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  • 08/21/17--02:24: Article 0
  • Scientist invents firefighting material that reduces time, cost


    A Vietnamese scientist has invented and successfully tested a firefighting liquid that can douse fire in one-tenth of a second, which will be a great help in controlling widespread blazes.


    Vietnamese scientist, invent, firefighting material, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Testing new firefighting liquid. - Photo courtesy of Dr Doan Ha Thang


    The liquid will make it much easier and faster to stamp out a large fire compared to traditional methods of firefighting that use materials such as water, carbon dioxide and foam.

    Dr Doan Ha Thang, one of the first Vietnamese scientists being trained in plasma physics in Japan, has invented the material based on global research on extinguishing fire using space technology.

    Thang is chief of Viet Nam Space Committee’s Office and the “founding father” of Viet Nam’s first English-teaching robot called Robot Teacher, which helps learners train in advanced English speaking and understanding in less than two months.

    He started work on the firefighting liquid in 2015, and began by gathering global research materials on extinguishing fire in space. He also used nano technology to create the material and has now pioneered a new firefighting method in Viet Nam.

    In layperson terms, the firefighting liquid neutralises the fire by using a material that has the opposite electricity charge compared to the material fire is made of. The invention uses nano materials as a catalyst to extinguish the fire.

    The most common way of putting out a fire is through water pressure. When water comes into contact with fire, it vaporises, displacing oxygen. The new material, however, does not use pressure. “The outstanding feature of the material is it ionises the environment. When the liquid is poured into the fire, a cool white odourless smoke is emitted so victims and firefighters don’t inhale toxic smoke,” Thang said.

    Using it is easy. All one needs to do is put the liquid in a container and pour it over the fire, according to Thang. Once firefighters soak themselves in the liquid, it will protect them from the flames, and they can even plunge into the fire in rescue operations. It can also be applied in urgent cases.

    Another advantage, Thang said, was the low cost of his invention.

    “I expect to put the material, created using space technology, to practical use soon,” he said.

    Thang’s invention will be a huge help to fight fires, which is a serious problem in the country. In fact, recently, there has been a series of severe fires that have caused enormous loss to life and property. Most recently, last month, eight people, mostly teenagers, were killed, and two others injured in a major blaze in a confectionary shop in Ha Noi’s Hoai Duc District.

    In the first half of 2017, around 2,364 flames were reported nationwide, an increase of 858 cases compared to the same period last year, killing 51 people and injuring 95 others. The total property loss was estimated to be 806 hectares of forests and over VND1.1 trillion.

    Testing new inventions

    The Ministry of Science and Technology has said materials technology is always given due attention. Doing research on and applying materials technology is one of the ministry’s key scientific and technological programmes for the 2016-20 period. It supports research on invention of materials that can serve the development of industrial support sectors.

    To prove the practical efficiency of products invented using new materials technology, the ministry has mapped out a route. The first step is to apply them in reality along with traditional materials.

    The Public Security Ministry’s Department of Fire Prevention and Control, Rescue and Salvage, which is responsible for assessing the quality of firefighting materials, said it was working with Thang to test the product based on Viet Nam’s standards. The final testing result would be published for media agencies, the department told Viet Nam News.

    VNS


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  • 08/22/17--01:51: Article 4
  • Dang Van Thanh thrives as former rival Tram Be is sent to prison


     Dang Van Thanh lost in the battle for control over Sacombank five years ago, but he has returned to business and is prospering. However, the former winner in the bank battle – Tram Be – has been sentenced to prison.


     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, Tram Be, Dang Van Thanh, Sacombank

    The hostile takeover of Sacombank five years ago was described as a historic deal. Dang Van Thanh had to leave the bank where he was the founder and chair of the board of directors.

    Tram Be successfully merged SouthernBank and Sacombank to create an empire which was the fifth largest in the banking sector.

    However, Be did not enjoy success for long. The winner in the battle unexpectedly authorized the State Bank to implement all the shareholder’s rights for his shares in Southern Bank, Sacombank and the bank after the merger.

    Despite the successful takeover, Be did not have any rights in the bank after the merger. He was arrested for ‘deliberately violating current regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences’.

    After Sacombank fell into Be’s hands, Thanh, a veteran banker, nearly disappeared from the business circle. While his wife focused on doing business and running sugar refineries, Thanh grew tea, raised cows and taught students.

    After Sacombank fell into Be’s hands, Thanh, a veteran banker, nearly disappeared from the business circle. While his wife focused on doing business and running sugar refineries, Thanh grew tea, raised cows and taught students.

    However, just two years later, Thanh made a comeback. He injected money into attractive business fields, raising Kobe cows in Lam Dong, and developing tea farms and tourism. He has also made heavy investments in Thanh Thanh Cong’s (TTC) sugar production.

    Thanh’s daughter – Dang Huynh Uc My – called the ‘sugar cane princess’, has been collecting shares from sugar companies. Thanh’s family members have also acquired a controlling stake in many companies and successfully merged the companies.

    In July, SBT and BHS, the two sugar companies owned by Thanh family merged, creating a new business worth nearly $1 billion. The new business controls 30 percent of the Vietnamese sugar market.

    TTC is also strong in tourism and agriculture. The group owns many 2-4 star hotels, tourism sites and resorts, mostly in the southern region.

    Good luck has come to Thanh, with strong cash flow in his family-run businesses in the sugar and real estate sectors. LienViet Post Bank has approved investment worth VND500 billion in Sacomreal, a real estate company where Thanh’s family members and TTC hold the controlling stake.

    Sources said Thanh had planned to return to Sacombank after Be lost ground. However, he has changed his mind.


     M. Ha, VNN


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  • 08/22/17--02:23: Article 3
  • MPI proposes big breaks for special economic zones


    The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has proposed major incentives including prolonged income tax exemptions for businesses and individuals working in special economic zones in three provinces.


    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, van don, SEZ, MPI 

    The investment incentives are contained in a draft Law on Special Administrative Economic Units that the ministry has prepared for submission to the Government and the National Assembly (NA).

    The special economic zones are Phu Quoc in Kien Giang Province, Van Don in Quang Ninh Province and North Van Phong in Khanh Hoa Province.

    The MPI is suggesting an income tax exemption of five years for individuals living and working in these zones, and a 50 per cent income tax break in the remaining years until 2030.

    This applies to “managers, scientists and qualified experts, as well as businesses, workers and other economic factors,” the draft says.

    The draft is slated to be passed by the National Assembly at its meeting in October this year.

    The MPI has also asked that Phu Quoc be given its own incentives, such as increasing additional income for civil servants working here from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of their base salary.

    It has also suggested that in order to encourage investment, local administrations of the special zones are allowed to grant permanent residency to foreign investors with projects worth US$5 million and above who stay for a minimum of five years in Phú Quốc without breaking any Vietnamese law.

    The MPI also considers Phu Quoc’s infrastructure to be developing with balance and forethought, with many high quality resorts operating successfully. It notes that the Politburo has permitted the island to build a casino where Vietnamese citizens would be allowed to gamble.

    To turn Phu Quoc into a commercial, service and shopping hub of world standards, the MPI considers this the only special economic zone to have priority for developing its fisheries and manufacturing sectors.

    The island is seen as having numerous advantages, despite its distance from the mainland and having just two major access points via air and sea. It is blessed with great weather, 63.2 per cent of fertile agricultural land, scenic mountains, forests and beaches, and great potential to develop a large, diversified fisheries sector.

    The other two zones, Van Don and North Van Phong, should also receive similar preferential treatment, the MPI says.

    Van Don should focus more on developing ecotourism and sea travel and hi-tech agriculture, while North Van Phong should utilise its geographic advantage to develop deep water ports, logistics, medical and convalescence resorts, it says.

    The Ministry hopes that the Law on Special Administrative-Economic Units will create frameworks that surpass existing ones so that the zones can compete with other countries in attracting foreign investment, open doors for strategic investors and boost the merger and acquisition market.

    VNS


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  • 08/22/17--02:29: Article 2
  • APEC looks at food security amidst climate change

    CẦN THƠ – The Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) meeting was held in Cần Thơ yesterday during the APEC Food Security Week to shape actions to ensure food security in the context of climate change and urbanisation. 

    Fish caught at Sầm Sơn Beach, central Thanh Hóa Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyết

     PPFS members updated the two-day meeting on outcomes of completed and ongoing activities for 2017, and discussed and approved the action plans to implement the APEC Framework for Multi-Year APEC Programme on Food Security and Climate Change and 
    APEC Strategic Framework for Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Quốc Doanh said agriculture depends much on climate.

    “The earth’s temperature rise has been challenging agriculture with disease spread, unstable productivity, serious droughts, freshwater scarcity, loss of bio-diversity, and others.”

    Urbanisation, despite its advantages like job creation, infrastructure development and raising incomes, also brings difficulties like insufficient lands for food production.

    “Việt Nam has taken serious measures and made fundamental changes. In large parts of the farm sector, the monitoring of agronomic practices for sustainability standards, natural resource management, waste management, and energy efficiency have been mainstreamed, balancing economic growth and environmental sustainability, as specifically stated in the Agricultural Restructuring Plan.”

    Given the unprecedented impacts of climate change, and also impacts of urbanization, a stronger focus is needed on enhancing food security and sustainable, more resilient agriculture and quality growth through better use of advanced technologies and enhancement of regional and global food value chains, he said.

    “Food security requires APEC economies to take collective action.”

    APEC economies need to strengthen co-operation to improve governance and efficient use of natural resources while securing long-term food supply, and APEC should find ways to facilitate the transfer and application of technologies to increase agricultural productivity, quality, sustainability and resilience, he said.

    Incentives to fully engage farmers and the private sector should be shared among APEC members, he added.

    “APEC as a whole should work together to create a policy environment to facilitate the participation of farmers, small households and the private sector and strengthen the public - private partnership model to promote food security, he said.

    “In a regionalised world of profound challenges, APEC needs to make greater efforts and act as a driver of global growth. It is time for us to turn the commitment we have into actions clarified in the Action Plans.”

    Pruthipong Poonthrigobol, PPFS director, said: “The Action Plans and other strategic frameworks and work programmes on the PPFS Roadmap towards Food Security 2020 laid the foundation for our work of attaining the APEC Food System by 2020.

    “We would urge member economies to continue the efforts."

    Ocean and fisheries group meeting

    On the same day the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) also began its two-day ninth annual meeting.

    It aims to complete the fourth assessment of its work in 2017, review some of its ongoing projects, discuss new projects that have recently been included in its agenda, and go over the goals of the next annual meeting, according to Patrick E. Moran, lead shepherd of APEC-OFWG.

    Moran, who will chair the second official joint meeting of OFWG along with other APEC working groups including the PPFS on Wednesday, stressed the importance of the joint meeting, saying that one of the large projects and action plan adopted by PPFS were closely connected with the work of the OFWG.

    He said the OFWG would focus mostly on areas where it could collaborate more effectively with PPFS.

    "It’s very important now that we have access to PPFS’s process that we can engage and bring our work to them and demonstrate how fisheries and oceans are an important part of the food security dialogue."

    According to a report by OFWG, APEC members account for over 80 percent of global aquaculture production and more than 65 percent of capture fisheries.

    The consumption of fishery products in the APEC region is 65 percent higher than the world average. As APEC economies represent nine of the top 10 fish producers in the world, APEC’s focus on oceans and fisheries issues is natural.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Moran told Việt Nam News that food security is a very important part of APEC economies, yet in the past the food security dialogues in APEC were all about rice, wheat, corn, etc.

    "It took us a long time to explain how fisheries is an important part of that dialogue as well, particularly in the region."

    He said that since APEC Food Security Week would be held every year, OFWG would try to figure out how it could co-ordinate with PPFS so that everyone’s work goes in the right direction.

    "We are going to work hard to make sure we can bring added value to the food security discussion.”

    Trần Đình Luân, deputy general director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries, said since OFWG’s meeting in February in Nha Trang APEC economies have already joined hands to take significant strides towards the implementation of the working group’s strategic plan.

    The outcomes of its meeting in Cần Thơ would serve as important inputs for high-level APEC policy dialogues on enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change and for APEC’s co-operation direction, he added. -VNS


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  • 08/22/17--02:59: Article 1
  • Mountain tunnel open to traffic in south-central Vietnam

    The tunnel will shorten the journey around the mountain from 60 minutes to 10 minutes

    ​Mountain tunnel open to traffic in south-central Vietnam
    The road leading to the north entrance of Ca Pass Tunnel in south-central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    A new traffic tunnel through a mountain range in south-central Vietnam has been opened, shortening the journey from its current 60 minutes to 10 minutes.

    A ceremony was organized on Monday morning to mark the official opening of the tunnel through Ca Pass, which lies along the border of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa Provinces, following six years of construction.

    Spanning a total of 4,125 meters, the Ca Pass Tunnel is the country’s largest tunnel project and carried out under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) contract.

    BOT is a project-financing framework in which the developer receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct and operate a facility for a certain period, during which it has to raise funds for, and is entitled to retain all revenues generated by the project.

    The facility is then transferred to the public administration at the end of the agreed concession period.

    The underground passage will help shorten the journey around the mountain from 60 minutes to 10 minutes.
     Vehicles will be allowed to travel through the tunnel free-of-charge between August 25 and September 2.
    Starting from September 3, travelers are expected to pay a service fee of between VND60,000 (US$2.64) and VND288,000 ($12.67) depending on their vehicles.

    The Ca Pass stretches 12 kilometers, including 98 bends, of which 10 are considered extremely dangerous.

    Another of the country’s most difficult passes, the Hai Van Pass, which divides Thua Thien-Hue Province and Da Nang City in the central region had a tunnel built through it in 2005.

    A tunnel cutting Cu Mong Pass along the border of Binh Dinh and Phu Yen Provinces in south-central Vietnam is also expected to be competed in 2019.    

     ​Mountain tunnel open to traffic in south-central Vietnam
    The first vehicles travel through the Ca Pass Tunnel on August 21, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    By Tuoi Tre News 


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  • 08/22/17--03:02: Article 0
  • Technical checks prove burden for enterprises


    Businesses in Vietnam spend 28.6 million working days and VND14.3 trillion (USD629.2 million) annually to complete procedures related to technical checks on around 100,000 types of goods.

    The figures were announced at a meeting on Monday between the government’s taskforce with representatives from 11 ministries and agencies on technical checks of import and export goods. 

      

    Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung

    Speaking at the meeting, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung mentioned that chocolate products alone need 13 licenses before being sold to the market. Yogurt products are inspected by both the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health.

    The technical checks on confectionery materials are also carried out based on up to four documents issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Some ministries only assign one agency nationwide to be in charge of the goods inspections, so companies have to take their products from one end of the country to another to get the checks done.

    According to Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, many products, which are made by leading global firms still have to be checked in a manual way when they are imported into Vietnam.

    Dung noted that approximately 30-35% of import-export goods are subject to technical checks and the rate needs to be reduced to 15% in the coming time.

    He also pointed out the overlapping procedures while carrying out the specialised inspections of goods, which are therefore increasing costs for enterprises.

    Under the prime minister’s instruction, ministries and agencies need to speed up administrative reforms in order to facilitate import-export enterprises, as the technical checking of goods now accounts for 50% of the customs clearance time.

    Laodong


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  • 08/23/17--01:54: Article 1
  • US, EU investors still hesitant: experts


    Unresolved issues in Vietnam’s regulations and the business environment have resulted in relatively low FDI inflows from US and European multinational companies, experts say.


    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, FDI, South Korea, FIA 

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), as of July 2017, US companies had invested US$9.3 billion in Vietnam and the major EU nations of France and Germany registering US$2.8 billion and US$1.6 billion, respectively.

    The US stands at number nine on the list of countries and territories investing in Vietnam, way behind the number 1 investor, the Republic of Korea, at US$55.3 billion, or Japan at number 2 with US$46.5 billion and Singapore at number 3 with US$41.6 billion.

    The FIA said that regardless of projects, be it direct investments or mergers and acquisitions, the level of capital flow coming from Asian companies into Vietnam was much higher than the US or the European Union.

    Nguyen Van Toan, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam’s Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), said he believed there was potential for higher FDI from these two regions, but this was yet to be tapped despite numerous bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.

    Toan felt a lack of transparency in trade relations and administrative regulations, and Vietnam’s limited capacity to accommodate investment flows, arising from limited technological advances and a workforce that is still developing.

    He also said Vietnamese authorities were yet to pay due attention to protecting intellectual property rights, a factor that makes US and EU investors hesitant.

    Agreeing with Toan, Jonathan Moreno, Chairman of the Manufacturing Committee under the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said that until Vietnam clears up its business environment, especially in newer sectors like clean energy, there would be little change to capital inflows from the US into Vietnam.

     According to the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, in the first quarter of 2017, the country’s Business Confidence Index dropped seven points from the fourth quarter of 2016 to 78 points.

    Speaking at the 2017 Vietnam M&A Forum earlier this month, Tran Thanh Tam, Director of KPMG’s Markets Group, said Asian investors were more interested in smaller Vietnamese projects as a direct effect of signed trade agreements and higher degree of familiarity with Vietnamese regulations than US and EU investors.

    VAFIE Chairman Nguyen Mai said that the government must act soon and issue more open and facilitating policies to attract investors from the US and the European Union, failing which significant change in the current situation was unlikely.


    VNS


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  • 08/23/17--02:16: Article 0
  • Truong Hai, Toyota battle for automobile market share


    Taking every opportunity to reduce prices, Truong Hai and Toyota, the two big automobile manufacturers, are trying to capture every corner of the market.


        vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, VAMA, car sale, Truong Hai, Toyota 


    On August 9, the selling price of CX-5 model was reduced by VND40 million to VND800 million. A veteran car dealer said: “2017 is quite a crazy year”.

    Truong Hai Auto slashed selling prices in 2015, 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. By the end of 2016, it had surpassed Toyota to become the automobile manufacturer with the highest number of cars sold, which amounted to 24.1 percent of market share.

    However, Truong Hai cannot maintain the price cuts. Bui Kim Kha, deputy CEO of Truong Hai, said the manufacturer slashed prices to boost sales and stop losses, but lost profits.

    Truong Hai Auto slashed selling prices in 2015, 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. By the end of 2016, it had surpassed Toyota to become the automobile manufacturer with the highest number of cars sold, which amounted to 24.1 percent of market share.

    Meanwhile, Toyota continues slashing prices. It started the price reduction campaign later than Truong Hai, in the second half of 2016.

    The campaign has helped Toyota surpass Truong Hai in the number of cars sold. By the end of July, Toyota regained its No 1 position in the market with 23.4 percent of market share, while the rival had 19.8 per cent.

    For how long will auto manufacturers cut selling prices? Some analysts think manufacturers will continue slashing prices to obtain targets in sales and market share set earlier this year.

    VAMA earlier this year predicted that sales would increase by 10 percent in 2017 compared with 2016, though it anticipated that customers would delay their car purchase plans until 2018 when Vietnam has to cut import tariffs.

    However, by the end of July, sales had decreased by 6 percent compared with the same period last year.

    Analysts believe this was why the manufacturer decided to slash the price of CX-5 further by VND40 million.

    The move was taken partially because Honda cut the price of CR-V by nearly VND100 million in early August.

    The Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) reported that the total automobile sales in the first seven months of 2017 decreased by 6 percent to 154,930 units. Sales of tourist, commercial and specialised cars experienced a year-on-year decline of 2 percent, 10 percent, and 18 percent, respectively.

    JATO, a UK-based market analysis firm, in its report released earlier this year, showed that the Vietnamese market grew by 27.1 percent in 2016, becoming the second fastest growing market in the world.


     Tran Thuy, VNN


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  • 08/24/17--02:17: Article 1
  • Social News 24/8


    US, German-funded projects assist locals in Thua-Thien Hue

    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has received social welfare projects funded by the US and Germany, with combined investment of nearly 87,000 USD.

    A 1.125 billion VND (49,500 USD) project was funded by the US’s The Compassion Flower organization which aims to support poor locals and students in the province to improve their living conditions and access to health care.

    Along with caring for poor elderly people and providing scholarships to local students, the province will also improve the environment and develop education and health care.

    The project’s activities include organising health check-ups and presenting gifts to the needy in Huong Thuy commune, Nam Dong and Phuc Loc districts, holding a writing and reading class for about 80 adults in Phu Vang district, and offering about 500 scholarships to poor students across the province.

    The project will also give presents to local households hit by the recent flood, along with 400 poor families in remote areas, while helping some localities access clean water and organise tailoring training courses for poor women.

    Meanwhile, the Courage e. V association of Germany has provided 851 million VND (37,444 USD) to support about 60 poor and single women in Huong Tra town through providing husbandry training courses, building about 30 pig farms for them and providing pigs and pig feed.

    Vietnam Airlines adjusts flight schedule due to storm Hato


     US, German-funded projects assist locals in Thua-Thien Hue, Vietnam Airlines adjusts flight schedule due to storm Hato, Vietnam National Day marked in Hong Kong, Seminar seeks better Vietnamese language teaching abroad

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VA) plans to adjust its schedule for flights between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and China’s Hong Kong and Guangzhou due to the impacts of storm Hato in China. 

    Flights VN592/593 between Hanoi and Hong Kong and VN594/595/599 between Ho Chi Minh City and Hong Kong on August 23 were delayed. 

    The carrier also delayed flights VN502/503 between Ho Chi Minh City and Guangzhou, and VN506/507 between Hanoi and Guangzhou on August 23. 

    It advised passengers who plan to travel to and from Chinese airports to regularly check weather forecasts and the latest announcements on www.vietnamairlines.com, ticket agents nationwide or call its hotline 19001100.

