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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 6

PM to attend ASEAN-EU commemorative summit, visit three European countries
PM to attend ASEAN-EU commemorative summit, visit three European countries hinh anh 1
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will lead a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam to attend a summit commemorating the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN-EU relations in Brussels on December 14 and pay official visits to Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium from December 9 to 15.

The tour will be made at the invitation of President of the European Council Charles Michel, PM of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, PM of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, and PM of Belgium Alexander De Croo, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Gov’t officials discuss macro-economic, fiscal, and monetary policies

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a meeting between permanent Government members and some ministries and sectors on December 6 to discuss macro-economic, fiscal, and monetary policies.

In his remarks, the PM said despite numerous difficulties and challenges, especially pressure from the global situation, economic recovery has been sustained with many encouraging outcomes thanks to the Party’s leadership, the National Assembly’s supervision and assistance, joint efforts by the entire political system and people nationwide, along with support from international friends.

He pointed out that the global situation has still witnessed complex and unpredictable developments over the last 11 months. Some economies have shown signs of recession, inflation remains high around the world, and interest rates and currency depreciation are on the rise in many countries. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and strategic competition are still complicated.

A decline in the world market intertwined with the unsettled supply chains disruptions has strongly affected trade, production, and business activities in many countries, especially highly open economies like Vietnam, he said, adding energy security, food security, natural disasters, and climate change continue to be issues needing attention.

In Vietnam, over the two years of combating COVID-19, the health of the economy has been eroded while the country has also had to cope with external shocks and rectified operations of the stock, real estate, and corporate bond markets to ensure their transparency, safety, and sustainability.

The Government and PM have ordered ministries, sectors, and localities to grasp the situation, take measures to tackle difficulties facing the economy, and keep a close watch on the enterprise, labour, and employment situation to give timely support, PM Chinh said.

For the last over one month, the Government and PM have issued more than 40 documents giving directions on macro-economic, fiscal, and monetary policies. Three working groups were set up to resolve emerging issues related to finance, real estate, and corporate bond. Ministries and sectors have also shown strong engagement.

As a result, he noted, the situation has been stabilised, with macro-economy remaining stable, inflation kept under control, growth boosted, and major balances guaranteed.

He requested Government officials, ministries, and sectors review their performance of the Cabinet and PM’s instructions, step up situation analysis and forecasting, propose tasks and measures for fulfilling the targets for 2022, and prepare for the implementation of duties next year.

Vietnamese President meets with RoK National Assembly Speaker

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 6 met with Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK) National Assembly Kim Jin-pyo as part of his ongoing official visit to the East Asian nation.

Expressing his delight at the upgrade of Vietnam-RoK ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Speaker Kim congratulated Vietnam on its socio-economic achievements despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Phuc stressed that the upgrade of the bilateral relationship will create favourable conditions for the ties to enter a new period of more practical and comprehensive development.

The two leaders assessed that the bilateral relationship has reaped many important achievements in the past three decades with impressive growth in trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges.

It is necessary to further strengthen cooperation between the National Assemblies and political parties of the two countries, as well as to promote the role of their legislatures in supporting the governments' efforts to foster the bilateral relations in all fields, they said.

The two sides agreed to cooperate in maintaining supplies, strengthen economic cooperation, and encourage Korean enterprises to expand their investment in and technology transfer to Vietnam.

The leaders said they will support the Vietnamese and RoK governments and businesses in implementing measures to raise bilateral trade turnover to 100 billion USD in 2023 and 150 billion USD by 2030 as targeted.

The Speaker affirmed that the RoK supports Vietnam's hosting of the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) summit in 2023 and is willing to assist Vietnam as the RoK had previously organsied the event.

Speaker Kim agreed to work with the Vietnamese NA to back the two governments’ efforts to protect and support for the two countries’ expatriate communities, contributing to the promotion of cultural exchanges between their people.

The two leaders also shared a common vision on ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, legal order, and the settlement of disputes at sea by peaceful measures, guaranteeing the legitimate rights and interests of countries in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); as well as the denuclearisation and promoting dialogue and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula.

President Phuc urges RoK localities to expand scale, diversify investment in Vietnam

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked leaders of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Gyeonggi province to encourage local enterprises to expand their scale and diversify investment and business in Vietnam, especially in the fields of information technology, construction and development of satellite urban areas, commercial and logistics centres, and smart city development.

He made the suggestion on December 6 during his working trip to Gyeonggi province, which is just one hour drive from RoK’s capital of Seoul, as part of his state visit to the East Asian country.

The Vietnamese leader expressed his pleasure at visiting Gwangju city - the second hometown of about 3,000 Vietnamese people who have received much attention and support from the local government. There are 37,000 Vietnamese living in Gyeonggi province.

