Former agriculture minister honoured

The International Rice Research Institute has honoured former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat for his “ardent support” to the Vietnam-IRRI collaboration.

The former minister is now Vice Chair of the Economics Commission of the Party Central Committee.

Under his leadership of the ministry, several milestone initiatives were reached in partnership with IRRI, most notably a multi-stakeholder effort that helped refine a national strategy to restructure Vietnam’s rice industry.

The restructuring aimed to improve the incomes of Vietnamese rice farmers in the face of global rice market challenges and climate change. The national strategy is now part of the ministry’s master plan for developing the rice industry.

The Vietnam-IRRI partnership started in 1963. The long-standing collaboration has seen the development of high-yielding – and more recently, climate-resilient – rice varieties for the country, sustainable farming practices, conservation of rice diversity, climate-smart agriculture, particularly in the vulnerable Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, and the hosting and training of more than 850 Vietnamese scholars and course participants.

Lao localities seek more cooperation with Dien Bien

A delegation from three Lao provinces – Phongsali, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang – visited the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien from November 1-5 to strengthen the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the sides. 

At the meetings, officials of Dien Bien and the Lao provinces accessed the implementation of a memorandum of understanding the localities signed in 2014 and agreed on orientations for their collaboration in 2017 and in the 2018-2020 period. 

They also agreed to boost cooperation in effectively implementing the Vietnam-Laos Trade Agreement and facilitating trade and export-import activities through the simplification of administrative procedures. 

The sides will consider building border market pairs under the plan while promoting affiliations in agriculture, education-training, health, and socio-culture.
They will coordinate in ensuring defence-security and managing border areas and border gates.

During the meetings, Dien Bien province signed another MoU with the three Lao provinces to enhance their special friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

OVs make donations to help flood victims in central region

Vietnamese communities in many countries across the world have made donations to help people in central provinces who suffered from flooding caused by prolonged downpours in the past month. 

Overseas Vietnamese in Berlin, Germany have donated 128,211 EUR after two weeks from the launch of the “For the beloved central region” campaign. The money will be delivered to people in the four provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Quang Tri.

The Toan Cau Company in Berlin pledged to give six scholarships worth 50,000 EUR in total to students in the central region to learn nursing in Germany. 

Until now, Vietnamese organisations, businesses and people in Germany have donated around 300,000 EUR to help people in the central region overcome consequences of heavy flooding. 

The Vietnamese Embassy and the Association of Vietnamese in Mozambique on November 3 launched an event calling for donations for flood victims. 

At the event, Ambassador Nguyen Van Trung called on all embassy staff and the Vietnamese community in Mozambique to provide support for people who are suffering from serious consequences of floods.

The fund-raising will last until the end of November and all the collected money will be transferred to the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese to support those in need. 

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Embassy and the Vietnamese Association in Cambodia on November 4 also organised an event to mobilise funds for people in the central region.

President greets outstanding ethnic minority students

President Tran Dai Quang congratulated 137 outstanding ethnic minority students on their achievements at national academic contests and the 2016 university entrance exams at a meeting held in Hanoi on November 4.

He praised the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Training and relevant agencies for initiative to organise the event to honour and grant scholarships to ethnic minority students with good performance in their study, contributing to encouraging them to continue their academic endeavours.

The President asked the committee, ministry and relevant agencies to study and complete policies on developing staff of ethnic teachers to promote human resources development and improve academic standard, contributing to sustainable poverty reduction and comprehensive socio-economic development in ethnic and mountainous areas.

He stressed the important role of education and training, especially the work in ethnic and mountainous areas.

This year’s ceremony to honour ethnic minority students with academic achievements will take place at the Vietnam Youth Academy on November 5.

Front leader congratulates Buddhists on VBS’s anniversary

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has congratulated Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers on the 35th founding anniversary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS). 

In a congratulatory letter dated November 4, Nhan, who is also a Politburo member, said the foundation of the VBS was based on the solidarity and unanimity of all Buddhist organisations and sects in Vietnam. 

Since the sangha’s inception, all Buddhist monks and followers have weathered a range of difficulties and challenges to contribute to the national construction and protection. 

The VBS has established itself as an active member of the VFF, he noted, adding that it has encouraged Vietnamese monks and followers both at home and abroad to engage in developing the country, especially in caring for disadvantaged people and building new-style rural areas, thereby helping to solidify the great national unity bloc. 

The front leader expressed his belief that the VBS will continue to play an active role in the VFF’s operations and well perform the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress. 

The VBS should also make careful preparations for the organisation of the eighth national Buddhist congress, slated for 2017, Nhan said, hoping that it will spare no effort to turn Vietnam into a Buddhism centre in the world and promote peace, stability, cooperation, and sustainable development in the region and the globe as well.

Documents on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa exhibited in Ha Nam

Maps, documents and publications on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are on display in the Red river delta province of Ha Nam. 

