Ha Long Bay proposes service fee increase


The Management Board of Ha Long Bay has just informed local travel companies of an increase in service fees in the area.

The new increases will come into effect on January 1, 2020, according to a document released on October 22.

The fees for daytime tours will be raised by between 20-25%. Hotel prices will see highest increase of up to 73%.

As such, the tour of two days and one night to Thien Cung- Dau Go- Dinh Huong-Ga Choi-Sung Sot-Ti Top will be raised by VND 500,000 (USD22) to VND1.5 million (USD65). For those who go three days and two nights on this route will have to pay VND1.7 million, which is an increase of VND790,000.

This is the second increase in Ha Long Bay’s entrance fees since April 2017.

Saigon River Tunnel to be closed for two days


Vehicles travel through the Saigon River Tunnel. The tunnel will be closed to traffic between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on October 26 and 27

The Saigon River Tunnel will be closed to traffic between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on October 26 and 27 for a firefighting drill, the HCMC Department of Transport has announced.

Doan Van Tan, director of the tunnel management center, told the local media that the firefighting drill is conducted annually by the HCMC Department of Transport and the municipal Department of Police.

The activity prepares for a response to possible incidents inside the tunnel to ensure the safety of tunnel users.

The department has also offered detours for local residents during the closure of the tunnel. Accordingly, residents who want to travel from Districts 1 to 2 can do so on the Vo Van Kiet, Ky Con, Tran Hung Dao, Le Loi, Pasteur, Ly Tu Trong, Ton Duc Thang, Nguyen Huu Canh, Nguyen Co Thach and Mai Chi Tho streets.

Meanwhile, those traveling in the reverse direction can use the Mai Chi Tho, Nguyen Co Thach, Nguyen Huu Canh, Le Thanh Ton, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Vo Van Kiet streets.

The department required road users to follow the orders of traffic police and traffic signs.

Inaugurated in late 2011, the Saigon River Tunnel is a unique underwater tunnel in Vietnam that is 1.49 kilometers long, 33 meters wide and nine meters height and has six lanes.

The tunnel also has two emergency exits and allows a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour.

More than 47,000 automobiles and 230,000-270,000 motorcycles travel through it per day.

Women footballers set for play friendly ties ahead of SEA Games 30


The Vietnam women’s national football team have scheduled a number of friendly matches as a warm up ahead of their participation in the women’s football tournament at the SEA Games 30.

As planned the Vietnamese squad will start with a friendly fixture against a team representing the US Embassy with the Young Football Players Training Center in Hanoi set to host the game on October 26.

This will then be followed by matches against India during their training camp in Hanoi on both November 3 and November 6.

Following these warm-up games, the squad will fly to Japan for a 10-day training camp where they will compete in three more friendly matches.

During the SEA Games 30, the Vietnamese women’s football team will play games in Group B, along with Thailand and Indonesia. The teams in Group A contain the Philippines, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

Việt Nam, Australia partner to promote vocational education


A professional chef teaches cooking techniques at Á Âu Vocational School in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of Á Âu Vocational School

Government agency representatives and vocational training providers discussed how to apply the world’s best practices to vocational education at the Việt Nam-Australia Skills Conference on Wednesday in HCM City.

The conference is part of the Australian Skills Week in Việt Nam held from Oct 21-24 by the Australian Embassy in collaboration with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The Australian Skills Week aims to raise the profile of vocational education and training in Việt Nam and improve its status as an aspirational career pathway.

Vocational education and training play a key role in economic development and competitiveness, said Trương Anh Dũng, deputy director-general of the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Việt Nam has been making efforts to become a start-up nation in an attempt to boost economic growth, Dũng noted.

Bilateral education and training relations between the two countries have brought tremendous achievement with many workshops, events, ministerial visits and other activities. This year marks 25 years since Australia’s Department of Education signed the first Memorandum of Understanding with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

Joanna Wood, Australian Government Education Counsellor for Việt Nam and Thailand, said that students attending vocational schools gained qualifications for jobs and acquired skills needed to enter and succeed in the workplace.

Vocational education and training include many occupations and industries, including accounting, logistics, retail, tourism, hospitality, technology, and arts.

“Employers are increasingly demanding a highly skilled workforce, which means our training systems need to adapt to keep up with the pace of change," she said. "A high-quality, modern and successful vocational education and training sector is based on strong partnerships between government, industry, institutions and the community.”

Police discover lorry discharging waste illegally


A police officer checks the dumped waste.

Police in Bình Phước Province have discovered a vehicle illegally discharging industrial waste along the border between Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and Bình Phước provinces.

After trailing the suspected vehicle, officers found the occupants were dumping waste plastic and paper.