The President hoped that the Governor of Gyeonggi province and Mayor of Gwangju city will continue to provide favourable conditions and effective support for Vietnamese people living there, especially Vietnamese brides.

Gyeonggi is twinned with Ho Chi Minh City and Nghe An province. It has multiple cooperation deals in the fields of labour, handicrafts and ceramics with localities and enterprises of Vietnam.

President Phuc said that Vietnam also has many localities and enterprises with long-standing reputations in the ceramics industry and their products are exported around the world, adding that this is the foundation for Gyeonggi to promote cooperation in the coming time.

The two sides can also strengthen collaboration in the fields of labour, education and training and tourism - one of Vietnam's strengths, he said.

He suggested the province share experiences with Vietnamese localities in administrative management, development planning for tourism, coordination on building tourism products and implementing joint tourism promotions.

The Vietnamese leader also attended a ceremony to announce Vietnam Day of Gwangju, visit the Vietnamese cultural space in the city and attend an art programme to celebrate 30 years of diplomacy between Vietnam and the RoK.

The President said that the organisation of Vietnam Day in Gwangju city on December 6 every year will enable the peoples of the two countries to have a better understanding of each other and open up new opportunities for cooperation and exchange between people and businesses.

On the evening of the same day, Phuc and his entourage left Gyeonggi province and travelled to Seoul Military Airport to return to Vietnam, ending their state visit to the RoK.

Vietnam gives high priority to enhancing ties with New Zealand: NA Chairman

Vietnam always treasures and gives high priority to strengthening ties with New Zealand via the Party, government and parliamentary channels and people-to-people exchanges, affirmed National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Hue made the statement during his talks with Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe in Wellington on December 6  following the welcome ceremony.

Vietnam will work together with New Zealand for important achievements towards the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties by 2025, he noted.

He said his visit aims to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership, opening up new prospects for cooperation between the two legislatures not only bilaterally but at regional and global forums in the context that the two countries have fully reopened following the pandemic.

According to him, both sides shared strategic values and interests as close friends and partners, which holds significance amid complicated and uncertain developments in the region and the world.

Highlighting the importance of people-to-people exchange, Rurawhe described Vietnam as a favourite destination for New Zealand people, with about 40,000 arrivals to the country each year before the pandemic.

New Zealand will provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students, he revealed.

 The two sides agreed on the need to further strengthen economic-trade-investment cooperation, making it a driving force for development of bilateral ties.

Apart from traditional cooperation fields of education-training, tourism, culture, sports, labour, and agro-forestry-fisheries, they urged expanding joint work into new and promising areas such as digital transformation, energy transition and climate change.

The host hailed Vietnam for officially opening the market for New Zealand’s strawberry and pumpkin.

With great potential for labour cooperation, Hue suggested stepping up the implementation of the Visa Working Holiday programme and signing another bilateral labour cooperation agreement.

The Vietnamese airlines are ready to open direct flights to New Zealand’s major cities, he said.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader asked his New Zealand counterpart to continue creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese community in his country.

Host and guest agreed to build a cooperation agreement between the two legislatures to create a legal framework for their ties, continue facilitating the exchange of delegations to share experience on legislation and personnel training, especially English language training, among their committees and offices.

They vowed to maintain consultations and mutual support at multilateral cooperation mechanisms as well as regional and global parliamentary forums to make active contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The New Zealand leader also promised to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Vietnam wishes to promote ties with New Zealand in all fields, through all channels: NA leader

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on December 6 told New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that Vietnam attaches great importance to relations with the country and wishes to further promote the bilateral partnership in all fields through channels.

The Vietnamese top legislator said that together with the recent official visit to Vietnam by the New Zealand leader, his ongoing visit affirms the determination of high-ranking leaders and peoples of both countries in promoting the bilateral strategic relations.

Briefing the host on his activities in Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton, he underlined that there is room for the two countries to further beef up their cooperation for the target of 2 billion USD in two-way trade in 2024.

NA Chairman Hue suggested that the two sides further strengthen collaboration in aviation and tourism with the operation of more direct flights. He proposed that New Zealand remove trade barriers and avoid the imposition of trade defence measures against Vietnam to facilitate bilateral trade, while creating more favourable conditions for the business communities of the two sides to foster partnership and increasing trade promotion programmes.

Vietnam is willing to import goods from New Zealand and hopes to export more farm produce to the country, he said, suggesting that New Zealand open high schools and universities in Vietnam and receive more Vietnamese students. He also asked New Zealand to support Vietnamese holiday and agricultural workers to work in the country.

For her part, PM Ardern recalled her good memories of her November visit to Vietnam and said that the Vietnamese NA leader’s visit will help further promote the bilateral ties in all fields, including economy, trade, agriculture, education-training, and people-to-people exchange.