The exhibition, opened on November 4, aims to provide the public with historical and legal evidence affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes. 

The event is jointly organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the provincial People’s Committee. 

On display are numerous documents in Nom (old Vietnamese writing using Chinese characters), French and modern Vietnamese, issued from the 17th to the outset of the 20th century by the Vietnamese feudal states and the French government in Indochina (on behalf of the then Vietnamese state). 

Many publications, documents and studies published between the 18 th and 19 th centuries by domestic and foreign researchers and scholars prove Vietnam’s continuous exercise and defence its sea and island sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. 

The event also introduces 65 maps and publications, including those announced by the West and foreign scholars, proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands. Meanwhile, the exhibited photos and documents reflect the socio-economic and cultural development of Truong Sa island district in the nation’s industrialisation and modernisation process. 

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Dai Thang said the event helps the community, especially young people, gain a deeper understanding about Vietnam’s history, and raise the public awareness of firmly safeguarding the country’s sacred sea and island sovereignty. 

The exhibition is opened to the public until November 8.

French Cuisine Festival opens in HCM City

The seventh “Balade en France” French Cuisine Festival opened at the Equatorial Hotel in HCM City on November 4, attracting a crowd of French food and culture lovers. 

The festival introduces visitors to France’s unique and typical cuisine with a variety of chocolate and cheese.

This year’s event also features a French goods fair offering numerous quality products at preferential prices. 

In addition, visitors have a chance to enjoy special art performances by Vietnamese and French artists, including singers Elvis Phuong and Beatrice di Carlo.

Serving as a culture and cuisine bridge between Vietnam and France, the two-day event is expected to attract 2,000 visitors.

HCM City marks Buddhist Sangha founding anniversary

A ceremony to celebrate the 35th founding anniversary of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) took place at Vietnam Quoc Tu (national pagoda) in Ho Chi Minh City on November 5. 

Speaking at the event, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, President of the VBS Executive Council, highlighted the VBS’s contributions to the nation over the past 35 years. 

He praised the VBS’s municipal chapter for its significant achievements in organisation, culture, education and external affairs. 

The chapter has raised more than 2.6 trillion VND (116.8 million USD) for charitable activities during the period, he noted. 

On behalf of the local authorities, Nguyen Hoang Nang, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF)’s HCM City chapter congratulated the VBS on the anniversary, affirming that the establishment of the Sangha 35 years ago met the aspiration of Buddhist monks, nuns and followers at home and abroad. 

He stated the VBS and its HCM chapter have worked to enhance solidarity among Vietnamese, contributing to the overall development of the country. 

Nang said he believes the local chapter will make greater contributions to the national construction and development in the time to come. 

On the occasion, the chapter handed over 1 billion VND (nearly 45,000 USD) to the Vietnam Fatherland Front to support flood victims in the central region.

Binh Duong, Dak Lak take measures against Zika virus

The southern province of Binh Duong has instructed its health department to coordinate with relevant agencies in implementing measures to prevent and fight Zika virus.

The province on November 4 declared the epidemic caused by Zika virus at the communal or ward level. The source of the epidemic is located in Dong Hoa ward, Di An town. 

The provincial People’s Committee assigned the Director of the Department of Health, Chairman of People’s Committees of districts, towns and Thu Giau Mot city to coordinate with relevant agencies in implementing immediate measures to prevent and fight Zika virus. 

Localities in the province were asked to closely monitor the epidemic situation while boosting environmental sanitation and killing mosquito larvae in residential areas, thus preventing any new outbreaks. 

Earlier on November 3, the provincial health department said a 20-year-old woman with Zika virus lives in Di An town. She got rash and high fever with muscle pain. She was hospitalised and tested positive with Zika virus. 

Right after the case was found, the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department has instructed Binh Duong province’s health department to spray chemicals in the area where the patient lives and closely monitor any suspected cases. 

So far, Binh Duong has reported two people with Zika virus. The first case was also a woman, 27, in Thuan An town. 

In related news, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak has taken measures to prevent the spread of the Zika virus following the discovery of a case with small head caused by the virus. 

The provincial health department has asked its subsidiaries to monitor the patient and control the spread of the virus. It has also formed two response teams to cope with the disease and boost checks at the Buon Ma Thuot airport and coach stations. 

Director of the department Doan Huu Long said besides measures like spraying chemicals to kill larvae and mosquitoes, the province’s health sector will coordinate with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology’s office in the Central Highlands region to take samples from suspected cases for testing.

Central city to improve health care for HIV/AIDS kids

The Foreign Affairs Department of Da Nang and the Vietnam Health Improvement Project (VNHIP) have inked a new agreement on improving health care for kids with HIV/AIDS in the central city in 2017-21.

The project aims to provide scholarships, school facilities, health care, and life-skills training, and to support the children’s families with a livelihood.

