National Cultural Conference kicks off
The National Cultural Conference to implement the 13th National Party Congress’ Resolution opened on November 24 via videoconference.
The event, which is held by the Politburo and the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, is attended by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong, among others.
The conference also saw the participation of leaders of ministries, sectors, central agencies, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and localities across the nation, along with representatives from socio-political organisations, art and cultural associations, as well as scientists, cultural experts, intellectuals and artists.
This is the second National Cultural Conference since 1946, aiming to invigorate the national aspiration as the country enters a new period of rapid and sustainable development.
During the conference, participants will review the implementation of the Party’s orientations, policies, resolutions, directions and conclusions regarding cultural and art activities over the years, as well as the outcomes of the development of the Vietnamese culture and people after 35 years of the “Doi Moi” (Renewal) cause, while defining new orientations and tasks in the work for the 2021-2026 period and until 2045.
It gives a chance for cultural experts, intellectuals and artists to foster solidarity in thoughts and actions, while connecting cultural forces inside and outside the country to serve the nation, optimising the strength from the national great unity to successfully implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress.
Prior to the conference, delegates visited an exhibition themed “Culture enlightens people’s path”, which introduces 320 outstanding artistic photos and 123 valuable documents and items arranged in six categories featuring the Vietnamese culture flow from the past to modern time./.
HCMC gets one more university
The Ministry of Education and Training has permitted the HCMC University of Management and Technology (UMT) to begin operations.
In 2022, the university will enroll more than 500 students for five majors – information technology, real estate, multimedia, marketing and business management, the local media reported.
Huynh Ba Lan, president of UMT and chairman of the university council, said that the Government approved the operation of the university in March 2021.
The university, headquartered at the Cat Lai urban area in Thu Duc City, HCMC, covers an area of 80,000 square meters. The university is expected to have more than 10,000 students in 2030.
Invested by Kien A JSC, the HCMC University of Management and Technology has been the first locally invested university to be operated in HCMC over the past 10 years.
First endoscopic surgery to take liver from living donor performed
Doctors from the Central Military Hospital 108 have successfully operated an endoscopic surgery to take the right liver part from a living donor for a liver transplantation.
This is the first time such surgery has been conducted in Vietnam.
According to Colonel Dr. Le Van Thanh from the hospital, the complicated operation took five hours, requiring great experience from doctors and modern medical equipment.
The donor has recovered after six days, while the receiver has also seen normal liver function and good health conditions after 10 days, he said.
Currently, Vietnam has nine medical facilities that can perform liver transplantation, with total 300 patients having liver transplanted so far. The Central Military Hospital 108 has conducted the highest number of liver transplantations from living donors in the country with 91 cases. The hospital expects to raise its number of liver transplantations each year to 100-150 cases from 40-50 currently.
So far, Vietnamese doctors have mastered this technique, giving hopes to more patients.
Statistics showed that each year, about 2,000-2,5000 patients suffering liver diseases need transplantation in Vietnam./.
Vietnam’s civil registration system sees great improvements: official
The civil registration system in Vietnam has been improved considerably after five years of implementing the national action plan on civil registration and vital statistics.
So said Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc at a meeting held both in person and via videoconference on November 23 to review the five-year implementation of the national action plan for 2017-2024.
He said Vietnam’s civil registration system has recorded great strides in terms of legal regulations and apparatus. Since 2016, millions of children have had their birth registered and personal identification numbers granted each year. The birth registration rate has always been higher than 98 percent.
The national action plan has ensured the right to civil registration for not only domestic citizens but also overseas Vietnamese and foreigners living in the country, with all necessary information included as in line with international practices, according to Ngoc.
Naomi Kitahara, Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam, said an effective civil registration and vital statistics system will ensure that all people benefit from social welfare, including health care and education. Besides, a lean registration mechanism across the life course holds special importance to women and creates a framework for resolving gender inequality.
She recommended the country consolidate the role and responsibility of the national steering committee for the national action plan while further applying digital technology to help ministries and sectors share information more effectively and facilitate the improvement of the entire civil registration and vital statistics system.
The UNFPA will assist the Vietnamese Government in speeding up changes towards a modern and progressive civil registration and vital statistics system in which data will be shared and used for making and implementing evidence-based policies and decisions, she added.
The meeting, funded by UNFPA Vietnam and Vital Strategies, took place within the framework of the Data for Health Initiative that aims to help the country improve civil registration and vital statistics./.
Bình Dương proposes announcement of additional 28,000 COVID cases
The southern province of Bình Dương proposed on Tuesday that the Ministry of Health announce an additional 28,000 positive COVID-19 cases in the province.
These cases were tested between July 10 and November 3.
All these patients have fully recovered, according to Nguyễn Hồng Chương, the director of the provincial health department.
The provincial authorities have proposed the Ministry of Health allows the province to add these cases to the provincial tally to ensure transparency.
The provincial Department of Health explained that during the peak of the outbreak the province held many large-scale testing campaigns to quickly isolate COVID-19 cases from the community through rapid antigen testing. These cases would then be isolated and tested again by RT-PCR testing.
However, information relating to these COVID-19 cases was either not enough or late when sent to the provincial Centre for Disease Control, so the centre could not fully announce all new cases at that time.
Vietnam, Cuba work to tighten time-honoured friendship
Leaders of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP) held talks on November 23 evening to discuss ways to tighten friendship between the two agencies in particular and between Vietnam and Cuba in general.
Speaking at the event, VUFO President Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga expressed her delight that Cuba officially enters the “new normal” when allowing students of all grades to return to school, opening its door to foreign tourists with flexible regulations, and reactivating business and production activities across the nation.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted external and direct cooperation activities, the two organisations have regularly exchanged and got updated on each other’s information, contributing to spreading the sense of solidarity to the two countries’ people, particularly young generations.
ICAP President Fernando González Llort thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for standing side by side with the Cuban people during difficult times.
The two sides affirmed that they will continue to organise friendly exchange activities and celebrate important anniversaries such as the 50th anniversary of President Fidel Castro's visit to Vietnam, the 62nd anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (December 2, 1960 - 2022), together with activities to mark President Ho Chi Minh's birthday and Vietnam's National Day.
They agreed that in the coming time, the VUFO and the ICAP will continue to further strengthen cooperation in the fields of peace, solidarity and friendship; regularly organise online information exchange activities targeting friendship associations of the two countries’ localities; and have more initiatives to reform operations to further tighten the Vietnam-Cuba friendship./.
36 involved in expressway’s fast deterioration stand trial
The Hanoi People’s Court today, November 23, opened the first-instance trial against two former deputy general directors of the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) and 34 accomplices for their alleged involvement in the rapid deterioration of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project that caused a loss of over VND811 billion.
The trial lasts about a month, the local media reported.
The two former VEC executives are Nguyen Manh Hung and Le Quang Hao, while the 34 others include Hoang Viet Hung, former director of the project’s management unit, and employees and technicians of the management unit. They were found violating regulations on construction, causing severe consequences.
The court summoned VEC as plaintiff and some 50 people with related interests, including representatives of the Ministry of Transport and the State Appraisal Council. Present at the trial are 61 lawyers who defend the accused.
According to the indictment, the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project, whose investor is the State-owned VEC, has a total length of nearly 140 kilometers. In the first phase, a 65-kilometer section from Danang City to Tam Ky City of Quang Nam Province was developed and opened to traffic on August 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, the second phase of the project – 74 kilometers stretching from Tam Ky City to Quang Ngai City – was put into service in September 2018.
However, weeks later, many sections were riddled with potholes, causing traffic safety hazards, according to the indictment.
During the execution of the VND34.5 trillion project, which was of national importance, the investor, contractors, consultants and other relevant units failed to comply with the regulations on construction, leading to the road deteriorating fast.
