Government rejects proposal to establish Formosa exclusive economic zone

The Vietnamese Government has refused the proposal by Taiwan's Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company to set up an exclusive steel economic zone in support of the Formosa project.

The disapproval was officially announced in a Government document, released on July 9, which said that the establishment of such an economic zone does not conform to provisions of Vietnamese law.

In the document, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked the Ministry of Finance, in co-ordination with the People's Committee of Ha Tinh province and relevant agencies, to continue implementing supportive measures for Formosa and other companies affected by the incident in May.

In June, Taiwan's Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, based in Ha Tinh's Vung Ang Economic Zone, submitted a proposal to the Government to set up the Vung Ang special steel economic zone and asked for other special treatment following the riot in May.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the establishment of such an economic zone was unnecessary and unprecedented. The ministry added that the Formosa project was offered the highest incentives provided for under Vietnamese law.

Taiwan's Formosa Company is the investor of a giant steel complex and the Son Duong deep-water port project in Ha Tinh, with a total investment of US$10 billion—a figure that is expected to increase in the future.

Norwegian FM to visit VN

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh has informed that Norwegian FM Borge Brende will pay an official visit to Viet Nam from July 15-17.

The visit is made at the invitation of Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh.

During the visit, the two sides will exchange concrete measures to boost bilateral relations, especially in economics, trade, investment and other advantageous areas of Norway such as shipbuilding, oil and gas, and renewable energy.

They will look at how to further coordination at international forums along with discussing global issues of mutual concerns.

President Office announces newly-approved laws, resolution

The State President’s Office on July 10 held a press conference to announce new laws and a resolution that were approved during the seventh session of the 13th National Assembly in late June.

They are the revised Law on Health Insurance, the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam, the revised Law on Vietnamese Nationality, the Law on Construction, the Law on Marriage and Family, the Law on Notary, the Law on Bankruptcy, the Law on Public Investment, the Law on Customs, the Law on Environmental Protection, as well as the Law on amendments and supplements to the Law on Inland Waterway Traffic.

Notably, the Law on Vietnamese Nationality no longer sets a time-limit for the registration of Vietnamese nationality as promulgated in the 2008 version.

The law is also designed to allow overseas Vietnamese, who have not yet lost Vietnamese nationality as prescribed by Vietnamese law before the effective date of this law, to retain their Vietnamese nationality.

Vietnamese residing abroad, who have not yet lost Vietnamese nationality and have no papers to prove their Vietnamese nationality as prescribed in article 11 of this law, should make registration with overseas Vietnamese representative missions to have their Vietnamese nationality recognised and their Vietnamese passports issued, it said.

Meanwhile, the Law on Marriage and Family, consisting nine chapters and 133 articles, removes the regulation forbidding same sex marriage. However, in Item 2 of Article 8, it states that the State does not recognise same sex marriage.

At the press conference, the President Office also made public a Resolution on the country’s joining of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on matters specific to aircraft equipment.

PM criticizes provinces for wrong use of budget

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Tuesday asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to criticize in written form provinces for wrongly using state budget for repair and upgrading of irrigation reservoirs in 2013.

The Prime Minister required the Ministry of Finance to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to reclaim the fund which local authorities have improperly arranged for other purposes.

At a regular cabinet meeting on July 3, the Prime Minister agreed to advance some provinces and cities VND426 billion from the state budget to complete reservoir repair projects, which had to stop last year because of capital shortage.

PM Dung asked ministries of agriculture, finance and planning and investment to survey 169 worst damaged reservoirs that need to be repaired and report to the Government for receiving finance support.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country has 6,648 irrigation reservoirs in 45 provinces and cities. Most of them were built in the 1970s and 1980s and have downgraded and ruined.

About 1,150 reservoirs are in need of repair. Of them 320 are unsafe in the coming rainy and flooding season.

President says farewell to Dutch Ambassador

Outgoing Dutch Ambassador Joop Scheffers said he believes that the Netherlands and Vietnam will have closer cooperation in the future after enjoying rapid progress in their ties over the past five years.

