Vietnam Airlines completes longest flight for transporting vaccines

Vietnam Airlines completes longest flight for transporting vaccines hinh anh 1

A flight of Vietnam Airlines transporting COVID-19 Abdala vaccine from Cuba to Vietnam safely landed at the Noi Bai International Airport on September 26.

With a total length of more than 17,000 km, and 20.5 hours of flying, this is the longest flight so far that Vietnam Airlines has operated to transport vaccines.

The vaccines on the flight, which used wide-body aircraft Boeing 787-9, were kept in specialized equipment, and handed over to the authorized agency immediately after landing.

Cuba's Abdala vaccine is considered one of the world's most effective COVID-19 vaccines. Previously, the Ministry of Health had conditionally approved this vaccine for emergency use in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

As a national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines plays a key role in transporting COVID-19 vaccines. Since early 2021, with its fleet and extensive network of routes, the firm transported nearly 70 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to provinces and cities nationwide, significantly contributing to the country’s vaccination campaign./.

HCM City sees sharp fall in numbers of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalised patients

The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Ho Chi Minh City has seen higher efficiency as the numbers of new cases, severe patients and deaths have decreased while the number of discharged patients has increased rapidly, said a municipal official.

Speaking at a press conference held by HCM City's Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on September 26, Chief of Office of the municipal Department of Health Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai said 3,512 patients were hospitalised on September 25, a sharp decline compared to the previous days.

The number of seriously ill patients who need support of ventilators fell to 1,918 on September 25 compared to 2,037 on September 23 and 2,174 on September 21, she said.

The number of fatalities also saw a remarkable drop, with 131 deaths recorded on September 26 compared to more than 350 cases in late August, Mai stressed.

The number of patients discharged from hospitals has also been on the rise. On September 25, 3,495 patients were declared to be free from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, an increase of 700-800 cases compared to 5-6 days ago.

The positive signals in pandemic prevention and control were also reflected in the declining rate of positive cases detected through mass testing.

According to Deputy Director of the city’s Centre for Disease Control Nguyen Hong Tam, the city began mass testing on September 22 and an average of 1 million samples have been taken a day. The number of positive cases has decreased gradually.

Specifically, the positive rate for SARS-CoV-2 was 0.2 percent in “green zones” on September 22, compared to 0.1 percent on September 25. Notably, in "orange zones", only 0.3 percent of the tested cases were positive for SARS-CoV-2, while on September 22, this rate was 0.6 percent. Similarly, test results in "red zones" showed that the rate of positive cases for SARS-CoV-2 dropped sharply to only 0.4 percent, from 0.7 percent on September 22.

Facing such positive changes in the fight against the pandemic, the city’s Department of Health would devise measures that closely follow the real situation. The department plans to reduce the number of COVID-19 treatment hospitals and resume normal operations of facilities which were previously designated to only treat COVID-19 patients.

Mai said the city would restructure the three levels in COVID-19 treatment facilities and retain those associated with resuscitation centres, including Treatment Hospital No 13, 14 and 16./.

NA, Gov’t officials consult with experts on socio-economic affairs

A consultation with experts on socio-economic affairs took place in Hanoi on September 27 under the chair of National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Hai.

The event gathered heads of NA agencies, ministries, and ministry-level agencies; representatives of some international organisations in Vietnam such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Labour Organisation (ILO); along with economic experts and enterprises.

NA Vice Chairman Hai said opinions raised at the consultation are a precious source of information for the law-making body to make decisions on important socio-economic issues. The forum is also a place for experts, scientists, and officials to express their in-depth, independent, and constructive viewpoints to boost quality and sustainable socio-economic development.

He stressed that Vietnam has taken a number of measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, but the prolonged social distancing in many localities, including provinces and cities in key economic regions, industrial parks, and export processing zones, has caused considerable socio-economic impacts, including on businesses’ operations and people’s life.

There are signs that the Vietnamese economy has yet to catch up with the global economy in 2021. While the economy of the world and many countries has changed from contraction in 2020 to expansion this year, Vietnam’s economic growth is forecast to fail to achieve this year’s target and increase not much from 2020.

This problem needs to have its reasons identified to work out appropriate solutions, Hai said, adding that it is highly important to identify challenges so as to work out solutions and implement plans for the rest of the year and devise the ones for 2022.

He highlighted the Vietnamese Party and State’s viewpoint of staying focused on containing the pandemic to protect people’s health and lives, creating the foundation for recovering and developing the economy, and reviving economic activities to provide resources and conditions necessary for the COVID-19 fight.

The NA official emphasised that the economy and society are issues of national importance needing breakthrough solutions, asking participants for opinions and recommendations to help the Government build policies for the time ahead./.

Vietnamese unite to triumph over COVID-19

In response to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s appeal for greater national solidarity to fight COVID-19, Vietnamese people inside and outside the country have supported the work of the Party, Government, and administrations at all levels and sectors in pandemic prevention and control.

To date, donors, businesses, entrepreneurs, collectives, and individuals at home and abroad have not only participated in but also contributed money, medical equipment and supplies and food, with a total value of tens of thousands of billion Vietnamese dongs to efforts to the prevention and control of the pandemic and the protection and care for people’s health.

Despite their own difficulties, many overseas Vietnamese have collected and sent medical supplies, food and cash to the home country; shared experience in pandemic prevention and control; and even volunteered to join the frontline against the pandemic.