The indictment concluded that VEC, the management unit of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project and relevant units failed to review and check the quality of building materials.
This, it said, resulted in all seven packages of the first phase of the project using stones originating in some mines which were warned over the quality by the Ministry of Transport.
National park releases wild animals back to nature
Thirty masked palm civets were released back to nature on November 23 after a period of staying in the care at the Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh.
The group are among the 100 civets that were handed over to the park from Bac Giang forest rangers and police in April. The animals were exhibits of an illegal wildlife trafficking case.
Now 70 of them meet conditions to return to nature.
This time saw the largest number of animals being released, a representative of the park said, adding that the remainders will continue to be cared for and released in the future.
The activity to return animals into the wild has been integrated into a travel tour at Cuc Phuong National Park launched this March, which promotes forest protection and management, together with education on nature conservation via ecotourism, especially in wildlife rescue and conservation./.
Prime Minister meets Vietnamese intellectuals in Japan
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on November 23 met with representatives of Vietnamese intellectuals in Japan, during which he hailed their contributions to the friendship between the two countries.
The PM highly valued the achievements that Vietnamese scientists in Japan have gained, and welcomed their support of the Fatherland.
At the meeting, Vietnamese intellectuals briefed the Government leader on their attainments over the years, and introduced their products and research outcomes in many areas such as electronics, renewable energy, health care, and artificial intelligence (AI).
They gave a number of proposals on mechanisms and solutions to enable Vietnamese scientists abroad to share scientific research results with their peers at home.
PM Chinh pledged to set up an online exchange channel for the intellectual community in Japan in different groups such as economy, health care, electronics and AI./.
Cultural resources to be turned into national “soft power”
The cultural sector is working to turn cultural resources of the nation into soft power, thus promoting the cultural values and strength of the Vietnamese people, and contributing to speeding up fast and sustainable development.
To this end, the Culture, Sports and Tourism sector has defined eight major pillars of the cultural resources that can be transformed into cultural soft power suitable to the common criteria of the world.
The pillars include world natural heritage, intangible and tangible cultural heritage named in the Soft power 30 list, cultural celebrities and values, human resources and cultural products, infrastructure and cultural spaces, new festivals and cultural events, and innovative cultural organisations and communities.
Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has approved the Cultural Development Strategy to 2030, which is one of the major discussion contents of the National Culture Conference 2021 that is slated for November 24.
According to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung, the strategy gives 11 major tasks and solutions, including raising public awareness of the Party viewpoints and President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts of culture regarding the building and development of the culture and people of Vietnam in the new situation.
The Minister stressed the need to complete institution, policies and legal corridor by reviewing all legal documents and solving bottlenecks in the field.
At the same time, it is necessary to develop cultural industry, he said, underlining the necessity of building a healthy cultural environment to create motivation for national development.
He also highlighted the need to improve the quality and efficiency of cultural activities, preserve and promote the cultural identities of 54 ethnic groups.
Another important task of the sector is to protect and promote the values of heritage, especially UNESCO-recognised heritage and special national heritage, he said.
According to Minister Hung, the strategy set a target of making a contribution of 7 percent from the cultural industry to the GDP.
In the time to come, it is necessary to strengthen international integration to promote the image of the nation and people of Vietnam to the world, enhancing the quality of human resources of the cultural sector, and increasing the application of science and technology in the field to better popularise cultural messages and values to the community, said the official.
The minister also underlined the need to seek resources, including those from the State and the community for cultural development./.
NA Standing Committee’s fifth session wraps up
The fifth session of the National Assembly Standing Committee concluded in Hanoi on November 23 under the chair of chief legislator Vuong Dinh Hue.
In his closing remarks, NA Chairman Hue said during the two-day working session, the committee looked into five major matters and passed two draft resolutions, including one interpreting a number of articles of the Penal Code.
The committee agreed to add the draft law amending and supplementing some articles of the Law on Radio Frequencies to the law and ordinance building programme for 2022 to submit it to the third meeting of the legislature, Hue said.
For the draft Law on Health Examination and Treatment (amended), he asked the Government to complete a dossier and sent it to the NA Standing Committee to include the the draft law in the 2022 law and ordinance building programme.
The committee also urged the Government prepare a dossier proposing amendments and supplements to the 2014 Social Insurance Law to institutionalise the Party’s guidelines on the reform of social insurance policies in a timely fashion.
Regarding the supervision work, the committee found that the Government and agencies have resolutely and seriously addressed pending documents. However, it said the Government should quickly issue documents to handle illegal documents detected during supervisions.
The committee also reviewed results of the second sitting of the NA and discussed preparations for the extraordinary and regular meetings of the 15th legislature in May 2022./.
Vietnamese frigate en route for ASEAN-Russia naval exercise
Vietnamese navy ship HQ-012 Ly Thai To, a Gepard class frigate, left Cam Ranh port on November 23 for Indonesia to participate in the ASEAN-Russia Naval exercise (ARNEX).
Frigate HQ-012 Ly Thai To leaves Cam Ranh port for Indonesia for the ASEAN-Russia Naval exercise.
The trip aims to implement the results achieved at the 14th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting that was hosted by Vietnam, and at the same time to demonstrate Vietnam’s support in promoting cooperation relations between ASEAN and Russia.
The exercise will improve coordination and interoperability between the Vietnamese Navy and the navies of participating countries in solving maritime security issues.
It will also help strengthen the friendship, understanding and mutual trust between the militaries and navies of countries, actively contributing to building global peace, stability, cooperation and development.
The ASEAN-Russia Naval exercise, the first of its kind between ASEAN and Russia, will be held on December 1 – 3 in Indonesia’s territorial waters off the coast of North Sumatera.
VN swimmers win gold medals in friendly Hungary tournament
Nine Vietnamese swimmers on November 22 bagged gold medals at a friendly tournament held in Hungary during their training camp which is taking place ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam.
Swimmer Pham Thi Van, 16, (front row, fourth from left) wins five gold medals in Hungary.
The tournament was held at the Hungarian Club BVSC Zuglo where the national swimming team are currently training.
The youngest members of the team, Ho Nguyen Duy Khoa, Pham Thi Van, and Le Thi My Thao, all of whom are 16, earned six golds, five golds, and four golds each respectively.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Tran Hung Nguyen won four gold medals, one silver, and two bronze medals. He is one of the national team’s hopefuls, particularly as two years ago he clinched two golds at the 30th SEA Games held in the Philippines.
Hoang Quy Phuoc, the most experienced member of the team, brought home four golds and one silver medal. He put in strong performances in the butterfly and freestyle events.
During their training, the Vietnamese team also competed in the Budapest swimming tournament on November 6 where they bagged seven golds, six silvers, and three bronzes.
The national team flew to Hungary for training on November 1 and their training plan is scheduled to be completed on December 13.
After their overseas training trip, they will take part in the 15th International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Swimming Championships due to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from December 16 - 21.
Vietnamese swimmers are expected to hone in skills ahead of the 31st SEA Games which will be hosted by Vietnam between May 12 – 23, 2022, and the 19th Asian Games (ASIAD) in China in September 2022.
Vietnamese referee to officiate at AFF Suzuki Cup 2020
The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has appointed Dang Thanh Ha as supervisor for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020, with the regional tournament scheduled to take place from December 2 to January 2, 2022.
The competition is set to be held in Singapore, with Ha is required to follow a number of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.
The referee must be fully vaccinated against the pandemic, conduct COVID-19 tests, and be put into isolation at a hotel within 48 hours upon arrival in Singapore.
Referees at the tournament must also comply with the AFF's "bubble rules", with all of their activities taking place behind closed door and being in line with pandemic prevention rules.
Vietnam have been drawn in Group B alongside Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Laos. The national squad is set to depart for Singapore on December 1 in preparation for the tournament.