In the early hours of Thursday, they caught several people in the act dumping the waste. However, the lorry driver managed to escape.

The police seized more than 20 tonnes of waste.

Further investigation is ongoing.

Hà Nội to supervise implementation of law on construction planning


People are struggling with traffic congestion in Hà Nội.

The People’s Council of Hà Nội has set up a team to supervise the compiling and implementing of the law on construction planning in the city from November.

The move came after decision No 72/QĐ-HĐND was recently issued by the council.

The team, led by Nguyễn Thị Bích Ngọc, chairwoman of the council, will monitor activities of the capital People’s Committee, the Planning and Architecture Department as well as the People’s Committee at district and township levels in the city for the period of 2018-19.

The team will consider and evaluate the agencies’ building and implementation of the law in all steps, including making, verifying, approving, implementing, managing and adjusting the construction planning.

Based on the evaluation results, the city will identify solutions to fix shortcomings in implementing the law.

Data from the city showed that the city population increased by 200,000 people each year, equal to 2.5 per cent of the city’s current total population. In the meantime, the land fund for transport infrastructure rises by less than 1 per cent per year.

It results in worse traffic congestion and lack of parking for city residents, online newspaper Dân Việt (Vietnamese People) reported.

Đào Ngọc Nghiêm, vice president of Hà Nội’s Urban Planning Association, said there needs to be close co-ordination between traffic and planning.

However, Hà Nội issued construction planning in April 2011 but didn’t approve the transport planning until March 2016, he said.

“It’s inadequate from the first step, so, now the city has suffered consequences,” he said.

For example, more than 40 high-rise buildings have been constructed in Lê Văn Lương Street since 2011. However, the project to broaden the street has been slowly implemented. Therefore, traffic congestion along the street has become worse, he said.

Company fined for selling substandard petrol


The Nghệ An People’s Committee has fined a company nearly VNĐ230 million (US$10,000) for selling substandard products.

Inspections by concerned organisations said the Thiên Minh Đức Group Joint Stock Company has sold more than 3,000 litres of Ẹ Ron 92-II with ethanol equal to 0.67 per cent of the total volume. The national standards regulate that the ethanol content must be 4-5 per cent of the volume.

Thus, the company gained illicit profits of more than VNĐ63 million ($2,700) from substandard petrol.

Apart from the fine, the committee also withdrew a certificate allowing the DKC Đền Cuông Petrol Station to sell petrol for a month. The petrol station, in Diễn An Commune, Diễn Châu District, belongs to the Thiên Minh Đức Group Joint Stock Company.

The company is headquartered in Vinh City, the central province of Nghệ An. The chairwoman of the board of directors is Chu Thị Thành.

Korean Culture Day takes place in Đà Lạt City


Traditional troupes will perform at the Korean Cultural Day in Đà Lạt City. — Photo courtesy of Korean Cultural Centre

South Korean art troupes will perform at the Korean Culture Day held in Đà Lạt City, Lâm Đồng Province on October 26.

The art troupes include the Pyung Ryu-In percussion troupe; 20th Century B-boy; traditional Inpungnyu troupe and Dong-A University’s Taekwondo troupe.

The Pyung Ryu-In percussion troupe was established in 2009 by musicians who graduated from Korea National University of Art.

The troupe’s repertoire combines traditional and contemporary music.

The performances will begin at 7pm at Lâm Viên Square.

The Korean Culture Day is co-held by the Korean Culture Centre; Korean Tourism Organisation and Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation and Lâm Đồng Province.

“I hope people in Đà Lạt City will have a day to experience Korean culture, from traditional to modern,” said Park Hyy-jin, the centre’s director.

“In the future, I want the culture centre to have more chances to introduce Korean culture to people many other provinces and cities in Việt Nam.”

Coming to the event, people will enjoy food, try to make Korean handicrafts with traditional hanji paper and learn about Korean travel.

Concert praising love to be held


Singer Đinh Mạnh Ninh is seen at the press conference announcing the concert. Photo courtesy of Vạn Show, organiser of the event

A concert with pop ballad, classic and romantic songs will be held on November 30 in Hà Nội starring Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Quang Hưng, musician Thành Vương and singer Đinh Mạnh Ninh.

With the theme Love Songs, the concert will feature songs about love, life, nostalgia and memories of childhood.

The concert will bring a colourful music space with different styles and the three artists will share different roles, composing, music producing, singing, playing instruments and remixing.

“We will make a special combination that people haven’t seen before to create an amazing experience for the audience,” said Hưng.

Hưng, 37, is renowned in different fields such as performing đàn bầu (monochord), directing stage set and producing music for various films. He has composed many official soundtracks for famous television series and has performed monochord in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Egypt and Norway.