Up to now, overseas Vietnamese have sent more than 60 billion VND (2.6 million USD) to assist the country, along with medical equipment and products. In addition, nearly 30 Vietnamese associations in France, the US and Canada have launched such campaigns as “Join hands for Vietnam” and “10,000 doses of vaccine for Vietnam” around the world.

These noble gestures all come from the heart's command, contributing to the fight against the pandemic in Vietnam, and showing the love for the motherland, the spirit of mutual affection and the tradition of good solidarity of the Vietnamese people.

Given the current complexity of COVID-19 with the fast spread of the virus that threatens people’s health and all aspects of life, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong called on the entire Party, military and people at home and abroad to try harder and intensify their solidarity and determination in order to push back the pandemic.

He expressed his belief that such will and actions coupled with support from international friends would result in a victory in the fight, contributing to common global efforts for a world of safety, peace, friendship, cooperation, and prosperity./. 

More than 100,000 hectare acres of rubber plantations in VN to get sustainable forest management certificates this year

More than 100,000ha of rubber plantations in Việt Nam are expected to be awarded an international sustainable forest management certification by the end of this year.

Up to 38 rubber processing plants will get the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Chain of Custody certificate that provides independently verified assurance that the forestry-based product originates from sustainably managed forests. This certificate complements the PEFC's sustainable forest management certification, which ensures that forests are managed in line with environmental, social and economic requirements.

PEFC is the largest forest certification system in the world and the certification system of choice for small forest owners, with more than 300 million hectares represented across 49 nations. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, PEFC provides independent assessment, endorsement, and recognition of national forest certification systems.

On Friday, PEFC organised a webinar titled: "Get PEFC Certified - Learn from First Movers in the Rubber Sector", addressing common technical questions that come up during the certification process.

Joining the webinar, Diệp Xuân Trường, a member of Sustainable Development Steering Committee under Việt Nam Rubber Group (VRG) said that more than 54,500ha of rubber sites, belonging to 12 member companies of VRG, and 22 rubber latex processing plants were to be recognised.

Over 60,000 tonnes of certified rubber latex and more than 300,000cu.m of rubber timber was certified by Việt Nam Forest Certification Office, a member of PEFC.

Trường said that certified rubber products are welcomed in markets around the world and obtain a higher price than non-certified products.

About 1.1 million tonnes of natural rubber is produced in Việt Nam yearly. 60 per cent of the rubber is supplied by small farming households and the remaining amount is from rubber companies.

According to General Department of Forestry, Việt Nam has about one million ha of rubber plantations. Nearly 70 per cent of rubber growing areas are generating latex. VRG, a State-owned company, is managing about 38.4 per cent of the country’s rubber areas, households 51.9 per cent and private companies 9.7 per cent.

Việt Nam Forest Certification Office instructed VRG and its members to apply for the PEFC forest certification.

At the webinar, Richard Laity, PEFC Southeast Asia Manager said that natural rubber represents a US$300 billion supply chain and that natural rubber was essential material in the production of more than 40,000 types of products.

“Most of this rubber is produced by independent smallholders in Southeast Asia, on the borders of some of the world’s most ecologically important forest areas. Sourcing this rubber sustainably helps protect these forests and is a necessary step towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals before 2030,” he said.

PEFC has piloted certification for both natural rubber and rubberwood across Southeast Asia. Working with growers of all sizes, PEFC has developed group certification solutions that allow smallholders to band together and prove their sustainable practices.

These early adopters demonstrate that certification is entirely achievable. By getting certified, they both open up their rubber to the market, protect adjacent forests and improve their own livelihood.

“Sustainable forest management and chain of custody certification are relatively new for the rubber industry. But early adopters are already on the move,” he said.

Successful pilot projects to certify rubber producers and rubber processors set a new standard for environmental sustainability in the rubber industry.

“Lessons learned from these early adopters have value for the entire rubber sector,” he said.

This webinar is part of the PEFC's Supporting Sustainable Rubber campaign, telling the story of both natural rubber and the people that produce it, making a connection between sustainable natural rubber production, forest health, and smallholder livelihoods. 

Clubs miss chance to win, avoid historic relegation as tournaments canceled

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai's dream season came to an unexpected end after all national football tournaments were officially cancelled by the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF).

According to VFF Vice President Trần Quốc Tuấn, the V.League 1 from round 12, V.League 2 from rounds eight and the National Cup from the last-eight stage will all come to an end.

All events were postponed in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the decision, VFF will not recognise teams and individual titles that were not completed in their first periods.

VFF also said no team will promoted or relegated this season. The national football agency will propose results to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) who will decide Việt Nam's representatives at the continental competitions in 2022.

It means that Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) who are leading the V.League 1 after 12 matches will not take the title despite many coaches and experts saying the former champions should be awarded the trophy based on their amazing performances. 

The two-time winners lost the opening match before going on a run of 11 undefeated games including nine wins in a row. They have 29 points, three more than reigning champion Viettel FC, but more than that, their football philosophy, style of play and positive spirit helped them to win millions of fans nationwide.

Đoàn Nguyên Đức, owner of HAGL, is one of clubs' representatives who backed the idea of cancelling the tournament. He said he does not care about the silverware, the important thing is beautiful football, better performances every year and his players who he trained since youngsters that have grown into great footballers.

"For a long time, I have kept in my mind that HAGL's win or loss is not important but how they played for our fans," said Đức.

"My care is for the supporters. In football, if you can't win their hearts, you are a loser. This season, you can see Pleiku was always full while supporters in every corner of Việt Nam kept eyes on us. I am happy for that."

