VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)

Storm Vamco wreaks havoc in central localities

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
Metal roofs are blown away in Quang Tri


Storm Vamco, the 13th storm to enter the East Sea this year, caused 18 people in the central region to suffer from injury as of 5pm on November 15, according to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control.

Of the injured, eight were in Quang Binh, seven in Quang Tri province and three in Quang Nam.

In addition, five houses collapsed and the roofs of more than 1,500 houses were blown away.

The storm made landfall in the central region on November 15 morning, and weakened into a tropical depression after hitting Thua Thien-Hue province.

Ministries, sectors and localities were asked to continue keeping a close watch, and stand ready to respond to natural disasters, especially flooding and landslides.

Cities and provinces hit by the tropical depression must ensure safety of reservoirs and sea dykes.

Recently, floods and landslides have seriously impacted millions of people, inundated and damaged nearly 300,000 houses in the central region./.

Lawmakers scheduled to vote on resolution on HCM City’s urban administration

Lawmakers are expected to vote on a resolution on urban administration model in Ho Chi Minh City on November 16 morning, during the ongoing 10th session of the 14th National Assembly.

Deputies then will discuss a draft Law on Road Transport (amended), which comprises six chapters and 102 clauses regulating road infrastructure, vehicles, transportation, and State management on road transport.

In the afternoon, the legislature will vote on the draft law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, and discuss a draft Law on Road Traffic Order and Safety.

The issuance of the law on Road Traffic Order and Safety is expected to create a breakthrough in ensuring traffic safety and order as well as safety for people, and reducing traffic jams in line with protecting the environment.

Vietnam exerts great efforts to complete ASEAN Chairmanship: Deputy FM

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee Nguyen Quoc Dung (first from left) at the press conference (Photo: VNA)



Vietnam has made great efforts and innovations to fulfill its ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed on November 15.

Dung told the press after the closing of the 37th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits, held virtually from November 12-15, that since the beginning of this year when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Vietnam had to change its set plans for the ASEAN Chairmanship.

The country has proven that nothing is impossible although the pandemic is now the top concern of all countries, the official said.

The 37th Summit and Related Summits wrapped up successfully, he said, noting that Vietnam has completed its set targets as all of its initiatives have been adopted by regional leaders.

According to the deputy minister, other participating countries spoke highly of the theme selected for ASEAN this year – “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN” that has become a “brand” of the bloc.

Such initiatives like the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and the Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases have received the enthusiastic response from other countries.

Notably, Vietnam’s initiative to focus on fighting the pandemic and supporting people and businesses amidst the disease has been strongly supported by the countries.

The deputy minister said the summits took place smoothly in terms of organisation, logistics and information.

The regional leaders discussed and agreed on a range of drastic and practical measures to boost cooperation to respond to and overcome challenges facing the bloc, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and to make the ASEAN Community become stronger and truly become a nucleus of the region with people always put at the centre.

With more than 20 high-level meetings, the leaders adopted and signed more than 80 documents, a record number in an ASEAN Year so far, Dung added.

Vietnam enters 75th day free of COVID-19 community infections

As of 6am on November 16, Vietnam went through 75 consecutive days without COVID-19 infections in the community, according to the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

No new cases were recorded in the past 12 hours, leaving the national tally at 1,281. Of the cases, 691 were locally infected. As many as 1,103 patients have recovered, and the fatalities stood at 35.

Among those still under treatment, 14 tested negative once for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, 12 twice and 13 thrice. No patients were in critical conditions.

A total of 15,549 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or returning from pandemic-hit areas are under health monitoring nationwide.

In order to live safely with the COVID-19 pandemic in the ‘new normal’, the Ministry of Health recommended people to continue serious following its 5K message, namely Khau trang (facemask) – Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration)./.

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)

PM meets sponsors of 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for sponsors of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Hanoi on November 15, during which he appreciated the important contributions of sponsors to the success of the events.

He lauded them for pioneering in support for the country’s major events despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsors’ engagement in the summits has helped reduce burden on the State budget and helped themselves introduce their brands to international friends, he said.

He expressed his hope that the sponsors will continue having good and competent services and products so as to contribute more to the country.

The Prime Minister took this occasion to affirm the Government will create all favourable conditions for businesses to grow further, especially when Vietnam just signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.

French Ambassador presents digitised design of Bao Dai Palace to Lam Dong province

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery (right) presents the digitalised design of Bao Dai Palace to Lam Dong provincial authorities.

Lam Dong provincial People’s Committee held a ceremony in Da Lat city on November 13 to receive the digitised design of Bao Dai Palace presented by French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery.

According to the French Ambassador, the digitised copy of the design was a gift from Jacques Veysseyre, the son of French architect Paul Veysseyre.

On the occasion, Veysseyre’s family also presented a portrait of the designer.

At the handover ceremony, the two sides affirmed that the digitised design of the Bao Dai King’s Palace is a valuable document for Da Lat city in particular and Lam Dong in general.

The event will further deepen cooperation between Lam Dong province and theb French Embassy in Vietnam and its partners, contributing to preserving and promoting cultural heritage value, especially French architectural heritage in Da Lat city.

According to Dr. Pham S, Vice Chairman of Lam Dong provincial People’s Committee, Da Lat now possesses around 2,000 villas built in a European style, from the first half of the twentieth century.

The province has always focused on the preservation and promotion of the value of these unique architectural works. The Bao Dai Palace (also called Palace No.3) is one of the most famous such works in Da Lat.

Over 340 Vietnamese citizens flown home from Taiwan

More than 340 Vietnamese citizens were brought home safely from Taiwan (China) on two flights of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on November 15.

