With its progressive and reformist government and under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Vietnam has achieved enormous progress in economic development, Veeramalla Anjaiah, a Senior Research Fellow at the Jakarta-based Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) has said.
Vietnam’s socialist-oriented market economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, said Anjaiah, who is also a senior journalist at the Jakarta Post, adding that last year, it grew 2.91 percent, one of the highest in the world, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is expected to grow again around 7 percent this year because Vietnam signed recently several free trade agreements such as the European Union -Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and the newly-concluded United Kingdom-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA),” he told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporter in Jakarta.
The Indonesian researcher went on to highlight Vietnam’s successful ASEAN chairmanship in 2020 with the theme of “Cohesive and Responsive” despite huge challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam emphasised on the need for ASEAN unity and centrality. The country promoted dialogue and cooperation, made efforts to prevent conflicts, built confidence and tried to form a regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based.
Under the chairmanship of Vietnam, ASEAN leaders agreed to adopt the Mid-term Review of the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025 last year. Vietnam has also prepared a regional action plan to mitigate impacts from COVID-19.
The Hanoi Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision adopted at the 37th ASEAN Summit aims to create a solid foundation for the road ahead for the ASEAN community.
He stressed that the biggest outcome of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in 2020 during the Vietnam’s chairmanship was the signing of the RCEP Agreement by 15 countries, which creates the world’s largest trade bloc.
Vietnam has achieved a huge success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued, through early quick response, proactive and preventive measures resulted in a low number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.