Fire destroys thousand sq. meter wood factory in Dong Nai
A huge fire suddenly occurred at a wood factory of Shing Mark Company in Bai Xep Industrial Park, Trang Bom district, Dong Nai at midnight on January 15.
Because materials inside the wood factory are easily ignited, the flame quickly spread out causing the firefighters to meet difficulties in order to access the site and localize the fire.
By 5am today, the blaze was extinguished.
The initial information showed that there was no death in the fire; however, the flame destroyed thousand sq. meter factory and burnt wood materials inside the factory.
At present, the functional agencies have investigated the cause of the fire.
HCM City ensures traffic safety for Tet
The Ho Chi Minh City Traffic Safety Committee has deployed various measures to ensure traffic safety and order in the city before and during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy chief of the committee, said, “The campaign aims to reduce traffic congestions and accidents to ensure that the city’s residents have a happy and peaceful holiday.”
The committee has worked with the Road – Railway Traffic Police Division (PC67) to enhance inspection at hot spots for traffic accidents and congestions.
The traffic police force is on duty 24/7 before and during the holiday to ensure smooth traffic and punish any violating vehicles at the city’s gateways and crowded places, such as railway stations, piers, coach stations and bus stations.
The inspection focuses on inter-provincial coach stations in HCM City, including Mien Dong (Eastern) Coach Station, Mien Tay (Western) Coach Station, An Suong Coach Station, Cho Lon Coach Station, District 8’s Coach Station and Nga Tu Ga Coach Station to prevent the selling of black market fares and unlicensed coaches.
Unsafe vehicles, drivers using alcohol and drivers who do not have driving licenses or authentic certificates will be strictly punished.
The police have enhanced inspection at road-rail intersections to reduce railway accidents.
The committee has also cooperated with the Waterway Police Division (PC68) to manage violations on major waterway routes, such as Sai Gon, Dong Nai and Can Giuoc Rivers and Tau Hu – Ben Nghe Canal.
The police will strictly punish vehicles with overloaded cargos as well as overloaded river buses and ferries to ensure safety for passengers.
Activities held to support the poor, labourers on Lunar New Year
A lot of activities have been carried out across Vietnam to support labourers and poor people on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
The Red Cross of southern Binh Duong province coordinated with local agencies to present 400 gifts, worth 800,000 VND (35.28 USD) each, to the poor, people with disabilities, orphans and Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Tan My commune of Bac Tan Uyen district, Hoi Nghia commune in Tan Uyen township, and Phu Giao district.
The association plans to give additional 1,000 gifts on this occasion.
The Gia Trung prison under the Ministry of Public Security located in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai granted presents to poor households and outstanding students with disadvantageous backgrounds in Ayun and Dak Jo Ta communes of Mang Yang district.
The gifts are expected to help poor people overcome difficulties to gain a better life.
Meanwhile, the central province of Thua Thien Hue plans to organise Tet programmes on January 27-28 and February 3-4 to support labourers.
At these events, poor workers are offered a chance to buy discounted products. A total of 400 presents, worth 1.5 million VND each, are expected to be handed over to labourers who lost their jobs as their employers fled or due to disasters, and those suffering work accidents.
The province is home to nearly 94,000 workers, many of whom are living in difficult circumstances.
Small-scale coffee farmers get helping hand
Lo Thi Phong in Chieng Chung commune in Mai Son district in the mountain province of Son La, has cultivated coffee for more than 10 years on 5,000 square metres of land, but she still finds life difficult.
A decade seems long enough to improve farming practices by trial-and-error, however, according to the middle-aged Thai woman, “even now, we still cannot keep proper financial accounts”.
During discussions hosted by CARE International last week, stakeholders in the mountain coffee industry touched on deeper obstacles facing the industry.
CARE has worked in Vietnam since 1989, concentrating on supporting rights and sustainable development among vulnerable groups, particularly remote ethnic communities, poor women and girls and people vulnerable to climate change.
Nguyen Vinh Duc, deputy director of the Son La branch of the Minh Tien Coffee Export Joint Stock Company, spoke on the drawbacks of small production in the development of local coffee.
“Since coffee plantations in Son La are limited, farmers have not established cooperatives like those in the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Lam Dong,” he said.
“Moreover, different techniques used by farmers to process their own beans leads to variation in quality, making it challenging for export companies,” he said.
