VCCI President Pham Tan Cong addresses the conference dedicated to comprehensively understanding and implementing Resolution 41-NQ/TW of the Politburo, which focuses on fostering and enhancing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in the new era
The World Bank (WB) classifies an upper middle-income nation as one with an annual Gross National Income (GNI) per capita ranging from US$4,046 to US$12,535. The GNI, which is generally lower than the GDP in developing countries due to its different calculation method, stood at US$4,010 for Vietnam in 2022, as announced by the WB. Despite the GDP per capita being US$4,124 in the same year, the economic growth in 2023 has led to the belief that Vietnam will enter the group of upper middle-income countries in 2024, even though the WB has not yet announced the GNI. This is the first beacon indicating the commencement of a new phase.
Resolution 41-NQ/TW: A new approach for the advancement of a strong entrepreneurial force
As spring ushers in renewal and prosperity, Vietnamese entrepreneurs, having weathered the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic and the volatile year of 2023, stand on the cusp of the Year of the Dragon, imbued with optimism for the inception of a new economic era for their nation. This sentiment was echoed in 2023 when General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong promulgated Resolution 41-NQ/TW of the Politburo, aimed at fostering and enhancing the role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in this new epoch, coinciding with the celebration of Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day on October 13.
Resolution 41-NQ/TW 2023, premised on the belief that “entrepreneurs hold an important position and serve as one of the core forces propelling the cause of national industrialization, modernization, international integration, and the construction and development of an independent, self-reliant economy, ensuring national defense and security,” has infused a renewed vigor in shaping the evolution of Vietnamese businesspeople. The resolution aligns the objectives of entrepreneurial development with the nation’s development goals up to 2030 with a vision for 2045. It heralds many breakthroughs in ideology and orientation, laying a firm foundation for the growth of the business community. These include the creation of a conducive, secure and equitable investment and business environment for companies; the introduction of appropriate economic sanctions to address violations, without criminalizing economic relations; the formulation of development strategies for national, sectoral, and local entrepreneurial forces; the development of national training programs for a large number of high-quality entrepreneurs, instilled with ethics and a business culture steeped in national identity; the implementation of innovative policies to establish and develop nationalistic companies and large-scale firms; and the introduction of policies to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand their scale and enhance their competitiveness. These unprecedented new points encapsulate the aspirations and expectations of the business community.
Resolution 41-NQ/TW breathes new life into the entrepreneurial spirit of businesspeople. As 2024 marks the first year of implementing Resolution 41-NQ/TW, it also signifies the commencement of a new phase of Vietnamese entrepreneurial development. Much like the onset of the Doi Moi (renovation) period, the profound values of Resolution 41-NQ/TW will unfold and be realized over the course of many years. This is indeed the dawn of a new era.
VCCI’s conference on nurturing the culture of Vietnamese family businesses
International integration: Unprecedented opportunities and milestones
The second signal of a new era is Vietnam’s stature in the realm of international integration. In 2022, Vietnam achieved an impressive international trade scale of US$730 billion, placing it among the top 20 countries globally. Despite a contraction to US$683 billion in 2023, it maintained its position among the world’s leading economies. With its potential realized after nearly four decades of Doi Moi, Vietnam has emerged as a focal point in the development strategies of nations and global investors.
The year 2023 was marked by a series of significant diplomatic events within a span of just three months. On September 10-11, Vietnam welcomed U.S. President Joe Biden, elevating the bilateral relationship to the highest echelon of comprehensive strategic partnership. On December 12-13, General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping visited Vietnam, resulting in a joint statement to enhance the relationship and the signing of 36 cooperation documents. On November 27-30, President Vo Van Thuong visited Japan, upgrading the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This series of engagements with the world’s leading powers, all valuing and forging ties at the highest level with Vietnam, is an unprecedented and rare achievement for any nation.
The year 2023 also witnessed increased pressures to restructure global production and supply chains in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to strategic competition between major countries, dynamic shifts in technology flows and international investment flows are seeking new landing destinations. Vietnam has opportunistically shaped its entrepreneurial and business forces to compete effectively with businesses from other countries. With significant advancements in human resources and infrastructure, Vietnam has emerged as a potential “link” in the restructuring of global production and supply chains across various fields and industries. It has become an attractive destination that meets many selection criteria of international investors. The year 2024 marks the beginning of a new era, carving out a new position for Vietnam in the international value chain, targeting industries and fields with high technology content and value. Conversely, international integration also serves as a catalyst for institutional change, significantly streamlining the process of enhancing the business environment in Vietnam.
The pivotal year for implementing the 10-year socioeconomic development strategy (2021-2030) with a vision to 2045
The third signal of the dawn of a new era is the preparatory phase for the 14th National Party Congress. Over the course of nearly 40 years of Doi Moi since the 6th Party Congress, each congress ushered in a new stage of development, bringing about significant transformations in the nation’s life. In October 2023, the 8th Meeting of the Central Party Committee of the 13th term resolved to establish five subcommittees in preparation for the 14th Party Congress for the 2026-2031 term. 2024 will be dedicated to preparation, 2025 will witness Party Congresses at all levels, and 2026 will host the 14th National Party Congress.
The year 2024 also marks a milestone in the implementation of the “10-year socioeconomic development strategy for 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045”. Under this strategy, Vietnam aspires to evolve into a modern industrial nation with an upper-middle-income GDP per capita of US$7,500, and to establish modern, competitive, effective and efficient management institutions by 2030. To achieve these economic development goals, Vietnam, from 2024 onward, must seize and capitalize on the historical economic opportunities outlined above. Entrepreneurs eagerly await the institutionalization and actualization of the Party’s policies and guidelines, which will invigorate the entrepreneurial spirit and foster a vibrant business atmosphere in society once again.
A less-discussed impediment to economic development in 2023 was the state of entrepreneurship in society. People were hesitant to invest in businesses, preferring to deposit their money in banks. Entrepreneurs prioritized safety over business expansion. Some economic experts even remarked that “Vietnamese businesses don’t want to grow big”. Resolution 41-NQ/TW of the Politburo aims to alleviate this bottleneck by “creating a favorable, safe, and equitable investment and business environment for businesses to develop and make contributions”. It is anticipated that the 14th National Party Congress will bring about changes and herald a new era where individuals and businesses feel secure in conducting business and making contributions, thereby realizing national aspirations and the Party’s goal of transforming Vietnam into a developed, high-income country by 2045.
In the eyes of the international community, Vietnam is highly appreciated for its transformation efforts, its ability to maintain optimistic growth in a more sustainable manner, and its increasing contributions and role in the global economy. We take pride in the fact that in less than 40 years of transitioning to a market economy, we have achieved socioeconomic development milestones that have reportedly surpassed those of countries that had adopted a market economy decades or even centuries before us. We have built a strong force of more than 800,000 companies, over 5.1 million business households, and nearly 30,000 cooperatives. Vietnam has also become a destination for FDI businesses and investors from over 140 countries and economies worldwide. Many signals indicate that 2024 marks the beginning of a new period for the development of Vietnam’s economy and businesses. As a supporter and platform for businesses, VCCI will continue to uphold its traditions and strengths in fostering an enabling business environment, facilitating connections between domestic and international business communities, supporting Party and State guidelines and policies, and creating robust synergistic values in socioeconomic development. Seizing opportunities with determination and overcoming challenges with resolve, the Year of the Dragon - 2024 signifies the advent of a transformative era. It is a period when Vietnam ascends, transforming into a Dragon - a developed nation with a high-income economy characterized by prosperity and contentment.
Pham Tan Cong, Secretary of Party Union, President of VCCI