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Deputy PM Hai visits Italy, Belgium

A government delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai is paying official visits to Italy and Belgium from September 23-27.

Party chief backs support for VN writers and artists

The Party and State will do all they can to help writers and artists harness their creativity to the fullest, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said during a working session with the Party organisation of the Viet Nam Union of Literature and Arts Associations (VULA) in Ha Noi on Saturday.

Trong vowed to ensure freedom of expression, as long as writers, artists and cultural activists upheld their civic and social responsibilities.

 

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Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong vowed to ensure freedom of expression, as long as writers, artists and cultural activists upheld their civic and social responsibilities.

 

The country's dynamic development was opening up new horizons for creativity and posing new questions which writers and artists must try to answer through their creative work, he said.

Trong expressed hope that the writers and artists would produce more works that vividly reflected reality, praised the good and fought the bad, which he defined as ideas that went against the nation's moral tradition and interests as well as social vices.

The Union is comprised of 73 member associations at both central and grassroots levels, gathering nearly 400,000 writers and artists, according to the union's report.

Fifteen years after implementing the resolution on literature and arts adopted by the fifth meeting of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure), the literature and arts sector has reaped dramatic success.

Freedom of expression is now ensured and writers and artists' working conditions have improved, resulting in a remarkable increase in the number of creative works as well as enhancing their quality.

However, the report notes that the development still fails to match the sector's potential and the public's demand.

Many delegates also expressed concern about the growing trend of commercialisation and imitation, which they said had distorted authentic values. They called on the VULA to unite members in working to develop literature and arts, fulfilling the noble mission of serving the country and the people.

NA Chairman: more sci-tech application in agriculture

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Sinh Hung has stressed that agriculture is Vietnam’s key economic sector, and therefore boosting production in this field will help the country achieve international economic integration.

Chairman Hung made the statement in Hanoi on September 21 at a national conference which was held to review the use of science-technology in agricultural development based on a resolution by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The NA Chairman, who is Head of the Steering Committee reviewing the resolution’s five-year implementation, said that the meeting offered a good chance for participants, including researchers, to share their experiences and contribute to science-technology development serving the nation’s task of building agricultural and rural areas more effectively.

The conference also featured important recommendations on raising farmers’ incomes utilising newly-developed technology.

The country’s agricultural economic sector has not yet proved its required effectiveness, Chairman Hung said, citing the low competitive edge of agricultural products as an example.

He argued that as a result, science and technology play a vital role in improving the situation. He said that scientists should take responsibility for doing research repairing and improving the quality of agricultural production, building rural areas and improving farmers’ living conditions.

Since 2008, the State has spent more than 2.1 trillion VND implementing projects to build laboratories. Technological production steps have already helped to increase productivity and quality while lowering prices, helping Vietnamese products become more competitive on the world market.

Ambassador hails milestone in Vietnam-France ties

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung has described the forthcoming establishment of a Vietnam-France strategic partnership as a new milestone in the relationship between the countries which will significantly deepen ties in the coming decades.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, Ambassador Dung stated that the new partnership will be launched during an official visit to France by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on September 24-26.

He added that the up-coming visit is a manifestation of the traditional friendship and cooperation Vietnam has shared with France over the past 40 years and affirms the determination of both countries to increase their cooperation in the future.

Vietnam and France established their diplomatic ties on April 12, 1973 and have had important position in each other’s foreign policy ever since, according to the ambassador.

Both sides have set up a strong development framework on the back of nearly 20 cooperation deals and a series of dialogues and consultations.

Despite global financial woes, France remains an important European trading partner of Vietnam, with last year’s two-way trade hitting 3.7 billion USD, up 13 percent from 2011.

The country remains the biggest European investor in Vietnam, with over 3 billion USD in direct investment, he noted.

Vietnam is now the second largest partner of France in terms of official development assistance (ODA) with the total ODA commitments has hit more than 1.5 billion USD since 1994.

In terms of culture and education, Vietnam sees its partnership with France as a spearhead, Ambassador Dung said, adding that the Vietnam culture centre in Paris is the first of its kind in Europe and the second in the world, giving French and European friends a closer look into Vietnam’s culture, arts and tourism. In addition, over 7,000 Vietnamese students are pursuing studies in France, he noted.

The diplomat hailed cooperation between nearly 50 Vietnamese and French localities over the past 20 years, which spans urban planning, vocational training, tourism, culture and the environment. Added to this, over 300,000 overseas Vietnamese people live in France, strengthening the friendship further.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary, both nations are holding a 2013-2014 Exchange Year, in which a France Year in Vietnam will last from April-December, 2013 and a Vietnam Year in France will run from January-September, 2014, offering a variety of political, economic, trade, education, culture, art and sport activities.

A highlight during the Exchange Year 2013-2014 is a series of high-ranking visits. Both nations’ Foreign Ministers made visits earlier in the year, followed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France in September and French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Vietnam which is scheduled in 2014.

Deputy PM Hai visits Italy, Belgium

A government delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai is paying official visits to Italy and Belgium from September 23-27.

Hai is scheduled to hold talks with the government leaders of Italy, Belgium and the EU and meet with economic, trade and investment ministers to boost bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and the two countries, as well as with the EU.

He will visit several leading companies and industrial centres in the two European countries.

Vietnam and Italy signed a joint statement on the establishment of their strategic partnership during Rome’s visit in January 2013 by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Italy is keen to expand cooperation with Vietnam, especially in the manufacturing industry, energy, and oil and gas.

Two-way trade last year hit more than US$2.8 billion.

Italy provided US$35 million in ODA to Vietnam’s environmental, healthcare and small- and medium-sized enterprise support projects during 2010-2012.

Meanwhile, trade value between Vietnam and Belgium has increased considerably over the years, reaching more than US$1 billion in 2012, up 16% over 2011.

Vietnam is the only Asian recipient of Belgium’s official development assistance. Belgium has committed US$60 million in ODA to Vietnam’s environment, water management, education and training for the 2011-2015 period.

Meeting marks Viet Nam-Argentina diplomatic ties

Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman described the 40th anniversary of Viet Nam – Argentina diplomatic ties as an ideal occasion for the countries to reaffirm their commitment to bolstering friendship and co-operation.

At a meeting in Buenos Aires on Friday, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman made clear his country was interested in developing further strategic ties with Viet Nam, as evidenced by President Cristina Fernandez's visit to the country early this year.

He noted that Argentina was looking forward to President Truong Tan Sang's visit in 2014.

Viet Nam's visiting Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh responded by hailing the thriving co-operation seen recently in many areas, especially culture, which he described as a crucial bridge in forging a close relationship between the two governments and peoples.

He hoped events like the ongoing "Viet Nam Days in Argentina" and November's upcoming "Argentina cultural week in Viet Nam" would further develop cultural exchanges.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties on October 25, 1973, Viet Nam and Argentina have inked scores of co-operation deals in a wide variety of sectors. Two-way trade topped US$1 billion for the first time in 2011.

In the first eight months of this year, the figure soared 48 percent to $1.92 billion. Viet Nam mainly ships footwear, electronics, rubber and garments to the South American country, while importing animal feed, animal and plant oil, seedlings and medicine.

Five decades of Cuba-Vietnam solidarity marked

A ceremony to mark 50 years since the establishment of the Cuban Committee of Solidarity with South Vietnam has been held in the Cuban capital Havana.

The ceremony, jointly organised by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and the Vietnamese Embassy in Cuba, was attended by President of the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association Yolanda Ferrer, ICAP President Kenia Serrano and Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Vu Chi Cong.

The committee was set up on September 25, 1963 following then President Fidel Castro’s immortal words “For Vietnam, we are ready to devote our blood.”

Addressing the event on September 20, Yolanda Ferrer, one of the committee’s initiators, emphasised that the founding of the committee has helped nurture the time-honoured relationship between the two nations over the last five decades.

She said Cuba always remembers Vietnam’s triumph in the fight for national independence and said its achievements in its current development offers huge encouragement to the Cuban people.

Ambassador Cong acknowledged the committee’s contributions to Vietnam’s victory in the fight for liberation, declaring that younger generations should uphold the values of solidarity in the decades ahead.

Viet Nam, Cambodia look to enhance legislative ties

There should be stronger legislative co-operation between Viet Nam and Cambodia, agreed Vice Chairwoman of the Viet Nam National Assembly Tong Thi Phong and the second Vice President of the Senate of Cambodia Tep Ngorn.

During a meeting on Saturday during the 34th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-34) in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei's capital, Vice Chairwoman Phong suggested that Vietnamese and Cambodian legislative bodies continue to co-ordinate at important inter-parliamentary forums and address important issues arising in international relations and external relations.

She congratulated Cambodia on the success of its fifth parliamentary election and affirmed that Viet Nam always considers the solidarity between the two countries an invaluable asset.

She noted with pleasure the strong development in the two countries' legislative ties over the past years under the motto of "good neighbours, traditional friendship, comprehensive co-operation and long-term sustainability".

The legislator voiced hope that the Vietnamese and Cambodian delegations to the AIPA-34 would work closely together to contribute to the event's success, serving the common interests of ASEAN as well as the two countries.

For his part, Tep Ngorn expressed thanks to the Vietnamese Government and people for their support to Cambodia in furthering the cause of national liberation and construction.

Cambodia always attaches importance to its traditional friendship with Viet Nam, he said, adding that Cambodia hoped Viet Nam would continue to assist Cambodia in human resource development.

Viet Nam, US to boost military ties

Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen Le Huu Duc and US Transportation Commander Gen. William Fraser pledged to continue highly efficient co-operation in military transportation between the two countries.

During a meeting in Ha Noi on Sept 20, Deputy Defence Minister Duc expressed hope that both sides would continue their defence co-operation as stated in a Memorandum of Understanding signed previously.

He spoke favourably about developments in defence ties, especially since the adoption of a joint statement on Viet Nam-US comprehensive co-operation, and hailed the US Transportation Command delegation's visit as a good condition to exchange experiences.

For his part, the US commander hoped his command would continue to take part in humanitarian aid, disaster relief and other fields of mutual interest for both countries.

The two armies' transport experts will soon meet to bolster effective co-operation, contributing greatly to building mutual trust in all fields.

Wide-ranging HCM City, Lyon urban partnership lights up

HCM City and Lyon, France plan to expand their co-operation beyond the established area of urban lighting.

Vice Chairwoman of the HCM City People's Committee Nguyen Thi Hong and visiting Deputy Mayor of Lyon Gilles Buna agreed on Sept 20 during a meeting that the two cities had potential for co-operation in urban management, environmental protection, culture and economics.

Hong said she hoped Lyon would continue assisting the Vietnamese economic hub to install artistic lighting works at historical and cultural sites.

Gilles Buna said the two cities' co-operation in urban lighting over the past 15 years had brought encouraging results and pledged that his city would press ahead with assistance for future projects in HCM City.

A Lyon-designed artistic lighting project at the HCM City Central Post Office is scheduled to start shining on Sunday as one of several activities celebrating 40 years of Viet Nam – France diplomatic ties.

Viet Nam-Japan friendship bolstered with festival

The friendship organisations of Viet Nam and Japan should do more to promote mutual understanding and advance the strategic partnership between the two countries, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan has said.

After receiving delegates to the Viet Nam-Japan friendship festival in Ha Noi on Sept 20, Doan recognised that both sides were working together to overcome differences and uphold their respective strengths to achieve mutual development.

The Japanese delegates lauded the festival, organised to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Viet Nam-Japan diplomatic ties, for offering people the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the two nations' steady friendship and co-operation.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organisations Vu Xuan Hong presented a Friendship Order to President of the Japan-Viet Nam Friendship association Prof. Furuta Motoo.

VNN/VOV/VNS/VNA

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