President Truong Tan Sang to attend 22nd APEC summit in China

President Truong Tan Sang will attend the 22 nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, China from November 9-11.

The attendance will be made at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vietnam applauds IAEA’s role and efforts

Vietnam commends the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for its achievements in all three pillars, namely science and technology, safety and security, and safeguards and verification.

Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Permanent representative of Vietnam at the United Nations made the remarks at a plenary session of the General Assembly on “Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency” held in New York on November 3.

“We applaud the IAEA’s continued efforts, among others, to assist over 30 countries, including Vietnam, in preparing the infrastructure necessary for introducing nuclear power into their energy mix,” she said.

As the Chair of the IAEA Board of Governors for the term of 2013-2014, Vietnam has made active contributions, in a balanced and constructive manner, to realising the objectives and missions of the IAEA, Nga affirmed.

Vietnam advocates the peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology for development in line with the international obligations, she said.

Since 2000, the agency has been assisting Vietnam in implementing over 200 technical cooperation projects at national, regional and inter-regional levels with a total disbursement of over 15 million USD. More than 1,200 Vietnamese scientists and technicians have benefited from various training programmes.

Under the current Country Programme Framework (CPR) period 2011-2015, the cooperation between the IAEA and Vietnam has brought about productive results in the main areas of nuclear power infrastructure and nuclear safety, health care and industrial applications and environmental protection. In 2013, in close collaboration with the IAEA, Vietnam prepared feasibility studies of two sites for its first nuclear power plants.

“Vietnam’s strong commitment to peaceful use of nuclear energy and to conducting nuclear power programmes to the highest safety standards has been widely acknowledged,” Nga stressed.

On this occasion, the diplomat thanked all member states, international partners and the IAEA for their valuable support and cooperation so that Vietnam could fulfil her responsibilities.

Algeria’s 60th Independence Day marked in Hanoi

Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Cherif Chikhi hosted a banquet in Hanoi on November 4 to mark the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s Independence Day (November 1, 1954-2014).

On behalf of the Vietnamese Government and people, Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung extended greetings to the Algerian people on the occasion.

Reviewing the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries over the past years, the minister said despite geographical distance, Vietnam and Algeria have enjoyed a time-honoured friendship and solidarity, fostered by their mutual support and assistance during the past struggle for independence as well as the current national construction.

Bilateral ties have grown strongly in recent years thanks to the firm political foundation, which has fueled their trade and investment partnership, he said.

Last year, two-way trade reached 284 million USD, a rise of 36 percent against 2012, he noted, adding that the Bir Seba oil and gas joint venture between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and its Algerian partner, is expected to become operational next year with a capacity of 20,000 barrels per year.

Both Ambassador Cherif Chikhi and Minister Dung expressed their belief on the future development of the friendship and multi-faced ties between the two countries for the interests of both peoples and for peace and stability in the region and the world.

Consumption tax increase requires corresponding anti-smuggling measures

A plan to raise the special consumption tax should be closely linked to anti-smuggling efforts, National Assembly deputies stated during the ongoing 8th session in Hanoi on November 4.

They agreed to amend the existing law on the special consumption tax for tobacco, beer and wine in a bid to reduce the number of consumers, generate income for the State budget, and ensure domestic production.

According to the roadmap, the tax on tobacco products will be raised from 65 percent to 70 percent by the end of 2018 and to 75 percent from 2019, while tax on beer will increase from 50 percent to 55 percent by the end of 2016, to 60 percent by the end of 2017, and to 65 percent from 2018.

Statistics show that Vietnam has one of the countries with the highest smoking rate in the world, with 47.4 percent of males over the age of 15 being smokers.

Vietnam joined the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in 2005, and has since issued a law and devised a strategy on preventing and controlling the harmful impacts of smoking, which aims to reduce the smoking rate in Vietnam from 47.4 percent to 39 percent by 2020.

Tax on alcohol with 20 degree upwards will increase from 50 percent to 65 percent and a 35 percent tax rate will be applied for that under 20 degree.

VN, China parties share experience in law-governed state building

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) shared their experience in building a law-governed socialist state during their 10th theory seminar on November 4 in Da Lat city, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

Dinh The Huynh, head of the Vietnamese delegation, reiterated the Marxist-Leninist theoretical foundation and Ho Chi Minh ideology on issues related to a law-governed socialist state, as well as the building of such state in Vietnam.

Huynh, who is also Politburo member, Secretary of the CPV Central Committee and head of the Committee’s Commission for Education and Communications, sketched out major viewpoints and orientations in the CPV’s 2011 political programme and the 2013 Constitution regarding the building of the law-governed socialist state in Vietnam.

He also pointed to the need for continued efforts to complete the socialist democracy and the law-governed socialist state of the people, for the people and by the people in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the head of the CPC delegation, Liu Qibao, who is Politburo member, Secretary of CPC Central Committee’s Secretariat and head of the Committee’s Publicity Department, introduced key points of the recent fourth plenum of the CPC Central Committee and highlighted viewpoints and measures to strengthen the leadership of the Party in the management of the state and society by law.

The participants will continue their discussions on November 5.

Earlier, the Vietnamese and Chinese delegations had a working session to seek ways to foster the friendship and partnership between the two parties and states as well as between the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Education and Communications and CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department.

