The central city of Da Nang has been named by the Eden Strategy Institute as one of 30 cities to have launched unique and creative smart city initiatives.

In its “2020/2021 Top 50 Smart City Governments” publication released on March 31, the institute also celebrated Da Nang as one of the five outstanding smart cities in Asia-Pacific, the Da Nang Department of Information and Communications said on April 2.

Da Nang is the only Vietnamese city honoured in this second edition of the publication, according to the department.

The study focuses specifically on the role of city governments as a key driver of smart city development. Beyond the efficacy and outcomes of technological solutions, the study hopes to shed light on the importance of strategy, leadership, people-centricity, policies, ecosystems, incentives, and talent in determining the success and effectiveness of technologies deployed in smart cities.

More than 230 cities were evaluated and examined by the Eden Strategy Institute, and city governments were invited to a Call for Proposals to submit supporting details, reports, and outcomes.

The 2020/2021 edition also highlights a regional showcase of emerging smart cities not featured in the Top 50 rankings. “We also wanted to celebrate other smart cities across regions who launched unique and creative smart city initiatives, even though they were not part of the Top 50,” said Calvin Chu Yee Ming, Managing Partner at the Eden Strategy Institute.

The Eden Strategy Institute is a strategy consulting firm specialising in Business System Innovation. It approaches the global issues of urbanisation, disease, poverty, illiteracy, and exploitation by formulating strategies, models, processes, and products that help clients create, realise, and sustain their economic impact.

Da Nang is poised to complete the building of a smart city connected with networks of smart cities in the country and in the ASEAN region by 2030.

During 2021-2025, it will ready itself in terms of infrastructure and databases for the full implementation of a smart city and connections with the ASEAN smart city network. The city will continue to promote the use of technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution in enterprises and society.

Da Nang was the first city in Vietnam to launch an e-Government system in 2014 and transferred it to 16 cities and provinces in 2016./.

UNFPA provides more equipment to better reproductive health in central Vietnam

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam held a ceremony on April 2 to hand over additional medical equipment to Vietnam to ensure the continuous delivery of quality sexual and reproductive health services in provinces affected by floods and landslides.

To date, a total of 1,071 fetal heart monitors worth 130,000 USD have been provided by the UNFPA to help protect the lives of Vietnamese pregnant women.

The medical devices are being distributed to commune medical centres and district hospitals in central and Central Highlands localities.

Naomi Kitahara, Chief Representative of UNFPA in Vietnam, said the medical equipment and supplies will complement the efforts of the Vietnamese Government in responding to natural disasters and ensuring that essential services for pregnant women, newborns and children, especially migrant workers and ethnic minorities, are not disrupted.

Director of the Maternal and Child Health Department under the Health Ministry Nguyen Duc Vinh appreciated the UNFPA’s assistance, and affirmed that protecting all people’s health is the top priority of the Vietnamese Government, particularly amidst natural disasters.

Coastal areas in central Vietnam suffered record floods with long-lasting downpours and continuous storms from October 2020, leaving 200 deaths. At least 7.7 million locals in the region, including 92,075 pregnant women, have been affected.

UNFPA is working to ensure that the supply of modern contraceptives and reproductive health commodities is maintained and that midwives and other health personnel have the personal protective equipment they need to stay safe. Sexual and reproductive health is a human right. UNFPA calls upon its partners to support our COVID-19 response to procure and deliver essential supplies for people who are most at risk such as pregnant women and women at risk of gender-based violence.

UNFPA is the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency, working towards a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled./.

No new COVID-19 cases reported on April 3 morning

Vietnam has no new COVID-19 cases to report in the past 12 hours to 6am on April 3, keeping the tally at 2,620, including 1,603 domestically-transmitted infections, the Ministry of Health said.

As many as 2,383 patients have recovered from the disease while the number of related fatalities is kept at 35.

Among those still under treatment, 38 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 15 others twice, and 28 thrice, according to the ministry’s Medical Service Administration.

There are 27,478 people who had close contact with confirmed cases or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit areas under quarantine at present.

So far, 52,091 people in Vietnam have been vaccinated against COVID-19./.

HCM City presents gifts to primary school in Champasak

Ho Chi Minh City on April 2 presented 590 million VND (25,653 USD) to Champasak Friendship Primary School in Laos's Champasak province to buy school equipment, according to the city Committee on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs.

The money will be used to buy 25 computer sets, 25 sets of tables and chairs, and one photocopy machine.

Besides, the committee also gifted the Vietnamese Association in Champasak 16 million VND worth of medicine, along with 10,000 medical masks to border guards in La Lay international border gate, and 2,500 notebooks to poor students in A Ngo commune of Dakrong district of the central Quang Tri province.

