RoK-supported project to give more employment chances to the blind


The ceremony on October 7 to sign the MoU on cooperation in a project to support the blind in Vietnam

The Vietnam Blind Association and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Siloam Centre for the Blind on October 7 signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in a project to support the blind in Vietnam in 2019.

During a ceremony in Hanoi to introduce the project and launch training courses, President of the association Pham Viet Thu said that the centre will send specialists to help train Vietnamese blind in massaging, Braille letter printing and using technological software and equipment.

The centre will also provide the association with 50 magnifying glasses and software as well as fee for Braille book printing for blind students nationwide.

Thu said that the project is significant for the blind in Vietnam as it provides them with more chances to enhance their skills, increase income and improve their living conditions.

After graduating, the trainees are expected to continue transferring the skills and knowledge to their fellows across the country.

Director of Siloam Centre Dongic Choi said that massaging is the most suitable profession for the blind, but it has yet to be popularized in Southeast Asia.

With their knowledge and skills acquired in the US and the UK, he and trainers from the centre hope to help the blind in Vietnam gain modern massaging skills so that they will have more employment chances and brighter future./.

Northern region to experience another cold snap


The northern region of Vietnam has been forecasted to have another light cold spell this weekend.

According to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, the cold weather would cause the region’s temperature to drop by 5-6 degrees centigrade to below 25.

The northern region of Vietnam has been forecasted to have another light cold spell this weekend

Temperatures in mountainous areas are set to fall to below 20 degrees centigrade.

The cold spell is predicted to bring strong winds and rains.

The north has been forecasted to face more cold snaps from the end of this month.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said that northern localities would have a warmer winter this year.

The average temperature of the northern region and localities from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue provinces in the central region between October and December this year would be 1-1.5 degrees centigrade higher than previous years.

From January to March 2020, the northern region’s average temperature would be 0.5-1 degree centigrade higher than previous years.

Strong cold weather would concentrate in the northern region by late December into January next year.

Event held to celebrate 65th capital liberation day


War veterans and their families attend the ceremony on Sunday in Hà Nội.

Hundreds of people joined an event on Sunday to celebrate Hà Nội’s 65 years of liberation.

The event was held at Thăng Long Citadel where the first flag raising ceremony took place after the capital city was liberated from the French colonial rule on October 10, 1954.

It included performances and reconstructions of famous battles, and a discussion with war veterans and historians about the historic day.

It was joined by war veterans and their families, historians, researchers, soldiers and students.

Speaking at the event, war veteran Nguyễn Văn Đại from Vạn Phúc Ward said: “This event is an opportunity for us to remember the efforts we made during the anti-French resistance war.

“I’m always grateful for the sacrifice that our heroes made during the two wars for us to live in and enjoy peace like today.”

Bùi Thị Thanh Huyền, 22, said the event had left a strong impression on her.

“I felt so overwhelmed and touched seeing the footage from the old days,” the student said.

“I’m so grateful for the devotion of the previous generation which has given us the peaceful life like today.

“Events like this are very useful for the young generation. They help us understand how the previous generations built our country and make us aware we should lead a life that is of help to the country today and in the future.”

Hà Tĩnh residents block local waste treatment plant


Residents in Kỳ Tân Commune in central Hà Tĩnh Province have blocked garbage trucks gaining access to the local waste treatment plant, to protest against the dump.

According to the residents in Nam Xuân Sơn Village in Kỳ Anh District, dozens of local households have been affected by the bad smell since the plant opened four years ago, Dân Trí online newspaper reported.

Residents have sat down and held discussions with the government who say they hope to resolve the situation soon.

The provincial People's Committee directed local authorities to carry out site clearance and build infrastructure in the resettlement area and relocate 40 households before August 15, although this has not yet happened.

Lê Văn Lành, chairman of Kỳ Tân Commune People's Committee, said the relocation has not been yet implemented due to the incomplete infrastructure, adding that Kỳ Anh District People's Committee have not yet finished the inventory and determination of land origin, so it could not calculate the the compensation rate.

Ca Mau’s culture, tourism week slated for December


An aerial view of the Ca Mau Cape National Park in Ca Mau province

Ca Mau province will organise a culture and tourism week this December in an effort to attract more tourists to the southernmost land of Vietnam.

Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Hieu Hung said the Ca Mau Cape Culture – Tourism Week 2019 is scheduled to take place from December 10 to 15.

It will feature a trade and tourism fair; a cuisine festival; the inauguration of a flag tower resembling the one in Hanoi, a temple dedicated to Lac Long Quan – the father of the legendary founders of Vietnam Hung Kings, and other important facilities in the Ca Mau Cape tourism area; an arts festival; a cai luong (a form of modern folk opera) competition; and a tourism seminar.