Vietnam congratulates Cambodia on National Day

A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh visited the Cambodian Embassy in Hanoi on November 4 to extend congratulations on the 61 st anniversary of Cambodia’s National Day (November 9).

Meeting with the embassy staff, Deputy FM Vinh congratulated the Cambodian people on their great achievements gained during the national construction and development.

He said he is delighted at the development of the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations, stressing hope that their neighbourliness will prosper in the future for the benefits of their people.

For his part, Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Hul Phany expressed his gratitude to Vietnam for helping the Cambodian people escape from the Khmer Rouge regime as well as rebuild the country.-

Legal framework on taxation under discussion

Lawmakers discussed a number of draft laws on taxation during the ongoing eighth session of the 13th National Assembly (NA) on November 4.

NA deputies focused on the preferential tax treatment for businesses involved in the support industries stipulated in the Law on Corporate Tax.

Huynh Minh Thien, a representative from Ho Chi Minh City, said the regulatory addition will establish a legal framework for the industry. He suggested the Government issue a list of supporting products from 2015 onwards.

An effective taxation framework is a precondition for the country’s support industries to integrate into the global economy and enjoy preferential tariff treatment once free trade agreements enter into force, Bui Van Cuong, a representative from the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, said.

However, deputies proposed the Government review the list of supporting products to ensure they are in line with the country’s industrial development plan for the upcoming period.

Deputy Pham Khanh Phong Lan from HCM City suggested supplementing regulations on preferential treatment for businesses investing in scientific research, while welcoming regulations on tax exemption for enterprises’ social activities.

A number of lawmakers rejected the regulation to abolish penalties for delays in tax payment in the draft law on tax management, saying it is unfair on firms that comply with legal regulations.

Vietnam, Laos collaborate to safeguard border

The Central Committees of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Lao Front for National Construction have announcement on building a peaceful and friendly border line between the two countries.

The two sides reached the agreement during an international conference on establishing a Vietnam-Laos friendly border line between 2014 and 2016, which was held in the central Lao province of Khammuone on November 3-4.

According to the announcement, the two fronts will work jointly to develop communication materials in order to raise awareness, especially among the border area communities, on the significance of building and safeguarding the border line.

They agreed to raise awareness of each country’s respective policies and laws regarding border safety.

They also underscored the need to educate constituents on the traditional solidarity, special friendship, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, as well as the role of each individual in building a peaceful and friendly border line over the next two years.

The document stressed the importance of developing stable residential quarters, fostering national unity, ensuring defence and security, and boosting economic development and poverty reduction in areas along the border line.

Vietnamese and Lao authorities will work closely to detect acts intended to cause instability to the bilateral solidarity and friendship. Meanwhile, cultural and sporting exchange activities will be jointly organised to strengthen mutual understanding between the two nations.

The two countries’ comprehensive and effective cooperation in a number of sectors has contributed to the consolidation and development of the Vietnam-Laos friendship, including encouraging residents in border areas to work together to maintain order along the frontier.

President attends National Great Solidarity Festival in Ha Nam

President Truong Tan Sang joined local people in An Thai Village, An My Commune, Binh Luc district in the northern province of Ha Nam at the annual National Great Solidarity Festival on November 4 marking the founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (Nov. 18, 1930-Nov. 18, 2014).

Talking with the locals, the President said that the VFF has upheld the nation’s noble tradition of unity, gathering people from all walks of life in the fight for national independence and freedom. In the development process of the national revolution, the front has unceasingly been strengthened and expanded to meet the requirements of each period, and has become one of the decisive factors behind the success of the Vietnamese revolution, he said.

According to President Truong Tan Sang, the campaign “All people unite to build cultural life” launched by the VFF has reaped remarkable outcomes, helping enrich communities’ cultural and spiritual life. Meanwhile, the annual National Great Solidarity Festival has created a democratic forum for all people to voice their opinions.

The President emphasized that the VFF should work as a bridge to convey public opinions to Party and State agencies, and at the same time coordinate with its member organisations and the authorities to well carry out its monitoring and social criticism functions.

One of six villages in An My Commune, An Thai village with population of 2,170 has become a model in the drive “All people unite to build cultural life” as well as the campaign on building new style rural areas. Nearly 80 percent of local households have met the criteria to be recognised as a “cultural family”. During 2013-14, the village has completed the rearrangement of rice fields to create large-scale fields, paving the way to the application of scientific and technical advances, thus raising the average rice yield to 13.5 tonnes per ha and annual per capita income to 25.2 million VND (1,200 USD).

The local community said they will continue with the “All people unite to build cultural life” campaign and took the occasion to ask for State help in building infrastructure and the irrigation system.

Japan to keep training Vietnamese officials

Head of the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Parliamentarians' Group, To Huy Rua, received a delegation of senior Japanese experts led by Professor Yosida Kozo in Ha Noi yesterday.

Rua said he hoped Japan would continue to support projects with Viet Nam and the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration to help train Vietnamese officials.

He added that this would contribute to strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. Professor Kozo also said Japan attached great importance to co-operation with Viet Nam in training and experience sharing to raise the capacity of managers.