Greenscapes wildlife netting 7 by 100 feet
Five domestically-transmitted cases of COVID-19 reported on April 29
Vietnam recorded 45 cases of COVID-19 in the past 12 hours to 6pm April 29, with 39 detected among people being quarantined after arrival, one case who had completed quarantine after arrival and five connected cases, according to the Health Ministry.
Patient 2899 returned from Japan on April 7 and was released from a concentrated quarantine site in Da Nang on April 22 after completing two weeks in quarantine and testing negative for the coronavirus three times. After returning to his home in the northern province of Ha Nam, he showed symptoms of coughing, fever and sore throat, and turned out to be positive on April 24. Four others in his family also contracted the virus.
Another case detected in Ho Chi Minh City was also connected to Patient 2899.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 2,910, with 2,516 having recovered. The death toll remains at 35.
Among patients still under treatment, 13 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 15 twice and 20 thrice.
Meanwhile, 38,513 people are being quarantined nationwide.
Ha Nam authorities have taken urgent measures to track people who had made contact with Patient 2899. The village where he lives has been put under lockdown./.
Vietnam stands side by side with India in COVID-19 fight: leaders
Vietnam always stands side by side with India in the fight against COVID-19, the Vietnamese leaders affirmed on April 28.
In their messages of sympathy sent to their Indian counterparts Ram Nath Kovind and Narendra Modi, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said they share difficulties faced by the Indian people in the fierce battle against COVID-19 in the context that the pandemic is developing complicatedly around the world.
They expressed his belief that India will uphold its great internal strength to soon bring the country out of this difficulty, for the peaceful, happy and prosperous life of the residents.
On the same day, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son cabled his sympathy to his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
Culture ministry calls for COVID-19 vigilance during national holiday
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) has asked provincial and local authorities in the field of culture, sports and tourism to enforce preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the upcoming four-day national holiday.
In an official circular issued by the ministry and sent to the People’s Committees of provinces and cities on Monday, the ministry said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop in the world with the number of new cases and deaths still increasing in many countries.
Notably, the pandemic is booming on a large scale in a number of countries that share a border with Việt Nam, it said.
“Although it has been well controlled domestically, the risk of returning outbreaks is always permanent, especially from sources of official entries and illegal immigration,” the ministry said in its circular.
The ministry warned that some people have been negligent in pandemic prevention.
To maintain control of the pandemic, the ministry urged People’s Committees of provinces and cities to strictly follow the directions of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on strengthening COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, with continued vigilance against the risk of a new outbreak.
It is necessary to ensure absolute safety for residents and tourists, according to the ministry.
The ministry also asked provinces and cities to limit the organising of unnecessary events and activities that gather crowds of people and direct local tourist service units and agencies to register and self-assess their COVID-19 safety measures.
Provincial and city authorities should inspect pandemic prevention and control measures to promptly detect violations and issue strict punishments if necessary.
The ministry has requested provinces and cities to report on the results of the implementation of the COVID-19 prevention and control programme not later than May 10.
Highland market to be recreated in Hanoi
People of Hanoi capital and tourists will have a chance to watch unique cultural performances and sample specialties of ethnic people in the highland region when a highland market is recreated in the capital city.
Such a market is scheduled to be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay town on the outskirts of Hanoi between April 29 and May 3 as part of activities to celebrate National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).
The highlight of the event is set to be an array of booths which will display a range of agricultural and forestry products, along with handicraft items and traditional food native to Hoang Su Phi district in Ha Giang province.
A photo and book exhibition is due to be held in order to introduce the culture and tourism products of the northwestern region to visitors.
Brocades of ethnic groups such as the Mong, the Thai, and the Dao will be put on sale, while their folk games are anticipated to attract plenty of participants.
Most notably, “Keo Vo”, wife snatching, a ritual of the Mong ethnic group, will be recreated daily between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., along with 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., from April 30 to May 3.
Plenty of art performances will also be held at fixed times such as from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., each day from April 29 to May 3.
HCM City prepares to host Vietnam Junior Fashion Week 2021
The 14th version of Vietnam Junior Fashion Week is set to get underway in Ho Chi Minh City from May 1 to May 2, with the occasion due to feature the participation of many famous local fashion designers.
For the first time ever, child patients of Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital will perform alongside other professional child models, with the aim to encourage them to overcome their difficulties and help make their dreams come true.
During the course of the two-day event, a total of 14 fashion designers and brands, including Domark Kid, An ST, Vicky Princess, Lala Babe, and Cindy For Kids, will introduce their latest collections to excited viewers.
Vietnam Junior Fashion Week was first held in 2016 and has been held annually since in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Famous Vietnamese model Xuan Lan is the founder of the event.
No new COVID-19 cases logged over 12 hours, vaccination effort ramping up
Vietnam reported no new COVID-19 cases during the past 12 hours to 6:00am on April 29, keeping the national count at 2,865, according to the Ministry of Health.
As many as 38,513 people having close contact with COVID-19 patients or entering Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined across the country.
The ministry’s Medical Service Administration reported that a total of 2,516 patients have been given the all-clear from COVID-19 so far, while the death toll related to the disease remains at 35.
Among active patients undergoing treatment, 13 tested negative to the coronavirus once, 15 twice and 20 thrice.
Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination effort is ramping up with 92,445 people vaccinated on April 28, the highest number of doses administered daily to date. A total of 425,638 people have been vaccinated against the virus in Vietnam so far, most of who are frontline medical workers and members of community-based anti-COVID-19 groups and steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control in localities.
The Health Ministry continuously warns about the high risk of the pandemic to spread to Vietnam, and urges people to remain proactive in pandemic prevention and control by continuing to wear face masks when going out, disinfecting frequently, maintaining a safe distance, refraining from mass gatherings, and making medical declarations./.
Vietnam, Russia promote AI cooperation
The Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg on April 28 organised a teleconference on cooperation between Vietnam and Russia in artificial intelligence (AI).
This is the first online conference between the two countries in the field which is developing rapidly and holding both development potential and challenges.
It received the support from the Vietnam Software & IT services (VINASA), Russoft – an association of software developing companies in Russia, the Technological Sovereignty Exports Association, and the Overseas Vietnamese Association in Russia.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg Vyacheslav Kalganov said that the theme of this teleconference is a topical issue because the current technology development makes the demand for control and automation systems increase.
Experts and speakers exchanged views on the high technology situations in the two countries as well as potential cooperative fields.
They highlighted priorities for cooperation between the two countries in information technology and digital transformation and made interactive proposals in the AI field./.
State leader chairs meeting on building key legal training institutions
State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is head of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform, chaired a meeting discussing the building of several key legal training institutions on April 28.
The meeting assessed the results of implementing the Prime Minister’s Decisions on a project to build the Hanoi Law University and Ho Chi Minh City Law University into key educational institutions for training legal officers and a project to turn the Academy of Justice into a major training centre for judicial positions.
Addressing the event, President Phuc stressed that public units, including schools and hospitals, play an extremely important role in national developments.
He spoke highly of efforts made by the universities and academy to carry out the two projects, reflected through the improvement in their training scale and quality.
Phuc emphasised the need to continue increasing the training quality to meet higher requirements, especially in the context of international integration and the occurrence of international lawsuits and conflicts.
He affirmed that the State always pays attention to supporting the units, and require localities to help them in issues related to the ground and resources.
In order to become the country’s key units in training legal officers and judicial positions, the institutions must exert more efforts with a greater determination and the spirit of daring to think and daring to do and proactively proposing necessary mechanisms, policies and measures, he added./.
Saudi Arabia lends helping hand to disadvantaged Vietnamese
The Central Committee of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRSC) on April 28 received aid worth over 166,000 USD from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (Ksrelief) in support of poor Vietnamese households.
Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam Saud F.M. Alsuwelim handed over the aid to Vice Chairman of the VRSC Central Committee Tran Quoc Hung.
The ambassador affirmed that the Government of Saudi Arabia wants to develop ties with Vietnam in all areas. In the near future, it will deliver a batch of medical supplies worth 500,000 USD.
Hung, for his part, said the aid will be used to assist 6,890 families hard hit by disasters and the pandemic in An Giang, Binh Thuan, and Ninh Thuan provinces via the humanitarian market model, which offers food, necessities, and other goods of clear origin and good quality.
Each beneficiary household will receive a voucher worth 500,000 VND (21.7 USD) for shopping at the market, he said.
He also expressed his hope that ties between the two will become increasingly close.
In December 2009, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Vietnam handed over 200 tonnes of goods valued at 100,000 USD to the VRSC in support of people hit by typhoons./.
Vietnam, RoK beef up diplomatic collaboration
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and his Republic of Korea counterpart Chung Eui-yong held their first phone talks on April 28, during which they agreed to maintain all-level exchanges, especially high-level ones, through flexible forms.
FM Chung congratulated Son on his election as Vietnamese FM, affirming to coordinate closely with him to lift the strategic cooperative partnership between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Vietnam to a new height.
He appreciated Vietnam’s efforts to well control the COVID-19 pandemic. Affirming Vietnam is a key partner in the RoK’s New Southern Policy, he showed his belief that Vietnam will achieve its targets set out in its 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy.
Son, for his part, expressed his delight at the rapid development of bilateral ties in all fields, affirming that Vietnam always considers the RoK one of its leading partners and wishes to further boost its relations with the country.
Both sides reached a consensus on stepping up close cooperation between the two foreign ministries, including in implementing activities in celebration of the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2022, working to achieve a goal of 100 billion USD in two-way trade, promoting the relationship between the two countries’ localities and businesses, as well as in citizen protection.
They agreed to support and coordinate closely with each other within the regional and international cooperation frameworks such as the United Nations and ASEAN-RoK.
They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, including the East Sea and Korean Peninsula issues. Regarding the Myanmar situation, the two ministers agreed to work closely at regional and international forums to call for relevant parties to exercise restraint, avoid the use of violence and conduct peaceful dialogue.
They took the occasion to invite each other to visit their respective country at an appropriate time./.
Top legislator holds working session with NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held a working session with the standing board of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment in Hanoi on April 28.
Speaking at the event, Hue said there remains room to continue improving the operational efficiency of the legislature, such as raising the quality of discussions in groups about issues with mixed opinions.
About lawmaking, he said the legislature and NA agencies should play a more active and guiding role and offer all possible support to lawmakers to carry out legislation initiatives.
He agreed with the committee’s proposal to increase monitoring of the implementation of documents guiding legal enforcement, as well as presentation activities at the NA Ethnic Council and NA committees.
Hue hailed the committee’s proposal to pilot digital transformation in several activities, and hoped that the committee will offer consultations to the legislature in building the e-legislature.
He also suggested the committee present reports on digital transformation, digital and circular economy in the NA’s upcoming meeting./.
Vietnamese, Malaysian senior officials convene strategic dialogue
The second Vietnam-Malaysia Senior Officials’ Strategic Dialogue took place virtually on April 28 under the chair of Assistant to the Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu and Deputy Secretary General at the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amran Bin Mohamed Zin.
At the event, the Malaysian official lauded Vietnam’s success in COVID-19 prevention and control, socio-economic development, and external relations, particularly in its positions as Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
Stressing that Vietnam is the only strategic partner of Malaysia in Southeast Asia, he affirmed that Malaysia always attaches importance to and wants to foster its cooperation with Vietnam so that the relations will be more extensive and effective.
For his part, Hieu expressed his belief that Malaysia will soon overcome the pandemic and recover its economy.
Taking the occasion to thank the Malaysian side for facilitating flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens in the past time, the diplomat requested that Malaysia continue to support Vietnamese businesses and citizens living in the country as well as give humanitarian treatment to Vietnamese fishermen detained in Malaysian waters.
He stated Vietnam will continue creating favourable conditions for Malaysian investors, experts, managers, and skilled workers to enter Vietnam in line with health and pandemic control requirements.
The officials noted the robust growth of the Vietnam – Malaysia strategic partnership over the past years, and discussed specific collaboration orientations across fields to implement outcomes of a meeting between the two countries’ Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the recent ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Indonesia.
The two sides pledged to work closely to hold high-level and all-level delegation exchanges when conditions allow and to soon implement bilateral cooperation mechanisms such as joint committee and joint trade committee.
The officials noted they will also speed up the building of an action programme on implementing the nations’ strategic partnership for 2021 – 2025 so that the document can be approved by the 6th meeting of the countries’ joint committee for cooperating in economy and science-technology. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the last half of this year.
The sides also discussed regional and international matters of common concern and vowed to continue with mutual support and collaboration at multilateral organisations and forums, including ASEAN and the UN.
Regarding the East Sea issue, they emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, and maritime and aviation safety in the waters; resolving disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and facilitating the negotiation on a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the waters (COC)./.
Vietnam promotes gender mainstreaming in climate change policies
Gender mainstreaming in climate change policies is crucial to promoting gender equality in Vietnam, according to Deputy Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) Nguyen Trung Thang.
At a workshop held in Hanoi on April 28, Thang said that ISPONRE carried out research on the state of gender equality in climate change policies in Vietnam, with focus sharpened on the four sectors of renewable energy, agriculture, water resources management, and garbage management.
The research showed that Vietnam has made efforts to complete policies on gender equality and climate change response but pointed out that women’s participation in policy making and management is limited.
Additionally, a lack of information and data on climate change’s impacts has affected the building and implementation of climate change policies with gender mainstreaming, he said.
The Vietnamese Government integrated gender equality and social inclusion in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution, which was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in September 2020.
Vietnam is among six countries hardest hit by extreme weather that killed 286 people and resulted in economic losses of 2 billion USD each year over the last two decades.
In a bid to cope with future challenges, Vietnam should adopt more ambitious targets to evaluate the state of gender mainstreaming in climate change policies, according to Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Anne Mawe.
Experts at the workshop suggested promoting the application of technical instruction on gender mainstreaming in climate change policies in combination with the implementation of other development plans./.
Private sector important to public health emergency response: Workshop
A workshop held in Hanoi on April 28 highlighted the important role of the private sector and digital technology in public health emergency response and monitoring.
After global disease outbreaks in the past, 196 countries, including Vietnam, agreed to comply with the International Health Regulations 2005 to develop the capacity of collecting and analysing health information so as to make early warnings and response to public health events.
Event-based surveillance (EBS), one of two methods for monitoring communicable diseases, aims to quickly detect any public health events that run the risk of causing disease transmission and outbreaks or affecting public health, and to issue a timely and appropriate response, thus minimising any negative impact on the public.
EBS is conducted by collecting information from three main sources: the community, healthcare establishments or testing labs, and the media (press, social networks).
Nguyen Thi Huong, an official from the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine, pointed out the low participation of private health establishments in public health surveillance and reporting, even though the sector is potentially a major source of input information for EBS.
Since 2020, based on the success of involving the private healthcare system in screening and reporting non-communicable diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV, Population Services International (PSI) Vietnam has applied chatbots, via which private healthcare facilities report suspected COVID-19 cases and infectious diseases that may turn into outbreaks.
The application has received financial support from the UK Department for International Development, the Unilever group, and the World Health Organisation in Vietnam.
PSI Vietnam has carried out a project on engaging the private sector in public health emergency response in Hanoi and the provinces of Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Ha Nam, and Quang Binh. The project has applied technological solutions to optimise efficiency and increase the timeliness of the EBS system.
After six months, it has provided training on the system to nearly 3,100 pharmacies and clinics. More than 81,900 cases with suspected symptoms have been reported via the system, becoming a source of supplementary data for the early detection and zoning of disease hotspots.
Underlining the importance of engaging the private healthcare sector in EBS, UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said close cooperation between the Government, international organisations, and private healthcare establishments can help boost the application of scientific initiatives so as to secure the public’s health and safety and sustainable development./.
Experts seek solutions to fluorocarbon management
Vietnamese and foreign scientists and experts gathered at a conference in Hanoi on April 28 to share information on current regulations relating to the control of fluorocarbons and to exchange experience in the management of the ozone-depleting substances.
Tang The Cuong, Director of the Department of Climate Change at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the agency has been assigned to compile documents guiding the implementation of the revised Environment Protection Law, which was adopted by the National Assembly in November 2020 and will take effect on January 1, 2022.
He said he hopes that participants will contribute to the creation of regulations on the management of fluorocarbons in Vietnam.
Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc, National Ozone Coordinator at the Department of Climate Change, said that Vietnam was one of the first countries to join the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in 1994.
In implementing the Montreal Protocol, it has completely excluded a number of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halon, and carbon tetrachloride (CTC), while controlling the import and export of Methyl Bromide and implementing a roadmap to eliminate hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
With the adopted roadmap, Vietnam will end the consumption and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are mostly used in the production of refrigeration, air conditioner, insulating foam, and aerosol propellants, from 2024. In 2045, HFC use is expected to be cut by 80 percent compared to baseline consumption, Cuc said.
She noted that, in 2019, the Government issued a resolution approving the amended and supplemented Kigali version.
Figures show that HCF consumption in Vietnam stood at more than 3,700 tonnes in 2019 and more than 6,000 tonnes in 2020.
Experts at the conference pointed to challenges facing countries in managing fluorocarbons. A Japanese representative shared information about a project to manage fluorocarbons’ lifecycle.
They also proposed a number of measures and solutions to manage HCFCs and HFCs, including the formation of a specialised agency to manage facilities using fluorocarbons./.
NA Chairman commends Economic Committee’s law-making performance
Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue met with the standing board of the legislature’s Committee for Economic Affairs on April 28.
The top legislator highlighted the committee’s performance in law-making during the 14th tenure, as seen in its chairing of the verification and submission of 13 draft laws, including eight amended and supplemented laws and five new laws, to the NA for consideration and approval.
Among them, the law amending and supplementing certain articles of the Law on Credit Institutions, and the NA’s Resolution No 42/2017/QH14 on piloting the settlement of non-performing loans at credit institutions were milestones in legislative activities during the 14th tenure as they have been swiftly enforced in reality, he noted.
Meanwhile, he went on, the legal system on investment and business has been increasingly reformed and perfected, with the issuance of the Law on Investment, the Law on Enterprises, the Law on Investment in the form of Public-Private Partnerships, and the Law on Securities.
The committee’s verification reports have also been of higher quality and more persuasive, Hue said, asking that it continue working on a plan to reform and improve its activities.
The chairman requested the committee provide early and timely advice to the NA and the NA Standing Committee about major issues such as the five-year socio-economic development plan, the public investment plan, and the five-year financial plan.
It should thoroughly consult with experts about nationally important projects, he demanded.
The Committee for Economic Affairs also needs to assist the NA, the NA Standing Committee, and the Government in overhauling any overlaps and problems in legal regulations on investment and business, according to Hue./.
Exhibition highlights President Ho Chi Minh’s role in past general elections
An exhibition was opened at the Museum of Military Region 9 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 28, giving visitors an insight into late President Ho Chi Minh’s role in the elections of the National Assembly (NA) and all-level People’s Councils in history.
The display is an activity celebrating 46 years since the South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975), the 131st birthday of President Ho Chi Minh, and the elections of deputies to the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure that are slated for May 23.
It features more than 200 photos, documents, and objects showing the late leader’s role in the preparation for and organisation of the first general elections and the following ones.
Maj. Gen. Nguyen Thanh Hai, Deputy Chief of the Staff of Military Region 9, said the tradition of solidarity and working for the sake of the people and the country in the first NA, whose foundation was laid by President Ho Chi Minh, is one of the important prerequisites for the legislature in the 14th term, as well as in future tenures, to outstandingly perform the duties of the supreme organ of State power, helping to develop a Vietnam of prosperity and happiness.
The event will also help raise the community’s awareness of their role in selecting moral, capable, and prestigious persons representing the people’s aspirations and right to mastery for the 15th NA and all-level People’s Councils, he added.
The exhibition will last through this May./.
President attends ceremony marking International Labour Day
The Vietnamese Party and State always give special attention and care to the working class, labourers and trade unions, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on April 28.
Addressing a ceremony held in Hanoi to celebrate the 135th anniversary of International Labour Day (May 1), the President said workers and labourers have continued to play an important role after 30 years of reform, noting they are the driving force in the process of national industrialisation and modernisation.
President Phuc hailed initiatives raised by trade union members and employees nationwide for the development of their businesses, agencies, units and the nation as a whole.
Pointing out difficulties facing workers and labourers in general, notably those working in the informal sector, as Vietnam and the world are combating COVID-19, the leader stressed that the Party and the State have adopted effective measures to fight the pandemic and recover the national economy.
Incomes of labourers are expected to increase again and new jobs would be created in the time ahead, helping to boost the rapid, sustainable economic growth of the country, the President said.
In that spirit, he emphasised the need for the Vietnamese trade union to soon draw up an action plan in order to realise the Resolution adopted at the 13th National Party Congress, saying the plan must carry forward the core, pioneer role of workers and labourers nationwide.
At the same time, trade union organisations at all levels should revamp their operational methods to better care and protect legitimate rights and interests of workers, he said.
Nguyen Dinh Khang, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), highlighted great contributions of the working class to the development of the Vietnamese revolution.
The VGCL has chosen the theme of “Solidarity, Creativity, Overcoming Difficulties, Development” for 2021, he said, adding that up to 245,000 initiatives were raised by workers and labourers across the country under a programme launched by the confederation.
On this occasion, the VGCL launched the Workers’ Month and the Month for Labour Safety and Hygiene./.
HCM City asked to support southwestern provinces in COVID-19 fight
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has asked Ho Chi Minh City to maintain a high level of vigilance against COVID-19, improve its quarantine capacity, and be ready to support other localities, including southwestern border provinces.
At a working session with HCM City’s leaders on April 28, Binh said the city should review its COVID-19 prevention and control from the highest to the grassroots levels.
Along with strengthening the inspection of pandemic prevention activities, especially at hospitals, schools, supermarkets, and places of worship, it should strictly punish those who fail to abide by prevention and control regulations as well as those facilitating illegal entry into Vietnam and illegal immigrants, he said.
Amid the complex developments in the region and the world, localities around the country must strictly implement the directions from the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, the Government, and the Prime Minister, especially during the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holidays and the upcoming general elections, the Deputy PM stressed.
At the working session, Deputy Minister of Public Security Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Son said that, since the beginning of April, the public security force has held four working sessions in southern localities on COVID-19 prevention while directing the force in HCM City to strengthen its engagement in the task.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that HCM City is facing a high risk of another COVID-19 outbreak, stressing the need for it to work harder to prevent that from happening. Together with cancelling mass gatherings, the city should also prepare more medical equipment for fighting the pandemic, he said.
The minister hoped the city will help Mekong Delta localities in COVID-19 prevention and control.
According to Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, the city has discovered 108 illegal immigrants since the beginning of April.
Although it has gone 73 days without any cases of domestic transmission, it has remained vigilant. Since April 27, it has strictly punished those not wearing a face mask in public places, while designing specific plans to ensure safety during the upcoming general elections, he said.
Nguyen Tan Binh, Director of the city’s Department of Health, said the southern hub has recorded 254 COVID-19 cases to date, including 68 domestically-transmitted infections.