As planned, the project will focus on the first 50 kids and young people under 25 who have HIV/AIDS, as well as their families.

The city has 100 kids living with HIV/AIDS.

The central city was among the top locals raising efforts to control the number of new HIV cases as it controlled a ratio of 0.15 percent of HIV cases among the population since 2008. 

VNHIP, which has been working in central Vietnam since 2008 to ensure that the most disadvantaged and marginalised people have equal access to quality health care and health education, is operating with some projects in Quang Nam province.

Vietnam hopes to reduce the number of people with HIV to 0.3 percent by 2020.

Seminar updates latest paediatrics techniques

About 700 Vietnamese and foreign experts have gathered at a two-day national paediatrics seminar that commenced in Hanoi on November 4. 

One of the topics of broad interest discussed on the first day of the seminar was a report about asthma in children, especially those under five years old. 

According to the report, the rate of people with chronic asthma in countries ranges between 1 and 18 percent of their population. The average disease-contracting rate is 5 percent in adults and 10 percent in children. 

Some studies in Vietnamese localities indicated that between 4 and 8 percent of local children suffer from the disease. 

Dr Nguyen Cong Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Paediatrics Association, said Vietnam, is striving to reduce the mortality rates among newborn babies and under-five children to below 10 deaths and 20.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. 

A total of 110 reports will be discussed during the event, which aims to exchange experience and update on advanced technologies in the field among participating experts. 

The seminar is co-organised by the Vietnam Paediatrics Association and the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.

Workshop seeks effective use of Mekong water resources

The pursuance of private goals in the use of Mekong River water resources could make countries miss chances to optimise their mutual benefits to ensure energy, water, food, and ecological security for common prosperity, heard a workshop in Hanoi on November 4.

Lying in the lower reaches of the river, Vietnam is likely to bear the most brunt of water resources use activities conducted by nations in the upstream, for whatever purposes, hydropower or agricultural irrigation, said Director of the People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) Trinh Le Nguyen.

The first hydropower dams are being built on the main stream of the Mekong River, along with the reconstruction of a number of water pumping and transferring projects to serve agriculture in Cambodia and Thailand.

All of these projects are still underway despite concerns from many countries in the region as well as the widespread warnings on their impacts.

However, it is not too late for the countries to reform policies and develop a regional blueprint with an aim of mitigating the impacts on humans and the ecological system, and meeting involved parties’ development needs, Nguyen said.

Jake Brunner from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held that the multinational collaboration in the Mekong River basin is crucial to bring mutual benefits and use water resources efficiently. He emphasised that attention should be paid to the development of hydropower.

Nguyen Nhan Quang, an expert in the river’s water management, said Vietnam has a developing irrigation system with around 1.9 million hectares of soil irrigated, approximately 48 percent of the total watered land in the Mekong River’s low stream.

However, the expansion of irrigated rice areas in the Mekong Delta is restricted due to saltwater intrusion and alum contaminated land, he noted.

In addition to collecting and updating more information about water transfer projects in the Mekong River, Vietnam should devise policies to protect the interests of local residents in the Mekong Delta, the expert suggested.

He called on the Mekong River Commission to grasp information and request member countries to obey regulations under the Mekong Agreement.

He also recommended shifting to crops that do not consume much water while strengthening the current Mekong cooperation institutions, including the Lower Mekong Initiative.-

Measures needed to prevent labour disputes

Labour disputes kept increasing over the past years and became more complicated, demonstrating a need for adjustment of related regulations and measures to improve relations between workers and employers.

The country recorded 3,146 strikes in 40 localities nationwide over the past three years, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. As many as 132 strikes were reported during the first six months of this year.

A representative of the ministry’s Department of Legal Affairs told Tin tức (News) Newspaper that disputes relating to the interests of each side are inevitable because of on-going changes in the labour market.

"Labour disputes, especially strikes, have proven more complicated, particularly with any changes in policies relating to wage and social insurance," he said. "This was seen in a number of cases earlier this year," he said.

Hundreds of workers of Inkel Ltd.Co in the Mê Linh District of Hà Nội went on strike in February, after the company failed to increase their minium wage as regulated and reduced their allowances. The dispute was only resolved after employers and employees negotiated, with help from Hà Nội authorities. The company then agreed to increase wages for workers in line with current regulations, maintain allowances, and improve working conditions.

In June, more than 350 workers of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group’s branch in central Quảng Ngãi Province stopped working to ask for appropriate payment from their employer. After dialogues held between the two sides, the company agreed to adjust wages and arrange more reasonable working hours, while workers agreed to return to work.

Experts said employers and workers must understand related policies and increase dialogue with each other. This is currently a weak point in labour relations, leading to strikes and causing problems for businesses and workers.

Deputy Head of the Hà Nội Industrial and Export Processing Zone Management Board, Nguyễn Chí Hùng, said workers themselves did not understand their interests and responsibilities.

