Thirteen Vietnamese universities have been listed in the Impact Rankings 2024 released by the Times Higher Education (THE) on June 12.

Specifically, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, which is in the group of 301-400, has the highest ranking among representatives from Vietnam. Other educational institutions are the 401-600 group. They are Duy Tan University, FPT University, National Economics University, Ton Duc Thang University, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, and Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

Hanoi University of Science and Technology is still placed in the 601-800 category, followed by Van Lang University at 801-1,000.

Lac Hong University, Ho Chi Minh City Open University and Phenikaa University are in the group 1,001-1,500 while Vietnamese-German University is named in the 1,501 category.

The rankings aims to measure the success of eductional insitutions in realising the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted by the United Nations in 2016, calling for global action to build a peaceful, fair and prosperous society.

A total of 2,152 higher education institutions participated in this year's rankings, up 561 compared to the previous edition./.

Tien Giang reins in vessels, joining national IUU fishing combat

The Mekong Delta province of Tieng Giang has recorded no fishing boats infringing upon foreign waters since 2022 thanks to various solutions implemented by the locality, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Man has said.

The official said all fishing boats in Tien Giang have been equipped with vessel monitoring system (VMS) devices and licensed in line with regulations, and have updated information in the national fisheries database (VNFishbase).

It has taken authorities in communes, wards and towns as the core force in the communications work to raise public awareness against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Tien Giang has set up a list of vessels showing the high risk of violating fishing regulations, while closely coordinating with other localities and competent forces in investigating cases and handling violations, Man said.

He noted that since the 2017 Fisheries Law came into force, the province has been paying more attention to the information work, and encouraging locals to shift from traditional fishing methods to sustainable fisheries, and to observe relevant regulations.

Since 2024, the department has worked together with competent forces in organising communications activities, targeting nearly 250 fishermen, boat owners, captains, and businesspeople, the official said, adding that working groups have been formed to monitor their operations./.

Geneva photo exhibition sheds light on 1954 agreement

The permanent mission of Vietnam to the United Nations Office, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international organisations in Geneva opened a photo exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Hang stressed that the agreement is a historical milestone of the country's revolutionary diplomacy, reflecting President Ho Chi Minh's ideology, lifestyle, and diplomatic art.

Vietnamese people always remember the pure solidarity and support of Lao and Cambodian people, friends and peace-loving people around the world in the struggles against colonialism and imperialism, she said.

The agreement was the victory of Vietnam and the three Indochinese countries as well as of oppressed nations during their struggles for national liberation, the official said, noting together with the Dien Bien Phu Victory (May 7, 1954), it served as a source of encouragement for movements for peace and national independence, beginning the collapse of colonialism worldwide.

Highlighting the significance and lessons learned from the negotiations, signing and implementation of the agreement to the present cause of national construction, defence and development, Hang said Vietnam has been consistently pursuing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, and proactive and active integration, and being a friend, a reliable partner, an active and responsible member of the international community.

“We are committed to contributing our best to the common efforts of the international community for peace, national independence, development, cooperation and social progress in the world," she emphasised.

Ambassador Mai Phan Dung said with tens of photos, the exhibition aims to give an insight into the context when the agreement was signed, and its importance to Vietnam and the world, along with peace-loving people’s support for Vietnam’s struggle for independence, freedom, peace and justice./.

Vietnam customs agency continues implementing Operation Mekong Dragon

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said on June 12 that it will continue with the Operation Mekong Dragon phase 6 (OMD 6), a programme cracking down on drugs and wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific.

Operation Mekong Dragon is a joint action programme of customs agencies and other law enforcement bodies in the region. It aims to combat the illegal trade of drugs, wild animals and plants, and products from the species in the list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Co-initiated by customs authorities of Vietnam and China, it was launched in 2018 with technical support from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (RILO AP).

As many as 25 customs agencies, law enforcement agencies, and international organisations have agreed to join OMD 6 so far.