Agreeing with the Vietnamese NA Chairman’s proposals, PM Ardern held that with the good outcomes of high-ranking leaders’ visits, including the successful business forums in both countries, New Zealand is keen on continuing to explore the Vietnamese market and cooperation opportunities in economy, trade and investment with Vietnam.

She said she hopes the two countries will continue to strengthen cooperation in education, affirming that New Zealand is ready to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese workers to work in New Zealand in prioritised areas such as health care, construction and agriculture.

PM Ardern lauded the organisation of the Economic Forum and the Education Forum on the occasion of the visit, expressing her belief that the positive results of the forums will open up many opportunities for cooperation between the two countries after the pandemic. She thanked Vietnam for quickly announcing the opening of the market for New Zealand's strawberries and pumpkins, less than a month after her visit to Vietnam.

NA Chairman Hue took the occasion to thank the New Zealand Government for supporting the Vietnamese community in the country.

Vietnam gives high priority to enhancing ties with New Zealand: NA Chairman

Vietnam always treasures and gives high priority to strengthening ties with New Zealand via the Party, government and parliamentary channels and people-to-people exchanges, affirmed National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Hue made the statement during his talks with Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe in Wellington on December 6  following the welcome ceremony.

Vietnam will work together with New Zealand for important achievements towards the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties by 2025, he noted.

He said his visit aims to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership, opening up new prospects for cooperation between the two legislatures not only bilaterally but at regional and global forums in the context that the two countries have fully reopened following the pandemic.

According to him, both sides shared strategic values and interests as close friends and partners, which holds significance amid complicated and uncertain developments in the region and the world.

Highlighting the importance of people-to-people exchange, Rurawhe described Vietnam as a favourite destination for New Zealand people, with about 40,000 arrivals to the country each year before the pandemic.

New Zealand will provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students, he revealed.

The two sides agreed on the need to further strengthen economic-trade-investment cooperation, making it a driving force for development of bilateral ties.

Apart from traditional cooperation fields of education-training, tourism, culture, sports, labour, and agro-forestry-fisheries, they urged expanding joint work into new and promising areas such as digital transformation, energy transition and climate change.

The host hailed Vietnam for officially opening the market for New Zealand’s strawberry and pumpkin.

With great potential for labour cooperation, Hue suggested stepping up the implementation of the Visa Working Holiday programme and signing another bilateral labour cooperation agreement.

The Vietnamese airlines are ready to open direct flights to New Zealand’s major cities, he said.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader asked his New Zealand counterpart to continue creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese community in his country.

Host and guest agreed to build a cooperation agreement between the two legislatures to create a legal framework for their ties, continue facilitating the exchange of delegations to share experience on legislation and personnel training, especially English language training, among their committees and offices.

They vowed to maintain consultations and mutual support at multilateral cooperation mechanisms as well as regional and global parliamentary forums to make active contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The New Zealand leader also promised to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Vietnam, New Zealand vow to step up cooperation in different areas

Vietnam and New Zealand have agreed to promote the role of their Joint Trade and Economic Commission to raise bilateral trade to 2 billion USD by 2024, making it on par with their strategic partnership. 

The consensus was reached by Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and head of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee of the New Zealand Parliament Jenny Salesa during their meeting in Wellington on December 6.

The two sides will also push ahead with the implementation of a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation, and work towards the establishment of a defence dialogue and consultation mechanism at ministerial level.

They consented to enhance cooperation on training UN peacekeeping troops and maritime security, and consider expanding collaboration in the defence industry, military medicine, and search and rescue operations.

Hue lauded cooperation between parliamentary agencies of the two countries in promoting bilateral legislative ties as well as the strategic partnership between the two countries towards the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2025.

The leader suggested New Zealand provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students and expand educational cooperation under different forms, and resume English language courses for Vietnamese civil servants after the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also urged the New Zealand commission to pay more attention to partnerships in science-technology and climate change response, and called on the country to continue taking into consideration the demand for market access of Vietnamese agricultural products.

For her part, Salesa affirmed that the New Zealand Parliament and her commission always support enhancing the relationship between the two countries, saying amid regional and global uncertainties, their bilateral cooperation should be strengthened.

New Zealand hopes for diversified trade ties with other countries, including Vietnam, especially in the context of both countries joining regional and international trade deals such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), she said.

The same day, Hue had a meeting with New Zealand’s National Party leader Christopher Luxon, during which the top legislator affirmed the importance Vietnam attaches to relations with New Zealand in all Party, State, parliament and people-to-people exchange channels, including ties with different political parties of the New Zealand Parliament.
 
 NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and New Zealand’s National Party leader Christopher Luxon. (Photo: VNA)
He conveyed an invitation from Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong for Luxon to visit Vietnam.

