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Vietnam 13th Party Congress attracts international attention

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party gathered for its first national congress since 2016 on Monday with a mission to select new leaders and shape policy for the next five years and beyond.

In nine days of meetings – mostly behind closed doors – delegates will pick a new leadership team aiming to bolster Vietnam’s ongoing economic success and the legitimacy of the party’s rule.

Addressing the opening session of the 13th Party Congress in Hanoi, Party General Secretary and State President Trong praised the country’s achievements in overcoming the socioeconomic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and emphasized the role model performance that Vietnam can build on to become a developed nation by mid-21st century, according to VNexpress.net

Delegates to the congress, foreign dignitaries, support staff and media attending the event were all tested twice for the coronavirus in the days leading up to the gathering. According to the health ministry, a total of 10,000 people have been tested in conjunction with the congress.

That approach echoes the tough quarantine measures, testing and tracing that have contributed to Vietnam having far fewer virus cases than most other countries: it has reported just over 1,500 COVID-19 infections and 35 deaths in total, reported Reuters.

While the global economy suffered a recession in 2020 and recorded negative growth rate of almost 4 percent because of the pandemic and regional peers buckled under the pandemic, Vietnam's GDP grew 2.91 percent. While the growth was the lowest in a decade, Vietnam remained one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

One of the last five Communist-ruled countries in the world besides China, Cuba, Laos and North Korea, Vietnam is already eyeing average annual gross domestic product growth of 7 percent over the next five years, said Aljazeera

But a new leadership will be faced with the challenge of balancing relations with China and the United States, for which Vietnam has become an important strategic partner, in a world economy that’s become detached from previous certainties, Reuters added.


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