1. Important mid-term decisions made by the Party

During its seventh plenum, the Party Central Committee discussed five key tasks for the second half of the 13th term and held a vote of confidence for members of the Politburo and the Secretariat. The eighth plenum focused on issuing four significant Resolutions and providing opinions on personnel work for the 2026-2031 term.

These two important plenums effectively addressed several new challenges, inspiring the entire political system to successfully achieve the development goals set by the 13th National Party Congress.

2. Diplomatic achievements and Vietnam’s global standing

2023 witnessed a busy year of diplomatic activities for Vietnam, highlighted by high-level visits to Hanoi by Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping, President of the United States of America Joe Biden, and other heads of state and government. Additionally, Vietnamese leaders embarked on numerous official visits overseas. Particularly noteworthy was the deepening of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China, as well as the elevation of relations with the United States and Japan to comprehensive strategic partnerships.

2023 also saw the launch of a book by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong titled “Building and developing a comprehensive and modern Vietnamese foreign policy and diplomacy imbued with the identity of ‘Vietnamese Bamboo’”. This book underlined the Party’s consistent and comprehensive ideology regarding Vietnam’s foreign policy and diplomacy.

The successful diplomatic endeavors in 2023 further solidified the foreign policy set forth at the 13th National Party Congress, contributing to the maintenance of a peaceful and stable global environment while enhancing Vietnam’s international position and prestige.

3. Tightening power control and intensifying anti-corruption efforts

In 2023, the Politburo issued regulations on power control, corruption and negativity prevention in personnel work, as well as regulations on investigation, prosecution, trial, and enforcement of judgments, inspection, supervision, and enforcement of Party disciplines, and inspection and audit activities. These regulations played a crucial role in strengthening control over the power of ranking officials and Party members, with special emphasis on the leadership.

Additionally, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s book on the fight against corruption and negative phenomena was launched, shedding light on the theoretical and practical aspects of the fight. Entitled “Resolutely, persistently fighting corruption and negative phenomena to contribute to building a more transparent and stronger Party and State,” the book clarified the Party’s perspective on corruption and negativity prevention, as well as Party building and rectification.

The ongoing anti-corruption campaign saw numerous investigations into major corruption scandals, implicating high-ranking officials, both current and retired. Many individuals linked to scandals such as the COVID-19 test kit scandal at Viet A company or the repatriation flight case at the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were brought to court. The unwavering crackdown on corruption, under the motto “no forbidden zone,” strengthened trust in the Party and State among officials, Party members, and citizens.

4. Strong economic resilience amidst global challenges

In 2023, despite global economic challenges, Vietnam attained major economic goals. The macroeconomy remained stable, with a projected GDP growth of over 5% and well-maintained major balances. The government implemented a series of fiscal and monetary policies to support socio-economic recovery and development. Efforts were made to improve the investment and business environment, stabilize exchange rates and essential commodity prices, and address difficulties in the financial, construction, and real estate markets.

Although Vietnam did not achieve its growth target, the recorded successes demonstrated the country’s dedication to surmounting domestic and global obstacles, particularly adverse global economic conditions.

5. Breakthroughs in transport infrastructure construction

In 2023, Vietnam addressed difficulties in mechanisms and policies, leading to breakthroughs in the implementation of crucial infrastructure projects such as the Long Thanh air terminal and national expressway projects. These projects alleviated traffic congestion, enhanced regional connectivity, and served as catalysts for socio-economic development.

6. Commemorating 80 years of the “Outline of Vietnamese Culture”

The “Outline of Vietnamese Culture,” the seminal document on culture introduced by the Communist Party of Vietnam 80 years ago, demonstrated its enduring value. The Outline laid out three fundamental principles for cultural development, namely nationalization, popularization, and scientification, which continue to guide Vietnam’s cultural development. This 80-year-old document retains its profound theoretical and contemporary value, providing guidance for Vietnam in nation-building and preservation.

Activities commemorating the 80th anniversary of the “Outline of Vietnamese Culture” were organized nationwide, aiming to promote the historical and practical significance of the document in making culture a true spiritual foundation, internal strength, and driving force for national development and defense, in line with the Party’s Resolution.

7. Devastating fires and explosions with severe consequences

In 2023, nearly 2,000 fires and explosions occurred in Vietnam, resulting in nearly 150 fatalities and significant material damage. One notable case was the mini apartment fire in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan district on September 12, which claimed 56 lives and injured 37 others.

These alarming statistics underscored the need for stricter management and inspection of fire safety regulations in construction projects, as well as improved public awareness of fire prevention and control. Drastic changes and corrections are necessary to address these issues.

8. Ongoing challenges in medicine and medical supplies shortage

Despite the issuance of numerous documents to support the health sector by the National Assembly, the Government, and the Ministry of Health, there was an ongoing shortage of drugs, medical supplies, and equipment in hospitals throughout the country. The shortage persisted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, inadequate legal documents, bidding issues, and fear of making mistakes among individuals, organizations, and localities. Long-term solutions are needed to completely resolve these problems.

9. Comprehensive salary reform in 2024

The leadership decided to implement comprehensive salary reform policy based on job positions starting on July 1, 2024, with the objective of ensuring that workers can make a living from their income. The primary goal of this policy is for wages to become the main source of income, ensuring the livelihoods of workers and their families. This long-awaited policy also aims to invest in human resource development, motivate improvements in labor productivity and work efficiency, and make significant contributions to social progress, equity, and socio-political stability, thereby promoting and enhancing the quality of growth and sustainable development.

10. New regulations on high school graduation exam from 2025 onwards

Starting from 2025, the Ministry of Education and Training decided to reduce the number of tests in the high school graduation exam to four, compared to the five or six tests previously administered. The new format requires candidates to sit two compulsory tests (mathematics and literature) and two optional tests (a foreign language, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology, economics and legal education, informatics, and technology).

The revised exam model is expected to relieve pressure and costs on society, align with ongoing education reform efforts, accurately assess students’ abilities, and ensure equal access to all subjects. The decision garnered strong support from students, parents, and teachers alike.