Vietnam's Party to review candidates for presidency at key gathering

By Viet Tuan   October 2, 2018 | 01:37 pm GMT+7
Vietnam's Party to review candidates for presidency at key gathering
The 8th plenum of the 12th Central Committee of Vietnam’s Communist Party opens in Hanoi on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam News Agency

The 12th Central Committee of Vietnam’s Communist Party will review candidates for the president position at its ongoing 8th plenum in Hanoi.

During the five-day meeting, the Politburo, the Party's decision-making body, will introduce candidates for the new president post, Vietnam's Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said. The Central Committee will consider the list before presenting to the legislative National Assembly.

President Tran Dai Quang passed away September 21 due to a serious illness and Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh has taken over as Vietnam's first female head of state, until the assembly elects Quang’s successor. The assembly will gather on October 22.

Trong said the Party plenum will also elect new members to the Party's Central Inspection Commission and announce punishment decisions on some officials.

Analysts have expected new personnel for the Central Committee since the plenum in May, but no decisions have been made. By then, Dinh La Thang, former Ho Chi Minh City’s Party chief and Politburo member, had received long jail terms for violations when he was chairman of state-owned PetroVietnam between 2006 and 2011, while Dinh The Huynh, who was the de facto number two of the Communist Party, left his positions as Executive Secretary of the Party's Secretariat and Chairman of the Party's Central Theoretical Council due to ill health.

The ongoing plenum, opened in Hanoi Tuesday, will also review socio-economic development and the government’s revenue collection this year and set targets for next year.

Based on the first nine months, the plenum expects the full-year socioeconomic performance to be good.

Vietnam’s GDP grew by 6.98 percent between January and September, the highest nine-month growth rate since 2011, and is expected to surpass the target of 6.7 percent. Per capita income is set to rise by 6.5 percent to $2,540.

Among topics to be discussed is the Vietnam Marine Strategy for until 2020.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said maritime has made significant contributions to the country’s economic development.

"The maritime economy now accounts for 60-70 percent of the country’s GDP, the highest rate ever," he told the meeting.

Ha also pointed to weaknesses in executing the strategy, saying near-shore fishing has reached a level of overexploitation while the shipbuilding industry has failed to meet expectations.

“We used to hope that shipbuilding will become a spearhead of the economy, but now it can be seen that this sector has missed its opportunities.

“But a country with a long coastline like Vietnam should rely on the shipbuilding industry. We can’t keep hiring or buying ships. And in order to boost this sector, we need to restructure its governance, adopt advanced technologies and train human resources while also attracting quality human resources at the same time.”

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