Musician and composer Vương became famous thanks to his success at the Bài Hát Việt (Vietnamese Songs) television show. Held annually since 2005, the show provides a platform for Vietnamese composers to write new songs. Vương has won many awards in different editions of the show.

Ninh is an award-winning singer with many big hits in pop, R&B and pop ballad.

The concert also draws participation of emerging singers such as Minh Chuyên (winner of Morning Star – Rendezvous National Singing Contest 2010), Lâm Bảo Ngọc (first runner-up of The Voice 2019 singing contest) and Tuấn Phương (first runner-up of X Factor 2016 singing contest).

The show will take place at Star Galaxy Theatre, 87 Láng Hạ Street, Hà Nội. Tickets are now on sale at the venue.

Japanese firms willing to employ Vietnamese IT engineers

Over 80 percent of Japanese firms saidthey are willing to receive foreign workers, and 95 percent of them are interestedin Vietnamese IT engineers, according to a survey conducted by the VietnamSoftware Association (VINASA).

A representative from the Japan Information Technology Service IndustryAssociation (JISA) said Japan is facing a shortage of human resources incomputer software.

As of June this year,Japanese firms needed around 781,000 IT engineers.

However, in order to qualify to work for Japanese companies,Vietnamese IT engineers need to get up to speed on new technologies, such asartificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and Big Data, along withJapanese language skills and an understanding of the Japanese business cultureand market, said the representative.

A VINASA survey of 60 companies partnering with Japanesefirms showed that digital transformation, virtual reality and Big Data have themost potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Japan.

Currently, the Japanese IT market is valuedat about 460billion USD, with the software sector making up 130billion USD.

Japan is now one of the biggest foreign investors inVietnam, especially in the technology sector.

According to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO),last year, nearly 250 Japanese companies invested in the Vietnamese IT sectorwith capital accounting for 8 percent of total Japanese FDI in Vietnam.

Recently, the Vietnam-Japan IT Cooperation Committee and the IT Innovation and Strategy CentreOkinawa (ISCO) signed a memorandum of understanding on supporting partnershipsbetween Vietnamese and Japanese IT companies, especially in researching anddeveloping new technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution./.

For a safe adventure to nature reserves

A number of foreign tourists have been lost and found exploring the Son Tra Nature Reserve in the central coastal city of Da Nang. The tragic death of a rescue worker who was searching for four lost tourists in the reserve recently has drawn attention to the potential threats of embarking on an adventure in a nature reserve.

Measures need to be taken to ensure tourists stay safe in dangerous parts of nature reserves. Besides local authorities’ efforts to raise public awareness of the risks, tourists need to do their research and equip themselves with survival skills and accessories before they head off into nature reserves.

Son Tra peninsula, as well as other nature reserves, is a tourist magnet for Vietnam. In order to fully exploit its potential, we need safety measures and tourists to be aware of the risks when visiting the reserves./.

Foreign arrivals to Hanoi surge 10.8 percent


Tran Quoc Pagoda on the West Lake, a tourist attraction in Hanoi

Hanoi has welcomed more than 5.3 million foreign arrivals so far this year, up 10.8 percent from the same period in 2018.

According to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the number of foreigners staying overnight surged by 8 percent to over 3.73 million. Meanwhile, the capital city also served nearly 18.5 million domestic tourists, rising 9.3 percent year on year.

Revenue from tourists during the January-October period is estimated at 83.16 trillion VND (3.58 billion USD), up 31.3 percent.

This year, Hanoi was again listed in various tourism rankings. Japan’s All Nippon Airways ranked the city 25th among the 26 best Asian cities for a combination of business and leisure. The city ranked fourth among the 25 destinations in Asia and 15th among the 25 destinations in the World in 2019 Index compiled by TripAdvisor.

Most recently, it was named in the Cable News Network (CNN)'s list of the 17 best places in Asia.

The city is striving to welcome 29 million tourists and record 103 trillion VND (4.43 billion USD) in tourism revenue for the year.

It is working to establish itself as a true tourism hub, and looking to improve the quality of destinations and developing infrastructure and tourism products.

The capital plans to attract investment to build shopping centres and accelerate major projects like the Kim Quy cultural, tourism and entertainment park in Dong Anh district, a horse racing and entertainment complex in Soc Son district, and the Hanoi Museum. It will also boost preservation projects at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Bat Trang pottery village and Van Phuc silk village.

Efforts are also being made to develop 20 – 30 high-quality tourist sites across the city. Additionally, the values of local cultural heritages and traditional villages will be utilised to turn them into magnets for tourists.

Hanoi will also augment preparations for upcoming big sports events such as Formula One racing and the 31st Southeast Asian Games to attract visitors.

Additionally, it will also make use of local culinary culture and promote MICE tourism as well as tourism products based on the strengths of its localities.

