Vietnam News Agency (VNA) presents its selection of leading domestic events for the year just ended
1. Resolutely protesting China's illegal acts in the East Sea:
On May 2, China illegally placed its Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling in Viet Nam's exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, seriously violating international law, running counter to high-level agreements between the two countries, and threatening peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea. With the international community's support, the entire Party, army and people of Viet Nam strongly protested China's illegal acts and resolutely safeguarded national sovereignty by peaceful means.
2. Promulgating a number of important laws:
In 2014, the National Assembly approved 29 laws in order to improve economic institutions, the State apparatus and administrative and judicial reforms, ensure human rights and citizens' fundamental obligations, and accelerate international integration. Lawmakers also conducted votes of confidence on key officials in the State system elected or approved by the National Assembly, and passed a resolution on confidence voting.
3. Economic growth surpasses target:
Amidst global economic difficulties, Viet Nam's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 is estimated to have expanded by 5.98 per cent over the previous year, exceeding the target of 5.8 per cent set by the National Assembly. The average consumer price index (CPI) has shown a year-on-year rise of 4.09 per cent, and export turnover is estimated at US$150 billion, up 13.6 per cent from a year ago. However, State budget overspending remains high while difficulties resolving public debts and bad debts still lie ahead.
4. Resolution on cultural and human development adopted:
The ninth meeting of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure) approved a new resolution on the building and development of Vietnamese culture and people to match the country's sustainable development requirements, following a resolution adopted at the fifth meeting of the committee (8th tenure) on promoting the unique culture of Viet Nam.
5. Policies on education-training renewal:
Implementing the resolution of the 8th Party Central Committee on basic and comprehensive education and training renewal, a number of policies were adopted such as the organisation of the 2015 national high school exam and the renewal of circulars and textbooks from the 2018-2019 academic year.
6. Fierce struggle against corruption, negative phenomena:
An array of serious economic violations such as the cases of Nguyen Duc Kien, former vice chairman of the Asia Commercial Bank Founding Council, and Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, former deputy chief of the Risk Management Department at a Vietinbank branch, were brought to trial, along with housing policy violations by former Government Chief Inspector Tran Van Truyen, demonstrating the Party and State's resolve to combat corruption and negative phenomena, thus consolidating public confidence.
7. Successful rescue of victims after hydropower plant tunnel collapse in Lam Dong Province:
At 4:30pm on December 19, 12 workers were rescued from a collapsed tunnel at the Da Dang-Da Chomo Hydropower Plant in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong after being trapped for 81 hours.
8. Progress made in economic integration:
In 2014, Viet Nam concluded negotiations on bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Republic of Korea and the Customs Union of Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan, and reached a consensus on orientations for finishing FTA talks with the European Union. Additionally, the country also took part in negotiations on regional FTAs, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and another deal with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
9. Construction of numerous important structures completed:
A number of structures vital for socio-economic development and security-defence were put into use in 2014, including Southeast Asia's longest undersea power cable from the mainland to Phu Quoc Island, the Ho Chi Minh City-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Highway, the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway and the Nhat Tan Bridge.
10. Three more heritages honoured:
The Trang An Landscape Complex in the northern province of Ninh Binh was recognised as a world heritage meeting both cultural and natural criteria by UNESCO, becoming the first mixed heritage in Viet Nam. Vi giam folk singing from the central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh was listed as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, while a collection of official administrative documents from the Nguyen Dynasty was named a documentary heritage of the Memory of the World Programme in Asia-Pacific. — VNS