The national team will go into the competition looking to defend their crown as current champions.
Rescued endangered pangolin released back into the wild
An endangered pangolin (Manis Javanica), rescued by local residents living on Cham Islands, has been returned to the wild.
This is the second pangolin found in the past two months that has been put back into its natural habitat by local rangers and management of the Chàm Island Maritime Protected Area (MPA).
The animal weighed 1.3kg and is 70cm long. It was trapped in the fence of garden at a household in Bãi Làng Village, Chàm Islands on November 21.
The islander had saved and given the pangolin to the MPA and local rangers for release to the forest.
Last month, MPA and rangers also successfully helped a pangolin get back to the nature on the Chàm Islands after locals found it living in a garden of a household in Hội An City.
The pangolins, which are listed as Critically Endangered species by International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), live in the Islands’ forest.
Chàm Islands-Hội An (including the total area of the Islands’ land and water and Hội An), a World Biosphere Reserve, 20km off the coast of Hội An, is now open for tourists after months closed for COVID-19 prevention.
Hà Nội Women's Football Club determined to return to winning ways
Hà Nội Women's Football Club are aiming to return to winning ways in the ongoing National Women’s Football Championship.
Although the club has a rich history of success in the competition, they have struggled in recent years. The team from the capital have suffered as rivals like HCM City and Việt Nam Coal and Mineral have lifted the trophy.
The training board and team are working hard to improve their performances in time for the National Football Tournament 2021 and the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held in Hà Nội next year.
Hà Nội WFC has many talented players that are part of the national team set up, such as Phạm Hải Yến, Ngân Thị Vạn Sự and Nguyễn Thị Loan. However, converting Hà Nội's potential into success in the National Women’s Football Championship 2021 remains far from certain.
To try and improve results, the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports has invited South Korean coach Jong Song-chon to lead the team.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many tournaments were not held, affecting the performance of the players. However, my teammates and I will do our best at the National Women’s Football Championship 2021. Hopefully, with the guidance of coach Jong, we will achieve the best results,” said striker Yến.
According to the head of the football department of Hà Nội Sports Competition and Training Centre, Đỗ Văn Nhật, coach Jong will both train Hanoian players and rebuild the training plan according to South Korean standards.
“Coach Jong is a qualified coach, with a lot of experience in women's football. He successfully led the South Korean women's football team to the Asian Games twice, and the World Cup for women four times," Nhật said.
According to coach Jong, Vietnamese women's football in general, and Hà Nội women's football in particular, still have many weaknesses that need to be overcome in order to develop sustainably. Women's football tournaments are still unprofessional, training and competition facilities are deprived and the lives of the players are still difficult.
“I will, step-by-step, propose solutions to these inadequacies. I want to develop women's football in both Hà Nội and Việt Nam," he said.
Jong has also suggested that the Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports and Hà Nội Sports Competition and Training Centre sign a contract with a South Korean assistant. More training equipment and improved nutrition are also needed for the players.
Đào Quốc Thắng, director of Hà Nội Sports Competition and Training Centre, said the National Cup and the National Women's Football Championship 2021 are important competitions for the Việt Nam Football Federation. They are excellent opportunities for players to hone their skills and gain valuable experience before the final round of the 2022 Asian Cup and the 31st SEA Games.
Thắng said his centre will coordinate with the National Sports Administration to enhance nutrition for Hà Nội players who are present in the national women's football team and called for further funding.
Việt Nam Cultural Heritage Day celebrated nationwide
Many activities to honour the national tangible and intangible cultural values have been organised nationwide to celebrate Việt Nam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).
One of the highlights in the capital city of Hà Nội is the Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Space exhibition at the Việt Nam Arts and Culture Exhibition Centre that is open until November 27.
This major cultural and tourism event will introduce and promote the cultural and natural heritage values and unique landscapes of Việt Nam, particularly those that have been recognised as world’s heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The virtual version of the exhibition will also take place from November 24-31 on the websites of the centre at trienlamvhnt.vn and of the culture ministry's Department of Cultural Heritage at dsvh.gov.vn.
Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Space showcases nearly 100 images of Vietnamese typical intangible cultures, 13 of which have been recognised by UNESCO, in addition to more than 200 documents, artefacts, costumes, musical instruments and scientific documents of six intangible heritages honoured by UNESCO, including Huế royal court music, space of gong culture, ca trù singing, quan họ Bắc Ninh folk songs, then singing and art of đờn ca tài tử music and song in southern Việt Nam.
Along with and indoor section, the exhibition also has outdoor areas featuring products of traditional craft villages of the country.
At Hà Nội's Old Quarter area, a chain of cultural activities to celebrate the 16th anniversary of Việt Nam Cultural Heritage Day have been organised by the Management Board of Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Hà Nội Old Quarter with the cooperation of local tour agents
The exhibition of Áng Phao Traditional Carpentry Village (Thanh Oai District) is ongoing until December 15 at the city’s Cultural Exchange Centre located at 50 Đào Duy Từ Street, Hoàn Kiếm District.
Visitors can admire typical products of Áng Phao carpentry, including carved wooden products with sophisticated antique motifs, and learn about the history of the village. Family members of artisan Nguyễn Văn Quyết will practice carpentry at the exhibition and introduce to visitors the woodworking process.
The "Vietnamese Traditional Occupations" photo exhibition features 60 selected works from the Việt Nam Heritage photo contest. It will also be held at the same time at the Hoàn Kiếm Lake Cultural Information Centre on Lê Thái Tổ Street, Hoàn Kiếm District.
“Artisans deserve special attention because they are the living treasures of the craft villages," said Associate Professor Đặng Văn Bài, vice president of Việt Nam Cultural Heritage Association.
"On then, they could create artisanal products that are also works of art and therefore have their values preserved and promoted.”
The award ceremony of the art design competition entitled Hoàn Kiếm Lake: 60 Years of Love and a Vietnamese folk music performance was held on November 21.
According to the deputy head of the Management Board of Hoàn Kiếm Lake and Hà Nội Old Quarter, event-goers must strictly comply with COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures.
They can also join the activities virtually via the Facebook page Phố Cổ Hà Nội (Hà Nội Old Quarter).
An art programme with the theme Dawn of Việt Nam takes place at the Culture-Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Hà Nội’s outlying district of Sơn Tây, kicking off the Great Unity of Nations - Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Week in 2021.
The highlights of the week are performances of folk songs, traditional dances and crafts of Vietnamese ethnic groups, together with the re-enactment of a number of special festivals.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ affirmed that Great Unity of Nations - Vietnamese Cultural Heritage Week is an annual activity to honour the most basic cultural features of all the 54 ethnic groups.
The theme of this year's event has a profound meaning, responding to the National Cultural Conference implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress while praising typical examples from ethnic communities throughout the country and honouring efforts in preserving and promoting cultural identities of ethnic groups, he added.
Alongside, cultural heritages in different localities, along with their typical traditional handicraft products, cuisines and specialties are also introduced.
Ethnic women in Quảng Trị join literacy classes run by border guards
After finishing her farming work, Hồ Thị Nữ, a woman of the Vân Kiều, Pa Cô ethnic minority group in central Quảng Trị Province, goes home to do housework in the afternoon and gets ready for a literacy class with local border soldiers in the evening.
Dozens of ethnic women in A Dơi Commune, Hướng Hóa District have learned how to read and write thanks to literacy classes run voluntarily by soldiers of Quảng Trị Border Guard Station.
A Dơi, a border commune classified as having extremely disadvantaged conditions, is home to more than 3,700 inhabitants, most of whom are from the Vân Kiều, Pa Cô ethnic minority group.
A Dơi Đớ Village has 244 residents from Laos who were granted Vietnamese citizenship status in 2018.
Besides children of school age, the majority of residents in the commune do not know the Vietnamese language.