The Vietnamese capital is also working to develop high-end accommodation facilities.

Director of the department Tran Duc Hai said the municipal People’s Committee has approved in principle 75 high-end accommodation projects with nearly 20,000 rooms. As of June this year, there were 3,499 accommodation establishments with 60,812 rooms in the city, including 67 hotels rated three to five stars with 10,004 rooms and seven condotel complexes rated four to five stars with 1,349 rooms.

Cooperation in tourism development is also a key task of the sector, he said, noting that his department is carrying out a promotion cooperation programme for 2019-2024 with TV channel CNN International.

It will also take part in meetings of the Council for Promotion of Tourism in Asia and cooperation activities of the Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asian-Pacific Cities.

Coordination with airlines, domestic and foreign media, embassies, international organisations and travel companies will also be strengthened to hold trips for businesses and reporters from key markets, according to the department.

Hanoi aims to welcome 30 million tourist arrivals, including 5.7 million foreigners, in 2020, and attain an annual growth of 8 – 10 percent in the sector. Its revenue from tourists is expected to reach 120 trillion VND in 2020 and grow by 15 – 17 percent year on year./.

Vietnam, RoK work together toward green economy


The Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), in coordination with the Korea Environmental Industry Association (KEIA) of the Republic of Korea, held a forum on Vietnam-RoK environmental cooperation in Hanoi on October 24.

At the event, in the framework of the Exhibition and Seminar for Environmental Technology & Equipment (ENVIROTEX 2019), VACNE Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Sinh said the forum aims to provide a chance for Vietnamese and RoK businesses to share opportunities for cooperating in environmental projects at a time when both Vietnam and the RoK are working towards the green and circular economy.

According to Sinh, the outcomes of the forum will serve as the basis for the KEIA to submit reports and projects to the RoK Government on promoting the partnership between the two countries’ environmental companies.

The event featured two discussions on Vietnam’s needs for environmental projects and the RoK’s environmental technologies.

On the sidelines of the forum, two cooperation MoUs were signed between VACNE and KEIA, and between Vietnam’s Environmental Incident Response Centre (SOS Environment) and the RoK’s Techno-bio company. The sides will work to promote the use of environmentally-friendly equipment and technologies in both Vietnam and the RoK./.

Hà Nội to honour excellent graduates of universities


The ceremony honouring excellent graduates last year. — Photo

The Hà Nội People’s Committee will honour 86 graduates from universities and academies with the highest marks next Monday.

A day earlier, their names will be listed in the committee’s Gold Book.

The ceremony will be organised at the Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities of Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám Temple of Literature.

Five of the 86 graduates are “double excellent graduates” because they came first in the university entrance exam, and now are also first in the graduation exam. They are Lê Thế Việt Hoàng from the University of Construction, Nguyễn Đức Hoàn from the National Economics University, Vũ Quỳnh Hoa from the University of Natural Resources and Environment, Bùi Mạnh Thắng from the University of Technology – Hà Nội National University and Phạm Hải Long from the Hà Nội Open University.

All of the graduates honoured have excellent results and are also enthusiastic in social activities.

This year is the 17th year that Hà Nội has honoured outstanding graduates. As many as 1,791 graduates have received certificates of merit from the Hà Nội People’s Committee.


Eight to be prosecuted for drug trafficking


Trần Văn Thình (left) and Nguyễn Thị Huệ with the seized drugs. — Photo

The Supreme People's Procuracy has decided to prosecute eight suspects for their involvement in the illegal trafficking of nearly 100kg of drugs.

The accused include Trần Văn Cường; Trần Thị Lệ Chi; Vũ Quang Trung; Phạm Thị Bình and Nguyễn Thị Huệ and Trần Văn Thình who reside in HCM City, Phạm Duy Minh, a resident from Tiền Giang Province’s Mỹ Tho City and Đồng Dương Nam who lives in Hải Phòng City’s Ngô Quyền District.

There are two couples among the suspects. They are Trần Văn Thình and Nguyễn Thị Huệ; and Phạm Duy Minh and Pham Thị Bình.

According to the indictment, at 2pm on May 24, last year, the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Agency in coordination with relevant agencies inspected Huệ’s house and seized 9.8kg of heroin, 6kg of methamphetamine (ice), 908 tablets of ice and ketamine as well as other kinds of drugs.

On the same day, the agency inspected Cường’s house and seized more than 13kg of Methamphetamine and 3.5kg of heroin.

They also seized more than 5.3kg of ice, nearly 1kg of Ketamine and some 400g of heroin while examining Thình’s house.

From April to May last year, Cường and his accomplice trafficked more than 51kg of methamphetamine, 33kg of ecstasy, 13kg of heroin and more than 1kg of ketamine and other narcotics.