    PM chairs first meeting of steering committee on defence zones

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 23 chaired the first meeting of the Central Steering Committee on Defence Zones, which aimed to review the performance of the committee in building and operating defence zones in 2016 and the first six months of 2017.

    Addressing the event, PM Phuc, who is head of the committee, stressed that the building of defence zones is an important strategy of the Party and State.

    He said the committee should make local authorities and military zones thorough understand the importance of the mission, in order to continue implementing the Party’s policy on defence-security and the 10th Politburo’s Resolution 28-NQ/TW on turning centrally-run provinces and cities into firm defence zones.

    In 2016 and the first six months of 2017, the committee gave advices to the Party, State and localities on designing defence and military tasks and policies. The committee also involved in the building of socio-economic development strategies in association with reinforcing defence and devising solutions to arising problems in defence, security and external relations.

    The committee worked closely with other ministries to issue many important documents, including a decision on the formation of military zone steering committees on defence zones.

    In the rest of 2017 and 2018, the committee will continue developing community-based defence with active engagement of the Party, the entire society, army and the political system.

    In the coming time, the committee will focus on directing authorized agencies, localities and public security and police forces to ensure political security, national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as utmost safety for the APEC Leaders’ Week in Da Nang in November this year.

    Vietnam National Day marked in Hong Kong

    The Consulate General of Vietnam in Hong Kong and Macau (China) on August 23 held a banquet at the Shangri-La hotel in Hong Kong to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day (September 2) and the 50th birthday of ASEAN.

    The event was attended by Hong Kong officials, international friends, staff of Vietnamese representative offices and Vietnamese expatriates in Hong Kong.

    Speaking at the banquet, Vietnamese General Consul to Hong Kong and Macau Hoang Chi Trung highlighted the challenges Vietnamese people overcame to protect national independence. Thanks to the achievements of more than three decades of Doi moi (reform), Vietnam has become an open and vibrant economy with annual economic growth of around seven percent, helping improve livelihoods, he said.

    Trung said that Vietnam pursues a policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, diversification of external relations, proactive international integration and is a reliable and responsible member of the international community.

    In past years, Vietnam and the Chinese special administrative region have enjoyed stable relations, Trung said, adding that both sides have made significant achievements in economic and trade relations.

    Currently, Hong Kong is the sixth largest investor in Vietnam with 1,214 projects valued at 17.57 billion USD.

    He expressed his hope that cooperation between the two sides will be further consolidated.

    Meanwhile, Chief Secretary for Administrative Office Matthew Cheung Kin-chung lauded Vietnam’s achievements, while saying the country has become an ideal destination for Hong Kong tourists.

    With high potential, cooperation between Vietnam and Hong Kong as well as Macau will help boost the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership relations between Vietnam and China, he added.

    Hanoi association works to bolster Vietnam-Spain friendship

    The Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association’s Hanoi chapter will continue organising numerous activities during 2017-2022 to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between the two peoples.

    The commitment was made by Nguyen Xuan Phong, permanent Vice President of the Hanoi association, at its third congress on August 23.

    Established on September 14, 2015, the Hanoi association now has 12 chapters. They all have been active in promoting the image of Hanoi and Vietnam at large to international friends, especially those from Spain.

    In the 2017-2022 tenure, the Hanoi chapter will maintain its close coordination with the Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association to effectively implement its functions and tasks, while improving the quality of friendship exchange activities to be co-organised with the Spanish Embassy.

    The third congress selected the association’s 25-member executive board for the 2017-2022 tenure with Nguyen Trong Dong, Director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment as its President.

    Top legislator welcomes young Japanese parliamentarians

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has expressed her hope that young Japanese parliamentarians will contribute to deepening the Vietnam-Japan relations at a reception in Hanoi on August 23 for a delegation from the Liberal Democratic Party’s Youth Division.

    Intensifying cooperation with Japan is one of the priorities in Vietnam’s foreign policy, she affirmed, adding that high political trust is a firm foundation for close and effective cooperation between the two sides.

    Ngan took the occasion to thank Japan for providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam, which, she said, has helped the country boost socio-economic development and reduce poverty.

    She spoke of the initiative to organise a seminar between the two countries’ young parliamentarians as it contributed to strengthening their mutual understanding.

    The top legislator asked the two sides to maintain visits and meetings, improve the role of MPs, especially young and female lawmakers, and coordinate closely in holding activities celebrating the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties in 2018.

    It is necessary to step up economic and trade cooperation, facilitate Vietnam’s export of aquatic products and fruits to Japan, and promote Japan’s investment in Vietnam in the fields of support industry, manufacturing, energy and agriculture, she noted.

    Keisuke Suzuki, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Youth Division, informed the host of the outcomes of the seminar between his delegation and young Vietnamese deputies.

    According to him, the regular organisation of exchange activities between young parliamentarians will help the two countries’ young generations improve mutual understanding and contribute more to the bilateral relations.

    Given that there are currently 1,600 Japanese enterprises investing in Vietnam, he proposed the Southeast Asian nation continue improving its investment environment so as to attract more foreign investors, including those from Japan.

    Social organisations cooperate to achieve sustainable development

    Establishing social organisations is a significant stride in the management of social affairs, heard a workshop in Hanoi on August 22.

    The annual workshop was organised by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), Non-Governmental Organisation Information Centre, the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development and the Institute for Development and Community Health – LIGHT.

    Currently, the VUSTA has more than 900 science and technology organisations operating in various spheres. 

    The organisations have engaged in poverty reduction, community development and environmental protection activities well as climate change adaptation, public healthcare improvement and HIV-AIDS prevention, along with promoting gender equality and supporting vulnerable groups.

    Participants pointed to difficulties, including shortcomings in legal frameworks and a lack of financial resources.

    They called on State agencies to refine policies to develop social organisations while creating a legal framework, encouraging healthy competition and improving their operational capacity.

    Seminar seeks better Vietnamese language teaching abroad

    Solutions to improve the teaching and learning of Vietnamese language among overseas Vietnamese people were proposed at a seminar in Hanoi on August 22.

    The event was held by the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese (SCOV) under the Foreign Ministry and the Department of Continuing Education under the Ministry of Education and Training.

    It drew officials, experts on Vietnamese language and 78 teachers from 12 countries and territories who are participating in a training course on Vietnamese teaching.

    SCOV Vice Chairman Luong Thanh Nghi said the teaching and learning of Vietnamese has long been a demand of overseas Vietnamese people. However, most teaching centres are small, lack funding and necessary infrastructure, and attract few learners.

    Vietnamese language classes are mainly held at the weekend and summer holidays or combined with trips to the homeland.

    Some Vietnamese teachers have compiled textbooks, reference books and other teaching materials by themselves, but these books generally don’t meet specialised standards. Most centres lack well-trained teachers, most of whom are volunteers without salaries or allowances.

    Director of the Continuing Education Department Nguyen Cong Hinh said the education ministry compiled and posted two books, “Tieng Viet vui” (Fun Vietnamese) for youth and children and “Que Viet” (Vietnamese Homeland) for adults, on its website http://tiengvietonline.vn .

    The ministry has worked with the SCOV to hold annual training courses for overseas teachers of Vietnamese. It has also sent teachers to neighboring countries like Laos and Thailand to teach the language to students, he noted.

    At the discussion, participants said that overseas Vietnamese communities are making efforts to maintain the language.

    Nguyen Thi Thanh Som, a teacher of Vietnamese in Thailand, said the State should give more support in terms of textbooks and teaching equipment, open more training courses for overseas teachers, and grant scholarships for expatriate students to attract them to language courses.

    Meanwhile, some teachers in Malaysia asked agencies to provide more practical assistance for teaching centres such as funding for teachers and teaching assistants.

    Other participants said parents and students should be aware of the importance of maintaining their mother tongue and preserving national identity. Parents also need to help their children to engage in language classes and communicate with their children in Vietnamese at home.

    VUFO vows to work for stronger Vietnam-Laos ties

    The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association and its chapters at all levels will continue trying their utmost to nurture the friendship and special solidarity between the two countries, said a VUFO official.

    VUFO Secretary General and Vice President Don Tuan Phong made the pledge when receiving Somphan Phengkhammy, National Assembly Vice Chairman and President of the Committee for Peace and Solidarity of Laos in Hanoi on August 22.

    Phong informed the guest that the VUFO, the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association and its chapters at all levels have held various activities to make the 55th anniversary of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties (September 5) and 40 years since the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18).

    Soon, the Vietnamese side will welcome 40 members of Lao families that had protected Vietnamese soldiers during wartime to attend celebrations.

    Somphan Phengkhammy, who is also Chairman of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarian Group, praised the activities held by the VUFO and the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association as well as its chapters at all levels.

    The Lao official expressed his hope that cooperation between his committee and Vietnam’s organisations will be deepened, helping consolidate the Vietnam-Laos friendship.

    Project fosters natural resource management, biodiversity conservation

    Experts gathered at a workshop in Hanoi on August 22 to discuss a project on management of natural resources and biodiversity preservation in socio-economic development.

    Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said the project will be piloted in Dong Nai, Cu Lao Cham – Hoi An, and Tay Nghe An nature reserves.

    According to Tran Huyen Trang from the Biodiversity Conservation Agency of VEA, the project will focus on completing legal documents and policies incorporating natural resources management and biodiversity preservation goals in socio-economic development and enhancing capability of law enforcement.

    Various activities will be piloted in the nature reserves to ensure sustainable use of natural resources, management of nature reserves and biodiversity-friendly development.

    Harald Leummens, Chief Technical Advisor from the United Nations Development Programme Vietnam said the initiative will develop a mechanism to ensure cooperation among relevant agencies, enhance the capability of the nature reserves and promote communications.

    Local experts suggested the project’s feasibility be evaluated in terms of schedule, resources, structures and commitments made by stakeholders.

    Truong Quang Hoc from the Vietnam National University Hanoi underlined the need to integrate conservation work in economic development in nature reserves, local development plans and other projects.

    It is necessary to develop an evaluation and supervision system, Hoc added.

    Vietnam has nine nature reserves recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

    Project fosters natural resource management, biodiversity conservation

    Experts gathered at a workshop in Hanoi on August 22 to discuss a project on management of natural resources and biodiversity preservation in socio-economic development.

    Nguyen The Dong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said the project will be piloted in Dong Nai, Cu Lao Cham – Hoi An, and Tay Nghe An nature reserves.

    According to Tran Huyen Trang from the Biodiversity Conservation Agency of VEA, the project will focus on completing legal documents and policies incorporating natural resources management and biodiversity preservation goals in socio-economic development and enhancing capability of law enforcement.

    Various activities will be piloted in the nature reserves to ensure sustainable use of natural resources, management of nature reserves and biodiversity-friendly development.

    Harald Leummens, Chief Technical Advisor from the United Nations Development Programme Vietnam said the initiative will develop a mechanism to ensure cooperation among relevant agencies, enhance the capability of the nature reserves and promote communications.

    Local experts suggested the project’s feasibility be evaluated in terms of schedule, resources, structures and commitments made by stakeholders.

    Truong Quang Hoc from the Vietnam National University Hanoi underlined the need to integrate conservation work in economic development in nature reserves, local development plans and other projects.

    It is necessary to develop an evaluation and supervision system, Hoc added.

    Vietnam has nine nature reserves recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

    Vietnam, Indonesia partner in education

    The Vietnamese government has recently issued Resolution No.81/NQ-CP on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on education cooperation with the Indonesian government. 

    Specifically, the government agreed to approve the contents of the MoU and authorised Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh to sign the document on the occasion of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Indonesia in late August. 

    The Ministry of Education and Training must report the MoU signing to the government’s upcoming regular meeting and work closely with ministries, agencies concerned to implement the agreement after it takes effect.

    Public health emergency operations centre inaugurated in HCM City

    The Southern Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (SVPHEOC) was inaugurated at the Ho Chi Minh City-based Paster Institute on August 23.

    The centre is expected to help the health sector coordinate and cope with emergency health incidents, including dangerous or emerging diseases that have affected health and social welfare of people in the southern region.

    In the context of globalisation, diseases like SARS, avian influenza, Ebola and Zika are threats to Vietnam and challenges to the globe as they can spread quickly across countries.

    Given this, the Vietnamese Health Ministry has joined the Global Health Security Partnership which is implemented by the US Government, international organisations and other countries.

    Vietnam has committed to actively applying the model of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre in response to diseases and health incidents in the country.

    With the support of the US Government, the Vietnam Emergency Operations Centre was put into operation in May 2013 at the headquarters of the Health Ministry.

    The Northern Public Health Emergency Operations Centre was activated at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in 2016.

    With good quality staff and equipment, the SVPHEOC will collect and share information and coordinate emergency operations.

    The event is seen as a vivid demonstration of cooperation between the Vietnamese and US Governments.

    Vietnam Migration Profile 2016 released

    The Vietnam Migration Profile 2016 was released by the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Department and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Hanoi on August 22.

    The profile is part of a project on enhancing cooperation among Vietnam’s relevant agencies in migration management carried out by the Consular Department and the IOM since 2015.

    It includes updated data on Vietnam’s migration flows, analysis and assessment of migration facts, and recommendations to improve ministries and sectors’ migration management capacity, fine-tune relevant policies and laws and boost cooperation among state managerial agencies in this work.

    Director of the Consular Department Nguyen Minh Vu said promoting legal migration, preventing illegal migration, ensuring safe migration and protecting the rights and legitimate interests of migrants are a consistent policy of Vietnam.

    The country wants to enhance cooperation in migration management with other countries so as to share experience and information, helping to build suitable policies serving national development during the integration process, he noted. 

    The profile launching event saw the participation of over 100 delegates from the National Assembly Office, the Government Office, ministries, sectors, localities, embassies and consulate generals of countries, and international organisations.

    A similar event will be held in HCM City on August 29 to publicise the profile to relevant agencies and foreign representative agencies in the southern region.

    Houses for Vietnamese returning from Cambodia to be built

    As many as 183 houses will be built near Dau Tieng lake in the southern province of Tay Ninh for Vietnamese expatriates returning home from Cambodia.

    The houses are expected to cost 11 billion VND (484,000 USD), Most Venerable Thich Nhat Tu, head of the culture department under the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter, said on August 21 adding that the organising board has mobilised 80 percent of total expenditure so far.

    The houses will help Vietnamese expatriates stabilise their livelihoods, he underlined, expecting additional financial contributions from donors.

    The project will be announced at a grand music festival to held by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter on August 27 on the occasion of the annual Buddhist holiday of Vu Lan (Ullambana) festival, the Most Venerable added.

    The grand music festival, scheduled at Hoa Binh theatre in Ho Chi Minh City, will stage brilliant performances to express gratefulness to parents.

    The Most Venerable said that Vu Lan festival is not only held for Buddhist followers but it has become a national spiritual festival for all Vietnamese people to promote beautiful value of Vietnamese culture and social morals.

    The festival falls on the fifteenth day of the seventh month in lunar calendar, with this month known as the spirit month in Buddhism. On this month’s full moon, wandering souls are believed to return to their former homes.

    The festival is based on the legend that once when mediating, a Buddha’s disciple named Muc Kien Lien saw his mother suffering hell’s tortures.

    Following Buddha’s advice, on the seventh full moon of the year, Muc Kien Lien gathered monks and devotees and prayed with them for his mother. Therefore, the festival is to express gratitude towards ones’ parents (especially mothers) and also help ancestors’ lost souls find their way back to earth.

    Deputy PM directs marine incident recovery efforts in four provinces

    Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has urged that compensation for four central coastal provinces hit by marine incident must ensure openness, transparency and democracy. 

    Chairing the ninth session of the Steering Committee for marine incident recovery in Hanoi on August 21, Binh said Taiwan’s Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh steel company, which accepted responsibility for causing last year’s mass fish deaths in four central provinces, basically fixed 52 flaws, restored production and joined social activities. 

    He demanded that its manufacturing activities continue to be closely monitored to prevent violations. 

    On compensation for rising fisheries inventories, provincial authorities and the Ministry of Industry and Trade were asked to inspect the situation to report to him this month, adding that the origin of seafood must be clear when it comes to seeking compensation. 

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam reported that as of August 18, as much as 5.95 trillion VND in compensation was provided for victims, or 94.3 percent of total damages. 

    The remaining amount was due to the absence of victims from their residence or pending appeals from victims.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the four provinces are asking for additional compensation worth 563.17 billion VND (24.48 million USD). 

    Meanwhile, the total seafood in stock has so far amounted to 11,751 tonnes, or a 2.2-fold increase compared from 5,369 tonnes reported by the Health Ministry. Localities have approved compensation for 6,226 tonnes. 

    The MARD proposed setting up an inter-ministry team to inspect the declaration of stockpile seafood. 

    At the same time, the ministry rejected a proposal to offer preferential loans to build 400 new fishing vessels in the four provinces. Instead, funds should be used to build fishing infrastructure to benefit fishermen community. The idea won approval from other ministries and local authorities.

    Deputy Minister of Public Security, Sen. Lieut. Gen Bui Van Nam said the incident has been basically dealt with, while local political and social security and order has been strengthened.

    Photo exhibition portrays beauty of breastfeeding

    Various photos portraying the importance of breastfeeding are on display at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum in Hanoi to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.

    With the title ’Breastmilk – Fountain of Love’, the exhibition is a result of projects carried out by the Vietnam Women’s Union in order to support and promote breastfeeding.

    “Through the photos, we want to send a message that a mother’s milk is a valuable gift given by nature and provides precious nutrition for babies,” said Tran Thi Huong, Vice Chairwoman of the union.

    The Women’s Union has organised many breastfeeding training courses at industrial zones and remote areas to equip women with breastfeeding knowledge and how to do the milking at work. 

    The exhibition also mentions problems mothers face during the process of raising children, such as postnatal depression.

    The exhibition will run until August 26 at the museum, 36 Ly Thuong Kiet street.

    Vietnam, Mexico join efforts in geographical indication protection

    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in geographical indication (GI) protection was signed between the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) in Hanoi on August 21.

    The MoU aims to increase cooperation and mutual understanding on the respective countries’ GI systems and protection.

    NOIP Director Dinh Huu Phi said Vietnam has protected 56 GIs, including 50 of Vietnam and six foreign ones. Fifty-four GIs of Vietnam have received protection in Mexico. Meanwhile, there have been 83 brands, five industrial designs and eight inventions of Mexico protected in Vietnam since 2010.

    He expressed his hope that the two sides will work actively together to build concrete projects within the MoU framework so as to tap into GI-related cooperation potential.

    Under the document, they are set to share knowledge, experience and work outcomes so as to promote GI protection and management, thus facilitating the commercialisation of Vietnamese and Mexican products with GIs and contributing to each country’s economic development.

    They will also raise public awareness of GIs, exchange experts to train manpower relating to GIs and relevant fields, and cooperate in GI registration procedures.

    IMPI Director General Miguel Angel Margain said the MoU ensures a legal foundation for the production and business of products with GIs in each country, helping to fight trade frauds and violations in industrial property. 

    He added he hopes products with Mexican GIs will access Vietnamese consumers and vice versa.

    Training course for Lao front officials held in Da Nang

    A short-term training course for officials of the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) opened on August 21 in the central city of Da Nang by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee.

    The course is part of a cooperation programme for 2017 to 2020 between the VFF and LFNC, said Nguyen Tien Dung, Vice President of VFF Central Committee at the opening ceremony. 

    It is also a diplomatic activity marking the 55th anniversary of the Vietnam-Laos diplomatic relations and 40 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, thus promoting the traditional friendship and solidarity between the two nations, Dung added. 

    During the fortnight course, participants will be delivered with six reports on front affairs and join fact-finding activities such as field trips to destinations in Da Nang city and the provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue.

    Japanese, Quang Ninh Red Cross volunteers plant mangrove forest

    Red Cross volunteers of the Japanese prefecture of Kyushu and their counterparts from the northern province of Quang Ninh began planting mangrove forest in Song Khoai commune, Quang Yen township, on August 21.  

    They planted 400 mangrove crabapple trees in a mud ground in the commune.

    The event aimed to raise public awareness of the role of mangrove forest ecological system, thereby urging their efforts in restoring and planting mangrove forests to contribute to mitigating harmful impacts on the environment. 

    On the occasion, the Japanese voluntary youths visited and presented gifts to poor students with outstanding academic results at Song Khoai junior high school.

    Bac Lieu moves to sustainably develop biodiversity

    The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to allocate 25.5 billion VND (1.12 million USD) for sustainably preserving and developing biodiversity in the locality, said Chairwoman of the People’s Council Le Thi Ai Nam.

    Preservation of biodiversity will be mainstreamed in socio-economic development activities of sectors and fields, while developing local natural reserves in tandem with protecting and developing forests.

    Ecotourism and biosafety will also be incorporated in projects and national strategic programmes on culture, education, health and agricultural development.

    International cooperation will also be strengthened in biodiversity preservation. Campaigns will be conducted regularly to raise public awareness of protecting and developing forests and preserving biodiversity.

    Relevant legal framework will also be completed in line with national campaigns and action plans on biodiversity, while including biodiversity preservation in local people’s livelihoods, particularly residents in buffer zones.

    Bac Lieu will also focus on applying technologies in aquaculture, cultivation, livestock breeding and forestry development to preserve, develop and use natural resources sustainably and adapt to climate change.

    The province now has two national nature reserves, namely Bac Lieu Bird Garden, covering 383 hectares in Nha Mat ward, Bac Lieu city; and another covering 366 hectare in Long Dien Tay commune, Dong Hai district.