Hoàng Anh Gia Lai FC players train during social distancing in July. Their head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang will back in action after a vacation in Thailand when the season is resumed. Photo of HAGL FC
HAGL won titles in 2003 and 2004 and this is the closest they have come to winning it again. During 17 years since last win, they have to escaped from relegation four times.

Last season they finished seventh.

Things got better when Thai manager Kiatisuk Senamuang took charge this year, bringing in a new, fresh atmosphere at the Plei Ku Stadium.

Recently, Senamuang received an offer to take charge of the Thai national team. Đức also agreed to let him go if he wanted to.

However, on his Facebook page on September 24 Thailand's most famous player posted in Vietnamese that he would stay in Việt Nam for long time, indirectly refusing all generous offers from other clubs.

The 48-year-old is currently in Thailand with his family after the V.League 1 was delayed in July. But he keeps working online with his Vietnamese assistants on strategy for the coming season. He will return to Việt Nam in November.

Đức also confirmed the Thai coach's relationship with his team stays strong.

"Kiatisuk (Senamuang) will not be here for long time but very long time. He and I have known each other clearly for a long time, it is our fate. He is always ready to help when I need it. In ASEAN, no one is better than him, right?" said Đức who signed Senamuang as player 2002 to 2006 and manager in 2006 and 2010.

"Kiatisak has considered HAGL his second home. He shared the same philosophy as us and plays the type of football that I expect. We will work together to play great football which is entertaining for the people in Pleiku who pay to support us," said Đức who promised to strengthen HAGL's line-up for coming season as they could be picked to represent Việt Nam at the AFC events.

VFF's decision, on the other hand, helps Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA) breath a sigh of relief.

They are at the bottom of the V.League 1 with only 10 points and have one foot in V.League 2.

Sông Lam Nghệ An avoided relegation after the 2021 V.League was canceled. Their coaches and players are planning for next season. Photo
They now avoid the drop and remain the only club in Việt Nam that have never been relegated.

"In this situation of COVID-19, the cancellation is easy to understand and unavoidable," said Văn Sỹ Hùng, deputy director of Sông Lam Nghệ An Football Joinstock Company.

"VFF's decision of no promotion and relegation is fair because tournament has not been completed."

SLNA, who found new sponsor, have begun their preparations for next season which is expected to begin in February.

"It is still early but we have made plans," said Hùng. 

"We will sign contracts with two foreigners and will push young players into the first team. SLNA have many talented youngsters, some of them are members of the national U22s."

"In the coming season, we will have a team made up of the experience of senior players and youth and energy of juniors." 

National Theatre Festival 2021 could be scaled down

One of the most anticipated theatrical events of the year could be drastically scaled down as companies struggle to present their best works.

Due to take place from October until November, the National Theatre Festival may be reduced in both size and artists as some companies in COVID-19 affected area cannot make it to the port city of Hải Phòng  this year.

According to some representatives of southern theatre artists, they objected to the organisation of this year's festival and proposed postponing it to another year.

In an interview with VNExpress, Artist Mỹ Uyên, director of 5B Võ Văn Tần Drama Theatre, said that five days ago, when she received the invite, she immediately refused to participate.

"Nearly two years of suffering because of the pandemic, we are currently facing mental and financial difficulties," she said.

"The festival is supposed to be fun, but when the spirit is exhausted, how can it be fun?"

Artist Mỹ Uyên stands in the middle of her empty theatre. — Photo courtesy of Huy Võ
Sharing the same opinion, artist Trịnh Kim Chi said that organising the festival at this time is very difficult for the southern stage.

Before the pandemic, her theatre and many other stages were eager to participate in the event because it was held only once every three years and was an opportunity for artists across the country to meet and improve their skills.

She had planned to rehearse, but the pandemic broke out and all activities stopped.

“After social distancing, it will be difficult to gather everyone to participate in the festival,” Chi said.

Meanwhile, the Youth Theatre and the Việt Nam National Drama Theatre said they are planning to urgently rehearse when the distance is over.

Each of these theatres already has a play for the festival and they are preparing a second.

“Actually, there is a hesitation due to the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, especially for the southern stage, but the situation in the north is different," Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Sĩ Tiến, deputy director of the Youth Theater, said.

"We want to return to work right away, because the pandemic seems to be effectively controlled." 

Earlier, the culture ministry's Department of Performing Arts has just issued the 4th announcement on the organisation of the National Drama Festival 2021.

Due to the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to strictly comply with the direction of the Prime Minister in disease prevention and control, and at the same time ensure the rights and create the best conditions for all units that have registration, local units that are implementing social distancing can participate in the festival online but still ensure all prevention measures.

Online participating units will attend from October 28 to November 4. Direct participating units will attend from November 6 to 18.

Those taking part are responsible for the budget, performance venue, sound and light equipment, technical equipment for recording, and transmission equipment.

The organisers will have specific instructions on the online format. Participants must submit their registration to the Department of Performing Arts before October 15.

Currently, there are 20 units registered to take part in the festival.

According to Deputy Director of the Department of Performing Arts, Trần Hướng Dương, the organising fund has been arranged for this year, if it does not happen, it must be returned to the state budget, or report to the culture ministry to use for other, appropriate activities.

“The five-year plan approved by the state is from 2021 to 2025 so the plan of the first year will affect the following years. It is best to maintain the organisation, otherwise the units must report for adjustment," he said.

“The Department's wish is for theatres to operate and have excellent art works to serve the people."