Cường was determined to be the mastermind behind the ring. He and other accomplices were involved in the illegal trading of drugs with a total volume of nearly 100kg.

Man with one leg gives a helping hand to those in need


Nguyễn Văn Lưu lost his leg in a traffic accident three years ago.

The 26-year-old has overcome a tough time and has found a desire to help needy and poor people to have a better life.

Lưu was born in a poor family in central Bình Định Province’s Phù Cát District. After graduating from high school, Lưu decided to go to HCM City to get a good job, so he could help his parents in his hometown.

He earned a job at a jewellery company. Things were going well until the accident.

It was an evening in late September, 2016. Lưu was on his way home from the company when his motorbike was hit by a car on Phan Đình Phùng Road.

Lưu fell into the road. He felt hurt all over the body, except for his left leg.

After 10 minutes of lying in the road, he tried to get up and took a taxi to the hospital with the help of local people.

Lưu was rushed into surgery. The doctor told him that the left leg was crushed and needed to be cut off to save his life. He had lost too much blood.

“I was conscious enough to be aware of what was happening. In that moment between life and death, I chose to live,” he told online newspaper

He signed a commitment paper, which said he agreed to have his leg cut off. He made a phone call to his parents right before surgery.

Awake after surgery, Lưu saw his mother sitting next to him. She looked at him, shedding tears and trying to comfort him. His left leg had been amputated.

“My mum must have felt desperate to see me in that situation,” he said.

A month later, he struggled to sleep as the terrible memory returned whenever he closed his eyes. He became more sensitive than ever, easily frustrated and would cry often.

The patient, full of sadness, looked to his mother to pull him out of the bad days.

After being discharged from the hospital, Lưu practised walking on crutches and on an artificial leg. He registered for a gym course to improve his health.

Lưu returned to the old company to work and earned a monthly salary of VNĐ6 million (US$258), of which he used VNĐ1 million ($43) on good deeds.

Journey of good deeds

The next 700 days he travelled with charity groups to social centres and nursing houses in many provinces. He, together with the groups’ members, cooked meals and took care of disadvantaged elderly people.

Last November, Lưu quit his job and moved to northern Vĩnh Phúc Province to learn tattoo art. He wanted to earn money without being a burden to other people.

On his second day of studying tattoo art at the centre, Lưu found out that there was an old man living alone right next to the centre.

Nguyễn Văn Tiến lived alone in a small old house. He had no relatives or children. The neighbours usually bought food for him as he was too weak to move much.

When Lưu came into his house, the man was lying in a dirty, smelly blanket. The house stank.

“I couldn’t sleep. I thought it would be me when I got older,” he said.

The next day, Lưu and some students came to clean up Tiến's house and brought him some warm clothes.

In the morning, Lưu woke up early, brought breakfast for Tiến, fed him, helped him take medicine and went to class. At noon, he brought lunch and fed him. After class, Lưu came to feed Tiến dinner and drew a bath for him.

The schedule repeated every day while he studied in the province.

The story gained public attention. Many people came to donate for food for the old man. He was now being cared for by a relative, Lưu said.

When he returned to his hometown, Lưu heard about a 96-year-old woman living her last days alone in Phù Cát District.

It took him three days to find the woman’s house. She was lying on a bed and struggling to breathe. Her arms and legs were swollen due to a severe kidney disease.

On the altar, the woman put her own photo and a pair of worshipping lamps. She had prepared for her death.

From that day, Lưu visited the house twice a day to take care of her.

The woman died several weeks later due to old age and weak health.

More people have come to tell him about those who need help. Lưu has always found a way to visit needy people, live with them and help them. He has gained full support from his mother.

Lưu said he felt happy when a person received help.

“Now I know happiness is a kind of feeling – the feeling when we help someone and we have peace of mind.”

Lưu said he would continue helping other people while he was healthy.

Start-up skills essential to empower ethnic women


A Jrai woman in Đức Cơ District, Gia Lai Province feed cows she bought using a preferential loan for near-poor households. Providing ethnic women with essential skills including starting-up and running a business can help them escape poverty and promote gender equality.

Equipping ethnic women with start-up skills can accelerate gender equality and women's empowerment, experts said on Monday at a forum co-hosted by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) and the Canadian-based charity Artistri Sud.

Speaking at the event, Hà Việt Quân, deputy head of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs’ Department of International Co-operation, said ethnic minority groups accounted for 14 per cent of the country’s population, but were suffering from a wide range of structural inequalities in terms of work, income, education and healthcare service due to geographical disadvantages and differences in cultural practices.
Gender inequality faced ethnic women at both family and personal levels, restricting them from raising opinions and taking leading positions, he said.