Three times a week, border soldiers run two literacy classes in A Dơi Đớ and Prin Thành villages to teach 70 local women of different ages.
Most of the women are used to working on the fields all day long and are unfamiliar with books and pens.
Lieutenant Hồ Văn Hữu, one of the teachers in A Dơi Đớ Village, said: “The oldest student is over 60 years old, the youngest is 15-16. Most of them are breadwinners of their families so encouraging them to join the class is a little bit difficult.”
“Luckily, in only a short time, we have encouraged a lot of women to join the class,” he told Biên Phòng (Border) newspaper.
Most of the women are not of studying age but they are all eager to learn new letters and maths, he said.
“We have to select proper teaching methods and inspire them by combining the lessons with cultural activities and dissemination on policies, encouraging local people to get rid of backward customs.”
Hồ Thị Nữ, one of the students, said: “I used to feel shy and scared taking money to the market as I did not understand numbers and letters. I was scared of being cheated.
“Since taking the literacy lessons taught by soldiers, I have been able to read and write the names of my husband and children.
‘I feel grateful for the help of the soldiers. After becoming fluent in reading, I will look for books and newspapers to learn new economic knowledge to help eradicate hunger and reduce poverty for my family,” she said.
Lieutenant Colonel Trần Đức Tứ, a member of Ba Tầng Border Guard Station, said the class not only helped women learn to read, write and do maths, it also gives them communication skills so that they will be more confident in communicating with others and avoid being cheated.
Literacy will motivate women to learn new knowledge and techniques to apply them in their production activities, he said.
Long An seeks “new normal” for its tourism sector, with focus on nature and adventure activities
The southern province of Long An is shifting to more sustainable tourism models and investing in new technologies to help recover its tourism sector.
Nguyễn Tấn Quốc, deputy director of Long An Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the province plans to focus on eco-tourism and other activities while ensuring pandemic safety.
As a member of the Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO), the provincial tourism department has recommended policies that would support travel firms, such as rent reduction or exemption and lower value-added taxes on tourism activities.
Other policies would reduce environmental taxes for travel firms and lower taxes for tourism business households in 2021.
Conferences with provincial leaders and related agencies will also be organised to remove difficulties for tourism businesses. Tourism linkages with Hồ Chí Minh City and Mekong Delta provinces to promote new tourism products will also be created.
Long An has over the years called for investment in tourism projects, especially green or eco-tourism products, and in human resources.
Travel firms have also been urged to use technological innovation to create highly competitive tourism products in the province and in the entire Mekong Delta region.
Phan Tấn Hòa, deputy chairman of Long An People’s Committee, said Long An plans to promote programmes to tap tourism potential with HCM City. Travel firms in HCM City said they would offer customised tours to Long An such as weekend getaways to areas famous for ecotourism and river tourism.
Long An is trying to shift to niche markets, including adventure travel and health and wellness tours. The province has a favourable geographical location with diverse and rich tourism potential, especially eco-tourism, entertainment tourism, weekend getaways and rural tourism.
Under a project on tourism development to 2030, Long An will focus on ecosystem tourism in the Đồng Tháp Mười region. It will promote three major tourist attractions: Láng Sen Wetland Reserve, Tân Lập Floating Village Eco-tourism Area, and Đồng Tháp Mười Centre for Research, Conservation and Development for Medicinal Herbs.
The Láng Sen Wetlands Reserve is Việt Nam’s seventh RAMSAR site which preserves unspoiled natural features with limited human impact.
Covering 4,802ha in three communes of Vĩnh Đại, Vĩnh Lợi and Vĩnh Châu A (Tân Hưng District), the wetlands reserve is home to about 156 species of wild plants and 149 species of vertebrates, of which 13 are listed in the Việt Nam Red Book.
The wetlands reserve is popular with visitors, thanks to its natural beauty, fresh air and great food such as boiled snails, fried catfish, grilled snakehead fish with young lotus leaves, and sour soup of linh fish cooked with wild flowers.
The Tân Lập Floating Village Eco-tourism Area in Tân Lập Commune in Mộc Hóa District is another peaceful tourist destination with charming river views and Melaleuca forests. Visitors will find it peaceful sitting on a boat floating on the forest canal, smelling the melaleuca scent, and seeing the lotus and water lilies blooming in a corner of the river and the birds fluttering in the blue sky.
An observatory in the area boasts a panoramic view of the entire ecological area.
Visitors can also enjoy great food such as chicken hotpot with giang leaves, sour hotpot of snakehead fish, deep-fried reishi, braised perch, and eel stir-fried with turmeric, and take part in campfires and BBQs, picnics, and teambuilding.
The Đồng Tháp Mười Centre for Research, Conservation and Development of Medicinal Herbs is located near a primeval melaleuca forest with an area of more than 900ha, 21 species of higher plants and fauna typical of the original Đồng Tháp Mười region such as storks, herons and cranes.
The centre offers medicinal treatments such as tobacco baths, saunas, foot baths and others as part of its effort to develop ecotourism products.
In addition, the tourism floating season is a highlight organised during the flood season from August to the end of December every year.
Some specific activities that will be organised for tourists include visiting locals in the flood season and floating villages in the wetlands, and taking boat rides.
For waterway tourism on Vàm Cỏ river, there will be tours to experience the landscape in combination with visits to historical and cultural sites, farms and craft villages along both sides of the river.
Because of the COVID outbreak this year, the province has seen reduced revenues from tourism. Phạm Ngọc Trí, deputy director of the Tân Lập floating village eco-tourism area in Mộc Hóa District’s Tân Lập Commune, said that resorts in the area have had to close for almost five months with tourism revenue reaching only 20 per cent of the plan.
The ecotorism area will need time to restore the landscape and seek human resources to replace workers who have quit their jobs. It now has 50 employees but 37 employees are on leave and three have quit.
Long An Province welcomed about 270,000 local visitors (no international visitors) in the first nine months of the year, down 43 per cent year-on-year, according to the Long An Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Tourism revenue was estimated at VNĐ140 billion (US$6.2 million) in the first nine months, down 50 per cent against the same period last year.
The province is expected to receive 350,000 local visitors by the end of the year, with tourism revenue estimated at VNĐ180 billion đồng, a drop of 58 per cent compared to 2020.
Military hospital performs medical first
In a medical first for Việt Nam, surgeons at the 108 Military Central Hospital have performed a liver transplant from a live donor using a non-invasive technique.
During the five-hour laparoscopic surgery, a section of the right liver from the donor was transferred to the recipient. The patient is recovering well after the operation.
Colonel Lê Văn Thành, Head of the hospital’s Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery was the lead surgeon during the transplant.
He said: “This is considered one of the most complex surgical techniques performed by laparoscopic surgery, requiring a high level of experience and modern equipment.”
Unlike open surgery that requires a large incision to access the liver, the laparoscopic procedure is performed with surgical tools and a camera inserted through a few half-inch holes in the abdomen of the living donor. Once the piece of the liver is dissected, the surgeon retrieves the graft through a small incision below the navel.
The minimally invasive technique has many benefits for live donors. Postoperative paid is reduced, recovery is quicker and scarring is much smaller.
The donor left the hospital in good health with normal liver function six days after the surgery.
After 10 days, the recipient’s liver was functioning well, Thành said.
The liver recipient reportedly could eat well, walk and do personal activities on his own.
Thành added: “Currently, in the world, few hepatobiliary and liver transplantation centres in countries with developed medicine such as the US, Europe, Japan, and South Korea can perform laparoscopic living donor surgery for a liver transplant.”
Thành said that although Việt Nam performed the liver transplantation technique later than many countries in the region and around the world until now Vietnamese doctors have completely mastered this technique.