Hue also used the occasion to thank New Zealand for its non-refundable aid to Vietnam over the years, scholarships for Vietnamese students, and its supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

In reply, Luxon noted that the National Party welcomes Hue’s official visit to New Zealand, and expressed his pride of the strong developments in the relations between the two countries, both bilateral and multilateral, as well as his hope to contribute to bolstering the relationship in all fields.

He stressed that ample room remains for cooperation in economy, trade, education-training, and national defence, saying the two countries should step up partnerships in education-training, people-to-people exchanges, and dairy production and processing, which are of New Zealand’s strengths.

Meeting New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins, Hue emphasised that education-training is an important cooperation area in the bilateral ties, adding that about 3.5 million Vietnamese people will have demand for higher education by 2035.
 
 NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo: VNA)
Mentioning an education forum held in Hamilton as part of his visit, he said a total of 10 cooperation documents were signed by the two countries’ universities at the event.  

Hipkins said New Zealand pays due attention to educational cooperation with Vietnam, and that the two countries still have much space to step up collaboration in this field.

According to the minister, the number of Vietnamese students in New Zealand has dropped to 2,700 compared with the pre-pandemic figure, and expressed his hope that it will grow in the time ahead.

Hue noted that the New Zealand scholarship programmes have contributed to high-quality personnel training in Vietnam, suggesting New Zealand share its experience in educational reform.

He also called on New Zealand to continue its support for Vietnam in improving university administration capacity and English language teaching, suggesting the two countries increase the exchange of students and teachers, and step up cooperation between their schools.

The leader urged New Zealand universities to open facilities in the Southeast Asian nation.

Also on December 6, the Vietnamese legislator had brief meetings with MPs O’Connor and Melissa Lee, Co-Chairpersons of the New Zealand-South and Southeast Asia Parliamentary Friendship Group, and attended a question and answer session of the host Parliament before wrapping up his official visit.

Prime Minister receives Head of EU Delegation to Vietnam

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a reception for Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, in Hanoi on December 6.

PM Chinh expressed his delight at meeting with the ambassador ahead of his trip to Europe and attendance at the ASEAN-EU 45th Anniversary Commemorative Summit this month.

Both noted with pleasure the intensive, extensive practical development of Vietnam-EU relations over the past 32 years, which have been advanced to a new height where the two sides are equal partners on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation in all pillars, especially the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

They shared the view that mutual trust has been consolidated, as reflected through the signing of eight cooperation mechanisms and the maintenance of high-level meetings over the past two years despite COVID-19.

On behalf of the Vietnamese Government and people, the PM thanked the European Commission (EC), the European External Action Service (EEAS), and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam for their donation of nearly 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and medical equipment worth nearly 40 billion VND (1.66 million USD) to Vietnam, and a programme to assist the Southeast Asian nation in the fight against the pandemic.

PM Chinh briefed his guest on Vietnam’s socio-economic situation in the first 11 months of this year, its reform achievements, and development targets set at the 13th National Party Congress, as well as the country’s foreign policy.

Vietnam always treasures its comprehensive partnership and cooperation with the EU and its member nations, he said, noting Vietnam’s support for the enhancement of the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.

Praising the role of the ambassador and the EU Delegation in Hanoi in promoting the bilateral ties, the government leader suggested them continue enhancing all-level delegation exchanges and meetings to raise political understanding and set cooperation orientations in the time ahead.

He also proposed maintaining and promoting cooperation and dialogue mechanisms within the framework of the Agreement on Partnership and Comprehensive Cooperation between Vietnam and the EU to review and seek new cooperation measures, fostering collaboration in areas such as the environment, climate change response, development goals, green transformation, digital transformation, circular economy, renewable energy, science-technology, and education-training.

The PM said the two sides should tighten their coordination to effectively realise the EVFTA and accelerate the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) by remaining EU member countries, while boosting partnerships in trade and investment, with harmonised interests and shared risks.

He called on the EU to continue with development cooperation programmes and projects in the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam hoped the EU will encourage European enterprises to pay more heed to high-quality investment projects in the country, such as those in processing and manufacturing using high-tech, digital transformation, green transformation, renewable energy and circular economy, PM Chinh continued.

Regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the leader said Vietnam has taken measures to seriously and practically implement regulations against IUU fishing, including the 180-day action plan to have the EC's "yellow card" removed.

He suggested pushing the EC to make balanced decisions based on Vietnam’s efforts to stop IUU fishing, with development difficulties and differences between Vietnam and the EU in building and perfecting the legal system, fishery management capacity and fishermen’s livelihoods taken into consideration.

Speaking of efforts by Vietnam, the UK and the EU to draft a Political Declaration announcing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), the PM proposed the sides continue with the matter.

He called on the EU to further support Vietnam in accessing financial resources and transfer technology in climate change response, while urging development partners to soon make specific commitments to Vietnam, particularly in equipment production and renewable energy development.