    Vietnamese-Cambodian doctors support poor community

    The Association of Vietnamese Cambodian Doctors, on August 20, offered health checkups for and presented gifts to disadvantaged people in Daun Keo city in Cambodia’s Takeo province.

    The event benefited more than 200 people, with costs covered by donations from philanthropists, including Vietnamese enterprises.

    Phang Pin, head of the People’s Committee at Daun Keo’s Rokar Khnong ward, said the activity not only provides medical support for the poor community but also contributes to Vietnam – Cambodia solidarity.

    Founded in February 2017, the association aims at connecting Vietnamese Cambodian doctors, raising fund, and carrying out humanitarian activities.

    HCM City fosters judicial cooperation with Mozambique

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong has pledged to boost cooperation with Mozambique in justice, trade, investment, agriculture and education.

    During his reception for visiting Mozambican Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili on August 23, Phong lauded the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam and the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office, saying that it lays a legal foundation for the People’s Procuracy of HCM City to boost cooperation with judicial agencies of Mozambican localities.

    He expressed his hope that Mozambique will continue facilitating Vietnamese firms’ operation in the country.

    The municipal leader forwarded to the related agencies for consideration the suggestion to establish the Honorary Consulate of Mozambique in Ho Chi Minh City made by the Mozambican Attorney-General and the Embassy of Mozambique in Vietnam.

    For her part, Beatriz Buchili expressed her admiration for the dynamic development of the city, expressing her hope that local authorities will support cooperation between the municipal People’s Procuracy and the judicial agencies of Mozambican localities.

    In 2016, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Mozambique reached 100 million USD in 2016. The two nations have jointly implemented cooperation projects in agriculture, health care, telecommunication and education.

    Ca Pass tunnel linking Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa opens to traffic

    A tunnel system running through the Ca Pass and connecting the two central provinces of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa opened to traffic on August 21.

    Construction on the tunnel system, the largest of its kind along the National Highway 1A, started on November 18, 2012. 

    It stretches 13.19 kilometres from Phu Yen province’s Hao Son commune to Khanh Hoa province’s Co Ma commune and has two bi-tube tunnels: Deo Ca (Ca Pass) tunnel (4.1 kilometres in length) and Co Ma tunnel (500 metres).

    The maximum speed for vehicles traveling along the tunnels is 80 kilometres per hour.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said that this is a key national project constructed under a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model and by Vietnamese contractors.

    The tunnel system can shorten the distance between the two central provinces by 8 kilometres, cut travelling time by half and ensure convenient traffic between central and southern regions.

    It is also expected to connect Nam Phu Yen economic zone and Van Phong economic zone of Khanh Hoa province and contribute to the development of industry, trade and tourism in the central and Central Highlands regions.

    Thanh Hoa builds storm shelter in response to climate change

    The Vietnam Red Cross Society in the central province of Thanh Hoa held a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a storm shelter in village 9, Hoang Chau commune, Hoang Hoa district on August 19.

    The 220 square-metre shelter costs nearly 1.1 billion VND (48,000 USD). The facility is expected to be completed by November 23, providing a safe place for locals in case of natural disasters.

    The shelter is expected to improve local livelihoods and help the locality respond to climate change and reduce losses caused by natural disasters.

    The same day, the local Red Cross Society worked with Thanh Hoa Lung Hospital and Nong Cong district general hospital to provide free medical examinations and medicine for impoverished households and people who rendered services to the nation.

    President stresses cyber crime vigilance

    President Tran Dai Quang has called on the nation to be aware of the threat of cyber crime and the importance of ensuring network safety and security as the country embarks on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

    In a message released on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the Vietnamese Police Day, which falls on August 19, the President stressed that cyber space has become an integral part of people’s life and plays a very important role in building an information-based society and knowledge-based economy.

    “In addition to the tremendous benefits that cyberspace brings, countries also face risks like cyber war, cyber spying, cyber attacks, cyber criminals and many more complex issues,” he said, adding that in the case of Vietnam, for several years now, hostile forces and cyber criminals have increased network attacks to collect information, State secrets, domestic secrets, and to hijack and sabotage the information network system.

    “They have used the Internet, especially social networking sites, with sophisticated methods and tricks to create internal dissension, infringe the nation’s interests and undermine national security,” he said.

    President Quang commended efforts made by the Party, the Government and the people to ensure network safety and security both in actions and policies.

    He noted in particular the 2013 issuance of Directive No 28-CT/TW by the Party Central Committee on enhancing information security and the Prime Minister’s Directive No 15/CT-TTg dated June 17, 2014, on ensuring network security and safety in the new situation.

    However, the President also cautioned that network information was unsafe in some places and securing it was a “complicated” task because the legal framework was inadequate and implementation was not effective.

    “The State management of safety and security has loopholes and has not kept up with the pace of development and application of information technology, especially online newspapers, social networks, online games, prepaid cellular, telecommunications services and the Internet,” he said.

    He said this underscored “an urgent need to create a profound change in the awareness of the Party committees, authorities as well as mass organisations from the central to local levels on the importance of ensuring network safety and security,” he said, saying everyone should consider it an important, urgent, regular and long-term task.

    He called for resistance to propaganda, distortions and provocations by hostile forces.

    "This requires close coordination among ministries, committees and mass organisations at all levels and continuous building and perfecting of policies and laws on network safety and security," he said.

    The President also called for more focus on building and issuing the National Network Security Strategy, the Law on Network Security and guiding documents that specify safety standards and procedures for appraising plans and measures to protect safety and security of important information systems.

    “Important national security information systems must be regularly inspected and evaluated from the perspective of network security from the design stage to when they become operational,” he said.

    He also said it was necessary to develop human resources, build up a network of elite network security forces and adopt mechanisms to mobilise, support and promote organisations and individuals in ensuring network safety and security.

    International cooperation in network safety and security should be stepped up by joining international conventions and agreements on cyber crime prevention, he said.

    “It is necessary to step up cooperation with hi-tech countries, organisations and economic groups in the development of information technology in order to train human resources, acquire new technologies and experience in ensuring network safety and security,” he said.

    Programme connects overseas Vietnamese students in US

    The Association of Vietnamese Students in the US held a cultural programme called “Vong tay nuoc My” in New York from August 18 – 20.

    The event, the fifth of its kind, was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Vietnamese and local entrepreneurs and Vietnamese students in the US.

    Vietnamese youths in the US expressed their wish to return home to contribute to Vietnam, Nga told reporters, affirming that they serve as a bridge connecting Vietnam and the US.

    Various activities were held during the programme, including art shows, sports, a career conference and charity photo exhibitions.

    The Association of Vietnamese Students in the US, established in 2013, has gathered Vietnamese students and youths in the US and contributed to the students’ lives and home nation.

    Hanoi urged to step up safe food efforts

    Hanoi needs to intensify food safety inspections and investigations, as well as promote the safe cultivation of raw materials and agricultural products, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.  

    Speaking at the launch of a programme on food safety in Hanoi on August 20, the Deputy PM requested the capital city consider food safety an urgent priority and focus all financial and human resources, equipment and facilities on eliminating unsafe food.

    Initiated by the capital city’s health, agricultural and trade departments, in collaboration with the Hanoi Union of Science and Technology Associations (HUSTA), the four-phase programme will be implemented from 2017 to 2020, aiming to raise awareness and increase responsibility of individuals, households and the wider community in using safe food in daily meals.

    During the first phase of the programme, booths that provide safe food will be established at five apartment complexes. They will be extended to 30 apartment complexes by the fourth phase.

    Deputy PM Dam said he appreciated the efforts made by the city and relevant authorities in launching the initiative, especially at a time when the spread of unsafe food is threatening the health of consumers more than ever.

    “I hope the programme will not only connect food providers and consumers but also educate individuals, households and the community on the importance of having safe food in one’s daily diet,” he said.

    Apart from increasing focus on identifying, inspecting and destroying unsafe food, the capital city should also invest more in “developing safe agricultural cultivation areas, widening the application of the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) and similar models, and developing safe food distribution systems,” he added.

    In order to ensure that safe meals are delivered to the table of every family, it needs a close collaboration among the five parties that are the State, scientists, journalists, enterprises and consumers, according to the programme’s organisers.

    This close collaboration will not only help identify unsafe food but also solve difficulties in management, helping to control food quality from the beginning of the supply chain.

    Opportunities for skilled Vietnamese workers in Malaysia

    The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said the quality of Vietnamese workers has been improved over recent years, meeting the requirements of regional labour markets.

    Malaysia is one of four major markets for Vietnamese workers. Its demand for foreign labourers, both common and skilled ones, is still on the rise.

    However, for Vietnam, much remains to be done to send more workers to the market.

    Inferior quality of Vietnam labour is partly due to inadequate vocational training. Besides, employment information system in Vietnam is still ineffective, which makes it hard to assess labour supply and demand in the country.

    Therefore, in order to improve its labour competitiveness in the region, experts say Vietnam needs to reform vocational training and enhance international cooperation regarding labour issues.

    APEC 2017: workshop talks sustainable food system

    Experts gathered at a workshop in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on August 19 to seek ways to reduce food losses and waste, and ensure a sustainable APEC food system.

    The event formed part of activities during the APEC 2017 Food Security Week and the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change in the city.

    Participants focused on how to evaluate food losses and waste reduction, sharing experience and solutions of the private sector in reducing food waste, reviewing APEC’s projects on reducing food losses and waste, and how to enhancing the awareness toward sustainable development.

    According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), nearly 800 million people are undernourished globally, of them 500 million are in the Asia – Pacific region.

    Around 1.3 billion tonnes of food or one third of the global food output, worth nearly 750 billion USD, are lost and wasted each year. The amount, if saved, is enough to feed two billion people. 

    Food is mainly lost during post-production and harvest, transport and preservation in developing nations due to poor infrastructure while food losses take place in marketing and consumption in developed nations.

    Food loss and waste reduction was noted in the APEC declarations on food security in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 to ensure sustainable agriculture development and food security for APEC economies.

    One of the objectives of the APEC food security roadmap to 2020 is to cut down food losses and waste by 10 percent from 2011 – 2012.

    Gong Xifeng, head of the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, called for a combination of public and private resources in APEC economies to reduce food losses and waste.

    Meanwhile, Tran Kim Long, Director of the International Cooperation Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, underlined a need for incentives to encourage investment and technology application in agricultural production, and the active participation of the private sector and consumers.

    Ha Thanh Toan, Rector of the Can Tho University said the university is willing to cooperate with international partners in establishing a centre for studying and promoting technology application in reducing post-harvest losses, contributing to realising the APEC food security goals.

    APEC sub-committee meeting talks electrical equipment management

    The APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC)’s Joint Regulatory Advisory Committee (JRAC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment convened its 22nd meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on August 20. 

    The event, as part of the third APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting and related meetings, attracted delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. 

    It focused discussions on regional electrical and electronic equipment management such as refining mechanisms and policies with a view to facilitating trade and investment. 

    Participants also considered JRAC’s priorities this year including implementing the Pathfinder Initiatives and the APEC Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mutual Recognition Agreement (EEMRA), working to deal with risks arising from electrical and electronic products, and amending JRAC’s working regulations to improve its operational efficiency. 

    At the event, deputy head of the Directorate of Standards, Metrology and Quality’s Standards Department Nguyen Van Khoi presented a report on SCSC’s activities over the past years towards key goals, theme and priorities of the APEC Year 2017.

    Vietnam Airlines builds school for ethnic minority pupils

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VA) on August 19 inaugurated a new school for pupils in the mountainous commune of Thuong Hoa, Minh Hoa district, the central province of Quang Binh.

    The Thuong Hoa elementary and secondary school was built at a total cost of nearly 5 billion VND.

    The handover of the school was concurrent with the new academic year 2017-2018 and the 72nd anniversary of August Revolution (August 19) and National Day (September 2). 

    The school has two-storey buildings, including four classrooms, two functional rooms, two housing areas for teachers and supporting facilities. 

    Pham Ngoc Vui, Chairman of the VA Labour Union, said it is the last of seven social welfare works worth 35 billion VND (1.52 million USD) in total funded by the carrier under the government’s Programme 30A on supporting rapid and sustainable poverty reduction in 61 poor districts. 

    The school was founded in 1963 to train more than 400 ethnic students in the locality. However, due to limited local budget, its poor infrastructure impacted teaching and learning quality. 

    Launched in 2008, Programme 30A aims to reduce poverty rate in 61 poor districts to the average level of the region via special policies and mechanisms, support in education and vocational training, and infrastructure in villages, communes and districts.

    Front leader presents gifts to flood victims in Son La

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man on August 19 visited and presented gifts to people affected by floods in Muong La district in the northern mountainous province of Son La.

    Man, who is head of the central relief committee, handed over 120 million VND (5,280 USD) to three flood-hit households to build new houses and 55 million VND (2,240 USD) to 11 students of affected families in Muong La district.

    He proposed the local authorities continue paying attention to residential planning to overcome the immediate situation and avoid flash floods in the future.

    The VFF President also called for investment in traffic infrastructure, electricity, network, health care stations, and schools ahead of the new school year.

    So far, the central relief fund has received over 5 billion VND (220,000 USD) from ministries, sectors, organisations, localities and businesses nationwide to support the affected people in northern mountainous provinces to stabilise their lives.

    By August 18, flash floods in Muong La district had left 13 dead, 2 missing, and 15 injured.

    Torrential rains and floods also destroyed 400 houses, affecting over 2,000 local residents and causing losses of up to 700 billion VND (30.8 million USD).

    Vietnam News Agency holds first television festival

    The Vietnam News Agency organised its first television festival on August 18 to mark the 7th anniversary of the first broadcast of the agency’s TV channel – Vnews.

    Speaking at the event, General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Nguyen Duc Loi underlined that VNews, which specialises in mainstream news, has become one of the main national TV channels. 

    The TV channel has made significant contributions to popularizing accurate and timely information, countering false information, thus serving Party and Government’s leadership as well as meeting information demands of both domestic and foreign audience, he highlighted.

    Meanwhile, VNews Director Nguyen Thien Thuat stressed that VNews has established a foothold in the country’s television journalism. The VNews channel has covered 63 cities and provinces, 30 countries and territories worldwide along with significant domestic and international events.

    A ceremony was held at the Vietnam News Agency headquarters the same day to present awards honouring standout television works in diverse categories as well as individuals and organisations who contributed to the development of the TV channel. The awards included “Standout reporter”, “Golden hand”, “Excellent television works”, “Excellent camerawoman” and “Versatile reporter”, among others.

    VNews aired its first news programme on August 25, 2010. From its humble beginning with only several news programmes a day, now the channel broadcasts around the clock with 24 news programmes and 30 specialised shows a day. Besides Vietnamese programmes, the channel airs daily Chinese and English news programmes along with weekly French and Spanish news bulletins. 

    VNews is one of the two units assigned by the State to edit the content of programmes by foreign broadcasters to be aired in Vietnam. It also posted multi-media works on social networks like Facebook, youtube, Twitter and Instagram, making the information more accessible to audiences of different ages.

    Public Security Ministry honoured with Lao Order

    Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security was honoured with the Lao Order at a ceremony held in Hanoi on August 18. 

    Lao Minister of Public Security Somkeo Silavong, authorised by the President, awarded the first-class Development Order for the Vietnam’s Ministry and the second-class Labour Order for Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Nam for the ministry and Nam’s contributions to ensuring safety for the political events in Laos in 2016, particularly the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit.

    Addressing the event, Minister of Public Security To Lam said the recognition is the highest award the Party and the State of Laos has presented for the collectives and individuals who made significant contributions to developing and strengthening the traditional, special friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.

    It also reflects that the Party and the State of Laos highly appreciate the staff and leaders of Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, he added.

    The same day, a gathering with generations of senior officials and outstanding individuals of the Ministry of Public Security was held to celebrate the 72nd traditional day of the Vietnam People's Police Force (August 19).

    Camp for Vietnamese youths in Europe opens in Czech Republic

    The third camp for Vietnamese youths and students in Europe (SiviTa Europa) kicked off in Prague, the Czech Republic, on August 17, attracting 300 delegates from 12 European nations and Vietnam.

    The four-day event aims to strengthen the solidarity and enhance the knowledge of the nation’s culture, history, geography, and language among Vietnamese youths and students in Europe.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Le Quoc Phong, President of the Vietnam Students' Association (VSA) said the HCM Communist Youth Union and the VSA have continuously supported the movements of overseas Vietnamese students.

    The two organisations want to promote the activities and structures of their chapters abroad to create a dynamic environment for Vietnamese youths in Europe in general and worldwide in particular, contributing to preserving the Vietnamese culture, and promoting the image of the nation and the Vietnamese people.

    Numerous activities took place during the opening ceremony, including art performance, cultural exchanges and game shows.

    The Association of Vietnamese youths and students in the Czech Republic was welcomed as a member of the Vietnam Youth Federation at the event.

    The fourth camp for Vietnamese youths and students in Europe will take place in Hungary in 2018. The first and second ones were held in Germany and France, respectively.

    Bui Xuan Phai – For the Love of Hanoi Awards mark 10th edition

    The 2017 Bui Xuan Phai – For the Love of Hanoi Awards ceremony was organised at the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) headquarters in Hanoi last week, marking a decade of honouring lovers of the capital city.

    The awards were initiated in 2008 by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s Sports & Culture newspaper and the family of the late famous painter Bui Xuan Phai (1920-1988) to honour those who contribute to spreading the love for the capital city.

    Speaking at the event, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung thanked the VNA and Bui Xuan Phai’s family for organising the awards which, he said, have made an imprint in the heart of many Hanoians.

    VNA Director General Nguyen Duc Loi stated that after 10 years of organisation, the Bui Xuan Phai – For the Love of Hanoi awards have affirmed its role and position in the country’s socio-political and cultural development.

    The awards were classified into the four categories: Grand Prize, Idea Prize, Job Prize and Work Prize. 

    This year, the Grand Prize was granted to cultural researcher Huu Ngoc, who has contributed to connecting the Vietnamese culture with the world.

    Born in 1918, Ngoc has a profound knowledge of French, English, German, and ancient Chinese. He has written 34 books, including a prized book entitled “A Sketch of Hanoi Culture” in French and English, which then was given by the Vietnamese Government as a special present to the heads of state at the 7th Francophone Meeting in the capital city in 1997.  

    The researcher also wrote regularly for more than a decade for the two foreign language newspapers published by the VNA: Le Courier du Vietnam in French and Vietnam News in English.

    Previous winners of the Grand Prize were presented to Nguyen Vinh Phuc, a scholar specializing in Hanoi research (in 2009), writer To Hoai (in 2010), Prof. Phan Huy Le (2011), guitarist Van Vuong (2012), photographer Quang Phung (2013),  researcher Vu Tuan San (2014), researcher Giang Quan (2015), and photographer Le Vuong (2016). 

    The Idea Prize went to Hanoi’s Department of Transport for its project on reducing traffic jams and environmental pollution for 2017-2020 with a vision to 2030. 

    This year two Job Prizes were awarded, one to the Hanoi administration for the establishment of the Hoan Kiem Lake walking street, which is closed to traffic on weekend nights, and another to Paul George Harding, a US war veteran, who has helped clean the capital’s lanes by removing posters from walls.

    Late writer Bang Son, with his two books “Thu lang thang nguoi Ha Noi” (Hanoians’ wandering pleasure) and “Thu an choi nguoi Ha Noi” (Hanoians’ cuisine pleasure), and photographer Nguyen Huu Bao, with his photo book “Ha Noi dau yeu” (Beloved Hanoi), received the Work Prize.-VNA

    Children exchanges promote Vietnam – Laos friendship

    Officials of Dak Lak last week received delegations of Vietnamese and Lao children who are taking part in a friendship summer camp in the Central Highlands province.

    At the reception, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Tran Quoc Cuong said exchange activities among children from both nations have fostered traditional relationship and comprehensive cooperation between the two parties, governments and people. 

    The exchanges also help implement joint programmes between the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and Lao People's Revolutionary Youth Union, he added.

    Cuong asked the children to make an effort in learning and contributing to their homeland as well as to bilateral relations. 

    On the occasion, Cuong presented Dak Lak’s insignia to the Lao children delegation.

    The 2017 Vietnam – Laos friendship summer camp took place in Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Lak provinces in the Central Highlands and in Khanh Hoa province in the central region from August 13 to 17. It has created a playground for Vietnamese and Lao kids to involve in various musical, cultural and sport activities.

    The camp is part of activities in celebration of the 55-year diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    Unexploded bombs found in Dak Lak province

    Two bombs weighing over 1,600kg left from the US war in Vietnam have been safely removed from the gardens of local families in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, the Military High Command said.

    A family in Lak district’s Yang Tao commune found a 600kg bomb in their garden on August 11.

    The second bomb, weighing more than 1,000kg, was discovered the next day in the same commune.

    After receiving reports from residents, the military and local authorities evacuated people from the area to deactivate the bombs.

    The bombs are believed to be among hundreds of unexploded bombs left behind from the war in Dak Lak province, which are being unearthed by competent agencies.

    Unexploded ordnance left from the war remains a threat across Vietnam, especially in the central region.-

    VNN


    0 0
  • 08/24/17--02:21: Article 0
  • Tax increases could have negative impact on economy


    The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is seeking approval to raise the VAT in 2019, raising concern among economists. 


     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, VAT, CIT, MOF

    MOF has proposed increasing the rate from 10 percent to 12 percent, beginning in January 1, 2019, and to 14 percent from January 1, 2021.