Hung highlighted the event aims to popularise the economic, cultural and tourism potential and advantages of Ca Mau, helping to turn the province into a destination for domestic and foreign visitors.

For 2019, Ca Mau aims to attract more than 1.6 million tourists and rake in over 2.42 trillion VND (104.5 million USD) in tourism revenue.

Over the last nine months, nearly 1.2 million travellers chose the province as their destination, up 15.41 percent, helping it gain some 1.86 trillion VND in revenue, up almost 11 percent year on year./.

Campaign to build corporate culture launched

A conference to launch a campaign on building Vietnamese corporate culture in southeastern provinces was held in HCM City on Friday.

Ho Anh Tuan, head of the campaign to build Vietnamese Corporate Culture, said building a corporate culture was the foundation for sustainable development, branding and competitive advantage for a business.

The campaign was launched by the Prime Minister to raise awareness among agencies, departments and the business community about the importance of corporate culture for sustainable development.

The establishment of Vietnamese corporate culture focuses on building a business environment that complies with the law, upholds business ethics and social responsibility, and promotes healthy competition and proactive international integration.

Le Doan Hop, former Minister of Culture and Information, and permanent member of the organising committee, said that building a corporate culture must start with the leaders. They must appreciate the importance of a corporate culture and promote democracy by creating corporate cultural values.

To build a corporate culture, businesses must build a set of corporate regulations, have transparency in information and perform their social responsibilities, including payment of taxes, ensuring quality of products and services and protecting the environment, Hop said.

Vu Thi Hoai Nam, vice president and senior regional manager of Manulife Vietnam, said that leaders had an extremely important role in building and practising corporate culture. If leaders do not care or take seriously these cultural values, it would be impossible to convince staff to perform, causing both them and customers to lose faith in the value of the business.

Experts also said that building a corporate culture was not easy because each business was made of individuals with different qualifications, skills and personalities.

Many enterprises had shown interest in building a corporate culture but not many know how to. Building a corporate culture needed solidarity among all members of an enterprise, they concluded.

HCM City top medal tally of national table tennis champs


HCM City topped the medals table at the National Top Team Table Tennis Championship that concluded in the southern province of Tiền Giang on Saturday.

The team bagged three golds and three bronzes to take the crown. Hải Dương were runners-up with two golds, one silver and two bronzes, while T&T Club came third with one gold, four silver and three bronze medals.

This year’s event drew 150 players and coaches from across the country including Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, Tây Ninh, Vĩnh Long, and the Military and Police team.

Participants competed in the women’s and men’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

The event was a warm-up for members of the national team for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games to be held in the Philippines later this year.

HCM City triumph at national team chess champs


HCM City triumphed at the National Team Chess Championships which wrapped over the weekend, winning seven gold and two silver medals.

In the standard chess event, HCM City won three golds in the men’s team, women’s team and mixed team events.

In the rapid event, HCM City also triumphed in the men’s and women’s team competitions.

On the final day of competition, HCM City claimed two golds in the blitz event.

Hà Nội were only able to secure gold in the mixed doubles rapid event, while Bắc Giang won gold in the women’s team blitz.

The annual tournament attracted more than 230 players from 18 teams across the country.

The top players will be selected for the national teams to compete in upcoming international events.

Cải lương play depicts historical events under Trịnh Lords


A cải lương (reformed opera) play featuring historical events under Lord Trịnh Sâm who ruled northern Việt Nam from 1767 to 1782 will debut in HCM City this week.

The 90-minute show, Đam Mê Và Quyền Lực (Game of Thrones), features the Lord and his favourite concubine Đặng Thị Huệ, who tried and failed to make her son Trịnh Cán an heir.

The play depicts Huệ's beauty and intelligence which she uses to control the Lord. After his death, she committed suicide.

Đam Mê Và Quyền Lực is directed by Meritorious Artist Hoa Hạ, who has more than 40 years of experience working in the theatre.

It stars actress Kim Ngân of the private Lê Hoàng Drama Troupe as Huệ, and actors Lê Tứ and Điền Trung in leading roles.

Director Hạ and the producer invested heavily in the production, including costumes, sound and light effects.

Meritorious Artists Phượng Loan and Lê Tứ of Trần Hữu Trang Theatre were invited to play supporting roles.

"I want to lure young audiences back to theatre from cinemas and live concerts. My staff and I promise a great spectacle of music and images on stage,” Hạ said.

"I believe traditional theatre will attract younger audiences if it provides an interesting story, new and modern styles," the 62-year-old added.

Last year, Hạ and the Lê Hoàng Drama Troupe staged the popular historical play Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga (Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga) in a new version.

As a way to attract younger audiences, she invited pop star Phương Thanh to play a small role.

“I wanted to bring a fresh wind to cải lương, an old and unique genre of southern theatre which began 100 years ago,” Hạ said.