If women were offered support and provided with the necessary skills, they could unleash their own potential, earn a sustainable livelihood and contribute to the common development of their communities.

Nguyễn Thị Thuỳ Linh, director of the Centre for Community Empowerment (CECEM), said gender inequality in ethnic minority groups was not being addressed due to the ignorance of women's roles in society. Therefore, besides creating livelihoods, capacity building projects for ethnic women also needed to focus on community power and community-based initiatives.

Sùng Thị Lan, chairwoman of the Mường Hoa Co-operative in Sapa Town, Lào Cai Province, said at first she and other fellow members were reluctant to launch a business, facing barriers set by their families and society.

In 2017, the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) helped them to overcome their initial difficulties, identify their strengths and develop business plans.

The co-operative now produces fashion items using Black Mông ethnic brocade, and offers homestay services.

The businesses have helped to ensure livelihoods and reduce poverty.

According to the latest data, ethnic minority groups account for 14.6 per cent of Việt Nam’s population and 63 per cent of the country’s poor households. 21 per cent of ethnic people aged from 15 years old are illiterate while only 6 per cent of them have ever received training.

Police bring new criminal proceedings in exam cheating scandal


Sơn La Police has decided to arrest Lò Thị Trường on charge of “giving bribes” involvement in exam cheating scandal.

Police in Sơn La Province have brought new criminal charges over the high school exam cheating scandal in the province last year.

Lò Văn Huynh, former head of the local authority of examination and quality management was charged with “receiving bribes” while Lò Thị Trương, Huynh’s relative, was charged with “giving bribes”.

On the same day, police arrested Trần Xuân Yến, former vice director of the provincial Department of Education and Training who was earlier put under house arrest, after he changed his testimony.

At the first-instance trial on October 15, Huynh was one of eight defendants charged with “abusing positions and powers in on duty.” Huynh, Yến and their accomplices are alleged to have raised scores for 44 students.

Huynh admitted to receiving VNĐ300 million (US$13,000) from Trường after adjusting her son's test result.

During the investigation, Trường did not acknowledge giving money. However, being summoned to the court as a witness, she admitted giving the money to Huynh. When the incident was detected, Huynh returned the money.

Yến did not agree with the indictment of the provincial People’s Procuracy and said he only asked a worker under his leadership to see the mark list before making the public announcement. Yến said he was forced to give inaccurate testimony.

Further investigation into the case is underway.

In Sơn La, the average scores for maths and physics were 3.43 and 4.03, lower than the national average of 4.88 and 4.96, respectively. However, 30 students achieved nine out of 10 points and above for the maths test, and 13 students scored nine points or higher in the physics exam at high school exam last year.

The results of the national high school examination have been used for the last four years to determine whether a student graduates from high school and gets into their chosen university or not.

MoIT to ensure enough goods for Tet festival

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will ensure the supply-demand balance of essential commodities for the Tet (Lunar New Year) of 2020 and implement a programme on keeping goods in stock for market stabilisation.

To stabilise the market and ensure supply in the last months of the year and the month before Tet festival in 2020, Tran Duy Dong, Director of the MoIT’s Department of Domestic Market, said the ministry will coordinate with ministries, sectors and localities in closely monitoring market situations and then send reports to the Prime Minister.

The MoIT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will ensure supply and demand of agricultural products, especially dealing with African swine fever and ensuring pork supply in the last months of the year and the period before Lunar New Year.

In addition, it will closely monitor changes in supply and demand of goods, prices and development of domestic market, especially essential commodities. At the same time, it will promote inspection and supervision of implementation of regulations on price registration, price declaration and price management.

Moreover, the ministries must enhance cooperation in managing prices of goods under the State management to contribute to macroeconomic stability and to gain the target in CPI growth rate this year. They will also implement domestic trade promotion programmes to boost consumption in the domestic market.

Of which, the MoIT will promote trade promotion activities in mountainous markets and support businesses to sell goods to rural areas, border areas and islands.

It will actively prevent smuggling, trade frauds, counterfeit goods, fake goods and poor quality goods from the domestic market to protect domestic production and the legitimate interests of consumers.

Goods stock for Tet

Hanoi plans to prepare goods in stock for the coming Lunar New Year with a total value of about 31.2 trillion VND (1.34 billion USD), a year-on-year increase of 10 percent.

As the Lunar New Year of 2020 comes earlier than previous years in late January, the preparation of Tet goods at present is almost competed by enterprises.

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade said the goods in stock include 191,400 tonnes of rice; 44,600 tonnes of pork; 14,800 tonnes of poultry meat; and 12,306 tonnes of beef.