    It has also proposed lowering the CIT on SMEs to 15 percent, to be applied to  businesses with revenue of less than VND3 billion a year. Businesses with annual turnover of VND3-50 billion would be taxed 17 percent.

    Nguyen Khac Quoc Bao from the HCMC Economics University warned that the tax hike may lead to unforeseen consequences.

    In general, when the state raises tax rates, this indicates a budget deficit, which forces the government to seek new sources of revenue.  

    In general, when the state raises tax rates, this indicates a budget deficit, which forces the government to seek new sources of revenue.  

    The tax hikes would bring about interest rate increases and cause enterprises’ production costs to climb higher. Once the goods prices increase, people would have to spend more money on goods and services.

    He said that the tax increase would have a big impact on the State Bank’s monetary policy. Once the central bank pumps more money into circulation, this will increase the inflation rate.

    Bao went on to say that if MOF finds it necessary to raise tax rates, it needs to provide enough information to the public. The plan to raise tax rates would be supported if the money is used for projects to serve social security.

    “It is necessary for MOF to say how much more money the state budget would receive from the tax hike and what purposes the money would be used for. It also needs to clarify how many SMEs would benefit from the CIT rate reduction,” he said.

    “The incident at the Cai Lay BOT fee collection station recently raised complaints about transportation costs. And now the MOF’s proposal on tax hikes will surely affect the living costs of many people,” Bao said.

    An official of the HCMC Taxation Agency who asked to be anonymous thinks the tax hike would face opposition.

    “Other regional countries apply a 5-7 percent VAT rate only to stimulate demand. If Vietnam raises the VAT rate to 12 percent, people would have to spend more to buy goods,” he said.

    “This won’t help stimulate demand, especially in the context of an economic growth slowdown, low income and low demand,” he warned.

    He said that foreign investors pour capital into countries with high CPI. Therefore, the VAT increase may be a barrier to both economic growth and FDI attraction.


    Kim Chi
    , VNN


    0 0
  • 08/25/17--01:15: Article 2
  • Vietnamese women triumph at SEA Games

    Hanoi - Vietnam won the title in the women’s football at the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 29) after defeating the hosts Malaysia 6-0 in the last match on August 24.


    Vietnamese women football team triumph at SEA Games 29 (Photo: VNA)

    With this win, Vietnam notched up 10 points, drawing level with Thailand who beat the Philippines 3-1. However, Vietnam took the lead on goal difference.

    Vietnam’s six goals were scored by Nguyen Thi Muon and Nguyen Thi Lieu (two goals each), Vu Thi Nhung and Huynh Nhu.

    This is the fifth time Vietnam women have triumphed in the largest regional sport event, equal to Thailand’s achievement.

    The team dominated the match from the start. Nhung opened the score for Vietnam in the seventh minute.

    Six minutes later, Vietnam doubled the score following a long shot by midfielder Lieu.

    In the 21st minute, goal keeper Asma Junaidi deflected a shot to maintain her team’s lead.

    After quick attacks, Vietnam scored their third goal thanks to midfielder Muon in the 40th minute.

    In the final seconds of the first half, from a corner kick, Nhu raised the score to 4-0 for Vietnam.

    After the break, the visitors kept control of the match. After many continuous attacks, Muon scored one more goal for her squad.

    In the 79th minute, Lieu completed the scoring at 6-0 for her team.

    At this year’s SEA Games, five women’s football teams, including the hosts Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam played in a round-robin format. 

    Meanwhile, Vietnam’s U22 men team was knocked out of SEA Games 29, prompting Nguyen Huu Thang to announce his resignation as head coach.

    Vietnam lost 0-3 to Thailand in the last Group B match while Indonesia beat Cambodia 2-0.

    The results left Thailand on top of Group B with Indonesia the runners-up, qualifying both for the semi-finals.-VNA



    0 0
  • 08/25/17--01:41: Article 1
  • Foreigner arrested for burglary in hotels


     
    Hoàn Kiếm District Police on Tuesday arrested a Malaysian man who allegedly rented shared rooms at hostels and stole the belongings of other guests. - VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa


    HÀ NỘI - Police in Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm District on Tuesday arrested a Malaysian man for his alleged involvement in burglaries in hostels in Hà Nội.

    The suspect, Koh Yik Siang John, 29, admitted to police that he rented shared rooms at hostels in Hoàn Kiếm District, and then stole the belongings of the other guests.

    On August 18, he rented a room at Old Quarter View Hanoi Hostel, No. 3 Nội Miếu Street. He saw a female tourist unlocking her box, and later stole her bag which contained personal documents and bank cards.

    John used the tourist’s credit card to buy two mobile phones worth VNĐ41 million (US$1,800) and then sold the phones to a Vietnamese for VNĐ26.2 million.

    Using similar methods, he stole the belongings of a Brazilian man while sharing a room in another hostel on Nhà Chung Street.

    The police are investigated the case further. - VNS


    0 0
  • 08/25/17--02:06: Article 0
  • Cuttlefish, octopus exports to ROK up 40.5%

     

    Exports of cuttlefish and octopus to the Republic of Korea jumped by 40.5% to nearly US$95 million in the first half of this year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).


    cuttlefish, octopus exports to rok up 40.5% hinh 0

    The ROK remains the largest importer of Vietnam cuttlefish and octopus, accounting for 35% of the country’s total export revenue.

    Korean customers are in high demand for cephalopods, especially dried cuttlefish and octopus. Korean imports of these products have increased in recent years.

    Fresh and frozen octopus topped among cephalopod product exports to the country, followed by dried cuttlefish and fresh and frozen cuttlefish.

    However, Vietnam holds only 1% of fresh octopus market share in the ROK, while China dominates the market with 91% and Thailand occupies more than 8%.

    A VASEP representative said, in the frozen octopus market Vietnam currently makes up 35% of value while China accounts for 45%. As a result, domestic product has a chance to increase its market share as it enjoys a 0% tax.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 08/27/17--01:20: Article 5
  • Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism

    Conceptual similarities with foreign artworks were discovered by fellow artists


     

    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    Stunning similarities between one of Maxk Nguyen’s works (left) and one by Instagram user alessiofdesign.

    A Vietnamese creative artist who rose to prominence with his multiple art projects on life in Ho Chi Minh City has been slammed for plagiarizing artworks by foreign artists.


    Nguyen Manh Khoi, better known as Maxk Nguyen, is a prominent creative artist and art director in Vietnam.

    Maxk came to public attention in February, when his typographic project inspired by Vietnamese street food went viral on social media.

    In the photos, world celebrities were seen alongside the stylized Vietnamese words “Vit Lot, Vit Dua, Cut Lon,” which stand for duck balut, smelly duck egg and quail balut.

    Maxk was also credited as the co-creator of the “Sai Gon Sau Vai” (Saigon Behind Shoulders) and “Sai Gon Ba Met Vuong” (Saigon in Three Square Meters) projects, which depict Ho Chi Minh City residents from all walks of life going on with their daily activities, and offer viewers a nostalgic vibe of the good old days.

    His solo project Saigon Emoji has been praised for its unique perspective and creative touch on the regular moments of lifestyle in Ho Chi Minh City.

    However, the originality of Maxk’s works has come under scrutiny since Tuesday last week, when prominent Vietnamese illustration artist Hieu Chau (Sith Zam) took to Facebook to reveal the stunning similarity between one of his artworks and a previous one done by a foreign artist.

    In both graphics, a blood bag is labeled with a popular refreshment franchise, humorously suggesting that the drink is essential for survival.

    The post has been “liked” by over 2,000 Facebook users so far, leading droves of other people to point out many other similarities in Maxk’s projects with ones by international artists.

    Some of his works were even found to be exact replicas of the original pieces, without him giving any credit to their respective creators.

     

    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    A work by Francis Curran (down left) is replicated in the Saigon Emoji project (right) by Maxk Nguyen without credit given to the original artist.

    In an interview with local news aggregator Kenh 14 published days later, Maxk completely dismissed the case as plagiarism, defending his works as having either coincided in ideas with previous ones or received permission for replication from the original artists.

    Maxk only admitted to having been careless in not crediting authors of the “stock photos” he had found on the Internet.

    Nevertheless, other Vietnamese artists accused Maxk of lying after they had contacted the foreign artists involved and found that he had only asked for permission after the scandal.

    An image that he claimed was a “stock photo” was also found to be the work of Norway-based illustrator Martine Strom, who had never authorized him to reuse her works.

     

    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    The illustration of the planet Mars by Norway-based artist Martine Strom.


     

    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    An illustration of the planet Mars by Norway-based artist Martine Strom is replicated in a work by Maxk Nguyen, who claimed it was a “stock photo.”


     

    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    An email by Martine Strom claiming she had not given permission for Maxk Nguyen to reuse her work.

    “The problem is that Maxk has claimed works by other artists to be his own,” said illustrator Truong Huyen Duc. “That is wrong both legally and morally. In a larger sense, by the way he is responding to the scandal, Maxk is promoting the use of others’ intellectual property and considering it one’s personal work by adding a few visual effects.”

    “Foreign artists or brands don’t often file lawsuits against Vietnamese plagiarizers because they still consider Vietnam to be a minor market that doesn’t matter much in the global creative community,” Duc explained.

    For artist Khoa Le, the scandal could deal a blow to Vietnam’s young and growing graphic design and illustration industry, which has just recently made a name for itself in the global context.

    “Many youths would look at [Maxk’s] case and think that they only need to copy works by other artists to survive and thrive in the industry,” Khoa Le said. “That could impact the future generation of Vietnamese creative artists in a very negative way.”

    “For as long as young artists still hold on to the idea that they would not be held legally accountable for plagiarism because ‘Vietnam is too negligible’ or that intellectual property is a fancy term, we will not be making advancements in the creative industry any time soon,” Khoa Le said.

     ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism
    Maxk Nguyen’s “Sai Gon Sau Vai” project is inspired by this gallery in Hanoi, the author of which was not credited.


    ​Creative artist behind popular Saigon projects called out for plagiarism

    One of Maxk Nguyen’s works (left) is an exact replica of a concept art by a foreign artist.

    By Tuoi Tre News




    0 0
  • 08/27/17--01:39: Article 4
  • Customer sues Sony for questionable warranty violation


    Sony Electronics Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Sony) was sued by Bui Trong Kham, a resident of the northern province of Hai Duong, for allegedly not failing to fulfill their warranty obligations for a faulty television set.


    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, Sony, TV, Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights 

    Customer submits hefty claim


    According to Kham, on October 2, 2014, he bought a Sony KDL 42 W700 television from an agency of Sony in Pham Ngu Lao street, Hai Duong province. The warranty period was 24 months after the TV was bought.

    On July 10, 2015, the TV broke down and he promptly called the Sony warranty centre in Hai Duong and the centre’s employees came out and fixed the problem. However, on September 21, 2015, his TV broke down once again. The centre’s employees came, took some pictures of the TV and said that the information and pictures would be forwarded to the warranty centre.

    Two days later, on September 23, 2015, the Sony warranty centre called Kham and refused to fix the TV, saying that Kham allowed liquid damage to the TV. Sony’s warranty staff informed Kham that it would cost VND7.345 million ($323) to fix his TV at home and VND6.9 million ($303.6) to fix it at the Sony warranty centre.

    Kham declined Sony’s offer and in the afternoon of September 23, 2015, he personally visited the centre expecting to arrange a better solution, but Sony was unwilling to change its decision.

    Afterwards, in December 2015, Kham once again visited the centre, this with his lawyer, asking for a free repair of his TV but was declined.

    Saying that his contractual rights were violated, in 2016, Kham sued Sony and asked for a temporarily estimated compensation of VND172 million ($7,568). His petition was sent to the District 1 People’s Court, Ho Chi Minh City, where Sony’s headquarters are located.

    The lawsuit was considered a requirement of compensation that had not been specified in the contract between the parties, in accordance with Article 30(1d) and the Article 41 of the Civil Procedure Code 2015. The District 1 People’s Court transferred the lawsuit’s petition and other related materials and evidence to the Cam Giang People’s Court in Cam Giang district, Hai Duong province, where Kham lives.

    According to the additional petition submitted on June 21, 2017, Kham said that the lawsuit and Sony’s behaviour during the last 21 months caused him mental stress and trauma. Thus, he claimed an additional compensation of VND210 million ($9,240). In total, Kham’s claim against Sony stands at VND542.3 million ($23,861), including the cost of the TV, the preparation of the necessary documents, litigation fees, and the compensation for mental stress.

    Where does the fault lie?


    Kham sued Sony based on Article 8 of the Law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights as he accused Sony of violating its warranty policy.

    During the mediation process, Sony denied violating its warranty policy. Right after being notified by Kham, the company dispatched employees to check the device for warranty.

    In September 2015, the second time Kham’s TV was broken again, company employees found the inside of the TV rusty and made appropriate records which Kham also confirmed in the service paper. According to Article 7(2) of the warranty policy, Sony can refuse warranty for liquid damage.

    Sony added that it had offered Kham a free warranty at its warranty centre for his TV this time and no more time later. However, Kham declined the offer, which Sony considered as a refusal to get a warranty for his TV.

    Sony maintains that it does not lie to customers. Its deal with Kham was featured in the papers and there had not been any private deals between the two parties. Thus, Sony protested Kham’s compensation claim.

    As the sides cannot reach a mutual agreement, the instance trial will take place on August 30, 2017.

    VIR


    0 0
  • 08/27/17--02:23: Article 3
  • Social News In Brief


    Sam Son aims to be first-tier urban area

    Sầm Sơn City in the north central province of Thanh Hóa is set to become a second-tier urban area by 2025 and the first-tier coastal tourist urban area of world class by 2040 under the province’s master plan.

    The city is also aimed to become an economic, cultural, scientific-technological, administrative, education-training, tourism, services, and transport centre and fuel socio-economic development of Thanh Hóa.

    The province hired Korean consultants to devise a planning for Sầm Sơn city which is set to be divided into 11 key administrative functional areas, including an administrative and political hub, public spaces, urban parks and tourist areas, handicraft clusters, and land for national defence, religious affairs and cultivation, among others.

    The master plan also considers linking Sầm Sơn with Thanh Hoá city, major local economic and tourist areas such as Hải Tiến, Hải Hòa and local relic sites.

    It covers the entire Sầm Sơn city with eight wards and three communes on a site of nearly 4,500ha. It is home to 250,000 population and roughly 3,908ha for urban construction.

    Fish processing firms pay breeders compensation for losses


     Fish processing firms pay breeders compensation for losses, Vietnam Airlines to increase flights during National Day holiday, HCM City to halt high-rise construction along frequently congested streets 

    Five of 11 aquaculture product processing firms from the southern coastal province of Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu have paid compensation to 33 fish breeders who had sued the companies for losses caused by waste discharged from the firms’ plants.

    The fish raised by the breeders in boxes in Chà Và River in Vũng Tàu City had died en masse, according to Trần Văn Cường, director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    In 2015, the breeders filed lawsuits against the companies, saying that the farmers’ fish had died because of waste discharged from the processors’ plants.

    The province’s People’s Court on August 1 said the 11 companies must pay total compensation of VNĐ5.5 billion ($243,000) to the 33 affected breeders. This amount was agreed to by the companies and 11 breeders.

    Last December, the province’s People’s Court ordered the 11 processors to pay the 33 fish breeders a total compensation of VNĐ13.2 billion. But an appeal was filed by the companies. 

    Two firms, Hoà Thắng and Đông Hải, paid total compensation of VNĐ802 million ($34,000) on August 22. Three other firms paid earlier this month.

    Vietnam Airlines to increase flights during National Day holiday

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced it will offer an additional 40 one-way flights, or nearly 8,000 seats on seven routes from September 1-4, to celebrate National Day (September 2). 

    They include flights connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Da Nang, Da Lat, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. 

    The carrier is also offering a 15 percent discount on domestic fares, excluding special eco class ones, for the first 7,200 passengers who buy tickets online at www.vietnamairlines.com

    They should enter promotion code PR15SEP117 when making reservation online from September 1-6. The promotional flights will depart from September 5 – December 28. 

    Further information can be found on the website www.vietnamairlines.com, via ticket agents nationwide or the hotline 19001100.

    GS1 numbering promoted to ensure food safety, traceability

    The application of Global Standard One (GS1) number and bar coding is significant to getting to grips with food traceability and safety, said Nguyen Hoang Linh, Deputy Head of the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

    He made the statement at a meeting of ASEAN GS1 barcode organisations’ leaders in Ho Chi Minh City on August 24.  The event was attended by representatives from GS1 international, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    As the largest food market in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is working to tackle unhygienic food, he said, adding that the city is tightening management to assure public health and benefits of legal food traders and producers.

    At the event, participants discussed applying GS1 standards in various sectors, particularly food traceability. They said that the move helps protect the rights of consumers and producers, while aiding exports to developed countries.

    GS1 Vietnam is a representative organisation of GS1, and deploys the GS1 system in Vietnam. GS1 Vietnam helps manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers apply barcode technology in their production and business activities.

    Tam Đảo attracts more visitors to northern province

    Tam Đảo Town in Vĩnh Phúc Province, situated some 80 km from Hà Nội, is a must-see destination for visitors to the country’s north.

    During summer Tam Đảo has added appeal with its fresh cool air, mist and romantic sceneries.

    Visitors can experience four seasons in a single day.

    They can expect to have their worries eased as they explore this romantic place with the sounds and melodies of mountains and streams and birds singing away in the forest.

    They have a myriad of choices for lodging with many motels and hotels available at reasonable prices.

    Forum in Hanoi focuses on preventing child abuse

    Deputy Minister Dao Hong Lam of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs delivered the opening remarks Thursday, August 24, at a forum in Hanoi on child abuse and what can be done to stop it.

    Mr Lam said the Ministry is working on improving the public education system in the country concerning child abuse. Teachers in the future will receive better training on how to spot child abuse, manage difficult behaviour in kids and protect children in the digital age.

    The training will also include the need for enhanced teacher parent conferences that address methods of handling tough conversations with their children.

    forum in hanoi focuses on preventing child abuse hinh 1 In addition, he explained in-depth the scope of child abuse in Vietnam and how the government is approaching the problem and moderated a panel discussion featuring local, regional and national experts.

    The event, which runs through August 26, he said, will also address, but not be limited to, protection of children from sexual abuse, corporal punishment, child marriage, domestic violence, child trafficking, bullying and physical fights.

    HCM City to halt high-rise construction along frequently congested streets

    Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are set to prohibit high-rise construction along several streets in a bid to ease regular congestion at local traffic hotspots.

    The municipal People’s Committee has ordered authorities to stop issuing building permits for high-rise construction along routes with insufficient traffic infrastructure.

    The decision is part of the administration’s efforts to alleviate serious traffic jams across the metropolis.

    Residential areas and apartment complexes have been mushrooming across the southern hub, while local streets are yet to be upgraded to serve the increased traffic pressure.

    Such a situation is noticeable in Tan Phu District, where five apartment buildings are located along a one-kilometer section of Trinh Dinh Thao Street, and many other locations.

    According to a representative of the municipal Department of Construction, licensing authorities must review whether the design and capacity of a construction is suitable with the local urban environment before granting a permit.

    However, the process of upgrading urban infrastructure does not always catch up with the implementation of construction projects, resulting in overloaded roads, the representative continued.

    Another official from the transport department said that the agency had not been involved in the decision with regard to building permits in the city as a means of decreasing the amount of time it takes to complete the procedure.

    Such authority ultimately belongs to the municipal Department of Planning and Architecture, said Tran Quang Lam, director of the agency.

    In one recent change, the two departments have been coordinating with each other in the assessment of local construction projects.

    They have asked the developers of high-rise buildings to establish evaluations on the impact of their projects on traffic infrastructure and assist the state in renovating local streets and alleys.

    Based on these assessments, the projects will be divided into different phases in accordance with the upgrade progress of road infrastructure.

    Prof. Nguyen Trong Hoa, former head of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies, suggested that authorities halt the construction of high-rise buildings in downtown areas, which are already crowded and overloaded.

    These projects are often approved based on the urban environment 20 years from now, when roads are expected to be upgraded and the metro system complete, Hoa said.

    4-alarm fire damages 3 businesses in Bac Lieu Province

    Firefighters from multiple departments battled a four-alarm fire Thursday, August 24, at a local grocery in the district of Hoa Binh in southern Mekong Delta Bac Lieu Province.

    The fire started about a quarter past 2pm and rapidly spread to an adjoining coffee shop and motorbike repair shop, reported local officials.

    Fire officials sent four fire engines and dozens of crewmembers to fight the fire, which caused an estimated US$90,000 (VND2 billion) in damage.

    There are no reports of injuries.

    Within an hour the fire was under control, but police officers stayed on the scene much longer due to traffic congestion on Highway 1 caused by curious onlookers who wanted to get an up-close look at the blaze.

    The initial cause was determined due to a short circuit in the electrical wiring. The incident is still under investigation.

    Hai Duong fosters ties with Vientiane province

    The northern province of Hai Duong and the Lao province of Vientiane have agreed to boost cooperation in party building, education, health care, investment – trading, agriculture – forestry, culture – sports and tourism from 2017 -2022.

    A deal to this effect was signed by Chairman of the Hai Duong People’s Council Nguyen Manh Hien and Secretary of the Party Committee and Governor of Vientiane Province Vidong Xayasone in Hai Duong on August 23.

    The two sides agreed on delegation exchanges to support each other in building party and cadres’ capacity. Hai Duong will receive 10 high school graduates from Vientiane and teach Vietnamese before sending them to provincial universities, while Vientiane will receive and teach Lao language to five from Hai Duong, so they can study the literature of Laos.