Her VNĐ800 million (US$35,000) version met the demand of audiences at the National Cải Lương Festival 2018 in Long An Province.

In her latest production, Đam Mê và Quyền Lực, Hạ asked her staff, including veteran actors Trung and Tứ, to work hard on singing and acting skills to successfully portray the spirit of cải lương.

Đam Mê và Quyền Lực will be staged at 8pm on October 13 at Bến Thành Theatre on 6 Mạc Đĩnh Chi Street in District 1. Tickets are available at the box office.

Police detain murder suspects of Grab driver in Hà Nội

Bắc Từ Liêm District Police began criminal proceedings against two men on Saturday on charges of murder and robbery.

Đinh Văn Giáp, 24 and Đinh Văn Trường, 19, both from Văn Chấn District in the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái, will be temporarily detained for four months.

The initial investigation found that Giáp and Trường, both unemployed, had been in Hà Nội on holiday but ran out of money in late September, so they hatched a plan to rob someone.

On September 26, Giáp and Trường arrived at Mỹ Đình Bus Station where they approached Nguyễn Cao S., 18, a Grab motorbike driver from the central province of Thanh Hóa. They asked him to take them to Bắc Từ Liêm District for VNĐ60,000 (US$2.6), intending to ditch him and steal his possessions, the indictment said.

After stabbing S. to death, Giáp and Trường drove his motorbike to their hometown in Văn Chấn District.

They were arrested by police at about 6pm on September 30 while hiding in Cại Village, Hanh Sơn Commune in Văn Chấn District.

Deputy PM suggests autonomy for HCM City university members

Member universities of the Việt Nam National University- Hồ Chí Minh City should seek financial autonomy, which is indispensable to their development, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of VNUHCM’s new academic year on Saturday, he said "higher education autonomy is a global phenomenon".

"Countries have quality of training in higher education commensurate with their level of autonomy, and the level is high in developed countries," he said.

The Government continues to provide a lot of funds to the VNUHCM though it is fully autonomous, according to Huệ.

The VNUHCM should take the initiative to outline full autonomy plans for its member universities many of which are already partly autonomous, he said.

Its University of Information Technology and University of Economics and Law, for instance, have sufficient financial capacity to be fully autonomous.

Nguyễn Hoàng Tú Anh, the rector of the University of Information Technology, said her university would like full autonomy and had applied for it.

But with a Government resolution on amending the way public tertiary educational institutions operate expiring in 2017, the university had to wait for a new resolution allowing full autonomy, she said.

But she also suggested that the Government should devolve authority to the VNUHCM to grant autonomy to universities while waiting for the next resolution.

Assoc Prof Dr Nguyễn Tiến Dũng, rector of the University of Economics and Law, said his university too wanted full autonomy because of the many benefits it offered like allowing payment of higher salaries to attract talent.

Assoc Prof Dr Huỳnh Thành Đạt, the VNUHCM’s president, said member universities had high demand for quality human resources, but complained they could not attract talent due to the Government’s salary policies.

Anh said her university had lost a number of professors and doctors to other universities because of its low salaries.

The Deputy PM also instructed the VNUHCM to develop its schools such as the School of Medicine into universities since their quality was good enough.

It could solicit investment from the private sector under public-private partnership mode to build a hospital owned by the School of Medicine so that the public could get one more hospital and students could learn practically.

Health workers in the war against dengue fever


Working in the scorching heat of the summer, Công Đình Nguyên, a medical worker in Hà Nội’s Đống Đa District, removes the chemical tank from his back to rest for a while.

"During the summer months, we work at full capacity without days off, including Saturdays and Sundays," he told Kinh Tế&Đô Thị (Economy and Urban Affairs) newspaper.

Nguyên, head of the disease control team at Đống Đa Health Centre, said the capital city had seen dengue fever cases since the beginning of the year, so the health centre had to prepare preventive measures.

Since April, cases have increased rapidly nationwide and health workers were very busy, he said.

More than 2,580 cases of dengue fever have been reported in the first eight months of this year, the Hà Nội Centre for Disease Control said.

Dengue fever occurs all year round in Việt Nam, but the peak period is during the rainy season – April through October in the north, and June through December in the south.

"Normally, I only work in office hours, but in these months, I have to work overtime. Recently, I rarely have meals with my family. I return home when my parents are already asleep," Nguyên said.

There are many hospitals in Đống Đa District. Information on cases of dengue fever at hospitals is sent to the district's medical centre. The centre will then confirm the address of each case and health workers are assigned to spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes in a 100m radius around the patient's house.

Phan Quỳnh Liên, a resident in Đống Đa District, one of the hotspots for the disease, said in peak season, every household in her neighbourhood received a leaflet from the local ward's People’s Committee on preventive measures such as killing mosquito larvae and minimising standing water, as well as cleaning both inside and outside the house.