Dương also hopes that artists and theatre representatives can have a frank dialogue with the authority to solve difficulties together.

He added: “If it is too difficult to attend online, we can coordinate with HTV to ensure the quality of the online performance. 

“Personally, I always wish the best for the artists and always give my best to support them.”

The previous festival held in Hồ Chí Minh City in 2018, had 22 participating units with 27 plays, including 13 non-state troupes. The National Theatre Festival is organised by the Department of Performing Arts in collaboration with the Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association and local cultural authorities.   

Art programme promotes great national unity in fighting COVID-19

An art programme promoting the spirit of unity and consensus among the people to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic was held virtually on September 26 and connected to many locations across the country.

The event was jointly organised by the Department of Culture and Sports of Ho Chi Minh City, the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) and the Trinh Cong Son Fund.

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who is also Head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, highly evaluated the initiative to organise the programme, saying that it contributes to promoting the great national unity.

The Party and State always appreciate spiritual and material contributions of Vietnamese people around the world to help the country effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

PM Chinh stressed that the Party and State will continue their high political determination, great efforts and drastic actions with appropriate solutions to adapt safely and flexibly to and effectively control the pandemic and promote socio-economic economic development.

Within the framework of the programme, video clips reflecting artists’ involvement in supporting frontline forces against the pandemic and their assistance to COVID-19 affected people in Ho Chi Minh City, were screened.

Touching stories about efforts of medical workers and military medical staff to fight for the lives of COVID-19 patients were also broadcast.

The organizing board took the occasion to call for donations and raise funds for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for the COVID-19 prevention and control fund run by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCM City.

At the event, organizations, businesses and individuals donated nearly 130 billion VND (over 5.7 million USD) to support the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control work./.

New Gov’t resolution creates optimal conditions for foreign workers

The Government’s Resolution No. 105/NQ-CP on support for enterprises, cooperatives, and business households has considerably facilitated the granting of permits to foreign workers in Vietnam.

Creating favourable conditions relevant to workers and experts is one of the four main solutions stated in this resolution, approved by the Prime Minister and issued on September 9, so as to directly help resolve difficulties facing enterprises and workers.

Accordingly, to facilitate foreign workers coming to work in Vietnam, the Government requested the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to order localities to relax some regulations and conditions on the granting and extension of work permits in line with the new context and but still ensure pandemic prevention and control.

Under Point a of Clause 3 in Article 3 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP, foreigners must hold a Bachelor’s or higher degree or an equivalent degree and have at least three years of work experience in the specialities in which they were trained and that match the jobs they plan to work in Vietnam.

This rule is now eased that foreigners must hold a Bachelor’s or higher degree or an equivalent degree and have at least three years of work experience that matches the jobs they plan to work in Vietnam.

Under Point a of Clause 6 in Article 3 of Decree No 152/2020/ND-CP, the requirement for “having at least three years of work experience in the specialities that workers were trained in” was amended as “having at least three years of work experience that matches the jobs foreigners plan to work in Vietnam”.

Besides, Point b of Clause 4 in Article 9 of Decree No. 152/2020/ND-CP is now supplemented with the term “giay chung nhan” (testimonial) and that the already granted work permits can be used as documents proving experts and technical workers in the dossiers seeking work permits. It now reads: “The papers proving experts, technical workers under regulations in Clauses 3, 6 in Article 3 of this Decree are: diplomas, degrees, certificates, testimonials; confirmation documents issued by agencies, organisations, and enterprises in other countries about the years of experience of experts and technical workers; or the already granted work permits to prove experience.”/.

Art programme promotes great national unity in fighting COVID-19

An art programme promoting the spirit of unity and consensus among the people to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic was held virtually on September 26 and connected to many locations across the country.

The event was jointly organised by the Department of Culture and Sports of Ho Chi Minh City, the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE Global) and the Trinh Cong Son Fund.


Addressing the event, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who is also Head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, highly evaluated the initiative to organise the programme, saying that it contributes to promoting the great national unity.

The Party and State always appreciate spiritual and material contributions of Vietnamese people around the world to help the country effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

PM Chinh stressed that the Party and State will continue their high political determination, great efforts and drastic actions with appropriate solutions to adapt safely and flexibly to and effectively control the pandemic and promote socio-economic economic development.

Within the framework of the programme, video clips reflecting artists’ involvement in supporting frontline forces against the pandemic and their assistance to COVID-19 affected people in Ho Chi Minh City, were screened.

Touching stories about efforts of medical workers and military medical staff to fight for the lives of COVID-19 patients were also broadcast.

The organizing board took the occasion to call for donations and raise funds for the purchase of medical equipment and supplies for the COVID-19 prevention and control fund run by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of HCM City.

At the event, organizations, businesses and individuals donated nearly 130 billion VND (over 5.7 million USD) to support the city’s COVID-19 prevention and control work./.

“Ambassador” connecting Vietnamese with international music

With his tireless efforts to promote Vietnamese music, conductor Dong Quang Vinh is known as an “ambassador” by the domestic music world, helping connect Vietnamese with international music.

Conductor Dong Quang Vinh was born in 1984 to a family of traditional musicians. His father is Meritorious Artist Dong Van Minh who both performs and makes traditional musical instruments. His mother is Meritorious Artist Mai Thi Lai, a professor of 16-chord zither at the Vietnam National Academy of Music (VNAM).