    Hai Duong will also host five to ten health workers from Vientiane province and provide them on-the-job training at local hospitals for three to six months.

    The two sides agreed to enhance information exchange on investment environment and help investors from each side access the information. Trade promotion will also be fostered, particularly via the operation of the Vientiane – Hai Duong, and the Hai Duong - Vientiane Centres.

    They also agreed to boost exchanges in agriculture – forestry and focus on culture, sports, and tourism exchange activities to introduce the tradition and the beauty of each nation to the other, aiming to lure more visitors to each locality.                                                          

    The two leaders briefed each other on the socio-economic development of their respective province and reviewed the implementation of the cooperation agreement from 2014 – 2017, agreeing to continue consolidating friendship and cooperation from 2017 – 2020.

    Hai Duong and Vientiane provinces established a friendship 33 years ago, with the Vietnamese locality investing more than 9 billion VND (396,000 USD) in projects and cooperation programmes in Vientiane province over the past three years.

    China’s Red Cross supports flood-affected northern localities


      

    The Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) on August 23 received 50,000 USD donated by the Red Cross Society of China (IFRC) to support people in the northern mountainous region affected by recent torrential rains and floods.

    This is the second time the IFRC has donated to help Vietnamese localities surmount disaster consequences.

    Chargé d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam Yin Haihong said that through humanitarian relief activities, the relations between the two Parties and peoples have been tightened and lifted to a new height.

    VRC President Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu appreciated the timely and meaningful assistance of the Chinese organisation, adding that its gift will be sent to northwestern inhabitants and effectively used for relief activities.

    According to her, the two organisations have established their partnership for years. The relations have been expanded through activities to prevent diseases in border provinces, delegation exchanges and the sharing of experience in response to natural disasters and in health care.

    In 2016, the IFRC provided 200,000 USD to support flood-affected locals in the central region and 50,000 USD for central, Central Highlands and southern localities hit by drought and salt intrusion. 

    It also assisted 700,000 RMB (about 2 billion VND) to help the VRC build a project to improve resilience for different communities.

    According to a VRC report, as of August 22, floods in the northwestern region claimed the lives of 29 people, left 16 missing and 28 injured.

    Total asset losses were estimated at 1.2 trillion VND (52.7 million USD).

    Plans to develop Ban Gioc waterfall tourism announced

    The People’s Committee of Cao Bang province and the Ministry of Construction on August 17 announced master and detailed plans for developing Ban Gioc waterfall tourist site.

    The announcement aims to call for investment from enterprises to turn Ban Gioc waterfall tourist site into a key tourism site of the northern mountainous province and the nation, contributing to boosting the development of the province and the region.

    Under the master plan, approved by the Prime Minister in April this year, the Ban Gioc waterfall tourist site will cover 1,000ha while the central area of the site will cover 156.7ha.

    Facilities will be also built in the zone to serve tourism, including hotels and service areas.

    The tourist site is expected to welcome approximately 750,000 visitors per year and have more than 1,000 rooms for tourists by 2020. By 2030, the tourist site is estimated to receive 1.2 million visitors and have some 1,750 rooms for visitors.

    The central area of the Ban Gioc waterfall tourist site is set to have four areas including the Ban Gioc waterfall landscape, the landscape along the Quay Son River, the mountainous forestry landscape ecology and the agricultural landscape ecology.

    Ban Gioc is in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, on the border with China’s Guangxi province. It is 53 metres high and 300 metres wide and has three levels of smaller waterfalls.

    The waterfall is the fourth largest border waterfall in the world and was named one of the ten most spectacular waterfalls in the world by travel site Touropia.

    In 2016, the tourism site welcomed more than 178,000 visitors.

    Health Ministry to treat 500 drug users with buprenorphine

    The Health Ministry’s Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) has announced that it will use buprenorphine to treat nearly 500 drug users in the mountainous provinces of Dien Bien, Nghe An and Son La this year. 

    The buprenorphine treatment will be expanded in 2018 to some 2,000 drug abusers in Dien Bien, Son La, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai and Lai Chau provinces. 

    The VAAC said the World  Health Organisation recommends countries use both methadone and buprenorphine in drug treatment. The latter has been used in France since 1995, in Australia since 2000 and the US since 2009. 

    Both methadone and buprennorphine can reduce law violations and the risk of blood-transmitted diseases, but the latter costs more and should be taken three or four times per week. 

    The use of suboxone containing buprennorphine has previously been piloted in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. As a result, suboxone users significantly abused less heroin, especially for the first three months after treatment.

    Seminar discusses sustainable, climate change-adaptable agriculture

    A seminar on building a farm produce manufacturing and consuming system adaptable to climate change took place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho last week. 

    The event was part of the APEC Food Security Week and High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in response to Climate Change. 

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Linh Ngoc hoped that domestic and foreign experts and scientists would integrate climate information into sustainable agricultural production chain, helping APEC economies fulfill millennial development goals in the future. 

    Dao Anh Dung, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said Vietnam is one of the countries hard hit by climate change, especially the Mekong Delta region with 13 cities and provinces. 

    He wished that regional experts would share experience in applying technological advances in climate change-adaptable agriculture, so that Can Tho city and other Vietnamese localities could sustainably develop farming towards improving added value, value chain and green growth. 

    Hong-Sang Jung, Executive Director of the APEC Climate Change Centre, said the centre would work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and participants to recommend ideas to develop common initiatives on enhancing the regional agriculture’s capacity of disaster resilience, including using climate information to serve food security and establishing a multi-national farm produce consumption system that could protect the environment and adapt to climate change. 

    According to him, nearly 800 million people worldwide are suffering from hunger and more than 160 million children aged below 5 are malnourished.

    Hand, foot and mouth disease outbreak strikes central Vietnam

    Over the past week, health officials in the central highlands Dak Lak Province have identified more than a dozen cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, an illness commonly seen in children.

    The outbreak is becoming more common in day care centres and elementary schools. Along with painful mouth sores, hand, foot and mouth disease causes fever and a skin rash on both the hands and feet.

    Hand, foot and mouth is due to a virus that lives in the intestines, and it is very contagious, said the health officials. They noted that late summer and early fall are when enteroviruses – those related to the intestines – seem to spread readily.

    Health officials in the province have asked all livestock and poultry farms, which are the source of the virus, to vaccinate their livestock, spray chemicals regularly and clean the animal pens regularly to prevent its spread. 

    Saigon's first river buses tied up due to construction delays

    Construction delays at new river bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City mean that the new ferries will be docked until October.

    Construction delays at new river bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City mean that the new ferries will be docked until October.

    The city's first river bus was taken on a test-run down the Saigon River on Monday morning.

    Five boats will be operating the service when it is finally put into official operation on October 1.

    The boats on the first route will sail 10.8 kilometers (6.7 miles) from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 to Linh Dong Station in Thu Duc District, passing through District 2 and Binh Thanh District.

    With 12 stops in total, the entire trip will take half an hour, cutting a third off the time it would take to travel by road and costing just VND15,000 (66 cents).

    The city’s transport department said work on the waiting rooms at Bach Dang Wharf and Binh An Station in District 2 has yet to be completed.

    Department director Bui Xuan Cuong told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that it is the city's first river bus service, so it wants to make it as satisfying and convenient for passengers as possible.

    Poor quality could push passengers away, he said.

    Saigon has more than 1,000 km of inland waterways, so the river bus service should ease traffic and attract more tourists, he told local media on Monday.

    The second route from Bach Dang Wharf to District 8 is scheduled to open in early 2018. The two routes are said to have cost an estimated VND120 billion (US$5.28 million).

    Joint efforts to help flood victims in northern mountain provinces

    In the past few days, several northern mountain provinces have suffered severe floods and landslides, causing great loss of human lives and property.

    In a spirit of "the haves help the have nots", authorities at all levels and people nationwide have launched movements to help people in the disaster-hit areas.  

    Flooding early this month in Yen Bai, Dien Bien, Son La, and Cao Bang killed 26 people. Hundreds of houses were swept away or completely destroyed. Many hectares of rice were submerged. 

    Roads and irrigation works were severely damaged. The total damage is estimated at about US$44 million.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung led a delegation to direct the recovery effort. 

    Mr. Dung said the government will pay compensation of US$440 for each dead or missing family member and half that for each injured person.

    The recent floods have made hundreds of people in Muong La district, Son La province, homeless. The provincial authorities have spent US$5.8 million to help people in affected areas stabilize their lives and production and get resettled.

    Hoang Van Chat, Secretary of Son La provincial Party Committee, said, “We will focus on repairing the road system and infrastructure. Although the roads to isolated hamlets have been cleared, news roads should be promptly built. Second we need to help affected families rebuild their houses and provide them with essential items. Third we need to reassign production land so that people can quickly restore their production.”

    Vu Tien Duc, Chairman of the Mu Cang Chai People’s Committee, Yen Bai province, said 53 local households whose houses were swept away or completely destroyed have been temporarily moved to live with their relatives or stay in office buildings.   

    He said, “We designated a new resettlement area in Nam Co hamlet and granted each household US$900 to build new accommodations with the support of the militia and the police. Families will also receive donations from organizations and individuals to help rebuild their houses.”

    Ensuring the safety of children in the flooded areas as they begin the 2017-2018 academic year is the top priority of the education sector in the northern mountain provinces.

    Nguyen Sy Quan, director of Dien Bien province’s Education and Training Department, said the sector and the public are working together to make sure local children can welcome the new school year on time.

    “We have launched a mutual support campaign to help disadvantaged pupils. Information about this campaign has been publicized to draw more donations in time for the new academic year,” said Quan.

    Undocumented migration, marriages in Vietnam-Laos border surveyed

    Representatives from the central province of Quang Nam and Laos’s Sekong province had a working session in Tam Ky city on August 22 to discuss coordination in conducting a survey on undocumented migration and marriage in their border areas.

    Following the Vietnamese and Lao Governments’ agreement on addressing undocumented migration and marriage in the two countries’ border regions, the two localities implemented surveys in Sekong province’s Dac Chung and Ka Lum districts.

    The surveys found that 17 Vietnamese people got married to Lao people and three Vietnamese migrated in the districts with unregistered papers.

    Meanwhile, according to initial statistics, Quang Nam province found that 22 Lao persons married to locals without registered certificates and seven Lao nationals are living in its Nam Giang and Tay Giang districts undocumented.

    From now to September 1, an official joint survey will be conducted in these districts to have specific and accurate figures to be reported to the two countries’ leaders.-

    Team Vietnam heads for Tokyo robotics competition

    A Lac Hong University team from Dong Nai Province has jetted off for Japan to represent the country at ABU Robocon 2017 Tokyo, reports the Vietnam News Agency.

    The event is one of the biggest competitions of its kind in the Asia Pacific region at which Universities from 19 countries will take part in the tournament to show off their engineering skills in the robotics’ field. 

    The tournament is organized by the Asian Broadcast Union. Robotics competition and will be held in Tokyo at the Ota Ward Gymnasium starting with arrivals on Friday, August 25, and running through departures on Tuesday, August 29.

    The main contest will take place on Sunday, August 27.

    Robots of tomorrow are expected to play an active role in the real world inhabited by objects with uncertainty, rather than in the standardized and controlled environments of manufacturing lines, the organizers said with respect to this year’s competition.

    When robots work with entities from the natural world such as people, animals, plants, or minerals, they cannot possibly function effectively if they are designed under the same assumptions of precision found in industrial products.

    For this year, that is why we encourage designing and building robots that accommodate for this uncertainty and variability, which should make for a fun and exciting competition for participants and spectators alike.

    Drug bust nets 59 kilos heroin, 36K ecstasy pills, multiple arrests


     drug bust nets 59 kilos heroin, 36k ecstasy pills, multiple arrests hinh 1 

    National law enforcement authorities in Vietnam say they have seized about 59 kilograms of heroin, 36,000 ecstasy pills and busted up a major Vietnam-China transnational drug syndicate.

    The arrests and drug seizures on Saturday, August 19, during raids at several undisclosed locations in the northern province of Son La and elsewhere were the conclusion of a monthslong investigation.

    Law enforcement officials said in a statement the drugs were packaged for sale in hundreds of thousands of small bags. Multiple arrests have been made and more are expected as the investigation continues, the statement said.

     drug bust nets 59 kilos heroin, 36k ecstasy pills, multiple arrests hinh 1 One of the arrests was Le Dinh Tho, 44, a resident of Hanoi. The other names of at least two known persons have not been released to the public but all were ordered held awaiting their court appearances on drug possession and distribution charges.

    Driven by a passion to serve, doctors provide free care in Cambodia

    Driven by a desire to serve the poor and needy, Vietnamese medical doctors on Sunday, August 20, provided free medical check-ups and other care to residents of Cambodia.

    People in villages and remote areas most often do not have access to proper medical facilities that provide adequate care, said representatives of the Vietnamese Doctors Association in Cambodia.

    Having experienced this lack of care during our childhood is what has motivated many of the participating doctors and other professionals to donate their time and money to assist the needy, such as those in the city of Daun Keo in the Cambodian province of Takeo this past Sunday.

    The Vietnamese Doctors Association was legally established in February this year and hopes to provide medical treatment to thousands of patients in Cambodia over the years to come.

    It is a volunteer organization and they don’t pay as much as the corporate hospitals that shell out thousands of US dollars for doctors and professional medical staff, said the reps, but that it is a nonissue because it is a humanitarian organization staffed by individuals drive by a zeal to serve.

    First Coco Bus double deckers now cruising in Danang

    Empire Group, the investor of Cocobay, has officially lauched its Coco Bus Tour using open top double decker buses. The tour is expected to cross 25 popular and scenic stops from Danang International Airport to the southern part of the city.

    According to Empire Group, Coco Bus Tour will include two routes, Route 1 of which was launched on August 19 and Route 2 will come into operation in September 2017.

    Route 1 starts from Danang International Airport and goes to south Danang through a total of 25 bus stops, taking visitors for a sightseeing journey of scenic attractions and glorious beach resort views in the city before reaching Cocobay Danang.

    Route 2 is expected to head to the north, running from Danang International Airport to Son Tra Pennisula with a total of 18 bus stops.

    Buses will run every 30 minutes from 7 AM to 10 PM every day. Tickets cost VND250,000 ($10.87) and are valid for 24 hours after activation. The ticket can be used for both routes and visitors can hop on or off the bus at any stop of their choosing.

    However, during the early weeks of its opening, Coco Bus Tour provides free transportation for tourists until the end of August, and will apply a 50 per cent discount for entrance tickets from September to November 2017. This tourism model will be soon replicated in Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, said Empire Group.

    At the opening ceremony, Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Danang People’s Committee, lauded the efforts of Empire Group to bring Cocobay Danang, a luxurious tourism and entertainment complex of world-class calibre, into operation.

    Mike Norton, director in charge of Coco Bus Tour operations, noted, “I am very proud to be a part of Empire Group and develop this fascinating tourism model. Open top double deckers are going to bring more memorable experiences to tourists. Coco Bus Tour will help Danang become a must-see destination with funky-looking open top double deckers produced by a Vietnamese brand.”

    Each bus has 54 comfortable seats and come with modern facilities like a mini bar, touch screen system displaying tourist information in multiple languages and pictures, as well as a global GPS that automatically introduces the landmarks and stops for foreign visitors.

    Man nabbed for sending death threat messages to Da Nang chairman

    A man in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang has been arrested for sending threatening text messages to the chairman of the municipal administration.

    The criminal police division under the Ministry of Public Security urgently apprehended Dao Tuan Cuong, residing in Thanh Binh Ward, Hai Chau District, for threatening to kill Huynh Duc Tho, chairman of the 

    Da Nang People’s Committee, a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper confirmed on August 19.

    Prior to the apprehension, Cuong was the deputy director of the Da Nang branch of the Petrolimex Aviation Fuel JSC.

    The suspect is also the older brother of the municipal Party Committee’s chief of office.

    Initial information showed that Cuong had been sending text messages to Tho’s phone number, threatening to put Tho and his family members in jeopardy.

    Several leaders, officials and other administrative agencies in Da Nang have also reported receiving messages with similar content.

    Cuong did so after the municipal Party Committee and the People’s Committee made several decisions regarding the city’s human resources and personnel.

    Following these decisions, Chairman Tho declared his property pursuant to the regulations of the central government in mid-March.

    The declaration stirred some debate over the official’s huge assets.

    Tho, 55, was elected as chairman of the Da Nang administration on January 26, 2015 with a 100-percent approval rate.

    Hanoi bans cabs and cars from traffic hotspots during rush hour

    Hanoi has decided to ban taxis and cars from a number of streets during rush hour as part of the city's latest efforts to tackle traffic congestion.

    Cabs will not be allowed on Mai Xuan Thuong and Hoang Hoa Tham between 6.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays.

    They will also be prohibited from crossing Chuong Duong Bridge between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

    Every day at the same time, they are not allowed to go into Cau Dien Street (from Nhon Area in Tu Liem District to the downtown), or turn to Pham Van Dong Street from Co Nhue Street and enter Phu Doan Street from Trieu Quoc Dat Street.

    The ban is applied every day at Mai Dich Roundabout, the intersection of Nguyen Co Thach and Ho Tung Mau streets, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and taxi drivers have been told to follow Pham Hung-Me Tri-Le Quang Dao-Le Duc Tho-Tran Huu Duc-Nguyen Co Thach streets.

    Except for weekends and holidays, all taxi cabs are forbidden on De La Thanh and Kham Thien streets from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

    All types of autos are prohibited from Xuan Thuy Street every day, and from Hang Bai Street on Fridays and weekend nights.

    Starting from December 25, the capital city will disallow taxi cabs on Giang Vo-Lang Ha-Le Van Luong streets from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. to give space for its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network.

    Hanoi legislators in early July approved a proposal to ban motorbikes from the city center from 2030 to reduce traffic congestion, despite strong opposition from transport experts and the public.

    The decision said motorbikes would be banned from downtown districts and limited in areas with adequate public transport.

    Cars, which occupy over 40% of the city's roads according to police data, would have to stay away from specified streets during certain hours and days.

    Figures from Hanoi police released late last year showed the city of 7.6 million people had more than five million motorbikes and 550,000 cars. The country had around 45 million registered motorbikes last year, according to official data.

    The city is working on a metro rail system which includes elevated and underground sections with nine lines running 318 kilometers.

    Police nab 4, seize 3 kilos of meth hidden in SUV

    Four small-time drug users are in jail while police in Nghe An Province have seized a total of three kilograms of meth, 2,000 pills of ecstasy, 120 kilos of marijuana and a Toyota SUV, reports Zing Online.

     On August 16, police arrested Le Duc Giang and Le Van Tu after a routine traffic stop turned up the drugs hidden in a Toyota Fortuner they were attempting to smuggle across the border from Laos into Vietnam.

    The driver, Le Duc Giang, and his cohort reportedly quealed on Pham Quang Tien and Cao Tuan Tu whom police arrested later in the day at their residence in the commune of Dien Phuc for their part in the conspiracy.

    First Vietnamese receives OPEC scholarship

    Vietnamese student Tran Bich Phuong has been awarded with a fully-funded scholarship from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

    Phuong has surpassed thousands of applicants from 140 countries to become one of ten outstanding individuals who received an OFID scholarship this year. 

    The OFID scholarship Phuong received in July is for students from developing countries to study Master training Program.

    The scholarship winners are allowed to study at any university in the UK, US, or the European Union. Bich Phuong plans to leave for Stockholm, Sweden this August to begin a one-year Master Program on Global Health at Karolinska Institute.

    Karolinska is among top 5 of the best medical universities in the world.

    Bent Hanoi customs officer caught stealing ivory seized from smugglers

    Police in Hanoi have arrested a customs officer for stealing more than 150 kilograms of ivory that his unit had seized from smugglers.

    The officer has been identified only as Hoang, a 35-year-old manager of a warehouse used to store contraband by the Hanoi Customs Department, which said it is treating the case as “extremely serious.” 

    Hoang's crime was discovered in April, but the department only published an official statement this week.

    Its chief officer told local media on August 15 that Hoang had colluded with two other people to replace the ivory with a fake batch. The tusks were being stored to be used as exhibits in the smuggling case.

    The two accomplices have also been arrested. Their identities have not been revealed, but the authorities said they don't work for the customs agency.

    The global trade in elephant ivory has been widely outlawed since 1989 after populations of the African giants dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to around 600,000 by the end of the 1980s, AFP reported.

    The population is now believed to be some 415,000, with 30,000 illegally killed each year.

    Elephant ivory can fetch up to US$1,100 per kilogram (2.2 pounds), the report said.

    Vietnam outlawed the ivory trade in 1992, but the country remains a top market for ivory products used for decorative purposes or in traditional medicine, despite the lack of scientific evidence.

    The country is also a busy transit point for tusks trafficked from Africa to China and other parts of Asia.

    Man grows in-demand forest in Vietnam's Mekong Delta

    A man from the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam has gone to extraordinary lengths to establish a woodland that is now receiving orders from Europe and Japan.

    Located in U Minh District in the southernmost Ca Mau Province, the 1,000 plus hectare forest has been established by Le Hoang The, and is now frequently visited by foreigners. 

    In order to reach it, one has to drive for over an hour along bumpy roads from the center of Ca Mau City to Khanh Thuan Commune in U Minh District, before travelling for another hour on a motor boat.

    George Yeo, a Singaporean- American specialist in automation technology, has played a crucial role in the establishment of the wood.

    Yeo has worked with The for nearly two years, and his main job is to carry out research and design specialized machines for the planting, harvesting, and processing of timber.