The sheet also advises residents to go to a medical centre or hospital immediately if you have a fever.

“The warning is part of a nationwide war against dengue fever. It is just a leaflet to encourage residents to help fight the disease,” Liên said.

But not everyone is aware of this.

Nguyễn Thành Công, Nguyên's colleague, said they often told local households before they were going to visit and spray chemicals. Some households asked the health workers to spray chemicals at 6am because they did not want to be late for work, or in some cases they refused to allow the workers in.

Some residents got frustrated with advice to turn water containers upside down when not in use.

In peak season, the medical workers had to start work at 5am and each worker had to spray about 40 houses in the morning, said Lương Xuân Thủy, a health worker.

“Wearing a 20kg tank, climbing all over high buildings or houses takes a lot of energy. The work goes well if we receive help from local residents. If not we have to come back another day," Thủy said.

This job also means constant exposure to chemicals.

Thủy's family advised him to find another job. But to earn a living and help the community eliminate the disease, he continues to work.

“Every job has its hardships. If everyone refuses to do this job, who will?” he said.

They still have to strengthen efforts in killing mosquitoes and larvae, and continue to teach residents how to prevent dengue fever, said Nguyễn Đức Tuấn, director of Đống Đa Health Centre.

The joint efforts by people as well as responsibility for disease prevention are key factors to curb dengue fever, according to Tuấn.

"I hope the epidemic will soon be eliminated so people are less worried and we will be less busy,” said Nguyên.

Cooperation in vocational training remains loose


Only 12.3 per cent of Vietnamese businesses have regular cooperation with vocational schools, making it difficult to improve the country’s vocational education and solve unemployment.

A report by the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth, Adolescents and Children has pointed out that the partnerships between vocational schools and companies remained loose and unable to satisfy the rising demands of the labour market.

Although the cooperative relations have been improved recently, it is mostly schools asking for on-the-job training opportunities for their students while companies play the role of grace givers.

“Germany’s dual vocational training system gives us a good example for connecting vocational schools and enterprises since it provides a wonderful approach to build capacity for trainees. Some 50 per cent of students are offered on-the-job training,” Đồng Văn Ngọc, director of Hà Nội Mechanical and Electrical College, told Thanh niên (Young People) Newspaper.

In Việt Nam, the cooperation between the two stakeholders has only gained attention since 2011.

“Most companies consider training an expense, not an investment for their sustainable development. Therefore, they tend to use seasonal workers,” said Trần Ngọc Tính, former director of Viglacera College.

Sharing the opinion, Nguyễn Công Truyền, director of Việt Nam-Korea Vocational College, said that in most cases schools have to proactively ask companies to collaborate.

“Only a few companies agree to join yet offer students internships with limited remuneration. Some companies even give students jobs which are not suited to their skills,” said Truyền.

Lê Đình Kha, director of Cao Thắng Technical College in HCM City, stressed the growth mindset of both schools and companies as a key to enhance dual vocational training.

Schools are recommended to collaborate with experts from companies to set goals, graduation requirements, develop curriculums and invest in facilities.

“Syllabuses need frequent updates to keep up with changes in technology. Schools should also research criteria that companies set for their workers, organise job fairs and conduct surveys on students after their internships to understand the labour market’s constantly changing demands,” said Kha.

According to Truyền, the partnership of companies and vocational schools will offer a win-win situation for both.

Companies can pilot the manufacturing of new products at vocational schools, at the same time, enjoy the Government’s preferential policies for their participation in training activities.

Vũ Tiến Lộc, head of Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed upon companies as the main motivation to accelerate vocational training in Việt Nam.

The Government is responsible for developing policies and framework while employers play the role of investor and orientator for the country’s vocational education.

To sustain the cooperation, companies need to join hands in all procedures, from selecting students, training and using workers.

Party Central Committee convenes 11th plenum



The 11th plenum of the Party Central Committee, 12th tenure, opened in Hanoi on October 7 under the chair of Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong.

Under its working programme, the conference will last until October 13. The Party Central Committee will discuss draft documents to be submitted to the 13th National Party Congress, including the Political Report and the report on the 10-year implementation of the Platform on national construction in the period of transition to socialism (revised and supplemented in 2011) or Platform 2011 in short.

The draft report on 10-year implementation of the socio-economic strategy for 2011-2020 and building a strategy for 2021-2030; and another reviewing five-year implementation of Party building work and enforcement of the Party statutes of the 12th term will also be tabled for feedback.

Another important content of the plenum is the socio-economic and budgetary performance in 2019-2020.

In opening the plenum, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong noted that 2020 is the last year of the 12th tenure, when Party organisations at all levels will hold congresses in preparation for the 13th National Congress of the Party. Therefore, the 11th session of the 12th Party Central Committee is important in that it will provide leadership and instruction for the implementation of tasks in 2019-2020 and the organization of all-level Party congresses.