The flights were arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the Vietnamese economic–cultural office in Taipei, Vietnam Airlines and Taiwanese authorities.

The passengers included the elderly, those with underlying conditions or had suffered from occupational accidents, pregnant women, workers with expired labour contracts, students who finished their studies and others in extremely disadvantaged circumstances.

The Vietnamese economic–cultural office in Taipei sent staff to the airport to assist them with boarding procedures.

In-flight safety and preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic were rigorously enforced to protect the passengers’ health and prevent the spread of the disease.

All passengers and crew members received medical check-ups and were sent to quarantine in line with regulations upon arrival at Da Nang airport in the central city of the same name.

The repatriation of Vietnamese citizens in disadvantaged circumstances abroad will continue to be conducted in line with citizens’ wishes, the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine capacity in Vietnam.

Thai, Singaporean PMs highly evaluate signing of RCEP

Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong welcomed the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement at the virtual 4th RCEP Summit held on November 15.

According to Thai government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri, Prayut expressed his delight to acknowledge the conclusion of negotiations on the RCEP Agreement and to witness the signing of this historic free trade agreement. 

There have been tremendous challenges faced by the RCEP signatories during the negotiations due to the different levels of economic development and sensitivities while the recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused further difficulties. 

Nevertheless, all RCEP countries have worked together tirelessly to overcome these challenges, he affirmed.

The RCEP agreement is not only the largest free trade agreement in the world but it is also characterised by its quality and standards, as well as its positive impact towards upgrading competitiveness and increasing economic benefits for all members. 

Once coming into force, the Thai PM believed that the pact will create a conducive and attractive business environment for investment from global partners. 

In turn, this will help all members to possess the capacity and resilience to manage future economic challenges while helping them to strongly recover from the impact of the ongoing pandemic. 

Furthermore, the agreement will enhance the strategic value of ASEAN and the RCEP region and will also act as a catalyst in driving the global economy towards more free and open trade while strengthening the multilateral trading system. Subsequently, the region and its people will be able to reap the resulting economic benefits that are inclusive and sustainable.

The Thai PM witnessed the signing of the RCEP agreement between representatives of 15 member countries. Thailand was represented by Deputy PM and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

In his remarks, Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong called the signing of the agreement “a major step forward” at a time when multilateralism is losing ground, and global growth is slowing.

It signals the countries’ collective commitment to maintaining open and connected supply chains, and to promoting freer trade and closer interdependence especially in the face of COVID-19 when countries are turning inwards and are under protectionist pressures, he added.

Lee also noted that the diversity of the participating RCEP countries shows how economies at different stages of development can come together and contribute to each other's development, as well as to the multilateral trading system.

The diversity and the strong links that the participating countries have with the US, Europe and the rest of the world, also reflects the inclusiveness and openness of the agreement, he added.

The Singaporean PM also expressed hope that India will be able to join the RCEP in the future so that the agreement will fully reflect the emerging patterns of integration and regional cooperation in Asia.

The pact, which was first proposed in 2012, loops in 10 ASEAN economies along with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

They make up nearly a third of the world's population and account for 30 percent of global gross domestic product.

Thai PM proposes three areas for UN to assist ASEAN

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha proposed three areas which the United Nations (UN) can support ASEAN in addressing the unfinished business and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while addressing the 11th ASEAN-UN Summit held via videoconference on November 15.

According to the PM, the UN has been the key pillar in maintaining peace, promoting development, and tackling problems for the well-being of over 7 billion people worldwide throughout the past 75 years.

He commended the UN Secretary-General’s active role in reforming the UN to be stronger in order to respond to non-traditional threats, including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly making COVID-19 vaccines and medicines as global public goods.

The three areas he proposed include refocusing and reprioritising areas of cooperation by focusing on strengthening human security so that ASEAN remains resilient in responding to emergencies and challenges, providing opportunities by encouraging volunteerism within the ASEAN Community so that the general public participate in localising sustainable development and building ownership, and developing partnership by supporting robust partnership with a shared responsibility.

The PM also reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to multilateralism, universal principles, international cooperation, and its determination to work with ASEAN member states and the UN closely and actively.

ASEAN 2020: Russia ready to boost cooperation in epidemiology

The Asia-Pacific region has a very high rate of COVID-19 infections and Russia stands ready to share experience in the fight against the pandemic, President Vladimir Putin has said.

Addressing the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on November 14, Putin noted that the Asia-Pacific region has over 20 million coronavirus patients, which makes up almost half – 43.7 percent of the total number of infected people in the world

As early as 2016, Russia put forward an initiative of developing anti-infection cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, he said, adding that its implementation allowed the region to establish coordination between epidemiological agencies, arrange experience and information exchanges, and start training specialists in this field.

“An advanced training programme was launched for epidemiologists from the Asia-Pacific region at a centre in Vladivostok, Russia. The operation of the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine (ACMM) set up in Bangkok with Russia’s active assistance is also very useful. In May, the Centre hosted a command-staff exercise on fighting the pandemic which engaged defence representatives of the ASEAN nations and dialogue partners as well as World Health Organisation experts,” he said.

“The Russian side is open to further active joint work on the epidemiology track. We have much to offer in terms of scientific, clinical and production experience in fighting infections,” Putin said.

“We are ready to provide our partners with Russian test systems, reagents for coronavirus diagnostics, including free of charge. As of now over a million tests have been provided to over 40 countries,” the President added.

