The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) has selected Việt Nam’s 10 most outstanding events of 2016 as follows:
1. The 12th National Party Congress.
With the spirit of “Solidarity – Democracy – Discipline – Renewal”, the 12th National Party Congress was successfully held from January 20-28, 2016. The congress reviewed 30 years of renewal (đổi mới) and set out development orientations of the nation in the new period. The congress defined six key tasks in a bid to enhance the Party’s building and rectifying work and continue implementing reforms comprehensively and synchronously to build Việt Nam into a strong country with prosperous people, and a democratic, fair and civilised society.
2. The election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2016-21 tenure.
The election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels was organised publicly, democratically, legally, safely and economically, becoming a festival of the entire people. The success of the election laid a foundation for strengthening the organisational and personnel structure of the State apparatus and continuing to build a socialist law-governed State of the people, by the people and for the people, with the resolve to build an upright, active and serviceable government.
3. Overcoming difficulties, the economy continues to record fairly high growth.
Under the leadership and direction of the Government, the determination of the entire political system and the active participation of the business community, Việt Nam’s economy has continued to record fairly high growth despite difficulties caused by drought, saline intrusion, a maritime environmental incident in the central region and negative impacts from the global economy.
The country has successfully maintained macroeconomic stability, curbed inflation, ensured the economy’s major balances and accumulated the highest-ever foreign currency reserves. Việt Nam’s business climate has seen remarkable improvements and the private sector has flourished, while the number of newly-established enterprises has increased rapidly.
4. Fight against corruption and negative phenomena stepped up.
Over the past year, many serious economic and corruption cases went on trial and a series of violations in personnel work were brought to light, with a number of senior officials disciplined. The 4th plenary meeting of the 12th Party Central Committee issued a Resolution on enhancing the Party building and rectifying work; and preventing and pushing back the degradation in political ideology, morality and lifestyle as well as signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” within the Party. A range of specific and drastic measures were deployed, receiving a positive response from officials, party members and the people.
5. Bustling and effective foreign affairs.
Việt Nam’s foreign affairs have been promoted in 2016 with the successful hosting of the 7th Ayeyawady–Chao Phraya–Mekong Economic Co-operation Strategy (ACMECS) Summit (AMECS-7), the 8th Cambodia–Laos–Myanmar–Việt Nam Co-operation Summit (CLMV-8), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Mekong region (WEF Mekong). The country actively attended regional and international forums and arranged many important bilateral visits. These activities affirmed Việt Nam’s consistent foreign policy and determination to promote intensive and comprehensive international integration, helping to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national construction and defence.
6. Maritime environmental incident in the central region.
Wastewater discharged illegally from Taiwan’s Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Corporation seriously polluted the maritime environment of the central provinces of Thừa Thiên-Huế, Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị, causing severe impacts on production and daily life of local people. The Government, relevant ministries, sectors and localities worked hard to strictly handle violations and support affected residents. Formosa accepted full responsibility for the incident and agreed to compensate for the losses.
7. Heavy consequences caused by natural disasters.
A large-scale cold spell in northern mountainous provinces, continuous floods in the central region, drought in the Central Highlands and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta caused severe impacts on production and daily life of local people in 2016. Administrations at all levels, sectors and the entire community helped in supporting affected people to stablise their production and lives, change production models and respond to climate change.
8. Việt Nam’s athletes inspire at Olympics and Paralympics.
At the Rio Olympics 2016 in Brazil, shooter Hoàng Xuân Vinh won the first-ever Olympics gold medal for Việt Nam after claiming the men’s 10m air pistol title and a silver medal in the men’s 50m air pistol.
At the Paralympics 2016, weightlifter Lê Văn Công won the first Paralympics gold medal for Việt Nam, breaking the Paralympics and world records in the men’s up-to-49kg category.
9. Three more pieces of Vietnamese heritage honoured by UNESCO.
“The royal literature on Huế royal architecture” and “Phúc Giang School Woodblocks” were recognised as documentary heritage at the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP)’s 7th General meeting in May 2016.
Meanwhile, the practice related to the Vietnamese belief in worshipping Mother Goddesses of the Three Realms was officially recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity in December.
10. Việt Nam welcomes 10 million foreign visitors.
In 2016, Việt Nam’s tourism sector welcomed a record number of 10 million foreign tourists, up 25 percent year-on-year, and served 62 million domestic visitors. The tourism sector’s total revenue reached VNĐ400 trillion (US$17.6 billion) in the year. This marked an important milestone in Việt Nam’s tourism development process, towards the target of becoming a leading tourist destination in the region and a spearhead economic industry of the country. — VNA/VNS