The number of successful liver transplants is increasing year by year, helping to restore life and normal health to many patients with end-stage liver diseases, and at the same time, the cost of liver transplantation in Việt Nam is lower than that in other countries.
Statistics show that in Việt Nam, the number of patients with liver diseases is very high as there are about 2,000-2,500 cases of end-stage liver disease in need of liver transplantation yearly.
Currently, 108 Central Military Hospital performs about 40-50 liver transplants yearly. The number of such operations is expected to increase to 100-150 cases per year with various types of advanced transplant techniques to be deployed.
Therefore, the first successful application of laparoscopic living donor surgery for a liver transplant at the military hospital marked a new step forward in the field of liver transplantation, contributing to improving the quality of life.
Public officials allowed to work as accountants, medical staff at public schools
The HCM City People’s Committee has allowed qualified public officials to work as medical workers and accountants at public education establishments so as to create a more stable workforce for these positions at schools.
Under the new regulation, public pre-schools, primary schools and high schools in the city can enter into long-term employment contracts with medical workers and accountants covered by the legal definitions of public officials under Vietnamese law.
Schools have historically had to recruit medical workers and accountants with only a one-year employment contract, making it difficult to recruit employees working in these two positions and leaving schools with an unstable workforce to perform medical and accounting work.
In 2015 the city halted the recruitment of public officials for medical staff and accountants at public education establishments under an order from the Prime Minister.
The city later submitted proposals to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Training, petitioning the Government to approve the recruitment of public officials for medical workers and accountants at public schools.
Under the new regulation, the heads of departments and chairpersons of people’s committees in all city districts and Thủ Đức City have been assigned to recruit public officials for medical staff and accountants based on schools’ needs.
Local authorities must set a limit on the number of public officials entering employment contracts as medical workers and accountants.
New initiative helps social impact businesses address COVID-19 impacts
A project has been launched to enhance the resilience of social impact businesses (SIBs) and contribute to reducing the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, especially women and girls.
“Leveraging Việt Nam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19” is an iSEE-COVID project, jointly launched by the UN Development Program (UNDP), the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Embassy of Canada to Việt Nam on Monday.
It will be implemented over three years with a total budget of 3.1 million Canadian dollars, funded mainly by Global Affairs Canada and some correspondent funds from UNDP and the Government of Việt Nam.
Social impact businesses are organisations that engage in both business activities and a commitment to positively impacting society and/or the environment as central tenets of their strategic operations. Balancing social and environmental aims with a commercial model allows them to sustainably solve social and environmental challenges.
Examples of SIBs can be social enterprises; social impact start-ups; inclusive businesses; and cooperatives where most members are vulnerable people.
UNDP’s study, in collaboration with the National Economic University and the University of Northampton, shows that 99 per cent of SIBs employ female staff, while 74 per cent have people from marginalised groups in their workforce. A typical SIB is micro-sized in personnel and revenue; 41 per cent of SIBs' leaders are female.
The project will apply an ecosystem approach to tackle the inter-connected and systemic challenges that SIBs face. It will improve the capacity of SIBs themselves; build the capacity of and coordination between SIB intermediaries and strengthen government policymaking capacities for enabling SIBs.
Canada Ambassador HE Paul Deborah said: “SIBs provide incredible value to vulnerable communities in Việt Nam in response to COVID-19, as well as contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development. In partnership with UNDP Việt Nam and the Ministry of Planning and Investment, our shared ambition is to improve the effectiveness of SIBs, especially those led by women, as a means to address the social and gendered impacts of COVID-19. Furthermore, we aim to strengthen the SIB regulatory environment in order to enhance their social and environmental contributions in the communities they serve.”
The project prioritises support to SIBs in four key industries heavily impacted by COVID-19, namely sustainable agriculture, sustainable tourism, education, and health. These are also areas with largely female workforces. Many SIBs offer innovative solutions dedicated to reducing poverty rates among women and girls.
At the project’s launch, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Trần Duy Đông said: “With the commitment to always being at the forefront of innovation and reform, and at the same time ensuring effective social protection work to leave no one behind, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has implemented many practical programmes and activities to support vulnerable groups, such as: ‘For the community development’, and: ‘White Cane for the Blind in Việt Nam’. These programmes are sponsored by a number of vulnerable groups, including social impact businesses like KymViet, Vụn Art and Tâm Ngọc Cooperative."
The ministry highly appreciates the partnership and support of the Government of Canada and UNDP in launching the project, Đông said.
"It is expected that the project will contribute to improving the capacity of SIBs, helping vulnerable groups, including women, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities, to build capacity and strengthen coordination among intermediaries to support social impact businesses, as well as strengthening the capacity of State agencies in policy formulation and implementation, creating favourable conditions for the development of social impact businesses," he said.
The project is expected to support 300 SIBs with seed funding and market access, creating up to 9,000 jobs for vulnerable people. Around 90 SIBs will benefit from revenue increases and will develop plans to cope with COVID-19 and future shocks. Some 105 SIBs will have business plans that integrate gender and/or environmental climate change.
Meanwhile, at least four gender-responsive policies are expected to be developed or revised. An impact business network of at least 100 members will be established. This network will support an impact measurement and management system pilot for 5-10 SIBs.
UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen highlighted the timeliness of the project in supporting vulnerable groups and businesses in overcoming the prolonged and damaging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasised the crucial role of the private sector in general, and the social impact businesses in particular, in recovering and building forward better.
“I strongly believe that the shared development vision and the commitment of innovation-enabling government, combined with the creativity and innovations of social impact business ecosystem stakeholders, will strengthen the resilience and accelerate the development of SIBs in Việt Nam,” she said.
“This, in turn, is foundational to leaving no one behind and achieving the SDGs,” she said.
Bắc Ninh suspends in-person dining services
Bắc Ninh Province will temporarily halt dine-in services at restaurants and other food and beverage establishments until November 30, local authorities announced on the evening of November 21.
Establishments will only be allowed to offer delivery services.
Wedding parties are also suspended until further notice.
Bắc Ninh citizens are advised to stay at home from 9 pm to 4 am except for emergencies, officials on duty, those working night shifts or on the way home. People who travel in these hours must have special permission.
Customers of all services establishments are required to submit electronic health declarations. Pandemic prevention measures must be closely adhered to.
Earlier this month, Bắc Ninh suspended karaokes, bars, discos, gaming centres, gyms and spas.
Bắc Ninh has recorded 3,563 cases of COVID-19 since April 29. The province has so far administered 1.85 million vaccine doses.
Four communes and wards in Bắc Ninh are rated as level 4 (very high risk), including Nam Sơn and Vân Dương wards in Bắc Ninh City and Phương Liễu and Phượng Mao communes of Quế Võ District.
75 per cent of people dying from COVID over three days in HCM City were unvaccinated
Seventy-five per cent of 151 people who died of COVID-19 in HCM City from November 19-21 were either unvaccinated or had received only one vaccine dose, according to the city Department of Health.
Speaking at a press meeting on Monday, Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the department’s office, said the unvaccinated patients were mostly people who had health contraindications to the vaccine or elderly people who were homebound.
“To reduce the number of fatalities, the city will continue speeding up the provision of two vaccine doses. People should strictly comply with preventive measures,” Mai said.
HCM City’s new COVID-19 incidences last week remained at about 1,000 per day, she said, adding that, of these, 15-20 per cent became worse, which included mostly older people with underlying medical conditions, and 5 per cent became critically ill, resulting in deaths.
The city currently has 13,724 COVID-19 patients being treated, including 574 children under 16 years old.
Dr Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy head of the city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, said that health stations in wards, communes and towns faced a shortage of medical workers in the last few weeks but the department has added staff at health stations to help COVID-19 patients who are being treated at home.
New COVID-19 patients should call local health stations and mobile medical stations in wards, communes and towns. The healthcare staff will then visit these patients within 24 hours for treatment and quarantine instructions.
