One of the important factors that have promoted Vietnam's national position is the stable development of its economy. Credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings upgraded Vietnam’s long-term sovereign credit rating to BB+, outlook Stable, on May 26. In the latest rating of this agency, Vietnam is the only ASEAN country which was upgraded in 2022.
Previously, two other leading international credit rating agencies, Fitch Ratings and Moodys, also gave similar assessments. It should be noted that to be upgraded in credit ratings and prospects, the countries and financial institutions must undergo rigorous surveys and assessments based on important criteria such as income per capita, macroeconomic stability, social justice achievements and public finance. In turn, the three agencies’ ratings are the certifications for the “strength” of an economy and the reliable data for investors and businesses to refer to.
The above achievements are encouraging especially in the context that Vietnam has been facing the long-lasting negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, many localities had to implement social distancing, resulting in a halt of domestic production, business and trade activities. According to data from the Business Registration Department, there were nearly 120,000 enterprises dissolved or ceased to operate in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 17.8%. As a result, the number of underemployed workers also increased, especially in urban areas. After many consecutive years of stable development, Vietnam's economy recorded negative growth in the third quarter of 2021.
On November 7, 2021, evaluating Resolution No.128/NQ-CP dated October 11, 2021, which promulgated temporary regulations on “safe and flexible adaptation and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Chief Representative of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Marko Wald, said frankly that the contents of Resolution No.128 are very progressive, showing the Government's rapid adaptation in the new context. Sharing the same comment, on December 5, 2021, Chief Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Vietnam Francois Painchaud noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s great impact on jobs, Vietnam can achieve economic targets, however, more drastic reforms are required.
Looking at the overall picture of Vietnam's economy from the end of 2021, the prosperity in many fields and industries can be seen clearly. Vietnam’s GDP grew by 7.72% in the second quarter of 2022, the highest in more than a decade. This effect was assessed to stem from Resolution No. 43/2022/QH15, dated January 11, 2022, on fiscal and monetary policies to support the socio-economic recovery and development, worth a total of up to 350 trillion VND, which was approved by the National Assembly.
In addition, many short-term and long-term initiatives and solutions have been put forward to remove difficulties for businesses and employees. However, the most important factor was the consistency in the guidelines of the Party and State in always putting people as the centre and the target of development. In all situations, the Party and State have always ensured policies and mechanisms to support businesses, social security and people's lives, especially workers, the poor and the vulnerable.
At the third session of the 15th National Assembly, the NA deputies spent a lot of time discussing socio-economic issues, considering and passing many laws, resolutions and programmes to expeditiously provide appropriate policies to meet the people's aspirations. That is the reason for experts as well as domestic and foreign investors to believe in the bright prospects of Vietnam.
Along with economic progress, Vietnam also achieved many goals in the fields of culture and society. Despite the severe impact of COVID-19, Vietnam climbed three places to 40th in the 2021 Best Countries Report, announced by the US News & World Report.
Although Vietnam was listed in the group of low-middle-income countries, the country has gained many achievements in ensuring and promoting human rights. Vietnam is among the countries with the highest gender equality index in the world as controlling inequality in income distribution, making great strides in narrowing the gap between rich and poor, and improving the quality of education. The National Strategy on Nutrition for the 2011-2020 period achieved many miracles. Physical development is the key to improving the quality of labour and the life of Vietnamese people.
In recent years, Vietnam has been one of the few countries that still maintained positive economic growth despite the impacts of the pandemic and the instability of the world’s economy. The quality of Vietnamese people’s lives has significantly improved materially and spiritually. The stable and peaceful environment and friendly people have convinced many foreigners to choose to live and work in Vietnam.
In the international arena, the United Nations has always highly appreciated Vietnam in international peacekeeping and security activities, making many positive contributions to the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Vietnam launched important initiatives on forest protection, transition to renewable energy, adaptation support for local communities and methane reduction as well as gave aid and support to many countries and territories around the world. This fact has made many individuals and organisations, even though they lack goodwill towards the Party and the State of Vietnam, acknowledge the country’s position.
It can be said that the achievements in all aspects have contributed to strengthening Vietnam's position in the international arena. Vietnam's imprint and influence at multilateral, regional and international forums were highly valued and many of Vietnam's initiatives were supported and agreed upon by friends. Among them are the initiatives and commitments of Vietnam at the United Nations Climate Change Summit 2021 (COP26).
During his visit and working session at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, US, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a meeting with Anmina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, and many senior officials of this organisation on May 16. Anmina Mohammed affirmed Vietnam is an important partner and friend of the United Nations.
On June 7, 2022, the UN General Assembly elected Vietnam as one of the Vice Presidents of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s 77th session, representing the Asia-Pacific region, within one year. During the candidacy process to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the upcoming 2023-2025 term, Vietnam was also honoured to be nominated by ASEAN countries as an ASEAN candidate.
The world is facing complicated developments. The COVID-19 pandemic has been basically controlled but it has still a risk of outbreak in several countries and territories. The countries around the globe continue to face many issues such as climate change, food security and energy security. These difficulties have directly and indirectly affected the development of the countries, including Vietnam. This is also a challenge for the country to demonstrate its bravery and potential, to advance in all fields and to show its prestige and position in the international arena. As a result, a solid foundation will be created to contribute to strengthening and enhancing Vietnam's position in the region and in the world in the way ahead.