Regarding the digitisation of the economy, he said Russia now ranks seventh in the world today in terms of people’s involvement in the digital economy. A large number of services and support instruments for citizens have already been transferred into an online format.

Russia welcomed the important and timely initiative of smart cities proposed two years ago by Singapore, which stipulated the application of advanced urban technologies in the Asia-Pacific nations, he said, adding that Russia could offer its own technological know-hows in this area.

TV music show celebrates national Teachers Day

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
A special TV music show in celebration of Vietnamese Teachers Day, November 20, will air on HCM City Television (HTV) on Sunday. Singers and dancers will perform songs about teachers and students. — Photo courtesy of the producer 

A special TV music show in celebration of Vietnamese Teachers Day on November 20 will air on HCM City Television (HTV) this weekend.

The show, called Còn Mãi Áo Trắng Ngày Tan Trường (Schooltime Forever), will feature songs and dances in praise of teachers and their contributions. 

Famous singers Bảo Anh, Khởi My and Vũ Cát Tường, winners of music competitions for students in HCM City in the 2000s, will open the 60-minute concert. 

They will perform songs about teachers and students written by Nguyến Văn Chung, Hoàng Tuấn and Hải Đăng. The songs were top hits and helped shoot them to fame. 

Works about girls and boys, friendship and teenage relationships will also be included. 

Songs and dances about girls and boys, friendship and teenage relationships will be featured in the TV music show Còn Mãi Áo Trắng Ngày Tan Trường (Schooltime Forever). — Photo courtesy of the producer 
 Pop idol Bảo Anh will sing Safe and Sound and Một Ngày Em Sẽ (One Day I Will), two of her hits released in 2010. 

“Every year, when Teachers Day comes, I am excited and happy. My performance at the show Còn Mãi Áo Trắng Ngày Tan Trường will represent my love for Vietnamese teachers,” said Anh, winner of Tiếng Ca Học Đường 2009, a music contest for students launched by HTV in co-operation with the HCM City Department of Education and Training. 

“I began singing when I was at school. My teachers and classmates gave support to me. I’ll never forget my schooltime,” said the 28-year-old, who has spent hours working in HTV’s studio to prepare for her performance. 

Anh and many former students around the country often visit their old school on Teachers’ Day every year. They offer flowers and greeting cards to teachers and share their experiences with younger generations. 

The show Còn Mãi Áo Trắng Ngày Tan Trường will include reports and talks with teachers from famous schools in HCM City, such as Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai High School and Lê Quý Đôn Secondary and High Schools, which have a long and storied history. Images of the schools, their teachers and students will also be captured. 

The show will air at 9am on HTV9 channel on Sunday, November 15. 

KOTO to open new restaurant in Tây Hồ

KOTO will open a new restaurant in Hà Nội this weekend, months after the social enterprise's first restaurant was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KOTO Villa will open its doors this Sunday in Tây Hồ District, offering a range of both local and international cuisine with a heavy focus on brunch, cooked by KOTO’s best trainee chefs under the guidance of head chef, Phong Le Duc, who has worked with KOTO for a decade.

The social enterprise has operated in the capital since 1999 and provides at-risk and disadvantaged youths top tier hospitality training. Many of the graduates have gone on to become executive and sous chefs, hotel and resort general managers, business owners as well as university graduates.

After 20 years of operating beside Hà Nội's Temple of Literature, KOTO’s first restaurant closed in March of this year as the tourist clientele disappeared due to COVID-19.

“It’s been a long journey but the support from the local and international community has made it all possible. We’re excited to bring our mission to Tây Hồ,” said KOTO founder Jimmy Pham.

Second-year KOTO student, Ha Nguyen, will be waiting tables when KOTO Villa opens.

“I’m really nervous but most of all, I just feel ready and very excited,” she said.

“I come from a very poor village in the mountains. My family were all farmers and we never made very much money. I never thought I would have the opportunity to work in any restaurant, especially not a beautiful restaurant like this. It doesn’t feel real yet!”

KOTO Villa is located at the intersection of 31 Xuân Diệu and Alley 35 Đặng Thai Mai. 

Cà Mau expands cultivation of giant river prawns, rice in same rice fields

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Cà Mau has expanded the area for cultivating both giant river prawns and rice in the same rice fields, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Last year, the province, which is the country’s largest shrimp producer, had about 18,000ha devoted to breeding giant river prawns and growing rice, up 2.7 per cent against 2018.

The farming model produces an output of 250 kilogrammes of giant river prawns per hectare a crop and more than 4.3 tonnes of rice per hectare a crop.

Farmers can earn a profit of VNĐ15 – 20 million (US$650 - 870) per hectare a crop under the model.

The model produces clean rice and giant river prawns with few chemicals.

However, the breeding of giant river prawns in rice fields is on small scale and scattered. The investment in infrastructure for giant river prawn – rice farming is also not sufficient, according to the department.

In the province, giant river prawns are bred in rice fields, orchard ditches and ponds with other aquatic species.

Châu Công Bằng, deputy director of the department, said the province could expand the area for both giant river prawns and rice in the same rice fields to 50,000ha in 2025 if the zoning and investing in infrastructure for the model goes well.

The model adapts to climate change and contributes to sustainable, environmentally friendly agricultural production.

The province’s rice has high nutrient value, especially rice farmed under the shrimp – rice farming model.

Cà Mau is one of the delta’s provinces with large giant prawn farming areas. The province has favourable natural conditions for aquaculture and has many shrimp farming models like semi intensive farming, intensive farming, advanced extensive farming, shrimp – rice farming and shrimp forest farming.