In reply, Aliberti commended Vietnam for its achievements recorded over the past 35 years of reform, and its resolve and efforts to deal with issues like IUU fishing and climate change.

Vietnam remains an attractive destination for European investors, especially in green economy transition and renewable energy, he stressed, pledging to closely coordinate in implementing cooperation activities in the areas mentioned by the PM.

Exchanging views on regional and international issues, they emphasised the importance of settling disputes by peaceful measures in accordance with international law.

French Senate President to pay official visit to Vietnam

President of the French Senate Gérard Larcher will pay an official visit to Vietnam from December 8-9, according to the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations.

The visit will be made at the invitation of NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Temperature drops to 7.7 degrees Celsius in Sapa as cold spell hits

The temperature in the resort town of Sapa in the northern province of Lao Cai dropped to 7.7 degrees Celsius in the early morning of December 6, the lowest since the beginning of this winter.

Located 350km northwest of Hanoi, Sa Pa is 1,600m above sea level, with the average temperature of 15-18°C. The whole town is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range which is famous with the Indochina’s highest mountain of Fansipan at a height of 3,142 m above sea level. The town is among few locations in Viet Nam where snow and ice sometimes appear in winter. 

According to the hydro-meteorological station of Lao Cai province, as a strengthened cold spell hit the province at night of December 5, the temperature in areas in the province continue to drop.

At 7 am this morning, the temperature in Lao Cai city was down to 15.7 degrees Celsius, Pho Rang (Bao Yen district) 15.6 degrees Celsius, Bac Ha town 11.5 degrees Celsius.

Local authorities have urged farmers to actively implement measures to cope with the extreme cold to protect their crops and cattle.

The province now has over 44,000 cattle-raising households with a total herd of 127,400. About 78% of the households have proper cattle shelters and 17.8% have makeshift shelters.

Vietnam gives high priority to enhancing ties with New Zealand: NA Chairman

Vietnam always treasures and gives high priority to strengthening ties with New Zealand via the Party, government and parliamentary channels and people-to-people exchanges, affirmed National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Hue made the statement during his talks with Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe in Wellington on December 6  following the welcome ceremony.

Vietnam will work together with New Zealand for important achievements towards the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties by 2025, he noted.

He said his visit aims to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership, opening up new prospects for cooperation between the two legislatures not only bilaterally but at regional and global forums in the context that the two countries have fully reopened following the pandemic.

According to him, both sides shared strategic values and interests as close friends and partners, which holds significance amid complicated and uncertain developments in the region and the world.

Highlighting the importance of people-to-people exchange, Rurawhe described Vietnam as a favourite destination for New Zealand people, with about 40,000 arrivals to the country each year before the pandemic.

New Zealand will provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students, he revealed.

The two sides agreed on the need to further strengthen economic-trade-investment cooperation, making it a driving force for development of bilateral ties.

Apart from traditional cooperation fields of education-training, tourism, culture, sports, labour, and agro-forestry-fisheries, they urged expanding joint work into new and promising areas such as digital transformation, energy transition and climate change.

The host hailed Vietnam for officially opening the market for New Zealand’s strawberry and pumpkin.

With great potential for labour cooperation, Hue suggested stepping up the implementation of the Visa Working Holiday programme and signing another bilateral labour cooperation agreement.

The Vietnamese airlines are ready to open direct flights to New Zealand’s major cities, he said.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader asked his New Zealand counterpart to continue creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese community in his country.

Host and guest agreed to build a cooperation agreement between the two legislatures to create a legal framework for their ties, continue facilitating the exchange of delegations to share experience on legislation and personnel training, especially English language training, among their committees and offices.

They vowed to maintain consultations and mutual support at multilateral cooperation mechanisms as well as regional and global parliamentary forums to make active contributions to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

The New Zealand leader also promised to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time.

Academy holds first piano, vocal competition for Vietnamese in Europe

Hamy Academy, a centre of music, arts, languages and sports training in the UK, has freshly launched the V-Stella 2023, the first piano and singing competition for Vietnamese in Europe.

Targeting children and adolescents in the age groups of 5-12 and 13-20, the contest consists of four categories, each having one first, one second, and one third prizes. Competitors have to sing in Vietnamese using songs composed by Vietnamese musicians or the country’s folk songs.

Founder of the academy and head of the organising board Pham Ha My said V-Stella 2023 aims to find Vietnamese musical talents, preserve the Vietnamese language within expatriate communities in the UK and Europe, and bring classical music closer to the overseas Vietnamese audiences.   

Candidates will have to go through three rounds, with the preliminary and second one taking place virtually on February 22 and March 22 to select the Top 26 and 20, respectively. The final round is slated for July 2 in London.

