cooperation for development, national interests: This is reflected in all guidelines and policies of the Party and State. It is our consistent policy to maintain and strengthen a peaceful environment and create a favorable international environment for national construction and defense. Such a policy has been actively and effectively implemented.

Third, actively integrate into the international economy and maintain independence, self-reliance, unity and national identity: First and foremost, we have to be independent and self-reliant in the formulation and implementation of guidelines and policies in order to actively integrate into the world with a suitable roadmap and socialist orientations. Economic self-reliance and independence means to build a strong economy which can be responsive to unexpected developments in the global and regional economy, and an "open" economy that combines internal and external forces into a synergy for promoting national development and increasing competitiveness and economic security.

Forth, create a synergy of all actors in external activities in all areas and under various forms, combine State diplomacy with that of the Party, People, National Assembly, Security and National Defense.

III. Orientations of foreign policy in the next 5 years

The situation in the world and region in the next 5 years will continue to evolve with complexity, causing great impacts on the national security and development of Vietnam. Despite the challenges, we are now enjoying opportunities and favorable conditions. The national achievements gained in the past 5 years and the 20-year of reforms have helped increase substantially Vietnam's position and strength; the expansion of external relations and international economic integration have facilitated Vietnams cause of renovation, maintained and consolidated the peaceful, stable environment for higher economic growth.

Based on the thorough evaluation of the opportunities and challenges for Vietnam in the coming period, the 10th National Congress affirms the need to grab the opportunities, overcome the ordeals, push up the strong, comprehensive and uniform reforms, and promote development at a faster and more sustainable pace in order to bring Vietnam out of the stage of underdevelopment, laying the foundation for Vietnam to basically become an industrialized country by 2020.

To carry out these daunting tasks, the 10th National Congress has set out the targets, guidelines and policies for external activities:

Tasks of external activities: maintain and promote a peaceful environment, create more favorable international environment for reforms, socio-economic development, industrialization, modernization and contribute to the common struggle of the world people for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress.

To consistently pursue the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development; a foreign policy of openness, diversification, multilateralisation of international relations, further developing stable and long-term frameworks for bilateral and multilateral relations.

Continue to raise the banner of peace, cooperation and development, Viet Nam is a friend, a reliable partner of all countries and an active and constructive member in the international community, striving for peace, cooperation and sustainable development, actively participating in regional and international cooperation.

In the coming time, the external affairs will proceed in the following directions:

First, continue to broaden external relations, strengthen and complete the framework for stable and long-term relations with countries, especially neighbouring countries and major ones as well as other important partners, promote new developments in the cooperative relations with a view to bringing substance, stability and sustainability to cooperation and creating mutual trust.

Second, actively promote deeper and more comprehensive international economic integration by increasing participation in global, regional economic institutions and bilateral arrangements after joining the WTO, implement international commitments on trade, investment, market access, lay the groundwork for the signing of free trade arrangements with other countries, especially major ones, as well as multilateral and regional economic cooperation agreements. Step up comprehensive and effective cooperation with ASEAN countries and others in the Asia-Pacific region.

Third, further enhance the role of external economic relations, create favourable legal setting for external economic activities, improve the investment climate to attract FDI and ODA, broaden and deepen economic, trade, investment ties, expand the market and relations with other countries and international organizations in order to fulfill the tasks of socio-economic development, industrialization and modernization.

Fourth, build and consolidate the border of peace and cooperation for development with neighbouring countries, especially strongly push forward the completion of border delimitation and demarcation with China and Cambodia as planned, at the same time, promptly address emerging issues, safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity. Stand ready to dialogue with countries, regional and international organizations on issues of mutual concern including democracy, human rights; at the same time, resolve to fight against wrong allegations, the attempt to abuse democracy, human rights, religion to interfere in the internal affairs of Viet Nam.

Fifth, together with bilateral diplomacy, increase activities in multilateral fora in the region and the world, expand multi-faceted cooperation with regional and international organizations, actively participate in addressing global issues, continue to strengthen and enhance the role and position of Viet Nam in the international institutions; in the immediate, to successfully organize the 14th APEC Summit in Hanoi at the end of this year, actively prepare for running for the non-permanent membership in the UNSC in the 2008-2009 terms.

Sixth, the 10th Party Congress continues to affirm that overseas Vietnamese represent an integral part and a resource of the community of Vietnamese nations, an important factor contributing to enhancing cooperation and friendship between Viet Nam and other countries; with that in mind, efforts should be made to effectively implement Decree 36 of the Politburo (to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to stabilize their life, protect their legitimate interests, encourage them to look towards their motherland, contribute to national building of the motherland, attract and bring into play the talent of overseas intellectuals).

Seventh, push up information, communication and cultural exchanges in external relations, increase mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship between Vietnamese people and people of all countries, help our friends around the world understand better the cause of Doi Moi, the country and people of Viet Nam on the path of integration and development.

Eighth, coordinate closely diplomatic activities of the Party and the National Assembly, State diplomacy and people diplomacy, external defense, security, politics and economy in order to create the synergy to fulfill the tasks of foreign affairs of Viet Nam./.

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