Vietnam, Netherlands cooperate in climate change response

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed his hope to further promote cooperation with the Netherlands in coping with climate change and rising sea levels during his meeting with Dutch Ambassador Joop Scheffers in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho on March 20.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung meets Dutch Ambassador
 Joop Scheffers. (Photo: VNA)

Dung appreciated the Netherlands’ help in the field, meeting that the country is assisting Vietnam in numerous projects, including a project to create a long-term development plan for the Mekong Delta in the context of climate change and rising seal levels.

The PM said he hopes that the two countries will increase cooperation in areas that each side is strong, such as maritime economy, seaport and logistics services, while sharing experiences and technology in constructing flood control works, dealing with urban flooding and managing water resources.

He suggested that the Netherlands coordinate closely with sectors and ministries of Vietnam to successfully organise activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Netherlands diplomatic ties, including the stepping up of cooperation projects in response to climate change and rising sea levels.

Ambassador Scheffers, who is attending the International Water Day in Can Tho City, affirmed that the Netherlands is willing to share its experience in coping with climate change and water resource challenges with Vietnam and the Mekong Delta region.

He asserted that he will work closely with relevant Vietnamese agencies to hold practical activities to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, including the scheduled visit by the Dutch Prime Minister, trade promotion, cultural exchanges, and Dutch investors’ fact-finding tours to Vietnam.

Vietnam, Laos promote theory work

Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee Cheung Sombounkhan received Phung Huu Phu, Permanent Deputy Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Theory Council, in Vientiane on March 20.

Phu informed the host of the meeting between the Theory Council and the Lao National Social Science Council. He stressed the need to regularly share experience in theory, Party leadership and building, social management and socialist-oriented economic development in each country.

Sombounkhan, who is also head of the LPRP Central Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Training, highly valued the first theory conference between the CPV and LPRP, which according to him will strengthen the Vietnam–Laos special solidarity.

The Lao Party, State and people will consistently preserve and bring into full play the Vietnam–Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, he said.

He expressed his hope that the two sides will work closely together in fields of mutual concern to bring revolutionary theory into life and contribute to fostering Vietnam–Laos special ties.

The two sides also agreed to share information to improve the quality of the Council’s consultancy on the two countries’ important issues for their high-ranking leaders.

HCM City, Guam Island boost cooperation

Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan held talks with Eddie Baza Calvo, Governor of Guam Island (US), on March 20 during his ongoing visit to Vietnam.

Quan described the Governor’s visit as of importance, contributing to the cooperation between Vietnam’s localities, including Ho Chi Minh City, and Guam.

The chairman expressed his hope that Guam’s businesses will come to the city to learn about business cooperation opportunities and build close relations between the two sides, particularly in fields of common interest like tourism and education.

For his part, Calvo said that Guam and Vietnam share a number of similarities such as people’s hospitality, culture and climate - favourable conditions for cooperation.

The visit aims to boost cooperation between Guam Island and Vietnam, especially in culture and economics, he added.

VN wants to contribute more to regional education

Vietnam always attaches importance to intensifying its participation and contributions to international organisations and forums, including the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), said President Truong Tan Sang.

Sang made the remarks at his opening speech to the 47th conference of SEAMEO Council that opened in Hanoi on March 20.

As Chair of the SEAMEO Council this year, Vietnam will do its utmost together with other member countries to fulfil the signed cooperation programmes of the organisation, for development and prosperity of each member country, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in Southeast Asia and the world, he affirmed.

The event is taking place at a time when the region and the world are experiencing significant changes in politics, security, economics, culture and social affairs, offering both opportunities and challenges, the State leader said.

He highlighted a policy forum themed, “Lifelong Learning: Vision and Policy”, which he said is also an important orientation in the education-training development strategy of each country.

Over the past years, the State and Government of Vietnam has considered education-training to be a top priority, Sang said, noting the country’s heavy investment in human resources and putting forth mechanisms and policies for the sector.

Those efforts paid off with the quality of education improving significantly, and social and gender equality in education recording encouraging achievements, the leader said.

In 2000, Vietnam fulfilled the UN Millennium Development Goal of illiteracy eradication and universal primacy education ahead of schedule.

The country aims to have an advanced education sector by 2020, which can meet industrialisation, modernisation and international integration requirements, Sang said.

He thanked the support and cooperation of other country members to help Vietnam assume the role of SEAMEO Council Chair and fulfilling the country’s education goals.

The event gathered 200 delegates from 18 countries, including education ministers, high-level government education officials and representatives from international organisations, from 11 SEAMEO member states, associate members, affiliate organisations, regional centres and development partners.