They also involve 260 million eggs; 247,400 tonnes of vegetables; 12,800 tonnes of processed foods; 11,364 tonnes of aquatic products; about 3,500 tonnes of dried agro-forestry products; 3,000 tonnes of confectionary; 200 million liters of wine, beer, soft drinks; 200,000cu.m of petroleum; garments and electronics products.

The department prepares a promotion month, fairs, market days to bring Vietnamese goods to the rural and remote areas to ensure sufficient supply of Tet goods for the people.

To ensure the supply and demand of goods, Hanoi coordinates with neighbouring localities to organise fairs and exhibitions diversifying goods supply to the consumers.

Most localities and retail channels across the country have also planned preparation of goods for Tet to stabilise price and market.

According to the Domestic Market Department, total revenue of retail goods and services in the first nine months of this year reached 3.6 quadrillion VND, up 11.6 percent year on year.

With this growth, the nation expects to gain a growth rate at 11.5-12 percent in the revenue of retail goods and services this year./.

Viettel’s subsidiary marks 10 years of operation in Laos

Star Telecom (Unitel), a joint venture between the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group and Lao Asia Telecom, held a ceremony on October 23 to mark 10 years since they started offering telecommunications services in Laos.

At the event, Unitel General Director Luu Manh Ha said the corporation has developed global-level telecommunications infrastructure in the Southeast Asian country, with 3G, 4G and 4.5G mobile broadband networks offered across the nation through 8,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) and 30,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable.

With the largest network infrastructure and more than 3 million customers, Unitel has maintained its position as the leading telecoms company in Laos for the past decade, he said, adding, besides contributing nearly 650 million USD to the Lao state budget, Unitel has created jobs for over 20,000 local workers.

The firm has engaged in a wide range of social programmes to improve livelihoods in the host nation, including providing free internet in schools, supporting natural disaster-hit residents, and training hundreds of high-quality IT-telecoms workers, he said.

Ha pledged to modernise the firm with the most advanced technologies, and Unitel will pilot 5G technologyfollowed by artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and big data.

Lao Minister of Defence Chansamone Chanyalath said the Lao Government highly evaluated Unitel’s contributions to society over the past 10 years, making it the largest telecoms company in Laos.

Unitel has reformed Laos’ telecommunications and IT sector, he said, adding that thanks to the firm’s wide network with nationwide coverage, Lao people have access to telecoms services and information.

On the occasion, Chansamone presented the Lao Government’s first-class Freedom Order (Itsala) and first-class Development Order (Phatthana) to Unitel for its great contributions to local socio-economic development and security and defence affairs.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Lao Nguyen Ba Hung also handed over a third-class Labour Order conferred by the Vietnamese Government to Unitel.

Ha thanked the Lao Government, Party and people for endorsing the firm’s activities, and pledged to work more to treasure the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive ties between the Parties, States and people of Vietnam and Laos./.

Lotte Group gives scholarships to Vietnamese students


Lim Sung Bok, General Manager of Lotte Hotel Hanoi, on behalf of Lotte Scholarship Foundation, gives scholarships to Vietnamese students. — Photo courtesy of Lotte Hotel Hanoi

Lotte Group has handed scholarships to 80 students to outstanding students from difficult backgrounds. The total value of the scholarships was over US$23,400.

The ceremony celebrating the 24th edition of the Lotte Scholarship Foundation took place at the Lotte Hotel Hanoi on October 22.

Attending the ceremony were Đoàn Hồng Hà, Deputy Director General of the Department of Political Education and Student Affairs, Việt Nam Ministry of Education and Training; Jung Woojin, Korean Consulate General in Việt Nam; So Dae Bong, Director of Lotte Scholarship Foundation, Lim Sung Bok, General Manager of Lotte Hotel Hanoi; Eom Sun Woong, General Director of Lotte Shopping Plaza Hanoi; Kim Young Min, General Director of Lotte Coralis Vietnam; as well as representatives of schools, lecturers and students receiving the scholarships.

The excellent students came from eight reputable universities in Hà Nội, including Hà Nội National University, Hà Nội University, Foreign Trade University, Hà Nội University of Science and Technology, National University of Civil Engineering, National Economics University, and Academy of Finance and Thăng Long University.

To open the ceremony, Hà acknowledged the Lotte Group's significant contributions to Việt Nam’s education sector. In the future, he said the Ministry of Education and Training would also be ready to co-operate and support the Lotte Group's projects for higher education and national education.

General Manager Lim expressed his belief in the success of the students having scholarships, as well as young Vietnamese. He encouraged the students with his message: "As long as you have enough passion and effort, you will definitely succeed. Don’t give up and Lotte will always be here to support you.”