Duc said that specialisation during production stages was critical to enhance the quality and increase the value of local coffee.
Phong is a typical coffee farmer in Son La province. According to Lo Minh Hung, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, there are about 12,000 ha of coffee belonging to about 400 households in the locality, small compared to the more than 180,000 ha in Dak Lak province.
At present, the province is known for its hydro-electricity industry and has the largest power generating dam in the nation. But when all hydro-electric projects have been completed, authorities have marked agriculture, particularly fruit and coffee, as the key industry.
The establishment of Son La Tea and Coffee company in 1987 introduced Arabica to the province. This is a strain of coffee more popular in the west than Robusta, the well known Vietnamese coffee. With more than 30 years of experiences and the advantage of good soil, farmers produce the special beans popular in Germany, Japan and the United States.
Son La authorities aim to raise the coffee-growing area to 14,000 ha by 2020. However, current practices have led to soil degradation and a lowering of bean quality.
Moreover, most ethnic farmers in the province are household units, not collectives. This leads to poor bargaining and limited access to inputs such as fertiliser, seeds and information on improving profits.
Therefore, local authorities aim to develop a sustainable coffee-growing area by tightening the links among farmers, processers and traders.
Hung said coffee farmers should form co-operatives to gain better technology transfer and an exchange of experiences.
Duc said that farmers should accelerate good agricultural practices, tighten farm management and protect the environment to acquire international certifications of sustainable farming including UTZ and 4C. “They are a strong foundation for Son La coffee to enhance its quality and access international markets,” he said..
“As a trader, our company creates more favourable conditions for households planting UTZ or 4C certified coffee products. Also, we call for the participation of banks in offering preferential loans and keeping farmers informed about market price,” Duc added.
In the past 10 years, Phong and her husband, like several other coffee-growing households in Son La province, have struggled to find markets for their coffee so that they can expand the farming area.
Now, CARE International in cooperation with the Son La and Dien Bien Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, is implementing a project to support ethnic women in the coffee value chain. It is referred to as Technologically Enhanced Agricultural Livelihoods, or TEAL.
With about 3 million USD funded by the Australian Government, it is expected to promote the potential of coffee products in Muong Ang district of Dien Bien province and Mai Son district of Son La province over the next three years.
“Son La province has identified Arabica coffee as one of the core commodities to reduce and eradicate poverty and to lift living standards. The project supports farmers growing coffee sustainably and plays an important role in improving their lives,” said Hung.
At the same time, the role of women in making economic decision is expected to improve under the CARE programme .
By making ethnic women the main stakeholders, CARE is helping support village savings and loan associations. Simultaneously, a common platform for farmers, traders, consumers and relevant parties will be created to increase productivity and output and to attract further investment in the local coffee industry.
Empowering women and improving coffee value are the two core factors under TEAL, an ambitious project to promote agricultural products.
“With our experiences in promoting gender equality via agricultural value chains, we believe in the project’s ability to improve the living standards of ethnic households,” said Le Kim Dung, country director of CARE International in Vietnam.
Vice President presents gifts to policy beneficiaries in Binh Phuoc
Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh visited and granted gifts to poor people and families of those who rendered service to the nation in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on January 15.
She visited and presented gifts to Heroic Vietnamese Mother Pham Thi Duyen, who was born in 1934 and has nine children. Four of her children took part in the resistance war against US imperialists and two of them laid down their lives during this war.
Thanking Duyen for her great sacrifice for the struggle for national protection, Thinh affirmed that the Party and State always pay attention to Heroic
Mothers and other policy beneficiaries.
On the same day, the Vice President granted 200 scholarships, worth 1 million VND (44.6 USD) each, to excellent students with underprivileged backgrounds in Bu Dop, Loc Ninh, Bu Dang and Bu Gia Map districts.
She also handed over three houses, worth 50 million VND (2,230 USD) each, to poor households in the province.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tien Dung, together with the implementation of socio-economic development policies, the province has paid special attention to social welfares.
Therefore, all homeless and abandoned children and those with disabilities have been cared and received assistance from the State’s policies, the community and international organisations.
The mountainous province is home to over 330,000 children aged below 16, accounting for 31 percent of its population, of whom over 3,500 are living in extremely difficult circumstances and 17,000 are living in poor households.