Vietnam Customs in coordination with the UNODC organised a conference in Ho Chi Minh City from June 16-18 to launch OMD 6 with the participation of 64 domestic and foreign delegates.

Five phases of the programme were carried out from 2018 to 2023.

The fifth phase ran from April 15 to November 16, 2023, with 1,715 cases uncovered as reported by member countries, surging 111% from the fourth phase, statistics showed.

It was deployed in Vietnam with 40 national contact points, including 38 of the customs force and two of police. They seized 123 drug and wildlife trafficking cases, a two-fold rise from the previous operation./.

Book on Asian-African-Latin American solidarity committee makes debut

A book titled "Vietnam Committee for Asian - African - Latin American Solidarity and Cooperation: Journeys, Friends" was launched at a seminar held in Hanoi on June 12.

Addressing the event, Nguyen The Ky, Chairman of the Central Council for the Theory and Criticism of Literature and the Arts and Chairman of the committee under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations (VUFO), said the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation (AAPSO), established in 1957 and meeting legitimate aspirations of the oppressed and exploited peoples in Asia and Africa, receives widespread support from peoples around the world.

Joining the trend of the era, the Vietnam Committee for Asian Solidarity (now the Vietnam Committee for Asian - African - Latin American Solidarity and Cooperation) was set up on October 19, 1956, and became one of the founding and active members of the AAPSO.

Over the past nearly 70 years of development, the committee has made significant contributions to the struggle for national liberation and reunification as well as national construction and defence, and to the friendship, solidarity, and cooperation between the peoples of Vietnam and Asian, African, and Latin American nations. It has actively campaigned for and garnered support from the peoples in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and around the world for Vietnam, helping elevate the country's role, position, and reputation at regional and global people's forums, Ky noted.

He said proud of the committee's efforts and achievements over the last seven decades, its standing board directed the collection, research, compilation, and publication of the Vietnamese-English bilingual book.

Among the six sections of the nearly-330-page book, the first highlights President Ho Chi Minh's ideology, and the Vietnamese Party and State's guidelines and viewpoints on international solidarity and people's solidarity.

The second focuses on the formation, activities, and development of the committee; the third introduces inter-regional and national organisations for Asian - African - Latin American solidarity; the fourth on Vietnam - Africa cooperation through different periods; and the final two on leaders of the committees and outstanding figures./.

Nghe An, US university promote cooperation in human resources training

The central province of Nghe An and the US Asia Chamber of Commerce (USACC) and the North American University (NAU) will work together on a high-quality human resources training programme.

At a working session in Nghe An on June 12 with the US sides, Director of the provincial Department of Education and Training Thai Van Thanh stressed that the cooperation programme is significant for the province which sees enhancing domestic and international collaboration as a breakthrough mission in its long-term strategy to create a legal framework for sustainable education development by 2030 with a vision to 2045.

He expressed his hope that local education establishments and the NAU and will bolster cooperation in the domains of semiconductor, electronicization, and several new sectors to meet workforce demand in the era of digitalisation.

Thanh went on to say that the NAU and other US universities will support Nghe An province with the building of new models for smart and creative cities, and invest in their branches or international universities at the local university urban area which will be developed under Vinh city's planning scheme by 2050.

For her part, NAU President Jill Martin said that the university wants to work with the local education sector and schools in the areas of training, scholarship granting and exchange of curricula.

Under the cooperation programme, the NAU will create favourable conditions for local students who pursue study at the US university, she added.

Following the working session, representatives from the USACC and NAU visited the advanced education model at Huynh Thuc Khang High School in Vinh city./.

Technologies crucial for Vietnamese firms to make breakthroughs: Experts

Experts gathered at the International Innovative Business Forum (IIBF) 2024 held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 12 to discuss business promotion through the application of new technologies in the world, and measures to support enterprises to achieve breakthroughs and higher competitiveness.