The Party leader required the Party Central Committee members and other participants at the 11th plenum to discuss the draft reports thoroughly and pool their ideas to perfect the documents and make decisions on important issues on the agenda./.

Over 1.6 million poor households get preferential loans in nine months

More than 1.62 million poor households and welfare policy beneficiaries gained access to preferential loans worth over 54.9 trillion VND (2.36 billion USD) in the first nine months of 2019, up 6.15 trillion VND compared to the same period last year.

According to the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP), social policy credit has contributed to supporting production and business activities as well as generating jobs for over 162,000 workers, including 4,800 working abroad under fixed-term contracts.

The VBSP also provided loans for over 12,000 students and supported needy households to build over one million clean water supply and toilet facilities and 12,000 houses.

After 17 years of operation, social policy credit has thrived with more than 20 investment programmes carried out across the country, with priority given to ethnic minority, mountainous and border regions.

Since 2016, nearly 7.7 million poor households under the new poverty standards and other social policy beneficiaries have received loans worth over 211.7 trillion VND from the VBSP./.

HCMC dispatches medical workers in infirmaries to take care of students’ health

The Department of Education and Training suggested that schools should dispatch medical workers of infirmaries to take care of students’ health in case shortage of doctors working for schools.

In its yesterday document to bureaus of education and training in 24 districts and school managers, the Department asked to enhance medical care and food safety in educational facilities.

School managers were asked to recruit medical workers to look after students since the beginning of the academic year.

Additionally, schools that can’t recruit any nurse are able to propose dispatching medical workers of public infirmaries to take care of students’ health to local administrations.

Moreover, schools can sign contract with medical institutions to provide periodic checkup to students.

Furthermore, regarding food safety, schools must strictly follow regulations to buy food from certified businesses. School managers will be held accountable for any poisoning incidents.

HCMC strives to narrow rich-poor gap in ethnic minority groups


Permanent Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Mass Mobilisation Commission Dieu K're asked Ho Chi Minh City leaders to continue policies for narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor amongst ethnic minority.

Permanent Vice Chairman Dieu K're made the statement at a meeting yesterday organized the city Party Committee to review 15-year implementation of the ninth Central Party Executive Board’s resolution 24-NQ/TW on ethnic minority task.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Dieu K’Ré proposed implementation of policies towards sustainable development for areas where most ethnic minority groups live as well as for narrowing the gap between rich and poor.

Moreover, HCMC should work to attract more Chinese-Vietnamese, Cham, Khmer staffs into political system.

Nearly 9 million residents are living in HCMC including 467,000 ethnic minority people accounting for 5.2 percent of the city’s total population. Of 467,000 ethnic minority people, there are 382,00 Chinese –Vietnamese people, and 50,300 Khmer people and 10,400 Cham people.

Through 15 years of implementing the resolution, the Party Committee’s action plan No.10 including the city’s socio-economic development plan, ethnic minority people live more happily and enjoy better living conditions.

Furthermore, the city has adopted preferential policies to support enterprises of ethnic minority.

What is more, the city gives free hospital books to poor households and buy health insurance for all Khmer and Cham students and elderly people.

Last but not least, the city has taken heed to nutrition policies for ethnic minority children.

Standing Deputy Secretary of the City Party Committee Tran Luu Quang lauded HCMC party committee, administrations , fatherland front, political organizations, unions, agencies and all walks of life that have greatly contributed to the city’s achievements.

He also proposed building a mechanism in which agencies and local administrations can closely work together in implementing policies on ethnic minority program as well as amendments to old policies to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor in ethnic minority communities.

Youngest brother of Alibaba’s founders charged with money laundering


Nguyen Thai Luc, the youngest brother of Alibaba Real Estate JSC’s founders, has been charged with money laundering in connection with a case of asset misappropriation at the HCMC-based property firm.

The HCMC Police Department said in a statement on Wednesday that their investigators had initiated legal proceedings against the 20-year-old Luc two days earlier. As a result, he will be detained for at least three months and 24 days, as part of a deeper probe into the scam.

His brothers – Nguyen Thai Luyen, 34, and Nguyen Thai Linh, 30 – who serve as the respective chairman and general director of the property company were charged with fraud.

As of late June this year, Alibaba and its subsidiaries were accused of having defrauded more than 6,700 land buyers of more than VND2.65 trillion (US$114 million) in deposits with 40 scam projects.

A police inquiry found that Luc was the director of two property subsidiaries, Dia Oc Xanh and Dia Oc Long Thanh Ali.

He had been tasked with updating his oldest brother Luyen on the legal progress of all the projects.

As the legal representative of the two firms, Luc left his signatures on business registration papers and signed cooperation contracts for each project so that Alibaba could sell land plots, falsely advertised as residential land, to its clients at the request of his brother.