Nghe An province: Nguyen Van Oai sentenced to five years in prison
The People’s Court of Nghe An province has given five years in jail to Nguyen Van Oai for “resisting on-duty officials,” and “not serving the sentence” at a second instance trial in Vinh city on January 15.
Of the total sentences, Oai, a 37-year-old Christian in hamlet 4, QuynhVinh commune, Hoang Mai town, got three years in prison for “resisting on-duty officials” in line with Article 257 of the 1999 Penal Code and two years’ imprisonment for “not serving sentence” as prescribed in Article 304 of the Penal Code. The jail time is calculated from January 19, 2017 when he was put in temporary detention.
Besides, the court also upheld a probationary period of four years imposed on Oai during a trial held by the provincial People’s Court on January 9, 2013. The terms of his probation will begin after Oai completes serving the five-year jail sentence.
At the court on January 9, 2013, Oai was also handed down four years in prison and four years’ probation for “carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s government.”
He was then given a five-year jail sentence for “resisting on-duty officials,” and “not serving sentence,” and a probationary period of four years at the first instance held by the Hoang Mai People’s Court on September 18, 2017.
At the second instance trial, the jury panel said the arguments of Oai and his lawyer are groundless, saying they have full evidence for his “resisting on-duty officials,” and “not serving the sentence”
The verdict says Oai has disrespected the law and showed a lack of citizen responsibility. His crimes have violated sound activities of law enforcement agencies as well as State administrative management, adversely impacting social order and security and causing public concern.
During investigation and at the court, Oai refused his crimes and showed no repentance.
Public security sector reviews performance in 2017
The Ministry of Public Security held a conference in Hanoi on January 15 in the presence of General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong to review performance of the sector in 2017 and outline tasks for 2018.
Last year, public security forces strictly followed the motto promoting the rule of law, and innovative, active, responsible and effective actions. They have succeeded in providing advice to the Party and State in strategic issues in the fields of politics, economy and foreign affairs while ensuring the nation’s interests, national security and social order.
The forces have played an active role in formulating plans and conducting operations to ensure security for Vietnam’s important political events, particularly the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, enhancing the country’s image in the international arena.
Thanks to the forces’ drastic efforts also brought about a 3.02 percent decline in the number of crimes in 2017 while 80.41 percent of criminal cases were solved. The number of traffic accidents fell by 6.32 percent with a 4.33 percent decrease in fatalities.
The sector has also improved the efficiency of state management of population, household registration, and foreigners as well as the use of weapons and explosives, and conditional business areas.
Speaking at the conference, General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong lauded the public security sector’s efforts and what it has achieved last year.
He stressed that the domestic and international situation in 2018 poses heavy tasks for the sector. In such context, it is necessary to ensure the Party’s absolute and comprehensive leadership of the public security forces.
The Party leader urged the sector to further improve forecast and analysis work for the effective prevention and early detection of threats to national interests and security and any act of sabotage. He stressed that the sector must take steps to ensure information, cyber and economic security and effectively counter hostile and false information, especially on the Internet.
It must also increase operations against trans-border, hi-tech and drug crimes and violations of laws in environment, food safety, and taxation; and enhance effectiveness of operations against corruption.
The conference will run through January 16.
Kids’ Dash marathon attracts 220 participants
More than 220 Vietnamese and foreign children aged between six and nine took part in the Kids’ Dash, a marathon for kids, in HCM City at the weekend.
The event, part of the HCM City Marathon V, saw kids run up to two kilometres.
“The Kids’ Dash has created an image of strength, spirit and desire to win in the children,” Nguyen Hoai Phuong, general director of Gong Cha Vietnam, a sponsor of the event, said.
“Kids have various reasons for joining the event but all of them want to reach the finish.
“Children ran with the support of their families. The event was not only a sport event but also a chance for children to study each other and for families to show their love.”
Twelve winners received prizes from the organiser and sponsors, and all the runners received a medal.
The HCM City Marathon was first held in 1992.
Last year it had 24,000 participants.
Ireland supports children with disabilities
Irish Aid, in cooperation with the central city of Da Nang, has signed an agreement for a project described as strengthening the capacity and sustainability of early childhood disabilities detection and intervention for the next three years with funds totalling 18 billion VND (about 796,000 USD).
The city’s Department of Foreign Affairs said the agreement, signed last weekend, would help screen new-born babies and intervene on children with disabilities, and those that need intervention surgery.