    Everything is done by automated machines, and Yeo’s expertise has been crucial in enabling The’s forest to meet international requirements.

    The previously spent many years living and studying in Japan before returning to Vietnam.

    He was running a business in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009 before he suddenly ‘disappeared.’

    His friends later discovered that The had been planting his forest in Ca Mau.

    “The world is trying to cope with climate change and rising sea levels. Vietnam has signed an agreement to reduce the effect of greenhouse gases,” he elaborated on his sudden life change.

    “Aside from preserving the environment, growing forests is a commercial operation,” he continued.

    In 2010, the Ca Mau People’s Committee agreed to hand over a 1,200 hectare piece of land to The.

    He spent a large amount of money studying the soil and testing many types of trees to determine the most suitable species to grow.

    The provincial administration initially decided to grant The some 700 hectares of land the following year and the forest owner used his own money to buy another 300 hectares from local residents.

    The woods is now 1,047 hectares and still expanding.

    During timber harvesting, a specifically designed machine is used to cut down trees and transport the trunks to a gathering location, where The’s employees will saw them into smaller pieces.

    The machinery was invented by Yeo to suit the geographical features of The’s woodland.

    According to Luu Cuong Thinh, who is tasked with operating the machine, it takes between 20 and 25 days to chop down one hectare of trees by hand, while the new technology takes only 10 days.

    Yeo has designed several other machines for planting new trees, peeling tree bark, and collecting leaves and branches.

    Importantly, the forest is also eligible for the FSC-FM, a certificate granted by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) allowing timber to be exported to other countries.

    In order to achieve the certification, The had to adhere to 10 different policies and meet 56 criteria.

    Thanks to the FSC-FM, clients from Japan, the Republic of Korea and Europe have visited the venue and signed deals with The on the provision of timber and related products.

    The’s forest consists mainly of trees from the acacia auriculiformis species, whose wood is widely used for producing furniture, while their leaves and branches are a main material for biomass.

    BOT tollgate in Tien Giang to lower fee amidst fierce opposition

    A controversial tollgate in Tien Giang Province, located in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, is planning to lower its fee following fierce opposition from local commuters.

    At a meeting on August 16 between the Ministry of Transport, the provincial People’s Committee, and the project developer, a consensus was reached to reduce the toll and allow for certain exemptions at the Cai Lay toll station.

    The current toll is in place to collect for a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project which included upgrading a section of National Highway 1 in Cai Lay Town and the construction of a detour across the locality.

    Commuters were previously charged between VND35,000 (US$1.54) and VND180,000 (US$7.92) to access the road.  

    Opposition to the toll is not limited to exorbitant fees. Many drivers also object to the toll station’s location, calling it unreasonable and inconvenient.

    They assert that the toll station should be placed on the new detour, rather than the existing highway.

    The developer stated that the toll is meant to cover the costs of both routes, explaining that construction of the 12-kilometer detour cost approximately VND1 trillion (US$44 million) and renovating the 26.5-kilometer section of National Highway 1 added another VND300 billion (US$13.2 million) to the bill.       

    In a show of disapproval, commuters who depend on the route often pay the toll in small change, making it difficult for attendants to count and causing traffic delays at the station.

    The situation had escalated to the point that the tollgate was forced to shut down on August 13 evening and again on August 15 morning.

    In a bid to resolve the problem, the toll will be lowered to between VND25,000 (US$1.1) and VND140,000 (US$6.1) starting from August 21.

    A toll exemption will be applied to residents of Cai Lay Town and four other communes in Cai Lay District.

    The transport ministry has asked local authorities to prepare a list of vehicles eligible for the exemption by August 25 to prepare for the measure’s implementation on September 10.

    With the original fee, the developer was expected to eliminate the toll after six years, four months, and 29 days. Whether or not that collection period will be extended has yet to be announced.

    Experts believe that extending the collection will add fuel to the fire.

    Lao man sentenced to life in Vietnam for cocaine smuggling

    A court in Ho Chi Minh City last week sentenced a Lao man to life imprisonment for illegal drug trafficking.

    KhamChanh Daovone, 31, was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport on September 23, 2013 after customs officials discovered 2.4 kilograms (5.3 pounds) of cocaine in his luggage.

    Kham claimed his girlfriend Puoy gave him the suitcase and $800 for him to travel from Laos to the Philippines in September 2013. Upon arrival, he was greeted by an African man who claimed to be Pouy's friend and took Kham's suitcase for safekeeping.

    The African man returned the suitcase to Kham before he set off back to Laos, but he didn't make it that far and was arrested while transiting in Ho Chi Minh City after two bags of cocaine were found hidden in the suitcase.

    Kham claimed he did not know the suitcase contained drugs. However, the court on August 16 dismissed his argument and agreed that he had to take full responsibility for the crime.

    Prosecutors had called for the death penalty, but the court decided to show leniency, saying he was a foreigner with a good background and the drugs had not made it onto the streets.

    Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or more than 2.5kg of methamphetamine face the death penalty.

    The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.

    Cost of flying set to rise as Vietnam hikes airport service fees

    Vietnam’s aviation authorities have decided to raise service fees for all carriers that use the country's airports from October this year, a move that is likely to propel airfares in the same direction.

    Accordingly, the cost incurred each time a plane touches down or takes off will rise by 5% from the current level, and there are plans to raise it by a further 5% from June 2018, the Ministry of Transport said.

    In addition, a 15% premium will be charged for planes that take off or land during peak hours, while a 15% discount will be offered for those that arrive or depart in off-peak periods. 

    The price hike aims to help airport operators cover maintenance expenses and fund upgrade work, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said.

    It added that the sharp increase during peak hours will encourage carriers to use the airport at quiet times to avoid overcrowding.

    After the initial increase, airlines will have to pay from VND700,000 (US$30) to VND5.8 million for all takeoffs and landings, depending on the size of the plane.

    If airport service fees go up, it is only a matter of time before airfares follow suit, a representative from a local airline told VnExpress.

    "We can suffer lower profits in the short term, but in the long term we will have to raise fares," the representative said, declining to be named.

    Airports across the country served more than 55 million passengers during the first seven months of this year, figures from the CAAV showed.

    Currently, there are 63 foreign airlines from 25 countries and territories operating in Vietnam.

    Foreign airlines together with domestic carriers Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific are operating 105 international routes out of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Hai Phong.

    Meanwhile, there are 52 domestic air routes and 22 civilian airports across the country. 

    The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) plans to transport 91 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of cargo this year, increases of 13% and 5% respectively.

    Unification Park in Hanoi hosts 6th book fair Aug 23-27







    Thong Nhat (or Reunification) Park will host its 6th book fair on August 23-27, reports the Vietnam News Agency.

    The event will feature thousands of books and videos from a bevy of genre in more than 100 book stalls at highly discounted prices along with plenty of vendors on hand offering a wide variety of food and other services.

    During the five days of the fair, there will be about 20 events organized with different themes, linking books and reading culture, said Chu Van Hoa from the Ministry of Information and Communication.

    Mr Hoa, who is the head of the ministerial unit Authority of Publication, Printing, and Distribution extended an invitation to all residents and visitors to the capital city of Hanoi to come out and enjoy this community event.

    The book fair has something for everyone.

    What stood out to most at the last book fair was the kids section, it was very family friendly and had plenty of books and other exciting activities for kids to participate in and have loads of fun, said Mr Hoa.

    Vietnamese pop star rings out over SEA Games in Malaysia

    The Vietnamese team stepped out to watch their Wushu champion receive her gold medal at the Southeast Asia Games in Kuala Lumpur on August 21, but it wasn't the country's national anthem that greeted them.

    It was a catchy love song which by now will be playing in the heads of many people at the region’s biggest sporting event.

    “We Don’t Belong Together,” a 2016 hit by Vietnamese pop prince Son Tung M-TP, has been playing at the 29th SEA Games over the past week.

    Organizers in Malaysia have chosen several songs from each participating country to play during the event, and M-TP was their choice for Vietnam because of his popularity.

    The singer said he’s happy to have his song playing at such an important event.

    “Music is similar to sports in the way that it crosses space, time and cultural differences. It connects people,” he said.

    The 23-year-old singer released his first single in 2013 and has since become one of the biggest pop stars in Vietnam. His music is a fusion of traditional Vietnamese music, K-Pop and U.S.-U.K. pop, earning him news coverage in the Republic of Korea as well as playtime in restaurants in Japan and Thailand.

    He is also the first Vietnamese artist to win YouTube’s coveted Gold Play Button for attracting one million subscribers in January.

    The video for the track, which features a bleached M-TP trying to assemble a girlfriend out of mannequin parts, was the most-viewed V-pop videos of 2016.

    And despite the controversy with allegations that the song was a copycat of Charlie Puth’s “We don’t talk anymore,” the video went on to receive more than 118 million views after one year.

    It is just one of M-TP’s many successful songs.

    His music video “Lac Troi” (Lost and Floating) set a record in Vietnam by attracting nearly 5 million viewers on the day of its release on January 1, not long before another video “Noi nay co anh” (Here I am) released on Valentine’s Day became one of the world’s top trending videos with more than 18 million views in three days.

    Exhibition features Japanese support to Vietnam during war

    An exhibition titled “The Peace Movement in Japan Supporting Vietnam during Wartime (1954 – 1975) and the Vietnam-Japan Friendship” opened at the HCM City War Remnants Museum on August 20.

    The two-month event is organised by the museum and Yamazaki Hiroaki 8-10 Project of Japan to celebrate Vietnam’s 72nd National Day and 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam – Japan Friendship Association.

    More than 200 photos and objects featuring Beheiren – The Peace Commission for Vietnam, an anti-war movement established in Japan to demand an end to the American War in Vietnam, are on display.

    They highlight the commission’s monthly anti-war rallies from 1965 to 1974 that saw thousands of people participate in cities like Tokyo and Oizumi.

    Books, posters, propaganda paintings and newspaper stories supporting Vietnam created by Beheiren members are showcased.

    There are also photos featured the diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and Japan.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Japanese historian Yamamoto Yoshitaka of Yamazaki Hiroaki 8-10 Project said “The exhibition is aimed at demonstrating the history of the anti-American War movement in Japan to visitors to the museum from around the world.”

    The event will go on until October 20. The museum is situated at 28 Vo Van Tan street, District 3.

    HCM City runs 1,000 more buses for National Day

    The Ho Chi Minh City Public Transport Operation and Management Center under the municipal Department of Transportation will increase more than 1,000 buses on the National Day (September 2).

    Buses will be added to serve rising demand during the holiday on 14 routes, especially trips to popular attractions in the city such as Dam Sen Cultural Park, Suoi Tien Tourist Area, Sai Gon Zoo. 

    Bus ticket prices on this vacation will increase by about 40% higher than normal days.

    Meanwhile the Phuong Trang Futa Bus Lines Inc. will not increase fares on its 40 bus routes on the holiday. 

    The company has also launched new routes from An Suong Bus Station in HCM City’s Hoc Mon District to Da Lat starting on August 21.

    The local authorities has also ordered a temporary freeze on issuing permits for digging roads and pavements between August 31-September 2.

    Vietnam Railways to increase more trains on National Day

    Vietnam Railways will add more 26 trains from August 31 to September 4 to meet the increasing demand on the occasion of the National Day (September 2).

    They include 12 trains on Sai Gon-Phan Thiet/Nha Trang/Quy Nhon routes; and 14 trains on Hanoi-Thanh Hoa/Vinh/Dong Hoi/Lao Cai routes.

    In addition, Vietnam Railways will offer a promotional program on this occasion.

    Accordingly, a group of 10 -50 persons will receive a discount of 4%. A group of 50-100 passengers will get a discount of 6%. A group of 101 or more people will receive a discount of 8%.

    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum to close for annual maintenance

    The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the adjacent Monument to the Fallen Hero in Hanoi will be closed to visitors for maintenance work from September 4.

    The project is expected to take three months to finish, and the site will be re-opened on December 5, according to the management board.

    Located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, the final resting place of the country’s father figure is one of Hanoi’s main tourist attractions. It welcomes thousands of visitors every year, who come to pay their respects to "Uncle Ho".

    Opened in 1973, the granite memorial was inspired by Lenin's mausoleum in Moscow and built on the spot where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence on 2 September 1945, establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

    The embalmed body of Uncle Ho is preserved in the central hall inside the building, and protected by a military honor guard.

    The dress code for visitors is very strict, and requires legs to be covered.

    It is normally open to the public every morning from 7.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m., except on Mondays and Fridays.

    At night, visitors can also view the mausoleum light up and a national flag ceremony.

    The Ho Chi Minh Museum and Presidential Palace will still be open to the public during the maintenance work.

    Replanning tertiary education and teachers’ training

    The Ministry of Education and Training held an online conference with universities and colleges to review the 2016-2017 academic year and launch activities for next year.

    They also discussed the reorganization of tertiary pedagogic facilities and market demand.

    For the 2016-2017 academic year, Vietnam has 235 universities and institutes, 37 research centers, 33 pedagogic colleges, and 2 secondary pedagogic schools.The Ministry will reorganize teacher training facilities to meet national human resource development demand.

    Nguyen Duc Hoa, Rector of Da Lat University, said “We have to carefully consider the opening of teacher training facilities and faculties at universities. We’ll give priority to students who enroll in teacher training schools. In the Central Highlands, local students familiar with ethnic minority languages and culture will have an advantage.”

    Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha advises teacher training facilities to study market demand to set an appropriate curriculum.

    Minister Nha said “The exam marks for faculties at most teacher training universities are high. But pedagogic faculties at some colleges and non-teacher training facilities have low marks. The Ministry will build a network of major universities and satellite schools to improve the quality of graduates.”

    Drastic increase of Aedes mosquitoes

    Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through bites of infective female Aedes mosquitoes in urban environments which provide it with numerous oviposition sites to lay eggs

    As per the Ministry of Health, over 80,000 dengue patients were reported so far countrywide with 24 deaths; of which, nearly 16,000 infection cases and seven deaths were recorded in Hanoi.

    To prevent mosquito bite, a person should sleep inside an anti-mosquito net which covers your whole bed or apply oil, mosquito repellent. Especially people must remove stagnant water and prevent mosquitoes from breeding, dispose of unwanted containers where water may gather (such as lunch boxes and soft-drink cans) into a covered bin.

    Mosquitoes thrive in densely populated areas which lack reliable water supplies, waste management and sanitation.

    When experiencing fever, people should go to infirmaries for examination.

    Vietnam News Agency launches blood donation festival

    The trade union of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion jointly held a blood donation festival at the VNA headquarters in Hanoi on August 16.

    As many as 175 officials, reporters and staff members from the news agency’s 24 departments donated 153 units of blood.

    VNA Deputy Director General Dinh Dang Quang highlighted the festival as one of the traditional charitable activities aimed at easing the shortage of blood at hospitals.

    According to the Ministry of Health’s statistics, the country collected more than 1.4 million units of blood in 2016, equivalent to 1.5 percent of the country’s population donating blood. The collected blood has met more than 60 percent of the country’s emergencies, treatments and preventive demands.

    Additionally, the health sector has set a goal of collecting at least 1.7 million units of blood in 2017.

    Prime Minister asks Vietnam Red Cross to renew operation

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) to continue revamping its operation based on the community, and in a pragmatic and sustainable fashion. 

    The leader was addressing the 10th National Congress of the VRC in Hanoi on August 16, where he asked the association to bring into full play its coordinating role in humanitarian activities in order to ensure transparency, equality and efficiency of the work. 

    The supportive and caring spirit should be carried forward as Vietnam still has to face various difficulties and challenges, he said, pointing out devastating post-war consequences, frequent natural disasters and high number of the poor and natural disaster victims. 

    The VRC should propose measures to improve the efficiency of the humanitarian work with heed paid to the grassroots level, and reduplicate humanitarian models suitably and effectively, he said. 

    PM Phuc also suggested the association tighten its coordination with relevant agencies, especially the Vietnam Fatherland Front and its member organisations, in tandem with enhancing international cooperation.

    He highlighted the importance of foreign relations to attract international resources to humanitarian activities in the country and called on the VRC to provide timely support for global natural disaster victims. 

    The PM applauded donors, organisations and businesses both at home and abroad for their support to the VRC over the past time, and called for more joint efforts in the work. 

    Praising the VRC’s performance over the past tenure, the leader said the society has significantly contributed to reducing poverty, ensuring social welfare and stabilising people’s lives. 

    The VRC was founded by late President Ho Chi Minh, who worked as the society’s first Honorary President from 1946-1969. Over the past seven decades, the association has made all-out efforts to fulfill humanitarian tasks assigned by the Party and State. 

    The association’s fund is worth about 9.56 trillion VND (422.4 million USD), which has been channeled into social activities, health care, blood donation, natural disaster response and communications work.

    Yen Bai’s Buddhist Sangha builds national great unity

    The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Yen Bai chapter vowed to continue building the national great unity during its second congress, the 2017-2022 tenure, on August 16.

    The congress elected 37 monks and dignitaries to the executive board, in which Monk Thich Thanh Due was continuously selected as head of the board.

    During this tenure, the Buddhist Sangha of Yen Bai province will establish and elect the Buddhist executive boards of Yen Bai city and Tran Yen district, and intensify the implementation of charitable activities, and patriotic emulation movements.

    In the 2012-2017 tenure, five executive boards at the district level were set up.

    The northern mountainous province of Yen Bai is home to over 15,000 Buddhist dignitaries and followers.

    Fire safety exhibition opens in HCM City

    Secutech Vietnam 2017, the largest professional exhibition and conference on security technology and fire safety and rescue in Vietnam, began in Ho Chi Minh City on August 16.

    The fair features 460 stalls run by 270 organisations and companies from 18 countries, such as the UK, Australia, India, the RoK, and China.

    Highlights of products on display include fire extinguisher robots, fire-resistant equipment, and access control systems.

    On the occasion, Ministry of Public Security officials and experts in Vietnam and abroad will take part in the 19th conference of the Asia Fire Protection Inspection Council.

    Organised by the Vietnam Fire and Rescue Police Department, Vietnam Advertisement and Fair Exhibition JSC and Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, the three-day exhibition is taking place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre. It is expected to receive 10,000 visitors.

    Can Tho steps up efforts to ensure security for APEC 2017

    All officers and policemen in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will be mobilised to ensure security and safety for the APEC 2017 Food Security Week and High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change scheduled for August 21-25.

    Besides, the Can Tho Police will team up with departments and agencies in the city to popularise the significance of APEC events among local people, and encourage them to joint these efforts, heard a conference on the work held in Can Tho on August 15. 

    Colonel Tran Ngoc Hanh, Director of the Can Tho Police, said his agency will keep a close watch on security as well as social order and safety in the locality, and mobilise all resources to serve the events. 

    The 2017 Food Security Week and the High-Level Policy Dialogue will feature 15 meetings, seminars and conferences. Of note, a ministerial meeting is expected to draw the participation high-ranking leaders of APEC economies and more than 500 delegates. 

    Vietnamese children equipped with life skills through rugby

    Vietnam’s disadvantaged children will be provided with soft skills like communication, leadership, support, and settlement of negative pressure and contradiction through the “Pass It Back” programme, which uses rugby to build resilience among young people.

    The programme is developed by the ChildFund Australia, a non-profit organisation working for poverty alleviation for children in developing countries, as heard a press conference in Hanoi on August 15.

    Under the “Pass It Back” curriculum, children and young people with little or no access to organised sports will be equipped to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and pass it back to their communities.

    According to Deborah Leaver, Country Director of ChildFund Vietnam, the sport brings a new approach to promote gender equality as there is no rule about gender of the players. Thus, the programme will help boys and girls have equal opportunities to develop life skills.

    Bui Thi Tang, a rugby player in Kim Boi district of Hoa Binh province, said that: “Through activities in Pass It Back, I feel more confident to share my points and more responsible for tackling contradiction among the group’s members.”

    She said her team, with 6 players, would set off for the Asia Rugby Championship in Iceland on August 16.

    ChildFund’s Pass it Back programme was set up for children living in rural and remote villages of Laos and Vietnam, who face significant challenges in terms of poverty and inequality. To date, more than 2,500 children and youths in some of the poorest communities in the two countries have benefitted from the programme, with girls making up over 50 percent of the players and coaches.

    Unexploded bombs found in Đắk Lắk

    Two bombs weighing over 1,600kg left from the US war in Việt Nam were safely removed from the gardens of local families in Central Highlands’ Đắk Lắk Province on Tuesday, the military high command said.

    A family in Lắk District’s Yang Tao Commune found a 600kg bomb in their garden last Friday.

    The second bomb, weighing more than 1,000kg, was discovered the next day in the same commune.

    After receiving reports from residents, the military and local authorities evacuated people from the area to deactivate the bombs.

    The bombs are believed to be among hundreds of unexploded bombs left behind from the war in Đắk Lắk Province, which are being unearthed by competent agencies.

    Unexploded ordnance left from the war remains a threat across Việt Nam, especially in the central region.

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE



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  • 08/27/17--06:10: Article 2
  • APEC economies share experience in engaging in RTAs/FTAs

    HCM City (VNA) - APEC officials shared views and experience in negotiating, concluding and implementing regional trade agreements (RTAs) and free trade agreements (FTAs) at a dialogue in Ho Chi Minh City on August 27.


     
     Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son (Source: VNA)


    The APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) Dialogue on RTAs/FTAs brought together APEC senior officials, official observers, speakers, and representatives from the businesses community.


    According to statistics released by the APEC Secretariat, as of December 2016, more than 150 RTAs/FTAs signed by at least one APEC member economy has gone into effect with nearly 60 intra-APEC agreements.