Since the beginning of the year, it has sent 66 illegal immigrants to quarantine and is encouraging local people to make health declarations and strictly implement the “5K message”./.
Can Tho to take part in WWF’s One Planet City Challenge this year
The Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city will take part in the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) this year, with the aim of transforming itself into a clean and green city, a recent meeting heard.
The statement was made by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Tan Hien during a meeting with WWF representatives in the city on April 28.
The OPCC was initiated by the WWF to mobilise action and support from cities in the global transition towards a climate-friendly future and to promote measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
It first began in Sweden in 2011 and expanded globally in 2013, according to Tran Anh Tuan, technical advisor with the OPCC. Since 2017, it has been held twice a year on an increasingly larger scale, and more than 320 cities from 20 countries have joined in to date.
Via the challenge, he said, cities share smart, efficient solutions for low-carbon and climate-resilient urban development and drive the global transition towards a 100-percent renewable energy future.
More than half of the world’s population live in cities that are seeing rapid urbanisation, Tuan continued. They generate over 80 percent of global GDP but also contribute 70 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As political and business hubs, cities should play a decisive role in mitigating climate change, he said.
A number of central cities in Vietnam have participated in the OPCC since 2015, including Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Dong Ha, Dong Hoi, and Vinh. In 2020-2021, two more – Can Tho and Soc Trang – are expected to join.
As a first-class municipality, Can Tho faces many of the same problems other cities are confronting in their development process, Hien said. It has taken part in several programmes and networks, such as The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities, in an effort to minimise the negative impacts of climate change in each area.
He pledged that Can Tho will fulfil all of its commitments and adopt effective measures to make itself a greener and more modern city when joining the OPCC.
In 2018, Da Nang was awarded the title National Capital of the OPCC, making it the only city in Vietnam to join a list of 21 winning cities around the world./.
Aviation sector tightens pandemic prevention for upcoming holiday
Increasing COVID-19 prevention and control measures have been noticed at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City over the last few days as the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holiday approaches.
A representative from Noi Bai said the airport has worked with carriers and ground units to seek agreement on measures to control health declarations and deploy human resources for the task. In waiting areas, internet-connected computers and support teams are in place to help passengers complete their declarations.
At Tan Son Nhat, more security scanners have been added to handle any overcrowding.
On April 24, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan signed a dispatch for the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and carriers Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Pacific Airlines, and Bamboo Airway on enhancing pandemic prevention measures at airports.
It strictly ordered the implementation of the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfectant), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations).
Travel demand over the public holiday is expected to increase significantly, with travel companies saying that up to 60 percent of tours have been booked for the four-day holiday. Tourists are mostly taking short-distance trips and making brief stays in Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay, Phu Quoc Island, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Con Dao Island./.
Dong Thap aims to cut down poverty ratio by 0.5 percent in 2021
The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap is striving to reduce the ratio of poor households by 0.5 percent in the end of 2021, according to a plan released by the provincial People’s Committee on the implementation of the National Target Programme on sustainable poverty reduction and social welfare.
In recent years, Dong Thap has seen a dramatic drop in the ratio to 1.86 percent in 2020 from 2.73 percent in 2019.
Various support policies have been applied, including providing credit for poor and near-poor households as well as those just escaped from poverty, and poor students. Last year, more than 443 billion VND was provided to more than 13,000 households.
Meanwhile, more than 124,800 health insurance cards have been handed over to poor locals, while more than 26,000 students have received learning support, and nearly 1,400 houses have been built for poor households.
As part of efforts to implement Resolution 42/NQ-CP issued by the Prime Minister dated April 9, 2020 on measures to assist COVID-19-impacted people, Dong Thap has provided more than 180 billion VND to more than 183,400 needy people to help them ease difficulties and stablise their life.
At the same time, the provincial Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee and member orgaisations have mobilised more than 300 billion VND from the society and over 84 scholarships worth 51 billion VND for the poor.
Doan Tan Buu, Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap People’s Committee said that in order to complete the target of reducing the poverty ratio by 0.5 percent by the end of this year, the province will focus on associating the implementation of sustainable poverty reduction with the building of new-style rural areas.
Along with providing favourable conditions for locals, especially those in rural areas to access basic social welfare, the locality will conduct vocational training to rural labourers and increase labour export, he said./.
USAID launches environmental conservation projects in Việt Nam
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching two new projects to facilitate Việt Nam to contribute climate-positive actions to helping address the global climate crisis, according to a recent announcement from the US Embassy in Việt Nam.
These new projects will help conserve more than 950,000ha of forested area across 12 provinces in the country.
“Healthier, fuller forests, coupled with strong biodiversity, is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the statement reads.
The Sustainable Forest Management project, implemented by DAI Global, will reduce carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, and poor timber plantation management in seven provinces.
The project is expected to strengthen Vietnamese law enforcement’s ability to combat forest crimes such as illegal logging, improve the livelihoods of 60,000 people in forest-dwelling communities, and strengthen the management of more than 250,000ha of forest.
The Biodiversity Conservation project, implemented by The World Wildlife Fund, will protect critical ecosystems to build resilience against the impacts of climate change, maintain and increase forest quality, and protect and stabilise wildlife populations.
The project is set to improve the ability of community patrol teams to detect and deter wildlife trafficking, improve economic opportunities for forest-dependent communities, and strengthen the management of 700,000ha of forest.
These activities build upon more than a decade of USAID’s partnership with the Vietnamese Government, the private sector, and other partners to protect forests and biodiversity, counter wildlife trafficking, and curb environmental pollution to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Belgium, Vietnam see growing multifaceted cooperation: Belgian politician
Vietnam is a priority partner of Belgium in many fields and bilateral cooperation has recorded fruitful developments, matching the demand and strengths of the two countries, a Belgian politician has said.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Belgium on April 28, Anne Lambelin, Vice President of the Belgian Socialist Party, said the successful organisation of the 13th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the perfection of key leadership by the Vietnamese National Assembly will offer the two countries opportunities to expand their multifaceted cooperation.
The increasing presence of young deputies in the next Vietnamese legislature is hoped to create favourable conditions for the two sides to further strengthen future cooperation, she said.
Referring to the prospect of multilateral cooperation, Lambelin emphasised that the European Union (EU) – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which has come into effect for eight months, is benefiting European countries and Vietnam in import and export fields.
As a country that attaches great importance to international trade and looks toward economic diplomacy through FTAs, Belgium considers the EVFTA an opportunity to promote its collaboration with Vietnam.
Cooperation in culture and education will also be a highlight in the bilateral relationship, while economic, cultural, and judicial connections will be paid more attention in the relations between the EU and Vietnam, she noted.
Regarding the East Sea issue, she emphasised the need to respect the self-determination of the people in each country on natural resources and national integrity, expressing her hope that there would be no escalation of tensions in the waters in the future and people in the region would not become victims of aggressive acts./.
Medical workers quarantined after contact with illegal entrants from Cambodia
As many as 40 medical workers from Tu Du Hospital have been put into quarantine and tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after coming into contact with two illegal entrants from Cambodia.
Nguyen Tan Binh, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said during a virtual meeting on April 28 held to discuss COVID-19 prevention and control in the city that the risk of transmission occurring in border areas remains high. This is largely due to the huge number of people who travel back and forth, both legally and illegally.
He also stressed that hospitals in Cambodia are currently overloaded due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. Therefore, many Vietnamese citizens there are attempting to find ways to return to home, including individuals who have contracted COVID-19. This represents a new threat to localities in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular.
The southern city’s Department of Health immediately directed hospitals to implement prevention measures and requested that local people wear face masks in public areas, as well as declaring information honesty when filling in their health form.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
Agro-forestry-fisheries exports up over 24 percent in Jan-Apr
The import-export value of agro-forestry-fisheries products in the first four months of 2021 stood at about 32.07 billion USD, with exports estimated at 17.15 billion USD, a 24.2 percent increase year-on-year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported.
With import value of 14.93 billion USD, Vietnam posted a trade surplus of about 2.2 billion USD, down 41.1 percent year-on-year, according to the ministry.
The export value of main agricultural products was estimated at 5.9 billion USD, up 9 percent year-on-year, while the figure for key forestry products was 5.33 billion USD and fisheries products 2.39 billion USD, increases of 50.9 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
Upturns were seen in the export of many products, including rubber (nearly 112 percent), tea (nearly 8 percent), rice (1.2 percent), fruit and vegetables (9.5 percent), cassava and cassava products (24 percent), breeding products (37.4 percent), tra fish (nearly 3 percent), shrimp (5.5 percent), and furniture (over 71 percent).
Falls, meanwhile, were recorded in the export value of coffee, at 11.6 percent, and cashew nuts, at 7.8 percent.
Asian markets consumed 46.9 percent of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fisheries products during the period, while the Americas accounted for 27.6 percent, Europe 10 percent, Oceania 1.4 percent, and Africa 1.4 percent.
The four leading markets were the US, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
Vietnam also spent 5.01 billion USD in the first four months on importing agro-forestry-fisheries products, with 1.38 billion USD outlaid on breeding products, 679 million USD on aquatic products, 997.4 million USD on major forestry products, and 2.31 billion USD on input materials.
The ministry will continue to keep domestic firms informed about new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations in major export markets, while maintaining its close watch over the production, price, and supply of farm produce in localities around the country./.
Shares decline over worries on rising COVID cases
Vietnamese stocks struggled in volatile markets on Thursday with sentiment hit by increasing COVID-19 cases nationwide with the VN-Index failing to maintain its uptrend.
The market benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) declined 0.47 per cent, or 5.86 points, to finish the trading day at 1,250.57 points.
The market breadth was negative as 262 stocks declined while 148 rose and 48 stocks ended flat.
The southern market index had risen 1.15 per cent to finish Wednesday at 1,256.43 points.
The market’s liquidity was high with nearly 730.5 million shares traded on the southern market, worth VND20.3 trillion (US$882.2 million).
Market sentiment has been weakened amid worries over the fourth wave of COVID-19 some of Viet Nam’s cities and provinces.
Nationwide, there have been 64 COVID-19 cases in the fourth wave of the disease, in cities of Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City and the nine provinces of Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Hai Duong, Yen Bai, Thai Binh and Bac Ninh.
“After Wednesday’s strong rally, the VN-Index corrected slightly after approaching the historic peak of 1,260-1,280 points,” said BIDV Securities Co.
“Market liquidity decreased slightly along with the continued net selling trend of foreign investors on both exchanges had caused a market correction to the threshold of 1,250 points.
“Cash flow weakened compared to the previous session. The VN-Index may consolidate in the short term around 1,250 points before retesting the 1,260-1280 level in the mid term.”
The 30 biggest stocks tracker, VN30-Index, lost 0.17 per cent to 1,344.64 points.
Of the VN30 basket, seven stocks increased while 27 decreased.
Among the banking stock group, Vietcombank (VCB) had the most negative impact on the market as it fell 1.88 per cent, closing at VND98,300 per share.
Dairy giant Vinamilk (VNM) dropped more than 2.6 per cent, closing at VND89,600 per share, recording the lowest level since August 4th, 2020. Moreover, this was the session where VNM was net sold for six consecutive sessions by foreign investors and had the largest net selling value since March 5, 2021.
Another notable loser was Sabeco (SAB). This stock has fallen for four consecutive sessions, closing at VND156,000 per share on Thursday, the lowest level since July 1, 2020. Like Vinamilk (VNM), the beer giant’s shares have still been net sold by foreign investors, though not as much as the dairy giant.
Meanwhile, on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index rose 0.06 per cent to close Thursday at 281.09 points.
The northern market index had risen 1.16 per cent to close Wednesday at 280.93 points.
During the session, over 115 million shares were traded on HNX, worth VND2 trillion.
Overloaded renewable energy affects power system operation
Excess renewable energy has affected power system operations in Viet Nam, said the leader of the National Power System Dispatch Centre of Vietnam Electricity (EVN).
Nguyen Duc Ninh, director of the centre, said during a dialogue between EVN’s leaders and electricity experts on the operation of the national power system on May 4 in Ha Noi that the increasing solar and wind power was causing many difficulties in the operation of the power system.
According to Ninh, the proportion of renewable energy currently contributed up to 60 per cent of the peak load at noon and was prioritised for use at a maximum level, meaning the centre had to stop buying power from hydroelectricity sources around the time. As the result, the hydropower plants in central and southern Viet Nam, with nearly 8,000MW, had to stop working at noon to prioritise the purchase of renewable energy.
The centre also said from 2019 to the end of 2020, there was a boom in renewable energy from solar and wind power. For example, Ninh Thuan Province has the largest rate of renewable energy in the country with thousands of MW, but has very low demand for electricity itself so it transfers most of the production to other localities.
As of April 2021, out of the total power capacity, the country has 7,700MW of rooftop solar power and about 9,200 MW of farm solar power. The current capacity of wind power projects of 612MW was expected to increase up to 4,500-5,400MW between September and October this year.
The centre, which is responsible for ensuring normal operation of the electricity market in Viet Nam, added the phenomenon of redundant renewable energy was now affecting the operation of the power system, such as overloaded local lines and large gap in load between peak and off-peak hours.
Tran Dinh Long, Vice President of the Vietnam Electricity Association, said at the dialogue: “The boom in renewable energy projects is leading to difficulties in state management,” adding: “The current shortcoming is that the PPCs of provinces do not consult the electricity sellers about difficulties in operation and connection when they approved the energy projects so it leads to a lack of control in the development of renewable energy projects over time.”
Sharing the same view, Ha Dang Son, director of the Centre for Energy and Green Growth Research, said that the explosion of solar and wind power projects in recent years mainly comes from the fact that local authorities have approved too many projects.
Nguyen Minh Khoa, head of EVN’s legal department, said in accordance with the Law on Investment, the Provincial People’s Committee will approve investors of solar and wind power projects. When the local authorities issue a project license, EVN is not allowed to refuse to buy electricity from those projects but only take part in price negotiations.
At first, EVN strived to operate all the sources with the lowest total production cost. The main reason for the issue was the low demand for electricity, the lack of synchronous investment in grid projects and the slowdown of the economy and the widespread influence of COVID-19. The group will continue to review, update, and adjust the processes to suit the electricity system’s operating conditions.
Ngo Son Hai, EVN’s Deputy General Director, also said that the reduction of renewable energy sources has been reported to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
He added that according to the ministry’s guidance, as renewable energy sources are overloaded, they will be a priority to be used the most. Once the mobilisation remains redundant, they will be equally cut to fit the situation.
Southern stock market posts high transaction value in April
Liquidity of the southern stock market in April stood at the highest level from the outset of the year, with more than 14.51 billion stocks traded at a value of over 366.94 trillion VND (15.94 billion USD), according to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE).
Average transaction value per session was over 18.34 trillion VND, up 18.68 percent from March, and 47.41 percent from the same time last year.
HOSE also said that trading of covered warrants (CWs) – Vietnam’s third securities product after stocks and futures also heated up in the month, with over 506.38 million items sold at the value of 2.32 trillion VND.
The market also saw the benchmark VN-Index set a 20-year record high of 1,268.28 points on April 20, with total value of market transaction on the day topping 22.46 trillion VND.
The index in April edged up 4.02 percent from the previous month to end at 1,239.39 points, and surged 12.28 percent year-on-year.
Material, finance and real estate stocks performed well in the month, with VNMAT stocks rising 16.2 percent, VNFIN surging 10.55 percent and VNREAL up 10.47 percent.
Meanwhile, energy, utility, and consumer goods stocks suffered the respective declines of 10.03 percent, 5.04 percent, and 2.95 percent.
The net sales of foreign investors fell 93.87 percent from March to 751 billion VND.
HOSE saw no newly-listed stocks in the month, while five codes of LAF, TVB, PAN, BSI and ASG moved to the Hanoi Stock Exchange.
As of April 29, 511 security codes were being trade on HOSE, including 391 stocks, three close fund certificates, seven exchange traded funds (ETF), 79 CWs, and 31 bonds.
The stock market capitalisation on HOSE reached more than 4.46 quadrillion VND, increasing 4.12 percent from March, and accounting for around 73.87 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2020./.
EVN to cut 8 billion kWh of coal-fired power output
State-owned corporation Vietnam Electricity (EVN) expects to cut 8 billion kWh of coal-fired power output this year to increase the portion of solar and wind power, Nguyen Duc Ninh, director of the National Load Dispatch Center, said at a meeting on May 4.
EVN has planned to mobilize some 32 billion kWh of solar and wind power this year, twice as much as 2020. As of late April, the total capacity of solar farms was 9,200 MW, while that of rooftop solar power and wind power was some 9,600 MW and 612 MW, respectively. Some new wind farms with a total capacity of 4,500-5,400 MW are expected to be put into operation in the rest of this year.
According to EVN, the large production of renewable energy has also put pressure on the electricity system and transmission lines.
Overloads have been reported in Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and some central provinces, especially midday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the electricity demand is low and solar power capacity reaches its peak.
Nguyen Duc Cuong, member of the Board of Directors of EVN, said although the output of renewable energy has soared, Vietnam still needs to maintain other sources such as liquefied natural gas-fired, coal-fired and hydro power.
“With advanced technology, coal-fired power plants have been able to solve many problems, including environmental pollution,” he stressed.
According to the National Load Dispatch Center, Vietnam’s capacity of solar and wind power will reach some 20,000 MW this year, accounting for over 30% of the total power capacity. However, renewable energy output contributes only 12% of the total and is expected to rise to 17% in the next five years.
Therefore, the country needs to maintain the portion of traditional energy (liquefied natural gas-fired, coal-fired and hydro power) at 40-80% to ensure power security.
EVN has planned to cut 1.3 billion kWh of renewable energy in 2021. The corporation said in the coming time, it will cut renewable energy capacity by 15-20%. Particularly, solar power and wind power output will be cut by 13.3% and 4.8%, respectively.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said the development of renewable energy, especially solar power, has seen positive results, attracting large investment and contributing to effectively exploiting the potential renewable energy resources in the country.
However, the boom of high-capacity renewable energy plants, mainly in the central and southern regions, has overloaded inter-regional transmission lines and caused an oversupply.
CAAV proposes adding airport at Cao Bang to airport master planning
In its evaluation of the master plan to broaden the development of the airport network by 2030 with a vision to 2050, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam proposed prioritising investment in building and upgrading major international airports in the next 10 years, as well as adding one more airport at Cao Bang by 2025.
Accordingly, the number of airports in the country will remain unchanged by 2030 with 28 airports, including 14 international airports and 14 domestic airports. By 2050, the country will have one additional domestic airport at Cao Bang.
Although the number of airports has not increased, the designed capacity of the airport systems has increased significantly by 2030.
Specifically, the airport system has to meet the transport needs of about 278 million passengers a year, as well as accommodate an average increase of 8.1 per cent a year. Addiitonally, it will also need to handle a cargo throughput to about 4.1 million tonnes a year, increasing at an average of 10.3 per cent per year.
This increase is huge compared to the total designed capacity of about 95 million passengers a year in 2019.
To achieve this goal, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam proposes focusing on major international airports such as Long Thanh, Tan Son Nhat, Danang, and Noi Bai airports.
Preliminary calculations show that the total capital that needs to be invested in airport infrastructure in the next 10 years is about VND400 trillion ($17.34 billion), most of which is to invest in new construction or upgrading international airports.
Measures sought to capitalise on European market
An online conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 5 to seek measures and strategies to effectively approach and exploit the promising but choosy European market.
Tran Thi Trang, head of the Training Office of the HCM City Center for Trade Promotion and Investment (ITPC) said that Europe is one of the largest trade partners of Vietnam, while Vietnam is the second biggest trade partner of Europe in Southeast Asia.
Despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, trade exchange between the two sides has still been maintained, especially since the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect, import-export activities have been on the rise and forecast to continue to grow in the future, she said.
Meanwhile, Zachaier, director for supply chain at Source of Asia (SOA), said that Europe is a potential market that is the target of many countries. Vietnam is the one of the important trade partners of Europe with outstanding advantages thanks to the EVFTA. By the end of 2020, four months after the deal took effect, Vietnam’s exports to the EU saw positive signs despite impacts from COVID-19.
Vietnam’s exports to Europe reached 42 billion USD, he noted, adding that the figure has accounted for only 2 percent of the total import value of the EU, showing that there is large room for Vietnamese goods to penetrate into the market.
He said that European consumers are paying greater attention to sustainability, including the origin trace, social responsibility and environmental protection.
In that context, Vietnamese exporters should assess the sustainability of their products and the regulations in the market, thus designing strategies to adjust the supply chain to suit international standards and rules, he suggested.
Huynh Thanh Trung, Director of LeanWares Company, said that Vietnamese enterprises have seen limitations in high added value stages such as designing, development research and marketing.
He said that Vietnamese businesses should focus on building standardised factories, while controlling the supply chain in an effective manner to meet the demands of the European market.
Do Van Huy, Manager of the Shire Oak International project in Vietnam, said that European consumers care a lot about the environment and climate change, and prioritise products produced with green energy.
Dinh Thi Tuyet Nhung, SOA’s international market development team leader, held that the similarity of successful enterprises such as Vinamilk, Viettel and Kova is focusing on their product quality right from the stage of developing the domestic market. Once winning the home market, they started studying and approaching foreign markets, she said./.
Retail sales, service revenue hit 73.5 billion USD in four months
The total retail sales and service revenue surged 10.02 percent year-on-year to 1.695 quadrillion VND (over 73.5 billion USD) in the first four months of 2021, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
Retail sales of goods in the January-April period were estimated at over 1,352.7 trillion VND, up 9.8 percent against the same period last year.
Increases were seen in the sales of textiles (up 11.8 percent), food and foodstuff (up 11.5 percent), vehicles (up 11.1 percent), and cultural and education products (up 9.5 percent).
Revenues from accommodation and catering services in the four-month period was estimated at 164.5 trillion VND, up 10.1 percent year-on-year./.
1.14 billion USD raised from G-bonds in April
The State Treasury raised more than 26.3 trillion VND (over 1.14 billion USD) worth of Government bonds (G-bonds) via 16 auctions on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) in April.
The figure was 215 percent higher than March’s.
Compared to the previous month, interest rates of bonds in successful bids expanded on the maturities of 5 years, 10 years and 15 years, with increase ranging from 0.05 – 0.06 percent each maturity, while those of 20 years and 30 years remained.
On the secondary G-bond market, the average trading value in the month reached nearly 9.79 trillion VND per session, down 5.99 percent month-on-month.
The total outright purchases of G-bonds hit over 1 billion bonds valued at 116.6 trillion VND.
Meanwhile, the total volume traded via repos exceeded 742 million bonds, worth more than 79.1 trillion VND, up 10.17 percent from the previous month.
Foreign investors made purchases of over 2.34 trillion VND, and outright sales of close to 1.63 trillion VND./.
Vietnamese meat exports to RoK market enjoy surge
Vietnam’s exports of meat and meat products to the Republic of Korea (RoK) in February witnessed robust growth due to increasing demand, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade..