It said the project, which was implemented at three districts – Cam Le, Lien Chieu and Hoa Vang – in 2012-16, had provided rehabilitation, special education, medical examination and surgery to 349 children.
More than 500 medical staff, specialists and rehabilitation lecturers have joined project training sessions run by the Sustainable Health Development Centre (VietHealth).
Since 2008, Irish Aid and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have sponsored the Support Network for People with Disabilities in Da Nang city by providing rehabilitation services and scholarships for poor children with disabilities.
Last year, the city and the Irish Embassy in Vietnam also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on high quality, human-resource education and management skills for city personnel and start-up programmes for students in the city.
The agreement also aims to boost the relationship between Ireland and the city – and exchanges among locals and cities in Ireland.
HCM City sign contract with Thuận
V.League 1 club HCM City have signed a three-year contract with Đỗ Văn Thuận from Sài Gòn FC to prepare for this year’s football season.
Midfielder Thuận is considered a valuable player of Sài Gòn FC and one of the best midfielders of the League. The 25-year-old player is highly appreciated for his skills: speed, strength, observation and creation.
Thuận had spectacular goals in the National Premiere League 2017, including goals in the match between Sài Gòn FC and FLC Thanh Hóa in the 17th round and in the match with HCM City in the 23rd round, which impressed acting chairman of HCM City Lê Công Vinh.
Thuận is the 10th rookie of HCM City. Earlier, to prepare for the League, HCM City inked a contract with former Manchester United midfielder Rodrigo Pereira Possebon and signed a two-year contract with former Việt Nam national team coach Toshiya Miura and had new signings with many local players.
HCM City aim to shine at the League this year, after their third-from-bottom finish in the 14-team V.League 1 last year.
Investor removes illegal constructions from Danang Beach
The investor in The Song resort project in Danang City has started removing illegal constructions and asking permits for the rest.
Ngu Hanh Son District People’s Committee Vice Chairman Huynh Cu said that Song Viet Tourism-Urban Development JSC started removing the balconies that stretch beyond the company’s land lot. Song Viet will remove all illegally planted trees by January 28 and seek permits for other illegal villas.
Song Viet was given permits to build 19 villas, covering 5,008 square metres in total. In reality, they built 20 villas that cover 6,975 square metres. They were also building 18 villas without licences. Some villas have different locations or are bigger than what were registered. There are also seven unlicensed bungalows and a 17-metres embankment that encroached on the water.
Song Viet continued the construction despite the ban and was fined VND100m (USD4,400).
Dao Dinh Vinh, vice head of The Song Danang management board, said after receiving orders from the city authorities, they stopped the construction of 18 villas and removed some illegal constructions immediately.
According to Danang Department of Construction, projects that violate construction regulations but still have suitable land registration and planning can be given permits to adjust their planning. Considering the building density factor, Song Viet must remove the trees that they have planted illegally along 50 metres of the beach.
The department has reported and is waiting for directives from the city people’s committee.
Low car prices see HCM City residents cram driving schools
Demand for driver education in Ho Chi Minh City surged in 2017, mostly as a result of news that car prices would drop in 2018 following the scrapping of several import duties.
The surge extended to both the number of people attending driving schools and those sitting driving tests, according to statistics from the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport.
In 2017, over 141,000 driver’s licenses were issued in the southern hub, an 11% increase on 2016.
There are currently 70 institutions across the city offering driver education, with two more approved for later this year.
Vo Trong Nhan, head of the examination and licensing division under the municipal transport department, attributed the trend to the recent forecast that cars were to become significantly cheaper in Vietnam thanks to the lifting of several import duties.
Local consumers have been eagerly awaiting cheaper cars after Vietnam confirmed that it would scrap taxes on several kinds of fully imported, or completely built up (CBU) cars with origins inside the ASEAN zone.
Previously, a 30% tariff was imposed on these kinds of vehicles.
The change took effect on January 1, 2018, following a government decree in December that made official the earlier agreement among ASEAN member states.
ASEAN is a political and economic organization whose current members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In 2009, its members signed the ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which created a timeline for the gradual reduction of import tariffs among the member countries until 2018, including taxes on imported motorized vehicles.