High on the agenda of the two-day conference are discussions on accelerating the “Education for All” programme and post-2015 development and education in Southeast Asia .

Established in 1965, SEAMEO has become the largest international organisation in Southeast Asia in education, science and cultural cooperation.

The United Kingdom became the eighth associate member of the organisation in 2013.

HCM City officials study Singapore’s development models

Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Committee Le Thanh Hai and other city officials have visited Singapore to learn about its urban planning, flood prevention, hi-tech park building and development models and investment policies for green-tech promotion projects.

On March 19, Hai, who is also a Politburo member, was received by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who held that the guest’s visit will contribute to fostering the two countries’ friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

The HCM City leader, for his part, spoke highly of the results of cooperation in socio-cultural issues, human resources training and urban management between his city and Singapore .

He also said he hopes to learn more from Singapore’s experiences in the establishment of logistics and services centre, urban planning, transport infrastructure, housing and green space development, flood prevention and water source reserve.

The same day, Hai met with Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang and discussed possibilities for bilateral cooperation in urban transport, flood prevention, fresh water supply, modern information infrastructure construction, environmental protection and new urban areas, and processing and high-tech park projects.

HCM City officials visited Fusionopolis Research and Development Complex and studied its hi-tech construction and development model, policies to attract investment in green technology projects and programmes on demand-based human resources training.

When visiting the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore, Hai stressed that in the context that two countries are striving for a strategic partnership, the embassy should act as a reliable and effective bridge for both sides’ businesses to boost cooperation in education, electronics, IT, biology and healthcare.

The city delegation was scheduled to pay tribute at President Ho Chi Minh’s statue in the Asian Civilisations Museum Green and work with the Singaporean Economic Development Department.

PM asks Hau Giang to tap development potential

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked southern Hau Giang Province to further tap its potential and overcome weaknesses and shortcomings for rapid and sustainable development.

Working with key provincial leaders in the headquarters of the Southwestern Steering Board in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on March 20, Dung suggested Hau Giang focuses its resources on effectively building new rural areas. At the same time, it should pay attention to infrastructure investment, especially in transport, power, clean water and medical stations, with a priority given to planning.

The PM asked the province to pay heed to education and training, from pre-school to university and technical vocation training levels, take effective measures to ensure social welfare and poverty reduction, and generate jobs to improve local people’s material and spiritual lives.

Dung requested that local leaders stand side-by-side with businesses by taking concrete measures to clear obstacles, especially for those working in agro-fishery for export.

He praised the locality for its socio-economic achievements last year. Its gross domestic product rose by over 14 percent year-on-year, agriculture grew by 4.1 percent, 24,500 jobs were created and the rate of poor households reduced by nearly 4 percent.

Dung and ministry and department leaders gave their opinions on the construction of a hi-tech agriculture area and funding for several key transport projects in the region.

Tran Cong Chanh, Chairman of the Hau Giang provincial People’s Committee, said the locality strives to have nursery schools in every town and commune, apply science-technology in production, trading, agriculture and rural areas, and improve the quality of law dissemination this year.

Chanh added that in the first two months of this year, the province’s total social development investment hit nearly 2 trillion VND (100 million USD), a year-on-year rise of 22 percent. Outbreaks of plant and animal diseases are put under control, and social order and safety have been maintained.

Vinh Long urged to step up new rural building

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long to take synchronous measures to promote the building of new-style rural areas and reduce traffic accidents.

Dung made the request at a working session with the province’s key leaders on March 20 during his on-going working tour of the Mekong Delta provinces.

At the session, the Government leader spoke highly of Vinh Long’s efforts and socio-economic development achievements, especially in improving people’s living standards, reducing poverty and building new-style rural areas.

He pointed to the shortcomings the province should overcome in the coming time, such as poor transport and healthcare infrastructure, the lack of high-quality human resource, a small industrial sector, and poorly competitive farm produces.

Stressing the locality’s advantages and potential, the PM asked Vinh Long to seek active and creative ways to boost its socio-economic development, focusing on removing difficulties for business and production activities, especially in agriculture and seafood processing, as well as implementing synchronous measures to stabilise the market.

He urged the province to improve the investment environment and the investment growth quality and efficiency.

Vinh Long should focus on attracting investment to the development of industries, particularly the processing one that uses locally-available materials, and utilise all resources to successfully implement its 2013 socio-economic development goals, Dung said.

In 2012, Vinh Long recorded GDP growth of 7.82 percent and a per-capita annual income of 31.82 million VND (1,500 USD).