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Monday, 26 April 2021 09:50
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Awareness of setting national development goals towards 2030 and 2045

(LLCT) - The 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam will be an important political event, as it is time to look back on 35 years of renewal; 30 years of implementing the Platform for national construction during the transitional period to socialism (Platform 1991), with 10 years implementing the amended Platform 2011 and 10 years realizing the socio-economic development strategy in the 2011-2020 period; towards the 100th founding anniversary of the Party in 2030 and the 100th anniversary of the country in 2045. The article focuses on the awareness of setting national development goals towards 2030 with a vision towards 2045.

Keywords: development goals; vision towards 2030-2045.

The 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam will mark a milestone to determine future development objectives, encourage the solidarity of the whole nation, promote comprehensively and synchronous renewal, develop the country rapidly and sustainably for the goal of prosperous people, strong country, and democratic, equitable, civilized society, and a steady transition to socialism.

Besides, this Congress will be carried out in the context of rapid, complicated, and unpredictable developments globally and regionally. Though peace, cooperation, and development remain the primary focus, traditional and non-traditional security threats, coupled with climate changes and epidemics become more and more unpredictable. The 4th industrial revolution, which is the strong development of the knowledge economy, digital economy, and the internationalization of human resources, poses both opportunity and challenge to Vietnam.

Facing these challenges, it is crucial to determine the country’s development goals, as the set goals will help us to understand what to focus and prepare, to work out an appropriate development plan.

1. Basic awareness on national development objectives and goals

A goal is an idea of the future, or the desired outcome of a person’s or group of people’s envision, plan, and commit to accomplishing. People endeavor to reach goals within a finite time frame by setting deadlines. Hence, each subject can set their own goals. A country can set a goal to achieve a certain level of income or level of development when reaching a certain milestone in the development process.

Thus, by mentioning the goal, it is necessary to identify two basic problems: What is the desired outcome? When will the outcome be achieved? Other aspects such as methods, strategies, preparation tools, and means used to implement and achieve the set goal are matters of the subject setting the goal and are not within the inner scope of the goal.

There are different approaches to classify goals. If classified by time, the goal can be for long, medium, or short term. The difference in this discernment is the time it takes to achieve that goal. If classified by the desired outcome, the goal can be either an overall or a specific goal. The key point in this discernment is the existing and potential conditions that warrant the subject to be able to achieve the specified goal. This means the feasibility or the realistic level of the target that the subject determines.

In fact, these classification methods are often used together and intertwined, in which, with organizations, countries, the way of defining the goals according to the desired results will be considered first. On that basis, each object of the overall subject will have time-based goal categories in the overall goal implementation, or it is the concretization of specific goals.

For each country, first of all, the determination of the development goal will be approached according to the desired outcome. Accordingly, every country always determines the overall and specific goals on the basis of a general assessment of the current development status, development level, development context, development potential... Based on these conditions, the overall or specific vision and goal of each nation is set. Hence, the development goals in each country are not the same even at the same level of development.

In practice, it is shown that defining national goals is the concretization and realization of the national leadership’s vision of the country’s future development by quantifying the desired outcome that the country needs to achieve within defined times. However, to define national goals, it is required to be based on the precise analysis and assessment of the international context, development conditions, development trends of the times; identification of the advantages, difficulties, opportunities, and challenges that are being raised, and major and fundamental contradictions that need to be resolved to develop the country. It is needed to properly analyze and assess the current development status of the country to have a foundation for quantifying the country’s development potential. These are important bases for determining the task that needs to be done to achieve the identified goal.

2. Bases for setting Vietnam’s development goals and recommendations for Vietnam’s development goals towards 2030 and 2045

From the history of national construction and development over the past 90 years since the Party’s establishment, the correct determination of the development goal is the decisive factor for the victory of the Vietnamese revolution, the gaining of important achievements for our country to gradually develop equal to other countries in the region and the world. Therefore, in the process of leading a nation, each time preparing for the National Party Congress, the Party will direct the drafting of the documents to be submitted to the Congress, of which the Political Report-the central document of the Congress-is valuable to summarize the practice, experience, while defining the goals, tasks, and leadership solutions, direct all aspects and fields throughout the tenure.

Currently, the Party is preparing for the 13th Congress which is scheduled to be held at the beginning of 2021 and directing the preparation of the documents to be submitted to it. Due to the special meaning of this Congress - towards the 100th anniversary of the Party’s establishment (2030) and the 100th anniversary of the National Day (2045), the draft of the Political Report submitted to the Congress is required to not only set national development goals and tasks for the 5 years 2021 - 2025 but also define the national development target towards 2030 and a vision towards 2045. This is an important direction, succession, and promotion of valuable lessons and traditions of the Party, which are the requirements for the suitability, ensuring the practicality and feasibility of the development goals, the basis for accurately determining the directions, tasks, and solutions for building and developing the country, defending the Fatherland, creating a unity of awareness and action of the entire Party and people.