Shashi Jagadiswaran, Deputy General Director and Technology and Digital Consulting Leader at EY Consulting Vietnam, underlined the need for businesses, regardless their operating areas, to clearly define that their customers are living in a digital world, thereby designing proper business strategies, bringing their products closer to customers to win their confidence as well as market share.

He advised businesses and manufacturers to carefully choose the right technology to best approach customers amid a large number of new technologies by clearly calculating the return on investment.

In Vietnam where about 72.1 million people are using the Internet, ranking 13th in the world, the Government's digital transformation policy is expected to contribute 30% to GDP and help promote digital economic development.

Macro technology trends are shaping the future of industry, requiring businesses to embrace advanced technology to drive business transformation, gain competitive advantages and become stronger, according to experts.

Bui Van Trinh, Deputy General Director of Deloitte Vietnam, cited research by his company showing that there are three key trends that summarise the driving forces shaping the consumer goods industry's journey to digital maturity, including the application of data analytics to digital commerce strategy.

Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat highlighted the significant role of technology transfer, application, and innovation in increasing productivity of product quality as well as enhancing business competitiveness.

Particularly, in the context of international integration through new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) and the influence of the fourth Industrial Revolution, technology capacity is a key factor for businesses to produce products and services with competitive or superior characteristics, meeting the increasing demands of the market, he said.

The minister pointed to pressures on businesses in the field, stressing the need for them to apply systematic measures to absorb and renovate technologies, gradually moving towards technological autonomy, and green and sustainable technology.

Dat pledged that his ministry will continue to accompany the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, which gathers leading Vietnamese enterprises, in building and expanding the association network to help its members to seek cooperation opportunities with new international partners and approach new technological advances.

He asked the association to strengthen connections between domestic businesses and technology suppliers in the world to enhance the productivity, product quality, and competitiveness of Vietnamese firms./.

Japanese prefecture launches first health insurance scheme for Vietnamese workers

Yamanashi prefecture of Japan has launched the first health insurance programme for family members of Vietnamese guest workers, part of efforts to attract foreign labourers amid the shrinking population and growing global competition for human resources.

Japan is facing an aging population and an increasingly severe labour shortage. It has taken various solutions, but many businesses are still struggling with the problem. In that context, foreign workers are important to Japan, including Yamanashi prefecture, Yamanashi Governor Nagasaki Kotaro told a press meeting held on June 12 to introduce the scheme.

He expressed his hope that Japan and his prefecture will become attractive destinations for foreign workers. Therefore, Yamanashi is striving to create a favourable environment for foreigners to work and live here.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Pham Quang Hieu appreciated the insurance scheme, noting that Yamanashi is taking the lead in issuing policies to attract and retain Vietnamese workers.

Hieu said he believes the programme will be carried out on a large scale and in the long term to retain Vietnamese workers and attract more labourers from Vietnam and other Japanese localities to this prefecture.

The diplomat called on Yamanashi and local businesses to devise more welfare policies so that Vietnamese people, including guest workers, can feel secure when staying here.

The prefecture informed that to help ease guest workers’ concern about the health of their family members in the homeland, Yamanashi cooperated with the Tokio Marine Insurance Vietnam company to develop a health insurance scheme for the workers’ relatives in Vietnam.

This regime is applied to all hospitals in Vietnam. Accordingly, when the workers’ family members suffer from injuries or illnesses, after paying medical expenses at any hospital in Vietnam and applying for compensation from Tokio Marine Insurance, they will receive insurance benefits from this company covering up to 90% of their paid medical expenses.

It targets Vietnamese citizens working at the companies or organisations involved in the network for promoting the improvement of the working environment for foreigners in Yamanashi.

Under this scheme, those companies or organisations must pay for at least three-fourths of insurance premiums. To assist them, Yamanashi formed a subsidy system which provides a maximum support of 50% of the financial aid for the companies.

