Prime Minister Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet and a high-ranking delegation of Cambodia arrived in Hanoi on December 11 morning, starting a two-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of PM Pham Minh Chinh.
Welcoming the delegation at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi were Minister - Chairman of the Government Office Tran Van Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet, and Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyen Huy Tang.
The Cambodian delegation includes Deputy PM and First Vice President of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Sun Chanthol, Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sok Chenda Sophea, and many other ministers.
Oanh wins, secures PB at Techcombank HCM City International Marathon 2023
Nguyen Thi Oanh won and set a new personal best at the sixth Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon 2023 on December 10.
Kenyan Edwin Kiptoo Yebei wins the men's full marathon of the Techcombank HCM City International Marathon 2023 on December 10.
Oanh originally planned to skip one of the nation's largest running events as she wanted to give it all to defend her title at the Vietnam International Half Marathon on January 1 in Hanoi.
However, the multiple SEA Games champion changed her mind when she found out about the strong international runners who would be among more than 15,000 marathoners in the city.
Oanh and title favourite Chemutai Immaculate from Uganda distanced themselves at the beginning and were close together for almost all of the race. But 4km from the finish, Oanh decided to sprint and left Immaculate, who won the second Hanoi Techcombank Marathon in September, to power on to the finish.
Oanh wrapped up the race in a time of 2hr 46.27min to top the podium, about 4min faster than her former record.
Chemutai was second on 2:47.47, followed by former SEA Games bronze medallist Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa on 2:50.49.
On the men's side, Kenyan Edwin Kiptoo Yebei and Joshua Kemboi Kipsang took the top two positions with times of 2:27.31 and 2:29.33, respectively.
Vietnamese Nguyen Van Lai was third on 2:33.07.
For the half marathon, SEA Games 3,000m steeplechase winner Nguyen Trung Cuong and Bui Thi Thu Ha both of the hosts secured top positions with achievements of 1:11.18 and 1:29.59.
Additionally, in the 10km race, Vietnamese Nguyen Anh Tri and Le Thi Kim Phuong claimed first places for men and women. In the 5km category, Nguyen Duy Sang and Le Thi Cam Nhung excelled to take gold medals.
The annual marathon received high appreciation from not only runners but also visitors during the three-day event. The running enabled them to explore the vibrant and dynamic HCM City through routes spanning through five districts and Thu Duc City, encompassing 17 historically and culturally significant landmarks such as Notre-Dame Cathedral, the City Post Office, the City People's Committee Building, the Saigon Opera House, and the Ba Son Bridge. The tournament served as a successful highlight, concluding the week-long Ho Chi Minh City tourism week.
The race ensured a professional and international standard as the marathon and half marathon courses received official certification from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
Transport ministry accelerates disbursement of $3.9b budget for 2023
The Ministry of Transport has committed to increasing disbursement of public investment capital in a bid to speed up and ensure progress and quality of projects.
The ministry will also propose specific and feasible solutions to tackle problems and shortcomings for some build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects.
According to Deputy Minister Nguyễn Danh Huy, the total disbursement plan for 2023 is about VNĐ95 trillion (US$3.92 billion), of which VNĐ94 trillion is for this year's plan and VNĐ1 trillion is the remaining of 2022’s plan.
Specifically, from the beginning of the year, the ministry has disbursed about VNĐ71.2 trillion ($2.93 billion) including VNĐ4,075 billion of foreign capital and VNĐ67,125 billion of domestic capital, reaching 75.6 per cent of the plan assigned by the Prime Minister.
These results were thanks to the efforts of investors and project management units (PMUs) in co-ordinating and providing maximum support to the contractors in project acceptance and payment work, said Huy.
To speed up progress and ensure the quality of projects, the ministry has issued many documents instructing investors, PMUs and contractors to update implementation progress in detail to set up effective management and administration plans and solutions for specific projects and construction of bridges, underground tunnels, culverts and reinforce slopes in accordance with the roadbed construction progress and ensuring traffic safety and environmental protection.
Regarding management and operation of expressways, the ministry has urgently poured money into smart traffic systems, building rest stops and installing weighing stations as well as starting to mull toll collection plans.
In addition, the ministry has approved in principle three component projects of the North-South Expressway including Diễn Châu-Bãi Vọt, Nha Trang-Cam Lâm and Cam Lâm-Vĩnh Hảo without exit barriers and mixed toll lanes.
The ministry has also asked relevant agencies to review and adjust existing regulations to increase the operating speed on some expressways to 90km per hour by the first quarter next year.