However, there are still different points of view on this important issue. In general, there are two types of opinions(1): i/ the first point of view emphasizes the goal of Vietnam becoming an industrialized country according to the idea in the Congress documents (from the 8th Congress document to present), in the Platform (amended in 2011), resolutions of Central Government, Politburo (9th to 12th tenure), the Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2001-2010, the Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2011-2020. Accordingly, the target is to strive for building Vietnam into a modern industrial country with three important milestones: to basically become a modern-oriented industrial country by 2025; to become a modern industrial country by 2030; to become a modern, industrialized country in the socialist orientation by 2045. ii/ The second point of view believes that it is necessary to consult the classification of countries according to current trends of international organizations. Therefore, it is needed to define goals according to the level of development.

From the above-mentioned synthesis, each view contains rational and grounded factors, but the differences between opinions on defining national development goals are understandable, because there is a difference in the approach of each point of view, which inevitably leads to different results: i/ Outline of the Political Report of the Document Sub-Committee identifies two options: Option 1 is striving to turn Vietnam into a socialist-oriented developed country by 2045 with a 3-level roadmap. Option 2 is striving to become a socialist-oriented modern industrial country with a 3-level roadmap(2). ii/ Outline of the Report on the implementation of the 2011 - 2020 strategy and development of the 2021 – 2030 strategy of the Socio-Economic Affairs Sub-Committee, identifies three target options, of which there is a common point that Vietnam would basically become an industrial country in the direction of modernity by 2030 and become a modern industrialized country in the socialist orientation by 2045(3).

Hence, to unify perceptions and actions, it is necessary to have a fundamental and scientific analysis to have a valid basis for the correct determination of the national development goal-a critical issue of the nation.

Indeed, because of the differences in approaching ways, there is variation in country classification (the activity is done based on the assessment of the development performance of each country), not only in Vietnam but also in the world. Specifically, functioning organizations supporting national and global development, many international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have regularly classified countries to have appropriate development assistance options according to their functions and tasks. However, there are different kinds of ways to classify countries around the world. On the one hand, because these organizations have different functions and objectives, they should give different classifications, but with reference and coordination, their classification standards are quite similar in many contents. But on the other hand, also due to the assessment and classification approach, there are also different ways of determining the level of national development(4).

The United Nations is classifying countries into three categories: 1. Underdeveloped; 2. Developing; 3. Developed, on the basis of income per capita. This income level is adjusted according to the stages of development, based on World Bank data.

Meanwhile, the World Bank classifies countries based on income per capita (GNI/person) into four groups: 1. Low-income countries; 2. Low middle-income country; 3. High middle-income country; 4. High-income country, also based on average income per capita but specific criteria established according to five criteria.

The OECD reviews and selects eligible ODA (official development assistance) countries every three years based on the income per capita index to classify whether the countries are eligible for receiving ODA, accordingly, classified countries as least developed/developing or developed.

As for UNIDO, due to the role and function of an organization promoting industrial development in countries around the world, the term “industrialization” is often used rather than “development”. Since then, UNIDO has used the index of manufacturing value-added per capita (MVA/person) as a criterion to define the industrialized level of the countries. Based on this criterion, UNIDO divides the world’s economies into four groups: 1. Industrialized economies(5); 2. Emerging industrial economies; 3. Other developing economies; and 4. Least developed countries. However, in this classification, UNIDO still has to be based on the per capita income index-even the per capita income is based on the manufacturing value-added (MVA/person). On one hand, this affirms that the per capita income index is the most important basis for each country and considered as the result, the goal to be set for each country; but on the other hand, it also shows that UNIDO’s classification is not comprehensive (because the index of manufacturing industry growth is not comprehensive enough, unable to represent the development of a country, even that country is fully industrial); it also does not cover a country whose development is not based on the industrial sector, and at the same time this classification does not ensure uniformity of criteria-industrialized economies and emerging industrial economies are reflections of the main process that operates the economy; while developing economies and least developed countries refer essentially to a country’s level of development.