The diplomat was received by President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on July 10.

Scheffers affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of the Netherlands and will be prioritied in his country’s provision of ODA, technical assistance in agriculture and water management and education cooperation.

He also noted the productive cooperation in shipbuilding between the two countries’ economic groups.

The host President highly valued contributions made by the diplomat during his five-year tenure to the two countries’ friendship.

Vietnam always treasures its ties with the Netherlands, he affirmed, adding that the two countries hold untapped potential for partnership in agriculture, trade, and shipbuilding.

The President expressed wishes to receive support from the Netherlands for Vietnam’s early signing of a free trade agreement with the European Union, which is expected to help further trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands and the EU as a whole.

He also took this occasion to update the diplomat on the latest developments in the East Sea situation following China’s illegal positioning of its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

He confirmed Vietnam’s consistent stance of solving these disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, wishing that the Netherlands will back this standpoint.

Deputy PMs bid farewell to US, Panama ambassadors

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on July 10 to say farewell to outgoing US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear.

On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai received Panamanian Ambassador Eduardo Antonio, who came to say goodbye at the end of his tenure in Vietnam.

HCM City leader welcomes Cuban chief editor

Vice Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thi Thu Ha on July 10 hosted a reception for Pelayo Terry Cuervo, Editor-in-Chief of Granma – the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party.

Ha spoke highly of the achievements Cuba has made over the past years, especially in education, health care and biotechnology.

She expressed her hope that Granma will increase connectivity and information and professional exchanges with Saigon Giai phong newspaper of the municipal Party Committee and Nhan dan (People) newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Their partnership will contribute to further fostering the Vietnam-Cuba relationship as well as the relationship between Ho Chi Minh City and Cuban localities, she said.

For his part, Cuevro said he is delighted at the two countries’ growing ties, adding geographic distance cannot hinder the development of their multi-faceted cooperation.

He said he hopes that Ho Chi Minh City will create more favourable conditions for Granma and media agencies in the city to boost their affiliation and share experience.-

HCM City willing to share inspection experience with Laos

Ho Chi Minh City is willing to share inspection experience with Laos, the municipal mayor has said.

Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan on July 10 received a delegation from the Lao Government Inspection Authority led by its General Inspector Bunthong Chitmani.

Over the past time, leaders of HCM City and Lao localities have regularly visited each other to foster cooperation and share experience in areas of mutual concern, he said.

The city has helped Laos’ Champassak, Savannakhet and Xieng Khouang provinces in building cultural works, schools and health clinics, he added.

Appreciating HCM City’s recent development achievements, Bunthong Chitmani affirmed that Laos always attaches importance to the all-round ties between the two Parties, States and peoples as well as the Laos-Vietnam and Vietnam-Laos special solidarity, a common asset of the two nations.

As corruption prevention is now an urgent need in Laos, he said his country wishes to learn from Vietnam ’s experience in personnel training and Party inspection work.

Politburo looks at Thua Thien-Hue development scheme

The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Vietnam held a working session with the Standing Board of the Party Committee of central Thua Thien-Hue province in Hanoi on July 10 to review the five-year implementation of its Conclusion 48 on developing the province and Hue city till 2020.

In Conclusion 48, the Political Bureau asserted the special position and role of Thua Thien-Hue, agreeing that the locality will be developed into a centrally-run city that acts as a centre of the central region and one of the hubs for culture, tourism, science-technology, specialised health services, and top-grade education-training in the country.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Ngoc Thien reported to Politburo members that during 2009-2013, the local economy grew over 10.2 percent annually and GDP per capita saw a 1.77 fold rise.

Thua Thien-Hue has capitalised on its position as a prominent cultural centre, especially the Hue imperial capital, to turn itself into a festival-driven city.

The province has heavily invested in modernising its specialised hospitals as well as healthcare networks to serve people across the central region and beyond.

Education and training have covered multiple fields, producing a contingent of high-quality human resources for the central region and the whole nation.

