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23/01/2019 - 08:27

Vietnam amidst a turbulent world

The unpredictable changes that took place in 2018 continue to raise big questions on the progress of the contemporary world, on how to resolve conflicts and disputes between nations, on how to resolve risks, and on national responsibilities for international commitments.

Luxury cruise ships docked in Chan May - Lang Co

There is a fact that appears as a paradox: the stronger the globalization flows and the deeper the world integrates, the more selfish and extreme nationalism is revealed. National interests have swept many nations and peoples into an increasingly fierce competition.

We cannot ignore Donald Trump’s controversial decisions: The US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, transferred the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and pulled all troops from Syria and Afghanistan, causing concern about the rise of IS and Taliban; and on the last day of 2018, the US withdrew from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under the motto of ‘not investing in inefficiency’.

Previously, the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Global Compact on Migration (GCM).

... It is easy to see two opposing trends exemplified in the two largest economies: The US is adopting a trade protection policy, focusing on bilateral trade, while China and many other countries want to multilateralize and liberalize trade and investment. The trend of globalization and trade liberalization is being challenged by the world's number one economy. This is something no one could have imagined two years ago.

Russia, under the leadership of V. Putin, is rising strongly to regain its stand and assert a position as a world’s power. Although the West extended the embargo on Russia due to Russia taking back the Crimea peninsula and due to the Ukraine issue, Russia's economy remained stable and achieved a growth of 1.7% in 2018. The election of V. Putin as the Russian President for a fourth term shows that Russia will continue to follow the current direction but with a stronger demeanor.

For the fourth time, Russia decided to grant the supreme leadership of the country to V. Putin, which proves that this great nation still needs Putin. As prime minister or president, Putin remains as the political leader of the Russian people. With admirable activeness and assertiveness, he knew how to take the opportunity to gradually regain a worthy international position for his country. Moscow once expected to improve Russia-US relations under President Donald Trump. But after two years in power, what Trump brought was only disappointment for Russia. 

Recreating a ceremony at the Citadel

Is a new international perspective emerging? Or is this a "chaotic" period covered by a mist that is hard to identify? The most interesting surprise was the three inter-Korean summits and the historical meeting of US and North Korea. They created an extraordinary breakthrough that promoted the non-nuclear process and the trend of reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. Security problems on the Korean Peninsula still contain many unknowns, directly related to the China-US-Russian strategic triangle.

In the global power race, it is impossible not to mention Europe which had been immersed and confused in the public debt crisis for many years, and has only recently recovered with a slight, weak recovery. At this moment, the UK decided to leave the EU after 44 years as a member. This disastrous retreat brought a heavy blow to the efforts to take the EU ship out of the storm at the most difficult time ...

Located in the crucial and extremely sensitive area of ​​the global power race, Vietnam must always seek to best handle international relations and interwoven interests, especially among powerful countries. In that context, the foreign front has been actively and positively implemented by the Party and the State, both at the bilateral and the multilateral level. Last year, Vietnam has smoothly implemented international relations to create a peaceful environment for cooperation to develop both in breadth and depth.

While disputes and conflicts are still prevalent in many corners of the world, Vietnam is considered the "land of peace" and is considered as the safest place to invest in Asia. This is very encouraging.

A very important event was that Vietnam and 10 member countries signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which was officially effective on December 30, 2018. The agreement was approved by Vietnam and six other member countries, becoming the first new free trade agreement (FTA) going into practice. CPTPP will create a great opportunity for our economy to integrate into a free trade area with a market of up to 500 million people, with a GDP of about USD 10,000 billion, accounting for 13.5% of global GDP and accounting for 15% global trade.

Vietnam no longer must go to the world for integration, but it is becoming a lively and attractive destination of international integration. Samsung alone has invested USD 17 billion into Vietnam. A new wave of investment is moving as a number of big international investors are planning to enter the Vietnamese market.

Vietnam has made a big reputation when successfully hosting and organizing the World Economic Forum Conference on ASEAN 2018 (WEF ASEAN 2018) with the participation of many countries' leaders and more than 1,200 enterprises, including world-leading businesses and many large regional cooperation events. Mr. Klaus Schwab, Executive Director of WEF, affirmed: “The WEF ASEAN Conference in Vietnam was the most successful conference in 27 years of ASEAN WEF organization”.

The position and prestige of Vietnam was made clearer at the election in the framework of the Session 73 of the United Nations General Assembly on the morning of 18/12/2018. With votes of 157/193, Vietnam was elected to become Member of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) term of 2019-2025.

Following the election to the International Law Commission of the United Nations (2016), Vietnam's becoming a UNCITRAL member marked the next step in proactive, active multilateral legal integration and active participation in building and shaping laws at the international level, ensuring national and ethnic interests.

Outstanding success on the foreign front is creating more motivation for the country. Internal forces and external forces are interacting interactively, giving our country a new position. The constantly growing internal force attracted more foreign forces. Foreign forces are, in turn, converted into internal force.

In the eyes of the world today, Vietnam has really integrated deeply into international life, and is a reliable partner, first of all in its responsible attitude, ability to socialize and high networking. People see the image of a very open, dynamic country with friendly people and a culture full of identity.

Entering 2019, Vietnam is at a new strategic position. It can be said, never before has the force of the country been this strong as it is today. From an overall view of national stature and regional and global stand, the problems on the country's development path have become more obvious. One of the most important key points is that Vietnam must build and operate a better national governance institution with mechanisms that can liberate the full creative labor of the Vietnamese people and the potential and strength of the country. It must explicitly dismiss what obstructs, encumbrances, detracts, and deprives the development opportunities of the country to create new motivations for creation.

The country is rising!

Story: Ho Quang Loi

Photos: Minh Le – Thanh Toan