From the above generalization and analysis, it can be considered that up to now, there are temporarily two ways of classifying countries: i/ Least developed; Developing; Developed countries; ii/ Low-income; Low middle-income; High middle-income; High-income countries. However, these two classifications are interrelated and correlated that are both based on the income per capita index of each country. Least developed countries are low-income countries, developing countries are middle-income countries, developed countries are high-income countries. Although there is no official regulation, the terms “developed country” and “industrialized country” are used interchangeably in documents of international organizations. Thus, it can be affirmed that the country classification can be different in approaches, the names, the methods, but it ultimately based on the income per capita index in general, thereby determining the level of development. As for how much income per capita is achieved depends on the current economic conditions and how the economy is operating in a way that is appropriate or not suitable for the domestic and foreign contexts.

In addition, for many years, in the world as well as in Vietnam, there have been many studies to clarify what it means to be an industrial country and to set the criteria of an industrial country, but the results given are still very different. Moreover, after nearly 30 years of implementing the National Construction Platform in the transition period to socialism, approved by the 7th Party Congress in 1991 (Platform 1991) and nearly 10 years of implementing The Platform for national construction in the transitional period to socialism (amended in 2011), it is still difficult to define, quantify, and determine criteria for what an industrial country in a modern direction is, and how to create the foundation for such a country. These questions remain to be solved until now, however, the economic, political, and social life is continually changing, and development requirements are increasing especially in the context of Industrial Revolution 4.0. Then, should we wait or focus to solve the problem and then move on?

From the basic and scientific analysis of the goals and determining the development goals of a country; as well as the reasons of national classification approaches; the realities of national development in recent years, it can be seen that there are the following bases to follow to determine the appropriate national development goals in the coming time:

First, when it comes to the goal, it is necessary to identify two basic problems: What is the desired outcome? What is the deadline for getting results?

Second, defining national goals is the concretization and realization of the national leadership’s vision for the future development of the country by quantifying the desired results that the country needs to achieve at a specified period.

Third, the development goal is to forecast the future, is the target that the country needs to achieve, so it must be measurable and quantifiable.

Fourth, practical conditions, development context, potential and limitations of development, ways of socio-economic organization and operation are the key basis for determining the national development goals.

Fifth, despite differences in development conditions, and ways of socio-economic organization and operation, to confirm the development of a country, directly or indirectly, the income per capita index is still the most important indicator for each country, considered as their outcome, goal, and destination accordingly in the development process;

With the important meaning of the 13th Party Congress, the concern, enthusiasm, and responsibility of strategic leaders at all levels, branches of the Party and State in preparing for the Congress, it can be said that each content in the draft documents to be submitted to the Congress has shown new, insightful and increasingly specific, more quantitative and realistic perceptions - in which awareness and proposals on national development goals after the 13th Party Congress is such a remarkable point. On the basis of the presented analysis and interpretation, based on the results of socio-economic development in the period 2011-2020 with the average income per capita around 2,500-3,000 US$/person/year(6), we would like to propose the national development goals towards 2030 and towards 2045 mentioned in the Political Report; The Report on Summary of implementing the 2011-2020 strategy, development of the 2021-2030 Strategy as follows:

- Strive to be developing country with middle income by 2025;

- Strive to be a developed country with high middle-income by 2030;

- Strive to be a developed country with high income by 2045.

In addition to the stated reasons, this recommendation considers the fact that Vietnam is an agricultural and developing country in the trend of the 4.0 Industrial Revolution. Therefore, the application and promotion of technology in each industry and sector is an essential requirement. However, it is just a method of organizing, operating, and developing the country, and should not be combined into the development goal because it might limit the flexibility in management, operation, and development as well as restraint the ability to approach the global trend.

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Endnotes:

(1), (2), (3) See: Speech by Prof., Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, Secretary of the Party Central Committee, President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, Chairman of the Central Theoretical Council, Standing Committee of the Documents Sub-Committee at the scientific seminar “National development goals to 2025 and 2030, with a vision to 2045” on August 10, 2019”, http://dangcongsan.vn.

(4) Assoc.Prof., Dr. Nguyen Van Thao: The Party’s vision for national development for the first half of the 21st century, http://www.tapchicongsan.org.vn.

(5) An industrialized country has a manufacturing value added (MVA) per capita (MVA/person) of US$ 2,500.

(6) Since there is not yet an official announcement on the method of calculating GDP, according to General Statistics Office, the GDP per capita following the new calculation method will increase to about US$ 3,000/year (in 2018), instead of the current calculation of US$ 2,590/person/year.

References:

1. CPV: Draft documents to be submitted to the 13th Party Congress, February 2020.

2. Issues to be focused in personnel preparation for the 13th Party Congress, Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Head of Personnel Sub-committee of the 13th Party Congress, April 26, 2020, http://www.tapchicongsan.org.vn.

Assoc.Prof., Dr. Pham Thi Tuy

Institute of Political Economy, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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