The province has 45,000ha of shrimp – rice farming and 30,000ha of shrimp – forest farming. The farming areas breed giant river prawns, black tiger shrimp and white-legged shrimp.

Most shrimp – rice farming areas are in the districts of Trần Văn Thời, Thới Bình and U Minh.

Rice fields in the districts have suitable conditions as the shrimp grow well and eat mostly natural food and little processed food, according to the department.

For rice cultivation under the giant river prawn – rice farming model, the province has instructed farmers to grow saltwater-resistant rice varieties with short-term maturity like OM2517, ST24, OM5451, Cà Mau 1 and Cà Mau 3.

The province has encouraged farmers to link up with companies to secure outlets for their output, and has provided advanced farming techniques to farmers to improve yield and quality.

The province has also developed a model to breed male giant river prawns in rice fields under Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) to improve yield and quality.–

Ninh Thuận reports solid achievements in building new-style rural areas

The south-central province of Ninh Thuận has done well in developing its rural areas after 10 years of implementing the national programme for building new-style rural areas, according to its steering committee for the programme.

The annual income of rural people has climbed to nearly VNĐ26 million (US$1,120) now, 2.16 times the 2011 figure.

Of its 47 rural communes, 26 meet all 19 criteria set under the programme.

The criteria are related to planning, infrastructure, transport, irrigation, electricity, income, education and training, healthcare, environment, food safety, social security, culture and others.  

Ninh Phước District became the first district to be acknowledged last year.

Quảng Đại Hoàng, an ethnic Chăm living in the district’s Phước Hậu Commune, said: “The material and spiritual lives of people have been enhanced.”

Most houses here have been repaired or built well, he said.

Most roads in Ninh Phước are paved with cement or asphalt and all rural roads are lit at night, he said.

The district mobilised more than VNĐ2.3 trillion ($98.9 million) from various sources, including VNĐ425 billion from the people, for the programme in the last 10 years.

Đặng Kim Cương, director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the programme has been implemented widely, and rural people have actively participated in it.

They have contributed labour, money and land for building infrastructure facilities and participate in monitoring, managing and using infrastructure, thus improving the quality of implementation of the programme, he said.

The province has boosted the use of advanced farming techniques and created favourable conditions for farmers, co-operatives and companies to develop linkages in producing and consuming key agricultural products like grape, jujube, asparagus, goats, sheep, and cows.

Though it has the least rainfall in the country, it is the largest producer of grape, jujube, goat, and sheep. It has more than 138,000 goats and nearly 130,000 sheep, according to the department.

Its livestock are prized for their quality because they eat mostly natural food, grazing in pastures.

To help farmers improve their incomes from raising goats and sheep, the province has increasingly piloted and taught them new techniques, improved strains and zoned pastures for them.

Its goats have a collective brand name while its sheep have been geographical indication certification from the National Office of Intellectual Property.

Association contributions

The province’s associations, unions and organisations have carried out many movements to achieve the programme criteria.

They have also carried out many advocacy activities to increase awareness of the benefits of the programme in rural areas.

Besides teaching farmers about advanced farming techniques and efficient models, the province Farmers Association has also organised many activities and contests to attract farmers to the programme.

A contest called “Farmers compete together in combination with building new style-rural areas” has attracted farmers to the programme and increased their awareness of building new-style rural areas.

The province’s Women’s Union at all levels has carried out various activities and movements to implement the programme criteria such as income, transport, environment and food safety, and social security.

They have taught vocational skills to more than 6,600 members and found jobs for more than 7,680 since 2010.

Besides helping members find jobs, the province’s Women’s Union has also organised courses in legal regulations such as the Law on Marriage and Family, the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control, the Law on Gender Equality and others to ensure social security and protect the environment.

Nguyễn Thị Ngân Hạnh, deputy chairwoman of the province Women’s Union, said: “During the implementation of the programme the province’s women’s unions at all levels combined the advocacy of the programme with implementation.”

They were determined that advocacy should be done regularly and long term, she added.

Targets

In 2021- 25 the province plans to mobilise VNĐ4.2 trillion ($180 million) from various sources to implement the programme on building new – style rural areas.

The province aims to have three entire districts and 75 per cent of its communes recognised as new-style rural areas by 2025, and increase the rural income 1.8 fold from 2020.

To meet the targets, the province will focus on teaching vocational skills and providing jobs and speed up the restructure of agriculture production towards adapting to climate change.

 

It will teach farmers advanced techniques and develop linkages between farmers and companies to ensure outlets for the former’s produce.

It will focus on implementing policies to develop rural services and restructuring the rural economy towards increasing the proportion of services and industry and reducing the rate of agriculture. 

HCM City sets new poverty standards for 2021-2025 period

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
The Board for Raising Funds for Poor People in HCM City's District 11 provides assistance to poor households in the district.

The HCM City Sustainable Poverty Reduction Steering Board has submitted its new multi-dimensional poverty standards for the 2021-2025 period to the city People's Committee.

The poverty threshold for the 2021-2025 will be less than VNĐ36 million (US$1,553) in annual income per capita, compared to the current threshold of VNĐ28 million (US$1,207) per capita, according to Lê Minh Tấn, head of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs and head of the board.

The multi-dimensional measures of poverty will include five dimensions: annual income, health, education, employment, and decent living conditions. There will be 10 indicators in the five dimensions of poverty.

The current five dimensions of poverty include education, health, employment and social insurance, living conditions, and information access with 11 indicators.

The city began using multi-dimensional poverty measures in 2016 in an aim to achieve sustainable poverty reduction and access to basic social services by the poor.  

Tấn said that changes in the poverty dimensional measures would help define the rights of the poor who need assistance from the city. It will also help assess the influence of the city’s policies on beneficiaries.