Vietnam imported 94,000 CBU units – vehicles manufactured and assembled in their country of origin – in 2017 at a total cost of US$2.154 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
The transport department of Ho Chi Minh City estimated that as of September 2017, over 8.1 million vehicles of all kinds, including motorbikes, were registered in the city.
The number does not account for vehicles registered in other provinces that are regularly use the southern city’s streets.
Over 652,000 cars of various kinds were registered in the southern hub as of the end of 2017, with an average yearly increase of 8.53% between 2011 and 2016.
Manhunt on for driver following fatal hit-and-run in northern Vietnam
Police in Vietnam are hunting the driver of a pickup truck who fled after fatally striking two young girls.
The incident occurred at around 4:00 pm on January 14 in Dai Ha Commune, Kien Thuy District, Hai Phong City, according to Bui Duc Thao, chairman of the People’s Committee in Kien Thuy.
N.T.T.D. and C.T.N.Q., both 15 year-old ninth-grade students at a local middle school, were walking down Provincial Highway 603 when a pickup truck, whose license plate number is 15C – 263.52, struck them from behind.
Both victims were thrown to the side of the road and seriously injured, later succumbing to their wounds in hospital.
After striking the two schoolgirls, the pickup truck continued traveling toward Thuy Huong Commune, hitting a truck and a taxi before coming to a stop.
The driver quickly exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot.
Severe damage was caused to the front end of the truck, to the taxi, as well as to the pickup itself.
An investigation is underway by police in Hai Phong to determine the cause and a manhunt has been launched to capture the driver.
Local authorities have extended their condolences and offered support to the families of the deceased.
Vietnam’s Party chief calls for further crackdown on crimes
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong requested the Ministry of Public Security to step up its crackdown on serious crimes while attending a conference on January 15.
He listed organised, transnational, environmental, cyber crimes, drug trafficking, smuggling, food safety crime, tax evasion and corruption as those that need stern measures.
The Party leader stated that public security officers must be the major force in protecting national security and maintaining a safe and peaceful environment for the country’s rapid and sustainable growth.
He urged the Ministry of Public Security to proactively prevent the sabotage activities of forces hostile to Vietnam and intensify publicity and educational efforts in order to refute wrong views, especially those distributed on the internet.
At the same time, the public security force needs to tighten internal discipline and severely punish officers who violate the laws, said General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.
He emphasised that political, ideological and moral education must be strengthened while those selected for key leadership posts must be truly competent, upright and devoted to the Party and people.
Noting the Party chief’s instructions, Minister of Public Security Colonel General To Lam affirmed that the entire sector will build on its achievements in 2017 to fulfil the objective of safeguarding national security and social order this year.
Hanoi urged to facilitate management in model of urban government
Hanoi Party Committee and its sub bodies should focus on reviewing 2017 tasks to lay a foundation for piloting management models in the form of urban administration, Hanoi Party Committee Secretary Hoang Trung Hai has said.
Hai, who is also a Politburo member, made the requirement while addressing the 12th Conference of the 16th municipal Party Committee on January 15 to review Hanoi’s Party building work in 2017 and discuss plans for 2018.
Over past year, the Hanoi Party Committee continued to renovate its leadership in the spirit of towards the people and serving the people. It stepped up inspections at grassroots level and the removal of difficulties for local establishments.
The Party Committee has synchronously implemented resolutions set by the Politburo to accelerate administrative reforms and improve the accountability and quality of officials and civil servants to serve local citizens.
For the tasks in 2018, Politburo member Hai urged local authorities to effectively implement the Party and State’s policies and resolutions on streamlining the apparatus of the political system in an effective manner, while renovating, reorganising and improving the quality and efficiency of public service delivery units.
He also urged for a more practical implementation of the Secretariat and the municipal Party Committee’s directives on organising a safe, happy and thrifty upcoming Lunar New Year festival for the local people.
HCMC police launch traffic safety program to maintain order
Ho Chi Minh City Traffic Safety Committee decided to launch a traffic safety program to keep street order from December, 2017, two weeks earlier than previous year.
HCMC police launch traffic safety program to maintain order
Police officers have handled illegal bus stations and more officers have been present at premises in airport, ports, bus stations, gate entrance into the city, parks.
Additionally, traffic police have kept drunk drivers and suspend the operation of vehicles that fail to meet safety requirements as well as overloaded buses to protect people’s safety in Tet holidays ( the Lunar New Year ).