Not all COVID-19 patients are provided medicine, Tâm noted, adding that local medical workers will evaluate their health and then provide medicine if necessary. If the patients do not call local health stations, they will not be provided an official paper that certifies their recovery.
The Department of Health said that new COVID patients can receive treatment and quarantine at home if the family does not have anyone in high-risk groups such as people with underlying medical conditions or people who are obese or pregnant, among others.
New COVID-19 cases who are children or adults who lack a caregiver must have people to assist them if they are being treated at home.
The People’s Committee said the city’s status remained at "medium risk" of COVID-19 as of November 18.
VN reviews implementation of Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration
Việt Nam’s implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was reviewed at a conference co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Monday.
The event, held both online and in-person, brought together 250 delegates from agencies, ministries and international organisations.
The participants sought ways to raise the efficiency of GCM implementation, and looked into Việt Nam’s national report to be presented at the International Migration Review Forum scheduled for May 2022 in New York.
The foreign ministry is coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to complete the report and send it to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The International Migration Review Forum will take place every four years beginning in 2022. Each edition of the International Migration Review Forum will result in an intergovernmentally agreed Progress Declaration.
In his remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Tô Anh Dũng pointed out challenges to migration management amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially given the complexity of illegal migration activities.
Regarding Việt Nam’s realisation of the plan implementing the GCM, he said despite a range of difficulties, ministries, agencies and localities have worked hard in this regard.
Sharing Dũng’s views, Mihyung Park, Chief of Mission at the IOM Việt Nam, said the pandemic has posed various difficulties to relevant sides, particularly migrants, making them one of the most vulnerable groups.
She, therefore, called on countries to step up efforts to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.
Park spoke highly of Việt Nam’s active contributions to the building and ratification of the GCM, as well as the country’s strong commitments to promoting safe, orderly and regular migration.
Over 700,000 employees receive one-time social insurance allowance this year
Over 700,000 employees decided to receive a one-time social insurance allowance in the first 10 months of this year.
The number is 5.45 per cent higher than the same period last year, according to data from the Việt Nam Social Security.
Việt Nam Social Security said that the reason for the increase of employees who decided to receive a one-time social insurance payment was due to the COVID-19-pandemic.
Phan Xuân H, living in Liên Chiểu District, Đà Nẵng, is a civil servant. He has had more than 20 years participating in compulsory social insurance.
Recently, due to the pandemic, he decided to receive a one-time social insurance allowance, worth about VNĐ30 million (US$1,300).
He said his wife was an employee of a tourism business in the city. She has had no income for nearly two years due to the pandemic.
Therefore, the four people in his family depended on his income, so it was very difficult, he said.
“I decide to receive the one-time social insurance allowance to cover daily expenses,” he added.
Nguyễn Thị Hoa, of Nha Trang in the coastal central of Khánh Hoà Province, said she decided to receive a one-time social insurance allowance to cover daily expenses after participating in compulsory social insurance for 15 years.
Hoa said her decision came after her income was sharply reduced because the company for which she worked suffered due to the pandemic.
However, Hoa said not long after getting the allowance, she fell ill. When Hoa was treated at a hospital she had to cover all medical expenses without payments from social insurance.
Hoa realised it was one of the issues after she received the allowance, Hoa wanted to re-join the compulsory social insurance but failed because the law on social insurance does not yet provide for this case.
According to the agency, employees who received the one-time social insurance allowance will not enjoy benefits from the social insurance fund that pays for sickness, maternity, occupational accident, occupational disease, retirement and death.
The agency said in reality, there were many labourers who wanted to re-join compulsory social insurance after they received the one-time social insurance allowance and realised the shortcomings. However, the law on social insurance does not cover these instances.
Therefore, labourers should consider carefully before deciding to receive a one-time social insurance payment, the agency said.
If a labourer is facing difficulties and cannot continue paying compulsory social insurance, he or she has the right of reservation and then continue to pay later to be eligible to receive a pension and be granted a health insurance card to help take care of their health in old age, according to the agency.
Khmer student’s quest for knowledge
Full-time student, part-time worker Thạch Hữu Nhân wastes no time combining his studies with earning a living. And his efforts are clearly paying off.
Nhân, an ethnic Khmer student in Châu Thành District of Mekong Delta Sóc Trăng Province, is a straight A student, and also manages to put bread on the table at his home.
“My parents left Sóc Trăng and ventured in HCM City when I was three”, said the 23-year-old. “We were so poor that I and my four siblings have to collect crabs and snails for our grandma to sell.
"I have never asked my parents for tuition fees from the sixth grade, and every summer from my eighth grade, I work part-time jobs in HCM City and southern Bình Dương Province to buy books.
“Eventually, I get used to supporting myself.”
Nhân, who is in his final year as a Sociology major at the University of Cần Thơ, is focusing on graduating with flying colours, he is also a security guard, worked as a street food vendor, and a boba tea seller.
“I used my scholarship grant to buy a motorbike but had to sell it later to start my street food stall,” he said.
Nhân’s street food stall earned him VNĐ100,000 (US$ 4.42) a day, but he had to stop after two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now he sells boba tea and works as a night guard at the Department of Social Studies, where he studies, to cut rental costs.
Although working multiple jobs, Nhân’s focus on studies does not falter. He has been the top student in his class for the last three years, while earning scholarships and awards.
“I don’t tend to revise much, and I learn through the practical application,” said Nhân. “My experiences in the outside world gave me ideas that I could work with and reflect in my studies.”
His lecturer, Hứa Hồng Hiếu, said: “Nhân impressed me with his passion for learning and his quick mind”. His friend, Nguyễn Thanh Duy recalls: “Although he is busy with working and studying, Nhân still saved some time to help others in need during this pandemic.”
Despite studying Sociology, Nhân’s passion is business. His goal after graduation is to work in marketing, researching the market and gain experience for his future.
“Sociology taught me how to communicate with others, how to have a diverse view and recognise society’s needs.
“Later on in my life, I want to be a motivational speaker.
“I want to be an inspiration to others who are struggling, especially young children, to keep on chasing knowledge, just like I have been.”
Women from ethnic minorities in Gia Lai given support to improve farms
After harvesting their rice crops, women in Trà Ba Ward in Pleiku City, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, usually contribute rice and cash to a fund called “Help Friends”.
With the fund, the women’s union of the ward offers preferential loans to its members who face financial difficulties in managing their business and production.
Since the fund was started in 2017, nearly 100 women have accessed loans worth nearly VNĐ800 million (US$35,300)
H'Sem, head of the Women's Union of Ngó Village in Trà Ba Ward, said that the village had more than 120 members divided into eight groups.
Twice a year, after the rice harvest, each member of the group contributed rice and cash to the fund, she said, adding that the amount of rice/cash given to the members depended on their conditions and needs.
People would take turns to borrow rice or cash, H’Sem said.
As a family that has just received support from the "Help friends" fund, H'Hyel from Ngó Village said that in June 2021, she received a loan of VNĐ100 million.
With the loan and her family's savings, she built a new house to replace the old one. In addition, she also spent some money on buying more seeds and fertiliser for her coffee gardens and rice fields, she said.
“I will work hard to return the loan and contribute more to the fund,” she said, adding that once the fund was maintained, other women in the village would have the chance to access preferential loans or rice to invest in their farming work and business.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Union in Thắng Lợi Ward, Pleiku City created a Facebook account “Nông sản sạch” (Clean farming products) to help its members, particularly those from ethnic groups to sell farming products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rah Lan H’Điệp, head of Women’s Union in Chuet 2 Village in Thắng Lợi Ward said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, local farmers faced difficulties in selling their fruit, vegetables, meat and poultry.
“As the page “Nông sản sạch” was launched, we could introduce local farming products to many more consumers and find outputs for the products,” she said.