On behalf of the Political Bureau, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong spoke highly of the pro-activeness and serious implementation of Conclusion 48 by Thua Thien-Hue and government ministries and central agencies.

He agreed that the province has made visible, comprehensive changes, especially in economy. “Thua Thien-Hue is fully aware of combining economic development and protecting cultural heritage and the environment.”

The province has maintained unity in its political system and developed a strong Party line-up to create a driving force to move forward, the Party chief stressed.

However, Thua Thien-Hue should adopt bolder breakthroughs to fully tap its potential in cultural tourism, services and sea-borne economy to enlarge its economic scope, thus further improving local people’s living standards, he stated.-

Vietnam, Italy strengthen cooperation in combating crime

Vietnam and Italy signed a government-level agreement on cooperation in combating crimes during a visit of Minister of Public Security Gen. Tran Dai Quang to Italy from July 8-11.

The signing took place after talks held on July 9 between Minister Quang and Italian Minister of Interior Angelino Alfano in Rome.

During the talks, the two sides agreed to continue with negotiations on agreements on judicial assistance, extradition and data security.

In addition, the two ministers discussed ways to fight trans-national, drug, human trafficking and cyber crimes.

They shared the view that the two ministries will exchange more delegations to share experience and work together in personnel training.

The same day, Minister Quang visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Rome.

Military Zone 2 bolsters cooperation with northern Laos

The High Command of Military Zone 2 will focus on improving personnel training and searching for the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in Laos in its cooperation plan with the northern provinces of Laos.

At a conference hosted by the Military Zone 2 on July 9, it was also agreed that the Vietnamese side will build a training range for Laos’ Division 3 and complete the houses they built for welfare beneficiary families in northern Laos.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh urged the two sides to perform well their key roles in ensuring political security and social order and safety in the shared border line.

Vinh said the defence ministry will create optimal conditions for Military Zone 2 to fully implement the contents of its collaboration agreement with the Lao side.

Last year, the two sides organised training courses for military technicians of armed force units in Northern Laos and began the building of 28 houses for Lao welfare beneficiary families.

Vietnam treasures relations with the Netherlands

President Truong Tan Sang reiterated Vietnam’s recognition of great importance to boosting cooperation with the Netherlands while receiving outgoing Dutch ambassador Joop Scheffers in Hanoi on July 10.

State President Truong Tan Sang reiterated Vietnam’s recognition of great importance to boosting cooperation with the Netherlands while receiving outgoing Dutch ambassador Joop Scheffer in Hanoi on July 10.

At the reception, President Truong Tan Sang commended the accomplishments ambassador Joop Scheffers has recorded during his five-year term in Vietnam, which he said, have contributed to enhancing ties between the two nations.

Through the ambassador, President also extended greetings to the King and Queen of the Netherlands and an invitation to visit Vietnam in the coming time.

“The Netherlands is now one of the leading European nations having effective cooperation in Vietnam, with investment totaling approximately US$27 billion which is centered on a number of cooperative areas such as water management and climate change.” Sang said.

The two sides have great potential for cooperation in agriculture, trade and shipbuilding, Sang said while expressing hope that the Netherlands will help accelerate the early signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the European Union (EU). This will be an important prerequisite for boosting stronger economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands as well as the EU.

Regarding cooperation between the two countries at regional and international forums, President Sang assured his host about Vietnam’s stance on peaceful settlement of the East Sea issue in line with international law.

He said he hopes on the basis of respect for freedom and safety of navigation, the Netherlands supports Vietnam’s consistent view on this issue.

Ambassador Joop Scheffers, in turn, expressed his admiration of Vietnam’s rapid development and hailed the vigorous development of Vietnam-Netherlands ties over the past five years demonstrated by the signing of agreements on healthcare cooperation and strategic partnership.

The Dutch diplomat said that his nation will continue providing ODA for Vietnam and supporting the Southeast Asian country in agriculture, water management, education and shipbuilding.