Luc is also the legal representative of many sites of farming and residential land in the southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai, HCMC’s Thu Duc District and more, though the real buyer is Luyen.

He opened several bank accounts to receive money for land transactions from Alibaba’s clients and other funds from the company’s employees on Luyen’s instructions. Also, he signed authorization contracts for Alibaba and 23 of its subsidiaries.

Under the instructions of Vo Thi Thanh Mai, who serves as the financial director of Alibaba and is Luyen’s wife, Luc used his personal accounts to receive money so that they could disguise its illegal origins, though he was well aware that his brothers had swindled their clients.

Since its establishment in May 2016, Alibaba and its subsidiaries have reportedly acquired up to 600 hectares of farmland.

Linh, Luc and their relatives later set up 40 phony real estate projects on this land, including 29 in Dong Nai, nine in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and two in the south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan.

The company has yet to complete legal procedures for any of these projects, and local State agencies have not approved or licensed them.

However, the company has posted false advertisements, offering land from these projects for sale.

In Vietnam, the law prohibits the construction of houses on agricultural land, so Alibaba’s clients fell victim to the large-scale property scam.

An official from the Ministry of Construction told a press briefing in Hanoi on Monday that laws related to land, construction and investment had been blatantly violated at the 40 property projects.

Startup journey focuses on tourism in nine provinces


StartUp Journey 2019 was officially launched in Hanoi last week, gathering 120 youngsters who are passionate in starting up a business in the field of tourism.

Under the theme "Why Vietnam?", the programme is expected to mobilise creative young entrepreneurs and students with start-up products and ideas in tourism and technology.

The journey officially takes place from October 10 to November 7, departing from An Giang province and passing through eight provinces and cities, Kien Giang, Ben Tre, Dak Lak, Binh Dinh, Hue, Ninh Binh, Yen Bai and Lao Cai.

Within the framework of StartUp Journey 2019, there will be a series of training programmes and competitions to test technology application skills in building online travel solutions and promoting tourism through field-trips to local tourist destinations for participants. In addition, a seminar on “Innovation to promote tourism" will also be held to summarise the knowledge collected from the above-mentioned activities.

At the end of the journey, participants will attend the Techfest 2019 – the biggest annual event for the innovative startup community in Vietnam – in Quang Ninh Province.

Nguyen Duc Tung, Director of the Supporting Centre for Youth's Startup (SYS Vietnam), said that StartUp Journey 2019 focuses on introducing experiences of each region’s typical tourism environment to inspire participants to develop ideas and solutions in applying information technology in tourism, as well as developing tourism information system and applications associated with the digital Vietnamese knowledge system and the e-government.

StartUp Journey 2019 is co-organised by the SYS Vietnam (under the Vietnam Youth Federation Central Committee) and Sun Bright Communication JSC, under the sponsor of Habeco, Plaumai Eco, Nestle and Ruby's Midu, accompanied by famous travel brands such as NATEC, ISEV, Adam Store, Mi Quang Ech (Froggy noodle) Bep Trang, Mau restaurant, SRWatch, Sun Travel, MuaBanNhanh, KYC and

Two Laotians arrested in Quang Tri drug trafficking case


Security forces operating along the border with Laos in Quang Tri province have joined efforts with the police in Savannakhet province to arrest two Laotian drug traffickers who were illegally transporting a large quantity of drugs between the two countries.

Police forces caught two Laotian nationals red-handed at the commonborder between in Savannakhet province at 15:30 on October 3. The pair were in the process of illegally transporting drugs from Laos into Vietnam for the purpose of selling them.

In total, 215,000 synthetic drugs, two cars with Laotian registration plates, four mobile phones, and a range of other exhibits were seized at the scene.

The two suspects were later identified as Savat Dixay Nhaxombat, 24, and Banpachit Keovilayvong, 24, both of Savannakhet province.

According to reports by the police, surveillance on the group’s activities have been taking place for a long time. The bust represents the largest cross- border drug smuggling ring ever detected in Quang Tri province.

Local police are currently completing the necessary procedures before handing the two suspects over to police in Savannakhet province.

Nearly 100 percent of rural communes have planning: ministry


The ratio of rural communes with their own planning has risen from 23.1 percent in 2010 to 83.1 percent in 2013 and 99.7 percent today, according to Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh.

At a conference in Hanoi on October 3 to review the implementation of the criteria on planning as part of the National Target Programme on New-Style Rural Area Building, Sinh said the Ministry of Construction has coordinated with localities to deal with any difficulties they face in designing new-style rural areas.

He said that from 2010-2015, planning had focused on developing new residential areas and improving existing areas in each commune.

For the 2016-2020 period, the Ministry of Construction was assigned to help localities develop regional plans, ensuring the harmony between rural and urban development, he noted.