As a result, the RoK made up 19.3% of Vietnam’s total meat export value in February, the highest export rate for Vietnamese livestock products to this market.
Major export items throughout February include frozen chicken and duck feet which account for 77.3% of the country’s total export value of livestock products to the RoK.
During the two-month period, the RoK increased its imports of poultry products to compensate the domestic supply source which has been negatively impacted by avian flu since the end of last year.
Veitnam also exported other products such as frog meat and processed meat to the RoK market.
Travel companies face tough times as tours face mass cancellations
Many travel companies in Vietnam are seeing an increasing number of cancellations for summer holiday tours amid fears of a new Covid-19 outbreak.
A woman in Hanoi, Hoai Thu said she wanted to take her children to Danang but news about Covid-19 cases found in several provinces, including Danang on May 3, worried her. Thu then cancelled the tour despite having paid VND10m (USD434).
In HCM City, many tours for the Reunification Holiday have ended, some longer tours will end in one or two more days. Most of the customers called to cancel tours for the summer holiday from May to July.
Pham Quy Huy, director of Kiwi Travel, said 80% of their tours had been cancelled and some other tours were postponed. This would pose difficulties because of many pre-arranged services and contracts. The company would lose about VND1bn (USD43,300).
Nguyen Minh Man, PR director of TST Tourist, also shared the same difficulties.
“We actually got used to not rolling out new tours when there was an outbreak but the current situation worries us. We have to carefully prepare amid the pandemic and have plans for different scenarios to boost business in third and final quarters,” he said.
Tran Doan The Duy, director of Vietravel, said they immediately removed tours to Ha Nam when an outbreak was detected there. They haven’t received any directives from the authorities about suspending tours so they still issue a surcharge for customers when they cancel tours in accordance to the contract.
“We have replaced different destinations in tours to Ha Nam, Hanoi or Yen Bai to ensure a safe trip for tourists. The tourists have to fill in the medical declaration forms and our vehicles are disinfected frequently,” he said.
Tran Thi Bao Thu from Fiditour-Vietluxtour said they were following the situation to have suitable plans. Each customer was given a face mask and hand wash. Their guides were asked to not lead tourists to crowded places.
“We surveyed the sites carefully and collaborated with accommodation facilities to make sure that all preventive measures are followed,” she said.
Lack of legal corridor results in stagnant renovation of old apartments
Time has taken its toll on old buildings in Ho Chi Minh City and most of them have fallen into disrepair.
Residents living in fear in such dilapidated old apartments. Despite governments’ efforts to renovate these old buildings, lack of legal corridors resulted in a stagnant renovation of old apartments.
Vinh Hoi apartment building in District 4 is classified at level D, the dangerous level. The outer walls of the 4-story high building are covered with thick moss. More dangerous, over time, the ceilings of the apartments have been damaged, revealing concrete and steel.
According to the owner of apartment A18, from the end of 2018 till the middle of 2019, the district administration has called for investors to participate in the construction project and planned for resettlement; however, the coronavirus pandemic 19 stopped the plan.
Truc Giang apartment building, which is ranked level D, suffers the same fate. The apartment building is empty because residents have moved to new places; yet, three families still refused to move to other places because they said their new residence is too far from the workplace.
The city is now home to 474 apartment buildings, which were built before 1975 and only 10 of them have been rebuilt. The others, such as Nguyen Thien Thuat in District 3, Vien Dong in District 5, Ngo Gia Tu and An Quang in District 10, and Thanh Da in Binh Thanh District, have seriously deteriorated, threatening the safety of residents and damaging the city’s landscapes.
According to the People’s Committee in District 4, three apartment buildings in the district ranked level D were built before 1975. Most of the residents in apartment Nguyen Tat Thanh agreed to move to new residences; however, the local administrators have not failed to choose investors.
Three families in Truc Giang refused to relocate in Phu Tho apartment in District 11. Governments have repaired Tan My apartment in District 7 as a temporary residency for residents in Vinh Hoi apartment which is being under construction.
The renovation of the old apartment building has bumped into barriers although it is prescribed by law. For instance, the five-story Truc Giang Apartment has a land area of 843 square meters with 123 apartments each from 10-30 square meters.
District 4 People’s Committee has repeatedly invited investors to participate in renovation and reconstruction projects, but because of the small land area, investors will not make a profit.
According to the Department of Construction, there exist many inadequate regulations on renovating and building old apartment buildings.
For example, the current regulations on compensation, assistance, temporary resettlement and resettlement are no longer appropriate.
Moreover, there has been no consensus on the exemption or reduction of land use fees and financial obligations arising from the adjustment of increasing planning and architectural indicators.
The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has authorized people’s committees in districts to renovate the old apartment building, but during the process, district administrations have encountered many problems related to the current legal system; therefore, they had no choice but report to the People’s Committee for further guidelines.
In addition, in early 2021, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has submitted amendments and supplements to the Decree 101/2015 on renovating and rebuilding old condominiums to the Ministry of Construction but the city is still waiting for approval.
National strategy built for digital economy, society development
The Prime Minister has ordered the building of a national strategy on developing a digital economy and digital society to be completed in August.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has been tasked with the mission.
Vietnam last year began its national digital transformation programme focused on a “digital government, digital economy and digital society”.
Under the programme by 2030, the country will adopt new technologies and models, completely overhaul the way the Government operates, updates business operations, changes the work style of citizens, and creates a safe, secure and humane digital environment.
The digital economy is projected to produce 20 percent of the country’s GDP in the near future, with at least 10 percent of each economic sector part of the digital economy, while annual labour productivity will likely increase at least 7 percent.
Experts said the country is set to be among the top 50 countries in the information and communication technology development index within the next five years./.
Vietnam should continue support for vulnerable groups: IMF official
Vietnam will record positive economic growth in 2021, at around 6-7 percent, if the country continue support for vulnerable groups in the economy, as well as the freshly-rolled out vaccination campaign, said Jonathan Ostry, Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Southeast Asian country needs to lay a foundation for strong growth in the mid-term, including ensuring sufficient revenue resources for infrastructure development and implementation of public investment, he stressed.
It is necessary for the nation to ensure a resilient financial system, and continue efforts to better the investment climate, Ostry added.
Regarding a plan that is being drafted by the Vietnamese Government to assist enterprises during the pandemic, the IMF official held that the country’s fiscal policy should be loosened to support economic activities, and limit negative impacts from the pandemic.
Policy adjustments depend largely on the speed of economic recovery at the global level, which is undergoing a lot of uncertainties, he said.
Pointing out weak uptake of tax deferrals in Vietnam, particularly in the hardest-hit sectors of the economy, the IMF recommended introduction of temporary corporate income tax (CIT) loss-carry backwards to improve firms’ cash flows, better targeting of temporary CIT reductions to benefit distressed but viable small-and medium-sized enterprises, and introduction of temporary provisions for accelerated depreciation or investment tax credits to lower to user cost of capital and encourage investment.
He moved to underscore that Vietnam’s economic growth story in the past three decades is notable since it is sustainable and inclusive growth that helps improve local livelihoods.
Thanks to market-oriented reforms which enable improvements in the business climate, and attraction of huge amount of FDI flows, Vietnam has risen from being in the group of the world’s poorest country to gaining the “middle-income” status.
The country should work more to better the business environment and ensure an equal playground, he said, adding this includes reforms geared towards simplifying and reducing the regulatory burden for domestic firms, easing entry costs for enterprises, continued reform of state-owned firms, and enhancing good governance.
Additionally, he suggested Vietnam enhance human capital and technology access to boost labour productivity, which facilitate investments in more complicated products that can gain better competitive edge in the international market./.
Textile & garment exports maintain growth momentum
The domestic textile and apparel industry has maintained its growth momentum with four-month export turnover increasing by 13.33% to US$11.747 billion compared to the same period from last year, according to data released by the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
Of the overall figure, garments accounted for the largest proportion with US$8,766 billion, followed by fiber with US$1,638 billion, and fabric with US$740 million.
The United States, Europe, and Japan continue to be the major consumption markets for Vietnamese garments and textiles, and several local firms have secured orders until the end of the year.
By sustaining steady growth, Vu Duc Giang, chairman of the VITAS, expresses his optimism that the set export target of US$39 billion can be achieved this year.
According to industry experts, the country’s garments and textiles enjoy a competitive advantage in several major markets, including the EU and the US, whilst the export prices of cotton T-shirts remain higher than the same types of items made in other regional countries such as Bangladesh.
However, several businesses point out that although production has bounced back following a hit caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), their export revenues have yet to reach previous highs.
The decline in export turnover can largely be attributed to the fact that some companies like Garment 10 have received a number of orders at lower prices of outsourcing compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, a representative of Hue Textile and Garment Joint Stock Company expresses his worry that the second quarter of this year would be a difficult period for the garment sector as it coincides with the transition period between seasons. This period often sees sharp price fluctuations, changes in the structure of orders, product types, and declining percentage of free-on-board (FOB) orders.
Amid the complex nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the garment sector is anticipated to be impacted by global trends, including market volatility and fluctuations.
The VITAS has therefore advised local businesses to closely monitor market changes, adjust production strategies, and seek new orders, while simultaneously making efforts to utilise green solutions in production towards sustainable development.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue promoting exports by optimising opportunities brought by free trade agreements (FTAs), diversifying export and import markets, along with improving the competitiveness of export products and developing trademarks.
Kien Giang rolls out measures to attract visitors
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has called on local travel companies to actively implement promotional programmes and plans to lure tourists now that COVID-19 has been largely brought under control.
The province’s major orientations are to connect tourism development with the facilitation of the trade and service sectors, thus increasing sales of domestic products.
It will promote itself as a safe, friendly, and attractive destination for sea and island tourism.
According to Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Bui Quoc Thai, Kien Giang will focus on markets where COVID-19 has been controlled when detailing its roadmap for re-opening to foreign tourists.
As Kien Giang and the province’s Phu Quoc Island have remained safe, without any community infections being recorded, the locality has seen a quick recovery in the number of visitors after each COVID-19 outbreak, he said.
In the first quarter of 2021, Kien Giang welcomed nearly 1.2 million visitors, down 32.9 percent year-on-year and representing 16.8 percent of its annual target, with total revenue standing at about 1.56 trillion VND (67.6 million USD).
Kien Giang has attracted 325 tourism projects to date worth nearly 356 trillion VND, covering a total area of 10,120 ha, primarily on Phu Quoc.
President of the Kien Giang Tourism Association Tran Quoc Khanh said that during the upcoming Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holiday, Kien Giang and Phu Quoc in particular are set to welcome a large number of visitors.
Provincial authorities have asked localities and local travel companies to strictly implement pandemic preventive measures in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health.
Kien Giang is working with relevant agencies on the provision of “closed tourism packages” – in which guests generally stay at one destination with little travelling – for Russian visitors arriving on charter flights.
Thai said the locality will continue to also appeal to Vietnamese holidaymakers as well as foreigners living in the country.
The province aims to welcome 7 million visitors and earn 11.5 trillion VND from tourism this year.
Along with fostering links with northwestern, northern, and Central Highlands localities, Kien Giang will also focus on preparing infrastructure for tourism, while offering promotional programmes to attract more visitors, Thai said./.
FTA providing impetus for Vietnam – Chile trade
Despite there being no commitments on services and investment in the Vietnam – Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the pact has nonetheless been a boost to trade and economic ties between the two countries.
The view was shared at the fourth meeting of the Vietnam – Chile free trade council, which was held online and chaired by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai and Vice Minister of Trade at Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rodrigo Yanez.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European – American Market Department, the two countries have enjoyed robust relations over the years.
Despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade in 2020 topped 1.28 billion USD, up 4.43 percent year-on-year and 2.5-fold higher than the figure recorded in 2013, prior to the FTA coming into effect.
Chile is now one of Vietnam’s four largest trade partners in Latin America, while Vietnam is the largest trade partner of Chile in ASEAN.
Trade in goods in the first four months of this year rose 15.3 percent year-on-year to 401.1 million USD, with Vietnam’s exports standing at 321.3 million USD, up 11.8 percent.
Both sides recognised the efforts made to implement the FTA.
The subcommittee for trade in goods discussed matters regarding tariffs and origin of goods and considered the application of electronic certificates of origin to simplify procedures for exporters in both countries.
Meanwhile, the subcommittee for hygiene and phyto-sanitation worked on import procedures for several agricultural products.
Vietnam has begun risk analysis on Chilean kiwi fruit while the South American country said it will begin analyses of Vietnamese rambutan in July.
Both agreed to step up measures to help Vietnamese and Chilean businesses capitalise on the Vietnam – Chile FTA as well as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), after it is ratified by Chile. The latter agreement will make a significant contribution to bolstering bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, and investment./.
PV Power rated “Positive” by Fitch Ratings
Credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings has for the first time assigned the PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) a Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) of “BB” with a positive outlook.
The rating is on par with that of Vietnam and major groups such as the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Vietnam Electricity (EVN).
PV Power is the first Vietnamese power producer and the first unit of PetroVietnam to be assigned an international credit rating.
Despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and in the opening months of 2021, PV Power still stably, safely, and effectively operated its power plants and fulfilled its targets.
Total output of commercial electricity reached 19.166 billion kWh last year, or 103 percent of the plan. The company earned over 30.2 trillion VND (1.31 billion USD) in revenue and posted more than 2.87 trillion VND in pre-tax profit, or 107 percent and 120 percent of the targets, respectively. Its contribution to the State budget exceeded 1.68 trillion VND, or 118 percent of the plan.
Its pre-tax profit stood at 720 billion VND in the first quarter of this year, or 106 percent of the plan.
With this rating from Fitch, it is expected that PV Power will have greater capacity to raise capital in the international market./.
2021 Top Thai Brands expo kicks off in HCM City
The 2021 Top Thai Brands expo opened at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on May 6.
The annual event is among the largest trade expos showcasing Thai products in Vietnam.
Director of the Thai Department of International Trade Promotion’s HCM City Office Suparporn Sookmark said preventive measures are in place as the expo is held amid complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She voiced a hope that firms, manufacturers and distributors can make use of the opportunities brought by the event to bolster trade between Thailand and Vietnam in the coming time.
Top Thai Brands expo is being held as an in-person and online event which features products of more than 50 businesses, including food and beverages, health and beauty products, household products, textiles and garments, among others.
It will run until May 9.
Exhibitors are also seeking partners for trade and network expansion.
According to Thai Consul General in HCM City Apirat Sugondhabhirom, over 200 Thai companies are operating in Vietnam./.
Vietnam, Cambodia lift trade ties
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien held a working session with Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Chay Navuth in Hanoi on May 6 to discuss measures to strengthen bilateral ties across trade, industry and energy.
Dien expressed his belief that under the leadership of the Cambodian Government and with prevention and control measures, Cambodia will soon wipe out COVID-19 pandemic and restore its economy.
On the occasion, he presented 10,000 anti-bacteria clothing masks to the Cambodian Embassy in Vietnam, and 10,000 others to each of the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce; Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation; and the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Both sides spoke highly of bilateral trade ties over the past years, with an annual growth of around 18 percent during 2010-2019.
Last year, two-way trade tripled from 2010. In 2019, it reached 5.2 billion USD, surpassing the target of 5 billion USD. They expressed their belief that the figure will grow more strongly in the near future.
The two sides agreed to maintain and renovate customs clearance model at border gates on roads and waterways, ensuring that the supply chain will not be disrupted, especially for necessities such as medical and food supplies, amid the pandemic.
At the same time, they will review, revise and sign legal frameworks related to trade, especially an agreement between the two Governments to step up bilateral trade for the 2022-2023 period.
They vowed to accelerate the implementation of a master plan to carry out the Memorandum of Understanding on connectivity and development of border trade infrastructure between the two governments.
Further support will be offered to firms to promote trade, build trademarks and distribution channels, enhance information sharing, fight against smuggling across the border, enhance power purchase partnership, and ensure the stability and safety of each nation’s electricity system.
Concluding the event, Dien affirmed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade is ready to work with the Cambodian Embassy and other units to lift Vietnam – Cambodia relations in the near future.
The ministry’s Department of Asian-African Markets reported that two-way trade reached 2.69 billion USD in the first quarter of this year, up 103.68 percent annually. Of the figure, Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia rose by 15.83 percent year-on-year to 1.22 billion USD, mostly iron and steel up 20.8 percent, apparel 15.5 percent, oil and gas 18.4 percent, apparel and footwear materials 10.6 percent.
Meanwhile, imports from Cambodia soared by 443 percent annually to 1.47 billion USD, including cashew nuts 711 million USD, up 497 percent; rubber 318.3 million USD, up 999 percent; vegetables 13.3 million USD, up 48.2 percent, iron and steel scraps 10.7 million USD, up 216.7 percent./.
Transport minister supports construction of Ring Road No.4
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has expressed support for the construction of Ring Road No.4 because it is of the utmost importance, linking Hanoi with nearby provinces.
During a conference held in Hanoi on May 6, The asked Hanoi and related provinces namely Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen, Bac Ninh and Bac Giang to speed up the implementation of the project to ease traffic pressure on Ring Road No.3.
The project is expected to not only ease traffic overload, expand development resources, connectivity and trade in goods among localities in the Hanoi Capital Region and the northern key economic region, but also help Hanoi and the provinces gradually perfect transportation systems as planned, making it easier for them to step up socio-economic development in both urban and rural areas, said Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Dinh Tien Dung.
Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Duc Tuan highlighted the development of the Hanoi Capital Region’s framework transportation network to carry passengers and goods over the past years, including seven expressways namely Hanoi – Lao Cai, Hoa Lac – Hoa Binh, Hanoi – Thai Nguyen, Hanoi – Hai Phong, Cau Gie – Ninh Binh, Thang Long Boulevard and Noi Bai – Bac Ninh, as well as the renovation and expansion of Noi Bai International Airport.
Tuan stressed that the Master Plan on Hanoi Capital Region set Ring Roads No.4 and No.5 as two important routes for regional connectivity.
In order to build Ring Road No.4, which will pass through 14 districts of the localities with a total length of around 98km, he asked the Transport Ministry and the provinces of Hung Yen, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and Bac Giang to offer feedback on the project to report to the Prime Minister.
About capital structure, he suggested allocating around 25 trillion VND (1.08 billion USD) from the State budget to Hanoi, Hung Yen and Bac Ninh. The localities must earmark 50 trillion VND each from their budgets, and the remaining will be from build-operate-transfer (BOT) investors./.
Binh Duong works hard on infrastructure development, administrative reform
The southern province of Binh Duong will concentrate on promoting infrastructure development and administrative reform, which are considered as two key pillars in creating breakthroughs in socio-economic development.
Addressing a meeting of the provincial 11th Party Committee, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Tran Van Nam said Binh Duong has basically completed the dual goals of COVID-19 prevention and socio-economic recovery and development.
The province’s industrial production index in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated to have increased 6.9 percent year-on-year. Some 255 new businesses were also established.
Its export turnover stood at 7.7 billion USD, while its import value was 5.6 billion, up 30.4 percent and 20 percent compared to the same period last year, respectively, resulting in a trade surplus of nearly 2.1 billion USD.
As of March 31, Binh Duong had attracted nearly 30.8 trillion VND (1.34 billion USD) in domestic investment and 468 million USD in foreign direct investment, increases of 50 percent and 59 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Nam said the province will continue to accelerate site clearance and compensation and roll out specific measures to remove difficulties facing the locality in compiling planning for land use and urban and smart city development.
It will also work on speeding up the construction of roads and overpasses and tightening the management of the real estate sector, he added./.
Hai Duong prepares to introduce Thieu litchi on e-commerce platforms
Authorities of the northern province of Hai Duong are carrying out necessary procedures to offer from 5-10 products meeting standards in the “One Commune – One Product” (OCOP) programme, including Thieu litchi, for sales on e-commerce platforms before May 18.
The province will sell the products on Alibaba.com, Voso.vn, Sendo.vn, and Lazada.vn.
As part of activities to implement the plan, the provincial Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) held a training programme on traceability of origin and trade promotion on e-commercial floors in both the online and face-to-face forms on May 6.
The course, which was joined by around 120 participants from local agricultural service cooperatives and producers of OCOP products, aims to help further promote Thieu litchi and OCOP products of the province.
Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, Director of Vietrade’s centre for IT application said her agency is committed to supporting businesses to implement successfully the plan.
Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said through the programme, the agriculture sector hopes to help individuals and organisations to understand more about the processes of origin traceability and transaction when joining e-commerce platforms, thus expanding markets for local agricultural products.
Hai Duong’s Thieu litchi has conquered many fastidious markets such as the US, Australia, the European Union (EU), Japan and Singapore.
Last year, the province’s litchi production yield reached an estimated 43,000 tonnes worth 1.16 trillion VND (nearly 50.4 million USD), including 20,000 tonnes of Thieu litchi. 50 percent of the total output was exported.
In 2021, Hai Duong plans to harvest 55,000 tonnes of litchi, with 50 percent of the total to be exported to China, and about 5-7 percent to fastidious markets./.
Coastal province aims to be centre for shrimp seed production
The south – central province of Ninh Thuận targets becoming Việt Nam’s centre for high-quality shrimp seed production by 2030.
The coastal province has already attracted many large companies and groups that have invested in concentrated aquatic seed production areas.
Nguyễn Khắc Lâm, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that three concentrated areas produce aquatic seeds with a combined area of 265ha.
The 125-ha An Hải in Ninh Phước District is the province’s largest concentrated aquatic seed production area, followed by the 100-ha Nhơn Hải area in Ninh Hải District.
The Nhơn Hải area has the largest production scale and aquatic seed output in the province.
The 40-ha Sơn Hải area is zoned for producing disease – free parent shrimp that produce shrimp seeds for breeding. It is the country’s only concentrated area that produces parent shrimp.
Shrimp seed is one of the province’s 12 specifically identified agricultural products. It has received high marks for quality from other provinces and cities.
The production of shrimp seeds has increased year by year and has exceeded the target each year, according to the department. The province produced 42.6 billion shrimp seeds last year, up 4.1 times against 2010.
The province supplies about 35 per cent of the country’s shrimp seed demand. “The province sells the remaining shrimp seed output to provinces and cities nationwide,” he said.
The province accounts for only 5 – 10 per cent of its shrimp seed output. The black-tiger shrimp seeds are sold mostly to the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, while its white – legged shrimp seeds are sold mostly to coastal provinces and cities.
The shrimp seeds are strictly inspected for disease before they are sold to other provinces and cities.
Seed production plan
Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s plan to develop the shrimp industry to 2030, the country will have to produce 250 – 300 billion shrimp seeds a year by 2030, according to the ministry’s Directorate of Fisheries.
Under the plan, Ninh Thuận alone will have to produce 50 – 60 billion shrimp seeds.
With its investment in shrimp breeding infrastructure and the use of advanced techniques by shrimp-seed producing companies, the province plans to gradually restructure production and increase the quality and output of shrimp seeds.
