Search

 

Cablegate: Senator Hagel Discusses Pntr and Economic, Social Reforms

VZCZCXRO7858
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #2620 2860133
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130133Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3686
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 1977
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HANOI 002620

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV OTRA ECON VM
SUBJECT: SENATOR HAGEL DISCUSSES PNTR AND ECONOMIC, SOCIAL REFORMS
WITH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAIRMAN

Ref: Hanoi 771

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) On October 6, Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Chairman
and Politburo member Nguyen Phu Trong briefed Senator Chuck Hagel on
the NA's developing oversight role in Vietnam's policymaking process
and in promoting social and economic development. Trong said
passage of Permanent Normal Trading Relations (PNTR) before APEC
would give the President's visit here "more meaning." Senator Hagel
stated that he strongly supports PNTR legislation and WTO entry for
Vietnam. Senator Hagel relayed American condolences for the loss of
life in central Vietnam caused by Hurricane Xangsane. End Summary.

2. (SBU) On October 6, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) met Vietnamese
National Assembly (NA) Chairman and Politburo member Nguyen Phu
Trong. Senator Hagel extended condolences over the loss of life in
central Vietnam due to Hurricane Xangsane. Trong responded that
Hanoi is grateful for USG assistance. Vietnam's leaders have taken
strong measures to reduce the suffering in affected areas, he added.


3. (SBU) Senator Hagel noted that many changes have taken place in
Vietnam compared to his last visit in 1999. Vietnam's entry into
the WTO will further this development, and he predicted that, though
PNTR passage "is not guaranteed," Congress may vote in favor of PNTR
before the President comes for APEC. Trong responded that passing
the PNTR legislation would be good for Vietnam and make the
President's APEC visit here "more meaningful."

National Assembly's Growing Role
--------------------------------

4. (SBU) Trong noted that Vietnam has not only undertaken economic
reforms, but political reforms as well, in order to "better promote
democracy and the voice of the people." For example, of the nearly
500 NA deputies, 28 percent are female and many represent ethnic
minority groups. (Comment: The Party has maintained quotas on
ethnic and social groups in the NA since the institution's
inception, and the Vietnam Fatherland Front vets all candidates
standing in NA elections. End Comment.) The NA's main tasks are:
1) to make laws and regulations; 2) to "serve national economic and
social development and economic integration;" and, 3) to increase
the overall volume of legislation. In his role as NA Chairman,
Trong aims to accelerate this pace, he said.

5. (SBU) Trong noted that the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers
must report to the NA on progress in their social and economic
programs. NA deputies are now authorized to question ministers
about these policies in formal sessions broadcast live throughout
the country. When necessary, NA delegations visit provinces and
cities to oversee program implementation, Trong said. In addition,
the NA recently passed an audit law, which will create a national
audit agency, he noted.

6. (SBU) The NA has developed relations with foreign parliaments
and hosted international conferences to improve the NA's capacity,
Trong continued. NA delegations have visited the U.S. Congress and
the NA has hosted several important CODELs, including House Speaker
Dennis Hastert's April visit. Trong said that the NA "looks forward
to receiving as many delegations as possible."

7. (SBU) Senator Hagel asked what role the NA plays in the
oversight of infrastructure projects. Trong stated that the
Assembly spends "much time and money on this topic and, without good
NA management and supervision, Vietnam suffers big losses," as in
the Project Management Unit (PMU)-18 scandal (reftel). The NA will
focus its next session on implementing land reform programs and
other development projects, such as the Dung Quat oil refinery and
The Phu My fertilizer complex, and privatizing State-owned
enterprises. The NA will also question ministries on delays in
implementing some already approved projects. Trong said he would
welcome any advice in the area of monitoring infrastructure
development.

8. (SBU) Trong confirmed that private sector companies will be
allowed to participate in future infrastructure projects. In
addition, administrative reform will remain a priority because the
GVN aims to "create the most favorable conditions for foreign
investors." Although asked by the Senator, Trong declined to
discuss the NA's role in banking regulation.

9. Senator Hagel has cleared this message.

ALOISI

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>