Planning is the first among the 19 criteria in the National Target Programme on New-Style Rural Area Building, in which construction planning must be prioritised to lay the foundation for the investment and development of socio-economic infrastructure in rural areas, ensuring sustainable rural building.

In the 2016-2020 period, the programme aims to modernize and industrialise agricultural and rural areas.

Vice Director of the Department of Construction of Lam Dong province Bui Quang Son said that it is necessary to implement detailed planning to attract investment and create motivation for economic development, while applying stricter punishments for violations of land use.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said that as of September this year, 4,554 communes, or 51.16 percent of the country’s total communes, had been recognised as new-style rural areas, while on average 15.32 criteria have been met.

The five-year target of the programme has been completed two years ahead of schedule, he added.

Nam proposed revisions of regulations and guidelines in rural planning, construction and management to suit specific regions and meet sustainable development demands./.

Int’l experimental theatre festival in full swing in Hanoi


The 4th International Experimental Theatre Festival is underway in Hanoi, with foreign and domestic troupes staging a series of enticing plays.

Opening on October 4, the 10-day show introduces 21 plays brought about by 14 troupes from host Vietnam, while seven others from Hungary, Israel, India, the Republic of Korea, China, Singapore, and Greece bring to the show seven plays.

According to the organising board, the number of participants and plays this year increases significantly compared to previous events.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Hanoi Opera House, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong said the event is an important activity, creating an opportunity for Vietnamese theatre artists to exchange experience and learn from their foreign peers.

Co-organised by the Vietnam Stage Artists Association and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Performing Arts Department, the first, second, and third editions of the festival took place in Vietnam in 2002, 2006 and 2016, respectively.

At the last edition, 16 plays were staged by eight troupes from China, the Philippines, Japan, Greece, Germany, Panama, France, and Vietnam. Three plays from Vietnam, Japan and China won the gold medals./.

Bạc Liêu’s large-scale rice fields prove benefit of economy of scale


The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu has 26 large-scale rice fields with a combined area of 50,000ha, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the first half of this year alone five fields with an average size of 100ha were created.

More than 30 individuals, co-operatives, co-operative groups, and companies have joined hands with farmers to carry out the province’s large-scale rice fields and guarantee outlets for them.

The programme, which began in 2012, is yielding positive results like increasing farmers’ incomes and providing them with guaranteed outlets for their crops.

It has also increased farmers’ awareness of economy of scale.

A large-scale rice field is created by pooling individual farmers’ fields to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Farmers benefit by sowing seeds at the same time to prevent disease outbreaks, using machines and harvesting at the same time.

The province’s large- scale fields produce two to three rice crops per year.

In Hòa Bình District, there are six of these fields with a combined area of nearly 16,000ha.

Dương Văn Thới, chairman of the Hòa Bình People’s Committee, said rice production under the model reduces costs by VNĐ2-3 million ($85 -130) per ha per crop.

Besides, companies guarantee purchase of the harvest at VNĐ1,500 per kilogramme higher than the market price, he said.

Nguyễn Văn Thích, who has a 3ha rice field that is part of a large-scale rice field in Hồng Dân District’s Ninh Quới A Commune, said he had derived a lot of benefit by joining.

Farmers’ incomes from the large-scale rice fields are VNĐ10-15 million ($430-645) higher per hectare.

His family’s income is now steady and better than before joining.

The department has instructed localities to zone and implement the model.

It has encouraged farmers to use high-quality rice varieties to meet the market demand and grow specialty strains like một bụi đỏ Hồng Dân and tài nguyên Vĩnh Lợi.

The province uses techniques like the “3 reductions and 3 increases”, “one must and five reductions” and integrated pest management in rice cultivation.

The “3 reductions and 3 increases” refers to a reduction in the use of seeds, fertilisers and plant protection chemicals to achieve increases in productivity, quality and efficiency.

In its agricultural restructuring plan for 2016-20, the province seeks to expand the area under large-scale rice fields to 100,000ha by next year, or 51 per cent of the province’s entire rice farming area.

To achieve the target, it would expand advocacy in localities with good conditions for developing the model, Lưu Hoàng Ly, the director of the department, said.

The province would actively call on companies and co-operatives to invest in the model to guarantee outlets for farmers, he added.

Trịnh Văn Cường, director of the Vĩnh Cường Co-operative, said the province should have better policies to ensure companies co-operate with co-operatives and the latter could get access to soft loans.

The province should support investment in agricultural infrastructure, he said.

Rice is the province’s main crop. 

Scholarships presented to poor students in Binh Duong


At the ceremony in Binh Duong

The Republic of Korea General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and the Korean Business Association in the southern province of Binh Duong presented 219 scholarships worth over 700 million VND (30,400 USD) to poor students with outstanding academic performance on October 7.

Of this, 135 scholarships were for high school students, each with a value of 4 million VND and the remaining for secondary school students, each 2 million VND.

On the occasion, the association offered an aid of over 1 billion VND to 13 poor households to build houses.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Minh Hung said units have provided scholarships, built houses and presented gifts to local residents worth over 6 billion VND over the past six years.

The RoK has so far been the fourth largest investor in Binh Duong with 737 projects worth 3.19 billion USD, contributing greatly to the local socio-economic development.

In another event, the Association for the Support of Vietnamese Handicapped and Orphans (ASVHO) and its northern Cao Bang chapter recently presented wheelchairs to 22 people living with disabilities in the locality.

ASVHO Vice Chairwoman Ha Thi Lien said the association has presented more than 40,000 wheelchairs to the disabled from the central province of Quang Tri to northern localities.

The programme was co-organised by the US’s Free Wheelchair Mission, the US’s Giving it Back to Kids organisation, and the Humanitarian Services for Children of Vietnam./.

Hai Phong draws visitors to Cat Ba island

Convenient transportation infrastructure is one of the important factors to draw high-end tourists to Cat Ba island in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

In the first nine months of 2019, the district welcomed 2.5 million tourists, a year-on-year rise of 12 percent, including 626,600 foreigners.

The total revenue from tourism services in January-September exceeded 1.4 trillion VND (60.3 million USD), up 15 percent against the same period last year.

The People’s Committee of Cat Hai district, where Cat Ba island is located, is working with Hai Phong city to implement a project on building Cat Ba island into an international tourist centre through 2025.

Domestic airlines have opened routes beween Hai Phong and other localities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, Da Lat, Buon Me Thuot, Pleiku, and Nha Trang, as well as countries like China, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.

Hai Phong plans to open more air routes to big cities of Japan./.

Drawing contest on submerged forests launched for coastal students


A corner of a submerged forest in Ca Mau province

A drawing competition to raise public awareness of protecting and the importance of expanding submerged forests has been launched for high-school students in coastal provinces nationwide.

The contest is jointly organised by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam and the General Departments of Forestry and Natural Disaster Prevention under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Department from October 5 to December 20, aiming to highlight the role played by submerged forests in mitigating negative effects of climate change in Vietnam.

Entries should be sent to the organising board before December 20. The award ceremony will be held in the southernmost province of Ca Mau in December.

Submissions will be selected based on creativity, clear messages and strong impression on viewers, as well as aesthetics, harmonious colour.

Submerged forests play a very important role in improving the ecological environment and protecting sea dykes. This "green wall" will greatly contribute to responding and minimising damage by climate change and natural disasters.

This competition is one of the many awareness raising activities of the project "Increasing the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities to climate change related impacts in Vietnam” funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the UNDP and the Vietnamese Government./.

Thật, Cường dominate national cycling champs


An Giang team compete at the National Road Race Cycling Championships. An Giang won top place in the team rankings while Nguyễn Thị Thật (third, right) won three individual gold medals. — Photo of cyclingnews

Nguyễn Thị Thật and Quàng Văn Cường dominated the seventh day of the National Road Race Cycling Championships which closed on Sunday in Hoà Bình Province.

More than 100 athletes took part in the annual tournament's 18 events.

Thật from An Giang grabbed three individual titles in the women's 3km time trial, 30km point trial and 500m speed categories. She was also a member in the team that topped the podium three times.

On the men's side, Cường of Hà Nội also won three golds in the 40km point trial, 4km time trial and 160km mass start events.

With two silvers in other classes, An Giang secured first place in the team ranking. Đồng Tháp were second, followed by Bình Dương.

The national championship is a warm-up event for team members ahead of the SEA Games in November.

It was also a chance for Hoà Bình to test their facilities and terrain as they will host cycling event of the Việt Nam's 31st SEA Games in 2021.

A week on trade and tourism under-way in Bắc Giang


Yên Tử Pagoda - a popular destination for tourists in Bắc Giang Province. Photo

A trade and tourism week is taking place in the northern province of Bắc Giang, attracting the participation of more than 500 businesses.

During the event's opening ceremony on Saturday, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dương Văn Thái, said the first-ever event aims to mark the 15th Vietnamese Entrepreneurs’ Day (October 13) and promote tourism and trading activities in the locality.

Thái who is also chairman of the Business Association of Bắc Giang described the event as a good chance for local firms and craft villages to popularise their brands, introduce products and seek business and investment partnerships.

The week, which will wrap up this Saturday, comprises a wide range of activities such as trade and investment promotion workshops and contract signing between domestic and foreign businesses.

Since the beginning of this year, nearly new 950 businesses were established in the province, with a total registered capital of more than VNĐ9.3 trillion (US$400 million), up 35 per cent year on year.

The reviewed period also saw more than 200 enterprises resuming their operation, up 53 per cent year on year, raising the number of firms in the province to above 9,000. 


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