    Thanks to their impacts, intra-APEC trade has increased by 174 percent, from 2.3 trillion USD to 6.3 trillion USD during the 2000 – 2016 period.


    In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son, who is also APEC 2017 SOM Chair, said over half of the world’s FTAs originates from the Asia-Pacific region.


    APEC is naturally the best platform to discuss FTAs/RTAs, he said, noting that for the past 30 years, RTAs/FTAs in the APEC region have flourished in number, scope of work and sophistication.


    Increasingly sophisticated, next-generation regional FTAs, addressing next-generation trade and investment, behind-the-border and non-tariff measures issues are being developed with major implications, he said.


    Regional economic integration will continue to be one of APEC’s core cooperation pillars, including fostering RTAs/FTAs and with a view to the realisation of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), Son said.


    In the context of positive signs of regional and global economic recovery, making the most of benefits from RTAs/FTAs is important to create new dynamism for economic growth, as well as trade and investment in the region, he noted.


    Son highlighted the enormous static and dynamic benefits of FTAs on economic growth, market access, FDI attraction or domestic institutional reforms.


    However, he said, in the current regional and global economic context and under the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution, the question is how to make the most of the socio-economic benefits that FTAs bring about, concurrently with mitigating adverse impacts arising from adjustment costs, and increasing income disparity.


    Additionally, given the economical, political and developmental diversities in the APEC, sharing of information, experiences and engaging in negotiations and conclusion of RTAs/FTAs is useful, practical and necessary for mutual economic development, social stability and shared prosperity for the whole of the Asia - Pacific region, he said.


    The delegates mulled over the engagement of stakeholders in RTA/FTAs, lessons learnt from RTAs/FTAs and impact assessments, and continued work for the APEC, including the work programme to implement the Lima Declaration on the FTAAP.


    The APEC is in the process of realising the Bogor Goals of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation by 2020 as well as shaping an APEC vision for the realisation of a FTAAP.-VNA


    0 0
  • 08/27/17--06:21: Article 1
  • Vietnam trying to wean itself off preferential ODA loans



    Vietnam now has to think of attracting private capital for development projects as preferential ODA loans will now have higher interest rates. 


     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, ODA, infrastructure, WB

    From 2018, Vietnam will no longer receive preferential ODA loans from WB, ADB and other financial institutions in developed countries at preferential loans of 2-3 percent. The interest rates will be 5-6 percent, not including the service fee.


    The Nhon – Hanoi Station urban railway project kicked off in September 2010 and was initially planned to be completed in September 2017. However, as the project has been going slowly, the deadline has been extended to 2021.

    Despite the four-year delay, Vietnam will still have to begin paying debts in 2017 and the total debt by in 2020 is VND822 billion, according to the Hanoi People’s Committee.

    The project was initially estimated to cost 783 million euros, but after two adjustments, the estimates have reached 1.176 billion, or VND36 trillion. The total ODA loan of the project, as estimated by the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, is 957 million euros. The debt payment will be made until 2055.

    The Cat Linh – Ha Dong project has been cited repeatedly at conferences and workshops as an example of sluggish construction, multiple delays and severe sanction provisions in the loan contract.

    The Cat Linh – Ha Dong project has been cited repeatedly at conferences and workshops as an example of sluggish construction, multiple delays and severe sanction provisions in the loan contract.

    The project implementation came to a standstill because of slow disbursement. Under the initial plan, the project will be implemented from November 2008 to November 2013 with total investment capital of $552.86 million.

    However, the groundbreaking ceremony only took place in April 2010 and started in October 2011. After some adjustments, the estimates of the projects have increased to $868.04 million and the project will not be completed prior to the second quarter of 2018.

    Analysts commented that in many cases, the preferential loans turned out to be costly because of delays and many problems.

    To obtain capital for investment and development, Vietnam will have to seek new capital sources in the society.

    However, according to economist Nguyen Mai, the problem is that the capital mobilized from sources in the society cannot be used effectively. The loans are allocated to important projects that serve socio-economic development.

    Mai emphasized that it is necessary to gather strength on the most important projects instead of calling for capital for so many projects as Hanoi is doing

    Nguyen Tri Hieu, a banking expert, said mobilizing resources for transport infrastructure and high-technology agriculture should be a top priority, while it is necessary to reconsider cultural projects which are not urgent.


    M. Ha, VNN


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  • 08/27/17--07:14: Article 0
  • Agencies asked to help mountainous localities to respond to natural disasters

    Hanoi (VNA) Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has assigned the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with other ministries and localities concerned to build a master plan on prevention and control of natural disasters for mountainous areas.

    Flood in north of Vietnam - Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)


    The move aims to fix problems still existed in the prevention and control of natural disasters, said the Deputy PM at a conference discussing response to the seventh storm and post-storm floods and rains in Hanoi on August 27.

    The master plan is requested to prevent landslides and flash floods in combination with restructuring residential areas and mainstreaming the efforts to ensure sustainable livelihoods with that to protect and develop protective forests in key areas. It is asked to be submitted to the Prime Minister.

    The Deputy PM asked localities to keep a close eye on the movements of the seventh storm (internationally known as Pakhar) and its possible threats to minimize its losses.

    By the noon of August 27, typhoon Pakhar landed the southern part of Guangdong province, China, bringing gales of up to 33 meters per second. It is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression and likely cause torrential trains.

    He asked localities prone to rains and floods to continue reviewing areas vulnerable to flash floods and landslides and proactively design plans to evacuate residents while the national committee for search and rescue prepares forces and vehicles to support localities. 

    In the long term, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment needs to work on a map on geographic accidents in general and landslides in particular. The Ministry and Agriculture and Rural Development is asked to coordinate with professional agencies to soon organize a seminar on geographic accidents and build a project to develop a weather monitoring system in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

    Natural disasters have so far this year left 116 people dead and missing, destroyed 1,030 houses, and caused economic damage worth over 5.6 trillion VND.- VNA 


    0 0
  • 08/28/17--06:56: Article 2
  • Social News 28/8


    National Highway 6 section cuts Son La-Hanoi travel time

    National Highway No 6 section linking Mộc Châu District of northern mountainous province of Sơn La and Sơn La City was open to traffic on August 24.

    The project is part of Vietnam Road Asset Management Project (VRAMP) funded by the World Bank.

    VRAMP, aiming to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the road asset management and maintenance practices performed by Ministry of Transport on national roads, is worth a total investment of US$301 million, including $251 million funded by the World Bank and $50 million of counterpart capitals. 

    The total length of maintenance of the National Highway No 6 section Km193+000 to Km303+000 covers 110km with total investment of about VNĐ537 billion ($23.4 million).

    National Highway No 6 is a key route connecting northwest region with Hà Nội.

    Cầm Ngọc Minh, Chairman of Sơn La Province’s People’s Committee said that the road upgrade from Mộc Châu to Sơn La City and from Sơn La City to Hà Nội has reduced travel time by almost one hour, facilitated travelling and contributed to local socio-economic development.

    Fire breaks out at Hà Nội Port


     National Highway 6 section cuts Son La-Hanoi travel time, Fire breaks out at Hà Nội Port, Agencies asked to help mountainous localities to respond to natural disasters, Sapa mid-autumn festival opens Sept. 2 

    A fire broke out around 8.45am on Monday at a goods storehouse in Hà Nội Port on Bạch Đằng Road in the capital city’s Hai Bà Trưng District.

    Workers at the store, located in Thanh Lương Ward and owned by VNT6 Design and Consultants Joint Stock Company, called the fire department after they were unable to put out the blaze.

    Around 20 fire engines were deployed to the site, and firefighters are fighting to prevent the blaze from spreading but the fire is not stopped completedly. Losses incurred are being estimated.

    In another incident, around 8pm on Sunday, a fire broke out at Paldo Vina Co Ltd, a South Korean company that makes instant noodles, in Phù Ninh District’s Đồng Lạng Industrial Zone, in the northern province of Phú Thọ. It was doused at 11pm. No fatalities were reported. The police are investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

    Agencies asked to help mountainous localities to respond to natural disasters

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has assigned the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with other ministries and localities concerned to build a master plan on prevention and control of natural disasters for mountainous areas.

    The move aims to fix problems still existed in the prevention and control of natural disasters, said the Deputy PM at a conference discussing response to the seventh storm and post-storm floods and rains in Hanoi on August 27.

    The master plan is requested to prevent landslides and flash floods in combination with restructuring residential areas and mainstreaming the efforts to ensure sustainable livelihoods with that to protect and develop protective forests in key areas. It is asked to be submitted to the Prime Minister.

    The Deputy PM asked localities to keep a close eye on the movements of the seventh storm (internationally known as Pakhar) and its possible threats to minimize its losses.

    By the noon of August 27, typhoon Pakhar landed the southern part of Guangdong province, China, bringing gales of up to 33 meters per second. It is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression and likely cause torrential trains.

    He asked localities prone to rains and floods to continue reviewing areas vulnerable to flash floods and landslides and proactively design plans to evacuate residents while the national committee for search and rescue prepares forces and vehicles to support localities. 

    In the long term, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment needs to work on a map on geographic accidents in general and landslides in particular. The Ministry and Agriculture and Rural Development is asked to coordinate with professional agencies to soon organize a seminar on geographic accidents and build a project to develop a weather monitoring system in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

    Natural disasters have so far this year left 116 people dead and missing, destroyed 1,030 houses, and caused economic damage worth over 5.6 trillion VND.

    Vietnam Airlines delays flights to China due to storm Pakhar

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines decided to adjust the departure time of its flights from Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong/Guangzhou of China on August 27 to ensure safety for its passengers as storm Pakhar landed China’s Guangdong early on the morning of August 27.

    Accordingly, the carrier delayed flights VN502/503/506/507 from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Guangzhou, and flights VN592/593/594/595 from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong.

    The new departure time of these flights are postponed from three to four hours. 

    In addition, several domestic flights are delayed as well.

    Vietnam Airlines recommended passengers to keep a close watch on China’s weather and the carrier’s information if they have plans to go or leave the country.

    For more specific information, passengers can access the carrier’s website www.vietnamairlines.com, contact its ticket offices, or call its hotline 19001100.

    Musical performance fosters Vietnam – Laos ties

    An art troupe from Vietnam’s Military Zone 9 had a friendly music exchange on August 26 at Laos’ Ministry of Defence in the capital city of Vientiane, celebrating the “Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017”.

    Speaking at the event, Lieutenant General Saisamon Salapxeng, head of the Lao Defence Ministry’s Department for Popularisarion and Training, highly valued the musical event, stressing that music exchange is an effective bridge between the two countries. 

    He added that the “Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017” helps Lao soldiers and people understand better about the special solidarity with Vietnam as well as their roles and responsibilities for preservation and development of the two countries’ relations.

    For his part, Head of the Vietnamese Military Zone 9 ensemble Doan Thanh Xuan expressed his happiness to perform in Laos, saying music will connect cultures, thus promoting friendship and solidarity between the two countries. 

    The event consisted of various performances including singing and dancing, celebrating the traditional friendship and special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos.

    Communist Parties of Vietnam, Japan hold theory exchange

    The Communist Parties of Vietnam and Japan held their seventh theory exchange in Tokyo on August 26-27, discussing changes in the regional and world situations as well as challenges and prospects for the two countries.

    Speaking at the event, Politburo member and Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and Head of its Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh said that amid complicated developments in the global situation, the two parties need to have correct assessments and forecasts to carry out appropriate policies and solutions.

    He stressed the importance of coordinating in studying and sharing viewpoints on the international situation to help the two parties enhance trust, mutual understanding and collaborate more effectively at international forums for a goal of building a world of peace, stability, prosperity and development.

    The exchanges like this have contributed to perfecting Vietnam’s theories on the roadmap to socialism and to drawing up the country’s policies.

    Chinh expressed his belief that through this event, the friendship, cooperation and trust between the two parties will be consolidated and intensified, thus contributing to developing the Vietnam-Japan relations.

    Former President of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Fuwa Tetsuzo, who is director of the JCP Social Sciences Institute, said that at present the JCP only conducts the theory exchange systematically with the Communist Party of Vietnam.

    He stated he believed this exchange will help strengthen the two parties’ operations.

    Three discussion sessions are scheduled to take place at the two-day exchange.

    Vietnam-RoK cultural exchange organised in Seoul

    A Vietnam – Republic of Korea (RoK) cultural exchange festival was held in Seoul on August 27 to celebrate Vietnam’s 72nd National Day (September 2, 1945) and the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (December 22, 1992).

    Vietnam’s Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu said more cultural and people-to-people exchanges have been held between the two countries, contributing to stepping up the bilateral friendship and mutual understanding. 

    President of the Vietnamese Women’s Association in the RoK Mai Thi Hong Ngoc said that the event aimed at promoting Vietnam’s culture and people to Koreans and international friends.

    She expressed her hope that through art performances and Vietnamese cuisine, the festival will help tighten the friendship between the two countries which hold a lot of cultural similarities.

    Kim Hae-ryon, a representative from the Seoul city council, appreciated the contributions made by the Vietnamese community to her country’s development.

    She vowed to do her utmost to support the Vietnamese community and nurture the two countries’ relations.

    Some 150,000 Vietnamese people are living and working in the Republic of Korea.

    Japanese Communist Party leader welcomes CPV delegation

    Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Shii Kazuo hosted a reception for Pham Minh Chinh, Politburo member and Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and his entourage in Tokyo on August 27.

    Chinh congratulated the JCP on its new progress after its 27th congress as well as its success in the Tokyo council election.

    He briefed his host on Vietnam’s current situation and the seventh theory exchange between the JCP and the CPV, while discussing measures to consolidate relations between the two parties.

    For his part, Shii Kazuo expressed his delight at the fruitful results of the seventh theory exchange as well as the growing partnership between the two parties over the past years.

    He thanked the CPV for its support for the JCP, expressing his hope to further strengthen the solidarity, trust and cooperation between the two parties in the future.

    On August 26-27, the CPV delegation led by Pham Minh Chinh conducted the seventh theory exchange with the JCP led by Fuwa Tetsuzo, former JCP Chairman and head of the JCP’s Social Science Institute.

    During the exchange, the two sides informed each other of the situation of each party and country, while discussing the world and regional issues.

    Hoa Binh intensifies cooperation with Laos’s Luang Prabang

    The northern province of Hoa Binh and the Lao province of Luang Prabang have agreed to strengthen their friendship and cooperation.

    The consensus was made at the working session on August 26 between Secretary of Hoa Binh’s Party Committee Bui Van Tinh and visiting Secretary of the Party Committee and Governor of Luang Prabang Khamkhanh Chamthavisouk.

    They also agreed to intensify cooperation in tourism, agriculture, hydropower generation, and build an information exchange mechanism.

    At the meeting, the two leaders informed each other of their provinces’ 2016-2017 socio-economic development.

    Within the framework of their working visit, Lao officials visited a historical relic site in Hoa Binh’s Military High Command where a preparatory meeting of the second National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party took place.

    Hanoi’s Vietnam-France Friendship Association bridges capitals

    The Vietnam-France Friendship Association’s Hanoi chapter convened its fifth congress on August 27, during which it set to strengthen the introduction of the city’s culture and people to foreign friends.

    In the 2017-2022 term, the association will expand its external relations and international cooperation as well as cultural exchanges to promote the city’s image.

    The association will also act to boost economic, cultural, sport and tourism connections between Vietnam and France as well as the two capital cities.

    At the same time, the association will organise humanitarian events to help the needy.

    At the congress, the association elected a 30-member Executive Committee for the 2017-2022 tenure headed by Nguyen Lan Trung, Vice Standing President of the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association’s Central Committee.

    Addressing the event, Trung said that despite difficulties, the Vietnam-France Friendship Association in Hanoi effectively implemented its plan, contributing to the people-to-people relations of the city.

    Along with joining people-to-people diplomatic activities, the association also engaged in friendship events to introduce Hanoi to international friends in general and in France in particular, while helping French friends to study the culture, architecture and socio-economy of the capital city.

    The association was formed on August 2, 1996. It has 18 chapters with thousands of members.

    Toyota Vietnam recalls over 20,000 cars for airbag issue

    Toyota Vietnam will start recalling 20,015 cars, including Vios and Yaris models, across the country from August 28 to replace airbags produced by the Japanese firm Takata, said the car manufacturer.

    The Japanese automobile maker will recall 18,138 of its Vios models assembled in Vietnam from January 5, 2009 to December 29, 2012 and 1,877 Yaris units imported into the country from September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2012.

    According to the manufacturer, the propellant used in Takata air bag inflators may deteriorate if it is exposed to temperature variations in humid climates over a long period of time, causing the inflators to explode and spray shrapnel into passengers.

    Toyota Vietnam said it will check and replace the airbags free of charge at all of its branches across the country. 

    Previously, on July 20, 2015, Toyota Vietnam announced a recall of 3,958 of its Corolla and Vios models over an airbag fault. 

    Joint Vietnam-Japan circus performance to entertain Vietnam audience

    Vietnamese audiences will be dazzled with a special circus programme jointly held by the Vietnam Circus Federation (VCF) and the Happy Dream Circus Japan from September 1.

    The programme, organised to mark 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties (1973-2018) and celebrate Vietnam’s National Day (September 2), will be in Hanoi until December 1 and then travel to several other cities and provinces from December 2 to April 1, 2018. 

    At a press meeting on August 25, VCF Director Ta Duy Anh said that the programme will enhance mutual cultural understanding between Vietnam and Japan. 

    Top Vietnamese circus artists will perform in the programme along with 13 performers of Happy Dream Circus Japan, he said. 

    Hanoi: new dengue fever cases drop

    The number of new dengue fever cases in Hanoi has dropped in the recent two weeks but is still high, heard a meeting of the Steering Committee on Epidemics Prevention and Control in Hanoi on August 25.

    A report from the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health showed that Hanoi tops the list of 10 localities with highest dengue fever cases nationwide.

    The municipal Department of Health reported 19,962 dengue fever cases with seven deaths from January 1 to August 22. The virus was found in all 30 districts and wards, mostly in inner city. 

    Hanoi has conducted large-scale spraying of anti-mosquito chemicals, while promptly tackling small and newly-detected outbreaks.

    Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine Tran Dac Phu said that in the coming time, the health sector will focus on killing mosquitoes in outskirt localities and adjacent provinces.

    Since early this year, as many as 100,417 dengue fever cases have been reported nationwide, a rise of 47.9 percent year on year, with 26 deaths, 9 more than the same period last year.

    The southern region accounted for 52.7 percent of dengue patients, northern region had 29.1 percent, and the central region 14.9 percent.

    Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two leading localities with highest cases and deaths.

    Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long asked Hanoi and other localities to roll out stronger measures to suppress dengue virus on the threshold of the new academic year.

    He also called for cooperation from ministries, sectors and the community in the work.

    Children raise voice against violence, abuse

    As many as 200 children aged between 9 and 15 from 48 cities and provinces nationwide voiced their concern about violence and sexual abuse against children at a dialogue held in Hanoi on August 26.

    The dialogue was part of the fifth National Children’s Forum jointly held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and relevant ministries and foreign organisations.

    The children also expressed their opinions about how to reduce child labour and prevent cyber violence and abuse against children. 

    Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan affirmed that the children’s opinions will be taken into account during the building of legal documents, planning and projects related to children.

    Regarding child participation rights, an official from the MoLISA said that parents need to enhance their own knowledge about children’s rights and understand their wish. Children should be given opportunities to contribute their opinions about relevant documents and policies through forums and public media.

    Communication works for children must be renovated to suit children’s psychology and the relations between teachers and students at school should be improved, the official added.

    Meanwhile, Chief of Social Policy and Governance at UNICEF Vietnam Yoshimi Nishino said that individuals and social organisations should join hands to prevent violence against children, which leaves negative psychological and physical impacts on them.

    A good legal framework will create foundation to enforce children’s rights, she said, adding that outdated traditions or practices affecting children must be abolished.

    ASEAN Golden Festival opens in Hanoi

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ASEAN Women Community’s Circle in Hanoi (AWCH) jointly held the ASEAN Golden Festival in Hanoi on August 26 to mark the 50th founding anniversary of the ASEAN.

    Attending the event were Tran Nguyet Thu, the spouse of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Nguyen Nguyet Nga, , representatives of Foreign Ministry and Hanoi, and ambassadors from ASEAN countries and other countries in Hanoi.

    Addressing the event, AWCH Honorary President Nguyen Nguyet Nga, who is the spouse of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, said that from a divided region with conflicts and poverty, ASEAN has become an area of peace, unity and prosperity, a community of self-reliance, dynamism and solidarity, a family with shared vision and a common identity.

    She highlighted that ASEAN is now playing a central role in the region with a rising position in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

    On behalf of ASEAN countries’ embassies in Hanoi, Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon said that the festival is an important event that helps improve public awareness on the diverse cultures of ASEAN members through the introduction of their music, dances, games and foods.

    At the event, participants enjoyed an art performance featuring ASEAN countries’ cultural identities, and joining traditional games and foods.

    A photo exhibition at the festival also impressed visitors with photos showing the nation and people of ASEAN.

    Milk gifted to schools in flood-hit provinces

    The Ministry of Education and Training and Dutch-owned dairy company FrieslandCampina in Vietnam have donated 30 tonnes of milk to schools in northern provinces, which were badly affected by floods that began at the end of July.

    The schools are in the districts of Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai Province, Muong La in Son La and Tan Son in Phu Tho.