Households with three deprivation indicators will be classified under multi-dimensional measures.

In the dimension based on income, households would have income of VNĐ36 million ($1,553) per capita each year or less than VNĐ36 million. The proportion of dependent members in these households would account for 50 per cent.

In the dimension of poverty based on decent living conditions, the housing area of each member in one household would be less than 6 square metres if they live in the city’s inner districts and 10 square metres in the city’s outlying districts.

With the new multi-dimensional poverty standards, the city expects to have 52,000 poor households, accounting for 2.4 per cent of the city’s total population and 38,000 households near the poverty threshold with income from VNĐ36 million to VNĐ46 million per capita each year.

The city currently has 3,700 poor households, accounting for 0.13 per cent of the city’s total population and 15,000 households near the poverty line.

Relevant ministries and agencies are developing the national multi-dimensional poverty standards for the 2021-25 period to submit to the Prime Minister for approval.

The poverty rate nationwide is expected to decrease to less than 3 per cent by the end of this year from 3.75 per cent in 2019.

More than VNĐ10 trillion from the State budget this year was earmarked for the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction.

As of June 30, loans from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies worth more than VNĐ18.6 trillion have been provided to 423,000 poor and near-poor households in the country. 

HCM City focuses on nursery schools in industrial parks, export processing zones

HCM City has seen the decrease in violence against children at small private nurseries in industrial parks and export processing zones thanks to a project to develop private small nurseries in 2015-20, Dương Anh Đức, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee, told a conference held to review the project on Thursday.

Besides the skills required to care for children, teachers at these nurseries were also trained in professional knowledge, he said.

Lý Thị Sương, the board’s deputy head, said the project’s steering board had provided teaching aids and toys to and installed cameras in 51 nurseries.

Small nurseries too were provided with technical assistance to improve quality, she added.

The project was carried out in 10 districts with industrial parks and export processing zones, where the number of children aged less than 36 months old going to nurseries was 32 per cent.

The cost was nearly VNĐ14 billion, with more than $9 billion coming from the city's budget and the rest from other sources.

Before the project began, 52.6 per cent of the total women workers at industrial parks and export processing zones had children aged less than six going to nurseries and kindergartens. 

But only 19 per cent of them had children in public kindergartens.  

In the coming time the city will continue to invest in building more public kindergartens at industrial parks and export processing zones to meet workers’ demands.

The city’s district authorities will strengthen inspection and close nurseries operating without licenses or not ensuring safety for children.

Trade unions in the city and its districts will encourage employers to subsidise the cost of sending their workers’ their children to kindergartens and nurseries.  

Nguyễn Thị Gái, chairwoman of the Trade Union at the city Department of Education and Training, said the city is carrying out a pre-school education development project for the 2021-25 period.

It aims to ensure 35 per cent of children aged one to three and 95 per cent of children aged four to five are sent to kindergartens and nurseries.

The rate of children going to private educational establishments will be more than 60 per cent by 2025.

The city is trying to have enough pre-school teachers by 2025, with 90 per cent of them graduating from colleges for training them.

The city has 1,352 kindergartens, 467 of them public ones and 885 of them private, and 14,931 large public and private nurseries and 1,739 small ones.

Vietnam to have surplus of 1.38 million men by 2026

The sex ratio at birth in Vietnam has increased in both urban and rural areas, which will lead to a surplus of approximately 1.38 million men by 2026, according to Doctor Mai Xuan Phuong, deputy director of the Department of Communication and Education under the Health Ministry.

The information was released at a seminar on gender imbalance at birth jointly held by the General Office for Population and Family Planning under the Ministry of Health, the Department of Health of Tra Vinh province and the Association of Tra Vinh Women on November 13.

Phuong noted that the growing gender imbalance at birth in recent years is forecast to continue to increase in the coming years.

The main causes of the gender imbalance at birth are due to the people’s preference for boys over girls, the abuse of scientific and technological advances to choose the gender of babies before birth, the pressure of population and birth reduction, and others.

The consequences of this situation will lead to an excess of men and shortage of women of marrying and childbearing age, causing inequality and gender violence while affecting the quality of life of individuals, families and society at large.

The health sector and political and social organisations in localities should strengthen communication work to raise people’s awareness about the consequences of preferringboys over girls and the selection of gender at birth in order to reduce gender imbalance, eliminate gender inequality and protect human rights.

According to the Tra Vinh Department of Health, the imbalance of births in Tra Vinh has tended to increase with 112.26 boys born for every 100 girls in 2019, the province therefore receiving encouragement to pay more attention to population and family planning work.

Seven poisoned by methadone mixed with alcohol , one dies

In October and November, seven people were poisoned by liquor mixed with industrial methadone, one of them succumbed to toxic.

Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital yesterday announced just in two months October and November, the infirmary admitted seven people suffering poisoning. One of them died while one suffered eye and brain damage.

Test results of liquor patients had taken have shown that the concentration of industrial Methanol is 20.21 percent whereas the concentration of food Ethanol in normal wine is 11.42 percent.

Administrations in localities where patients residing said that these men had drunken liquor in plastic containers called Ruou nep ( Sticky rice wine) made by a facility located in the Northern Province of Hung Yen.

Ministry proposes expansion of paid quarantine wards to admit 3,300people weekly

The Ministry of Transport has proposed people’s committees to expand paid quarantine wards to receive 3,300 people weekly. 

The Ministry suggested local administrations in the Northern Province of Quang Ninh, the Central City of Da Nang, the Central Province of Khanh Hoa and the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho to widen quarantine areas to admit 3,300 passengers returning from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (China) weekly.