"Most Hà Nội strikes were related to salary, working hours, and food safety and hygiene. But the strikes that resulted did not follow legal processes," he said.

When labour disputes or strikes happen, local authorities must step in and handle them. 

"Inspections showed that only 160 out of 500 businesses signed collective labour agreements as regulated by the Labour Law," Hùng said. "Workers did not know their rights and interests while working at enterprises."

Head of the Department of Legal Affairs, Đặng Đức San, said mechanisms exist to deal with labour disputes, but these procedures were not implemented and workers failed to follow regulations when striking.

Deputy Head of the Labour Relation Board of the Việt Nam Labour General Federation Lê Đình Quảng said all strikes did not meet the Labour Laws of 2012. This shows that some legal regulations were ineffective or not effective enough, particularly regulations on handling labour disputes and strikes.

"The law should be adjusted to increase mechanisms related to dialogues and negotiations between employees and employers, but it should not be altered to reduce workers’ interests," he said.

Increasing information dissemination to raise worker awareness of related laws and to increase punishment for violations was also needed, he said.

Labour federation aids poverty fight

Thái Minh Mẫn of HCM City, a physically disabled man who uses a wheelchair, once had to rely on “black credit” to buy laptop bags, electronic parts and other items to sell to students.

But thanks to a HCM City Labour Federation fund, he no longer has to use such dubious credit, which is usually obtained from underground lenders who do not require collateral and only ask for a borrower’s signature.

The former lottery ticket seller received his first loan in 2011 from the Capital Aid Fund for Employment of the Poor (CEP), which offers low-interest loans to the poor in HCM City and the Mekong Delta region.

Before the first loan, Mẫn, 45, sold lottery tickets for 11 years. He could barely afford to buy rice and other food for his family.

Then he heard about the CEP fund, which was set up in 1991 by the Labour Federation.

With the first loan worth VNĐ5 million (US$222) at a low interest rate, Mẫn was able to buy items to sell at the front gate of a university in Gò Vấp District. His income gradually rose.

“My life improved thanks to the loan. I hope the fund raises the maximum loan to VNĐ40 million ($1,777) instead of the current VNĐ30 million ($1.300),” Mẫn said. “A loan of $1,777 could help me open a small motorbike repair shop.”

Another recipient of the fund’s loans was Trần Thị Điểm, who lives in District 8 near the river in a house on stilts with a TV, fridge and washing machine.

In 1981, Điểm and her four children moved to the district from the southeastern province of Đồng Nai and lived on a small boat.

Their income was dependent on fishing and collecting waste on the river to sell to recyclers.

“Food and clothing for my children became a nightmare since my husband had to go to prison due to a death that occurred during a traffic accident he was involved in,” Điểm said.

When CEP staff asked her whether she had ever borrowed money, she was caught by surprise.

“Did anyone dare lend me money? I was too poor,” she told them.

The CEP staff told Điểm that the fund would provide a loan, but she could only afford to borrow VNĐ1 million ($45) to buy buoys and barrels.

The purchases aided her fishing and collection of recycled waste, helping her raise her income and pay back the loan of VNĐ1 million.

Điểm was then able to borrow more money.

“I bought a motor for the boat, and I now have enough money to buy food for my children, and have a small house,” she said, adding that she also now has savings.

Over the last 25 years, the CEP has given 2.9 million loans, totalling more than VNĐ27 trillion (US$1.2 billion), with interest rates varying from 0.5-0.84 per cent.

The fund’s staff also encourages the recipients to save money after they pay back their loans.

Their savings, which are handled by the fund, now totals VNĐ977 billion ($44 million), according to Nguyễn Thị Hoàng Vân, the head of the fund.

Each year, 5,000 to 6,000 people who have received loans from the fund escape from poverty.

Initially, the fund was a pilot programme and only loaned money to people in four districts in HCM City, but then later expanded to all districts.

The fund now has branches in eight neighbouring provinces of Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Tây Ninh, Long An, Tiền Giang, Đồng Tháp, Vĩnh Long and Bến Tre.

Total capital of the fund in 1992 was VNĐ460 million ($20,600), but is now more than VNĐ2.8 trillion ($125 million).

At a ceremony in late October to celebrate its anniversary, Nguyễn Thị Thu, deputy chairwoman of the city People’s Committee, said the CEP fund had contributed greatly to the city’s poverty reduction programme.

The committee would allocate an additional VNĐ100 billion ($4.5 million) to the fund, Thu said.

She said the fund should also offer loans to workers at industrial parks and processing zones as well as people who live in areas with many rented rooms.

“Any worker with serious financial difficulties can borrow money from the fund,” Thu said.

Tô Duy Lâm, head of the State Bank of Việt Nam’s branch in HCM City, said the bank was considering issuing a licence to the fund so that it could be converted to a microfinance organisation, an effective tool used to reduce poverty in developing countries.