Prime Minister asks for 180-day action plan to tackle IUU

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has tasked subbordinate levels to promptly craft a 180-day action plan to implement the EC’s recommendations and combat illegal, unreported and undocumented (IUU) fishing.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the teleconference with authorities of 28 coastal provinces and cities

The Government chief made the request while chairing a teleconference with authorities of 28 coastal provinces and cities on December 1.

"Combating IUU needs real actions for the sake of the nation, the interests of the people, helping translate the country’s international commitments to make Viet Nam a responsible member in protecting the marine environment and marine ecosystem," the Prime Minister said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported that Viet Nam has made positive progress in dealing with IUU fishing after the European Commission issued a “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seadfood exports five years ago. 

The EC highly valued Viet Nam’s strong political resolve, especially the drastic directions delivered by the Government and the Prime Minister.

However, problems and shortcomings remain as pointed out by an EC delegation during their third round of inspection recently.

The “yellow card” imposed by the EC has hindered the development of the domestic fishery sector as well as the country’s seafood processing and export. Therefore, the entire industry is working hard towards the removal of the warning.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the aquatic sector have been striving to implement the 2017 Law on Fisheries and combat IUU fishing.

Since the imposition of the “yellow card” warning in 2017, all of the offshore fishing boats measuring at least 15 metres in length have been equipped with monitoring devices.

Many boats that violated regulations have been strictly punished with their operation licences revoked, either temporarily or permanently.

Viet Nam’s seafood export reached a turnover of US$10 billion for the first time in November and is expected to climb to $11 billion by the end of the year. Seafood export has fully recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last year, Viet Nam earned over US$1.4 billion from fishery exports to the EU, with US$ 420 million from seafood and US$980 million from aquaculture.

National Assembly Chairman visits New Zealand’s University of Waikato

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on December 5 visited the University of Waikato in Hamilton city and attended an education forum there as part of his official visit to New Zealand.

At his meeting with the university’s leaders, Hue said education-training is one of the most important and effective cooperation areas between Vietnam and New Zealand.

Among the Southeast Asian nations, Vietnam is the third biggest source of students to New Zealand, with 2,700 students, he added.

Hue congratulated the University of Waikato on being named among the top 1.1% of universities and the top 1% of business schools in the world, expressed his delight that more than 200 Vietnamese students have graduated from and 50 others are studying at the university.
 
The university’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley, who is also President of the New Zealand-Vietnam Friendship Association, pledged that the university will make greater efforts to promote educational cooperation between the two countries.

Hue said Vietnam has great demand for personnel training and development, and expressed his hope that the university will launch projects on higher education in Vietnam, covering such areas as university administration, scientific research and digital transformation, and conduct the exchange of lecturers and students in the areas of its strengths like business, education, economy, communications, finance and accounting.

The top legislator also suggested the University of Waikato cooperate with Vietnamese government agencies in personnel training, and open training centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Chancellor of the University of Waikato Anand Satyanand, who is former Governor-General of New Zealand, said the Vietnam-New Zealand education forum would offer an opportunity for the two sides to exchange experience and promote cooperation in important areas, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASEAN Day 2022 organised in Venezuela

Ministries and agencies of Venezuela, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have organised the 5th ASEAN Day in Venezuela, aiming to boost tourism cooperation between the South American nation and the ASEAN countries.

The event was held within the framework of the Venezuela International Tourism Festival 2022 (FITVEN 2022).

Speaking at the opening, Venezuelan Tourism Minister Ali Padron highly appreciated the presence of the ASEAN countries at FITVEN 2022 as well as their cooperation to organise the ASEAN Day 2022.

According to the minister, with typical landscape features, the two sides have many potential and opportunities to attract tourists. Tourism promotion activities and enhanced information exchange among tour operators will contribute to promoting and realising these potential and opportunities.

He said that the Venezuelan government attaches great importance to the role of tourism in development. The FITVEN events held in recent years have demonstrated Venezuela's efforts to promote and make tourism an important economic sector.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Capaya Rodriguez said that the ASEAN countries brought a new, unique Southeast Asian space to the tourism festival.

The ASEAN Day 2022 event marked the success of the Government of Venezuela and the ASEAN Committee in Caracas (ACC) in promoting multifaceted cooperation between Venezuela and the ASEAN member states.

Rodriguez affirmed that the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs always attaches importance to promoting relations with the ASEAN countries and looks forward to soon joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Vietnamese Ambassador to Venezuela Le Viet Duyen introduced an overview of Vietnam's tourism and the role of the tourism industry in the country’s economy in recent years.

He also talked about the attraction of Vietnam's tourism such as destinations, the diversity of landscapes, regional cultures and typical foods that are well-known all over the world.

Visitors to the event had a chance to enjoy Vietnamese fan and hat dances and traditional foods such as spring rolls, shrimp chips and boiled pork coated in toasted rice powder.