According to the Ministry’s suggestion, above-mentioned localities need to review its quarantine wards and provide the Ministry with address, telephone and fees including transportation fee from airports to hotels, eating and testing cost.

The Ministry also wanted local administrators to work with hotel businesses to supply paid quarantine wards to reduce pressure on military’s quarantine areas.

As per the Ministry’s statistics, the number of arrivals in Vietnam weekly is around 3,300 in four airports Van Don, Da Nang, Cam Ranh and Can Tho in Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Can Tho respectively.

Vietnamese people returning from foreign countries must pay for accommodation and meal fees in hotels and quarantine wards following the regulations.

Hanoi to host 23 sport competitions in SEA Games 31

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
VIETNAM NEWS

Hanoi’s authorities have requested speedier preparations for hosting the SEA Games 31 and Para Games 11 in 2021 in the capital.

Hanoi will be a host of the opening and closing ceremony, and the competition of 23 sports out of a total of 36 sports to be held during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) and the 11th ASEAN Para Games (Para Games 11), according to the latest directive of the Standing Committee of the Hanoi Party Committee on November 12.

According the directive, the Hanoi Party Committee has requested speedier preparations for hosting the SEA Games 31 and Para Games 11 in 2021 in the city.

Specifically, the municipal Party Committee asked concerned agencies to focus on reviewing, building and upgrading sports facilities and complexes to ensure progress, quality and safety; renovating existing facilities; accelerating urban embellishment, mobilizing the people in ensuring social order and security and building the capital more elegant, civilized and modern.

According to the directive, facilities and equipment for training the city's athletes should be upgraded and their remunerations improved. The athletes attaining medals at SEA Games 31 and Para Games 11, and major national and international sporting events would be timely rewarded.

The Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports will select coaches and athletes with ethics, capabilities and qualifications to join the Vietnam Sports Delegation.

The City’s Commission for Communication and Education is in charge of advising the municipal Party Committee to disseminate the directive to the public and report the results to the Standing Committee of the municipal Party Committee.

Hanoi exhibition opens to celebrate victory of “aerial Dien Bien Phu battle”

The event is organized to celebrate the 48th anniversary of victory of “aerial Dien Bien Phu battle."

An exhibition entitled "For an ever-blue sky" will take place on November 23 at Hoa Lo Prison, Hanoi's downtown, to commemorate the 48th anniversary of victory of “aerial Dien Bien Phu battle” (December 1972) over the American air raids on Hanoi during the Vietnam War in late 1972.

The exhibition consists of two thematic areas which are  “Airspace protection” and "Connecting the ocean’s costs", featuring artifacts and documents related to the historical victory, including a Ho Chi Minh Badge that was awarded to pilot Nguyen Van Coc for downing an American jet fighter in 1967; journalist Nguyen Xuan Mai’s handbook with notes of interviews between foreign journalists and American pilots who were detained at Hoa Lo Prison in 1967; a khaki shirt, a blood pressure monitor and a stethoscope, which were worn and used by doctor Do Doan Dai, former director of Bach Mai Hospital, to examine the hospitalized victims of the US’s  bombing in Hanoi in 1972; the novel "Darkness at noon" by British novelist Arthur Koestler- presented by eight US pilot prisoners as a gift to the Vietnamese wardens on the occasion of their release in 1973.

Some other interesting artifacts related to American pilots who used to be imprisoned at the Hoa Lo prison will also be on display.

Attendees of the exhibition’s opening ceremony will have the chance to talk to Vietnamese veteran pilots who shot down many "US war planes in Hanoi’s sky"; meet the prison guards who oversaw American pilots at “Hanoi Hilton”– en American euphemism of Hoa Lo prison; and communicate with local live witnesses who had gone through the fierce air battle. 

Visitors to Hoa Lo prison could also tour the premise with audio guide; ring the bell made from a US bomb; wear a straw hat and hide themselves in an A-shaped bomb shelter. These exciting experiences will help recalling memories among older people who went through the wartime, as well as help younger generations to understand more about the war. 

Hanoi promotes reading culture  

A wide range of reading activities have been organized in Hanoi, effectively spreading and developing the reading culture in the city.

In almost four years of implementing the government’s "Fostering a reading culture in the community until 2020, with an orientation to 2030" project, Hanoi has held a wide range of activities for spreading and developing the reading culture in the city. 

Over the years, the city has been actively expanding the library network in districts and wards; adding more books to libraries at communities or association branches of the visually impaired people; sending library vans to educational institutions in the suburbs to improve people’s access to books.

Especially, the Hanoi Book Day has become an annual cultural activity, attracting a lot of appreciation and interest from the community and gaining positive outcomes. It not only honors the reading culture, contributes to the creation of a ‘learning society’, but also serves as an opportunity for Hanoians to improve their understanding of the rich culture of the millenary capital.

The city has enriched the content and diversified the forms of publications, the databases of all the city’s libraries are updated on a regular basis. Under the project of producing audio books for the visually impaired, seventy-six book titles (19,347 pages) and 304 audio CDs, 79 catalogs of books, including children's books have been released. A full-text database of 1,841 book titles (164,760 pages) has been built.

The city also expands international cooperation in publishing. From 2016 up to now, Hanoi has been a regular participant at the Frankfurt International Book Fair (Germany) with the Hanoi-Vietnam book booth. In addition, the Hanoi Book Fair has been increasingly expanded with the growing participation of publishers.

In terms of direction and key tasks in the next stage, Hanoi will continue disseminating about the meaning and importance of fostering a reading culture. Besides maintaining the traditional libraries, the city will build up digital libraries for modern readers.

Vietnam to conduct anti-coronavirus drill for upcoming National Party Congress

The Army's General Department of Logistics has been asked to ensure medical supplies, equipment, drugs and chemicals to prevent a possible pandemic outbreak.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense together with a number of ministerial level agencies will conduct a drill on Covid-19 infection prevention and control in preparation for the upcoming National Party Congress, set to convene early next year, according to Deputy Defense Minister Tran Don.

Deputy Defense Minister Tran Don on November 12 said that the General Department of Logistics under the People's Army of Vietnam will form a working group to prepare for the drill.

The deputy defense minister informed that the rehearsal will take place in December. 

Lieutenant General Tran Don requested the army units to maintain effective measures to prevent and fight against the pandemic in the time ahead to ensure safety and well perform defense tasks.

He also assigned specialized units to promote international cooperation, vaccine research, and anti-Covid-19 drug production. The General Department of Logistics has been asked to ensure medical supplies, equipment, drugs and chemicals to prevent a possible pandemic outbreak.

For his part, the Chief of Military Medical Department Nguyen Xuan Kien said that so far the army has tested nearly 21,000 people for Covid-19, deployed 174 isolation locations, and sent more than 138,000 people to concentrated quarantine camps.

Earlier, Hanoi has coordinated with the army to conduct safety screening measures on all passengers coming from the epidemic-hit countries right at Noi Bai International Airport on the outskirts of the city. Thereby, the city has promptly detected suspicious cases for isolation.

Construction of Hanoi's waste treatment plants lags behind schedule

The waste-to-energy plants will contribute greatly to Hanoi's garbage treatment.

Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen The Hung has recently inspected the construction progress of some waste treatment plant projects in the city which is behind schedule.

According to a report issued after the inspection, investors have failed to fulfill their commitments made to the municipal government.

Mr. Nguyen The Hung asked the investor of the Nam Son waste treatment plant, Thien Y Environment Energy Joint Stock Company, to speed up the works and put the project into operation in January 2021. Once in service, the plant is expected to reduce waste pollution that affects locals' lives.

Another project, the Seraphin waste treatment plant, whose investor is the Seraphin Green Environment Technology Joint Stock Company, is a key project of the city. The project’s investment procedures have been completed, and the municipal People's Committee has supported investors to start the construction in the first quarter of 2021 and complete the project within 20 months.

On the waste to energy project in Xuan Son, Hanoi’s government requested the investor, a consortium of T&T Group and Hitachi Zosen Corporation, to deploy it in November 2020. If the investor fails to do it, the Hanoi People's Committee will terminate the investment contract.

Mr. Hung requested departments to check the legal compliance of the project of household waste gasification into electricity in Xuan Son and Chau Can waste treatment plant in Phu Xuyen district and report to the municipal People's Committee by December 15, 2020.

The Hanoi city government also requested Chuong My district People's Committee to study the optimum road alignment to Dong Ke waste-to-energy plant in the district to reduce its the impact on locals by November 20.

Over the past years, Hanoi’s authorities have planned locations in Ta Thanh Oai commune (Thanh Tri district); Nam Son and Bac Son (Soc Son district); Dong Ke (Chuong My district); Chau Can (Phu Xuyen district) to build waste-to-energy plants.

The waste-to-energy plants are supposed to contribute greatly to the city’s garbage treatment. The application of the technology can reduce the volume of waste buried in landfills which have become unsustainable due to the leakage of hazardous elements and leachate.

Protocol for entry, medical surveillance and quarantine may be issued soon

The Ministry of Health said Friday it may release a Protocol on entry, medical surveillance and quarantine for incoming passengers onboard commercial flights this week.

The move aims to tighten preventive measures and ensure safety for incoming passengers amid swift and complicated evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world.

As of 6:00 am on Friday, there were nearly 52.5 million infections, including 1.3 million deaths in 219 countries and territories, according to the ministry.

In the first two weeks of November, 6.5 million people contracted the virus, prompting many countries to tighten management measures, the ministry added.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam has gone 72 days without a single community transmission case of Covid-19, with total number of patients standing at 1,256.

The Southeast Asian country has conducted 1,339,465 Realtime RT-PCR tests so far.

Effective management of the pandemic has allowed Viet Nam to arrange nearly 200 rescue flights to bring home citizens stranded abroad due to Covid-19.

Viet Nam also allows experts, managers, investors, skilled workers and their family members to return to work in the country but borders remain shut for foreign tourists.

In September, the Government decided to resume international commercial flights to six destinations, namely Guangzhou (China), Taiwan (China), Seoul (the Republic of Korea), and Tokyo (Japan) from September 15, and to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Vientiane (Laos) from September 22./.

Singaporean PM suggests three areas to boost EAS cooperation

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong put forth three areas to boost cooperation among countries during the virtual 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) hosted by Vietnam on November 14.

They are to promote vaccine multilateralism, share technology and support each other's economic recovery.

He reiterated that no single country can tackle this crisis alone, adding that to mount an effective collective response, countries have to work together, in a conducive strategic environment and through a regional architecture that fosters peace and stability.

Lee noted that a working vaccine is part of the solution towards a recovery, and most of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates come from EAS members.

He expressed his hope that the countries will all work together to procure an equitable, steady and affordable supply of treatment and vaccines.

Furthermore, the Singaporean PM called on EAS members to share innovative technological solutions for contact tracing and improving testing.