“Establishing a microfinance organisation would provide proper conditions and financial services to poor and low-income earners who cannot access traditional banking services,” he added.

Pyramid scheme firm’s licence revoked

Việt Nam’s Competition Authority has revoked the licence of multi-level marketing firm Việt Nam Consumer Alliance Joint-Stock Company (VietNet JSC) and slapped it with a fine of VNĐ409.5 million (US$18,350), local media reported.

The firm, headquartered in Bắc Giang Province, has violated a number of regulations on multilevel sales activities, the state agency (under the Ministry of Industry and Trade) found.

The multi-level marketing (MLM) business model, referred to as a pyramid scheme, is a legitimate but controversial marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for the sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople they recruit. 

The competition authority found out that, first, the firm did not observe procedures for amending and adding to the registration for MLM when there were changes and additions related to application documents for MLM activities. 

Second, going against the prescribed regulations, the firm did not provide sufficient information in their MLM contracts and signed contracts with individuals who were not eligible for participation in MLM.

Third, VietNet JSC neglected to submit periodic reports to relevant authorities.

Fourth, the company also did not fulfil the requirement to equip MLM distributors with proper training.

Fifth, it did not deduct personal income tax from MLM participants before paying commissions, bonuses and other economic benefits to participants.

And last, against rules, VietNet JSC allowed one distributor to maintain more than one position, one MLM business code and one MLM contract.

The revocation of the licence will not mean that the firm is no longer bound by law to carry out its legal duties, which include the obligation to guarantee the legitimate rights of MLM distributors and other individuals who participate in its MLM network. Those participating can ask VietNet JSC for refund and commissions.

Earlier, back in 2012, one of VietNet JSC’ founders, Vũ Ngọc Thuyển (1976), was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for fraud in the Muaban24 Online Trade and Training Company case, where Thuyển was the director of the company’s branch in Bắc Giang Province.

Int’l experts give marketing tips to VN designers

Offering celebrities the chance to wear new designs is an effective way to advertise your collection and brand, Jean Paul Cauvin, CEO of Julien Fournie Haute Couture house in France, told Vietnamese designers yesterday.

Cauvin, who has worked in the fashion industry for more than 40 years, joined Vietnamese fashion experts and foreign designers like Joe Chia (Malaysia), Frederick Lee (Singapore), and Chung Chung Lee (South Korea) for a two-day workshop.

They discussed the development of Việt Nam’s textile, apparel and fashion industry in the context of global integration.

The workshop is part of the Việt Nam International Fashion Week (VIFW) being held in Hà Nội from November 1-6.

Panelists sketched an overview of the Vietnamese fashion industry, and discussed its potentials and solutions for global integration.

The Vietnamese fashion industry has more than 6,000 enterprises which employ more than 2.5 million workers, accounting for five per cent of the nation’s labour force, said Đặng Phương Dung, former vice chairwoman of the Việt Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).

She said Việt Nam ranked sixth among 153 apparel exporting countries, behind China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan and Pakistan. However, Vietnamese designers and brands are still relatively unknown, she added.

“There are very few Vietnamese designers who’ve had the chance to showcase their collections on international catwalks,” Dung said.

She stressed the importance of developing the textile and garments industry as a foundation for developing the fashion industry.

“Designers, stylists… these are still unfamiliar concepts here. We should become more professional and have a clear and methodical development strategy,” she said.

She said designer talents have to be nurtured through effective management in order to gain a higher international profile, and the link between the fashion industry and culture should be further strengthened.

Foreign designers and brand owners participating in the workshop mentioned the importance of using social networks to promote the business.

The “see now, buy now” trend is being applied for the first time at the VIFW in Hà Nội, said VIFW President Lê Thị Quỳnh Trang.

A See Now Buy Now showroom has been set up at Tràng Tiền Plaza in Hà Nội for the event

The see-now-buy-now model adopted by businesses that are predominantly “direct-retail” could work well with fashion-loving consumers who’ve previously seen collections a season ahead, the workshop heard.

“Designers can show their collections to exclusive buyers and media months before the actual show to ensure store delivery and press coverage are planned for a timely launch,” Trang said.

“Customer behaviour has changed so dramatically. They can now buy the latest collections immediately after they have been shown on the runway. Designers should prepare well to serve the customers by launching a campaign on social media to advertise their collections.

“They have to pay attention to building an effective and efficient distribution network, and improve shop decoration,” she added.

Cauvin emphasised the importance of using music and special effects during professional shows.

“At Julien Fournie, we choose music very carefully for the fashion show,” he said.

“Music is very important to inspire an audience. We use music to evoke emotions and send messages about the collection to consumers.”

“A fashion show is not about clothes only, it must bring emotion, liking and impress the audience. If they love the collection, they will buy it. And music has a decisive role in leaving an echo in the audience’s mind.” 

Đồng Tháp win men’s individual in road race

Đồng Tháp did not come home empty-handed, winning two gold medals at the National Road Race Championship on November 3 in Hòa Bình Province.
Nguyễn Tấn Hoài finished first in the men’s 180km mass start with a time of 3hr 45.21min.
Lê Ngọc Sơn of An Giang came second in a photo finish. Nguyễn Trường Tài of VUS HCM City was third three minutes later.
Hoài’s outstanding sprint played a key role in Đồng Tháp’s win in the team event, with a timing of 11:27.01. Hà Nội and An Giang were second and third, respectively.

The last events of the tournament are for the women, who will vie for the individual and team 85km mass start around the districts of Kỳ Sơn, Phú Cường and Cao Phong.

Đà Nẵng set high goal at Toyota Cup

SHB Đà Nẵng are seeking to win this year’s title at the Toyota Mekong Cup, said club President Bùi Xuân Hòa, prior to his team’s departure for the tournament in Laos.

The Vietnamese team will play the opener against Lanexang United FC of the hosts at Anouvong Stadium in Vientiane today.

“We have our best players ready for the competition. Our foreign strikers, Gaston Merlo and Teofilo Eydison, are in good form. New signings, such as Bùi Văn Long, Nguyễn Văn Thắng and Võ Nhật Tân, are excited to play in their new jerseys”, noted Hòa.Merlo is the V.League’s best striker, with 24 goals in the 2015-16 season. Eydison played in the second period with Đà Nẵng, and netted eight times.

In the second match of the group round, Đà Nẵng meets Yadanarbon FC of Myanmar on December 23 at Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Stadium.

The winner of this stage will enter the semi-finals and play Cambodian Boeung Ket Angkor FC on December 31.Defending champions Buriram Utd from Thailand will wait for their rival in the final match in January.

“It might not be an easy journey. We have to start from the group round against the strongest teams from Laos and Myanmar, and then the champions of Cambodia and finally the reigning winners. It will be tough for us,” said coach Lê Huỳnh Đức.

“Anyways, we must play with our best because we are representing Việt Nam. We will fight for the title,” he said.During their preparation for the tournament, Đà Nẵng was faced with changes in their line-up when midfielder Trần Hải Lâm retired, while captain Phạm Nguyên Sa and defender Châu Lê Phước Vĩnh, along with some senior players, found new homes.

The club has filled the holes with other players and promoted some players from younger squads to the first team.

The Totoya event will be the first chance that current and new team members play together, said coach Đức.

Resolution sets targets for socio-economic development

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a resolution of the government regular meeting for October focusing targets for socio-economic development in the time to come.

The resolution emphasizes the need to ensure the stability of exchange rates and liquidity of the banking system, not to increase prices of electricity and medical services in the remaining months of this year in order to control inflation. 

The government asked ministries, agencies, and localities to focus on improving the business environment and competitiveness. 

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is asked to apply flexible monetary policies to facilitate the public and enterprises to access credits, tighten control of credits, closely monitor bad debts, and ensure stable exchange rates and the liquidity of the banking system.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is urged to put in place mechanisms to further attract foreign investment, facilitate the development of small and medium sized enterprises, and create links between foreign and domestic enterprises.

Police retrieve 200kg goods looted from burned truck in central Vietnam

More than 200kg worth of products looted by local mobs shortly after spilling out from a burning truck in south-central Vietnam earlier this week have been retrieved.

The truck was transporting household goods on November 1 from Ho Chi Minh City to a supermarket in Quy Nhon City, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, when it suddenly caught fire.

As its merchandise poured from the burning trailer, a mob of local residents rushed to loot the goods, despite desperate cries from the poor driver.

A passer-by filmed the entire looting scene and posted three different videos to her Facebook, helping police identify the looters, most of whom are residents of the city’s Ghenh Rang Ward and nearby Xuan Hai Commune in the neighboring province of Phu Yen.

Police have summoned the identified looters and asked them to return the goods. As of November 3 afternoon, some 200kg of looted items, including cooking pots, infrared cookers, fish sauce, and detergent, have been returned to Ghenh Rang police.

“Most of the returned products were burned in the fire and are now unusable,” Huynh Du Phi Long, deputy head of the Quy Nhon police department, admitted to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

To Huy Rua awarded Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun

The Japanese government has presented the Order of the Rising Sun to To Huy Rua, Chairman of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentary Group, to honor his contributions to strengthening mutual understanding and friendship between Japanese and Vietnamese parliamentarians.

In an announcement on November 3, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that since Mr. Rua was elected as Chairman of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentary Group in 2011, he has greatly contributed to enhancing the diplomatic ties and understanding between the two countries through exchanges of deputies.
Mr Rua is also an honorary rector of the Vietnam-Japan University, and a former Politburo member and Head of the Party Central Committee’s Organization Commission.