The Department for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN) and local departments of transport were asked to organise inspections for the operation of passenger transport businesses and bus stations.
The ministry has also strengthened field inspection work, closely co-ordinated with local authorities and sectors to promptly remove difficulties and obstacles, especially materials for the construction of key projects to accelerate project progress and ensure project quality.
Investors and PMUs were asked to focus on completing the remaining items of the projects of Mỹ Thuận Bridge 2 and Mỹ Thuận-Cần Thơ Highway to put into operation late this month.
In addition, the ministry has also promoted inspections and supervisions to grasp and promptly resolve arising problems, difficulties and obstacles in projects, as well as develop highway standards and complete proposals for specific, feasible solutions to handle problems and inadequacies for some BOT projects.
With the goal of disbursing at least 95 per cent as required by the Government, the ministry has drastically directed investors and PMUs to speed up project progress and disbursement of public investment capital.
Int’l organisations continue early action support for Vietnam to reduce disaster risks
Dao Thi Hong, chief representative of Catholic Relief Services, said that for the last more than 20 years, this organisation has coordinated closely with Vietnamese authorities to support disaster risk mitigation, emergency aid, and settlement of disaster consequences.
In particular, it has worked to help improve the capacity of taking early action and delivering emergency aid. In 2023 - 2024, it has been working with the Disaster and Dyke Management Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the People’s Committee of Dien Ban town, central Quang Nam province, to carry out a project on enhancing early action to effectively prevent natural disasters in the central region.
Hong expressed her hope that thanks to efforts by all the organisations present at the meeting, early action will become fruitful and help people and communities minimise losses caused by natural disasters. It will also be a practical move to implement the Ha Long Statement on the Strengthening of ASEAN Anticipatory Actions in Disaster Management, adopted at the 11th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management on October 12 this year.
Ramla Al Khalidi, Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, noted that UNDP and MARD have completed the building and installation of 24 early warning stations in coastal communes with high disaster risks in seven provinces, and they will give assistance in operating the stations in the first quarter of 2024.
UNDP and the Disaster and Dyke Management Authority have also completed a training course for representatives of seven central provinces on the use of drones to evaluate risks and damage and determine evacuation routes/locations, she noted.
Early warning for all must be the key to early action and resilience enhancement, Khalidi continued, adding that UNDP hopes all the partners in disaster risk reduction will join hands to support early warning-related activities.
MARD Deputy Minister Nguyen Hoang Hiep, head of the Disaster Risk Reduction Partnership, said early action is not only a global orientation and part of an ASEAN statement on disaster risk mitigation, but it is also a target for the near future of organisations, agencies, and sectors in the field of natural disaster prevention and control.
He called on each partner, with its resources and strength, to stand by side with people of disaster-hit areas to help them stay as most active as possible in the face of natural disasters.
At the meeting, participants reviewed the results in 2023 and discussed orientations for activities next year.
Multidimensional poverty rate to reduce to 2.93% at end of 2023
The multidimensional poverty rate in Vietnam will reduce to 2.93% in 2023, a drop of 1.1 percentage points compared to last year, according to the Government’s report on the implementation of the national programme on sustainable poverty reduction.
The ratio of poor households in poor districts and ethnic minority areas will also reduce by 5.62 and 3.2 percentage points to about 33% and 17.82% respectively by the end of this year.
Previously, the National Assembly and the Government set a target to reduce the ratio of poor households in 74 poor districts by 4-5 percentage points.
By the end of this year, nine additional communes are expected to be omitted from the list of specially disadvantaged communes.
The Government’s report said documents guiding the implementation of the national programme on sustainable poverty reduction and addressing difficulties and obstacles during the implementation process have been issued timely, creating the legal framework for the work.
However, there remain shortcomings in funding allocation in 2023, and coordination among ministries, central agencies and localities.
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung said that poverty reduction work faces difficulties due to insufficient staff, and modest application of information technology that results in limitations in data collection, reports and decision-making process.
Regarding measures to promote sustainable poverty reduction in the coming time, the Government will continue to push ministries, agencies and sectors, raise public awareness about the issue, and popularise effective poverty reduction models.
The Government coordinates with the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front to innovate, promote and improve the quality of the emulation movement "For the poor - leaving no one behind".
The Ministry of Planning and Investment was tasked with collecting petitions and complaints related to policies and laws on poverty reduction and consulting and coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to propose solutions to competent authorities.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was asked to draft guidance for developing vocational education in poor and disadvantaged areas, and complete the connection between the database on poverty reduction and the national database on population.