Addressing the ceremony to present the gifts in La Lay international border guard in Quang Tri, Tran Duc Hien, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs said that the gifts show the sentiments and attention of leaders and locals of the city to overseas Vietnamese in Laos, contributing to fostering the solidarity and friendship between people of Vietnam and Laos.

The Champasak Friendship Primary School was set up in 1978, becoming a symbol of the feeling of Vietnamese community in Laos towards their fatherland. Currently, the school has nearly 500 students, 50 percent of whom are Lao students who have learnt Vietnamese language from the first grade./.

Quang Ninh plans 88 tourism promotion activities in 2021

The northern province of Quang Ninh, home to the world heritage Ha Long Bay, plans to organise 88 events and programmes to promote local tourism, including 35 at provincial level and 53 at district and communal levels.

In the first phase until May, the locality will organise 31 events and programmes, 15 at provincial and 16 at local level, with a highlight being the Ha Long Culture-Tourism Week 2021.

In the second phase from June to the end of the year, the province will hold 57 events and programme, with highlights being the National Sea Kite Festival 2021, the Yen Tu – returning to Buddhism land in autumn 2021, and a Carnival programme in winter 2021.

Alongside, the province will conduct a number of activities to introduce its tourism products and destinations, while holding tourism promotion activities in other localities including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang and Quang Binh.

The province will focus on promoting spiritual, culinary, seas and island and cultural tourism as well as entertainment and resorts areas, along with offering discounts from 30-50 percent to visitors.

Director of the Quang Ninh Tourism Department Pham Ngoc Thuy said that this year, Quang Ninh tourism sector will continue to focus on luring domestic visitors, foster connectivity with other localities, call on the engagement of local travel firms to create unique and attractive products, and support local tourism firms.

Quang Ninh expects 10 million visitors in 2021, becoming the leading choice for Vietnamese and foreign tourists.

On April 2, the Halong Street Travel Fest No.2 opened in Ha Long city as part of the tourism promotion activities of Quang Ninh.

Themed “Heritage Spring Festival,” the event will last three days, introducing cuisine, art and folk games of different regions in the locality.

On April 3 night, a music festival will be held with the participation of rapper JustaTee, singers Phuong Ly and Duong Tran Nghia, and Cannes dancing team./.

Legislators discuss State President candidancy

Legislators of the 14th National Assembly (NA) on April 2 discussed a candidate list for the position of the State President in the 2021-2026 tenure as part of its ongoing 11th session in Hanoi. 

The list was presented by NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Earlier, the legislature approved the relief of Nguyen Xuan Phuc from the Prime Minister position for the 2016 – 2021 tenure.

By secret ballot, 446 of the 452 deputies present at the plenary sitting, equivalent to 92.92 percent of the total legislators, voted for the resolution on the relief, which will take effect when a new PM is elected.

Also on April 2, a resolution on relieving Nguyen Phu Trong from the post of State President for the 2016 – 2021 tenure was also adopted.

The resolution won over the support, via secret ballots, from 438 of out 440 deputies present at the plenary sitting, accounting for 91.25 percent of the total number of legislators. It will come into force as soon as a new State President is elected./.

Hanoi to spend US$4.9 million for lighting system at its iconic lake 

It is among the five public works of Hanoi to be embellished this year, along with the upgrading of road system.

The Hanoi People's Council has recently approved a budget of VND113 billion (US$4.9 million) for installing a lighting system at its iconic lake of Hoan Kiem.

The Turtle tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem lake in downtown Hanoi glitters at night. Photo: mapio.net
It is among the five public works of Hanoi to be embellished this year, along with the upgrading of road system.

The other four projects include the widening of two national highways and construction of a new road. The final one involves developing resettlement area in Soc Son district for the families living near the Soc Son Waste Treatment Complex, the city's largest, will be moved into.

Last year, the 1,452-meter embankment along Hoan Kiem lake was upgraded with dark green concrete slabs and its walking paths were paved with granite.

Chairman of the City People's Council Nguyen Ngoc Tuan said that all projects play an important role in the city’s economic and tourism development, reducing traffic congestion and ensuring local residents’ safety and health.

Ho Van Nga, head of the Economic and Budget Committee under the Hanoi People's Council, stressed the importance of prompt site clearance for the projects to be completed on schedule.

HCMC to look into non-state resources for green urban space

HCMC authorities are looking towards public resources and other forms of suitable funding for the construction and expansion of public parks to manage the use of existing green space for the benefit of local people.