On behalf of the students and universities, Associate Professor PhD Đinh Văn Dũng, Vice Director of Politics and Student Affairs Department, Hà Nội National University, and Lê Thị Nhung, student from Hà Nội National University, gave their sincere thanks to Lotte Scholarship Foundation for its great consideration to Vietnamese students.

The Lotte Scholarship Award Ceremony, held twice a year in Việt Nam, is a symbol of the friendship between Việt Nam and Korea. It demonstrates the efforts to create an ideal education environment from Lotte Group.

Starting in Việt Nam in 2008, Lotte Scholarship Foundation has held many activities for the Vietnamese community, including awarding scholarships to students who are in difficult circumstances yet achieve good academic results; and building libraries and schools for children living in remote areas in Hà Nội and HCM City. Through these meaningful activities, Lotte Group wishes to support young talents of Việt Nam thus contribute more to the development of the country in the long run. 

Innovation takes center stage at Vietnam ITO Conference 2019


A foreign visitor drops by a booth at the conference. The 2019 Vietnam Information Technology Outsourcing (VNITO) Conference kicked off in HCMC on October 24

The 2019 Vietnam Information Technology Outsourcing (VNITO) Conference kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on October 24, centering on a series of programs and activities aimed at promoting innovation, digitalization and technology application in Vietnam.

Tran Phuc Hong, deputy general director of software outsourcing firm TMA Solutions, said that the firm is enhancing its innovation activities by applying new technology and offering training courses for engineers on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain.

TMA Solutions recently developed an innovation park in the coastal city of Quy Nhon in the central province of Binh Dinh to conduct research on innovation projects.

Pham Thi Tuyet Loan, technical director at NashTech Vietnam, a member of Harvey Nash Group in the United Kingdom, listed some key factors of the application of new technologies, including Wifi Mesh, automation and robots, IoT and AI, at the event.

Applying new technology to the innovation process is expected to pose challenges and create opportunities for firms. Firms and startups that successfully apply new technology will gain further ground in their business, Loan said.

Speaking of the city’s startup ecosystem, Pham Thiet Hoa, director of the HCMC Investment and Trade Promotion Center, said that HCMC has witnessed ongoing innovation waves and startup booms. The number of startups in the city accounts for 50% of the country’s total, he added.

The city launched a four-year program in the 2016-2020 period to develop the startup ecosystem, supporting small and medium firms in reaching out to the global market, Hoa said.

Lam Nguyen Hai Long, CEO of Quang Trung Software City Development Company and chairman of VNITO Alliance, pointed out that Vietnam has had 3,000 startups as of this year and the number is on the rise.

Vietnam’s tech firms are following the global trend toward the application and development of new technology in most fields in the fourth industrial revolution, Long explained.

At the event, VNITO Alliance signed cooperation agreements with six international organizations, with three from Japan and three others from South Korea, to boost trade promotion activities and strengthen cooperation with foreign countries in the information technology field.

Lawmakers support one more public holiday, present several options

Many National Assembly (NA) delegates backed the addition of an extra public holiday during a discussion on draft amendments to the Labor Code Wednesday.

A previous proposal to make July 27, the Vietnamese War Invalids and Martyrs' Day, a public holiday did not enthuse the NA delegates, so Dao Ngoc Dung, Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, chose to exclude the option and proposed that the current number of public holidays be kept as it is.

But since several delegates have expressed their support for an additional public holiday, the NA’s Standing Committee is presenting two options for delegates to vote on: to keep the number of public holidays as it is, or to add one extra holiday on June 28, the Vietnamese Family Day, said Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the parliamentary Social Affairs Committee.

Delegate Nguyen Anh Tri, former director of the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, supported the second option, saying an extra holiday was an opportunity that families need to get together.

Tran Van Tien, a delegate of the northern province of Vinh Phuc, agreed with the addition of public holidays and recommended that September 5, currently the first day of a school year, is also declared a holiday.

"Many students feel disheartened because their parents don’t bring them to school on the first day of the school year. If we can't add both days and can only choose one, I would choose September 5," he said.

Delegate Mai Sy Dien from the central province of Thanh Hoa said the additional holiday should be around New Year’s Day, so that people can get two days off for the holiday.

"The New Year is the end of a year when people have worked their hardest. To add an extra holiday would allow workers to visit their loved ones, or go travelling," he said.

Vietnamese people now enjoy breaks on the New Year Day, the commemoration day of the Hung Kings (the nation's mythical founders) on the 10th of the third lunar month, the National Reunification Day on April 30, the Labor Day on May 1, the National Day of September 2, and the Tet or Lunar New Year holiday which normally lasts seven to nine days and includes one or two weekends.

This makes for a total of 10 days a year, excluding the Tet weekends.

In comparison, Cambodia enjoys a total of 28 public holidays, Brunei 15, Indonesia 16, and China 21.


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