The province aims to have 10 per cent of each of its shrimp seed production establishments producing 500 million seeds a year by 2025.
It targets producing a total of 50 billion high-quality shrimp seeds by 2025 and 60 billion high-quality shrimp seeds by 2030.
The goal is to have all seed production establishments inspected for disease safety by 2030.
It also targets having enough parent shrimp to produce seeds for black tiger shrimp and white – legged shrimp, two major shrimp varieties bred in the country.
Võ Văn Nha, deputy head of the ministry’s Aquaculture Research Institute No 3, said the targets of 50 – 60 billion shrimp seeds a year in the 2025 – 30 period is feasible.
“The important thing is that the province should give priority to investing in infrastructure and restructuring shrimp seed production establishments, and use advanced techniques and protect the environment,” he said.
Ninh Thuận has 450 shrimp seed production establishments, accounting for more than 22 per cent of such establishments in the country, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.
However, the number of small and medium – size establishments accounts for up to 80 per cent of the province’s total shrimp seed production establishments.
The use of advanced techniques is still low, while high-quality parent shrimp must be imported.
To meet the targets, the provincial People’s Committee has told the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to invest in infrastructure for the three concentrated aquatic seed production areas.
It also told the department to invest in infrastructure in the 125-ha An Hải concentrated aquatic seed production area and to expand the area to more than 200ha.
The plan, which will invest VNĐ189 billion (US$8.2 million) in An Hải, is expected to attract companies with sufficient financial and technological capacity to invest in areas producing high-quality aquatic seeds.
The department is also planning to upgrade the Nhơn Hải concentrated aquatic seed production area. The plan, which will cost about VNĐ155 billion ($6.7 million), will invest in infrastructure for transport, electricity and water supply, and waste water treatment.
The province also aims to improve the State’s management of the quality of aquatic seeds and services related to aquatic seed production, and will strengthen co-operation among stakeholders in aquatic seed production and promote markets for aquatic seeds.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
Hai Phong to have new alternate airport
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has proposed a new international airport in Hai Phong City to support the Cat Bi Airport by 2050.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said they had completed the evaluation report on airport network planning during the 2021-2030 period with a view to 2050. The report has been sent to the Ministry of Transport and the evaluation board for review. In the report, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam suggested keeping all 28 airports until 2030. Cao Bang Airport would be built later by 2050. Vietnam would have a total of 14 international airports and 15 domestic airports.
In March, Hai Phong authorities proposed construction of a new international airport in Tien Lang District, Hai Phong City, as a major airport for Hanoi and to replace Cat Bi Airport in the future since Cat Bi Airport can’t be expanded. The new airport will be 120 km from Hanoi and connected to the Hanoi-Hai Phong Highway.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam proposed to keep the plan in which an alternate airport would be built in Hai Phong to support Noi Bai and Cat Bi airports as per prime ministerial directives issued in 2011.
By 2030, the airports in Vietnam must be able to serve 278 million passengers and 4.1 million tonnes of cargo per year.
Vietnam reports 26 new COVID-19 cases on May 5 evening
Vietnam recorded 26 new COVID-19 cases, including eight imported and 18 domestically-transmitted infections in the past 12 hours to 6pm on May 5, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said.
The domestically-transmitted infections include one case in central Quang Nam province, one in the capital city of Hanoi, one in southern Dong Nai province, one in northern Hai Duong province and 14 others at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district.
The new patients brought the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country to 3,022, including 1,626 domestically-transmitted cases. Of them, 56 cases were detected since the latest outbreak hit the country on April 27.
According to the MoH’s Medical Service Administration, a total of 2,560 patients were given the all-clear from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, while the death toll related to the disease remained at 35.
Among active patients undergoing treatment at medical establishments, 24 tested negative to the virus, 12 twice and 38 thrice.
As many as 40,736 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined across the country, including 560 in hospitals, 21,733 in state-designated establishments and 18,443 at their residences.
The MoH also decided to extend the compulsory concentrated quarantine period to 21 days instead of 14 days as previously, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said at a regular meeting of the Government on May 5 morning.
The decision came into force right on May 5, the minister said.
The local centres for disease control must be accountable for monitoring and medically supervising people who complete the concentrated quarantine period for the next seven days.
In a related move, the MoH’s Medical Service Administration has asked the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district to take drastic measures to prevent transmissions among its staff after 14 of its members tested positive to the virus and the establishment was put under lockdown on May 5.
The hospital was requested to devise plans to maintain its medical checkup and treatment for inpatients who are currently quarantined and treated at the facility./.
Kim Chung facility of national tropical diseases hospital under lockdown
The Health Ministry has directed placing the second facility of the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Kim Chung commune in Hanoi’s outlying district of Dong Anh under lockdown from 8am on May 5, after several medical staff tested positive to SARS-CoV-2.
After a doctor of the hospital was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 on May 4, the hospital immediately collected samples of staff members and patients in certain departments for testing, some of which turned out positive. The hospital suspected that it is a cluster of infections from an inpatient treatment area.
During the lockdown period, the hospital will only admit new COVID-19 patients for treatment.
The Health Ministry instructed that only severe cases of COVID-19 should be moved to the Kim Chung facility, while patients who had received treatment at the facility within the past 14 days must be traced and put under quarantine./.
COVID-19 fight, NA election high on Cabinet meeting’s agenda
The fight against COVID-19 and National Assembly election are among issues which are at the top of the agenda of a regular monthly Cabinet meeting held in Hanoi on May 5.
Dozens of infections have been detected in Vinh Phuc, Ha Nam, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hung Yen, Yen Bai, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, with some carrying the variant B.1.1.7 originating from the United Kingdom and the variant B.1.617.2 originating from India.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh earlier criticized several cities and provinces for lax management that has led to fresh outbreaks in the community.
Cabinet members are scheduled to discuss drastic measures to halt the spread of the virus.
They are also set to examine preparations for the upcoming elections of deputies to the National Assembly and local People’s Councils slated for May 23.
They will review national socio-economic development for April and the first four months of the year, while looking at measures to implement the dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery.
Vietnam documents no COVID-19 infections on May 5 morning
Vietnam logged no new COVID-19 infections in the past 12 hours to 6am on May 5, making the nation’s tally unchanged at 2,996 with 1,608 locally-transmitted cases, according to the Ministry of Health.
The ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Department said the country has seen 2,560 recoveries so far.
A total 40,736 people who came in close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are under quarantine nationwide, including 560 at hospitals, 21,733 other quarantine sites, and 18,443 at home.
Among patients under treatment, 24 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 12 twice, and 38 thrice.
A total of 585,539 frontline medical workers and members of community-based anti-COVID-19 groups in Vietnam had been injected with COVID-19 vaccine as of 4pm on May 4. The country began its COVID-19 inoculation campaign on March 8.
In a bid to live safely with the pandemic, people should strictly follow the Ministry of Health’s 5K message: khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration)./.
VFF: holding election campaigns in line with COVID-19 control regulations
The standing board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee asked localities to hold election campaigns in accordance with requirements of COVID-19 prevention and control.
In a guideline issued on May 4, Vice Chairman of the VFF Central Committee Ngo Sach Thuc urged standing boards of VFF chapters at all levels to coordinate with election committees at the same level to decide the number and the form for meetings with voters based on the situation in their respective localities.
Localities in normal state or under social distancing measures could hold conferences with voters either offline or online.
For localities under lockdown, local VFF committees should work with Party Committees and election committees at their corresponding levels to select the suitable methods to hold election campaigns, with priority given to campaigning via the mass media.
In case candidates are infected with COVID-19 or under quarantine, the standing boards must reach consensus with election committees on the way to organizing election campaigns, with priority given to campaigning via the mass media.
Throughout a five-step process with three rounds of close, democratic, cautious, and non-discriminatory consultations, the lists of candidates for the elections of deputies to the 15th legislature and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure have been finalised.
Voters nationwide will cast their vote to choose 500 out of 868 candidates for the 15th National Assembly on May 23./.
Vinh Phuc, Ho Chi Minh City police deal with illegal entries
|Illegal Chinese immigrants|
Accordingly, Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh, 36, residing in the province’s Vinh Yen city, was charged with organising the illegal entry and residence of 52 Chinese nationals in the locality.
The same day, the Ho Chi Minh City’s police reported that they found 11 illegal immigrants, all foreigners, in the city, and detained two involved persons.
As many as 69 officers were also deployed to ensure security and order in two places under lockdown.
During the four-day holiday, local police also increased inspections to ensure traffic order and create favourable conditions for travelling./.
Up to 39 suspected illegal immigrants found in Vinh Phuc
Thirty nine allegedly illegal foreign immigrants were detected in Vinh Yen city in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on May 3 night as local police are stepping up efforts to contain coronavirus outbreaks which have become more complicated in recent days.
The foreigners were found residing in four locations in Khai Quang and Lien Bao wards.
Local authorities seized personal belongings of the foreigners for further investigation, and disinfect their lodging facilities.
Many foreigners are residing in Vinh Yen city, which houses a lot of industrial parks and lodging facilities.
Local authorities are examining and classifying foreigners with illegal entry and residence in the province so as to have effective settlement measures.
The Ministry of Health said on May 3 that Vinh Phuc province documented eight COVID-19 local transmissions, all making close contact with Chinese experts who earlier tested positive for the virus.
Provincial authorities have ordered a halt to meetings and other events with gathering of more than 20 people, as well as non-essential services such as karaoke and massage parlours, bars and dance clubs as part of COVID-19 prevention measures./.
Quiz on Army Games launched
The People’s Army Newspaper together with the Ministry of National Defence’s Department for External Relations held a press conference in Hanoi on May 4 to introduce a quiz on the International Army Games.
Speaking at the press conference, deputy head of the department Pham Manh Thang said the contest aims to promote the games, which encourage international defence cooperation between nations, and to honour the People’s Army of Vietnam’s achievements at previous events.
Vietnam is actively preparing itself to host a number of competitions within the games this year, he said, adding that meetings have taken place to discuss options for organising these activities at the Mieu Mon training centre in Hanoi in line with COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the People’s Army Newspaper Le Ngoc Long said the contest, held weekly from May 6 to August 8, features multiple choice tests and requires that contestants submit their predictions of the numbers of people with correct answers.
In addition to weekly prizes, there will be one first prize worth 20 million VND (865 USD), two second prizes worth 10 million VND each, three third prizes of 5 million VND each, and 10 consolidation prizes of 3 million VND each.
The International Army Games 2021 is scheduled for August 22 – September 4, with 13 host nations, including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Qatar, China, Mongolia, Serbia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Of the 34 competitions, Vietnam will host the rescue and sniper events./.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau: Early voting held for soldiers, fishermen
Officers, soldiers and fishermen working for days at sea off the coast of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau cast their votes to elect deputies to the 15th National Assembly (NA) and People’s Council at all levels on May 4 – earlier than scheduled.
The early voting was held in five constituencies in the provincial capital of Vung Tau for naval and coast guard officers and soldiers, fishery surveillance forces, workers on offshore oil platforms, and fishermen, nearly three weeks before the national polling officially takes place on May 23.
Two working groups were also dispatched from the wharf of Brigade 171 to organize advance polling for voters at offshore economic, scientific and technical service stations on the southern continental shelf, known as DK1 platforms, and on ocean-going naval vessels.
Bidding farewell to the working groups, Tran Dinh Khoa, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and head of Vung Tau city’s steering committee for elections, requested the groups to ensure all forces on duty at sea cast their votes and exercise their rights as citizens.
According to the Naval Region 2’s High Command, there are 378 officers and soldiers on duty at 15 DK1 platforms and on naval vessels at sea.
The groups are set to return to the mainland before May 23./.
Foreign parliamentary leaders congratulate new Vietnamese NA Chairman
Parliamentary leaders of Switzerland, Chile, Saudi Arabia and Israel have cabled messages of congratulations to Vuong Dinh Hue on his election as Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly.
The messages were sent by President of the National Council of Switzerland Andreas Aebi, President of the Senate of Chile Yasna Provoste Campillay, Speaker of the Consultative Council of Saudi Arabia Dr. Abdullah Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Sheikh, and Speaker of the Parliament (Knesset) of Israel Yariv Levin./.
Long An’s Asia-Pacific tourism membership funded
The Long An Golf Investment – Development JSC and Hoan Cau Group will fund the southern province of Long An’s 130th membership of the Tourism Promoting Organization for Asia-Pacific Cities (TPO).
The contract signing ceremony took place in the province on May 4.
Accordingly, they will fund the membership cost of 500 USD and the annual fee of 3,000 USD during the province’s membership.
Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Tan Hoa said via its membership, Long An could connect with other TPO member cities to develop tourism together through discussing strategies and grasping tourism trends in the region, amid the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
He asked relevant agencies and units to work closely with the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to explore the possibility of expanding cooperation between the tourism sector and firms to tap existing potential and strengths.
Hoa also suggested paying attention to resort tourism and supplying tourism value chains.
TPO is an inter-city network aimed at promoting exchange and cooperation among major cities, with key projects such as information sharing, marketing tourist sites, developing new tourism products, and training human resources.
It now groups 130 member cities from 15 countries and 50 tourism organisations./.
Amnesty must be carried out strictly, transparently: State President
State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has directed that the implementation of amnesty measures follows a strict, open, and transparent process in accordance with the law, to avoid any possible negativity.
He made the comments while working with leaders of relevant agencies on the enforcement of the 2018 Law on Amnesty, on May 4.
Amnesty is a major policy of the Party and State, demonstrating the humanity of the regime and holding great political, economic, social, and diplomatic significance, Phuc said, adding that it affirms the special policy of clemency held by the Party and State for inmates with good results in studying, training, and rehabilitation.
Amnesties on special occasions, holidays, or major national events aim to encourage prisoners to rehabilitate themselves and qualify for amnesty policies, and the implementation of the law on amnesty demonstrates the orientation towards building a law-ruled Socialist State of Vietnam, he stated.
The President asked the Ministry of Public Security and relevant agencies to propose major regulations on amnesty in the time to come.
According to an assessment from the Ministry of Public Security, the 2018 Law on Amnesty has basically addressed the shortcomings in the 2007 version in order to improve the effectiveness of amnesty work.
After the National Assembly adopted the Law on Amnesty in 2007, Vietnam’s State President has granted seven different amnesties, under which a total of 87,000 inmates have been freed ahead of their scheduled release dates./.
Vietnamese students in Laos get support amid COVID-19
The Vietnamese Embassy in Laos on May 4 handed over gifts to Vietnamese students at the National University of Laos (NUOL) who are facing difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presented by Vietnamese Counsellor of Culture and Education Tran Dai Thang and the officer in charge of community work, Vu Tu Oanh, the gifts include 1,000 medical masks and foodstuff.
Amid the complex developments of the pandemic, Lao medical staff in cooperation with the Vietnamese Association in Vientiane conducted COVID-19 testing on Vietnamese living and working in Thatluang, Naxay and Sisangvone wards and the area around the NUOL.
Those showing symptoms will be placed in quarantine and receive timely treatment./.
Journey to share love with border guards, policy beneficiaries, the poor
A programme entitled “A Journey to Share the Love” was launched in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on May 4.
Jointly organised by the provincial Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Ministry of Public Security’s Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, and the Phu My Hung Development Limited Company, the programme targets border guards on duty in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and also policy beneficiaries, the poor, and poor students with good academic results in Duc Hoa, Duc Hue, Can Giuoc, Ben Luc, Thu Thua, and Tan Tru districts.
With total capital of 2 billion VND (86,500 USD), the programme will present 230 gifts worth 500,000 VND each to policy beneficiaries, young workers, and the elderly, grant 120 scholarships worth 500,000 VND each to local students, and give gifts worth 1 million VND each to 12 Heroic Mothers.
Twenty-five houses worth 70 million VND each will be built and handed over to families living in extremely difficult circumstances, while daily necessities, solar lighting, and cash totalling 35 million VND will be presented to two border stations in Duc Hue district./.
Universities turn to online learning as pandemic continues
In light of rising concerns about the spread of Covid-19 and calls to contain the virus, a growing number of public and private universities in Vietnam have shut down in-person classes after April 30 and May Day holidays.
Specifically, Hanoi University of Science and Technology asked lecturers and students to use Microsoft Teams for online teaching and learning from May 4 to 9 while experimental sessions and practice are paused until further notice.
Similarly, Foreign Trade University required students in campuses in Hanoi and the Northern Province of Quang Ninh to take online classes from May 4 to 16. The school must ask for permission from the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control if it opens in-person classes.
The management board of the Academy of Journalism and Propaganda also decided to switch to online learning from May 4 until there is a new announcement. Students at the Transportation University also made the switch to online classes instead of face-to-face classes from May 3.
The University of Transport Technology, the Faculty of Law of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Natural Sciences, University of Thuyloi, Hanoi University of Education 2, Banking Academy, University of Commerce, University of Business and Technology followed suit.
Prior, the Hanoi University of Natural Resources and Environment, Hanoi University of Finance and Banking, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education had announced teaching and learning via the internet to prevent and fight against Covid-19.
Hanoi strives to create 160,000 new jobs despite Covid-19
Strengthening cooperation and linkage in the development of tourism products with businesses, industries, localities in the country and foreign countries will be a measure to boost job generation in the city.
The Hanoi People’s Committee will put effort into creating some 160,000 jobs for workers by the end of 2021 despite the negative impacts of Covid-19 pandemic on almost aspects of life, according to the city’s job creation plan in 2021.
To accomplish the above-mentioned target, the municipal authorities will promote the application of science and technology and take a number of measures to tighten the linkage between vocational education and businesses to develop the labor market.
Hanoi will also apply new technologies to build a system connecting supply and demand for training model with the participation of schools, enterprises and students.
Under the plan, the city expects to effectively roll out industrial programs and projects, lure more investment projects into industrial zones as well as fostering craft villages in the direction of improving quality, efficiency and competitiveness.
Hanoi’s authorities will step up industry restructuring, promoting the development of hi-tech agriculture and organic agriculture to stimulate consumption markets.
The city will also concentrate on improving investment environment, solving difficulties for production and business, and thoroughly addressing petitions of enterprises, especially those on administrative procedures reform.
“Hanoi will perform synchronous solutions to support the development of small and medium enterprises in the period of 2021-25, promoting start-ups and innovation,” noted the plan.
Strengthening cooperation and linkage in the development of tourism products with businesses, industries, localities in the country and foreign countries is also a measure to boost job creation to be taken by Hanoi city.
In early 2021, the Hanoi Employment Services Center under the Hanoi Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs launched Vietnam Employment Service Portal (ESIP) and the Information Technology (IT) Job Transaction Floor, with the expectation of helping local companies to find highly qualified human resources, analyze and forecast the market outlook in 2021 and the subsequent years.
The job transaction floor targets units and enterprises; vocational training schools; IT students from vocational facilities, and those who have the need for finding jobs, learning, and labor export.
“Hanoi is one of the largest labor markets in the country. With the launch of the ESIP, we highly value the city’s creativeness in coordinating with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs,” said Vu Trong Binh, director of the Employment Department under the MoLISA.
Besides, the city used the Anti-Unemployment Fund to train employees working in enterprises. This is considered as a preventive solution to combat unemployment and ensure social security.
The city also provided more information on the labor market, supports job seekers to post job resumes, and helps enterprises to post recruitment announcement through website: vieclamhanoi.net.
Vietnamese students to compete at int’l science, engineering contest
Seven projects of Vietnamese students are to compete at the 2021 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will be held virtually from May 16-21.
The projects all came first in their respective fields at the national high school Science and Engineering Fair for the 2020-2021 academic year recently held in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.
The 2021 ISEF is to see the participation of 2,000 ninth through twelfth graders from over 80 countries and territories across the world, with about 1,500 projects in 21 fields.
The contest has a total prize value of over 5 million USD in the form of scholarships, internships and awards./.
Quang Nam’s flood-hit residents receive new houses
The skinny woman trembled, seemingly unable to stand still because of her happiness to receive a house thanks to the work of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam and local people’s generosity.
Luu Thi Phuong, 56, in Que Thuan Commune, Que Son District, Quang Nam Province, saw her house destroyed by a storm in October 2020.
She was one of the thousands of people who lost nearly all of their assets due to the storms of 2020 in central Vietnam.
Her husband died when she gave birth to her fourth child 16 years ago, so Phuong alone raised her four small children.
“Life is so hard. I work alone in the field as a hired labourer to support these children,” she said.
Now, her two eldest daughters have their own families and work in a local factory. However, her two sons have health problems, so they still live at home and can only work as hired labourers around the commune.
In the new two-storey house, she reserved the most solemn area on the second floor as an altar for her husband. On the first floor, she presented a set of wooden tables and chairs bought from money saved by children.
“I give my thanks to the UNDP, the provincial People’s Committee and the Red Cross. Without this support, I don’t know when we would have been able to build such a house,” she said.
“I will pick up local neighbours to live at my house if there are floods and storms in this area,” she added.
The house with a ground area of 16sq.m and worth 110 million VND (5,000 USD) was one of more than 430 storm-resistant houses provided by the UNDP in five provinces in central Vietnam.
This assistance activity is part of the project ‘Responding to natural disasters in Vietnam’ funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
At the end of April, the UNDP handed over 10 houses to people in Quang Nam Province as part of the UNDP’s 2021 plan to build flood-resistant houses.
In addition to building more than 430 new houses, the UNDP in collaboration with the People’s Committees of central provinces that suffered heavy damage in the storms last October (Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai) and the Red Cross completed the repairs and reinforcement of more than 3,300 damaged houses.
Some 3,300 household kits have also been provided to poor households. Household items, including kitchen equipment, blankets, curtains, personal protective equipment, and chemical disinfectants were all necessary for people to get back on their feet.
UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, Caitlin Wiesen, said that more than ever, affected people, especially the poor, women and girls were in need of safe houses and essential items to deal with the damage.
“Our safe homes have saved thousands of people during the historic floods and storms that devastated central Vietnam,” she said.
“However, there is still a long way forward to be able to assist those in need of safe homes.”
Tran Van Tan, Deputy Chairman of the Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee, said there were still many poor households, lonely mothers and disabled people suffering difficulties in life and some had lost their homes in last year’s floods.
“This makes the poor, who already struggle so much, in even greater difficulties without community support.”
Tan said the local authorities appreciated the UNDP’s efforts and timely support to build and repair the houses.
“It is very practical and meaningful support for local people. We hope to continue to receive this support so that people living in areas affected by storms and floods have a warmer life,” he said.
At a house handover ceremony at Que Thuan Commune last week, Nguyen Van Tien, Deputy Chief of the Standing Office of the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, said: “I appreciate the co-ordination of UNDP that help people in the disaster area.
“This assistance not only solves immediate post-disaster recovery but is also sustainable for local residents living in frequent disaster areas such as central Vietnam.”
The UNDP is also organising a crowdfunding campaign titled ‘Safe House, Peace of Life’ to support the construction of 100 new safe houses in vulnerable locations in Quang Binh Province and further construction of safe houses in Que Son District, (Quang Nam Province) and Ly Son island district (Quang Ngai Province).
“In particular, our safe homes in Ly Son Island will have a new design and enhanced resistance to special wind conditions, and rooftop solar systems are capable of providing sufficient lighting systems for households,” said Wiesen.
Central Vietnam was battered by strong storms and floods last October. According to the Central Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention, more than 230 people were killed or went missing. At least 380,000 houses were flooded, damaged or collapsed./.
Brazilian films to be screened in Hanoi
A Brazilian film week will take place in Hanoi from May 10 – 14, hosted by the Brazilian Embassy in Vietnam.
Five outstanding Brazilian movies, including Nise: The Heart of Madness, Jules and Dolores, Trinta, Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, and Buddies, will be screened free of charge at the National Cinema Centre.
Through the event, the embassy wants to introduce unique characteristics of Brazilian culture to local audiences.
All the movies will be shown in their original language whilst featuring both English and Vietnamese subtitles./.
Newly established firms grow at fastest pace since 2017
The number of new enterprises established in the first four months of 2021 rose 17.5 percent from a year earlier, the fastest growth since 2017, and it increased in all economic sectors, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Between January and April, nearly 44,200 new firms were set up with 627.7 trillion VND (27.2 billion USD) worth of capital and 340,300 employees registered, up 17.5 percent, 41 percent, and 7.8 percent, respectively, from the same period last year.
The registered capital averaged 14.2 billion VND per business, rising 20 percent year on year.
The total capital poured into the economy topped 1.42 quadrillion VND in the first four months, including 792.9 trillion VND of additional capital from 14,900 existing businesses.
Besides, nearly 19,300 enterprises also resumed operations, growing by 8 percent from a year earlier, the GSO reported.
In April alone, the number of newly established firms approximated 14,900, registering 179.9 trillion VND worth of capital and 94,600 employees. These figures respectively went up 33.1 percent, 59.1 percent, and 30 percent from the previous month.
The registered capital averaged 12.1 billion VND per business, rising 19.6 percent month on month and 1.7 percent year on year.
As many as 5,745 companies resumed operations in April, up 50.8 percent year on year.
The GSO held that these are positive signs for enterprise development in the time ahead.
To create further momentum, Director of the GSO’s Industrial and Construction Statistics Department Pham Dinh Thuy said it is necessary to stimulate investment among export manufacturers so as to ready goods supply once global markets are reopened and to capitalise on chances generated by free trade agreements, especially the one between Vietnam and the EU.
He also pointed out the need to swiftly develop supporting industries to ease the burden on the import of input materials.
Businesses expect the Government will invest more in the transport system to boost the connectivity between key production areas and international ports of entry, develop the logistics network, set up technical centres to help companies meet export standards, and push ahead with strongly improving the business climate, Thuy added./.
Dong Thap striving to preserve intangible cultural heritage
The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap recently released a plan on preserving and bringing into play the art of “Don ca tai tu” music and song and “Ho Dong Thap” (Dong Thap singing), both of which are national intangible cultural heritages, so as to improve awareness and raise a sense of responsibility in the community and the political system regarding the task.
Not only a national intangible cultural heritage, “Don ca tai tu” music and song was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
Evoking people’s lives and work on the land and rivers of the Mekong Delta, it is an indispensable part of spiritual activities and the cultural heritage of local people and helps to foster amateur cultural activities.
Meanwhile, “Ho Dong Thap” is a type of folk singing that reflects the thoughts and sentiments of local residents.
Authorities have worked on studying and revitalising the art. In particular, training courses have been held in all district-level localities, while classes and extra-curricular activities have been organised at all schools province-wide so as to inspire a love among students for the cultural heritage.
Ngo Hoang Viet, Deputy Director of the centre for culture, sports, and radio broadcasting in the province’s Cao Lanh city, said 47 “Don ca tai tu” clubs with 530 members have been set up around town.
Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap provincial People’s Committee Doan Tan Buu noted that local authorities are striving to have “Don ca tai tu” and “Ho Dong Thap” clubs established in 50 to 70 percent of all communal-level localities.
They are also encouraging each commune, ward, and township to form one club and maintain festivals on the arts annually at the provincial level and biennially at the district level.
The province is also stepping up communications in the media to help turn “Don ca tai tu” and “Ho Dong Thap” into typical tourism products of Dong Thap./.
Parents struggle to find semi-boarding schools for their children
Many parents want to enroll their children in semi-boarding schools, which keep students for a full day.
Mai Nguyên, whose child is in the first grade at Lê Văn Thọ Primary School in HCM City’s District 12, said that she was looking for a full-day school as she had been suffering from hiring someone to pick up and take care of her child every afternoon.
Many parents in HCM City, especially from large migrant areas, are in a similar situation in which their children can only be at school for half a day.
Lê Anh Tuấn said that this was the second year that his family and other parents had had to rent a car together to pick up their children, who then would go to their teacher’s house afterwards.
“The teacher is responsible for taking care of all of the students until late when their parents are then able to pick them up after work. I want to find a semi-boarding school which would allow my child to stay at school for the whole day in Bình Thạnh District,” Tuấn said.
He said that his child was under stress from having to travel between different places during the day.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, many primary schools have given priority to two study shifts or a semi-boarding session for all first-grade students, while reducing the rate of two study shifts or semi-boarding sessions for second graders and upper grades.
According to the HCM City Department of Education and Training, 18 out of 24 districts are relatively stable in terms of arranging two study shifts per day for first graders.
Some districts such as Gò Vấp, Bình Tân, Tân Phú and District 12, however, are not able to do so, due to the large number of children entering the first grade.
At Lê Văn Thọ Primary School in District 12 which has over 4,500 students with about 90 classes, all students have switched to one study shift per day to avoid overcrowding.
In mid-May, many districts in HCM City and Thủ Đức City will announce early entry enrollment for students in the area. Parents should take note of each area’s enrollment regulations to prepare necessary documents for their children.
Even though parents have the tendency to apply for resident registration in District 1, the number of students who are able to attend the first grade in this area is calculated based on the number of fifth graders graduating from the schools.
“Students’ resident registration has been carefully reviewed in recent years. Children who are not from the area are not usually accepted to schools in District 1,” a representative of District 1 said.
According to the city People’s Committee’s early enrollment regulations, parents need to pay attention to important timelines and submit documents on time for their children.
Reading culture promoted in Cầu Giấy District apartment building
For more than 20 years, the space under the stairs of the first floor in the A3 apartment building in Nghĩa Tân Ward of Hà Nội has been home to bookshelves.
Newcomers or those who first visit the building may be surprised as the bookshelves and reading materials there belong to no one. They are shared and look after by the residents of the building.
The mini library has bookshelves, tables and chairs and books of all genres shelved in different areas such as classics, fiction, non-fiction, history, healthcare, science, law, memoirs as well as daily newspapers.
Đào Thị Anh Tuấn, a resident of the building, has spent many years voluntarily arranging newspapers and books at the library.
Tuấn said before 1999, people usually parked their motorbikes, ran small business stalls or occupied the stair area for personal purposes.
“Some retired people and veterans living in the building had an idea to set up a public library there, making it the first special cultural stair in the city,” Tuấn said.
It was then turned into a common cultural area for the community where people can go to read books, newspapers and talk to each other.
“We called on the residents to donate newspapers, books, tables and chairs,” she said, adding they set some rules to ensure the reading corner runs effectively. For example, every household takes turns to clean the stair daily, remove advertisements or drawings on walls and funds are raised by the residents to buy more books and newspapers.
“For over 20 years, the stair has been a familiar place for the building’s residents to gather and share their reading habit,” she said, adding that such activities also helped tighten the relationship of the different generations, neighbours and solidarity of the community.
While the young find interesting or useful resources for their studies or reading pleasure, older people enjoy reading news and events from daily newspapers. Many of them come to read and discuss news and events together.
Đỗ Trung Minh, a retired official who helps run the library, said the space under the stairs at the A3 building was quite large – about 20 sq.m, so it used to be used for parking.
Some people even left garbage there, he said.
“Since we cleaned up and opened a reading corner there, the area looks much better and residents have a place to meet, read and talk,” he said.
Another resident, Nguyễn Thị Hát, said she found many useful medical books and materials at the small library under the stairs.
“I usually read books and articles about how to stay healthy and avoid illness,” she said.
Đào Tùng Dương, a secondary school pupil, said he usually went to the library to read after school.
“Reading printed books and magazines is better for my eyes rather than using a mobile phone,” Dương said.
In the era of the internet, tablets and e-readers, reading culture is still maintained and promoted here, thanks to the “cultural stair”.
From this model, many community activities have been organised such as the weekly cleaning of the whole building, fundraising for people suffering from natural disasters and cooking competitions.
The success of the “cultural stair” of the A3 apartment block has even been spread to dozens of other neighbouring apartment buildings in Nghĩa Tân Ward.
The ward’s authorities have called on other buildings to implement the same model which has proved effective in promoting the reading culture and community connection.
Vietnam Airlines employees return about US$43,417 to passenger
Flight attendants of the flight VN7177 from Hanoi to the Central City of Da Nang on April 24 discovered and promptly returned valuable property to a passenger, Vietnam Airlines said yesterday.
Vietnam Airlines employees found a wallet in the seat 1A with US$45,000 and VND50 million, ATM card and other important personal papers with the total value of over VND1 billion (US$43,417). Flight attendants informed the lost-and-found counter which returned the wallet to the passenger.
The passenger later sent a thank-you letter to the flight attendants and employees of the lost-and-found counter.
Every year, Vietnam Airlines flight attendants and ground staff pick up and return many of valuable assets left on aircrafts to passengers.
The airline advised that passengers can go to the Lost and Found counter, or contact the airline’s representatives and airport security for assistance if they leave their property in planes.
Thousands of new COVID-19 cases reported in Southeast Asian countries
The Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand on May 3 reported thousands of new COVID-19 cases, while Indonesia announced that it detected several new infections of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant in Jakarta.
The Health Ministry of the Philippines confirmed 7,255 new cases, lifting the country’s tally to 1,062,225, including 17,525 deaths.
The Southeast Asian country started its COVID-19 vaccination programme from March, giving over 1.9 million doses of vaccine to its people. The Philippine government planned to vaccinate 70 million people this year to achieve the community immunity.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Ministry of Health reported 2,500 new cases, including 2,496 domestic infections, bringing its national count to 417,512. As many as 1,551 deaths related to COVID-19 were confirmed in the country.
The Public Health Ministry of Thailand on the same day reported a new daily high of 31 deaths and 2,041 new infections. This took the total number of cases in the country to 71,025 since the pandemic began last year. The death toll stands at 276.
Prasit Watanapa, a professor of medicine, warned that the country faces a crisis if the number of deaths continues to rise. He urged people to be strict about wearing face masks, to follow all measures advocated to curb the latest outbreak and to accept vaccination.
Indonesian Minister of Health Budi Gunadi announced that his country recorded two cases in Jakarta infected the B.1.617 variant, which was firstly detected in India.
An infection of the SARS-CoV-2 variant found in South Africa was reported in Bali, he added.
So far, Indonesia has recorded 1,677,274 cases, including 45,796 deaths.
The Cambodian government has announced its decision to lift the lockdown in Phnom Penh and the city adjacent to the capital – Ta Khmao in Kandal province from May 6./.
Exhibition on National Assembly opens in HCM City
More than 200 photos and documents featuring the development of the National Assembly of Vietnam are being displayed at the Southeastern Armed Forces Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
The exhibition, which opened on May 4, is to welcome the elections of deputies to the 15th legislature, and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021-2026 tenure.
It gives visitors an insight into the formation of the legislative body, the first general election on January 6, 1946, the 75-year journey of the NA, and the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh in the legislature.
Among the documents on the display are those regarding regulations of the Constitution and laws towards the NA and People’s Councils at all levels, as well as documents relating to the elections.
The exhibition also highlights contributions of the armed forces of Military Region 7 to preparations and organisation of the elections.
In his opening remarks, Colonel Thai Thanh Duc, Deputy Chief of the Department of Politics of Military Zone 7, stressed the significance of the exhibition, saying it aimed to raise the awareness of Vietnamese people, especially young officers and soldiers of Military Zone 7, about the NA and elections.
The event will last until the end of May./.
Hanoi detects new COVID-19 infection at Times City
An Indian expert, who works for local automaker Vinfast, has been confirmed with COVID-19 in Hanoi, the municipal Centre for Disease Control said on May 4.
The man, born in 1984, arrived in Vietnam on April 17 and was immediately put under 14-day quarantine at a hotel in Hong Bang district, the northern city of Hai Phong.
He tested negative for the coronavirus twice during the mandatory quarantine period, and left for Hanoi on May 1 to stay with his wife and children at Park 10, Hoang Mai district’s Times City.
He visited Vinmec Hospital on May 3 for a commercial COVID-19 test and his test result turned out positive. He is now under treatment at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district.
Authorities are actively tracing people having close contact with him for COVID-19 test and quarantine to prevent the virus spreading further.
A day earlier, Hanoi reported one case of COVID-19 in Bac Tu Liem District. He was on the same flight from Da Nang to Hanoi last week with two Chinese experts, who had later been found infected with COVID-19./.
Central region closes entertainment venues, schools to fight COVID-19
Local authorities in central Việt Nam shut down various entertainment venues from midnight on Monday after a community COVID-19 case was confirmed in the region.
All bars, discotheques, karaoke parlours, entertainment areas, internet, massage parlours and mass gatherings in public in the cities of Đà Nẵng, Hội An and Thừa Thiên-Huế, and Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi provinces were shut after a spa ticket salesman at a hotel in Đà Nẵng was found to be positive on Monday.
Since then, a massage therapist who works at the same hotel has also tested positive.
Health officials have been tracing the contacts of the two new patients and have listed 21 sites including restaurants, bars, karaoke parlours and bus stations in Hội An and Đà Nẵng that the salesman visited between April 21 and May 2 so people who visited them can submit health declarations.
Kindergartens, schools and universities in Đà Nẵng and Quảng Nam were also closed from Tuesday morning until further notice from education authorities.
Quảng Nam Province has asked all residents returning from Hà Nội and HCM City and Yên Bái, Hưng Yên and Hà Nam provinces to report their health status and destinations they visited during the four-day holiday (April 29 to May 3) through the national online health declaration system.
Đà Nẵng has also ordered all taxis and public buses to only carry half of their passenger capacity, while a safe distance (2m) and face mask-wearing is a must for all in public.
Medical staff of a lab in central Việt Nam tests samples for SARS-COV-2. Photo courtesy of Thiện Nhân Health Centre
Trade centres, accommodation sites and restaurants are still open, but strict virus prevention measures are required, including hand-washing stations, face masks and temperature checks.
Sunny Club staff in Vĩnh Phúc infected with Indian coronavirus variant: health ministry
Staff working at Sunny Club in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc contracted the Indian variant of coronavirus, the health ministry said on Tuesday.
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology took samples of COVID-19 patients in Vĩnh Phúc, Hà Nam, Hưng Yên and Hà Tĩnh provinces to trace the origin of the virus.
Samples taken from three female staff of Sunny Club showed they had contracted B.1.617.2, the Indian variant, known as a ‘double mutant’, which has been found in at least 17 countries.
They are among six bar staff confirmed as having COVID-19 last week after being in close contact with a Chinese expert who came to the bar and tested positive earlier.
Six samples in Hà Nam, two in Hưng Yên and two in Hà Tĩnh (taken from two patients traveling from Laos to Việt Nam by road) showed they were infected with UK variant B.1.1.7.
The health ministry on Tuesday morning reported a man living in Hà Nội, who was on the same flight as two Chinese experts, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Associate Professor Trần Đắc Phu, a senior advisor at the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, said a case deemed to have had close contact with an infected person on a flight is someone sitting within two rows of that person. The man in Hà Nội indeed sat two rows from the two Chinese experts.
The environment on the plane is an enclosed space. If passengers do not strictly comply with protective measures, the risk of infection is high, he said.
Việt Nam has reported flight attendants infected with COVID-19. It is compulsory for passengers to wear masks on the plane, but sometimes they take off the masks. Coughing, talking, and sneezing on the place can spread the virus. Pathogens can be found on the surfaces of chairs and toilet door knobs. If a person touches those surfaces then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, they can be infected, he said.
In a related move, seven provinces and cities in Viet Nam have closed schools from Tuesday amid the high risk of COVID-19 community infection.
Children at kindergarten and students at primary, secondary and high schools in Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam, Hưng Yên have been off from schools since Tuesday until further notice after community cases were detected in these areas.
Most universities in Hà Nội have turned to distance learning.
Schools in Yên Bái City, Nghĩa Lộ Town, Văn Chấn and Trấn Yên districts of northern Yên Bái Province and Hà Nam Province will remain shut until May 9.
Schools in Vĩnh Phúc Province will be closed until May 8.
Border provinces step up efforts to stop spread of COVID-19
Provinces and cities across Việt Nam, especially border areas, are stepping up their COVID-19 prevention and control efforts.
Đồng Tháp provincial border guards are making efforts to prevent people from entering the province illegally from Cambodia to stop the virus from entering the community.
At about 4.30am on Monday, during patrol duty on the Sở Thượng River in Thường Thới Hậu A commune, Hồng Ngự District, the border guard discovered 14 people, including 11 adults and three children, on seven wooden boats, preparing to illegally enter Việt Nam.
Previously, on Saturday and Sunday, they discovered 55 people travelling in 23 vehicles to the border on the Tiền River to prepare to illegally enter the country.
On Đồng Tháp southern province’s 50.5km long border with Cambodia, comprising 40km of the river border and 10.5km on the mainland, the border forces deployed 21 fixed posts and 18 mobile control teams on patrol duty.
Meanwhile, in the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang, hundreds of soldiers have been deployed on the Việt Nam-China border for border management and protection and COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control.
Colonel Lưu Đức Hùng, Political Commissar of the Hà Giang Border Guard Command, said the provincial border guards have worked with other forces to maintain operations of all fixed control posts, mobile teams on the border, supplement the establishment of posts when necessary to ensure tight control at the border gates and trails.
“We are determined to fight the pandemic from the border and carry out the ‘dual task’ of managing and protecting the sovereignty and preventing and combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Hà Giang has more than 277km of border with China. Due to the complex terrain and long border, illegal entry and exit activities are very complicated to handle.
Major Tạ Tấn Hoàng, director of the Xín Cái Border Guard Station in Méo Vạc District, said pandemic prevention has been activated at the highest warning level.
In all 69 medical posts across the province, in addition to measuring body temperature and sterilising surfaces, people from other provinces and cities entering Hà Giang are instructed to make a medical declaration.
On Monday, chairman of the Lạng Sơn Province People’s Committee Hồ Tiến Thiệu checked prevention and control activities in a number of key units and areas in the province.
At the Hữu Nghị International Border Gate, Thiệu said the pandemic was developing in a complex manner with many cases of community infection in some provinces and cities. Therefore, the forces on duty at the border gate must uphold their sense of responsibility, promote vigilance and strictly comply with pandemic prevention measures.
At Tân Thanh Border Gate, many drivers still do not wear masks and many people gather at restaurants and yards with a potential risk of spreading the disease. Thiệu asked the forces on duty here to take measures to prevent and control the pandemic under the Ministry of Health’s guidance.
He called for pandemic checkpoints on both access roads to the Tân Thanh bus station to ensure strict control of people and vehicles entering and leaving, and require all people entering and leaving the area to be medically examined, wear masks and keep a safe distance.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
Visiting historical places helps inspire patriotism
April 30th is reunification day, one of the most important historical events of the nation. On the occasion, many people visit historical landmarks to learn more about the war and the value of peace.
The museum is also a place for younger generations to learn more about the country’s history and promote patriotism.
The Independence Palace is also an ideal place for parents to take their kids, as well as for both domestic and international tourists. It was the site where the Vietnamese Revolutionary Army won their battle.
Through such visits, younger generations can learn about the harshness and cruelty of the war and its consequences. Moreover, they will become more appreciative of peace and national sovereignty which a generation of soldiers laid down their lives for./.
Parliamentary diplomacy helps raise Vietnam’s stature in int’l arena: NA leader
The 14th-tenure National Assembly (NA) has performed its duties well in all aspects, including parliamentary diplomacy, helping to raise Vietnam’s stature in the international arena and contributing to the country’s development, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said on April 29.
At a working session with the NA’s Committee for External Relations, the top legislator noted aside from assisting the parliament in making laws, conducting supervision, and issuing decisions on important issues, the committee has coordinated the NA’s relations with other countries’ parliaments and international and regional inter-parliamentary organisations under the direction of the NA Standing Committee and the NA chairperson.
He said the committee has done a good job of advising the NA and its Standing Committee about external parliamentary relations, actively taken part in international and regional parliamentary forums, and coordinated well with diplomatic activities of the Party, the Government, and the people.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it helped the NA successfully chair the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) via videoconference last year.
In the time ahead, he requested, the committee needs to make an action plan to push ahead with reforming and improving its performance, thus helping to continue bringing into play the pioneering role of diplomacy in creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, mobilising external resources for national development, and promoting Vietnam’s position and prestige in line with the viewpoint on and major orientations for diplomacy stated in the documents of the 13th National Party Congress.
It should identify the focal and strategic issues, as well as the key targets in bilateral and multilateral activities with the ultimate goal of working to guarantee the legitimate interests of the State, enterprises, and the people, Hue said, demanding attention to economic diplomacy that centres on the people and businesses./.
Con Dao Island to be linked with national grid via submarine cables
The Prime Minister has approved a proposal from Vietnam Electricity (EVN) to expand the national grid from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s Con Dao Island via submarine cables.
At a recent meeting with leaders of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the PM agreed to the project, which had been considered by relevant agencies for a period of time.
Experts held that the best solution to supply power to Con Dao Island is to expand the national grid from Soc Trang.
Solar, wind, and gas-fired power generation on the island is neither stable nor profitable enough for investors, and solar or wind energy can only serve as supplementary power sources, they went on.
Echoing that view, Chairman of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tho stressed that as the top target is to ensure security and defence, providing electricity from the national grid on the mainland is much more stable than other forms of power supply and will also minimise the impact on Con Dao Island’s environment and ecology.
Electricity demand on Con Dao, which is an increasingly popular tourist destination, has been on the rise.
The two diesel-fired power plants on the island have a combined capacity of just 12 MW, or 7 MW lower than existing demand. Major resorts and hotels must therefore equip themselves with generators.
Last November, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose the PM permit the consideration of the project bringing electricity from Soc Trang to Con Dao via submarine cables, and that the project be included in the medium-term investment plan for 2021-2025.
The project is set to start at the 220kV power station in Vinh Chau town in Soc Trang province and will feature 3 km of power lines on the mainland, another 15 km in shallow waters, 78 km of submarine cables, and 4.5 km of 110kV lines on Con Dao Island. It is expected to need total investment of 4.8 trillion VND (200 million USD)./.