According to city officials, at least 150 hectares of parkland and 10 hectares of public green space were to be added to the urban planning for 2020-2025, with the aim to reach 1 square meter of green space per person in 2030.

In reality, however, green areas in the city are being encroached upon and existing public parks exploited for wrong purposes.

For example, the front of Le Thi Rieng Culture Park in District 10, one of the city’s largest public parks and home to several historic monuments, has been rented out to storefront owners and used as a parking space by park management.

The same can be said about Gia Phu Park in Tan Phu district, one of the few leafy public spaces in the area. “I really enjoy strolling in the park, but now I rarely set foot in there since every inch of solid pavement is taken up by small vendors with their makeshift stalls”, said a local elderly citizen.

Furthermore, park managers have also allowed the tiling of large stretches in the park to justify multiple forms of public entertainment and utilities. The most notable example of this is Van Lang Park in District 5, where decade-old trees are dying off as a result of limited soil areas.

According to statistics, there are currently 510 hectares of green space out of the 11,400 hectares reserved for public parks in HCMC, which does not meet the standards set by the Ministry of Construction that requires over 7 square meters of green space per person for HCMC specifically.

Out of this 510 hectares, only a few parks are managed by government agencies while the rest, especially large recreational hubs like Suoi Tien and Dam Sen theme parks and the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, are run by private entities, leading to the misuse of green space.

More alarmingly, green spaces only take up 49.41 percent of the rapidly growing Thu Duc City and suburban districts with no prominent public park.

Urban planning experts have suggested that the city look into building new public parks with non-government resources to better control and evenly distribute green spaces in HCMC.

Authorities in Mekong Delta proactively reserve fresh water for dry season

At this time last year, farmers in the Mekong Delta were utterly in distress because of drought. This year, authorities have adopted different solutions to reserve fresh water in canals and rivers facilitating the waterway transport.

Rivers and canals in the southernmost province of Ca Mau are now full of water in the arid weather ; therefore, people can still transport commodities by boats. Farmer Lam Viet Khoi in Tran Van Thoi District shared that this year, the weather is better than the prior year; farmers are eager as they harvested bumper crop. He added canals in his orchard are full of water for irrigation while water for drinking and eating is stored in large potter’s jars.

Since the Mekong Delta suffered the worst drought for these recent years, it became necessary to build the freshwater reservoir. In the middle of March this year, residents in Kien Giang Province’s coastal areas started to use water in the fresh water dam with a capacity of 125 cubic meters per hour built by the center for rural safe water and environment sanitation. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa in An Minh District eagerly said locals get access to fresh water for daily activities and production despite hot spell.

Authorities in Tien Giang Province has built dam to prevent salinity intrusion and fresh water reservoir in Nguyen Tan Thanh canal in Chau Thanh District to ensure the supply of water for 128,250 hectares of paddy fields for water plants such as Dong Tam and Binh Duc in Tien Giang Province and Nhi Thanh in Long An Province to meet daily activities for roughly 1.1 million residents in Tien Giang and Long An provinces.

Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Director of the center for rural safe water and environment sanitation in Ca Mau Province, said that 20 water supply stations with each designed capacity of 16,760 cubic meters a day plus another 200 water supply stations managed by commune people’s committees are being operated to provide water for residents continuously during the arid season. Last but not least, Ca Mau authorities also installed water taps in public places so that people enjoy fresh water easily. Almost all owners of orchard and ornamental plants in Cho Lach District in Ben Tre Province had purchased large water reservoir for preparation to cope with the drought.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast approximately 79,700 residents in the Mekong Delta suffered fresh water shortage in the dry season in 2021; subsequently, authorities in the region have adopted various solutions to ensure the supply of water.

The Department for Crop Production said that farmers in the region have not grown trees in 27,000 hectares in areas where locals hardly access to water supply. Moreover, farmers had sowed earlier to avoid salinity intrusion; thankfully, they harvested a bumper crop.

Additionally, farmers switched to grow vegetables and fruits on 18,808 hectares and 4,133 hectares respectively while they feed aquatic animals in 4,700 hectares of land to cut water use.

Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Cho Lach District in Ben Tre Bui Thanh Liem said last year’s lack of freshwater and drought damaged 8,500 hectares of fruit orchards. This year, people have taken proactive measures against drought earlier including dredging canals, purchase of water reservoirs and switching to planting vegetables instead rice.

Nha Trang shuts down a series of illegally built shops

Authorities in Nha Trang City will close seven shops that are illegally opened to sell goods to tourists.

Nha Trang People's Committee said on April 1 that Phuoc Dong Commune People's Committee has worked with the police and urban management department to shut down the shops opened along Nguyen Tat Thanh Street. Forced removal will be applied by April 15 for constructions that would cost less than VND1bn (USD43,100) to destroy.

The seven illegally built shops are the May Man Silk Shop, Xin Chao Cafe, Bui To Hung Store, Vietnam Specialties Shop, Cao Hung Restaurant, Only Love Jewellery and the motel behind Phuc La Commercial and Services Company. Those stores are 1,000-2,000 square metres. Their target customers are international tourists.

In May 2019, Khanh Hoa Province People's Committee ordered a forced removal of the stores. On April 13, 2020, the Vice Chairman of Khanh Hoa People's Committee Le Huu Hoang asked Nha Trang People's Committee to have a detailed plan to remove the stores by June 30, 2020. The plan was approved in September 2020.

According to the plan, the owners of the stores must pay VND600m to VND2bn in dismantling costs. However, the forced removal plan has not been implemented and most stores still ignored the order. Only May Man Silk Shop's owner dismantled the store voluntarily.

Phuoc Dong Commune People's Committee said the plan couldn't be carried out because the Khanh Hoa Police Department hasn't approved the security planning, including the forced removal plan.

Golf tournament to spark tourism in central region

The central city of Đà Nẵng will host the Danang FantastiCity Open golf tournament at the Bà Nà Hills Golf Club and the Montgomerie Links on April 30 and May 1, respectively.

Competitors will play at night at the Bà Nà Hills Golf Club, which features 18 tour-calibre holes, and is the first golf course in Việt Nam allowing night access.

Vice director of Đà Nẵng’s tourism department, Nguyễn Xuân Bình, said the tournament will be a starting event in series of ‘Race to Amazing Central Coast – the Essence of Việt Nam’ in central coastal destinations this summer.

Bình said the golf event is part of a tourism promotion programme organised by travel agencies and tourism authorities of the four central provinces of Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam and Đà Nẵng between March and August.

He said golfers can play at other courses during their golf trip in the central region including BRG Da Nang golf clubs, Vinpearl golf Nam Hội An, Hoiana Shore club and Laguna golf Lăng Cô.

The city will hold the Golf Week Đà Nẵng Festival on August 20-26, during which a new ambassador of Vietnamese golf will be introduced, according to the city’s tourism department.

Đà Nẵng and the neighbouring provinces of Quảng Nam, Quảng Bình and Thừa Thiên-Huế are popular sites in central Việt Nam, with beautiful golf courses designed by Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald, including the Đà Nẵng Golf Club, the Bà Nà Hills Golf Club, Montgomerie Links, and the Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club. 

HCMC proposes additional 6,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine

The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee proposed an additional 6,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine to organize the first immunization program for groups at high risk of contracting Covid-19.

An additional 6,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be used to inject airport workers with the aim to prevent them from contracting the disease; therefore, it helps to increase protection for all workers in Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

In related news, Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc signed a dispatch to the National Steering Board for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on some proposals for the prevention and control of Covid-19 pandemic in the southern metropolis.

According to the dispatch, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Defense were proposed bringing Vietnamese citizens to suitable centralized quarantine facilities in a bid to increase the effectiveness of pandemic prevention and control, to ensure the socio-economic activities in HCMC and the maximum safety in centralized facilities as well as to prevent cross-infections in centralized quarantine areas.

Specifically, HCMC proposes to receive a maximum of 350 beds for each quarantine session in the military centralized facilities because staffs would be sent to paid centralized quarantine at tourist accommodations with 4,000 beds for supervision and management.

According to the People's Committee of HCMC, the military currently has set up two centralized facilities with a total capacity of 378 beds for Vietnamese citizens returning to the country on rescue flights.

HCMC introduces missions to develop its innovative startup ecosystem
The innovative startup ecosystem in Ho Chi Minh City is oriented into becoming a regional-scaled one. Therefore, it needs much support from both the municipal authorities and the community. HCMC’s leaders have introduce a special support project to fulfill this aim.

The supporting project to develop HCMC’s innovative startup ecosystem hopes to turn this system into a strong foundation for innovative activities in the city. This, in turn, will lead to performance boost, product quality improvement, and competitiveness increase for all businesses sited in HCMC.

In addition, the ecosystem is expected to foster the manufacturing of the city’s staple products and increase the contribution of Total Factor Productivity (TFP) to the annual GRDP to reach around 40 percent.

The HCMC Department of Science and Technology has introduced 8 missions to successfully complete this supporting project:

·         Develop suitable infrastructure and supporting services for the innovative startup ecosystem;

·         Increase the capability of all members in this ecosystem and form sub-ecosystems for each key field;

·         Aid businesses in developing their own products and launching them in the market;

·         Aid small- and medium-scaled businesses to boost their performance and product quality via innovation;

·         Foster innovation in the public sector;

·         Promote international partnerships in innovative startup activities;

·         Propagandize innovative startup to the general public;

·         Evaluate the effectiveness of each mission in the project.

Ta Quang Buu Prize 2021 has four nominations

The National Foundation for Science and Technology Development- the standing agency of the Ta Quang Buu Prize said that this year’s award has four nominations in the fields of earth science and biological agriculture.
Particularly, the list of main two nominees for Ta Quang Buu Prize 2021 includes Associate Professor-Dr. Ngo Duc Thanh from the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and Dr. Do Huu Hoang from Institute of Oceanography, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.

Meanwhile, two nominees for the young scientist category of Ta Quang Buu Prize 2021 are Dr. Bui Minh Tuan from the University of Science, Vietnam National University in Hanoi and Dr. Hoang Thanh Tung from Institute for Scientific Research of the Central Highland, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.

Ta Quang Buu Prize is an annual award launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology to encourage and honor scientists with their outstanding achievement in basic scientific research in all fields of natural sciences and technology.

VN promotes transparency, independence, critical thinking in scientific works
Highly aware about the importance of science and technology in Industry 4.0, Vietnam is trying its best to pour more resources into scientific activities. Obviously, policy and institution improvement in accordance with the market mechanism and international practices, risk acceptance, voluntarism removal, and considering scientific research as an administrative process are the main factors to turn science-technology into a driving force for socio-economic development.

Praising impressive breakthroughs in management mechanisms for scientific-technological activities lately, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam commented that there still exists passive state among certain scientists as they wait to be assigned research topics, leading to time waste.

More importantly, since the risk acceptance rate in scientific study is rather low, many complicated regulations have been introduced, greatly discouraging researchers.

To amend the situation, the Deputy Prime Minister suggested that there must be transparency in all stages of a research process, from considering topics, conducting the research, collecting counter-arguments, and interpreting results. This criterion must be applied to scientific-technological activities in educational institutes, research centers, local areas via close monitoring of the community as well as scientists in the fields.

Another proposal is for the Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) to more effectively use financial and other resources, to introduce practical research topics, to consider universities as a knowledge center which directly receives research orders and funding from MOST.

So far, the national innovative system with businesses as its core has been activated, achieving significant results. Yet in general, Vietnam’s preparedness for production in Industry 4.0 is still quite weak. The country needs stronger mechanisms for economic accounting, tax incentives, capital, resources allocation so that businesses can realize profits in their investment into science-technology and human resources training.

The human resources in science-technology need improvements as well. Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat shared that there must be suitable mechanisms and policies to promote the development of the scientific staff, with great respect for the special feature of this innovative work.

He added that the management task must focus more on fostering research for feasible solutions to tackle current issues in the community. Also, the quality and impact index of scientific articles, the commercialization possibility of research results must be considered carefully. New policies and innovative models should be encouraged to pilot in real life.

The Minister suggested an increase in public-private partnership between the State and businesses and a rise in state budget to carry out scientific research, develop advanced technologies in the nation. Besides transparency, independence, and critical thinking in choosing suitable research topics, autonomy should be promoted among research doers, along with corresponding responsibilities, under the monitoring of the community.

Investments into scientific activities should based on healthy competitiveness with a clear focus, performance evaluation index. Research topic selection procedures should be flexible, simple. Financial settlement should go along with international practices and minimize administrative burdens for scientists.

Possession of research results with state budget should be given to the research leaders so that they are more enthusiastic in finishing the process and commercializing those results.

Women footballers to face off in national cup in April

The National Women’s Football Cup will be held from April 20 to May 8 in Hà Nội.

The third edition of the tournament will feature seven teams vying for a purse of VNĐ100 million (US$4300) for the champions along with other prizes for teams and individuals.

They will compete in two groups in a round-robin format at Thanh Trì Stadium and the Việt Nam Youth Football Centre, both in Hà Nội.

The four best teams will advance to the semi-finals.

Following the draw on Wednesday, the opening match will be between hosts Hà Nội 1 Watabe and Thái Nguyên T&T of Group A at Thanh Trì.

“Together with the national championship, the national cup is an important event of the year for the women players,” said Nguyễn Thanh Hà, head of the organising board.

“After years of organising, the event has made remarkable improvement in quality and competitiveness with strong support from the VFF and sponsors. Many talented players have been identified from this tournament. They have been and will continue to contribute efforts to strengthen the national squads who are expected to grab more successes in the future,” she said.

Last year, HCM City beat Việt Nam Coal and Minerals 2-0 in the final to lift their first silverware. 

Vietnam welcomes expansion of RoK investment: PM

Vietnam always pays attention to creating favourable conditions for businesses and investors from the Republic of Korea (RoK) to expand their activities in the nation, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, noting that the bilateral ties are getting stronger thanks to the presence of Korean conglomerates like Samsung, SK, Hanwha, Deawoo, and Lotte in Vietnam.

Phuc made his statement while hosting RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh-wan, and representatives of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam (KORCHAM) and five leading high-tech groups from the RoK in Hanoi on April 2.

Highlighting strong growth of the Vietnam – RoK relations across politics, defence-security, and economy-trade-investment in the past time, PM Phuc stated the Vietnamese Government is delighted to see a large number of Korean firms investing effectively in Vietnam.

The Government leader said the foreign-invested sector is an important part of the Vietnamese economy, adding that its long-term growth as well as cooperation and healthy competition with other economic sectors are encouraged and facilitated.

The attraction of investment, particularly from high-tech groups, obtains a special attention from the Vietnamese Government, Phuc underscored.

He took the occasion to thank the RoK Embassy for its efforts to contribute to the development of the bilateral relations so far.

For his part, Park said the RoK highly values Vietnam’s successful control of COVID-19 and realisation of its dual goals of containing the pandemic and promoting socio-economic development. Korean firms in Vietnam are happy with the nation sustaining its high growth rate amid the global spread of the coronavirus.

The ambassador said as the two countries will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year, the RoK wishes to organise high-level delegation exchanges and pushes the ties to new heights.

The RoK also wants to run flights to bring Korean entrepreneurs to Vietnam for business cooperation promotion and hopes the Vietnamese Government will facilitate these flights in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The diplomat said with delight that on April 2, the RoK continued to receive Vietnamese workers to work in the country. In 2021, its Government passed a quota to receive 8,000 to 10,000 Vietnamese workers.

In response, the PM affirmed the Vietnamese Government always creates the best conditions possible for the RoK community in Vietnam and asked for similar support from the RoK Government for the Vietnamese community in the country.

Participating RoK groups expressed their gratitude toward the Vietnamese Government’s assistance for their operations and wished for further support in the coming time to expand their investment in the nation./.

German journalist lauds Vietnam’s COVID-19 fight

Vietnam’s clear and drastic measures in COVID-19-related quarantine and contact tracing have help it overcome the third wave of outbreaks in less than two months, according to an article by German journalist Johannes Giesler, which was recently published on the news site Yahoo Nachrichten.

The author noted Vietnam has to date recorded about 2,500 infections and 35 deaths. He said to attain these positive figures, Vietnam has implemented a zero COVID-19 strategy aiming to end the pandemic rather than just controlling it.

He said, to cut the number of infections, Vietnam has imposed strict restrictions for weeks without any exceptions. When local life comes back to normal, it is easier for contact tracing work to be done, he added.

According to the article, Vietnam’s success in repelling the second wave of outbreaks helped it to react more quickly and effectively to the third wave which began at the end of January.
Giesler also cited a study from the Oxford University that attributed Vietnam’s success to having a strong health sector, a decisive Government, and an active prevention strategy, which is based on large-scale COVID-19 testing and strict quarantine and contact tracing.

The article pointed out that the Vietnamese Governments can quickly pass anti-epidemic decisions in just a few days, while in other countries it can take weeks. Its initial measures, such as wearing a mask in public, adjusting social life, and restricting mobility were even in place before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in in the nation. Not long after that, Vietnam closed schools, restricted entry from China and the Schengen region, and canceled a series of major events. Such early and drastic decisions were made when Vietnam recorded only five cases, it stressed.

In addition, Vietnamese people have been well aware of the importance of sanitary and epidemiological measures, while the country has the infrastructure available for bulk isolation. As of the end of last year, 10.2 million people in Vietnam had practiced quarantine, of which about 50 percent did it in public facilities.

According to the author, in Vietnam, there were hardly any debates about herd immunity, rallies where people did not wear masks and kept minimal distance, or doubts about the effectiveness of vaccination or sanitary and epidemiological measures./.

Leaders relieved from President, PM positions

The National Assembly on April 2 approved the relief of Nguyen Phu Trong from the post of State President and Nguyen Xuan Phuc from the post of Prime Minister for the 2016 – 2021 tenure. 

A resolution on relieving Nguyen Phu Trong from the post of State Presidentwon over the support, via secret ballots, from 438 of out 440 deputies present at the plenary sitting, accounting for 91.25 percent of the total number of legislators. It will come into force as soon as a new State President is elected.

On behalf of the NA, Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue presented flowers to Nguyen Phu Trong.

Hue said for more than two years, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has concurrently held the position of State President. Despite heavy duties, with a high sense of responsibility towards the Party and people, Trong has exerted all-out efforts to excellently fulfill the duties of the State President.

Earlier same day, the National Assembly approved the relief of Nguyen Xuan Phuc from the Prime Minister position for the 2016 – 2021 tenure.

By secret ballot, 446 or 92.92 percent of the 452 deputies present at the plenary sitting voted for the resolution on the relief, which will take effect when a new PM is elected.

On behalf of the parliament, Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue thanked Nguyen Xuan Phuc for the latter’s performance over the past years./.

Greetings conveyed to Lao Public Security force on 60th founding anniversary

Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung and head of the representative office in Laos of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security Major General Hoang Quang Huong visited the headquarters of Laos’ Ministry of Public Security to convey their greetings on the Lao ministry's 60th founding anniversary.

The ambassador congratulated the public security force of Laos for its glorious achievements over the last 60 years, expressing his delight at the close relationship between the force and its Vietnamese counterpart to protect the Parties, administrations, and people of both countries.

He underlined that the outcomes of the effective cooperation in all areas between the two public security forces are shown not only in the bilateral framework but also in regional and international forums.

Hung believes that, in the time to come, the two forces will continue to improve the efficiency of ties, contributing to reinforcing the friendship between the two countries.

On behalf of the Lao Ministry of Public Security, Deputy Minister Lieutenant General Kongthong Phongvichit said that over the last 60 years of formation and development, the Lao public security force has received wholehearted support from the Party, State, and people of Vietnam in general and the country’s Ministry of Public Security in particular. This help has played an important role in assisting the Lao public security force to complete all tasks assigned by the Party, State, and people, he said.

The Deputy Minister added that the two sides have organised various joint activities on the occasion of the 60th founding anniversary of the Lao Public Security force and the 60th anniversary of Vietnam sending public security experts to Laos, manifesting the close ties between the forces and the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam.

He added that he hopes the two public security forces will further foster their partnership in the future, to ensure security, safety, and order in both countries, facilitating economic growth.

The Lao public security force is willing to cooperate with its Vietnamese counterpart to protect the peaceful and stable lives of the Vietnamese and Lao people and to promote the relationship between the two countries, he affirmed.

A photo exhibition was also held to introduce the cooperation between the public security forces of Vietnam and Laos over the last six decades./.

HCM City: Meeting held to greet Protestants at Easter

The Government Committee for Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Home Affairs and authorities in HCM City hosted a meeting with local Protestant leaders on April 2 as they celebrated Easter.

Addressing the meeting, Vu Chien Thang, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in charge of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, praised the dignitaries for guiding Protestant followers to respect the law, make practical contributions to social welfare and COVID-19 prevention and control, and join hands to develop the country.

He believes the religious community will continue to promote a spirit of patriotism and national solidarity in contributing to the cause of national development.

The Deputy Minister took the occasion to call on Protestant dignitaries and followers to actively participate in the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels for the 2021-2026 tenure.

Extending his greetings, Duong Anh Duc, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, thanked the group for their contributions to building and developing the city and especially to recent pandemic prevention and control efforts, and hoped they will continue their good work in the future.

HCM City will always respect and create the best condition possible for the conduct of religious activities in line with the law, he said, and stands ready to listen to and tackle difficulties facing Evangelical Churches.

Participating dignitaries extended their gratitude for the Government and municipal administration’s attention to and facilitation of the growth of Evangelical Churches.

The religious community has donated close to 2 billion VND and medical supplies, rice, and working days to the country’s fight against COVID-19./.

Cambodia’s Acting Senate President congratulates Vietnam’s newly-elected NA Chairman

Acting President of the Cambodian Senate Sim Ka on April 2 sent a congratulatory letter to Politburo member Vuong Dinh Hue over his election as Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) and National Election Council.

“On behalf of members of the Senate of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I would like to express my delight and give you my warmest greetings as you were elected as Chairman of the National Assembly and the National Election Council of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the 14th legislature’s 11th session on March 31, 2021,” Sim Ka wrote.

He affirmed his willingness to cooperate closely with the Vietnamese NA and its new Chairman for the progress and prosperity between the two countries and their peoples, and continue nurturing the fine relationship between legislative agencies and cooperating with and supporting each other in the region and in the international arena.

Hue, who is also Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee, won approval votes of all 473 deputies present at the sitting, or 98.54 percent of the total number of NA deputies at the 11th sitting of the 14th legislature./.

NA approves resolution on relieving Nguyen Phu Trong from State Presidency

A resolution on relieving Nguyen Phu Trong from the post of State President for the 2016 – 2021 tenure was approved by the National Assembly (NA) on April 2 afternoon.

The resolution won over the support, via secret ballots, from 438 of out 440 deputies present at the plenary sitting, accounting for 91.25 percent of the total number of legislators. It will come into force as soon as a new State President is elected.

On behalf of the NA, Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue presented flowers to Nguyen Phu Trong.

Hue said for more than two years, the Party General Secretary has concurrently held the position of State President. Despite heavy duties, with a high sense of responsibility towards the Party and people, Trong has exerted all-out efforts to excellently fulfill the duties of the State President.

Hue offered thanks and wished the Party General Secretary good health so as to join the Politburo, the Secretariat and the Party Central Committee to lead the Party, State, and people on the path to fast and sustainable development.

During the afternoon sitting, the NA Standing Committee also presented a nomination list for the election of the State Presidency, which was later discussed in groups by the deputies.

Nguyen Phu Trong, born on April 14, 1944, is General Secretary of the Party Central Committee in the 11th, 12th and 13th tenures; Politburo member from the 8th to 13th tenures; member of the Politburo’s Standing Board from August 1999 to April 2001; and member of the Party Central Committee in the 7th (from January 1994), 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th tenures.

He has served as State President since October 2018. He was Chairman of the 11th and 12th-tenure National Assembly. He is Secretary of the Central Military Commission, head of the Central Steering Committee on Corruption Prevention and Control, and deputy to the National Assembly in the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th tenures./.

Vinh Long officials extend Easter wishes to Catholics, Protestants

Officials of the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long visited the palace of the Catholic Diocese of Vinh Long and the local representative board of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South) on April 1 to offer Easter greetings.

Wishing Catholics and Protestants a happy Easter, Standing Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council Bui Van Nghiem informed about the province’s socio-economic development, attributing common achievements partly to contributions by local Catholics and Protestants.

He expressed his hope that with their positions, role, and prestige, the Catholic and Protestant dignitaries will continue joining local authorities to encourage followers to continue complying with the Party’s guidelines and the State’s policies and laws and taking part in emulation campaigns, thus helping with the fast and sustainable development of Vinh Long.

In particular, as the elections of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils for the 2021 – 2026 tenure are on the horizon, he called for the active participation of local religious followers so as to ensure the success of the elections.

On behalf of Catholics, Bishop Huynh Van Hai of the Diocese of Vinh Long highlighted the significance of the Easter and thanked the provincial authorities’ sentiment towards local Catholic followers.

Meanwhile, Pastor Nguyen Hoang Phuc, head of the Vinh Long representative board of the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), appreciated the provincial leaders’ attention to and support for the Church, especially in religious practices.

Protestants are always aware of their responsibilities towards local socio-economic development, he affirmed, adding that dignitaries have been encouraging followers to fulfill citizens’ obligations and actively participate in the coming elections./.

Cambodian PM thanks Vietnam for support in fight against COVID-19

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on April 2 sent a thank-you letter to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for Vietnam’s donation of 200,000 USD to support Cambodia’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the letter, PM Hun Sen expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Government and people for the donation of 200,000 USD to assist Cambodia in combating COVID-19 as well as PM Phuc’s kind words of encouragement in his letter dated March 31.

“This generous contribution amid Cambodia’s third community outbreak of COVID-19 demonstrates Vietnam’s spirit of good neighbourliness towards Cambodia in times of need,” he wrote.

The Cambodian PM also commended Vietnam in successfully containing the outbreak of COVID-19 and reaffirmed Cambodia’s commitment to working closely with Vietnam in overcoming this unprecedented global crisis.

He reassured that Cambodia continues to treat all foreigners, including the people of Vietnamese origin, the same way as his country does with Cambodian citizens in the protection against the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The PM also expressed his appreciation to the Vietnamese Government for providing good treatment to the Cambodian community in Vietnam during this difficult time.

Earlier, empowered by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung on April 1 presented the token of the donation worth 200,000 USD to Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Chay Navuth to support the Cambodian Government and people in the fight against COVID-19.

In April last year, the Vietnamese Government presented an aid package to Cambodia worth over 7 billion VND (303,500 USD) that included personal protective clothing, face masks, and COVID-19 test kits./.

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