As Tet holidays are nearly approaching, more people and vehicles have been traveling in streets with forecast of increase of one third compared to normal days. Accordingly, , traffic police officers and security guards of the station works relentlessly to clear growing traffic.
The program aims to reduce traffic accidents and curb congestion under 30 minutes for people’s sake, said Deputy Head of the Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuong.
As per the program, police officers have reviewed traffic “black spots” and clear off roads which gridlocks usually take place, keep order in premises in the airport, bus stations, ports, amusement parks.
Policemen have suspended illegal bus stations and overloaded unsafe vehicles as well as patrol the intersections between roads and railways.
Head of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Road and Railway Traffic Police Department (PC67) Lieutenant colonel Huynh Trung Phong said that more policemen have been sent to crowded areas to control traffic flow. Subsequently, paths leading to Tan Son Nhat Airport, Cat Lai Port, the Mien Dong (Eastern) Bus Station in Binh Thanh District like Dinh Bo Linh, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh and the national highway No.13 are clear despite more vehicles.
Police officers have also paid attention to control traffic in rivers such as Sai Gon, Dong Nai, Can Giuoc, Tau Hu-Ben Nghe canal.
In a bid to reduce traffic accidents, inspectors from the Department of Transport have worked with local administrations, police officers to handle illicit bus stations. In addition to regular patrolling, inspectors in coordination with relevant agencies to install more camera to issue punishment to violators.
Mr. Phong said cops from PC67 and criminal police, mobile police and police 113 would carry out patrol from 10 PM to next morning to deal with young men gathering to race or make mess.
PC67 men and local counterparts will also keep driver with high level of alcohol and overloaded vehicles, he added.
HCMC shares experience in land management with Laos
Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam welcomed Bounpone Sisoulath, Chairman of the Lao National Assembly’s Economic, Technology and Environment Committee yesterday afternoon.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha holds a talk with Bounpone Sisoulath, Chairman of the Lao National Assembly’s Economic, Technology and Environment Committee about experiences in land management
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha holds a talk with Bounpone Sisoulath, Chairman of the Lao National Assembly’s Economic, Technology and Environment Committee about experiences in land management
At the meeting, Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam expressed her pleasure about good traditional friendly, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation ties between Vietnam and Laos.
Additionally, she highly appreciated the neighboring country to kick off the local people’s council meetings in order to strengthen further role of people in the country’s development.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council will collaborate with People’s Council of the Laotian localities to share experiences in land management. In the coming time, both sides will continue carrying out practical activities to share as well as learn about more experiences in legislative procedures, added Ms. Tam.
On the same day, Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam and Chairman of the Busan Metropolitan Council, Baek Jong Hean co-signed an agreement to strenghten the friendly and cooperation ties between the People’s Council of Ho Chi minh City and Busan city, aiming to enhance cooperation and exchange activities between the localities.
Ambassadors & representatives of EU countries evaluate HCMC’s development
Politburo member, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan and Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong respectively had receptions with ambassadors and representatives of European Union (EU) members for foreign affairs in Vietnam yesterday.
At the meeting, the city Party chief affirmed Vietnam- EU relationship is a valuable treasure. On behalf of the city leaders, Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan highly appreciated great contributions of ambassadors and representatives of European Union member countries in strengthening relations between EU with Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.
Additionally, he introduced the foreign affairs leaders about the city’s socio- economic achievements. Ho Chi Minh City reached a growth of 8.2 percent, contributed 27 percent into state budget last year.
Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan announced the National Assembly of Vietnam approved a resolution on piloting special mechanisms and policies for the development of Ho Chi Minh City in five sectors and 18 contents on November 24.
Speaking at the reception, Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam appreciated the first meeting between the city leaders and representatives of EU countries, Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in 2017 including success of APEC and the country’s impressive growth.
Ambassador Bruno Angelet affirmed that EU always supports macroscopic economic policies of Vietnam, and continues expanding cooperation ties in the fields of economy, security and defense, education, environment and energy.
Currently, the city focuses on economic modernization following a tendency of the fourth industrial revolution. Thus, the locality wished to attract more and more projects of traffic infrastructure, public vehicles, energy, anti- climate change, anti- flooding and trash treatment, labor export and star-up programs, construction of financial centers.
Ton Duc Thang University Scientific Prize 2017 reveals winners
Four Vietnamese and foreign scientists won the Ton Duc Thang University Scientific Prize 2017, announced the organization board.
Launched in May, 2017, the organizer received 62 submissions of scientists from countries throughout the world, including the Philippines, Pakistan, China, India, Canada, France, Italia, Israel, Russia, Belgium, Estonia, the U.S., Iran, Nigeria, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan (China), Malaysia, Hongkong (China) and Vietnam.
Winners from Canada, Malaysia, Hongkong (China) and Vietnam will participate in the award ceremony which will be organized on January 19.
Ton Duc Thang University Scientific Prize is established with the avowed purposes of honoring Vietnamese and international scientists who have excellent research and contribute positively to society.
Mekong Delta region attracts more than 22.4 million visitors in 2017
According to the Mekong Delta Tourism Association, the region received more than 22.4 million visitors and achieved a total revenue of over VND11,310 billion in 2017.
Director of the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism of An Giang province, Nguyen Van Len said that An Giang welcomed around 7.3 million tourists and reached a turnover of VND3,700 billion.
Meanwhile about 7.5 million travelers came to Can Tho city, increasing by 41 percent over the same period of 2016. The municipal touristm sector got revenue of VND2,897 billion, up 59 percent compared compared with a year ago.
Kien Giang province had the highest number of turnover of more than 4,580 billion in the Mekong Delta region, exceeding its set plan of 20 percent. The province saw over 6 million holiday-makers to most popular destinations, Nam Du Archipelago, Ba Lua Archipelago, U Minh Thuong National Park, Phu Quoc Island, Vinpearl Land, Vinpearl Safari.
Kien Giang expects to attract over 7.1 million visitors, including 430,000 international tourists; and received a revenue of around VND5,900 billion in 2018.
Installation art exhibition wraps up in town
An exhibition of installation art by French artists Pierre Larauza and Emmanuelle Vincent and Vietnamese Belgian artist Thy Nguyen Truong Minh wrapped up on Friday night at the HCMC Museum of Fine Arts in HCMC’s District 1 after more than three weeks.
At the “Enthusiastic Transformation” exhibition, art lovers had the opportunity to admire 21 artworks from various types of art including painting, sculpture and installation, created by the three artists and students from HCMC University of Fine Arts.
According to the organizer, more than 2,500 visitors, including Vietnamese students and the Belgian and French nationals in the city, came to the exhibition to gain a better insight into a brilliant mix of cultures and witness a poetic image of Vietnam in the period of urbanization and strong development from different angles.
As part of the cooperation project called “La centrifugeuse” (Vietnamese name: May xay sinh to”) by three countries – Vietnam, France and Belgium, the exhibition served as a bridge to bring the artists together and spur cultural exchanges among Vietnamese, French and Belgian artists.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the exhibition, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Jehanne Roccas said she is filled with joy for the success of the cross-cultural art project and it’s a great surprise for her as the exhibition heaped praise from huge numbers of young Vietnamese people and foreign guests.
In addition, popular Vietnamese rapper Suboi and young musician Teddy Chilla showed up at the ceremony to entertain exhibition-goers.
21 awards presented at national environmental film festival
Twenty-one best works were honoured at the sixth National Environmental Film Festival in Hanoi on January 16.
Five A prizes were presented to reportages “Rung keu cuu” (Forest call) by directors Hong Anh and Ho Tri from Vietnam Television (VTV) and “Trong rung trong Ho” (Afforestation in lake) by director Huynh Nguyen from Binh Phuoc province’s broadcasting and television.
Science film “Hoi sinh” (Revival) by director and meritorious artist Nguyen Hong Quang from VTV along with documentary film “Nguoi di tim ngot trong man” (Farmer seeks salt-resistant rice varieties) by director Nguyen Xuan Giang from An Giang province’s broadcasting and television, and cartoon “Buoc qua hai the gioi” (Stepping through two worlds) by director and meritorious artist Nguyen Bao Quang from Vietnam Cartoon also got A prizes.
The “Green Vietnam” prize went to “Khi Co oc tro ve” (When storks come back) by director Pham Hieu Thao from Dong Thap province’s broadcasting and television.
Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the festival received 105 entries and selected the best 21 works, including one “Green Vietnam” prize, five A prizes, five B prizes, and 10 consolation prizes.
The festival encouraged hundreds of professional and amateur film makers to reflect environmental problems and introduce solutions and outstanding examples in environmental protection as well as help State management agencies promptly detect and handle serious environmental pollution cases and over exploitation of natural resources, causing biodiversity degradation.
Vice President of the Vietnam Cinema Association Nguyen Thi Hong Ngat said the works focus on emerging issues such as land, water and air environmental pollution, solid waste treatment, forest protection, river basin and sea environment, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation.
They aim to disseminate legal regulations of environmental protection among enterprises and people and warn risks posed by environmental pollution as a result of business production, she added.
Project to prevent violence against women launched
A project to prevent violence against women and to provide consultations for victims of gender-based violence was launched on Tuesday in Hà Nội.
The project, “Building a support model to respond to and prevent violence against women and girls in Việt Nam and consultation on essential services for survivors of gender-based violence”, was launched by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Việt Nam and the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA).
Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doãn Mậu Diệp said during the past years, the Vietnamese Government had made great efforts in ensuring gender equality and preventing violence against women and girls.
The national action month for gender equality and prevention and control of violence against women and girls, organised annually from November 11 to December 11, had brought in good results, he said.
However, Diệp added that work still encountered obstacles due to the shortage of psychological, legal and health consultancy services. Moreover, the capacity of workers in the field was still low.
He expressed gratitude to UNFPA and KOICA for their help and emphasised that the project’s launch marked the cooperation of the three organisations towards ensuring a society free from violence against women and girls.
Chairwoman of KOICA Lee Mi-kyung said that gender-based violence remained a big problem in developed and developing countries, affecting women of different socio-economic backgrounds.
The violence had serious consequences on not just the victims, but also on the nations’ development, she said.
Mi-kyung confirmed that the project would help protect the rights of women, promote gender equality and enhance cooperation between Korea and Việt Nam.
The project has a total budget of US$2.56 million for the period 2018-20, of which $2.5 million sources from official development assistance of KOICA and UNFPA.
Under the project, a support centre for victims of violence, especially sexual violence, will be built in the northern province of Quảng Ninh, where workers in the field will receive more training and different campaigns in the field will be organised in provinces to raise awareness on preventing violence against women.
Astrid Bant, representative of UNFPA Việt Nam, appreciated the cooperation between MOLISA and KOICA in improving gender equality and preventing violence against women during the past years.
UNFPA pledged to bring its international experience from other countries to ensure the project’s targets and expectations will be reached, and victims of violence can access supportive services, she said.
Tolls reduced at central toll booth after protests
Toll at a booth in the central province of Binh Thuan has been reduced from Tuesday following objection from local residents in the past weeks.
The Song Phan Build-Transfer-Operate (BOT) tollbooth in the southern province of Bình Thuận is forced to open for free on January 14 by local drivers who refuse to pay tolls.
Details of toll reduction at the Sông Phan toll booth, located along National Highway 1A in Hàm Minh Commune, were submitted to the Bình Thuận People’s Committee on Monday.
Toll has been reduced from VNĐ35,000 (US$1.5) to VNĐ15,000 ($0.6) for non-commercial vehicles (not used for transporting goods or passengers) with less than 12 seats and trucks weighing less than two tonnes, while for 12-30 seater non-commercial vehicles and trucks weighing 2-4 tonnes, the toll has been reduced from VNĐ50,000 to VNĐ25,000.
For commercial vehicles, toll has been reduced from VNĐ35,000 to VNĐ20,000 for vehicles with less than 12 seats and trucks weighing less than two tonnes, and from VNĐ50,000 to VNĐ30,000 for vehicles with 12-30 seats and trucks weighing 2-4 tonnes.
Sông Phan toll booth authorities were forced to allow free passage of all vehicles on January 6 and 13 after drivers refused to pay toll.
Drivers from the Hàm Minh and Hàm Cường communes, located within a 5km radius of the booth, refused to pay toll and caused traffic congestion on January 6.
A toll reduction policy was introduced on January 10, which reduced the toll by 40-50 per cent for drivers from these two communes and a part of the adjacent Thuận Nam Town located within a 5km radius of the booth, the Vietnamnet online newspaper reported.
But on January 13, several drivers from those parts of Thuận Nam Town where the policy was not applicable started to protest, which lasted until January 15.