    At the handover ceremony, Colonel Hoang Van Tong, deputy head of the ministry’s department of national defence, encouraged staff and students at the schools to try and overcome their difficulties caused by the floods.

    Kindergarten and primary school students in disadvantaged areas in the provinces of Son La, Dien Bien and Ha Giang also received 12 tonnes of milk earlier.

    The Ministry of Education and Training  conferred a Certificate of Merit on FrieslandCampina Vietnam for providing nutrition to children, especially in disadvantaged border areas.

    HCM City prepares for world cultural festival with Gyeongju

    Ho Chi Minh City is committed to creating best possible conditions for the organisation of the HCM City–Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem.

    Liem made the remark at a meeting with Joo Joong Chul, Deputy Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do province in the southern economic hub on August 25. Gyeongju is a city in the Republic of Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do.

    Liem said HCM City always listens to feedback and opinions from the RoK’s side during their joint preparation for the festival. 

    Joo Joong Chul thanked the city authorities and relevant agencies for their assistance and cooperation goodwill, and asked for further support to ensure the success of the festival.

    Reporting on preparation progress, he requested HCM City leaders to help extend the use duration of land used for materials storage serving construction of facilities for the festival, particularly in key areas like the 23/9 Park and Nguyen Hue Street. 

    He also asked for more intensive promotion of the festival on the local media and across streets.

    Taking into account his guest’s recommendations, Liem tasked relevant agencies with working with the RoK side to promptly tackle these issues and ensure preparation process to run on schedule.

    The HCM City- Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017 is set to kick off in mid-November and last for 25 days. Featuring a host of cultural-art events, sport and youth exchanges as well as trade cooperation activities, it will take place across popular public gathering sites such as the Nguyen Hue pedestrian street, 23/9 Park, and Ben Thanh theatre.

    Painting contest promotes Vietnam-Denmark friendship

    All Vietnamese primary pupils can paint their dreams and send their works to a painting contest launched by the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam in Hanoi on August 25.

    The initiative is part of the annual cultural exchange themed “Denmark in our eyes” which aims to promote the Vietnam – Denmark diplomatic ties.

    Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Christian Brix Moller said over the past ten years, Denmark has supported student-centred art teaching at primary schools in Vietnam. 

    How the new teaching method inspires creativity among children will be seen through the contest, he said.

    According to Cultural Counsellor of the embassy Ane Kirsten Andersen, the event presents an opportunity for primary students to develop their creativity and imagination while contributing to enhancing the friendship and cultural understanding between the two countries’ people, especially young generations.

    Candidates can send their entries to the Vietnam – Denmark Friendship Association at 105 A Quan Thanh street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi from August 25 to October 6.

    The award ceremony will be held in November. A special prize winner will receive a Canon camera and a lego kit.

    Vietnam seeks trade links with Algerian locality

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru recently visited Tlemcen province from August 22-24 to promote economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and the province.

    During a working session with Benyaiche Ali, Governor of Tlemcen, the Vietnamese diplomat highlighted the relations between Vietnam and other nations, particularly Algeria, and expressed his hope to bolster the multilateral cooperation between the two sides, including at local level.

    Tru pointed to the good potential for partnership between Tlemcen, which is a leading cultural, tourism hub of Algeria, and Vietnamese localities. He asked the province to coordinate with him to promote links with Vietnam’s localities.

    Benyaiche Ali valued the traditional friendship between the two nations, and expressed his hope to develop the relationship between the locality with Vietnam, particularly the possibility to develop twinning relations with a province or city of Vietnam.

    During the stay, Tru also had a working session with the provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry and local firms.

    The two sides briefed each other their own potential and market, and exchanged measures to promote cooperation and connection between businesses of Tlemcen and Vietnam.

    The Chamber called on Vietnamese firms to invest in producing consumer goods, textiles, footwear, mechanical manufacturing, electronics, agriculture and construction in Tlemcen.

    He also proposed establishing links between his organization and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, adding that a delegation of local firms may attend the Vietnam Trade Fairs (Vietnam Expo) in November.

    Project to end violence against women, girls launched in Da Nang

    The women’s union of Da Nang and UN Women jointly launched a Asia-Pacific regional project on enhancing measures to end violence against women and girls in the central city on August 25.

    The Vietnam component of the project, which aims to mobilise the community’s engagement in preventing violence against women and girls, will be implemented from 2017 to 2020 with financial support from the Australian Government.

    The project is to create changes directly benefiting women and girls, enhance knowledge to end violence, and share evidence and practice across the Asia-Pacific region.

    It also targets changing prejudices and increasing accountability of regional and national organisations to implement policies to end violence against women and girls.

    According to Vice Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh, in Vietnam, six out of ten women are victims of domestic violence. She cited the UN’s estimates as saying that domestic violence in Vietnam caused economic losses equivalent to 3.2 percent of the country’s GDP.

    The municipal authorities and people will actively engage in fighting violence against women and girls, thus building Da Nang into a safe and friendly city, he stressed.

    Winners of contest on ASEAN’s 50-year history announced

    Winners of a contest on ASEAN’s 50-year development toward the ASEAN Vision 2025 were honoured during a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on August 25.

    More than one month since it was launched, the contest drew the participation of nearly 80,300 people from 41 cities and provinces across Vietnam as well as some ASEAN countries.

    Nguyen Van Quy from District 6 of Ho Chi Minh City won the first prize. The organising boardalso awarded three second, four third and 22 consolidation prizes, and 10 certificates for outstanding collectives.

    The contest focused on studying the culture, history, tradition and people of ASEAN countries, as well as the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and other ASEAN member nations.

    Tran Tan Ngoi, Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City said that the contest attracted people of all strata in Vietnam and many citizens of ASEAN countries living in Vietnam, helping them better understand the significance of building the ASEAN Community with a vision towards 2025, as well as raise their responsibility as citizens of ASEAN.

    On the occasion, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City and the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Associations presented awards to winners of a friendship table tennis tournament marking the 50th anniversary of ASEAN that drew 57 players from ASEAN countries.

    HCM City union grants gifts to poor women, children in Cambodia

    The Women’s Union of Ho Chi Minh City on August 26 presented 140 gifts to poor Vietnamese and Cambodian women and children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    The move aimed to strengthen solidarity between the city and Phnom Penh and between the two countries.

    Hoang Hoa, head of the Executive Board of the Vietnamese Women’s Association in Cambodia, thanked the Ho Chi Minh City union, adding that the presents will help ease the burdens on Vietnamese and Cambodian families.

    In recent years, Ho Chi Minh City has held many voluntary activities in Cambodia, including providing free medicine and health check-ups, assisting in building schools, and granting scholarships.

    Binh Thuan province moves to end illegal fishing in foreign waters

    The south central province of Binh Thuan has taken actions to stop local fishermen fishing in foreign seas, a problem which has cropped up often recently.

    The provincial People’s Committee issued a document on August 25 on measures to prevent the violations by local fishing boats and fishermen.

    The document requested relevant agencies and local administrations closely manage boats and fishermen, reprimand violators in front of local communities, and force boat owners and captains to agree not to infringe on foreign waters.

    Local People’s Committees were directed to monitor and prevent violations while disciplining communal officials whose irresponsibility results in local fishermen infringing on foreign seas.

    Binh Thuan also ordered the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to revoke fishing licenses and captain and chief mechanic certificates from those linked with violations. It will also not license fishing or approve new registrations for boat owners who previously infringed on foreign waters and were arrested by other countries.

    The provincial People’s Committee said since late 2015, violations of foreign waters to fish and purchase seafood and the detention and punishment of fishing boats and fishermen by regional countries have become complicated. 

    It admitted several shortcomings in violation prevention such as lax punishment and sloppy work from local administrations.

    On May 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued an official dispatch urging actions to prevent illegal Vietnamese fishing, especially in the central provinces of Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Binh Thuan, and the southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Ben Tre and Tien Giang.

    Comprehensive approach needed to reduce cases of cervical cancer

    Vaccine coverage against the human papilloma virus (HPV) should be expanded to help reduce new incidences of cervical cancer, experts said at an APEC meeting.

    At the APEC Policy Dialogue on HPV and Cervical Cancer, which ended yesterday in HCM City, participants discussed the rolling out of HPV vaccination programmes and future plans and goals for reducing HPV and cervical cancer in APEC economies.

    Global studies estimating the potential impact of HPV vaccinations and the cost of delays were also presented.

    “Cervical cancer is highly preventable with an HPV vaccine and generally curable if diagnosed and treated early,” Việt Nam’s Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Viết Tiến said at the meeting.

    Despite this, 528,000 new incidences of cervical cancer occurred in 2012 around the world and more than 266,000 people died needlessly from the disease, Tiến said.

    Nearly 90 per cent of the fatalities were living in low- and middle- income countries and territories, he said, adding that only one in 10 girls in those countries have access to HPV vaccines, compared to nine in 10 girls in high-income countries.

    For primary prevention, a pilot programme supported by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) provided HPV vaccines to 6,000 teenagers from 2008 to 2010 in Việt Nam.

    However, “the current coverage of HPV vaccination in Việt Nam still is low because of the high costs of HPV vaccines,” Tiến told Việt Nam News on the sidelines of the APEC Policy Dialogue.

    “More strategies are needed to raise vaccination coverage in Việt Nam,” he said, adding a specific agency in charge of buying vaccines would help reduce the cost.

    Dr Trần Văn Thuấn, director of the National Institute for Cancer Control in Hà Nội, said that many countries in the world were using the HPV vaccines in their national programmes on immunisation, which has helped reduce the incidences of cervical cancer.

    Each year, 5,600 women die from cervical cancer in Việt Nam, Thuấn said.

    “In Việt Nam, cervical cancer ranks the fourth of the most common cancers and the sixth leading cause of cancer fatalities among women,” Tiến said.

    Professor You-Lin Qiao of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences said that the price of the vaccines were very expensive. In China, vaccines can cost around $100 for one dose, he said.

    Assoc Professor Marion Saville, executive director at Victorian Cytology Service Ltd, said that in Australia, the government has funded HPV vaccines for teenage girls since 2007 and for teenage boys since 2013.

    “We’re very lucky that parents can send their kids for vaccinations at no costs through school-based delivery of vaccination,” she said.

    School-based delivery is good for maximizing uptake but also maximizing equity so that children and teenagers who come from poorer parts of Australia are as likely to be vaccinated as children from the wealthier parts, Saville said.

    The vaccination is convenient and affordable in Australia, she said, adding: “With that we have very high three-dose completion rate. It is highly cost-effective to prevent cancer through vaccinations.”

    Vaccination coverage is a good investment. Combined with government efforts and GAVI, getting vaccines to girls between the age of 9 and 12 would help reduce the number of cervix cancer cases in the region, according to Saville.

    Dr Lokky Wai, representative of the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region, said: “To increase the rate of vaccine coverage, we need to overcome a number of challenges, besides the high cost of procuring the vaccines.”

    Proper communication or education about cervical cancer and its causes, safety and effectiveness of HPV vaccines and dispelling rumors or myths about vaccines are challenges that need to be tackled, Wai said.

    “We also need strong commitments from the highest level of governments to support, promote and mobilize communities to recognize the danger of HPV infections and accept and use the vaccines,” he said.

    The two vaccines currently available protect against some of the most common types of HPV (16 and 18) which are known to cause at least 70 per cent of cervical cancers. 

    The vaccines may also offer cross-protection against other less common HPV types which cause cervical cancer.  Both vaccines are safe and very effective in preventing infection with HPV16 and 18. 

    Vaccinations against HPV, however, are not enough, Wai said, adding that to reduce cervical cancer a comprehensive approach is needed.

    Provision of regular screening services, proper education about sexual practices, and reduction in smoking prevalence are all issues that need to be resolved to substantially reduce cervical cancer incidences, he said.

    Health deputy minister Tiến said that Việt Nam had been applying strategies toward eradicating HPV infection and significantly reducing incidences of cervical cancer.

    Media campaigns to improve awareness of the prevention and early diagnosis of cervical cancer has been carried out throughout the country, Tiến said.

    Cervical cancer screening and treatment has been part of the National Strategy on Reproductive Health Care since 2001 and the National Cancer Control Programme since 2008.

    “A population-based cervical cancer screening programme was implemented in specific regions of the country, using cytology or visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) methods,” Tiến said.

    Clinical guidelines for cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment were approved by Việt Nam’s Ministry of Health in 2011, and have been updated frequently.

    “However, like many APEC developing economies, Việt Nam faces financing issues, including the high costs of HPV vaccination, limited access to health services in rural remote areas, lack of cytology laboratories and high quality cytologists, among others,” Tiến added.

    Việt Nam will take advantage of new innovations to provide people primary levels of care and essential health services that are accessible, safe, effective and affordable, he said.

    Nha Trang fishermen struggling

    Near-shore fishery resources are declining and in danger of being in Vĩnh Trường Commune, Nha Trang City where 70 per cent of the population earn a living via the sea, forcing many fishermen to look for other lines of work.

    Near-shore fishing wasn’t very profitable while off-shore fishing needed high-capacity vessels but few locals could access loans to build ships, said an old fisherman.   

    Fisherman Trần Văn Bảy, 60, said previously, his family made about 20-25 near-shore trips per month. “Previous trips, starting from in the evening and returning the following morning, were usually full of fish, at a maximum of 2,000 to 3,000 kg and minimum of 500-700 kg per trip,” he said.

    “Now, near-shore sea- resources are increasingly scarce so every month, my family has about 10 sea-going trips. In June and July, we didn’t earn any money from the trips.”

    Most of the catch was cheap fish, so fater paying costs for the crew, petrol and maintenance, the vessel owner earned nothing.

    Failed voyages in early August for Vĩnh Trường Ward’s fishermen caused many residents to fall into debt, forcing several ship owners to sell their vessels.

    Many quit fishing and moved to other jobs such as trading goods, xe ôm (motorbike taxi driver) driving or they went south looking for work in large companies.      

    "I have never seen fishing here so bad. Going to the sea and returning home empty-handed is common,” Bảy said.

    “Four sons usually go with me on sea-going trips, but my ship’s crew have all quit fishing. Now, they are looking for new jobs,” he said.

    Two months ago, the Trường Sơn Street’s fishermen group had about 42 boats, but now only seven operate.

    Nguyễn Tấn Hùng, a ship owner in Trường Sơn St. said he had to sell his ship and become a xe ôm.

    “Following sea-going trips, all ship owners must borrow loans to build ships but they can’t pay interest,” Hùng said.   

    “Driving for a month I can earn from VNĐ3 to 4 million. I am very upset to have quit fishing, but I have to carry on.”

     Nguyễn Thái Học, Vice Chairman of People’s Committee of Vĩnh Trường Ward, said in the first six months of this year, seafood output in the area was estimated at 2,700 tonnes, down 10 per cent against the same period last year.

    Currently, there are 430 vessels of all kinds in the locality, with 332 fishing vessels and 98 seafood purchasing and service vessels.

    Because of unsustainable fishing methods, a changed sea environment and polluted water, the coastal fishery resources are declining.

    At present, near-shore fishing that still using traditional measures was facing with difficulties due to seafood depletion.

    He said “Previously, every early morning, Vĩnh Trường fishing port was crowded with fishing vessels and traders, and now the port is closed. The decreasing fishery production has seriously affected local residents.”

    Among 3,800 households in Vĩnh Trường Ward, there are 163 poor households, with 960 in danger of becoming poor.

    “If this problem isn’t solved, the number of poor households is likely to increase," he said.

    Vĩnh Trương Ward People’s Committee assigned the association of farmers to help local fishermen change from near-shore fishing to off-shore fishing with loans.

    However, most local fishermen can’t borrow loans to build offshore fishing vessels due to a lack of assets for mortgage.

    “Fishermen need further support from the Khánh Hòa Province People’s Committee to establish technology training courses and prioritise borrowing loans, “ Học said. 

    HCM City to build bridge to Kim Cương Island

    Construction of a bridge to Kim Cương (Diamond) Island in HCM City’s District 2 is slated to begin in early September.

    The four-lane bridge, 837 metres long and 27 metres wide, will go from Thạnh Mỹ Lợi residential area to the island over the Sài Gòn River.

    Expected to cost VNĐ494 billion (US$21.7 million), it will be scheduled for completion before April 30 next year.

    The bridge will provide an alternative route from Mai Chí Thọ Street to Ring Road No. 2 and Phú Mỹ Bridge, helping reduce congestion on Đồng Vàm Cống Street and around Cát Lái Port.

    More efforts needed to preserve biodiversity on Ly Son Island

    Destructive human activities have put coral reefs, sea grass beds and many other marine species off Ly Son Island at risk in recent years, with local authorities urged to make more efforts to preserve the unique ecosystem.

    Ly Son Marine Reserve in central Quang Ngai province, covering Ly Son Island and its surrounding areas, has a water surface of more than 7,100 hectares, including the 620-hectare no-take zone, an area of more than 2,000 hectares for ecology restoration and another for development stretching across 4,470 hectares.

    The sea protected area is known for high biodiversity and an ecosystem that houses many rare marine species like black coral, maxima clams and abalone. But these creatures are in danger of extinction due to the activities of local people.

    Fishermen have used explosives to kill many fish, seriously harming coral reefs. Meanwhile, hundreds of locals harvest natural brown seaweed, which offers shelter for many sea creatures, every May and June. They can harvest an average of 3-5 tonnes of brown seaweed daily, making it difficult to recover.

    In addition, more than 150,000 sq.m of sand from beaches is exploited each year to cultivate garlic, causing coastal erosion and depleting sea grass beds.

    To solve the problems, the provincial People’s Committee adopted a project to use advanced technology to restore coral reefs near Ly Son Island in 2015.

    Experts have been sent to survey the coral reefs and raise local awareness of the importance of animal and environmental protection. Local authorities and residents have also been provided with training on how to recover coral reefs. 

    A model for coral recovery piloted across 2 hectares of the marine reserve has developed well, giving hope of bringing back endangered species and increasing local seafood yields.

    The province urged Ly Son Island to intensify management of the sea protected area by requesting tour operators strictly comply with the reserve’s regulations and keeping close watch on the density and development of rare sea species.

    The island was also urged to get local people involved in protecting natural resources and to guide them to fish sustainably.

    Vietnam Innovation Golden Book 2017 announced

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a ceremony in Hanoi on August 28 to launch the Vietnam Innovation Golden Book 2017.

    The book was published by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA).

    It is a collection of 72 outstanding science-technology projects and solutions selected from 141 works recommended by ministries, localities and VUSTA member organisations.

    President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man said the book includes valuable initiatives to support the community, dealing with healthcare improvement, environmental protection, and socio-economic development in disadvantaged border, sea and island areas.

    Also at the ceremony, the VFF leader launched an emulation movement to promote innovation, enhance productivity, product quality for international integration among society, especially intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and workers at home and abroad.

    Addressing the event, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that the Vietnamese Party and State always encourage reforms and innovations, particularly in scientific and technological development.

    The Government has made due investment in science and technology and creates the best possible conditions for scientists to uphold their talents and creativity, he said.

    The PM suggested publishing the annual Vietnam Innovation Golden Book on the occasion of the National Day (September 2, 1945) to bring science-technology solutions into life.

    Vietnam seizes Apple gadgets smuggled from US, gold from Thailand

    Customs officers in Ho Chi Minh City Friday (August 25) said they had just seized the largest postal package of iPhones and iPads smuggled from the US.

    The shipment included 144 smartphones and tablets, most of them new and of the latest versions.

    It was labeled as non-commercial package and declared to contain computer mouses and keyboards, the officers said, as cited by local media.

    The recepient has been identified as a resident in District 1 in the city downtown.

    Also on August 25, more than 20 kilograms of what was suspected as gold from a Bangkok flight was seized at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi.

    Customs officers at the international airport said five Vietnamese passengers were hiding the jewelries around their torso and legs. The city police also helped with the bust at nearly 8 pm..

    The passengers are being held for investigation.

    Vietnamese laws ban outbound and inbound travelers from carrying gold bars, while foreigners bringing in gold bars have to deposit them with customs and can only take them back at departure.

    In March, a Vietnamese court sentenced a former Cambodian border security officer to six years in jail after convicting him of smuggling 18 kilograms of gold bars into Vietnam.

    A former Vietnamese flight attendant and an aircraft technician were charged that same month for smuggling gold from Vietnam to the Republic of Korea.

    Vietnam has high vehicular crash death rate, despite progress

    In the first eight months of 2017 more than 5,400 people died on the country’s roads and highways, roughly 23 fatalities a day, according to the National Committee for Traffic Safety.

    Though the numbers were slightly better than prior years, they are not good by any measure.

    Vietnam also performed badly in other measures. There were some 13,000 traffic accidents for the eight-month period that severely injured an additional 10,500 others.

    The Committee called traffic deaths and injuries a serious public health issue, noting that it is important to compare the country not to its past but to its fullest potential. Vietnamese people deserved better and safer transport.

    Data from a report issued by the Committee showed motorbikes accounted for 65% of all vehicular accidents while passenger busses accounted for 30%.

    Most accidents and injuries resulted from lack of driving skills and adequate training, excessive speeds, driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to wear helmets, the Committee report concluded.

    Sapa mid-autumn festival opens Sept. 2

    The Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism has announced that a week-long mid-autumn festival will open September 2 in Sapa.

    During the event, a wide variety of activities are planned, said the Ministry, including art, handicraft and photo exhibitions; food and drink events; concerts; dance and theatre performances; and sporting competitions, among others.

    Capping off the sporting competitions is a mountain marathon and cycling tournament. Featured events also include a lantern parade, Mong ethnic dances and art performances.

    VNN


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