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Building an independent and autonomous economy and improving the efficiency of international economic integration

Building an independent and autonomous economy and improving the efficiency of international economic integration are the right policy, consistent with the country's reality and development trends of the times. This issue has always been the concern of the Party and State and is fully identified in the Draft Documents submitted to the 13th National Congress of the Party.

Independence and autonomy are a nation's capacity to maintain sovereignty and self-determination in domestic and foreign affairs, protecting national interests, not being controlled, dependent or coercively influenced from outside. An independent and autonomous country is the one that has its own choice of the path and model of development, and political regime. It must be independent in economic, political, cultural, social, defence, security, foreign affairs fields, in which, economic independence and autonomy are the basic material foundation to maintain political independence and autonomy and strengthen national independence and autonomy. Political independence can’t be attained without economic independence. However, building an independent and autonomous economy does not necessarily mean separation or isolation from the region and the world, but is done through the promotion of internal strength combined with external resources, in accordance with requirements in certain historical periods.

Building an independent, autonomous economy and international economic integration is the consistent viewpoint, demonstrating the creative application of the Party's policy of building an independent and autonomous economy in the new conditions. In the process of leading economic development, especially since the implementation of the comprehensive reform of the country, our Party has always been consistent, applying creatively in line with the policy of maintaining independence and autonomy in parallel with expanding international cooperation, multilateralising and diversifying foreign relations; mainly relying on domestic resources while taking full advantage of external resources; building an open economy, integrating with the region and the world.

The national construction platform in the period of transition to socialism (supplemented and developed in 2011), has defined that: “Building an increasingly independent and autonomous economy in the context of increasingly deep international integration”. The 2011-2020 socio-economic development strategy stipulated: “Promoting internal and national strength is the decisive factor, while taking advantage of external resource and the strength of the times is an important factor for the fast and sustainable development and the construction of an independent and autonomous economy”. To resolve the relationship between building an independent, autonomous and active economy, and proactively integrate in order to build national strength in which internal force is decisive; taking advantage of external forces plays an important role. Resolution No. 22-NQ/TW, dated April 1, 2013 of the Politburo (Session XI) on international integration advocated that: international economic integration is the focus; integration in other fields must facilitate economic integration and contribute positively to economic development.

The 12th National Party Congress (2016) determined that: “proactively and actively integrate into the world economy; diversify and multilateralise international economic relations ... combine effectively external forces and internal forces; link international economic integration with building an independent and autonomous economy”. Resolution No. 06-NQ/TW, dated November 5, 2016 of the Central Executive Committee (12th tenure) on effectively implementing the process of international economic integration, maintaining socio-political stability in the context of our country's participation in new-generation free trade agreements advocated that: enhancing the autonomy of the economy, expanding the market, drawing more capital, technology, knowledge, and management experience to ensure rapid and sustainable development. Evaluation of the implementation of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress on international economic integration, the Draft Political Report submitted to the 13th National Party Congress clearly states: international economic integration develops deeply and widely on different levels and forms, sign many new-generation bilateral and multilateral trade agreements; export and import, FDI capital increase sharply, contributing positively to economic growth. “The total import and export turnover increased by 3.6 times, from 157.1 billion USD in 2010 to 517 billion USD in 2019. In 2020, despite heavy impact of Covid-19 pandemic, import and export turnover reached 527 billion USD, which is equivalent to over 190% of GDP. Exports increased rapidly, from 72.2 billion USD in 2010 to about 267 billion USD in 2020, an average increase of about 14% per year, being an important driving force for economic growth”, etc. The above-mentioned figures are a testament to the Party's consistent, correct and creative policy on building an independent and autonomous economy associated with improving the efficiency of international economic integration.

In the coming time, globalisation and international integration are forecasted to continue to be the main stream, despite the rise of nationalism; international law and global multilateral institutions face major challenges; the world economy may fall  into a serious and possibly prolonged recession due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; world and regional major powers make unpredictable policy adjustments in foreign relations. After 35 years of reform, our country has achieved great achievements of historical significance. However, the economy still has limitations and risks of being lagged behind; high economic openness, resilience and adaptability to external impacts are somewhat limited, etc. In that context, the Draft Political Report submitted to the 13th National Congress of the Party identifying that: “Building an independent and autonomous economy; improving the efficiency of international economic integration" has demonstrated the consistency, inheritance, development and creative application of the Party's policy of building an independent and autonomous economy in line with the new situation.

Building an independent and autonomous economy and international economic integration is the concretisation of the mastery and handling of one of the important economic issues in the relationship “between independence, autonomy and international integration”. These are two different categories, but have a dialectic relationship; in which, building an independent, autonomous economy and international economic integration of the country all share the goal for the benefit of the nation. The goal of international economic integration is to develop the country's economy, improve people's living standard and build an independent and autonomous economy in the context of globalisation and international integration; at the same time, building an independent and autonomous economy is the basis and conditions to ensure efficiency in international economic integration. For that reason, our Party’s mentioning “Building an independent and autonomous economy”; “Improving the efficiency of international economic integration” in the same Section IV: “Completing comprehensively and synchronising the institution, developing a socialist-oriented market economy” in the Draft Political Report submitted to the 13th National Party Congress is absolutely correct and appropriate, demonstrating the Party's consistency in grasping and handling major relations. To perform well this task, in the coming years, it is necessary to continue to thoroughly grasp and implement synchronously some of the following requirements and solutions:

1. Maintain independence and autonomy in determining the undertakings, lines and strategies for national economic development. This is the most important issue, the lesson learned from more than 35 years of renewal, ensuring the building of an independent and autonomous economy and improving the efficiency of international economic integration.

2. Develop strong Vietnamese enterprises to become the core of the country's economy; maintain the major balances, pay attention to ensuring economic security; constantly strengthen the national economic potential; improve the resilience of the economy to negative impacts of external changes. Currently, “Many state-owned enterprises have shown low production and business efficiency; debt, loss and waste are still common ... Most private enterprises are small-scale, with low levels of technology, financial capacity and governance”. Therefore, it is necessary to promote the development of businesses to ensure economic security and constantly strengthen the national economic potential and resilience to negative impacts from outside.

3. Multilateralise and diversify international economic relations, thereby, exploiting the potentials and advantages of markets and avoiding dependence on one market, one partner, especially in case of disruption and fluctuation of the partners or markets.

4. Complete the legal system in accordance with international treaties and international commitments that Vietnam has signed and acceded. Over the past years, implementing the policy of renewal, opening up and international integration, Vietnam has signed and acceded to many international treaties and commitments and new generation free trade agreements with extensive and comprehensive commitments. Therefore, in order to improve the efficiency of international economic integration, contributing to building an independent and autonomous economy, it is necessary to perfect the legal system in accordance with international treaties and international commitments that Vietnam has signed.

5. Carry out many forms of international economic integration with flexible roadmaps suitable to the country's conditions and objectives in each period. International economic integration includes many forms with different levels and requirements, such as: preferential trade agreement, free trade area, customs union, common market, economic union, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt many forms with flexible roadmaps, suitable to the conditions, capabilities and goals of the country in each period, actively contributing to building an independent and autonomous economy.

6. Enhance the training and retraining of staff, first of all those directly involved in international economic integration, with a deep understanding of law, commerce, investment, culture, foreign languages, ... meeting the requirements of working in international environment, settling disputes, protecting the interests of the nation.

Sr. Col., Assoc Prof., Doctor. PHAM VAN SON, Acting Director of the Military Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities

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