National Library of India honours Vietnamese culture

The National Library of India situated in Alipore, Kolkatta has launched a new section dedicated exclusively to an important collection of books and other materials related to the Vietnamese culture and history.

In a speech at the launch on November 4, Minister Counsellor Tran Quang Tuyen of the Vietnam Embassy in India, said the section is intended to be a repository of knowledge and scholarship.

“Our mission is to improve understanding and foster cooperation between India and Vietnam,” said Minister Counsellor Tuyen, noting the library section is a manifestation of those efforts.

Many visitors are anticipated at the library, which will offer more than just a new home for books and documents.

The facility will be a knowledge hub to support scholastic research, exchanges of ideas and discoveries of new insights. It will become a key conduit where India and Vietnam converge, noted Mr Tuyen.

Geetesh Sharma, president of the India-Vietnam Solidarity Committee, said members are excited about the new section of the library comprised of more than 600 books introducing the history, culture, renewal process and socio-economic achievements of Vietnam.

The new dedicated library section will aid in the education of tens of thousands of students and scholars for generations to come, Mr Sharma noted.

Meeting marks Vietnam - Azerbaijan friendship

A meeting was held in Hanoi on November by the Vietnam – Azerbaijan Friendship Association to mark the 24th anniversary of the Vietnam – Azerbaijan diplomatic ties and the Association’s first founding anniversary (October 10). 

Addressing the event, President of the Association Nghiem Vu Khai expressed his delight at the growing relationship between the two nations, saying that it is based on the traditional friendship between the two nations’ people. 

The association has continuously worked to expand people-to-people diplomacy to keep up with the strategic partnership between the two nations, Khai said. 

He highlighted the association’s upcoming key tasks, including working closely with the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Vietnam to organise celebrations of important anniversaries of the two nations, and strengthening cultural exchanges. 

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Vietnam Anar Imanov highly valued the Vietnam – Azarbaijan friendship, and expressed his belief in the development of the association. 

The Embassy has always welcomed activities to consolidate the traditional friendship between the two nations, he reaffirmed.

New bridge inaugurated in mountainous area in Ha Giang

A steel-reinforced cement bridge was inaugurated in Xin Man district, the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on November 6 after 20 months of construction, replacing an old suspended bridge across the Chay River. 

The construction of the 337m-long Coc Pai bridge, worth nearly 160 billion VND (7.2 million USD) was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), under the second phase of a programme to improve the network of national roads. 

Addressing the event, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Ha Thi Minh Hanh said the Coc Pai bridge helps improve traffic connection between Xin Man district and adjacent areas, as well as between Ha Giang and Lao Cai province. 

It is expected to contribute to socio-economic development of Xin Man district and relevant localities, particularly in agriculture and tourism, Hanh said. 

Xin Man is one of the province’s six poorest districts. It has a population of 58,000, with ethnic minority people accounting for over 80 percent.

Vietnamese Book Corners open in India

Books from Vietnam are now available at the “Vietnam Book Corners” which were inaugurated on November 4 at the National Library and Jadavpur University in the eastern city of Kolkata, India’s West Bengal State. 

The inauguration of the book corners was the first of a series of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-India diplomatic ties and 10 years of strategic partnership of the two countries. 

The corners showcase over 600 book titles in English introducing Vietnam’s history, culture and landscapes as well as achievements in the country’s economic reform and development. 

The “Vietnam Book Corner’” will help Indian youth gain better understanding about Vietnamese history and culture, thus fostering strategic partnership of the two countries, especially when Indian government is stepping up its Act East policy, said Professor Suranjan Das at the opening ceremony in Jadavpur University. 

At the ceremony in the National Library, Arun Kumar Chakrabory, Executive Chief of the library appreciated support of the Vietnamese Embassy and the India-Vietnam Solidarity Committee in West Bengal state in building the “Vietnam Corner” at the library. 

Meanwhile, Geetesh Sharma, President of the India-Vietnam Solidarity Committee, called for stronger ties between the two nations as well as cooperation between Vietnam and Kolkata which is considered the cultural capital of India. 

The “Vietnam Book Corner”, which is opened for the first time in a foreign country, aims to bolster cultural exchanges and mutual understanding of the two countries’ people as well as meeting demand of students, said Tran Quang Tuyen, Vietnamese Minister Counsellor to India. 

He added that the corners serve as a bridge to strengthen bilateral relations in culture – one of the five pillars of the Vietnam-India strategic partnership.

SBH Da Nang suffer defeat at Toyota Cup’s opening match

SHB Da Nang was defeated by Lao Lanexang United 1-2 at the opening match of the 2016 Toyota Mekong Cup in Vientiane, Laos on November 5. 

The Vietnamese team had only 10 days to prepare for the match after attending the Toyota V League 1 tournament for 14 leading professional clubs in Vietnam. 