“Women who have products sold on the page are very happy as they still earn some money during the pandemic,” she said.
In addition to effective models to help women overcome difficulties, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gia Lai City Women's Union has also cooperated with departments, branches and organisations to offer vocational training classes, introduce jobs and preserve traditional occupations.
Nguyễn Thị Hồng Vân, chairwoman of the city's Women’s Union, said that such activities were very helpful in creating jobs and stable incomes for local women members.
The union currently has 175 branches at the grassroots level, of which 37 branches are based in villages with ethnic minority groups.
“To take care of members' lives and tighten their solidarity, the Pleiku City Women's Union has built many practical models to support members, especially ethnic minorities,” Vân said, noting that models that proved effective would be expanded throughout the city.
Garment and textile exports likely to reach US$38 billion this year
With export turnover surging by 11% to reach approximately US$32 billion during the past 10 months of the year, the local garment and textile industry is anticipated to rake in roughly US$38 billion this year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).
The association predicts that the country’s garment and textile exports will reach US$3 billion per month during the remaining two months of the year.
Experts pointed out that the implementation of prolonged social distancing measures in several southern provinces during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has served to reduce the sector’s capacity by half, thereby greatly impacting both domestic and international supply chains.
However, with social distancing measures being relaxed from the beginning of October, garment textile production activities, especially in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces, have bounced back as the rate of workers returning to factories now stands at over 90%.
Moving forward, yarn exports are anticipated to make a significant contribution to the sector’s export growth this year, with turnover reaching about US$5.3 billion, while fabric exports may be able to gross roughly US$2.4 billion.
Along with traditional products, the country also exported a large amount of fabric to produce tyres to markets such as the United States, India, and Canada, with export value reaching nearly US$640 million over the past 10 months, marking a 1.5 fold-increase against the same period from last year.
The global demand for garments next year is anticipated to increase rapidly, especially with the reopening of several countries, while textile and garment exports are likely to reach between US$43 and US$43.5 billion next year.
Vitas has therefore advised local firms to catch up with consumption trends, along with promoting the use of input materials of clear origin to utilise advantages from traditional export markets such as the United States and the EU, as well as to countries participating in both the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Japanese businesses keen on investing in Vietnam
Despite the adverse impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese investors have continued to inject their money into the nation, according to industry insiders.
Most notably, the local retail and service industries have recently become more attractive to financiers from the East Asian country with a large capital inflow being poured into these fields.
This comes after Japanese global fashion retail brand Uniqlo officially opened its largest store in the country, thereby bringing the number of stores in the nation to nine just after two years after initially entering the Vietnamese market.
Furthermore, Japanese brand MUJI also opened its first store in Ho Chi Minh City last year and officially launched another shop in Hanoi in early July.
Tetsuya Nagaiwa, general director of MUJI Vietnam, said the company has chosen the nation as it is a promising market, adding that it plans to open between eight and 10 stores locally in the future.
Japan’s AEON Group has also moved to expand its shopping malls in six provinces and cities across the country, with further intentions to start new investment plans soon.
Takeo Nakajima, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Hanoi, revealed that Japanese capital inflows have continued to pour into the nation, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic being brought under control.
May saw Japanese investor Fujikin Inc begin construction on an Research and Development (R&D) centre in Da Nang, with the site featuring a total investment of US$35 million.
Moreover, Sumitomo Group has continued implementing the second phase of the Thang Long Industrial Park in the northern province of Hung Yen, while also proceeding with the Van Phong 1 BOT Thermal Power Project.
Japanese firm NSG Vietnam Glass Industry Co., Ltd have also injected US$626 million into deploying two production lines featuring a total capacity of 500 tonnes per day in the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, while there are also plans to operate the third production line, scheduled to be put into operation by the end of 2025.
According to experts, the launch of the eighth phase of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative, coupled with the upcoming official visit to Japan by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh from November 22-25, are anticipated to create a wealth of opportunities for promoting economic, trade, and investment co-operation between the two sides.
On the sidelines of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in the UK recently, PM Chinh and his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio agreed to maintain business and investment activities as the pandemic is gradually brought under control.
Japanese enterprises have invested approximately US$3.4 billion in the Vietnamese market during the 10-month period, representing a year-on-year rise of 89.9% and increasing total registered capital in the country to nearly US$64 billion so far.
Vietnamese trade turnover likely to hit US$645 billion this year
Vietnam’s total import-export turnover is anticipated to reach between US$640 billion and US$645 billion this year with the country set to enjoy a trade surplus, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
These achievements can primarily be attributed to the great efforts made by numerous enterprises which have overcome challenges caused by COVID-19 in order to both maintain and restore production activities.
Most notably, a number of major industries such as garments and textiles, as well as leather and footwear, have fulfilled their targets ahead of schedule, despite being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The Ministry pointed out that industries will be able to regain the growth momentum from now until the end of the year, potentially reaching the same level as before the pandemic.
Furthermore, traditional sectors which boast export strengths such as phones, electronics, machinery and components are projected to achieve export growth of between 15% and 25% this year.
Experts have also stated that new-generation Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Vietnam-EU Trade Agreement (EVFTA) have added fresh impetus to the country’s export activities.
For example, Vietnamese exports to Canada, Mexico, and Peru have enjoyed an annual growth rate of between 25% and 30% thanks to the CPTPP.
With regard to the EVFTA, the rate of taking advantage of the various incentives from the trade pact through the issuance of certificates of origin (C/O) form EUR1 have also reached approximately 20%.
Moreover, several export items to the EU now enjoy low tariff as a result of the incentives from the General System of Preferences (GSP), which has allowed some businesses to go through the process without the need to apply for the C/O EUR1 form.
This is along with enterprises being allowed to conduct self-certification of origin for export shipments worth less than EUR6,000 to the EU market.
However, according to economists, a number of challenges faced by enterprises, including a shortage of workforce and high logistics costs, which have made businesses not restore their production capacity.
Furthermore, unsynchronized anti-pandemic measures at localities under the Government’s new regulation on safe living and flexible adaptation to the pandemic have affected trust of both businesses and investors.
Quang Ngai allows restaurants to resume dine-in services from Dec 1
Restaurants and eateries in areas at low and moderate risk of Covid-19 community spread in Quang Ngai Province will be allowed to resume dine-in services from December 1.
Apart from complying with Covid safety measures, these restaurants and eateries must map out anti-pandemic measures approved by local authorities, it was announced at an anti-Covid meeting of the provincial government today, November 22.
The resumption is aimed at helping the province gradually reopen its economy and safely adapt to and effectively control the pandemic, according to the Quang Ngai government.
Many parts of the province are at low or moderate risk of transmission, while Duc Loi Commune in Mo Duc District is at extremely high risk.
Quang Ngai has had 90.8% of its adult population getting their first vaccine shots. The central province plans to inoculate children aged 16 to 17 next week.
The Quang Ngai government asked the provincial Department of Health to speed up the vaccination process so that all adults can get fully vaccinated by December 15 while improving the healthcare system and setting up pop-up healthcare stations.
In another development, the northern province of Bac Ninh has ordered restaurants and eateries to stop dine-in services until November 30 due to a surge in new cases.
Food service facilities in the province are allowed to offer takeaway food, the local media reported.
The province required residents not to venture out from 9.00 p.m. to 4.00 a.m., except for special purposes.
Bac Ninh has 70 of 126 communes, wards and towns at low risk of Covid community spread, while 30 other communes and wards are at moderate risk and 22 others are at high risk.
Nam Son and Van Duong wards in Bac Ninh City and Phuong Lieu and Phuong Mao communes in Que Vo District are at extremely high risk.
Vietnam backs efforts to support Iraq in addressing challenges
Vietnam voiced support for provision of assistance to Iraq in addressing current challenges in the war-torn country during a UN Security Council meeting on November 23.