At the age of 9, Vinh began learning to play the bamboo flute at the VNAM. He was invited to perform on stage in Japan when he was 12. In 2004, Vinh was sent by the Vietnamese government to study orchestral conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and was awarded the most distinguished student scholarship by the China National Foundation.

Dong Quang Vinh has been guest conductor of the Shanghai Opera House Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai University Chinese Traditional Orchestra, the Zhe Jiang Theatre, and the Chinese National Traditional Orchestra.

Vinh conducted numerous Shanghai youth orchestras attending Chinese national competitions for student orchestras and has won a number of first prizes. During his 9 years of study in China, he performed with famous Chinese artists and carried out various projects that combine Vietnamese and Chinese folk music as part of the effort to promote understanding between the two countries.

He obtained a master’s degree in 2013 with highest scores attainable and returned to Vietnam. In Vietnam, he is the conductor and teacher of orchestral conducting of the VNAM; principle conductor of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet; artistic director and conductor of Hanoi Voices Choir (HVC); director of the Suc Song Moi (New life) Bamboo Ensemble.

The birth of Suc Song Moi came from Vinh’s idea that Vietnamese music brought vitality from traditional instruments made of bamboo. The ensemble has been invited to perform at many national and international programmes. Suc Song Moi was also honored as an inspiring orchestra which brings traditional art closer to the people of Vietnam and the world.

Dong Quang Vinh has been praised by the Xinhua News Agency as a person connecting the musical friendship between Vietnamese and Chinese youths.

Along with the success of the bamboo ensemble in Vietnam, in 2018, Dong Quang Vinh was selected by the US government as the only representative from ASEAN to attend the project “promote social change through the arts”. He was also one of the two Asian representatives participating in the International visitor leadership project (IVLP)./. 

Seas and islands - Existing space for nation

On October 22, 2018, the Party Central Committee in the 12th tenure issued Resolution No 36-NQ/TW on the strategy for the sustainable development of Vietnam’s marine economy to 2030 and vision to 2045, in which the overall goal by 2030 is to turn the country into a strong maritime nation.
The adoption of the Resolution demonstrates the Party’s strategic vision and consistent views on seas and islands in the cause of national construction and defence. The entire political system and the country’s people have been making major efforts to synchronously and drastically implement the measures and solutions in the Resolution to reach the targeted goals.

Over past years, the army and the people have recorded important achievements in carrying out the dual tasks of developing the marine economy and protecting the country’s sovereignty over its seas and islands.

In particular, all levels and branches from the central to local levels and the people have a deeper understanding about the key content of the Party’s viewpoint on protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment to build and develop the country, as well as the legal basis and historical evidence of Vietnam’s sovereignty and maritime interests in the East Sea.

The political system, laws, and State management apparatus on seas and islands have also been improved and brought into play. After the Resolution on Vietnam’s maritime strategy to 2020 was adopted in 2007, the National Assembly and the Government issued a host of legal documents governing various fields relating to the country’s seas and islands, thereby creating a legal basis for the implementation of management, protection, and economic development of the seas.

On that basis, central and local ministries, departments, and branches have concentrated all resources on investing in building infrastructure and creating a stable and solid position for production, fishing activities, and resources exploitation. Many new policies have created favourable conditions for people to settle down on the islands.

Vietnam’s marine and coastal economy has posted many achievements to date, becoming a driving force in national development. The role and proportion of the marine economy in the national economy has increased markedly, with islands such as Van Don, Cat Hai, Con Dao, and Phu Quoc developing into economic centres.

In addition, propaganda on seas and islands and national defence and security education works have been bolstered, especially among fishermen and forces directly operating at sea and in coastal areas, helping to strengthen solidarity and the attachment between people on the islands and the armed forces, contributing to building stronger national defence and security on seas and islands./.

Wallonia-Brussels to keep enhancing ties with Vietnam: representative

Relations between Vietnam and the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation in the country will continue to be reinforced and diversified in the time ahead, according to Nicolas Dervaux, Representative of the Governments of the French-Speaking Community of Belgium and the Walloon Region in Vietnam.

He was speaking in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation in Vietnam and the 50th founding anniversary of the Belgian French Community (September 27).

The Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation was set up in Vietnam in 1996. Six years later, bilateral ties continued growing well with the signing of an important agreement between the Vietnamese Government and the French Community of Belgium, the Wallonia region, and the French Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region (COCOF).

More than 30 high-ranking official visits have been made, helping to enhance their partnership, mutual trust, and experience sharing toward sustainable development, Dervaux noted.

So far, 783 joint projects approved by the Vietnam - Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation Joint Committee have gained encouraging results. The two sides have given special attention to cooperation in health care, environment, new technology, tertiary education, vocational training, scientific research, culture, and the French language.

The representative said promoting the projects that combining scientific research and economic development will be the top common priority of the General Delegation. Win-win partnerships will continue in various areas such as biotechnology, healthcare, and environmental protection. Besides, academic and cultural cooperation will also be enhanced further.

Highlighting the continued intensification and diversification of bilateral ties in the coming time, he said the General Delegation, the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX), and the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, relevant ministries and agencies are actively consulting with one another to consider the proposed cooperation projects in some strategic development areas of both sides.

Cooperation orientations for 2022 - 2024 will be identified basing on the Vietnamese Government’s priorities in the socio-economic development plan for 2021 - 2025 as well as the strengths of Wallonia-Brussels, Dervaux noted, adding that the level of traditional cooperation will be elevated and new cooperation fields created.

The two sides will focus their ties on social issues, health care, human resources development, culture, scientific research, industrial development, agriculture, and logistics, among others.