Explaining why Vietnamese workers are the first groups of foreign labourers to benefit from this regime, a representative of the local administration said 3,019 Vietnamese people are working in Yamanashi, accounting for 26.9% of the foreign manpower and also forming the largest foreign guest worker community here. Another reason is the strong friendship between Vietnam and Japan, as well as between Yamanashi with such Vietnamese provinces as Quang Binh and Yen Bai.

Replying to the Vietnam News Agency’s question, Ambassador Hieu said many localities and businesses in Japan now have demand for Vietnamese workers. He believed that their policies and regimes will help enhance Japan’s attractiveness to labourers from the Southeast Asian nation./.

Major Japanese hospitals seek Vietnamese orderlies under long-term contracts

The Centre of Overseas Labour under the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the Osaka Long-Term Medical Care Federation signed an apprentice supply contract for hospital orderlies in Japan at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 12.

The contract targets nursing and high school graduates, with the latter to undergo one-year-long nursing training. After selection, they will receive Japanese language training from 8-11 months to reach the elementary level (N4).

The Osaka federation will cover fees for Japanese language training in Vietnam, Japanese language exam (one time), visa and health examination (two times), and round-trip air tickets. Those selected will work at the federation’s health facilities or its partner hospitals.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Ba Hoan said Vietnam aims to bring 200 hospital orderlies to Japan in the next three years.

Takeshima Tenmi, Chairman of the Osaka Long-Term Medical Care Federation, said only 13 Vietnamese caregivers are working at big hospitals in Japan given its huge demand, stressing that Japanese large hospitals are seeking Vietnamese orderlies under long-term contracts.

In 2019, the two sides also signed an agreement on selecting and sending nursing apprentices to Japan./.

HCM City's VFF Committee congratulates Muslims on Raya Aidil Adha festival

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on June 12 held a get-together with the municipal representative board of the Muslim community and representatives of mosques and oratories on the occasion of the Raya Aidil Adha festival.

Addressing the event, Pham Minh Tuan, Vice Chairman of the VFF Committee of HCM City, highly appreciated the representative board of the Muslim community in the city, management boards of mosques and oratories in upholding the virtue spirit of Nabi Muhammad, raising the national pride, accompanying local residents to overcome difficulties and challenges, and positively participating in charity activities and emulation movements of the southern hub.

Their actions have helped to improve the material and spiritual lives of the city's people in general and Muslims in particular, contributing to promoting economic development and maintaining political stability, he said.

Tuan hoped that they will continue to stay united and collaborate with the VFF Committees at all levels to raise Muslims' awareness about the country's integration and development. They are also expected to mobilise people to participate in building cultural families, promoting the quintessence of national culture, contributing to preserving and developing an advanced Vietnamese culture which is rich in national identity.

Chau Ly, chief of the office of the city's Muslim community representative board, said that Muslims in the city still face many difficulties. However, thanks to the support and assistance of the administration, local agencies and organisations, their lives have been relatively stable.

The representative board has conducted communication work properly so that the management boards of the mosques and oratories understand and comply with the Party's policies and the State's laws, he noted./.

Vietnam sends four golfers to vie for Junior World Championship title

The Vietnam Golf Association (VGA) has selected four athletes to compete at the Junior World Championship 2024 which is scheduled to take place from June 13 to June 14 in Indonesia.

The Vietnamese golf team consists of Nguyen Bao Phat, Nguyen Gia Khoi, Le Minh Quang, and Nguyen Quang Za Vinh.

The local golfers will play through three rounds of 54 holes in various age groups, including U15-U18, U12-U14, and U10-U11 in both boys and girls categories to vie for the championship title.

As many as 113 golfers from across the world are due to attend the tournament.

The tournament is expected to provide an opportunity for young Vietnamese golfers to sharpen their skills, according to the Vietnam Golf Association (VGA).

This comes after the VGA and the Singapore Golf Association (SGA) signed a three-year cooperation programme on June 6 on golf training courses and friendly tournaments.