Discussing the situation in Iraq, the meeting was attended by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, congratulated the Government of Iraq and Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) on the well-managed elections held last month and highly spoke of the UNAMI and international organisations for backing Iraq and the IHEC in the polls.
He also reiterated his support for the UNAMI and UN staff operating in the country.
Quy expressed his concern over terrorist attacks in Iraq over the last few months, particularly a failed assassination attempt against the Iraqi Prime Minister, saying Vietnam strongly condemns all forms of terrorism. He called on all stakeholders to address concerns through existing legal processes and facilitate the promotion of national unity, and constructive and peaceful dialogue.
The diplomat also appreciated the diplomatic efforts made by the Government of Iraq and how it has demonstrated a strong role in regional peace and security issues, particularly the organisation of the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership in August 2021.
He further welcomed cooperation between the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait in searching for Kuwaiti and citizens of third countries going missing in Iraq with the help from the UNAMI and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)./.
Number of Vietnamese working abroad badly affected by Covid-19
Vietnam has sent a total of 43,584 workers to work abroad in the first 10 months of this year, reaching only 48.42% of this year’s target, according to a report from the Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
A total of 766 workers were sent abroad in October alone, which was equivalent to just 17.16% of last October's figure, the report said.
According to the department, Vietnam had planned to send 90,000 workers overseas in 2021 including 19,388 to Taiwan, 19,193 to Japan, 1,658 to China, and 748 to South Korea but the target had been affected by the restrictions applied by some key labour exporting markets due to Covid-19.
Last year, the number of Vietnamese workers going abroad to work was only 78,641, equivalent to only 60.5 per cent of the government's plan.
Some markets including Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have recently announced to reopen to foreign workers from November 2021, which is a positive sign for Vietnamese working abroad.
Khanh Hoa prepares to welcome thousands of international visitors
The southern central province of Khanh Hoa is expected to serve around 9,351 foreign tourists from now until late December this year.
According to the provincial people’s committee, the local authorities had approved the plan to welcome international visitors of 35 travel service providers.
Around 9,351 foreign visitors are expected to come to the province by December 31 through 48 flights. They are from South Korea, Russia, the Philippines, Japan and Cambodia.
All staff involved in the process of welcoming and serving visitors will be trained in Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control measures.
Some tourist spots in Khanh Hoa will pilot the welcoming of foreign travellers, including Ana Marina Nha Trang, Hon Tam Island, Truong Son handicraft village and the Hoa Lan stream area.
A Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism taskforce is working with Khanh Hoa on the plan to receive foreign tourists again as well as inspect some local facilities which serve tourists.
The plan will be divided into two phases with the first to end on December 31 and the second scheduled to take place between January and March next year.
Vietnamese, Chinese border guards meet via webinar
A webinar between border guards of the northwestern provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Ha Giang and a delegation from China’s Yunnan provincial Immigration General Checkpoint took place on November 23.
At the event, both sides agreed to lift bilateral border defence cooperation mechanism to a new height. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, they will continue holding friendship exchanges to share professional expertise.
Amid the pandemic, they flexibly and creatively created conditions for the circulation of goods between the two nations. Important achievements were made in cooperation mechanisms for legal enforcement such as joint patrols and joint work to deal with cases.
The Vietnamese side donated 43,500 medical masks and 960 bottles of sanitiser to China. Meanwhile, China also handed over 46,000 medical masks, 200 protective suits, 30 boxes of sanitiser and 50 body temperature scanners to Vietnam.
Thu Duc hospital to refund VND3.34 billion in excess testing fees
The Thu Duc Regional General Hospital in HCMC has announced that it will refund over VND3.34 billion in excess testing fees to 286,785 patients.
The highest refund for each patient is about VND85,000, while the lowest is VND2,500, Thanh Nien Online reported.
The hospital will refund the money to these patients, listed in over 3,800 pages publicized by the hospital, from November 23 this year to November 23, 2022.
The patients eligible for the refund are required to show their identification cards, health insurance cards and medical bills, according to the hospital.
Earlier in 2019, after receiving letters of denunciation accusing the Thu Duc Regional General Hospital of illegally collecting higher testing fees than regulated, the HCMC Department of Health launched an investigation into the case.
Accordingly, from September 20, 2018, to January 31, 2019, the hospital collected extra testing charges for 58 services, much higher than the fees regulated by the Ministry of Health. The total collection of additional charges was over VND3.34 billion, with the highest at VND213,000 per service and the lowest at VND2,200.
Quang Binh busts transnational drug trafficking ring
The border guards of Quang Binh Province have broken up a large-scale transnational illegal drug trafficking ring, seizing over 300,000 pills of synthetic drugs and detaining two traffickers.
The arrested traffickers are Laos nationals identified as Keo La Khon Vin Kham Pa Sot, aged 50, and Tich Sy Pan Nha, aged 25.
Quang Binh Province’s border guards discovered the two men and illegal drugs at the Suoi Can area in the Cha Lo mountain village in Minh Hoa District’s Dan Hoa Commune at 6.30 a.m. on November 21.
It has been identified as one of the largest drug trafficking rings in Vietnam busted by the province’s border guards, the local media reported.
HCMC proposes to spend US$38.3 mln to support people on upcoming Tet holiday
On the upcoming Tet holiday, Ho Chi Minh City will give gifts with a total amount of around VND871 billion (US$38.3 million), an increase of VND58 billion (US$2.5 million) over Lunar New Year 2021 to policy beneficiary families, poor and near-poor households and those people who are under social protection.
Particularly, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs proposed to offer each gift worth VND3.1 million (US$136) to 451 elderly revolutionaries, intellectuals, heroic Vietnamese mothers, wounded soldiers, people who had ever participated in the resistance war seriously infected with toxic chemicals.
As for wounded soldiers, heroes of the People's Armed Force, Labor Heroes and families of two or more martyrs, HCMC will present 1,131 gifts with an amount of VND1.7 million (US$75) for each gift.
Regarding poor and near-poor households affected by Covid-19, the city is expected to prepare 45,000 gift bags with an amount of VND1.25 million (US$55) for each one.
In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs will give a financial support with VND1.15 million (US$50.6) for each person who is under social protection, people with disabilities and the elderly aged over 80 years.
During Tet holiday, 39 delegations of the Party Committee, the People’s Council, the People’s Committee, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Ho Chi Minh City will respectively visit and offer their health wishes to revolutionary veterans, heroic Vietnamese mothers, intellectuals, poor households, poor ethnic minorities and children orphaned due to Covid-19.
Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Mr. Le Minh Tan yesterday submitted the above-mentioned reports to the Municipal People's Committee related to the plan of organizing care activities and supporting people on the upcoming Tet holiday.
Ruou Can recognized as national intangible cultural heritage
The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Binh Phuoc Province on November 23 organized a ceremony receiving Certificate of recognizing national intangible cultural heritage of Ruou Can (tube wine) of the S'Tieng ethnic people in Binh Phuoc.
Ruou Can (tube wine) is a fermented rice wine produced in Vietnam, in particular in the Central Highlands region. It is one of the popular drinks of the S’Tieng people (aslo called D’rắp S’lung or Ro nom D’rap) in traditional rituals, ceremonies and festivals.
Ruou Can (tube wine) of the S'Tieng ethnic people in Binh Phuoc was named into the list of national intangible cultural heritages by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on December 20, 2019.
At the receiving ceremony, Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Binh Phuoc Province handed over Certificate of recognizing national intangible cultural heritage of Ruou Can (tube wine) to the localities where are still maintained the traditional wine in the province, including Bu Gia Map, Bu Dang, Hon Quan, Phu Rieng, Phuoc Long and Loc Ninh.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan
Prime Minister meets with former Japanese PM