Bac Giang improves quality of human resources
The northern province of Bac Giang has set a goal of raising its rate of skilled workers to 80 percent and the rate of those with training certificates to 27 percent by 2025.
During the 2021-2025 period, vocational training establishments in the province will provide training to 147,500 workers. The rate of university graduates gaining employment after they complete their studies is to reach more than 90 percent.
To meet these goals, Bac Giang is focusing on planning vocational training establishments in an open and flexible manner, ensuring the scale and structure of professions being offered. The province will also continue to review and arrange public colleges and schools in a streamlined way, focusing on medicine, pharmaceuticals, and health care, while introducing several vocational training support policies.
It will also upgrade infrastructure and training equipment at vocational training establishments, so they are more appropriate for the fourth Industrial Revolution.
By 2020, the province was home to 44 vocational training establishments that offered training to nearly 36,000 people each year in a total of 109 professions.
During 2016-2020, local vocational training establishments provided training to more than 155,200 people in the priority fields of industry, construction, and services (totalling nearly 87 percent).
As part of a project on improving the quality of vocational training for rural workers under the National Target Programme on New Rural Development for the 2016-2020 period, Bac Giang allocated over 43.8 billion VND in support of training 15,386 rural workers.
As of last year, the rate of skilled workers in the province stood at 70 percent, an increase of 19.5 percent from 2015./.
People living near Ea Sup Lake catch fish and lotus stems to make a living
The bountiful fish and lotus stocks in Ea Sup Lake in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk have helped people living near the lake thrive.
Located near Ea Sup Lake is a community of hundreds of households who make a living by catching fish.
Most of them hail from southern provinces and moved to the lake in 2009, hoping that catching fish and snails would improve their livelihoods.
Like many villagers, Nguyễn Văn Hưng rides a boat to the lake to catch fish at 3-4pm and comes back at 4-5am the next morning with full nets.
“I have been living here for more than 10 years. There are not many lakes in the Central Highlands region like Ea Sup where we can catch fish. We are quite happy about our life although sometimes we don’t catch a lot of fish. We earn VNĐ200,000-300,000 per day from fishing,” he told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Phùng Văn Thanh, 53 years old, and his family moved from his hometown in the south-central province of Bình Định to Ea Sup Lake 10 years ago.
The water level in the upper and lower parts of Ea Sup Lake is high year-round so people can catch fish all the time.
“At first, we caught fish for our meals only but then the abundant source of fish here helps us make a living,” he said.
Thanh and his wife catch about 20-30kg of fish every day. Then they dry the fish under the sunshine and sell them to traders who come to their house to buy.
“Traders like the fish because of their quality. Fishermen in this area use nets, fishing rods and traditional methods to catch fish, which do not harm aquatic resources so we can stay in the fishing job for a long time,” he said.
“Ea Sup is the freshwater fish production area of the province. Fishing gives people a high and stable income. The fish are sold to provincial markets and other neighbouring localities like HCM City and Bình Dương,” he said.
Lê Hoàng Tiến, a villager, said “We release the nets to catch fish every night and pick lotus stems and lotus seed pods in the daytime.”
During the lotus season in the summer, villagers swim to the middle of the lake to pick lotus seed pods and lotus stems which can be processed to make food.
Holding a bunch of lotus stems in her arms with her body soaked in water and mud, Phạm Thị Thương said: “I did not eat anything for breakfast before I dove into the lake because a full stomach would make it difficult to swim.”
“Picking lotus stems requires skills. We must move gently in order not to make the lotus break. The pickers have to dive for several hours in the water, crawling to the lotus roots to find the stems,” she said.
Lotus stem collectors have to wake up early and stay in the lake until midday. On lucky days, they can find areas with lots of lotus and bring back 10 bunches. Each bunch is sold at VNĐ15,000 for those who want to make shrimp and lotus stem salad and pickles.
Lê Hoàng Tiến rides a boat to the middle of the lake where the water level is the highest to pick lotus seed pods.
After removing the lotus nuts from the pods, he collects 30kg of nuts each day which sell for VNĐ30,000 per kg.
“Many people in Buôn Ma Thuột City want to buy old lotus seeds and dry them for long-term preservation. Sometimes we can not collect enough seeds to meet the demand,” he said.
“Life here is hard but at least we have a job to make a living,” he said.
Giao Thuy’s school a shelter for children with disabilities
The School for Children with Disabilities in Giao Thủy District, northern Nam Định Province, has acted as a shelter for disabled children for the past 30 years.
The school is the only one in the province to cater to disabled children.
Beside regular education, students suffering many different types of disabilities were taught life skills, provided with rehabilitation, and offered vocational training.
“They are equipped with skills to be confident, integrate into the community, thereby striving to thrive in life and looking for a suitable job,” said Nguyễn Thị Oanh, the school’s principal.
The school currently has 10 teachers and 125 students mainly from Nam Định Province, as well as some from neighbouring provinces.
The teachers have to take on many jobs at the same time, both teaching and giving the students physical training, life skills, as well as helping them in daily activities and during meals.
Nguyễn Thị Kiều Diễm, one of the teachers, has to work very hard even though her class has just 10 students.
She had to help each child to follow the lesson, because it was easy for them to lose focus.
“Sometimes in class, the children talk and do not pay attention to the lesson,” she said.
“I have to stop the lesson, then walk around and correct each child’s posture, telling them how to open their mouths to pronounce each word.”
The lessons are short, but sometimes it takes an entire day or more to complete it.
Students, when first entering school, have different cognitive levels and health conditions, so teachers have to look for a suitable teaching method for all students in a class, Diễm said.
“Teachers must understand the health of each student, in order to plan accordingly. We must have love for children, patience and encouragement for students, helping them to boldly develop their own abilities.”
Bùi Thị Minh Hương, who has spent 30 years at the school, said: “The teacher is really like a mother, a friend, they must understand the cognitive and physiological abilities of each child.”
As the teachers can adjust their methods and the content of the lesson, the lessons can be subdivided and adjusted.
To save money, teachers often take advantage of old appliances as tools to help children with difficulties in mobility.
Most of the students live at the school, so three rooms are equipped with air conditioning, television and fans.
Three members of staff also stay with the students to ensure that they were studying and living safely.
As a deaf student attending 4th grade at the school, Đỗ Thị Ngọc Mai, 17, can speak slowly or use sign language to communicate with people.
“I am very happy to be taught knowledge and sewing skills here,” she said.
“I hope that after graduating from school I can find a job in a local business to make money, help my parents, especially take care of myself.”
Nguyễn Thị Oanh, the school’s principal, said Giao Thủy District People’s Committee has provided facilities for the school.
Some children with autism, after a year or two of studying at the school, can integrate and study in normal primary schools, according to Oanh.
After leaving the school, some students can follow higher levels of education and many can get jobs in factories.
In recent years, the number of students wishing to attend the school has increased. The school has called on donors to help upgrade facilities and asked local enterprises to give students jobs.
Kindergarten teacher on island dedicated to her career
Vũ Hồng Thắm, 35, decided to become a kindergarten teacher after graduating from college because she wanted to contribute to pre-school education in Vân Đồn Island District, northern Quảng Ninh Province.
In 1991 when she was five years old, Thắm moved with her family from her hometown of northern Thái Bình Province to re-settle in Vân Đồn under a Government policy to encourage people to re-settle in new living zones to redistribute the population in the country by shifting a large number of population from deltas and cities to mountainous, border and island regions.
She said all three of her sisters always encouraged each other to study hard to have a stable career in the future to help their parents, and Thắm did well in high school.
From a young age, she was gifted at singing, dancing, painting, and storytelling. Many friends told her she was suited for teaching and she agreed, so she decided to study at Quảng Ninh Province College of Teachers’ Training in 2004.
During her period at the college, Thắm was an active student and won high prizes in competitions such as storytelling, painting, camping and Mid-Autumn Festival acting.
Thắm always left a good impression on her teachers and friends, an old friend at the college said.
In 2007, she graduated and immediately applied to work as an apprentice at a Hạ Long City kindergarten.
After that, she was assigned by the city Education and Training Department to teach at Thắng Lợi Kindergarten in a poor island commune.
“The first day I went to Thắng Lợi Kindergarten, I taught the four-year-old children’s class, with only five boys,” she said.
“These boys had torn clothes and no sandals, and the first thing I did was fund a towel to clean their face, then they sat around me and sang.”
For teachers in Vân Đồn Island District, moving to the island commune under the teacher rotation policy of the provincial education sector, was a valuable experience for their career.
Each teacher experienced three to five years teaching in the island communes, teaching the educators to share and shoulder the hardships of local people.
For young teachers, working on the island brought experiences to help them mature in their career, Thắm said.
She returned to work in a Hạ Long City kindergarten in 2009 and was valued as an excellent teacher.
She received many prizes and medals such as the province-level good teacher title. For her educational project ‘Building a child-centred kindergarten in the 2016-20 period’, she was named a province-level excellent labourer.
“Thắm is a dynamic and professional teacher. She is always trusted and loved by children and their parents,” said Nguyễn Thị Loan, Principal of Hạ Long Kindergarten.
Vietnam always treasures strategic partnership with Singapore: Party official
Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung had talks via videoconference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the external relations commission of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), Vivian Balakrishnan, on April 29.
On behalf of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, Trung informed the Singaporean official about the outcomes of the party’s 13th National Congress.
He applauded the recent strides in relations between the two countries and the two Parties under their strategic partnership, affirming that the Vietnamese Party and Government always treasure and wish to further intensify the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership.
The official also highly valued the ties between the two Parties that have been developing in an increasingly substantive manner in many aspects such as high-level mutual visits and cooperation in personnel training.
For his part, Balakrishnan once again congratulated the CPV on its successful 13th National Congress, along with the enormous achievements of Vietnam in national development over the past years.
He also hailed the positive outcomes that the Vietnamese Party, Government, and people have obtained in combating COVID-19 and developing the economy despite the pandemic’s negative impacts.
The minister noted with satisfaction that the two countries’ relations have continued to be reinforced in all fields, and that the PAP and the Singaporean Government attaches importance to promoting the strategic partnership with Vietnam.
He called for increased contact between the countries’ leaders, noting that both sides share many similar viewpoints, including those on international issues of common concern.
Balakrishnan expressed his belief that under the CPVs leadership, the Vietnamese people will harvest more achievements to develop Vietnam into a prosperous nation.
State President visits families of contributors to national reunification in Hanoi
State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 29 visited some families in Hanoi whose members took part in the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, which was the peak of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1975 that led to the South Liberation and National Reunification on April 30 the same year.
The State leader and local officials went to see Maj. Gen. Hoang Trung Kien, who got injured on April 30, 1975 while driving a tank to the Independence Palace, which was the headquarters of the administration of the then Republic of Vietnam. Kien, now residing in Nam Tu Liem district, was the Political Commissar of the High Command of Tank and Armour before retiring.
President Phuc later visited the mother of martyr Nguyen Thai Lai in Tay Ho district. Lai laid down his life in the southern battlefield on April 26, 1975.
Talking to the two families, the President affirmed that the Party and State always keep in mind and are grateful to the heroes, martyrs, and war invalids who dedicated themselves to the cause of national liberation and reunification.
The President asked Hanoi’s leaders and local authorities to better care for revolution contributors so as to partly compensate for their sacrifice and losses.
He also expressed his hope that the families will keep adhering to the Party and State’s guidelines, policies, and laws and actively join efforts to help with the capital city’s development./.
Vietnam, Hong Kong foster collaboration
Vietnamese Consul General to Hong Kong Pham Binh Dam on April 29 was received by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam, as he began his tenure in the Chinese special administrative region.
At the reception, the host said as Hong Kong has recovered its stability, the region’s relations with Vietnam are seeing more room for stronger development in trade, investment, tourism, and yacht industry.
In 2020, trade between the two economies reached over 24 billion USD, with Vietnam being the third biggest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN.
Lauding Vietnam’s effective COVID-19 prevention and control, Lam said it is time for Vietnam and Hong Kong to seriously consider establishing a bilateral travel mechanism.
Informing her guest on Hong Kong’s quarantine-free travel bubble with Singapore, she expressed her hope for negotiations between Hong Kong and Vietnam to take place so that the two can set up a similar mechanism in line with their conditions and situations. She believed it will help their residents travel easier.
For his part, Dam praised Lam’s leadership role toward developing Hong Kong into a prosperous city and an important international financial hub as well as her success in restoring the local social order and controlling the pandemic in the past year.
Speaking highly of the leader’s determination and commitment to establishing a travel corridor with Vietnam, Dam stated although thorough consideration is needed, it is a suitable time for seeking measures to ease cross-border travel restrictions, facilitating businesses and bilateral exchanges.
The diplomat took the occasion to thank the Hong Kong administration for relaxing regulations on granting student visa to Vietnam as well as committing to making similar relaxation regarding other types of visa.
He said he believes under Lam’s leadership, Hong Kong’s multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam will reap more fruitful outcomes in the time to come./.
COVID-19: Hanoi raises warning to highest level, two new cases suspected in Hung Yen
Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung required raising the warning against COVID-19 resurgence in the city to the highest level at a meeting of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 control on April 29 afternoon.
He noted that two F1 cases have been detected in Hanoi in connection with the latest cluster of cases in the northern province of Ha Nam, and urged relevant agencies to accelerate tracing work.
The official also stressed the need to tighten monitoring in the context of hundreds of thousands of people travelling during the April 30-May 1 holidays and returning to Hanoi thereafter.
Anyone who leaves Hanoi during the holiday is required to make health declaration when returning, he said.
Later in the evening, CDC Hanoi confirmed one new patient in connection with the case in Ha Nam.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control in the northern province of Hung Yen said two persons in the province had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in connection with the patient in Ha Nam. They have been hospitalized in the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
The Health Ministry has issued an urgent notice in the evening of April 29, requiring passengers on flight VJ133 departed from Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City at 10:15 am on April 27 to contact the nearest medical establishment for consultation and help, and call hotlines of the Health Ministry, CDC Ho Chi Minh City and CDC Hanoi to provide the telephone numbers of those who have had made close contact with them.
On April 29, Vietnam recorded 45 COVID-19 cases, one of which was a man who developed symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus after completing quarantine in Da Nang and returning to his home in Ha Nam. So far five other persons have been confirmed to have contracted the virus from him, including four in his family and another who later travelled to HCM City on flight VJ133. The two cases in Hung Yen have yet to be confirmed by the Health Ministry.
Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital ready to admit COVID-19 patients
The Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital, a joint venture between Vietnam’s Saigon Medical Investment JSC and Cambodia’s Sokimex Co, stands ready to admit COVID-19 patients, its General Director Ton Thanh Tra has said.
The Cambodian Government has allowed private hospitals and medical clinics to admit COVID-19 patients provided they satisfy 11 criteria set by the Cambodian health ministry, the doctor said, adding that the hospital is now reviewing the criteria.
Apart from 30 rooms exclusively for COVID-19 patients, the hospital has prepared another 20 stand-by rooms and will expand capacity to treat 100 COVID-19 patients if necessary, he said.
The hospital has also coordinated with Cambodian authorities in COVID-19 vaccinations and helped the country with two ambulances, two drivers, and two nurses during the transportation of COVID-19 patients or suspected cases to treatment and quarantine facilities.
On April 24, the hospital and the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia visited and presented gifts to Vietnamese families in the host country that are in difficult circumstances or living in locked-down areas.
Nguyen Tri Thuc, Director of Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City, said that over the past seven years the Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital has transferred technology to Cambodia and helped the country in the training of doctors./.
Red-crowned cranes return to Mekong Delta
More than 30 red-crowned cranes have returned to the Phu My Biosphere Reserve in Kien Giang province and the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap province after a year of absence.
A representative of the Phu My Biosphere Reserve confirmed that 30 cranes had been here for half a month.
The red-crowned cranes have returned, but have not gathered among the grey sedge. Instead they have found a quiet corner within the reserve. In the afternoon, the cranes typically fly to Anlung Pring, Cambodia to rest.
About 150 kilometres away, a family of three cranes was spotted in the Tram Chim National Park last week.
Le Thanh Cu, deputy director of the park, said that that the crane family returned from 2017 to 2019, but in 2020 they did not come back.
The Tram Chim National Park has been recognised as the world’s 2,000th Ramsar site (a wetland designated to be of international importance under Ramsar Convention) and the first in the Mekong Delta, with an area of more than 7,300 hectares. It is one of the world’s most famous stops for red-headed cranes, a factor that helped Tram Chim become a Ramsar site./.
Hanoi photo exhibition celebrates National Reunification Day
A photo exhibition is taking place in Hanoi to celebrate the 46th National Reunification Day (April 30).
The exhibition is being organised by the Thang Long-Ha Noi Heritage Conservation Centre.
On display are nearly 100 photos on historical moments in Hanoi and Saigon on April 30, 1975, which reveal the joy of people around the country after receiving news of victory from Saigon.
Notably, touching stories and memories from historical witnesses who spent years fighting for the reunification of the country are recounted within the framework of the exhibition, as a means of re-enacting history.
The exhibition is open to visitors until the end of May./.
Vietnam, Costa Rica discuss boosting ties
Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son held online talks with Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Rodolfo Solano Quirós on April 29 to discuss specific ways to strengthen the bilateral friendship and cooperation, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
The two ministers agreed to facilitate the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels and regularly and flexibly maintain deputy ministerial-level political consultation mechanisms between the two foreign ministries.
They explored the possibility of negotiations on bilateral cooperation agreements, particularly in economy, trade, and investment, and also considered expanding cooperation in climate change response, agriculture, green energy, maritime navigation, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.
The Costa Rican Minister congratulated Vietnam on adopting effective measures against COVID-19 and maintaining economic growth.
Both sides agreed to update information on the pandemic in each country, and to step up international cooperation efforts, including the effective production and distribution of vaccines.
On regional and global issues, they pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at the UN and multilateral and inter-regional forums, including the Forum for East Asia – Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).
The Vietnamese side lauded Costa Rica for enhancing economic and trade ties with the region via institutions such as ASEAN, APEC, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)./.
Books on Vietnamese currency, banking system released
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) introduced two books on the history of the Vietnamese currency and of the central bank at a press conference on April 29, to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s banking system (May 6, 1951-2021).
SBV Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said the book on Vietnam’s currency is the first-ever scientific work on the birth, characteristics, material, and socio-economic meaning of the currency in different historical periods spanning a thousand years.
Since 1945 especially, the currency can be viewed as an important historical source reflecting the struggle for national independence and reunification and the building of socialism under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
The book, which took five years to complete, features more than 1,200 currency samples, including those issued and circulated in the country from the start of King Dinh Tien Hoang’s reign in 968.
The book on the history of Vietnam’s banking system, meanwhile, highlights significant milestones, achievements, and lessons on its construction and development over the past 70 years./.
Hopes high for tourism recovery in Thua Thien-Hue
Tourism operators in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue are hopeful that business will bounce back as public holidays and the summer near and stimulus policies and new tourism products are carried out.
According to Chairman of the province’s Tourism Association Dinh Manh Thang, hotel occupancy rates are estimated at 80 percent for the April 30-May 1 holidays and this is a robust sign in the context of the tourism sector being battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since many tourist destinations and accommodation facilities are offering substantial discounts while maintaining good services, this is an opportunity for domestic travellers to experience high-end tourism services.
Entrance fees to a number of local hotspots have been slashed to attract more visitors. Tourism operators are benefiting from 50 percent discounts on entrance fees at the Hue Monument Complex from March to August, while the Le Ba Dang Memory Space is offering a 60 percent reduction on ticket prices from January to June and the Alba Thanh Tan Hot Spring Resort offers 50 percent off for visitors booking combo deals from March to August.
Local hotels of three- to five-stars are offering discounts of 50 percent for all of 2021.
According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Nguyen Van Phuc, new tours and service packages have been developed in recent times, including Coming to Hue from Hai Van Quan, Discovering Your Limits with Hue, and experiencing cyclos and the “Ao dai ngu than” (five-flap robe).
Most recently, the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre resumed the firing of cannons at Hue flagpole at 8pm on Saturdays and at major celebrations.
Smart tourism has been promoted in the locality, with the best programme being “Finding the lost royal palace”. With virtual reality technology VR360, visitors are able to admire imperial architecture with their own eyes.
With the VN Guide application, meanwhile, tourists can also enjoy antiques through a 3D space at the Museum of Royal Antiques.
In response to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s “Vietnamese people travel to Vietnamese destinations” campaign, Thua Thien-Hue has joined hands with Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Quang Binh to organise various programmes to attract domestic travellers with new tourism products./.
HCM City, UNICEF boost cooperation in child care
Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan lauded UNICEF’s efforts in programmes to promote child care and protection in Vietnam.
During a reception for Chief Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam Rana Flowers in the locality on April 28, Hoan highlighted positive working results between the municipal authorities and UNICEF in implementing the “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” project, saying that this helps the city address priorities in terms of child protection, health, education, nutrition, and social care.
On the basis of results achieved in implementing the project, HCM City wishes to expand cooperation with UNICEF in Vietnam in specific programmes and projects, towards improving social services, supporting policy development, creating technical foundation and favourable conditions for child protection and care, and exercising children’s rights in line with the city’s sustainable development orientation in the future, he said.
For her part, Flowers affirmed that UNICEF is an organisation tasked with providing technical assistance for Vietnam to help the country perform governmental projects related to ensuring children’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF in Vietnam is interested in and looks forward to understanding Ho Chi Minh City’s vision on issues related to children’s rights in order to complete a cooperation plan between UNICEF and Vietnam in the next five years, she said.
Flowers praised efforts and good performance made by the municipal authorities in implementing the “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” project, expressing a hope for strengthened cooperation and experience sharing between the UN agency and HCM City in solving child-related challenges in the process of building the city into a smart, modern and kid-friendly city in the future./.
Mobilising human value in national development: PM
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a working session with leaders of the Ministry of Planning and Investment on April 28, during which he stressed the important role of the human value in national development.
Attention should be paid to mobilising and effectively using natural resources such as land, forests, sea, air and environment to serve national development, he said.
It is also necessary to make cultural tradition, history traditions and the tradition of solidarity and unity of the nation become development resources, he added.
Chinh directed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to consider internal resources a fundamental, long-term and decisive strategy, and external resources an important, essential, frequent and breakthrough factor.
He stressed the principle of “three don’ts” in addressing problems for localities, businesses and people: Don’t say “no”, Don’t say “difficult”, and Don’t say “yes” but then take no action.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung stated that the ministry is making the Government’s action plan implementing the 13th National Party Congress’s Resolution to submit to the Government in May and mid-term socio-economic development and public investment plans for 2021-2025 to report to the Government and submit to the National Assembly as regulated.
The ministry is also building a project on development of sea-based economic linkage clusters in line with building a strong sea-based economic centre with an orientation to 2030, which is expected to be submitted to the Prime Minister in December.