Việt Nam strengthens legal framework on child labour

Đặng Hoa Nam, General Director of the Department of Children’s Affairs under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs has noted that over the past decade, Việt Nam has established a robust legal framework on child labour that aligns more closely with international standards.

This will help Việt Nam achieve significant progress in reducing child labour and ultimately eliminating child labour in the near future, he said.

The 2020 National Report on Child Labour by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs indicated that over one million children were engaged in labour, primarily in agriculture, construction and services.

Child labour is particularly prevalent in rural and mountainous areas in the northern regions, the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, where economic conditions are less developed and access to education is limited.

According to a report by UNICEF in Việt Nam, the child labour rate in rural areas is nearly four times higher than in urban areas.

The ministry's report also revealed that 70 per cent of child labourers come from poor or near-poor families, and most children are unable to continue their education because they need to help their families earn a living.

To address child labour, Việt Nam has enacted various regulations to strengthen the legal framework protecting children's rights and preventing child labour.

The 2016 Law on Children and the 2019 Labour Code contain strict rules on child labour. The former explicitly defines children's rights, including protection from child labour and other forms of exploitation and proposes severe penalties for violations.

The 2019 Labour Code completely prohibits the use of child labour for those under 15 years old, except for certain light tasks that do not affect the child's health and education. For children aged 15 to 18, the law also includes strict regulations on working hours, types of work and working conditions.

The Vietnamese Government has signed and ratified several international conventions on children's rights and the prevention of child labour, such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions 138 and 182. Additionally, the 2021-2025 programme for the Prevention and Reduction of Child Labour is being implemented to address this issue. This programme includes measures to support education and vocational training and to improve living conditions for poor families.

The Government has also run numerous educational support programmes for poor children, especially in remote areas. Every year, thousands of disadvantaged students, including orphans, receive scholarships and tuition assistance, enabling them to continue their education.

In 2023, the Việt Nam Children’s Protection Fund provided 13,877 scholarships worth VNĐ9.4 billion and supported 17,800 children in special circumstances with total funding exceeding VNĐ20 billion.

Furthermore, many schools, especially in rural and mountainous areas, have been newly built or upgraded. The National Target Programme on Education and Training has contributed to improving learning conditions for hundreds of thousands of students. In 2023 alone, 272 facilities for children were newly constructed or upgraded.

Currently, the education sector aims to ensure that by 2030, at least 95 per cent of lower secondary school-age students and at least 75 per cent of upper secondary school-age students are enrolled, ensuring all children have the opportunity to study at least until the end of lower secondary education.

International cooperation is one of the most effective measures to address major causes of child labour.

International projects have focused on providing livelihood support to vulnerable families, ensuring that children can work safely and legally.

The ENHANCE project, a technical assistance initiative aimed at preventing and reducing child labour in Việt Nam, has been implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs since 2015. This project has brought positive results in three localities: Hà Nội, HCM City and An Giang.

Đặng Văn Huy, a sixth grader from Châu Phú District in An Giang Province, helps with household chores and is proficient in assisting his mother with growing oyster mushrooms. Huy’s family is one of 13 households supported by the ENHANCE project.

Nearby, seventh grader Nguyễn Thanh Nhân also benefits from the project. His father, Nguyễn Minh Hùng, said: “I find this project very practical as it provides stable income support for our family. Oyster mushrooms can be harvested multiple times, are easy to grow and maintain. After deducting initial costs, the income is around VNĐ12 million per crop.”

“Thanks to the project's support, my child can continue his education,” he said.

Võ Quang Huy, a child protection officer in Châu Phú District, said that the ENHANCE project has yielded very positive results. In addition to supporting children's education, skills and awareness, it also helps families stabilise their livelihoods for the long term.

In Thạch Thất District in Hà Nội, Đặng Thị Thúy Hiền, 45, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Her husband worked temporary jobs at construction sites, while Hiền, due to her illness, was unable to work, making it challenging to support her children's education and medical expenses.