Chinese top leader’s Vietnam visit to create new momentum for bilateral ties: experts
The upcoming state visit to Vietnam by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and President of China Xi Jinping from December 12-13 has prompted Vietnamese experts and researchers to forecast the trip will create new momentum for the bilateral relations.
The visit will make a prominent landmark and be an important highlight on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Vietnam - China Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership, according to experts.
Nguyen Vinh Quang, Vice President of the Vietnam - China Friendship Association, former Minister Counsellor - Deputy Ambassador of Vietnam to China, highlighted that this will be the third Vietnam visit by Xi Jinping, more than one year after Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s historical visit to China in October 2022.
This will be the first time a Party General Secretary and President of China to visit Vietnam for three times, Quang noted, describing the activities as rare in such a close succession.
Trong’s visit was a success with the issuance of a 13-point joint statement, and agreements reached by the two Party chiefs that time have been carried out effectively, he said, expecting that Xi’s trip this time will produce good results, bringing about benefits to both countries’ people.
Sharing the same view, Dr. Dao Ngoc Bau, Deputy Director in charge of the Institute of International Relations under the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, stated that the Chinese top leader’s third visit to Vietnam shows that the relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples is developing very well, demonstrating the spirit of friendly neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability, and looking towards the future.
It will contribute to affirming and consolidating the friendship and long-standing tradition between the two countries and peoples, and will certainly open up new cooperative relations in the future and upgrade existing relationships in a deeper and more substantive direction, thus contributing to the development of the two countries, for peace and stability in the region and the world, said Bau.
The expert also predicted the trip will create new momentum for bilateral economic and trade collaboration in a balanced and sustainable direction.
In addition, people-to-people, cultural, scientific, and educational exchanges between the two countries will become more and more substantive and effective, thus helping enhance traditional friendship, he added.
Cambodian PM’s official visit enhances traditional friendship with Vietnam
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet's official visit to Vietnam from December 11-12 at the invitation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, his first to Vietnam as the PM of Cambodia, is expected to enhance the sound relations between the two countries.
Since high-ranking leaders of the two countries set the motto of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable and long-term cooperation” for the bilateral relations in 2005, the bilateral ties have been unceasingly developed across the fields, bringing benefits to the two peoples, and making contributions to regional and global peace, stability and collaboration.
Exchanges of delegations at all levels have been maintained even during the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping enhance the people's understanding of the traditional solidarity, friendship, cooperation and support betwen the two nations.
Cooperation in defence and security has been enhanced, while that in economy and trade has developed rapidly and carved out encouraging achievements. Last year, two-way trade reached 10.57 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of nearly 10.9%. Meanwhile, during January – October, the trade revenue was estimated at 7.1 billion USD, dropping 22.1% from the same time last year.
Vietnam is currently the biggest trade partner of Cambodia in the ASEAN region and the third largest trade partner overall, following China and the US. To date, Vietnam has registered 2.94 billion USD in 205 valid projects in Cambodia, among the top five foreign investors in the country. Cambodia ranks second among 79 countries and territories receiving Vietnamese outbound investment.
Vietnamese enterprises’ investment and business activities in Cambodia have contributed to the host nation’s social welfare and prosperous development.
Besides, cooperation across education-training, transportation, culture, healthcare and telecommunications has been enhanced. Particularly, tourism exchange has seen robust growth, with the number of Vietnamese tourists to Cambodia topping 880,000 and Cambodian travelers to Vietnam reaching over 300,000 during January – October.
Vietnam and Cambodia have worked closely at international, regional and sub-regional mechanisms, especially the UN, ASEAN and ASEAN-led mechanisms, Cambodia – Laos Vietnam Parliamentary Summit, and Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, making contributions to improving the prestige and position of each nation in the regional and international arenas.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Nguyen Huy Tang said that Vietnam and Cambodia are good neighbours with time-honoured friendship.
Throughout many ups and downs of the history, the bilateral relations have developed in a deep and practical fashion across all fields, becoming an invaluable asset of the two peoples, the diplomat stressed.
An array of meaningful activities was held within the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year 2022 programme to mark the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic relations, demonstrating the respect and priority that the two countries gave to each other in their sound neighbourliness.
According to Dr. Trinh Thi Hoa from the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) have supported each other, and supported the principle stated in various Vietnam-Cambodia joint statements, that is protecting, preserving and developing the “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship and comprehensive, sustainable and long-term cooperation”, and committing to protecting regional and global peace and stability.
In a reception for the Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia on October 11, PM Hun Manet suggested the two countries strengthen their relations, further expand cooperation in various fields, and implement the contents agreed by the two sides, contributing to consolidating and improving the cooperation efficiency.
He affirmed that the Cambodian government and competent ministries and sectors will continue cooperation with Vietnam to boost their comprehensive relations.
At a meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in October in Saudi Arabia, PM Chinh and PM Hun Manet affirmed their wish to continue carrying out the signed agreements between the two countries, step up cooperation and connect the two economies, and support each other to develop an independent and resilient economy in tandem with deep, practical and effective international integration.
They also reached consensus on facilitating trade and investment cooperation of the business community, especially in border trade and development of border economy.
The official visit to Vietnam by PM Hun Manet demonstrates the resolve of leaders of both sides to consolidate and enhance the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two peoples, while bringing new cooperation opportunities so as to elevate the bilateral ties to a new high.
The people – core of all development policies of Vietnam
Throughout the history, Vietnam has shown the world that it has always focused on the people in all development policies.
Vietnam’s efforts in the struggles for national independence and reunification lasting for decades had no purpose other than to ensure that all Vietnamese people fully enjoy their rights, including the right to live in peace, independence, freedom, and autonomy, and the right to self-determination of their destiny and path of development.
With the approach of taking the people as the centre, Vietnam has been working hard to protect and improve people’s livelihood and ensure people’s rights through development, while making sure that development is for the people and by the people.
Along with building a law-governed socialist state, Vietnam has been strengthening its legal system on people’s rights, with more than 90 legal documents passed in only four years, creating an important legal framework to ensure the rights of people and citizens in the reality.
The people have also been put in the centre of all socio-economic development projects, programmes, and strategies of the country.
Vietnam is one of the countries that have successfully completed many of the UN's Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule and are effectively implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
In many years, the country has maintained high economic growth, reducing multidimensional poverty rate to 4.3% in 2022, and strongly improving education, health care and housing services.
Progress in ensuring gender equality has been demonstrated with women taking over 30% of the seats at the National Assembly and People’s Councils at all levels. At the same time, people’s religious and belief life has been promoted with thousands of religious and belief events taking place annually. Vietnam is one of the countries with the fastest growing rate of Internet users in the world with 78 million users.
Meanwhile, the country has made positive and effective contributions to promoting and protecting human rights globally by actively engaging in human rights forums of the UN, ASEAN and other mechanisms. The country has been elected to the UN Human Rights Council twice for the 2014-2016 and 2023-2025 tenures.
At these forums, Vietnam has raised many initiatives on human rights protection, especially the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities, and climate change-hit groups.
In 2016 and 2018, Vietnam initiated two resolutions on impact of climate change on children’s rights and women’s rights, which were approved by the UN Human Rights Council.
Veeramalla Anjaiah, an Indonesian journalist and a researcher at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), commented that as a responsible country, Vietnam has always supported the protection of human rights and dignity globally. It has strived to contribute to the common, positive, and progressive values of humanity regarding human rights through actively participating in human rights-related forums of the UN and other international organisations, the scholar noted.
Vietnam has implemented seven out of the nine fundamental international conventions regarding human rights to which the country is a signatory, as well as commitments given at the universal periodical review (UPR). The country has realised 86.7% of the of third cycle UPR recommendations, and 12.4% of the recommendations have been partially completed.
A low-middle income country, yet Vietnam is in the group of the countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI), leaping five places in the 2015-2021 period. This is a basis and motivation for Vietnam to take better care of all aspects of people's lives, realising the aspiration of becoming a modern industrialised country by 2045.
An outstanding contribution by Vietnam at the UN Human Rights Council in the 2023-2025 tenure is the proposal of the resolution marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which was approved by the council by consensus.
Efforts and achievements by Vietnam in promoting and ensuring human rights are undeniable. These are vivid and convincing evidence refuting the distorted and fabricated information by hostile forces on Vietnam's human rights situation.
In the coming time, in order to best ensure human rights, the Party and State will continue to complete the law-governed State, reinforcing the legal foundation and relevant policies on human rights protection, continuing administrative reform, and strengthening the implementation of SGDs, focusing on policies to sustainably reduce multidimensional poverty and narrow the development gap between geographical areas and population groups, with special attention to vulnerable groups.
The country will continue to support dialogue and cooperation in the field of human rights, and join other countries to enrich values of human rights and enliven the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 21st century.
Top legislator’s trip to Laos, Thailand fulfill all bilateral, multilateral goals
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s recent working trip to Laos and Thailand have met all set goals and requirements bilaterally and multilaterally, assessed General Secretary of the NA and Chairman of the NA Office Bui Van Cuong.
The top legislator led a high-level NA delegation to attend the first Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Parliamentary Summit in Laos and pay a working visit to Laos and an official visit to Thailand from December 4 to 10.
With over 60 diverse activities, the working trip was a practical step in implementing the external relations direction set by the 13th National Party Congress and Directive 25-CT/TW of the Party Central Committee on promoting and elevating multilateral foreign relations by 2030. It contributed to further strengthening relations with neighbouring countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The two-day CLV Parliamentary Summit saw top legislators of the three countries sign a joint statement on promoting the parliamentary role in bolstering the trilateral comprehensive cooperation.
National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue affirmed that the establishment of the high-level conference mechanism is a significant milestone in the history of cooperation among the CLV legislatures. It marks the elevation of the ties to the highest level, implementing the outcomes achieved at the high-level meeting of the top party leaders of the CLV in September 2021.
During Hue’s working visit in Laos, the two sides exchanged various specific measures to promote joint works between the two countries in general and between the two parliaments in particular, aiming to effectively implement agreements between Vietnamese and Lao high-level leaders.
Major Laotian newspapers such as Pasaxon, PathetLao, and LaoPhatthana all affirmed that the visit significantly contributed to strengthening the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two parties, states, parliaments and peoples.
Meanwhile, Hue's visit to Thailand, taking place on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the two countries’ strategic partnership (2013-2023), is the first official trip to Thailand by a high-ranking Vietnamese leader after its new Government had been formed. The prominent activities during the visit were the Vietnamese NA Chairman's discussions and meetings with the highest leaders of Thailand. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc highlighted that Hue is also the first foreign National Assembly Chairman to meet with the Thai King and Queen.
Thai leaders affirmed that Vietnam is an important regional partner of Thailand, agreeing to further deepen their strategic partnership. The Prime Minister of Thailand expressed the desire to elevate the bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership during his planned visit to Vietnam next year.
As part of the trip, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the Vietnamese NA and the Thai House of Representatives was signed.
Thai media gave extensive coverage of the visit, highlighting the significance and results, with The Bangkok Post underscoring the unprecedented growth of the countries’ relationship in the past decade and considering now a ripe time for its promotion.
While in Thailand, the Vietnamese top legislator participated in a Vietnam-Thailand policy and legal forum on promoting bilateral economic, trade, and investment cooperation and witnessed the launch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (VietCham Thailand). He met and exchanged views with the President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and some leaders of major Thai economic corporations.
To ensure these areas truly become pillars of cooperation, Hue expressed the desire for both countries to innovate their thinking and vision with mutual trust, sincerity, openness, responsibility, and effectiveness, fostering a win-win cooperation and considering it an unchanging factor to cope with the ever-changing global and regional situation.
Hue also delivered an important policy speech at Chulalongkorn University in the capital, Bangkok, addressing cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand at bilateral, regional, and global levels.
In Udon Thani province, home to around 60,000 Vietnamese expatriates, the Vietnamese NA leader and provincial leaders inaugurated its Vietnam Town. The provincial governor, Wanchai Kongkasem, hailed the Vietnamese community as an important factor in promoting the nations’ bilateral relations and described the Vietnam Town a symbol of solidarity, friendship, and cooperation.
Vietnam labour day held in RoK
A Vietnam labour day was held in the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Siheung city on December 10.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Ba Hoan said that labour cooperation is one of the main fields in bilateral relations.
Since 2004, nearly 130,000 Vietnamese people have worked in the RoK under its Employment Permit System (EPS) programme.
Hoan stressed that sending Vietnamese people to work abroad is a major policy of the Vietnamese Government to generate jobs and income, improve skills and professional behaviour for them, thus contributing to creating high-quality human resources to return to help build the nation.
The official went on to say that labour cooperation will contribute to strengthening the long-standing friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries, including the RoK.
He took the occasion to encourage labourers to make the most of the RoK’s new policy related to training for EPS workers to study and improve their skills so as to meet the host’s increasing requirements.
Hoan also called on those who are residing and working in the RoK illegally to voluntarily come back home to enjoy the Korean Government's grace policy and be able return to the East Asian nation to work legally if they wish.
At the event, staffs of the Labour Management Board and the EPS Vietnam Office in the RoK provided guidance on procedures for workers to return home on time when their contract expires.