He also encouraged members to work together to mitigate the longer-term global economic impact of the pandemic on their people and businesses.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), to be signed on November 15, will spur business confidence and recovery through enhanced market access, comprehensive trade facilitative measures and expanded commitments in areas like e-commerce and intellectual property rights, he noted.

Lee also welcomed the progress made in ASEAN-China negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

The PM said regional stakeholders should continue working together to maintain peace and stability in the region, stressing that maritime disputes should be resolved in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law.

The EAS brings together 10 ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

Indonesia proposes ASEAN+3 countries set up joint health security mechanism

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called on ASEAN Plus Three countries, including 10 ASEAN members and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, to establish a health security mechanism to deal with future pandemics.

Addressing the 23rd ASEAN Plus Three Summit held online on November 14, Widodo shared his views on efforts to strengthen health recovery mechanisms, with the focus on developing health infrastructure at a national level.

He stressed the need for increased investment to ensure the access to health services with reasonable prices so as to improve the community’s recovery capacity and readiness in public health in emergencies.

The Indonesian leader proposed building digital health technology as part of public health infrastructure, adding that the current pandemic shows the importance of a strong regional health system in medical equipment, medicine, materials and vaccines.

He also stressed the necessity to set up a regional comprehensive framework in response to the pandemic and highlighted the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

Thailand stands ready to promote regional peace, stability: PM

VIETNAM NEWS NOVEMBER 16 (updated hourly)
At the 15th East Asian Summit (Photo: www.thaigov.go.th)



Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Thailand Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha has affirmed that Thailand stands ready to play a constructive role in promoting an environment that is conducive to peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability in the region.

Prayut made the pledge while delivering a statement via a teleconference at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) with leaders and representatives from 18 countries.

According to Thai government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri, in his statement, the Thai PM underlined that as the ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation, Thailand aims to continue to promote the complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the concrete implementation of the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability.

In the context of COVID-19, Prayut proposed that ASEAN and the East Asian countries re-prioritise cooperation by focusing on important and urgent matters, particularly public health security, economic resilience and human capital development by utilising various mechanisms and centers.

ASEAN and the East Asian countries should also push for the development of a digital ecosystem and promotion of a common digital standard in order to connect the regional economy in an integrated manner.

At the same time, cybersecurity should also be enhanced to prevent the negative impact of technology. He suggested that ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre may be utilised in promoting capability of personnel in this area in the region.

In closing, the Thai PM reaffirmed Thailand’s commitment to work with all countries in the region to promote a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.

Thailand is also closely monitoring the recent developments in the East Sea, and wishes to see the region as a sea of peace, stability, prosperity and sustainability, he added./.

Singaporean PM urges Australia, NZ to work with ASEAN in easing travel restrictions

Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong has called on Australia and New Zealand to work with ASEAN countries in easing travel restrictions.

Lee made the call while attending the virtual second ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit and ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on November 14, saying this will facilitate the resumption of economic activities as the COVID-19 pandemic stabilises.

During the ASEAN-Australia Summit, he affirmed that the reopening of borders in a safe and calibrated manner will facilitate the resumption of economic activities, and is an important confidence marker for the countries’ people and businesses.

Lee also spoke highly of Australia’s support for ASEAN's pandemic response and recovery plans, such as by contributing to the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, other initiatives in health security, economic recovery and stability, and through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II.

During the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit, he said countries have to work together to ensure an equitable, effective and sustainable supply of treatment and vaccines, in a joint effort to enable a new normal to emerge from the pandemic.

The Singaporean PM noted that Singapore, Australia and New Zealand support "vaccine multilateralism" and are Friends of the Covax Facility.

He also called for cooperation in the development and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, and in economic recovery by upholding a rules-based system with open supply chains.

In his speech, Lee said the ASEAN-New Zealand relationship has progressed steadily over the past 45 years.

The two have been strategic partners since 2015. They have successfully implemented all action lines in the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action of 2016 to 2020, and have finalised the Plan of Action for the next five years.

Lee called on all countries to press on with the General Review of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the most comprehensive FTA ASEAN has concluded to date and which can be "a pathfinder for future FTAs".

On economic recovery, he reaffirmed Singapore's commitment to abide by "a free, open and rules-based multilateral trading system and maintain supply chain connectivity", citing the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) slated for November 15 as a major step forward./.

Australian minister highlights significance of RCEP amid global trade uncertainty

Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham has recently emphasised the importance of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which is expected to be signed on November 15 between 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), New Zealand and Australia.

“It's a hugely symbolically significant agreement, coming at a time of global trade uncertainty,” he told local media. “It says in a really powerful and tangible way that our region, which has been the driver of global economic growth, is still committed to the principles of trade, openness and ambition”.

Birmingham said the RCEP is the world's largest free-trade deal, representing 30 percent of global GDP and 30 percent of the world's population. It is the first time major trading partners like China, the RoK, Japan and Australia have joined together in one agreement, reducing the reliance on a patchwork of bilateral deals.

He added that Australian businesses in the services sector will benefit most from the deal, which will recognise qualifications and licensing practices, while allowing them to operate remotely and set up offices throughout the RCEP region.

The sector includes education, healthcare, accountants, engineering and legal service providers, and employs four out of five Australians while accounting for up to 70 percent of Australia's GDP.

“It will make it much easier for what is a huge part of Australia's economy, to trade overseas,” Birmingham said. “Given the rise of the middle-income groups across many RCEP countries, there is a rising demand for more of those safe, high-quality health, education and other services that Australia is well placed to deliver”.

The deal will also strengthen supply chains with common rules of origin and establish new e-commerce rules across the region, he added.

 
 

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