Hiền’s family was among a group of 11 families selected to join the 'OCOP 4-star Potato Journey'. Starting last September, these families were allotted a total of 19,800 square metres of land for potato cultivation.

They received technical support and 90 per cent of the financial support needed for planting, seeds and fertilisers. They were trained on organic potato farming methods and household financial management and received support in promoting agricultural products as well as designing packaging, flyers and product samples for suitable markets.

Hiền said: “Income from potato farming has helped us a lot. I have additional income to support my children's education. I am very grateful for the project's and cooperative's support.”

Over eight years, nearly 6,000 children have received educational and vocational training support, 1,600 households have improved their livelihoods and almost 550 children have received additional support such as health insurance and assistance for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For ethnic minority children, especially girls at high risk of dropping out due to early marriage, the Ministry of Education and Training and the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, in cooperation with UNESCO, have launched the 'We Can' project in Hà Giang, Ninh Thuận and Sóc Trăng provinces, with plans to expand to Cao Bằng and Kon Tum provinces.

After more than two years, over 16,000 ethnic minority students have continued their education and 4,500 parents have become more aware of the importance of education. 

Revised law proposes sweeping changes to pharmaceutical industry

A revised version of the Law on Pharmaceuticals 2016 will be presented to the National Assembly for discussion and feedback during a legislative meeting from June 17 to 28.

According to the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the version enacts special mechanisms for using medicines and vaccines during a COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring a stable pharmaceutical supply in case of future outbreaks.

Another focus is introducing more robust policies to attract investment, promote research and development in drug manufacturing and accelerate technology transfers in specialised medicines.

Accessibility is also a key theme. The version aims to diversify pharmaceutical supply by establishing a legal framework for pharmacy chains and pharmaceutical sales on e-commerce platforms.

Additionally, it grants pharmaceutical business licences to non-profit pharmaceutical entities that engage in commercial activities to ensure essential medicines reach a wider range of the population.

It also aims to empower foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) to play a more active role in Việt Nam's medicine supply chains. This includes allowing FIEs to directly distribute pharmaceuticals they have manufactured, contract manufactured, or for which they have transferred technology in Việt Nam.

It also aims to simplify registration procedures by streamlining file extensions, defining scenarios for registration without the Pharmaceutical Registration Advisory Council's and Ministry of Health's approvals, and reducing file processing time from three months to 15 days and licence issuing time from 12 months to nine months.

It also allows continued use of expired drug registration licences if renewal applications have been submitted until renewal or the Ministry of Health's notification is received. This aims to ensure uninterrupted pharmaceutical circulation and prevent supply disruptions.

For fear that the prevalence of registered-but-not-circulated pharmaceuticals could obscure the true picture of drug availability, the version limits the renewal of licences for pharmaceuticals that have not been circulated for five years, except for some types of medicines.

It also decentralises recall authority to provincial Departments of Health for pharmaceuticals with quality issues of level 2 or level 3 within their jurisdiction. This would expedite local recall actions and align with regulations on product quality inspection.

Another focus involves Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The version adopts international GMP standards as the basis for evaluating foreign pharmaceutical facilities, ensuring a reliable supply of raw materials for Vietnamese manufacturers.

It also streamlines administrative procedures and reduces certain business requirements to give more elbow room to pharmaceutical enterprises. This includes eliminating confirmation procedures and allowing manufacturers to implement quality management measures based on GMP principles.

It also reinforces pharmaceutical price management by regulating declaration prices and projected wholesale prices to minimise intermediaries.

Procedures for registration of new drugs, brand-name drugs, specialised treatment drugs, biological products, high-tech drugs, and raw materials for drugs produced based on nationally approved scientific and technological tasks, and biotechnological drugs with technology transfer for production in Việt Nam, generic drugs of new drugs whose patent protection is about to expire, as well as traditional medicines produced using high-tech processes and from sources of medicinal herbs meeting GACP-WHO standards, will be streamlined under the new proposed law.

Rare drugs, WHO prequalified vaccines, and drugs that have undergone clinical trials in Việt Nam, will also be granted import licences.

Nguyễn Thanh Lâm, Deputy Director of the Drug Administration of Vietnam, said the Law on Pharmaceuticals 2016 had established a strong regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals for years.

However, the growing demand for high-quality medicines and the emergence of new diseases have exposed the need for revisions to the Law to keep manufacturers up with the times.

"This revised version will address current shortcomings in pharmaceutical management, paving the way for the industry's continued growth and ensuring accessibility to high-quality and affordable pharmaceuticals," said Lâm.

HCM City's planning reviewed, showing good initial results

A review of planning of HCM City has focused on the critical role the city plays in national development as it operates as a gateway to both state and international commercial interests.

The review meeting, discussing plans through 2030 and 2050, focused on compatibility with the Planning Law along with the city's strategic environment assessment.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, HCM City’s People’s Committee Chairman Phan Văn Mãi emphasised that the city’s master plan holds great significance in shaping and developing its socio-economic growth plans and policies.

This is why the city authorities have been prioritising their efforts in terms of the city’s planning.

Addressing the meeting, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that HCM City is a special urban area which operates as a gateway to regional and international connections.

The city is a major economic, cultural, educational and science-technology centre and a growth driver for the southeastern region and the country.

Accounting for just 0.6 per cent of Việt Nam’s total area and nine per cent of its total population, the city contributes nearly 20 per cent to national GDP (gross domestic product) and 25 per cent to State budget revenues.

However, the city is facing multiple challenges that slow down the progress of its growth model and economic structure.

Its GRDP growth rate is declining and is now lower than the national average, so is the contribution of TFP (total factor productivity).

Meanwhile, industries’ share in the economic structure has decreased from 25 per cent in 2015 to 22.06 per cent in 2022, with the labour-intensive electronics and footwear sectors representing the majority.

The service sector mostly relies on trade and transportation (44 per cent), while the role of strategic industries such as finance, health care, education and tourism is not prominent.

Minister Dũng said that the city does not have a comprehensive infrastructure and only a modest amount of land for industrial development, leading to difficulties in attracting investment.

Taking into consideration the limited connections between HCM City and other localities in the region, he added that the city will only be able to leverage its position as an international gateway when Long Thành Airport goes into operation.

The current urban design is also overloaded due to a rapid population growth, leading to multiple issues such as limited quality of life, traffic congestion, environmental pollution and flooding amid climate change impacts.

“The draft planning report clearly demonstrates HCM City’s development strategies in five aspects: green economy, innovative urban area, smart infrastructure, civilised society and sustainable environment,” said Chairman Mãi. 

Ho Chi Minh City River Festival 2024 lures nearly 4.5 million visitors

The second Ho Chi Minh City River Festival 2024 has attracted nearly 4.5 million visitors, reported by the municipal Department of Tourism.

The southern metropolis welcomed about 1.3 million travellers, including 121,000 foreigners and 1.18 million domestic tourists from May 31 to June 9. The event also brought 4.2 trillion VND (165 million USD) in tourism and service revenue to the city.

Preliminary statistics from travel firms showed that the number of visitors during the festival increased by 40-50% compared to normal days. Many tourist sites also recorded positive figures, such as Ho Chi Minh Museum, with a rise of 103%, the Cu Chi Tunnels 423%, and the War Remnants Museum 21%.

A river swimming tournament and a stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) race created an exciting atmosphere for this year’s edition. The tournaments saw the participation of 600 athletes with 51 teams from Thu Duc city and other localities.

Water sports activities also lured thousands of visitors and residents. Various riverside tours have been introduced to tourists, along with more than 100 attractive promotions, during the ten-day event.

The festival has created a cultural tourism product, fostering the tourism brand of HCM City - a river city that is rich in identity and the city of festivals, according to the event’s organising board. It has contributed to promoting the image of the city's land, people, cultural identity, and typical culinary tourism./.

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