Also on this occasion, Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Tourism Leticia Gomez officially announced a special publication of the tourism magazine Viajes Venetur with the theme of ASEAN. The publication delivers messages from the heads of representative offices of the ASEAN countries in Venezuela as well as articles about the countries' tourism.

HCM City, Lao province ink cooperation deal

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and the Lao province of Champasak for 2022-2025 was signed on December 3 as part of the former’s first friendship dialogue.

Under the document, the sides will step up exchanges of local-level delegations and promote cooperation and experience sharing between their departments, sectors, and businesses. They will increase their meetings and exchanges with a focus on the works of Party building, State management, youth cooperation, cultural conservation, and sports, thus bettering the mutual understanding and solidarity.

The MoU also covers bilateral collaboration to beef up trade-investment and business connectivity toward the opening of a Champasak-HCM City shopping centre in the Lao locality. The southern Vietnamese economic hub, meanwhile, will further support its Lao partner’s human resources training, particularly via their coordination of a programme that send students from Champasak to live with Vietnamese families during their study in the city.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai and Governor of Champasak Vilayvong Boutdakham highlighted the importance of the deal for both localities and for deepening the nations’ traditional relations, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.

They said they are determined to effectively turn the contents discussed into specific projects, bringing practical benefits to their localities.

National conference on resolutions of 13th Party Central Committee’s sixth plenum opens

The Politburo and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee on December 5 opened a national conference on the resolutions adopted at the sixth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee.

The hybrid event was attended by Politburo member and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, former Politburo members and National Assembly Chairpersons Nguyen Sinh Hung and Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and Politburo member and permanent member of the Secretariat Vo Van Thuong, among others, along with more than 1 million Party members nationwide.

The two-day conference is intended to raise the awareness and responsibility of all-level Party Committees and members in the implementation of major viewpoints, targets, tasks and solutions set in the documents.

The participants will look into some schemes, including those on continuing to build and perfect a rule-of-law socialist State in the new period, continuing to renew the Party leadership over the political system in the new period, continuing to promote national industrialistion and modernisation by 2030 with a vision towards 2045, and orientations for the national master plan for 2021 – 2030, with a vision to 2050.

Following the conference, Party Committees of cities, provinces and centrally-run agencies will spend five days building action programmes and plans to materialise resolutions and conclusions of the sixth plenum, which took place last October.

Exhibition revives memory of victory against American aerial bombing

An exhibition reminiscent of the victory over the aerial bombing conducted by US forces against the north of Vietnam in December 50 years ago opened in the capital city on December 5.

On display are 84 documents, photos and artefacts about the 12-day battle archived by the Hanoi Centre for Historical Archives, the National Archives Centre III, Hanoi Museum and Vietnam News Agency.

They manifest the smart leadership by the Party and bravery of the army and the people in the north, especially in the capital, in the battle which subsequently led to the signing of the Paris Accord on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam.

In the battle, dubbed as "Dien Bien Phu in the air", the north sustained over 80,000 tonnes of bomb. Hanoi forces alone shot down 23 B-52 strategic bombers and captured 43 pilots, inflicting an unprecedented defeat on US forces.

Vietnam wins big at International Mathematics and Science Olympiad

Vietnamese students won a total of 19 medals, including three gold, at the recent 2022 International Mathematics and Science Olympiad (IMSO).

The students, all sixth graders, come from Hanoi schools.

IMSO is an annual competition specifically for students under the age of 13 and brings together contestants from many countries and territories worldwide.

This year’s edition was held by Indonesia in an online format from November 29 to December 4.

Previously, IMSO 2021 saw Vietnamese students bring home two gold, 10 silver, and eight bronze medals.

ASEAN capital cities vow for smart city development

The governors and mayors of capital cities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have vowed to promote close partnership and comprehensive cooperation for the development of smart, resilient and sustainable cities in the region, according to the Phnom Penh Declaration.

The declaration was issued after the Meeting of Governors/Mayors of ASEAN Capitals 2022, which was convened in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh under the chairmanship of Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng.

Under the declaration, they emphasised the importance of city-to-city cooperation in unlocking the potential of cooperation projects for all parties and their respective supporting partners.

They recognised the necessity to build up more resilient, sustainable, and smarter cities that are not only able to absorb, recover and prepare for unforeseen shocks but ones that are innovative and environmentally-friendly, within the context of COVID-19 recovery, climate change and uncertainty.

The city leaders also agreed to strengthen their commitment to achieving a smart, resilient and sustainable community that is economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible, by fully implementing the pilot projects of ASEAN Smart Cities Network, the declaration said.

It added that those projects will be focused on civic and social, health and well-being, safety and security, quality environment, infrastructure, and industry and innovation.

They encouraged active engagement of citizens in respective ASEAN capitals by equipping them with technological and digital skills and literacy, promoting green start-ups, and fostering a sense of community ownership, the declaration said.

Leaders pledged to utilise effective and innovative technologies to solve urban security problems such as security of water, food and energy, data privacy and security, transportation connectivity and logistics, and human resettlement planning and management, among others, it added.

ASEAN launches plan to promote women’s security in Southeast Asia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and UN Women, launched the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on Women, Peace and Security (ASEAN RPA on WPS) on December 5. 

According to a joint statement released on the same day, the regional plan of action was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in November 2022 as a key deliverable during the term of Cambodia as ASEAN Chair.

It outlines ways to implement the four main pillars of the women, peace and security agenda – women’s protection, participation, prevention, and relief and recovery – along with implementation, coordination, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. It is also meant to advance commitments of ASEAN member nations to implementing the action plan. 

Hanoi Tourism Ao Dai Festival 2022 attracts over 3,000 visitors

More than 30,000 domestic and foreign visitors attended the Hanoi Tourism Ao Dai Festival 2022, which took place from December 2-4 in the capital city.

According to Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Dang Huong Giang, the festival has contributed to promoting love for the Vietnamese traditional costume. 
 
The 3-day event featured an Ao Dai Music Festival, a Creative Ao Dai Design contest for students, exhibition spaces, miniatures and 50 booths introducing products of artisans, designers, travel businesses, hotels, and tourism establishments from Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City.

In the spotlight were a parade of Ao Dai by the Hanoi Women's Union involving 1,000 participants, a street Ao Dai show by 300 businesswomen and 200 children from around the country, and an art performance combined with an Ao Dai fashion show presented by 100 Hanoi students.

The event was part of efforts of the municipal authorities to stimulate tourism demand, and preserve and honour Vietnam’s traditional values, thus attracting more and more tourists to Hanoi, Giang said, adding that such an event will be organised in following years, Giang said. 

Within the framework of the closing ceremony, the municipal Department of Tourism presented awards of the tourism photo and tourism gift design contests launched in 2022, which received 1,414  entries of 147 candidates from eight localities nationwide.

Prime Minister hails growing Vietnam-Nigeria ties

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hailed the development of bilateral ties while receiving Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo in Hanoi on December 5.

The PM suggested deepening bilateral ties in a substantive and effective manner via facilitating visits to raise mutual understanding and trust, and enhance cooperation opportunities in fields that the two countries could supplement each other, especially in economy.

Hailing two-way trade of over 500 million USD as an encouraging result, Chinh said both sides should further improve economic ties to match their fine political relations.

He suggested that both sides have stronger determination to create balance in trade via creating favourable conditions for their exports and imports, including Vietnam’s agro-fisheries, establish and launch trade cooperation mechanisms, contributing to ensuring food security, and diversifying markets and supply chains.

Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge promoting cooperation between ASEAN and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), he said.

The host proposed making agriculture a key cooperation area between both sides; enhancing joint work in digital transformation, start-ups and innovation, green transition, renewable energy, circular economy, national defence-security, oil and gas, poverty reduction, health care, education-training, culture-sports-tourism, people-to-people exchange; and launching of a direct flight service.

Osinbajo, for his part, hailed Vietnam as a strategic important partner and wished to expand economic cooperation with the country.

Agreeing with the host’s proposal, he said Nigeria also wants to share experience with Vietnam in digital economy, energy industry, electric vehicles and solar power.

He vowed to further reinforce all-around ties between both nations and connect coordination between ECOWAS and Vietnam.

On regional and global issues, host and guest underscored the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law.

NA Chairman meets Vietnamese community in New Zealand

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on December 5 had a meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese community in New Zealand as part of his official visit to the country. 

Nguyen Van Thai, President of the Vietnamese Association in Wellington, said overseas Vietnamese always look towards to their homeland and abide by the host country’s law. 

He expressed his hope that the Party and State will continue to further promote economic exchange activities between the two countries, and pay attention to issues related to overseas Vietnamese affairs.

NA Chairman Hue showed his pleasure to meet a number of Vietnamese enterprises that are doing business successfully in New Zealand, saying that his visit aims to  expand and deepen all-around cooperation between the two countries, including trade, labour, education and training.

Participants were also updated with economic cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand in recent years. The NA Chairman said New Zealand officially opened the market for Vietnamese pomelo and lemon, expressing his belief that two-way trade between the two countries will grow stronger in the future. On behalf of the Party and State, NA Chairman Hue praised efforts by the Vietnamese associations to help each other and enhance connection in the host country, preserve Vietnamese language and culture, and their contributions to the homeland. 

He urged the Vietnamese community in News Zealand to further promote solidarity, strictly comply with law of the host country, make more contributions to the homeland’s development, and become a solid bridge for the Vietnam - New Zealand Strategic Partnership.

There are about 11,000 Vietnamese living, working and studying in New Zealand, mostly in Auckland.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes

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