In the second match of the group stage, SHB Da Nang will meet Yadanarbon FC of Myanmar on December 23 at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium. 

Meanwhile, Lanexang, champions of the Lao Premier League, will need only one point in their match against Yadanarbon FC to enter the semifinals. 

Cambodia’s BoeungKet Angkor FC, last year’s runners-up, have earned the right to the semifinals, while defending champions BuriramUtd from Thailand will play the final match in January. 

The Toyota Mekong Cup 2016, the third of its kind, is taking place from November 5, 2016 to January 8, 2017 in five countries in the Mekong River region - Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Seminar updates latest paediatrics techniques

About 700 Vietnamese and foreign experts have gathered at a two-day national paediatrics seminar that commenced in Hanoi on November 4. 

One of the topics of broad interest discussed on the first day of the seminar was a report about asthma in children, especially those under five years old. 

According to the report, the rate of people with chronic asthma in countries ranges between 1 and 18 percent of their population. The average disease-contracting rate is 5 percent in adults and 10 percent in children. 

Some studies in Vietnamese localities indicated that between 4 and 8 percent of local children suffer from the disease. 

Dr Nguyen Cong Khanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Paediatrics Association, said Vietnam, is striving to reduce the mortality rates among newborn babies and under-five children to below 10 deaths and 20.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. 

A total of 110 reports will be discussed during the event, which aims to exchange experience and update on advanced technologies in the field among participating experts. 

The seminar is co-organised by the Vietnam Paediatrics Association and the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.

Party Resolution on international economic integration

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on November 5 signed a resolution on effectively implementing international economic integration, maintaining social political stability in the context of Vietnam’s participation in new-generation free trade agreements.

The resolution states consistently pursuing the external policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralization of international relations, being proactive in international economic integration for national interests is the major strategic direction for national construction and defense.

It underlines the importance to creatively apply lessons and deal with major relations including relations between economic independence and self-reliance and extensive international economic integration. 

It says international economic integration is the focus of international integration and that integration in other areas needs to serve international economic integration. International economic integration is the common cause of the entire people with businessmen and intellectuals are the vanguards. 

The State needs to focus on encouraging and creating conditions for the development and improvement of competitive edge of Vietnam, Vietnamese enterprises and products, increasing the development level of the national economy, ensuring coordination between renovation and international economic integration, and the Party’s absolute leadership in international economic integration.

The Resolution also points out a number of major policies which include strengthening the ideological work, improving awareness, fine-tuning the legal system, improving law enforcement, increasing competitiveness, promoting agricultural development in association with new rural development, strengthening national defense and security, raising Vietnam’s international prestige, safeguarding and promoting national cultural value, addressing social problems and environmental problems, reforming operation of trade union organizations, and well managing the operations of employees’ organizations.

Seminar preserves Vietnamese language on mass media

A national seminar hosted by the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) and the Vietnamese Linguistics Association on preserving the nature of the Vietnamese language on mass media was held in Hanoi on November 5.

It discussed the preservation of the language in the global integration and the specific use of the Vietnamese language on radio, TV, print, and online newspapers. 
Participants highlighted the vanguard role of mass media in preserving and enriching the Vietnamese language. 

VOV President Nguyen The Ky reviewed the seminar outcomes,“At this seminar, we discussed the need to preserve the Vietnamese language and the pioneer role of media agencies. Participants proposed the Party, State, and National Assembly to fine-tune policies and law on languages; and the need for a Code on the Vietnamese language as the national language. Media agencies should be aware of their tasks of properly using and preserving the language while encouraging the public to follow suit," he said.

Contributions to the seminar will be summarized in a book, which will be published as reference for media agencies and managers.

Harsh penalties on wrong information of traditional fish sauce

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday ordered the Ministry of Information and Communications to issue punishment on media organizations that published unbelievable information of traditional fish sauce, causing negative affects on business and society.

The PM also urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase control on trading and business of fish sauce, especially materials and production process. Additionally, the Ministry of Public Security was asked to announce its investigation results of fish sauce quality survey released by the Vietnam Standards and Consumers Association (Vinastas) last month.

Vietnamese health authority removes low quality drugs

The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health yesterday decided to remove three substandard drugs from pharmacy shelves.

These drugs including traditional medication produced on December 2, 2014 by Phuc Vinh Herbal Company; Ciprofloxacin tablets USP 500mg made on January 3, 2016 by India’s Macleods Pharmaceuticals and imported by Sohaco Pharmaceutical and Commercial Company; Enafran 10 (Enalapril maleat 10mg) manufactured vt 3/2 Pharmaceutical Company were removed from shelves because they failed to meet standard of disolvablity and content of Enalapril maleat.

The administration ordered departments of health across the country to remove low-quality drugs from pharmacies as well as monitor the removal and issue fines to these pharmacies which did not follow drug management regulations.