Viet Nam has been a reliable partner in the region and the world and its economy has developed into an integral part of the global market. We attach great importance to full and rigorous implementation of our commitments to the WTO, ASEAN FTAs with China, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Viet Nam - Japan Agreement on Economic Partnership and to the efforts to build the ASEAN Community. We just signed a Free Trade Agreement with Chile during the APEC 2011 Summit in Hawaii. Vietnam is also actively engaging in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and about to launch negotiations with the EU for a Free Trade Agreement.
The year 2012 will mark the 26th anniversary of Viet Nam's broad reform efforts - Doi Moi. Vietnam has made firm steps on the path of development and international integration, actively contributing to peace and cooperation for development and economic linkages of ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Vietnam has emerged from being a war-torn, underdeveloped country to become a reliable partner and a rapidly growing economy in the Southeast Asia region. Vietnam has met and surpassed many of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, ensuring social progress and justice, eradicating hunger and alleviating poverty, and improving social welfare.
Vietnam is now focusing on restructruring the economy and our growth model, with emphasis given a reform of the investment model, restructure the financial and banking systems and reform and reduce the number of state-owned enterprises. Vietnam will also place priority to maintaining social welfare, steping-up the fight against corruption, accelerating administrative reform and intensifying poverty alleviation and hunger eradication activities.
One of the main focus is the process of eccelerating the restructuring of SOEs, with focus on consolidating and increasing efficiency. The number of SOEs has reduced from 12000 in 1990 to 1000 now and will be down to 500 in the next four years. All SOEs are planned to be equitized this year. Only SOEs of core, strategic industries, like energy, heavy equipment, infrastructure... are retained because these industries in Vietnam are still in the process of developing.
In the long term, as detailed in the Social and Economic Strategy for 2011 – 2020, Vietnam will focus on 3 goals: i) building market economy institutions and mechanism, with emphasis on a fair, transparent, efficient business environment being supported by a streamlined bureaucracy; ii) developing human resources, especially high-skilled resources; and iii) building integrated infractructure to support growth.
Relationship with the United States is of strategic importance to Vietnam, especially our economic and trade cooperation. Vietnam welcomes US investment and trade, especially high-tech areas. Vietnamese products, especially from small and medium Vietnamese enterprises, are also reaching American consumers in greater number. Economic cooperation within the framework of TPP negotiation as well as other aspects of trade and investments will also be one of the key building blocks for the advancement of our relations to higher level, toward strategic partnership.
As a nation characterized by old-aged history and culture, diversified natural resources, young, dynamic and skillful labor force, and political and social stability, Vietnam will continue to be a market full of potentials and an ideal destination for international investors and businesses, especially from the United States.