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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  2 February  2016  

 VN targets high growth to 2020

Viet Nam aims to achieve annual average economic growth of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent through 2020, striving to turn itself into an advanced industrial country soon, according to the Resolution of the 12th National Party's Congress.

The Resolution, approved and made public at the end of the nine-day long National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV), mapped out several targets in terms of socioeconomic development as well as environmental protection that will set the specific working checklist for the new Party and Government leaders in the next five years.

According to the Resolution, GDP per capita was expected to rise to $3,500 by 2020 from $2,019 in 2015.

The Party also set the task to keep the unemployment rate in urban areas below 4 per cent while 80 per cent of the population will be covered by health insurance – an indication that the ultimate target of making health insurance universal is unlikely to be achieved soon.

About 95 per cent of urban residents and 90 per cent of those living in the countryside will have access to clean and hygienic water, according to the Resolution.

Apart from those specific target figures, the Resolution also listed six key missions to be carried out in the upcoming time, one of which is a refinement of the Party in order to stop the regression of the political ideology, morals and lifestyle of the 4.5 million Party members.

Further works will be done to build a lean and efficient political system as well as to bolster the fight against corruption, state budget waste and bureaucracy.

Preserving the country's territorial integrity was also one of the key missions for the political system to uphold especially in the context of Viet Nam being one of the main parties involved in the simmering East Sea dispute.

Though firmly safeguarding the homeland, according to the Resolution, Viet Nam at the same time strives to maintain an environment of peace and stability favourable to development as well as to further deepen relationships with other countries for a fruitful international integration.

Meanwhile, labour productivity, the economy's competitiveness and economic growth quality were three issues that received a call for stronger measures to accelerate the country's economy.

The productivity of Vietnamese workers were known to rest in the bottom half of the ASEAN bloc's, raising concerns among experts of the country's competitiveness especially as Viet Nam is a member of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) starting this year and has also signed several international trade agreements including the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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