The Wallonia-Brussels General Delegation will also continue to focus on the cooperation areas that have proved fruitful, he went on.

Regarding the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) that took effect in August 2020, Dervaux said the General Delegation has been helping Vietnamese ministries and sectors to optimise relevant knowledge, which will help fuel economic development, investment and trade, and reduce difficulties and trade barriers./. 

National Day celebrated in Slovakia

The Embassy of Vietnam to Slovakia has hosted a ceremony to celebrate the 76th National Day of Vietnam in Bratislava, gathering representatives from local authorities and businesses, diplomatic corps and Vietnamese people in the European country.

Speaking at the September 24 event, Ambassador Nguyen Tuan highlighted September 2, 1945, as a glorious milestone in Vietnam’s history.

He briefed his guests on what Vietnam has achieved during the “Doi Moi” (renewal) period over the last 35 years and its efforts to fight COVID-19, and on some basic points of Vietnam’s foreign policy set by the 13th National Party Congress early this year.

The diplomat took the occasion to thank the Government and people of Slovakia for donating 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam and committing to more deliveries in the future.

He expressed his delight at the comprehensive development of the long-standing relations between the two countries, saying he expects the bilateral ties will grow further and bear more fruits in the coming time.

Tuan also showed his gratitude towards the Vietnamese community in Slovakia for raising a total of 11,710 EUR (13,724 USD) for Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccine fund./. 

Vietnam-funded bridge and road project launched in Cambodia

A bridge and road project, the construction of which was funded with donations from Vietnamese expats and businesses in Cambodia, was launched in Troey Koh, Kampot city, the capital of Kampot province, on September 26.

The project comprises of a bridge, embankment and a 50-m road leading to Thao Kong Ta Ang Communal House, a place for cultural and religious gatherings of local people.

The Vietnamese Consulate General in Preah Sihanouk has raised a total of 18,000 USD from Vietnamese people, businesses and organisations in Cambodia for the construction of the project which started in early August.

The project will benefit more than 600 local households, many of which are Vietnamese, and help shorten travel time to school for about 200 Cambodian students.

Vice governor of Kampot city Men Vannara highlighted the significance of the project, saying it will enable students to safely travel to school, particularly during the rainy season.

He thanked the government of Vietnam, the Khmer-Vietnam Association and Vietnamese missions in Cambodia for their contribution to the project.

Vietnamese Consul General to Preah Sihanouk Vu Ngoc Ly, for his part, said the project demonstrates the unity and humanity between the peoples at the time of COVID-19. He expected it will help recover the local economy and strengthen relations between Vietnamese expats and local authorities.

The launch of the project was among a series of events to mark the 55th anniversary of the Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic ties (June 24, 1967 – 2022)./.

Online discussion seeks to bring into play Quoc Tu Giam’s cultural values

An online discussion was held on September 26 to look into way to capitalise on values of the cultural space of Quoc Tu Giam in the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature - Imperial Academy) complex in Hanoi.

A special national relic site, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam was founded in the 11th century and considered the first university of Vietnam. It has also been a place for honouring the fondness for learning for centuries.

However, how to turn it into a vivid cultural space, not merely a tourist attraction, so as to disseminate the fine cultural values of not only this site but also Vietnam is not a simple issue.

Le Xuan Kieu, Director of the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam Centre for Cultural and Scientific Activities, said the centre has applied new technology to studying and bringing into play the relic site’s values and developing new products to serve visitors once the place is re-opened.

Notably, the centre is seeking new ways to bring traditional values closer to visitors to help them understand more and have appropriate behaviours toward the relic site, he added.

At the discussion, researchers and experts suggested many measures to transform the relic into a lively cultural space.

In early September, the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam Centre for Cultural and Scientific Activities, the Gavisto Diplomat non-profit cultural and educational project, and relevant agencies debuted the Cultural Space of Quoc Tu Giam project which aims to develop this relic site into an open space for heritage-related ideas.

In less than a month, this project has recorded interactions of 1,500 people. Posts about history, culture, and the fondness for learning have also attracted great attention./.

Ex-mayor of Hanoi prosecuted for abusing position, power

Former Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung and two company executives have been prosecuted for their wrongdoings in the purchase of water cleaning agent Redoxy 3C for purifying lakes in the city.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy prosecuted Chung, Vo Tien Hung (General Director of the State-owned Hanoi Water Drainage One Member Co. Ltd), and Nguyen Truong Giang (Director of the Arktic Trading Service Co. Ltd) on the charge of “abusing position, power while performing duties”, regulated in Clause 3 of Article 356 in the 2015 Penal Code (revised and supplemented in 2017).

According to the indictment, in 2016, the Hanoi People’s Committee requested relevant units to deal with water pollution in local rivers and lakes by seeking suitable advanced technologies.

Chung, then Chairman of the committee, chose the treatment technology of Germany’s Watch Water company and placed orders on this firm for Redoxy 3C for the work.

He told Hung to buy this agent via Arktic - an intermediary company where Giang acted as the Director - attempting personal profit.

Arktic is wholly invested by Chung’s wife, Nguyen Thi Truc Chi Hoa, and has their son, Nguyen Duc Hanh, represented in the business registration certificate. Hoa asked another person to represent her family in the ownership of 40 percent of this firm’s charter capital, while Giang acted as the owner of the remaining 60 percent. Hoa repeatedly falsified papers to change contributors to this company’s capital.

The procuracy held that the actions by Chung and the others have caused “serious losses”, totaling over 36 billion VND (nearly 1.6 million USD), to the State.

In December 2020, the Hanoi People’s Court found Chung guilty of “appropriating confidential state documents” and decided to sentence him to five years in prison./.

Czech media spotlights Vietnam’s role in promoting multilateral cooperation, int’l law

Media outlets in the Czech Republic have published several articles highlighting President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s remarks at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, as well as Vietnam’s role in promoting multilateral cooperation and international law to solve global challenges.

In its article, the newspaper spoke highly of President Phuc’s speech at the high-level general debate at the UN General Assembly’s 76th session.

It noted that the Vietnamese leader put forth detailed proposals to step up multilateral cooperation, including promoting the role of the UN and international law in responding to urgent global challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and issues relevant to peace and stability of each country, each region, and the world as a whole.

With regard to COVID-19 response, the article applauded Vietnam’s proposal to enhance international cooperation, which should prioritise the supply of vaccines to the countries with low vaccination rates and create conditions for developing nations to cooperate in vaccine production and supply chains.

Facing the pandemic’s intensive impacts, Vietnam called on countries to strengthen ties to turn challenges into opportunities by accelerating digital transformation, applying technology, and promoting sustainable development, according to the writing.

The newspaper also applauded Vietnam’s appeal for stronger cooperation to minimise and deal with adverse impacts of climate change.

Vietnam asked developed nations to assist poor and developing countries in terms of finance, technology, and capacity building so as to reduce emissions, prevent and mitigate natural disasters, and adopt a circular economy.

This article highly valued the country’s viewpoint that maintaining peace and stability in each country, each region, and the world is the prerequisite for post-pandemic recovery and growth, and that the international community, with the UN playing the central role, needs to show their goodwill, make responsible contributions, and exert common efforts to intensify trust among the countries on the basis of equality; cooperation; respect for one another’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; no interference in one another’s internal affairs; and peaceful settlement of disputes.

It also highlighted Vietnam’s foreign policy that lays stress on multilateralism, with the UN playing the central role and international law serving as the foundation, to help maintain peace, stability, and development in the world.

Meanwhile, also ran an article underlining Vietnam’s viewpoint of promoting multilateral cooperation and international law in resolving global challenges, including the East Sea issue.

It noted that addressing the UN General Assembly’s 76th session, President Phuc emphasised Vietnam’s policy on fostering multilateral cooperation and international law, with the UN at the centre, to deal with global challenges, including navigation security in the East Sea, thereby helping to sustain peace, stability, and development in the Indo-Pacific region and the world.

This viewpoint matches the common trend in the current multipolar world, requiring the international community’s cooperation and common efforts in response to global challenges, the newspaper wrote.

It stressed that the country showed strong determination to work with ASEAN to help maintain a world order based on international law and the UN Charter, and promote the international community’s awareness and common efforts in dealing the East Sea issue by peaceful means on the basis of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), thus contributing to conflict prevention for the sake of regional and global peace, cooperation, and development.

The article said the East Sea is an important international shipping route, and that the EU and European countries support the viewpoint of boosting multilateral cooperation and respect for international law and UNCLOS in peacefully settling the East Sea issue./. 

FM Bui Thanh Son meets Vietnamese community in Russia

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on September 25 visited the Embassy of Vietnam in Russia where he met with the embassy staff, Vietnamese business leaders and representatives in the European country.

It formed part of his official visit to Russia from September 25 – 28 at the invitation of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.

Ambassador Dang Minh Khoi briefed Son on the embassy’s recent activities and the situation of the Vietnamese people living in Russia at the time of COVID-19.

Minister Son informed the Vietnamese expats in Russia of Vietnam’s socio-economic development and COVID-19 response efforts, saying the State and Party are taking the “vaccine diplomacy” very seriously and his ministry is making all possible efforts to have as many as possible COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered to Vietnam.

He also briefed them on the outcomes of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Cuba and his trip to New York for the General Debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session and sideline activities.

The minister emphasised that the Party and State attach great importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia characterised by three main pillars – security-defence cooperation, energy and oil cooperation, and education and training cooperation. Despite challenges caused by COVID-19, the two countries have maintained high-level meetings and phone talks, he said.

He appreciated the Embassy of Vietnam in Russia for its active efforts to negotiate with Russian partners for the production of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam. He also highly spoke of the Vietnamese expats’ contribution to Vietnam’s COVID-19 control fund, saying they serve as a bridge to boost trade and ties between the two countries.

The minister also received 135,000 USD in cash donated from the Vietnamese Association in Russia to Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight./.

New UNESCO biosphere reserve recognition means duty to live up to global status: Deputy Minister

Two Vietnamese sites were recognised as new biosphere reserves by UNESCO at the 33rd session of its International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) last week.

Nui Chua Biosphere Reserve in the coastal south-central province of Ninh Thuan and Kon Ha Nung Biosphere Reserve in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai were added to the list of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now has 727 names. UNESCO Biosphere reserves now cover more than 5 percent of the Earth’s landmass, in which biodiversity conservation, environmental education, research and sustainable development are combined.

The two new sites take the number of global biosphere reserves in Vietnam to 11, the second highest in Southeast Asia, only after Indonesia with 19.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dang Hoang Giang, President of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, said the recognition attests to Vietnam’s efforts in protecting biodiversity and ecosystem and responding to climate change, as well as its commitment to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It also helps promote Vietnam’s nature, people and culture globally, he said, adding that it will bring people, both Vietnamese and foreigners, closer to Ninh Thuan and Gia Lai and have a better understanding of Vietnam as a dynamic country that sets its sight on green and sustainable development. 

Giang urged the two provinces to better preserve and promote the values of Nui Chua and Kon Ha Nung Biosphere Reserves in the coming time, and asked them to incorporate the preservation and promotion of the two reserves into their socio-economic development plans to make the conservation efforts sustainable.

The 33rd session of its International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) was held in Abuja, Nigeria from September 13 – 17, during which a total of 20 new sites were designated as global biosphere reserves.

The 106.6-ha Nui Chua Biosphere Reserve encompasses the terrestrial and marine areas of Ninh Thuan and is located at the end of the Truong Son Mountain Range where the climate is harsh with sunny, hot and arid weather and minimal rainfall, according to UNESCO. The biosphere reserve is a representative area in terms of biodiversity with a rich and diverse mosaic of ecosystems characteristic of the south-central region of Vietnam, including unique semi-arid vegetation, sea turtle nesting beaches and coral reefs.

A total of 447,162 people live in the site including the main ethnic groups of Kinh, Cham, Raglai, Hoa, Tay, Nung and Muong, all of whom have diverse cultures, artistic, religious and architectural traditions as well as numerous rituals and large festivals.

Kon Ha Nung Biosphere Reserve is home to rare species such as the Gray-shanked douc (Pygathrix cinerea) - a rare and endemic primate species of Vietnam and classified as critically endangered, with only about 1,000 individuals in the wild.

The biosphere reserve is managed in line with the traditional knowledge of local communities including indigenous and folk knowledge about production and social organisation. The Gia Lai Province People’s Committee formulates policies concerning land and forest allocations to households, payment for forest ecosystem services and the development of sustainable ecotourism./.

Going digital vital for development of tourist sector

Technology has helped people who love to travel satisfy their desire to explore the world in the context of staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As for travel firms, digital transformation enables them to access new potential customers, solving problems relating to human resources, operating costs, and duration time. It also effectively supports the introduction and promotion of tourism products. Digital transformation is considered as the future of the "smokeless industry" and Vietnam is no exception.

Last year, Son Doong Cave in the central province of Quang Binh has been named among 10 of the best virtual tours of natural wonders by British newspaper The Guardian.

Recently, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum has rolled out a brand-new 3D virtual tour in both Vietnamese and English. The launch of the tour is expected to allow art lovers to enjoy the museum’s various collections of national treasures, paintings and sculptures anywhere and anytime, using their Internet-connected smartphones or computers.

According to a report by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, domestic tourists in the first eight months of this year reached 31.2 million, down 5.5 percent over the same period last year.

Vietnam has yet to open its doors to international tourists since April last year. Total revenue from tourists is estimated at nearly 6 billion USD, a decline of 36.5 percent over last year’s figure./.

State President attends Cuban vaccine handover ceremony

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc landed at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi on September 25 evening, concluding his official visit to Cuba and his attending of the high-level general debate of the UN General Assembly, as well as bilateral activities in New York from September 18-24.

Right after his landing, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Fatherland Front held a ceremony to hand over and to receive vaccines and medical equipment and materials for the fight against the COVID-19 transported to Vietnam on his special plane.

The vaccine reception ceremony at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi on September 25 evening (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Hoang Giang affirmed that the President’s working trip achieved all the targets set. It clearly extended the message of friendship and faithfulness with the traditional friend Cuba and of a dynamic, self-reliant Vietnam that always strives for peace and development.

One of the prominent and practical achievements of the trip is the support from the international community, especially to Vietnam’s pandemic fight and the socio-economic restoration and development.

Besides the 1.05 million doses of Abdala vaccine from Cuba transported by the special plane, foreign countries and partners committed and provided another 1.5 million doses to Vietnam and the US committed a large quantity of vaccines to Vietnam through the COVAX mechanism in the time to come.

In his working session with the Pfizer, the company committed to provide all the 31 million doses of the vaccine contracted with Vietnam right in this year and 20 million doses for children when data are sufficient. Besides vaccine doses, many partners helped Vietnam with medical equipment valued at 8.8 million USD. 

In the witness of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the token of the Abdala vaccine, ventilators and other medical equipment was handed to Do Van Chien, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front; Miniter of Health Nguyen Thanh Long; and Deputy Defence Minister Hoang Xuan Chien./.

Vinh Phuc urged to intensify study, implementation of 13th National Party Congress' resolution

The northern province of Vinh Phuc should continue to implement the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress in association with the implementation of the Politburo's Directive 05 on enhancing the studying and following of President Ho Chi Minh's thought, morality and lifestyle, said Politburo member and Standing member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong.

Working with provincial leaders on September 25, Thuong said that the province should focus on Party rectification and building, while paying more attention to decentralization and power delegation in pallarel with supervision, to ensure the smooth and effective operations of the whole system.

He advised Vinh Phuc to evaluate officials through the outcomes of their work, while strengthening the Party leadership over socio-economic development, strengthening pandemic prevention and control and promoting economic growth in all fields, especially in the rest of the year.

Alongside, the province should concentrate more on promoting the role of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, local organisations and residents in Party building.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Hoang Thi Thuy Lan valued Thuong’s suggestions, pledging that Vinh Phuc will continue to work hard in implementing programmes and projects and resolutions to realise the 13th National Party Congress’ Resolution, striving to become a strong locality in economy and Party building./.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes  



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