An economic restructuring project for 2021-2025 and a national strategy on green growth for 2021-2030 will be developed as well in order to be submitted to the Government leader in May and June, respectively./.
Party, State guarantee resources for legal training: State President
The Party and State ensure resources for legal training to meet the requirements of judicial reform, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform in Hanoi on April 29.
The meeting looked into the implementation of a project on building the Hanoi Law University and the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law into key educational institutions for training legal officers, and another on turning the Academy of Justice into a major training centre for judicial positions.
The President lauded the achievements made in implementation, which, he said, demonstrates these educational institutions’ efforts in promoting their name and prestige in legal training.
He also identified limitations in the work, saying that due attention has yet to be paid during training to the ethics and morality in judicial positions.
Phuc urged relevant agencies to create optimal conditions for these educational institutions to expand their operations, improve educational quality, and boost coordination with courts and people’s procuracy systems.
The meeting also mulled a project on solutions to enhance the control of the quality of legal training.
The President ordered the building of the project in accordance with the orientations set by the committee, and asked the Ministry of Education and Training to name a specific deadline for the rearrangement of 95 legal training establishments nationwide./.
Vietnam-China joint patrol in Tonkin Gulf ends
The patrol forces of the Vietnam Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard on April 28 finished their first joint patrol on the waters adjacent to the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf between the two countries in 2021.
In a phone call with a representative from the patrol force of the China Coast Guard, Colonel Tran Van Tho, deputy commander, chief of staff of the High Command of the Coast Guard Region 1, and head of the Vietnamese patrol force, stressed that both sides had coordinated closely and well performed the approved plan.
The joint patrol has contributed to promoting the fine relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples in general and between the two coast guard forces in particular.
The two sides patrolled through 13 points in the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf. They conducted phone discussions, and checked and monitored one fishing vessel of China and three of Vietnam, and stepped up disseminations on regulations related to fishing and COVID-19 prevention and control./.
Japan-funded energy efficiency project launched in Da Nang
The People’s Committee of central Da Nang city on April 28 launched a project on enhancing energy efficiency for local people funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Energy consumption in the city is on a rise on account of robust economic development, particularly tourism.
The project will survey the power consumption of at least 350 local houses, office buildings and hotels; install measuring devices in 70 buildings; and support 14 others in applying energy-saving solutions to cut consumption by at least 10 percent.
It also looks to strengthen education on environmental protection among elementary and secondary school students and raise public awareness of energy efficiency.
According to Homma Kazunari, Deputy Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam, via the project, Japan’s advanced technique and technology will be transferred to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, local businesses, organisations and people in the hope of forming a mechanism of using energy efficiently across the city.
The project will be carried out until 2025 at a total cost of nearly 23.6 billion VND (nearly 1.03 million USD), with 23.1 billion VND funded by JICA and close to 500 million VND sourced from the city’s corresponding fund./.
Vietnam puts great importance on youth development: NA deputy
Vietnam puts great importance on fostering the youth’s development, with more and more young people elected as deputies to the National Assembly (NA) every tenure, said Dinh Cong Sy, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Young Parliamentarians Group, at a global conference on April 28.
Sy is among around 200 young parliamentarians attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s 7th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians, themed “Post-COVID-19 recovery: A youth-responsive approach,” held virtually on April 28 – 29.
He cited the fact that Vietnam’s NA adopted the Youth Law last year, and in 2011, established the Young Parliamentarians Group which now consists of 131 members under 45, accounting for 26 percent of total legislators to the 14th NA. The group aims at strengthening connectivity among young legislators and enhancing their engagement and contribution to the NA’s agenda, he said.
He noted that the NA young deputies have been very proactive in law-making, supreme supervision and decision-making, particularly major national affairs while listening to the youth’s opinions and wishes and conveying their expectations to the NA.
They have been also working to assess the impacts of laws and policies on the youth, he said, adding that many opinions and recommendations of young NA members have been taken into account in policy and law making.
Sy held that it is very important to promote youth empowerment and participation in policy and law making and to bolster capacity building to sharpen their leadership skills.
Addressing the launch of the event, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said the health and socio-economic shocks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted significantly young men and women all around the world. A new chapter for youth empowerment is needed and this new chapter must be at the heart of post-pandemic recovery efforts, he said.
This year’s conference focuses on preserving and fulfilling fundamental youth rights and stepping up youth empowerment across the pandemic recovery efforts; exploring the best means to promote youth participation in shaping youth-responsive recovery; providing guidance on how to reinforce education systems, maximize youth employment, and adjust health services everywhere.
It features four debate sessions, namely “Youth participation: A sine qua non for youth-responsive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” “Supporting higher and university education: A priority of the recovery agenda,” “Healthy youth beyond the pandemic” and “Economic empowerment: Transforming the challenge into an opportunity.”/.
Local film industry strives for greater professionalism
An international virtual workshop aiming to help the local film industry achieve greater sustainable development and higher competitiveness in integration was held on April 28 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The event was jointly held by the Vietnam Association of Film Promotion and Development (VFDA), the Motion Picture Association (MPA) of the United States, the International Language and Country Studies Institute (ILACS), and VTV Digital.
The workshop attracted the participation of plenty of foreign filmmakers, directors, and critics who shared their experience and wanted to expand their co-operation alongside Vietnamese colleagues.
Addressing the event, director Phan Dang Di noted that many Vietnamese filmmakers have been caught plagiarising material in the past, such as purchasing scripts and remaking movies, meaning that the local film industry cannot develop in a professional manner.
Local filmmakers must therefore pay close attention to scripts or the content of films in order to boost the local film industry towards greater professionalism, he noted.
Director Charlie Nguyen said he believes the domestic film industry must produce its own movies and should not rely on remaking products from foreign countries. Indeed, he said Vietnam needs a new team of enthusiastic and high-skilled scriptwriters.
Nelson Mok from Singapore’s Film Group said that Vietnamese films should aim for domestic success before recording achievements abroad.
He stressed the importance of advertisements through communications, while reminding of the recent success of “Bố già” (Old Father), not only at home but also in Singapore. Mok therefore stated that the Vietnamese film industry can gain better results in international markets in the future.
During the workshop, delegates raised concerns about copyrights issues in the country, especially when many movies are broadcast on the internet before being screened at cinemas. They therefore asked relevant agencies to implement strong punishment for such violations.
Nguyen The Ky, president of the Central Council for Theory and Criticism of Literature and Art and president of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), said the impending Law on Cinematography will serve to create a legal corridor for Vietnamese cinema to develop domestically and integrate internationally. In addition, the completion of the law will facilitate foreign filmmakers to co-operate alongside their Vietnamese counterparts.
The workshop provided an opportunity for Vietnamese filmmakers to gain experience from the United States, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Europe, which have a developed cinema industry, said Ky.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes
Ministry keeps anti-dumping duty on aluminium from China
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to continue imposing anti-dumping duties on certain aluminium products originating from China with a tax rate from 4.39 per cent to 35.58 per cent after carrying out the first review.
On September 28 last year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a decision to impose anti-dumping duties on some aluminium products originating from China with a rate from 2.49 per cent to 35.58 per cent.
The ministry initiated the investigation into the anti-dumping case in January 2019. The investigation found injuries to the domestic aluminium industry. Specifically, most domestic producers suffered losses, many production lines had to stop operating and a large number of workers lost jobs.
The major cause was found to be the dumping of aluminium products originating from China at margins of 2.49 per cent to 35.58 per cent.
In mid-2020, the ministry received an inquiry to conduct the first review on anti-dumping duties on Chinese aluminium products.
After the review, the ministry issued a decision on April 20 this year which took effect five days later to continue levying anti-dumping duty on some aluminium products originating from China.
On the same day, the ministry also issued a decision after carrying out the first review about the imposition of anti-dumping duty on some painted flat-rolled alloy and non-alloy steel products originating from China and the Republic of Korea. Accordingly, the anti-dumping duties of 2.56 per cent to 34.27 per cent were imposed.
April industrial production expands 24.1 per cent
Viet Nam’s index of industrial production (IIP) in April rose by 24.1 per cent year-on-year, driven by the positive impact of free trade agreements (FTA), according to the General Statistics Office.
The IIP in the first four months of 2021 enjoyed a year-on-year increase of 10 per cent, boosted by the growth of manufacturing and processing (12.7 per cent), electricity production and supply (6.6 per cent), and water supply and waste and wastewater treatment (7.5 per cent).
Key industries that recorded high increases include metal production (37.9 per cent), motorised vehicle production (32.9 per cent), and furniture production (17.6 per cent).
On the contrary, the mining sector posted a decrease of 5.7 per cent against the same period last year.
The number of labourers working in industries as of April 1 rose by 1.5 per cent month-on-month, and 1.8 per cent year-on-year.
To address inventory and promote production in the future, the Ministry of Planning and Investment proposes localities continue reforming administrative procedures, simplifying specialised inspection procedures, and implement the Prime Minister’s Decision approving the Action Plan on improving competitiveness and developing logistics services.
Sectors are advised to focus on supporting the development of the domestic markets, studying consumption stimulus policies for locally-made products, and developing supporting industries.
Vietnam could lead SE in renewable energy development: German newspaper
Vietnam will soon lead Southeast Asia in renewable energy development, Germany’s Energiezukunft highlighted in its latest article, describing the country’s energy transition as very impressive.
Vietnam is experiencing a solar boom, with 11.6 GW of power of this kind added to the national grid last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Only 105 MW of solar electricity was installed in the country in 2018, and the figure rose to 5 GW in only a year later, and even to 16.5GW in 2020, the article said, adding this is a considerable increase as compared to other nations at the same time.
As demand for energy in this Southeast Asian country is forecast to shoot up dramatically in the coming time, big players in the field have invested heavily in solar energy plants. Last summer, a 45 MW plant was put into operation in the central province of Ninh Thuan by Sharp Energy Solutions Corporation, contributing some 76 MWh per year. The firm is carrying out another five 245 MW plants in the country.
The successful solar energy story in Vietnam was sparked by a special market mechanism, which drew much interest from investors. Under the purchasing power at fixed prices, investors would sell the renewable energy they create to the grid at a fixed price – one that would more than cover the cost of investing in renewable energy facilities.
Vietnam could carry out more bidding mechanisms for solar projects, in which all renewable energy projects which are not subject to the fixed price mechanism are able to join.
The Vietnamese Government is planning to double the power capacity in the next 10 years. Accordingly, 29 percent of the nation’s electricity will come from renewable energy source by 2030, and 18 percent from hydropower.
Capacity of renewable energy is envisioned at 45 GW, much higher than the previous plan of 27 GW – the level which is achievable within 2021 or next year as the latest.
Although the energy transition is taking place rapidly, coal-generated electricity accounted for 28 percent of the nation’s total power. However, renewable energy will take the lion’s share by 2045./.
Ca Mau develops high-quality rice farming
The Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau will step up the application of advanced technology to expand high-quality rice material farming, according to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Thanh Trieu.
Under the province’s planning, local farmers will cultivate rice on an area of some 110,000 ha, with an average yield of 4.7 tonnes per ha by 2025. Ca Mau will strive for a rice output of 520,000 tonnes by 2025, which is expected to then remain stable until 2030.
Trieu said the focus will be sharpened to develop organic rice materials that meet both domestic and international standards as well as promote the value chain of the food.
In the meantime, the shrimp – rice rotary cultivation model will be developed with a view to increasing the amount of certified organic shrimp, he added.
Farmers are encouraged to shift to growing high-quality rice varieties that are resilient against disease.
Figures from the department show that the local rice growing area increased to 117,390 ha in 2020 from 112,534 in 2017. The yield surged by an average of 0.64 tonnes per ha to 4.54 tonnes in 2020.
The department turned 50,000 ha of ineffective fields into cultivating high-yield rice that is resilient to climate change. In particular, it has successfully planted the grain under international organic standards./.
Bac Giang moving towards digital transformation
The northern province of Bac Giang is striving to develop information technology infrastructure for digital transformation and also the development of smart urban areas.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Son, Bac Giang targets its digital infrastructure being able to provide an average of 14 GB of data each month per broadband subscriber by 2025, with the figure to increase to 27 GB by 2030.
It also envisages that each 100 local people will be connected to 75-100 IoT devices by 2025 and 150-200 by 2030. Consideration is also being given to the construction of an information technology industrial park.
Son said that priority will be given to building and upgrading local fibre optic lines to serve the development of broadband services and smart urban areas.
The province is striving to expand its broadband infrastructure to all villages while having more than 80 percent of households connected to cable internet by 2025.
Half of the local population are to have e-payment accounts within the next four years and all residential areas will have 5G coverage.
By 2025, the locality will prioritise digitalisation in key sectors such as education, health care, transportation, agriculture, and the environment, and develop the provincial capital Bac Giang city into a smart and modern urban area.
According to Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Duong Van Thai, as digitalisation is an inexorable trend, the local Party Committee is working to issue a resolution on digital transformation right this month, having asked local authorities at all levels to join in the process.
Bac Giang province is home to 1,422 base transceiver stations (BTS), with 3G and 4G services covering the entire province. There are more than 1.77 million mobile phone subscriptions and over 1.25 million internet subscribers.
Total telecommunications revenue in 2020 topped 1.9 trillion VND (82.17 million USD). There are 658 IT and telecommunications enterprises in the province who earned over 153 trillion VND in revenue last year./.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau expanding IPs to welcome investment
New waves of investment coming to the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau will push up demand for land rentals at local industrial parks (IPs), which in turn will need to be expanded.
According to the provincial IPs management board, the province is home to 16 IPs covering a total area of 9,054 ha.
Together they house 469 valid projects worth more than 20.09 billion USD, with occupancy rates standing at 52.35 percent.
Nguyen Anh Triet, head of the board, noted that the upcoming expansion of local IPs is in line with a Government decree as well as State regulations on the management and planning of IPs and economic zones.
The board proposed the addition of eight more IPs on more than 8,120 ha in the 2021-2025 period.
In response, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tho asked relevant departments and sectors to tightly monitor the establishment and expansion of local IPs, taking into consideration their investment effectiveness and impact on the environment and social welfare.
Nguyen Khac Thanh, General Director of Tin Nghia – Phuong Dong Industrial Park Joint Stock Company, said an immediate expansion is necessary to meet investors’ demand./.
Kien Giang province eyes 12.7 percent export growth in Q2
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is aiming at 218 million USD in export revenue in Quarter 2, a year-on-year surge of 12.7 percent.
With this figure, total earnings from exports in the first half will likely top more than 355 million USD, accounting for 47.3 percent of the annual plan and up 2.3 percent year-on-year.
According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the locality pocketed more than 136 million USD from exports in Quarter 1, down 15.5 percent year-on-year.
Of the total, rice brought home 42 million USD, seafood over 45 million USD, leather shoes 27 million USD, fruit and vegetables 5.66 million USD, and other products 15.17 million USD.
COVID-19 made it difficult for local firms to ship products to traditional markets, and processors also faced a shortage of raw materials due to climate change and diseases, the department said.
However, with sound business strategies, many companies were successful in fulfilling contracts and were able to ship products to markets on the road to recovery.
Local companies also received legal documents on the application of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of WTO member states, which could affect the shipment of Vietnamese agricultural products.
The department also provided support and worked to remove bottlenecks in capital, materials, workers, trade promotion, and market development for local producers./.
HCM City lures $1.14 billion in FDI in four months
HCM City reported a foreign direct investment (FDI) influx of USD1.14 billion in the first four months of 2021, a year-on-year decline of 12.92 per cent.
Approximately $360 million was channelled into 100 new projects, primarily in commerce ($225.1 million ) and real estate ($125.8 million).
Meanwhile, $403 million was added to 30 existing projects and another $377.6 million was used for capital contribution and share purchases in a total 547 transactions.
Foreign investors pumped most of the capital in processing and manufacturing with $322 million, making up 28.2 per cent, followed by commerce with $321.2 million, real estate ($196.3 million), science and technology activities ($175.4 million), and education-training ($30.3 million).
Among 55 countries and territories investing in the city during the period, Japan took the lead with $494.4 million, Singapore second with $281.6 million, and the Republic of Korea was third with $97.7 million.
Hua Quoc Hung, head of the management board of industrial and export processing zones of HCM City, said the southern hub’s processing and industrial zones had lured $237 million as of late April, an increase of 26 per cent against the same period last year.
The municipal People’s Committee has devised a plan to meet with FDI businesses in a bid to improve investment climate and support the firms, as well as introduce major projects and the city’s investment plans for the next five years.
Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Finance Group acquires 49% stake in FE Credit
VPBank on Wednesday signed an agreement to sell a 49 per cent stake in FE Credit to Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Finance Group (SMFG) in a transaction that values the non-bank lender at US$2.8 billion.
SMBC Consumer Finance Company (SMBCCF), a subsidiary of SMFG, bought the stake.
Through this transaction, FE Credit is expected to receive support in capital resources, management capacity and experience in the consumer finance sector in Asia from SMBC Group, especially SMBCCF – a leading consumer finance company in the Japanese market. At the same time, this transaction will add a large amount of capital to VPBank, contributing to enhancing the bank’s financial potential to capture new investment opportunities in the market.
For SMBC Group, the investment in FE Credit is part of the group’s mid-term strategy to expand its business base in Asia. SMBC Group expected that this investment would create synergy in both sharing and acquiring business know-how of its partners.
FE Credit is currently the leading consumer finance company in Viet Nam with approximately 50 per cent market share, 20,000 service referrals nationwide, and over 13,000 employees. During the development process, FE Credit has consistently carried out the mission of “meeting the need to access official credit capital of all classes of the population in order to improve the quality of life”. With small loans, FE Credit is especially focused on serving middle and low income earners – a segment which has not yet been served by banks – to help reverse their dependence on “black credit”. FE Credit has served nearly 11 million Vietnamese people through its unsecured loan products and services so far.
SMBC is one of the three largest financial and banking groups in Japan, with total assets of over $2.1 trillion as of December 31, 2020. The group operates globally in retail banking, corporate banking, and investment banking, with a presence in more than 40 countries. SMBCCF is the leading consumer finance company in the Japanese market with more than 900 branches nationwide. In the Asia region, SMBCCF has established subsidiaries in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and China.
M&A expected to soar in second half
Despite a drop in mergers and acquisitions during the pandemic, a breakthrough is expected in the second half of the year thanks to some billion-dollar deals in the making.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) report of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) in the first four months showed significant decreases in capital contributions and share purchases, with 1,151 instances (down 64.1 per cent) and a total investment of $1 billion (down 57.8 billion).
This can be explained by the fact that the economy and investment activities in the country were not yet impacted by COVID-19 in the first few months of 2020, so FDI and M&A activities were still quite dynamic during that time. Specifically, $827.3 million was poured into the economy through capital contribution and share purchases in the first two months of 2020, and the figure surged quickly to $2 billion in the first quarter and $2.48 billion in the first four months.
However, after one year hit by the pandemic, the FDI mobilisation and M&A deals’ value in the first four months of 2021 has reflected the worry of foreign investors.
“Amid the economic and financial instabilities during the past year, it is understandable that investors are holding their money and think a lot more before making any large investment decisions,” Nguyen Viet Cuong, an FIA senior expert, explained, but saying that FDI mobilisation in the first four months of 2021 was acceptable, compared to other countries.
“While there was a decline in the number of deals and M&A deal value in the first four months, the value of capital contributions and share purchases has soared by 10-30 per cent on-year,” added Cuong.
The average value of capital contributions and share purchases in the first quarter and four months of this year was estimated at $1,1 million and $870,000, respectively, while they were $793,000 and $772,000 last year.
According to the FIA, between January and April, industries like processing and manufacturing; real estate; wholesale, retail, vehicle repair; science and technology and professional activities have seen hundreds of M&A deals with hundreds of millions of dollars in value.
Singapore and South Korea were the biggest M&A investors with $265 million and $258 million these months, followed by Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan.
PDP8 expected to be tabled for government approval in June
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been asked to revise and adjust the Power Development Plan 8 to submit to the government in June.
At the meeting between ministries and relevant authorities, which was hosted by Le Van Thanh, Deputy Prime Minister cum head of the National Steering Committee for Power Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) was asked to review the draft Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8).
This masterplan was not approved in late March under the 2016-2020 government term as expected, though the MoIT on behalf of the Appraisal Council presented the report on the assessment of the draft PDP8 for the period of 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045. Accordingly, the Appraisal Council reached a conclusion that the draft PDP8 met the conditions to be submitted to the government for approval.
Previously, on March 18, the Appraisal Council organised the second meeting to vote to approve the appraisal report and the content of the masterplan. Four members agreed with the appraisal report and the master plan in full, while 22 others said they would approve the report and the masterplan if the latter was adjusted.
The report on assessment also mentioned that although the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment approved the environmental impact report of the master plan, however, it is still necessary to adjust other contents of the master plan.
EVN, PetroVietnam and National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) have also expressed concerns about the content of the draft PDP8. Notably, the masterplan does not evaluate primary energy (energy sources found in nature that have not been subjected to any human engineered conversion process) or the proportion of local and imported primary energy in order to ensure national energy security as well as problems relating to imported materials namely liquefied natural gas (LNG) and imported coal, among others.
In addition, according to the above groups, the designed power transmission system has a large capacity to accommodate the registered renewable energy generation capacity and future potential. However, there will be problems if renewable energy and power transmission projects are not implemented synchronously, which will cause waste for both the investors and the state. Thus, EVN, PetroVietnam, and EVNNPT requested further adjustments to the draft to better suit current realities
Furthermore, numerous power grid projects were named without deciding on an actual location, which may impact the land clearance process and prolong the time for land clearance compared to the timelines stipulated in the draft PDP8.
Ninh Binh proposes to build airport and remove thermal power plant
Ninh Binh People’s Committee has proposed building an airport to support tourism development and simultaneously removing a thermal power plant.
In a report submitted to the prime minister, the province requested adding its own airport to the national airport planning in 2021-2030 with a vision to 2050.
According to the proposal, the airport would be constructed in 2021-2025 from private capital, with state investment only needed to construct infrastructure connecting to the airport.
The province has highlighted two potential locations for the project, in Kim Son and Yen Khanh districts.
The airport in Ninh Binh would be able to handle planes the size of A320 and A321 models to welcome tourists. According to the province, Ninh Binh has great potential to develop its tourism sector with a diverse landscape including Trang An Landscape Complex and Hoa Lu Ancient Capital, among others.
The province forecast that by 2025, it would welcome 8-9 million passengers, including 2.5 million foreigners.
The province has submitted a similar proposal early this year to the Ministry of Transport.
According to the draft master plan on the development of the national airport network to 2030 with a vision to 2050, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has proposed to have 26 airports by 2030, 14 of which will be international airports. The number could reach 30 by 2050.
At present, Vietnam has 22 airports in operation, nine of which are international and 13 domestic. Seven airports are located in the north, while seven others are in the central region. The remaining eight ones are located in the south.
Along with the airport, the province is seeking the prime minister’s approval to stop the operation of the 100MW Ninh Binh Thermal Power Plant and remove the 220kV substation from the province. The thermal power plant has been operating since 1974.
Singaporean startup pours $15 million into Vietnam’s cashback market
E-commerce cashback platform ShopBack has injected around $15 million into Vietnam with a view to creating a new shopping habit for local shoppers.
Truc Nguyen, country manager of ShopBack Vietnam said that the startup unveiled its beta launch in Vietnam in late 2019 and made an official debut last August. It has continuosly improved the app and invested $15 million in the local market. To date, VND22 billion($956,520) in cashback has been given out to ShopBack users in Vietnam.
“Depending on the market conditions, user demand, and readiness of our technical and product partners, we will expand our offerings and raise more investment to make cashback a new shopping habit in Vietnam,” she said.
ShopBack is backed by e-commerce group Rakuten Group Inc., one of the better-known companies that dole out cash-back rewards for online purchases. Other investors into the startup are EV Growth, Temasek Holdings, and Credit Saison, among others. ShopBack has raised a total funding of $134 million since 2014.
The increasing number of internet users, rising internet penetration, and steady increase of the e-commerce share of total retail sales in Vietnam makes it a core and high-potential market for ShopBack. Vietnam presents a tremendous opportunity for the startup to grow and succeed in the digital space, with large marketplaces such as Shopee, Lazada, Tiki, and Sendo – all of whom are its merchant partners – experiencing record-breaking growth in the past years.
The country manager said that it will focus on increasing the number of partners and clients in the next 2-3 years. With the current growth trajectory, ShopBack is likely to reach 2 million users in Vietnam.
In line of booming e-commerce demand, Vietnam has welcomed more online cashback platforms such as Finhay, Cashbag, Catback, and ShopBack. However, there are aslo some fraud cashback scams that customers need to be aware like consumer rewards app MyAladdinz. There is a key difference between legitimate players from fraudulent ones, which are operated like multi-level platforms. They require shoppers to submit money to the apps to receive rewards, after a short time they will shut down and steal all users’ money.
Proactively welcoming the fourth FDI wave
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the global economic structure, breaking production and circulation chains, promoting new technology development and “rectifying” investment flows. In that context, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam also needs to be adjusted to suit the new situation.
Entering its 33rd year of implementing the open-door policy to attract foreign capital, up to now, FDI inflows have become one of the important drivers of Vietnam’s economic growth with a significant increase in theircontribution to GDP.
By the end of 2020, the whole country has 33,070 valid FDI projects with total registered capital of over US$384 billion, the implemented capital having reached US$231.86 billion, equalling more than 60% of the total registered. FDI is present in all 63 localities in the country and is invested in 19 out of 21 industries in the national economic sub-sector. The FDI sector accounts for a large proportion of total industrial production value and the total export value of Vietnam, and revenues to the State budget have steadily increased over the years.
However, along with the positive contributions, the limitations of foreign capital flows have also been clearly revealed. Of which, the biggest limitation is the low level of connection and spread of the FDI sector to the domestic investment sector; the attraction and transfer of technology from the FDI sector to the domestic investment sector not meeting expectations, and limitations in attracting FDI in a number of priority industries and sectors and from multinational corporations. In addition, there has been a phenomenon ofsome enterprises not strictly following the law on investment or regulations on environmental protection.
According to some economic experts, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for Vietnam to actively attract new generation FDI in a more selective manner, with quality, efficiency, technology and environmental protection as the main evaluation criteria. In order to catch up with the flow of the fourth wave of FDI taking place globally, Vietnam needs to be more adaptive, proactive and creative.
At the macro level, the Government will focus on solving a number of major issues. These are to maintain the stability of the macroeconomic, socio-political environment, a competitive advantage of Vietnam in attracting FDI; focus on improving the quality of institutions, policies and laws in order to implement the policy of foreign investment cooperation with priority and selection associated with the goal of improving competitiveness, building an independent economy and prioritising investment in infrastructural development.
At local level, it is necessary to organise and support effectively and promptly investors to build projects with the fastest speeds, the shortest times and the highest levelsof effectiveness through the reform of business and administrative procedures, especially procedures for land and land clearance, and so on.
Enhancing tourism development in the new normal state
The complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic has left both types of international tourism, inbound and outbound, almost paralysed; therefore, domestic tourism has been identified as the salvation to gradually restore the country’s smoke-free industry.
The importance of domestic tourism
According to travel experts, the COVID-19 epidemic has caused the tourism sector to be full of hardships but also offered an opportunity for the sector to look back and learn lessons from the crisis. One of the most important lessons is to re-realise the importance of domestic tourism in order to balance development policies among different types. Vu The Binh, Standing Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association said that previously, domestic tourism was not considered a key branch, so did not received proper attention. The demand, preferences, trends, favourite products of Vietnamese tourists or tourism services serving Vietnamese people have not been clearly shaped. The relevant agencies should develop a strong domestic travel market even after the pandemic is controlled completely.
The statistics of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism showed that the number of domestic tourists was only 30 million in 2011 but increased to 85 million (nearly tripling) in 2019, equal to an average growth rate of about 15% per year. Trip time as well as spending of domestic tourists is increasing by an average of 3.7 days and VND1-1.6 million. In 2015, the domestic tourists only contributed VND158 trillion to the total revenue of the sector and VND334 trillion in 2019, with an average increase of about 20.5% per year. This showed that during 2011-2019, before the pandemic appeared, domestic travel saw positive growth. Currently, Vietnam is controlling the epidemic quite well and a series of companies and travel service providers are offering promotions to stimulate demand, so the purchase of domestic tours and products has increased sharply. Airlines must continuously increase supply capacity and open more domestic routes. Many accommodation establishments in “favourite” tourist destinations have to announce “out of rooms” during the upcoming holidays. These are proof that domestic tourism is a potential market. If effective exploitation policies are implemented, this market will ensure the sustainable development of the whole sector.
In response to urgent requirements about the need to have a specific strategy to promote domestic tourism, towards increasing the resistance of Vietnamese tourism, Vietnam Tourism Association, in collaboration with the Ninh Binh Provincial Department of Tourism and Tourism Association, held the 2021 National Domestic Tourism Forum themed “Domestic tourism – The driving force to restore Vietnam tourism in the new normal state”. The event featured the participation of leaders from travel management agencies and nearly 500 enterprises around the country. At the forum, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung affirmed that in recent years, Vietnamese tourism sector has taken the number of visitors and revenue from the international market as a measure of the tourism development’s effectiveness. This is about to change. The tourism sector needs to go firmly on both international and domestic feet.
Linking and diversifying products
According to the tourism sector’s leader, four groups of measures should be implemented to develop domestic tourism. Firstly, travel businesses should soon restructure themselves and recalculate important and key aspects of domestic travel business. Secondly, it is essential to re-study the domestic tourism market. Thirdly, the linkages should be strengthened on the basis of developing unique tourism products and contributing to spreading their values. Lastly, relevant agencies should focus on gradually forming culture in destinations.
It is a fact that with international travel businesses having also shifted their attention to domestic tourism, the competition in this “territory” has become even more fierce. That situation requires tourism service providers to enhance their linkages and coordination to share benefits while finding ways to self-position their travel brands through the development of diversified but unique tourism products. According to Director of the Travel Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Quy Phuong, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the needs and tastes of tourists regarding safety, experiences of nature and the ecosystem, small groups, short time, and technology applications. Therefore, the localities and enterprises should proactively innovate, create and develop new products in line with the customers’ demand.
In recent times, several units have built new tourism products that have attracted a large number of visitors such as tours to the Yoko Onsen Quang Hanh hot springs, Ha Long Bay by seaplane, Hoa Lo Prison at night, and air balloon experiences in Hanoi’s Ba Vi District. The introduction of these new products has contributed to creating an exciting atmosphere for the domestic tourism market, bringing more options to travellers. To promote domestic tourism in Vietnam, tourism development orientations must ensure security, safety and principles of respect for the environment, harmony with nature, respect for local culture and identity, proactive adaptation to the epidemic and sustainable development.
In addition, the experts noted that the Government, ministries and agencies should make policies and solutions to remove difficulties for the enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones, in facing COVID-19 outbreaks. The direct assistance includes financial support, tax exemptions and concessional loans. The indirect supports are human resources training, the promotion of common destinations. The joint efforts from all tourism service providers, management agencies and relevant ministries will create a positive ecosystem for boosting domestic tourism development, thus ensuring the operation and growth of the tourism sector in the new normal state.
Hanoi works to ‘refresh’ tourism image to lure visitors
As one of the country’s tourism markets, Hanoi is rolling every effort to ‘refresh’ the image of tourism to lure domestic visitors, with a focus on creating new experiences and strengthening connection with other localities to develop more attractive tourist products.
A night tour at the Hoa Lo Prison historical site was launched to provide visitors with a unique experience with a combination of sounds and lights which change as they walk through different rooms inside the prison-turned-museum.
Visitors will be filled with a range of special emotions, from sympathy for prisoners in the gruesome conditions of a colonialist prison to respect for their resolute resilience and fighting spirit for national independence.
According to head of the site’s management board Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Hoa Lo Prison welcomes hundreds of visitors every year. The site has also chosen as a venue for extracurricular activities of many schools to educate their students about the country’s revolutionary tradition and patriotism.
The management board has coordinated with travel agencies to launch two night programmes at the site, which have received much appreciation from visitors.
In addition to the night tour at Hoa Lo Prison, many other new tourist products have also been launched to welcome back visitors to the capital city, including tours to explore Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Indochinese styled buildings in Hanoi, and places of interest along Red River such as Chem and Soc temples, Bo De Pagoda, Bat Trang pottery village, and Me Linh flower village.
Of which, the tour to Indochinese-styled buildings, which is designed by travel company Hanoitourist, helps visitors to gain a closer insight into typical buildings constructed in Hanoi in early 20th century, namely the Sofitel Metropole Legend, the Hanoi Opera House, the National Historical Museum, and the Government Guest House.
Meanwhile, the Hanoi Tourism Department in coordination with tourism departments of Ninh Binh, Quang Ninh, Sa La, Thua Thien Hue, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City recently debuted the ‘Hanoi+’ tours, which connects Hanoi with tourist attractions in the neighbouring localities.
In order to provide travellers with high-quality tourist products at affordable prices, Hanoi’s tourism sector has actively worked with, airlines, railway sector, travel associations, hotels, restaurants and management boards of tourist attractions in implementing programmes on restructuring the hospitality sector and stimulating domestic travel demand.
Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang said that after more than a year facing numerous many difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic, travel businesses want to grasp opportunities for recovery.
Therefore, the department receives enthusiastic cooperation from those operating in the tourism sector, she stated, adding that airlines have launched generous discounts for passengers, particularly for travel agents who buy tickets in bulk.
The active participation from the businesses has contributed to the building of tourism products at attractive prices while ensuring quality.
The recent Hanoi Tourism and Cuisine Festival 2021 brought together travel agents and transport businesses from 12 localities which have strong advantages of tourism, including Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Binh, and Ha Giang, among others. Around 1,000 tour packages were on sale at the event with prices seeing discounts of up to 25%.
However, after a year of falling in “hibernation” and facing great losses due to COVID-19, thousands of travel businesses and accommodation establishments have remained closed. Many of them have hesitated to “restart” because of worries that the risks may return.
Since then, as stated by Director of Flamingo Redtours Company Nguyen Cong Hoan, travel businesses are seeking for the State’s support, particularly in terms of tax and land lease payment extensions so that they are able to return to the market.
Vietnamese tourists pay stronger attention to sustainable tourism
According to a survey by Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel companies, nearly 100% of Vietnamese tourists want to stay in eco-friendly accommodations at least once.
The survey was conducted with 29,349 participants from 30 travel markets found that 81% of global travellers aspire to stay in eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable accommodations at least once. Accordingly, almost 1,005 Vietnamese tourists aged 18 years and over who participated in the survey expressed their desire for these kinds of accommodations. Meanwhile, the figure is 98% in Thailand, 90% in Singapore and 81% in the Republic of Korea.
Previously, an online survey conducted by Booking.com in July 2020, with the participation of 20,934 people from 28 countries and territories around the world, showed that over 53% of global visitors, including 59% from Vietnam, 68% from Thailand and 60% from Chinese Taipei, admitted that they pay more attention to sustainable tourism as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Anthony Lu, Country & Mekong Region Head (China) at Booking.com, its study proved many restrictions enacted globally have inspired 59% of Vietnamese travellers to prioritise sustainable travel in the future. This is a positive sign that travellers will be more considerate before they make decisions about their future travels, while also being aware that any sustainable actions they take will help correct their impact on the environment. No matter how small or simple, Vietnamese visitors are believed to have a great impact on the environment and the tourism sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made global residents to re-evaluate their effects on their surroundings, towards sustainable travel in the future after travel restrictions are removed.
In fact, Vietnam is an advantageous country for sustainable tourism development. The country possesses nine world biosphere reserves recognised by UNESCO and over 30 national parks, including six ASEAN heritage parks that maintain their ecosystems, diversity and values of population. Notably, Vietnam owns 400 hot water resources, ranks 27th out of 156 nations with seas in the world with 125 beaches, most of which are beautiful. It is also among the 12 countries with the most beautiful bays (Ha Long and Nha Trang).
Over the years, tourism activities in Vietnam have been held towards sustainable tourism, with many resorts receiving international green certificates such as EarthCheck and Green Growth 2050, including Banyan Tree Lang Co in Hue City, Caravelle Saigon, Angsana Lang Co, Avani Quy Nhon, Anantara Mui Ne Resort and Spa, Harbour View Hai Phong and Anantara Hoi An Resort.
Long An wants companies to invest in Ring Road 3
The Long An government has proposed allowing companies to invest in a section of the Ring Road No. 3 project that will run through the Mekong Delta province aimed at speeding up the construction of the key traffic route, according to the provincial government.
The section will be 6.65 kilometers long, have six lanes and cost VND4.63 trillion. Of the total investment, site clearance will cost VND1.6 trillion, Thanh Nien Online reported.
The provincial government had earlier passed a plan allowing the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC Corp.) and Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park Joint Venture Co. to study and map out a 1/2,000 master plan for the Becamex-VSIP Service-Industrial and Urban Area project in Ben Luc District. The project is set to cover some 2,300 hectares, with some 4.7 kilometers of the Ring Road No. 3 cutting through.
As such, the investors proposed allowing them to implement the site clearance works for the 4.7-kilometer section and invest in two parallel lines in line with the master plan.
The solution was appropriate, said the Long An government, proposing the Ministry of Transport ask the Government and relevant ministries and departments for opinions so that Long An Province can hold tenders and choose investors to speed up the project.
Due to its limited budget, the province also proposed the Ministry of Transport use the capital from the central budget to develop the remaining 1.95 kilometers of the section of the Ring Road No. 3.
The Ring Road No. 3 project was approved by the prime minister in 2011. The 89.3-kilometer-long Ring Road 3 will pass through Dong Nai, HCMC, Binh Duong and Long An. As planned, the ring road would be completed by 2020, but a mere 16.3 kilometers of the road running through Binh Duong Province has been completed, accounting for 17.9% of the total length.
Number of newly-established firms in Jan-Apr hits new record
In the first four months of 2021, nearly 44,200 new enterprises were established, up 17% over the same period last year and the highest-ever recorded for the period, according to the Business Registration Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The result was positive as the number of newly-established enterprises fell over 13% in the same period last year due to the pandemic, news site VnExpress reported.
The retail, wholesale and auto and motorbike repair sectors saw the highest number of newly-established enterprises at nearly 14,700, followed by the construction sector with 5,700 companies and the processing and manufacturing sector with 5,600 firms.
However, the real estate, healthcare, social welfare, service, education and logistics sectors reported the highest growth in the number of new enterprises.
New firms registered total capital of nearly VND628 trillion, also an all-time high for the period.
According to the Business Registration Department, the increase in newly-established firms highlighted the recovery of the economy and enterprises’ confidence in the country’s economic development prospects in the coming periods.
However, the number of enterprises withdrawing from the market in the first four months of the year also increased to some 51,500, mainly the small ones. Of the total, 28,350 businesses temporarily stopped operations for a certain period and 16,400 others completed procedures for disbandment.
Firms withdrawing from the market were mainly those in the healthcare, education, mining, property and agriculture sectors. More than 91% of enterprises suspending their operations and 89% of dissolved firms had charter capital of less than VND10 billion and operated for less than five years.
According to the Business Registration Department, they were vulnerable to the pandemic. Many enterprises have chosen to suspend operations to review the development of the market, seek new business plans or wait for the Government’s support policies.
HCMC plans to borrow US$100 million from WB for eight programs
The HCMC government has proposed borrowing US$100 million from the World Bank (WB) to provide capital for its eight policy programs as the city’s budget is not enough for its development demand.
The municipal government has asked the standing board of the municipal Party Committee for its opinion on the second development policy operation program (DPO-2). This program includes eight policy sub-programs relating to the standardization of the shared database, announcement of vector-based zoning plans, increase of wastewater drainage and treatment service prices and organization of tenders for State-owned commercial housing assets for production and business purposes, among others.
According to the municipal government, the Government approved over VND42.2 trillion for the city this year, including VND14.8 trillion in official development assistance loans and VND27.4 trillion from the city’s reciprocal capital, Thanh Nien Online newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, the capital needed is over VND47.8 trillion. Thus, the city will face a shortage of over VND20.4 trillion.
In April 2020, the Ministry of Finance disbursed loans for the DPO-1 program and VND2.86 trillion was provided for 153 projects.
Vietnam’s outward investment in Jan-Apr soars 7.9 times
Vietnam’s outward investment in the first four months of 2021 reached nearly US$546 million, surging by 7.9 times compared with the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Specifically, 18 projects worth US$142.8 million received investment licenses and nine projects got additional capital of US$403.2 million.
Data of the ministry showed that Vietnamese companies invested in 10 sectors in foreign countries between January and April. The science and technology sector attracted the largest investment with US$279.8 million, accounting for 49.6% of the total.
Retail ranked second with US$147.8 million, accounting for 27.1%, followed by agriculture-forestry-aquaculture and supporting services.
Vietnamese companies invested in 15 countries and territories, with the United States absorbing US$302.3 million of the registered capital (accounting for 55.4%), followed by Cambodia with US$89.1 million (16.3%), France, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
As of April 20, Vietnam had 1,417 valid outward investment projects worth US$21.8 billion. The biggest investment was poured into mineral exploitation, accounting for 36% of the total, followed by the agriculture-forestry-aquaculture sector with 15.4%.
Laos was the biggest recipient of Vietnamese investment to date, accounting for 23.1% of the registered capital, followed by Cambodia with 13% and Russia with 12.7%.
Vietnam’s outward investment in 2020 was more than US$590 million, increasing 16.1% year-on-year.
It needs objective remarks for rice export decline
There are different remarks over the good harvest and export prices of rice in the Mekong Delta but the strong decline in rice export volume. In all, subjectively, businesses have been paying more attention to improving rice quality to meet the strict standards of many markets; while objectively, the global demand for food reserves has been increasing and the prices of Thai and Indian rice have made record highs in recent years. In this context, Vietnam can “leisurely” wait for positive rice export results in the upcoming months. However, the real scenario is not quite so.
The scenario may not unfold as expected because of the following reasons.
First, it’s not known what the basis for the remark “The high global demand for food reserves has pushed up the world’s rice price”(1) is but two most prestigious agencies for global rice, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), have quite different remarks.
According to the latest forecast by the USDA, the global rice reserves early this year were large, at nearly 178 million tons. Though the volume grew insignificantly against the year-earlier period, it increased by more than 14 million tons from the same period in 2019 and was enough to meet the consumption demand over 129-130 days. Obviously, this is a scenario contrary to the period when the global rice reserves were thin, only enough to meet the consumption demand over half the time above (64-68 days in 2006-2009). For the consumption demand for up to 80 days, the time the reserves can meet this demand is equivalent to seven years (2005-2011), which was the period of the global rice price fever.
Further, the USDA also argued that the global rice growing area this year has increased quite strongly, resulting in an increase of 10 million tons of rice, not standing “the same” as in 2020.
In this situation, the global rice imports this year are forecast at only 43.7 million tons, up 1.33 million tons from 2020, while imports in 2020 were 1.65 million tons lower than 2019. As a result, the global rice imports have been on a downward trend against the record imports of 47.2 million tons in 2018.
The statistics and the forecast of FAO, albeit somewhat different, also show a similar trend in general.
Therefore, one cannot refer to certain particular phenomena to assess the global rice supply and demand as mentioned above. This is also the unpersuasive point mentioned in the scandal over rice export quotas in Vietnam early last year.
Second, the price increase by Thai rice exporters is true, but possibly because of force majeure causes, while the information about the increase of Indian rice price “past the records in recent years”(1) needs verification.
India’s rice exports in the first two months of this year increased exponentially, certainly because of the strongest price decline since the end of the global rice price fever.
According to official statistics of India, the country’s rice exports in the first two months reached 3.63 million tons, surging 84.2% year-on-year, but the average price was only US$460 per ton, the lowest since 2008.
Notably, while exports of fragrant rice fell, exports of non Basmati rice surged 162.1%. The average price of Basmati rice in the first two months was US$855 per ton, the lowest since 2017, and white rice US$353 per ton, a record low since 2008.
Meanwhile, the increase in the price of Thai rice since 2020 is due to reasons beyond the imagination of Thai rice traders, in addition to other reasons similar to those of Vietnam. They are the heavy crop losses in early 2020 due to record droughts in decades, floods which have pushed up production costs, the Thai Government’s diverse rice supports to stabilize prices and the appreciation of the baht. The synergy of these factors slumped rice exports and increased rice storage strongly in 2020. The storage is forecast to continue at a very high level this year.
This situation in Thailand, coupled with the strong price rise of Vietnamese rice, may force some customers to turn their back on Vietnamese rice and switch to the abundant supply of Indian rice with soft prices, especially white rice.
Third, the increase in the price of Vietnamese rice due to the improvement of the rice quality or Vietnamese rice exporters’ increased attention to rice quality improvement and traceability to meet strict standards of export markets like the EU, the U.S. and South Korea is certainly something true and worth cheering in terms of quantity, but it may be doubtful in terms of quality.
Statistics of the USDA show that five years ago, the fastidious markets of Europe, America and Australia accounted for 11.3% of the total of 50.8% of Vietnamese white rice exports and only 2% of the total of 44.6% of Vietnamese fragrant and glutinous rice exports (the total rice exports is 100%). However, in 2020, the share of white rice exports to these markets plunged drastically to 6.9% while the share of glutinous and fragrant rice exports increased to only 2.7%.
Nevertheless, this statement is not meant to completely negate the efforts of the rice industry, but on the contrary, it needs recognition for enterprises which have developed rice material areas and sustainable rice value chains to build a brand for rice. Still, with the possibly vast remaining rice area, it’s too optimistic to say that more and more attention is being paid to the rice quality, and so it may not be sound to say that this is the reason for the rice price increase.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes