Better training needed to address tourism manpower shortages hinh anh 1
Visitors in a boat tour of the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh province (Photo: VNA)
The tourism sector is facing a serious staff shortage after the COVID-19 pandemic, so improving training quality to meet recovery and development demand is now an urgent need.

In 2019, before the pandemic broke out, Vietnam had more than 2.5 million workers in the industry, including 750,000 working directly.

Hard hit by the pandemic, international tourism came to a halt while the domestic market was also affected in 2020, forcing travel companies to cut down 70 - 80% of their staff.

In 2021, the number of those working full time accounted for just 25% of the 2020 figure, workers quitting their jobs or having labour contracts terminated early about 30%, and those suffering temporary furloughs 35%.

Therefore, since the industry was fully opened on March 15 last year, tourism businesses have encountered staff shortages.

Dau tu (Vietnam Investment Review) cited Cao Thi Ngoc Lan, Standing Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, as saying that the country is facing a heavy labour shortage, especially during major holidays.

She also pointed out a serious deficiency of highly skilled personnel, particularly for high-level management positions. Besides, the manpower imbalance among regions is also a problem, leading to low service quality in some areas with strong growth in the tourist number.

This industry needs about 485,000 workers for accommodation facilities at present. Meanwhile, Vietnam is expected to record positive tourism growth during 2022 - 2030 when it will need to add about 60,000 labourers to the sector annually, Lan added.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said vocational schools and tourism colleges are able to supply just 15,000 workers for the sector each year, and that manpower training hasn’t meet demand in reality.

Nguyen Tien Dat, co-founder of the Prato tourism training centre, held that the existing manpower is still weak at vocational, foreign language, and communication skills, so it is necessary to strongly engage state agencies, schools, and businesses in promoting manpower quality.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr Pham Hong Long, Dean of the tourism faculty at the Hanoi-based University of Social Sciences and Humanities, suggested tourism training courses be internationalised, which will be a trend that many domestic training establishments will follow in the time ahead.

Six suspects sentenced to death for illegally trafficking drugs

Six people have been sentenced to death and another jailed for life for trafficking and trading more than 44.6kg of drugs.

The People’s Court of Nghệ An Province issued the death penalty to Chu Huy Tuấn, Nguyễn Văn Quang, Nguyễn Quang Trung, Đỗ Đình Đại, Bùi Văn Khanh and Phan Văn Trang. Trần Lưu Thắng was jailed for life.

According to the indictment of the Supreme People's Procuracy, around 8am on October 28, 2020, the Drug-related Crime Investigation Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security caught red-handed Nguyễn Quang Trung, 29, carrying a suitcase and a leather bag with over 9.8kg of methamphetamine inside.

He was arrested at the foot of Suối Tiên pedestrian bridge in Linh Trung Ward, Thủ Đức District in HCM City.

Trung, from Tây Hiếu Commune, Thái Hòa Township in the central province of Nghệ An, admitted to the police that he was hired by Chu Huy Tuấn, 33, of Nghĩa Tiến Commune, Thái Hòa Township in the province, to illegally transport the methamphetamine from the province to HCM City and deliver to Trần Lưu Thắng.

After further investigations, police determined that Nguyễn Văn Quang, 33; Đỗ Đình Đại, 27; and Phan Văn Trang, 44, all of them from Thái Hòa Township in the province, prepared the drugs and helped Trung.

Police also found that Tuấn, Quang, Đại, Trang and Khanh had previously trading a total of about 34,795kg of drugs including ketamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine).

In separate case, the Border Guard of An Giang Province said on Wednesday evening that they had arrested Lê Văn Thanh, 43, for illegally transporting 34.4kg of cannabis across the border.

Thanh admitted to the police he was paid VNĐ700,000 (US$30) to illegally transport the cannabis from Cambodia to Việt Nam.

Also at the scene, the police seized a package of 22.6kg cannabis from another suspect, who escaped from the scene.

Two more auto testing centers in Hanoi to resume operations

Vietnam Register, under the Ministry of Transport, has allowed two auto registration and inspection centers in Hanoi, 29-01V and 29-06V, to reopen after their suspension over irregularities.

These two centers and others in the capital city have been closed to serve a police investigation of irregularities like bribe taking. Their closures have caused other auto testing centers to be overwhelmed with vehicles.

The congestion has negatively affected local people, businesses and socioeconomic activities, Vietnam Register said in its dispatch recently sent to the 29-01V and 29-06V centers, both located in Hanoi’s outlying district of Thanh Tri.

Between January 9 and 10 this year, the Hanoi police searched and sealed these two centers to serve the probe into their alleged violations.

On February 7, the Investigative Division of the Hanoi Police Department issued a dispatch on the removal of obstacles facing auto testing centers in the area.

Can Tho airport employee returns VND billion to passenger

A passenger on a flight from Hà Nội to Cần Thơ City has had VNĐ1 billion (US$42,330) in cash returned after he forgot the money at Cần Thơ International Airport, a representative of the airport said. 

On Tuesday afternoon, a member of airport staff discovered a forgotten suitcase when he was collecting luggage trolleys in the domestic arrivals area.

Security officers checked the suitcase through airport screening and found VNĐ1 billion and some personal belongings in it. 

According to the airport representative, last year, 56 officials and employees found and returned money and belongings passengers left behind on aircraft and in terminals worth a total of VNĐ1.4 billion.

On Monday security staff at Hà Nội's Nội Bài International Airport discovered a forgotten bag containing nearly VNĐ1.2 billion and returned it to the owner.

South Korean tourist charged ten times the normal fare for Da Nang taxi ride

A South Korean tourist in Đà Nẵng was charged VNĐ2.1 million (US$88.90) for a taxi ride, an price the driver inflated to ten times what it should have been.

The woman was later refunded the amount she overpaid, thanks to the Đà Nẵng Tourist Support Center and local police.

She arrived at Đà Nẵng from South Korea on December 12 and hailed a taxi to drive her from the airport to the hotel.

However, her taxi driver massively overcharged her.

The tourist reported the incident to Đà Nẵng Police Department, and the driver was quickly identified.

It took him over a month to fully return the money that he had overcharged the woman.

As the tourist had already left Việt Nam and returned to South Korea, the Đà Nẵng Tourist Support Center reached out to her to return the money.

The money was fully returned to the tourist on February 9.

The Đà Nẵng Tourist Support Center has helped many tourists who lost their passports, left their phones in the taxi, encountered accidents or had problems involving COVID. 

Eight earthquake monitoring stations installed in Kon Plong District

The Dak Drinh Hydropower Joint Stock Company has just completed the installation of two earthquake monitoring stations under the requirement of the Kon Tum Province People's Committee.

Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Kon Tum Province Le Nhu Nhat informed that the Dak Drinh Hydropower Joint Stock Company, which is an investor of Dak Drinh Hydropower Plant in Kon Plong District of Kon Tum Province, installed successfully the two monitoring stations in Dak Pxi Commune, Dak Ha District of Kon Tum Province and Son Hai Commune in Son Ha District of Quang Ngai Province.

Thus, there have been a total of eight earthquake monitoring stations in the areas of Thuong Kon Tum Hydropower Plant and Dak Drinh Hydropower Plant so far.

The stations aimed at quickly and accurately recording earthquakes in Kon Plong and surrounding areas amid the recent situation of many earthquakes consecutively occurring in Kon Plong District of Kon Tum Province.

In 2021, 185 earthquakes with the largest recorded magnitude of 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the district of Kon Plong. 
Last year, 250 earthquakes with the largest magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter scale occured in the locality.

From the beginning of the year to February 9, 27 earthquakes hit the district. According to experts and scientists, the earthquakes in Kon Plong district were due to the impact of the local reservoirs.

NA Standing Committee concludes 20th session

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee wrapped up the 20th session on February 15.

Reviewing results of the three-day meeting, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said the Standing Committee discussed the draft law on civil defence, the draft revised law on protection of consumer rights, and the draft revised one on electronic transactions.

A resolution guiding the implementation of rules on NA sessions and another on the tasks, power, structure, and organisation of the Secretariat under the Standing Committee were adopted.

The Standing Committee also gave opinions about a draft resolution on emulation and commendation of NA deputies, NA agencies, the bodies subordinate to the Standing Committee, as well as cadres and civil servants managed by the Standing Committee.

In addition, legislators decided to establish one city, two district-level towns, 34 wards, and 11 communal-level townships and adjust the boundary of some communal-level administrative units in 10 provinces.

This was a highly important step to perfect the organisation of local administrations and also to implement the Politburo’s resolution on urban development, Hue noted.

The Standing Committee approved the Prime Minister’s proposal on the appointment and relief of the Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia, adopted a resolution of capital allocation for 129 tasks and projects in the socio-economic recovery and development programme.

Participants also looked into a draft resolution on protection of personal data, a report on the NA’s settlement of people’s petitions in December 2022 and January 2023, and outcomes of the parliament’s second and third extraordinary sessions, according to the top legislator.

Chairman Hue requested that basing on the conclusions made at the meeting, relevant agencies need to complete draft resolutions and laws and prepare for upcoming activities, including a national conference reviewing the performance of provincial-level People’s Councils in 2022 and launching tasks for 2023, and the next sessions of the Standing Committee.

Former vice chair of Ha Nam arrested

The police in Ha Nam Province have prosecuted and detained Truong Minh Hien, former vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, for allegedly violating regulations on natural resource exploitation at Hang Diem Mountain in the northern province.

The police also pressed the same charges against Vu Huu Song, ex-director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The arrests were made today, February 15, after the provincial Police Department, in coordination with the provincial People’s Procuracy, collected evidence linked to violations of natural resource exploitation found at Hang Diem Mountain between 2017 and 2021.

Hang Diem Mountain is located in Lien Son Commune, Kim Bang District, Ha Nam Province.

Hien, 63, and Song, 64, were accused of irresponsibility that caused serious consequences.

The police are expanding an investigation to detect and handle organizations and individuals involved in the case.

Project to help provide clean water to two million children in Vietnam 

A new project that would manufacture 300,000 water purifiers to be distributed to approximately 8,000 schools and institutions in Việt Nam has been announced.

The project is expected to make clean water available to around two million children and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost three million tonnes of carbon dioxide over five years, according to a release by the World Bank.

The bank priced a five-year US$50 million, principal protected Emission Reduction-Linked Bond that provides investors a return linked to the issuance of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) expected to be produced by the project in Việt Nam.

Through the transaction, investors are supporting the up-front financing required to manufacture and distribute water purifiers for use in schools and other community service institutions across Việt Nam that will reduce the burning of biomass traditionally used in boiling water for safe consumption, said the release.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the purifiers help improve air quality, reduce associated health impacts, lower fuel costs and effort previously required to purify water, and help reduce deforestation.

The bond is 100 per cent principal protected with the $50 million proceeds used to support the World Bank’s sustainable development activities globally. The Việt Nam water purifier project is not a World Bank project.

Investors in the bond will forego ordinary coupon payments, with the equivalent amounts instead being provided, through a hedge transaction with Citi, to support the financing of the water purifier project managed by a private project developer. Instead of ordinary coupons, the investors will receive semi-annual coupon payments linked to the issuance of VCUs by the water purifier project on the Verra Registry, according to the release.

As of 2022, only 84.2 per cent of people in Việt Nam’s urban areas have access to clean water. That number is just 34.8 per cent in rural areas.

The country is in danger of missing the target of providing 93-95 per cent of people in rural areas, and at least 95 per cent in urban areas, access to clean water by 2025, according to experts.

Vietnamese art, culture spotlighted in Morocco

Art performance programmes titled “Mélodie du Vietnam” (Vietnam melody) held recently in Rabat and Casablanca cities of Morocco, which spotlighted Vietnamese music, culture, and people, left a great impression in the hearts of local audiences, contributing to further tightening the friendship between the two countries.

Hosted by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, the event attracted crowds of local audiences, foreign diplomats in Morocco, and overseas Vietnamese living and working in the African nation.

Addressing the opening ceremonies, Vietnamese Ambassador to Morocco Dang Thi Thu Ha briefed on Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements and the fruitful development of the bilateral relations.

“Vietnam Gate” at Douar Sfari - the Vietnamese village in the outskirts of Kénitra city is not only a work imbued with Vietnamese culture to remind future generations of Vietnam and Morocco of their origins, but also a symbol of the friendship between the two countries over the past six decades, she said.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese Embassy in Morocco in cooperation with the Morocco – Asia Friendship Association organised programmes to exhibit Vietnamese products, screen videos about Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, and introduce Vietnamese traditional dishes for Tet.

Local media have run many articles, highlighting the events. The Moroccan Ministry of Culture invited Vietnam to send art troupes to join the African country’s traditional music festival in July this year.

Film week to celebrate 80th anniversary of Party's first platform on culture

A film week celebrating the 80th anniversary of the “Outline of Vietnamese Culture”, the first platform on culture launched by the Communist Party of Vietnam, will take place from February 25 to March 3 nationwide, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The ministry assigned the Cinema Department to work closely with departments of culture, sports and tourism of centrally-run cities and provinces and the National Cinema Centre to hold the event.

Accordingly, 10 films will be screened during the week, including four feature movies, four documentaries and two animated films which feature President Ho Chi Minh, the country, people and culture of Vietnam.

In 1943, by applying Marxism and the guidelines of the Party and leader Nguyen Ai Quoc, Party General Secretary Truong Chinh wrote the Outline on Vietnamese Culture (also known as the 1943 Outline on Culture), stressing that the content, nature, organization and development orientation of a cultural revolution can only be associated with the national liberation revolution and a cultural revolution can be realized when the political revolution has succeeded. 

The document defined that Vietnamese culture, consisting of ideology, learning, and arts, “will be liberated by the democratic revolution and freed from shackles to catch up with the world's neo-democratic culture”.

Five seamen saved by Naval Region 4

Five seamen have been rescued and brought to shore in Cam Ranh City, Khánh Hòa south central province by the Naval Region 4 under the Việt Nam People’s Navy.

They were onboard the PY-92396 TS fishing vessel on Monday when its engine stalled and it ran aground on a coral shelf, about 1.3 nautical miles far from the Đá Lớn B Island of the Trường Sa (Spratly) Island.

Captain of the ship is Nguyễn Đức Toàn, 53, from Phú Yên central province.

The Navy Command ordered the rescue force from the Đá Lớn B Island to pick up five fishermen and bring them safely to the mainland. They are all in stable condition.

Foreign Minister pledges support for Vietnam-EU trade, investment ties

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son received a delegation of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) in Hanoi on February 15, affirming that his ministry will actively work with other ministries and sectors to promote bilateral trade and investment links.

Stressing the importance Vietnam attaches to relations with the EU, the host official expressed his delight that the two sides’ comprehensive partnership and cooperation have been flourishing.

He appreciated the assistance the EU and its member state had given to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has been implemented for more than two years, creating an impulse for bilateral trade and encouraging EU businesses to expand investment in Vietnam, he went on, adding that the EU is currently the fifth largest trading and investment partner of the Southeast Asian country.

With regard to the cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU, Son said Vietnam always supports their strategic partnership, suggesting the two regions maximise the cooperation potential in trade, investment, digital transformation, green industry, energy transition, and climate change response.

The minister highly valued the role of the EU-ABC and EuroCham as bridges for European businesses’ cooperation with ASEAN and Vietnam.

He asked the EU-ABC and EuroCham to continue supporting Vietnam and the EU to effectively carry out the EVFTA to capitalise on advantages created by the deal; promote EU members’ ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA); identify cooperation priorities in the fields matching the EU’s strength and Vietnam’s demand like climate change response, energy transition, circular economy, transport, and aviation; and encourage European firms to make green growth investments in Vietnam.

On behalf of the EU-ABC and EuroCham, EU-ABC Vice Chairman Jens Ruebbert, who is also Managing Director & Regional Head Asia/Pacific at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, applauded the progress in the ASEAN-EU and Vietnam-EU relations, noting that the EU-ABC and EuroCham have been making unceasing efforts to connect European companies with ASEAN countries, including Vietnam.

He shared the view that the EVFTA and EVIPA are important driving forces for bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties in the coming time.

The EU-ABC and EuroCham will stand side by side with the Vietnamese Government in promoting ASEAN-EU and Vietnam-EU economic cooperation priorities, and encourage European firms to increase investment and business in the country, Ruebbert added.

At the meeting, Minister Son stated the Vietnamese Government will create the best possible conditions for foreign investors, including those from Europe.

Hanoi seeks ways to boost multifaceted cooperation with Israel

Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Manh Quyen on February 15 held a working session with a delegation of Israeli entrepreneurs led by Einat Halevy Levin, President of the Israel-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce.

Briefing the guests on the capital city’s development situation, Quyen said that as a centre of politics, economics, culture and education in Vietnam, the city is paying attention to developing these fields.

Speaking of Israel’s advantages in various fields, he stressed that Hanoi wants to boost international cooperation in agriculture, education-training, start-up and innovation, information technology, and import-export activities.

Einat appreciated Hanoi’s development potential, believing that the two sides will have more collaboration opportunities.

She expressed his hope to welcome working delegations from Hanoi, and affirmed to share information and experience in the fields of the Vietnamese capital’s concern.

Tree-planting ceremony marks Vietnam-Israel diplomatic relations anniversary

A tree-planting ceremony was held on February 15 in Israel’s Ashdod city to mark the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam-Israel diplomatic relations.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Israel Ly Duc Trung said that tree planting is one of the important activities marking the anniversary. This year, the two countries will accelerate cooperation activities for their development and people-to-people connections.

Deputy Mayor of the city of Ashdod Eli Nacht pointed out practical activities between agencies, businesses, and people of the two countries that helps promote bilateral relations, and tree planting is one of them.

Alexander Oberfeld, Ashdod City Councilor, said as one of the largest and most developed cities in Israel, Ashdod will be an ideal starting point to take the relationship between the two countries to a new stage.

Located more than 30km south of Tel Aviv, Ashdod is one of the most important industrial cities of Israel, with many industrial zones and especially the largest seaport which accounts for 60% of cargo handled annually in the country.

Vietnam and Israel officially established diplomatic relations in 1993. Israel opened an embassy in Hanoi the same year, and Vietnam established an embassy in Tel Aviv in 2009.

Algerian playwright’s work on President Ho Chi Minh staged in Vietnam

The Vietnam National Drama Theatre (VNDT) on February 15 began production on the play “Người đi dép cao su” (The Man in the Rubber Sandals) by Algerian playwright Kateb Yacine.

With the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of International Cooperation, Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Mohamed Berrah visited and held a working session with the VNDT in April 2021, during which he presented the poetic drama “The Man in the Rubber Sandals” to the VNDT. He said he wished for collaboration to produce the play celebrating the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-Algeria diplomatic ties.

Yacine arrived in Vietnam in 1967 and what he saw and heard about President Ho Chi Minh and the struggle for national liberation prompted him to learn about the history, people, and beloved leader of the country. His love and respect for the Vietnamese people and Ho Chi Minh inspired his creativity. From that, the poetic play "The Man in the Rubber Sandals " was born. The play was successfully staged and performed around the world in the early 1970s but has never been staged in Vietnam.

The work consists of eight parts with about 150 characters with lines, spanning the chronological order of Vietnam's history, from the Hai Ba Trung Uprising (40 - 43 AD) through various periods of national protection struggle and President Ho Chi Minh's death in 1969. Interwoven into this main thread are dramatic events taking place in countries such as France, the US, China, and many others around the world.

VNDT Director, Meritorious Artist Xuan Bac, who directs the work, said the play is not only a poetic piece that praises the image of President Ho Chi Minh. It stands as an epic offering that vividly depicts the country and people of Vietnam throughout different historical periods. It extols the spirit of resolute and heroic struggle to protect and maintain independence in the past, at present and in the future.

Vietnam - France joint website of archive photos launched

A joint website featuring archive photos from the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) and the Institute of Social Sciences Information at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences was officially launched on February 15.

The website,, is available in Vietnamese, French, and English. It gathers nearly 70,000 photos, comprising 57,000 from the Institute of Social Sciences Information and over 10,000 others from the EFEO.

They were taken in Vietnam and many other Asian countries between the early 20th century and the 1980s.

Addressing the ceremony in Hanoi, French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery said that a number of activities will be held in both countries this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and 10 years of strategic partnership. Most of those events are related to culture education, science, and health care.

The launch of the joint photo website aims to honour the EFEO’s activities in Vietnam and cooperation with local partners, including research institutes and universities.

Together with a joint library named Hoa Phuong opened by the national libraries of the two countries in April 2021, the newly launched website will help researchers and the public in Vietnam and France easily access precious archives about science, life, and culture, the diplomat noted.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr. Vu Hung Cuong, Director of the Institute of Social Sciences Information, said the institute’s library of social sciences is keeping a rich diversity of scientific archives, including those from the EFEO. Among them, there are about 57,000 photos, forming a particularly valuable and unique archive.

With a view to facilitating the public and researchers’ access to these photos, a project started in 2019 to build the joint website, he went on. On this occasion, an exhibition of scientific archive photos from the two sides was also opened.

Meeting discusses Vietnam’s activities as UNHRC’s member

Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet chaired a meeting of an inter-sectoral working group on Vietnam’s assumption of the role as a member of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 term and discussed 2023 activities.

Speaking at the event, Viet, who is also head of the working group, affirmed that Vietnam's election to the UNHRC for the 2023-2025 term is a great success of multilateral external affairs, contributing to realising the foreign policy and the guideline of promoting and elevating Vietnam's multilateral external relations as set by the 13th National Party Congress and Directive No.25 of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat.

He asked ministries, departments, and agencies concerned to strengthen coordination and information sharing, promote initiatives and proposals that leave Vietnam’s hallmarks in priority areas; enhance research, forecasting, and communications to ensure that Vietnam well performs its role as a UNHRC member for the 2023-2025 tenure.

Vietnam was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the 2023-2025 tenure along with 14 other countries on October 11, 2022 at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. As the only ASEAN candidate for this term, Vietnam promoted the campaign message of "Respect and Understanding. Dialogue and Cooperation. All human rights for all people," which was supported by other countries.

Vietnam has always actively and responsibly joined in the UNHRC’s activities since its establishment, especially joining the Core Group on Climate Change and Human Rights. Vietnam also successfully fulfilled its role as a UNHRC member for the 2014-2016 tenure, contributing to protecting the country's interests and improving its position and prestige.

Deputy PM Tran Hong Ha works with Ministry of Education and Training

The education and training sector had an important mission and was an important factor in the socio-economic development of the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà.

He made the statement while working with the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

The Deputy PM said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector maintained safe teaching and learning conditions, ensured quality, creativity and promoted digital transformation.

The Deputy PM requested the education and training sector to focus on solving current issues such as reforming textbooks and curricula and proposing solutions to develop education in poor and remote areas.

He emphasised that education and training must always have the spirit of innovation. Therefore, the MoET needed to coordinate with other sectors, localities and enterprises to make forecasts on science and technology development to have appropriate plans to keep pace with the market’s demand.

University study must be associated with research, bringing to the market the products that society needs based on enterprises’ orders. The MoET needed to complete the assessment frameworks, and come up with criteria and standards to properly assess the students’ capabilities.

The Deputy PM said he would continue to work more deeply with the MoET to soon issue appropriate policies and strategies for education and training.

Vietnam hopes for stronger labour ties with US

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Ha has called on the US to enhance labour cooperation with Vietnam during a recent meeting with visiting US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai.

She shared the viewpoint of putting workers at the centre of policy building and implementation.

Ha also suggested some cooperation activities such as increasing financial and technical assistance for Vietnam; sharing experience to help the country perfect and carry out laws and policies on labour relations, employment, vocational training, and social affairs; improving the capacity of training high-quality human resources; promoting assistance in terms of humanitarian and social affairs; and helping Vietnam develop a comprehensive and universal social security system that guarantees social equality and leaves no one behind.

At the working session, the US Trade Representative said via cooperation in labour and social affairs, the US always hopes to step up the enforcement of worker-centred policies and considers this as the core issue to create the best conditions for workers.

Tai noted the USTR and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) highly value Vietnam’s implementation of the Labour Code that includes many new and progressive points matching international labour standards.

This is a stepping stone for strengthening ties in labour and social affairs between Vietnam and the US, she went on, adding that her country always attaches importance to the respect for and the protection of workers’ rights, and US businesses have to show their role and sense of responsibility towards the adherence to labour rules in host countries.

In recent years, Vietnam has made much progress in the building and perfection of labour policies and international integration in this regard. Notably, the Vietnamese ministry and the ILO signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in 2021 to promote international labour standards in Vietnam for 2021 - 2030, during which the country is expected to ratify another 15 ILO conventions.

Traditional Vietnamese culture introduced in North Africa

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs recently launched a series of art programmes themed “Mélodie du Viet Nam” in the Moroccan cities of Rabat and Casablanca, to promote Vietnam’s traditional culture in the North African country.

The shows were organised at Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat and Mohammed Zefzaf Theatre in Casablanca on February 9-10, attracting hundreds of local people, as well as foreign diplomats in Morocco and members of the overseas Vietnamese living and working there.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Morocco Dang Thi Thu Ha introduced international friends to Vietnamese culture, while briefing them on the country’s socio-economic development achievements over the past year and highlighting the development of the relationship between the two countries.

The art programmes saw performances by artists from the Army Music and Dance Theater, as well as the Performing Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.  

A number of songs, dances, and musical instrument performances took audiences to many different regions across Vietnam.

Vietnamese artists also offered Moroccan friends unique gifts by performing famous songs such as "Casablanca", "A Ben Bladi", and "O Sole Mio", receiving plenty of applause from local audiences.

Moreover, the Vietnamese Embassy in Morocco in collaboration with the Morocco-Asia Friendship Association, organised programmes aimed at exhibiting Vietnamese products and screened videos showcasing traditional Vietnamese dishes.

HCM City couple cancels wedding to spend money on cats

Do Duong Truc Lam, 28, and his girlfriend Ngo Dinh Van Khanh, 25, are now operating a shelter for around 100 feral cats.

Lam said that one night in 2019, while he was carrying Khanh home after work, they saw four starving and exhausted cats.

They then decided to bring them home. On the first days, their life was disturbed by the cats. Quarrels occurred between them when they had to clean the house and feed the cats. However, they gradually got familiar with the work and their love for cats grew stronger.

During Covid-19. more cats were left abandoned in HCM City and the couple adopted many more.

To date, Truc Lam and Van Khanh have rescued roughly 600 cats. The pair is now hiring a two-floor house in District 7 to look after roughly 100 cats. The house is divided into three different parts, including rooms for cats to sleep or stay when they are ill.

Every day, they get up quite early to tidy up the house and feed the cats. They even check the animals’ feces to diagnose their health so that they can take them to the vets if needed.

Van Khanh also gave up her job so she could spend more time on cats. Truc Lam followed the suit, quitting his high-paying job to support his girlfriend. The two even decided to cancel their wedding scheduled to be held in 2021 to use money for their cat shelter

Truc Lam and Van Khanh are building a shelter for cats on a rented land plot covering 1,500 square metres in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

‘A night of Beethoven’ concert to kick start HBSO’s 2023 spring programme

The Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will hold a concert entitled ‘A night of Beethoven’ on February 18 to kick start its 2023 spring programme.

The concert will feature three of Beethoven's most famous works, including Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, op. 67; Piano concerto No. 5 “Emperor” in E-flat Major, op. 73; and Coriolan overture, op. 62.

Victory, faith, joy, and heroic sound is the distinctive spirit of the musical genius Beethoven, who overcame a great adversity for music-makers, which is the disease of deafness, to make a special impression in the music history of the world with his treasure trove of works.

The classical works will be brought to the stage under performance of excellent guest pianist Liao Hsin-Chiao from Chinese Taipei under the baton of conductor Tran Vuong Thach.

Curtains will be raised at 8pm at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, 07 Cong Truong Lam Son Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1. Admissions to the concert are priced from 400,000 VND to 750,000 VND.

110th birth anniversary of former President Huynh Tan Phat marked

A ceremony marking the 110th birth anniversary of Huynh Tan Phat, former President of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam , former Deputy Prime Minister and form er Vice Chairman of the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committe e , was held in Ben Tre Province on February 15.

The event saw the presence of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Standing Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man, and Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) Nguyen Xuan Thang, among other senior leaders.

Huynh Tan Phat is a talented leader of the Vietnamese Party, State, and revolution as well as a patriotic intellectual and talented architect. He is a typical example of the great national unity bloc and a faithful communist with all his life devoted to the independence and freedom of the nation and to the well-being and happiness of the people.

Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasised that Huynh Tan Phat is a shining example of the spirit of lifelong learning, reaching the heights of wisdom and becoming a revolutionary intellectual and a great personality.

The PM noted that Huynh Tan Phat’s noble revolutionary moral example will forever be the pride of all of us, encouraging our Party members and people to continue to stand steadfastly for national independence associated with socialism and for a self-reliant, powerful, and happy country.

Huynh Tan Phat was born on February 15, 1913, in Tan Hung Commune, An Hoa District, My Tho Province (now Ben Tre Province). He passed away on September 30, 1989.

After the unification of the country, he held many positions, such as Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Urban Planning Board, Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Vice Chairman of the State Commission, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, National Assembly (NA) deputy of several terms, and others.

Task force formed to speed up Long Thanh International Airport project

The Government Office yesterday issued the Prime Minister’s conclusion after his business trip to check the progress of key traffic projects.

The Prime Minister praised all major transport works for their strong determination to complete on time as stated in the Resolution of the 13th Central Party Congress (to have 5,000km of expressway nationwide by 2030 and to finish the East side of the North-South Expressway by 2025).

He then directed people in charge not to divide their assigned projects into smaller ones; to develop suitable conditions, criteria for the selection of contractors; to ensure transparency, publicity, efficiency, and law compliance in choosing capable, reputable contractors that have sufficient experience in carrying out large-scaled projects.

He also gave positive comments to certain Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects that are ahead of schedule thanks to the implementation of advanced technologies. There should be policies to attract as many public resources as possible in developing the national infrastructure.

The Prime Minister stressed on the necessity to have a long-term, comprehensive vision as well as an appropriate investment plan for expressways so that they can meet regular standards. Those with only 2 lanes should be eliminated since there will be time and resource waste in the expansion in the future.

As to Long Thanh International Airport project, he mentioned its inability to keep up with the assigned schedule. The primary reason lies in the organization stage, including the bidding for the passenger station in the third sub-project. The blame is on the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), its owner representative (the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises), and the corresponding state management agency (the Transport Ministry). These units must urgently accelerate the work to compensate for the lost time.

The Prime Minister asked that relevant agencies clearly reidentify their own responsibilities in the project, while the two ministries of Finance and Planning & Investment take charge in allocating sufficient capital for this critical project so as not to negatively affect its progress.

Finally, a task force is established under the instruction of the Prime Minister. This task force is led by Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, with two deputies of Transport Minister and Chairman of the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises. Its members are leaders of related ministries and Dong Nai Province People’s Committee, HCMC People’s Committee. The task force is responsible for regularly urging, checking the work of the projects as well as handling any arisen problems.

Medical workers in grassroots facilities receive increased allowance

According to the government’s latest decree, medical workers in grassroots facilities will receive an increased allowance.

The Government yesterday issued Decree 05/2023/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Government's Decree No. 56/2011/ND-CP stipulating the preferential allowance regime for civil servants and public employees working in public health facilities.

Accordingly, healthcare workers in preventive medicine and grassroots centers will receive a preferential professional allowance which applies from January 1, 2022 to the end of December 31, 2023.

The new allowance is applicable for regular employees who directly work as preventive medicine specialists including those working in border medical quarantine, or work as medical professionals at communes, wards, township health stations, regional polyclinics, maternity homes, and district health centers.

The Ministry of Finance and people's committees in provinces and cities are responsible for allocating funds according to budget management decentralization for implementation. The management, use and settlement of funds shall comply with the law on the state budget.

Previously, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai also assigned the Ministry of Home Affairs to coordinate with the ministries of National Defense, Public Security, Health, Finance, Justice and relevant agencies to review current regulations on preferential professional allowances for medical staff in the armed forces.

The above-mentioned ministries and related agencies should study and propose the adjustment of preferential allowances according to occupations for preventive medicine and grassroots medical staff in the armed forces. The proposal should be sent to the Prime Minister before June 20, 2023.

Quang Ngai to carry out project to preserve, promote Bai Choi singing

The central coastal province of Quang Ngai has just decided to promulgate a project for the conservation and promotion of the folk art form of Bai choi singing on February 15.

Accordingly, the project in the 2023-2025 period, with a vision to 2030, aims to collect, ​digitalize and archive the traditional music genre, organize performances serving local people and visitors at tourist places, maintain the operation of Bai Choi centers and clubs in Quang Ngai City, Duc Pho Town, districts of Binh Son, Son Tinh, Tu Nghia, Nghia Hanh, Mo Duc and Ly Son.

The total investment of VND14 billion for the project will come from the Stage budget and be financed by businesses, collectives and individuals and legal funding sources.

The project will give support to People’s Artists, Meritorious Artists and artisans who directly teach and preserve folk singing in the province as well as participate in activities protecting and promoting the value of intangible cultural heritage.

Quang Ngai currently has one People’s Artist, nine Meritorious Artists, about 150 Bai Choi artists and five clubs of Bai Choi singing.

Bai Choi singing has been added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the 12th session of the UNESCO Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jeju, the Republic of Korea (RoK), on December 7, 2017.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes