Both men's and women's teams of Vietnam have won slots to the Beach Handball World Championship 2024 after grabbing positive results at the Asian championship in Indonesia.On March 15, the men's team beat the host 2-0 to remain in second place in Group B, which was enough for them to advance to the semi-final round. It also means that they have earned an official slot to the world event and the Asian Beach Games 2024.

Vietnam will play Qatar on March 17. The other match will see Iran vs Oman.

On the women's side, defending champions Vietnam are leading with five wins in a group of four teams who play in a two-leg round robin format.

Their results have helped them qualify for both the world event and the Asian tournament as the men did.

In the last round match on March 18, Vietnam will play Indonesia.

The Asian Beach Handball Championship will wrap up on March 19 in Bali.

The winner of the competition will also qualify for the beach handball competition of the second World Beach Games, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia, from August 5-12.

Cong Lich to compete at ICTSI Athletics Championships

Talented Vietnamese track-and-field athlete Quach Cong Lich and 15 other members of the local team are due to fly to the Philippines on March 19 ahead of competing in the CTSI Philippine Athletics Championships.

The event is scheduled to take place in Ilagan city from March 22 to March 26.

According to details given by the Vietnam Athletics Federation, the CTSI Philippine Athletics Championships will serve as a warm-up for the upcoming SEA Games 32 which is to be held in Cambodia in May.

The Vietnamese team will compete in the women's 100m hurdles, men's 400m hurdles, and women's 400m hurdles, all of which are crucial competitions for the nation when participating in the region's most prominent sporting event.

In addition, talented local athletes Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc, Nguyen Thanh Ngung, Vo Xuan Vinh, and Nguyen Thi Van will also compete at the 2023 Asian 20km Race Walking Championships, with the event scheduled to take place on March 19 in Nomi in Japan.

Vietnam pavilion attracts visitors at Mediterranean Tourism Exchange

The Vietnam pavilion is attracting a large number of visitors to the 26th Mediterranean Tourism Exchange (BTM), organised from March 16 to 18 in the Italian city of Napoli.

This is the first time that the Embassy of Vietnam in Italy participated in the BTM, one of the largest annual tourism events in the European country, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors and 400 exhibitors from 26 countries.

Visitors showed great interest in Vietnam's rich cultural heritages and diverse tourism services.

This year, Vietnam and Italy are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their bilateral ties (March 23, 1973-2023) and 10 years of strategic partnership (January 2013-2023).

Through the past 50 years, the relationship between Vietnam and Italy have been marked with cultural and economic developments.

Vietnam grabs 17 golds at SEA Karate Federation Championships

The nation won 17 gold medals during the Southeast Asia Karate Federation (SEAKF) Championships 2023’s first day of competition, with the event currently underway in the Philippines.      

The outstanding victories came through exemplary performances put in by key martial artists Hoang Thi My Tam (women’s U55kg) by beating Chokprasertgul Sirigamolnate of Thailand in kumite (combat), Chu Van Duc (men’s U55kg) who defeated Trinh Ngoc Quang in the U21 age group, and Nguyen Anh Duc who grabbed the first place in the men’s Kata (demonstration) event.

Moving forward, Vietnamese martial artists will have a chance to compete once more against opponents from seven other regional countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and hosts the Philippines, until March 19.

The tournament is considered to be a key warm-up event for karate fighters as they prepare for the upcoming SEA Games 32 which will be held in Cambodia this May.

This year marks the 10th edition of the SEAKF Championships.

In the 2022 tournament held in Cambodia, Vietnam topped the medal table, bagging five golds, while Indonesia and Malaysia were placed in second and third positions, respectively.

NA Permanent Vice Chairman visit Barcelona

Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man visited the port city of Barcelona on March 17, within the framework of his working visit to Spain.

General Secretary of Metropolis Felip Roca Blasco said that the visit was an important event for Barcelona, especially in the context of its policy of developing relations with Asian countries.

As an open and dynamic city, Barcelona wants to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese localities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, he stressed.

The general secretary also took this occasion to invite Vietnamese cities to attend exhibitions held in Barcelona, including the 2023 Smart City Expo World Congress slated for November.

Man asserted that Vietnam always opens its door and creates a favourable investment environment for foreign businesses, including those from Spain.

Many businessmen in Ho Chi Minh City hope to explore investment opportunities in Barcelona, he said, proposing the general secretary and other city leaders contribute to promoting trade relations between the two cities in particular and strengthening the Vietnam - Spain strategic partnership in general.

Meeting Pau Guardans Cambo, Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Barcelona, Man expressed his belief that with his reputation and experience, the honorary consul with help boost cooperation between the two countries and their localities in various fields; and protect the rights and interests of the State and citizens of Vietnam.

Pau Guardans Cambo affirmed that he will help boost cooperation in economics, trade, investment, culture, education and tourism between Barcelona and Catalonia region with Vietnam, thus contributing to the development of the Spain-Vietnam strategic partnership in the coming time.

Man also visited the Port of Barcelona which has had relations with Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Vung Tau and Quy Nhon ports.

Statistics from the Port Management Board show that in 2022, freight trading between Vietnam and Spain through this port reached 610,321 tonnes, up 25.6% year-on-year. The volume of Vietnam's containers transshipped through this port also increased by 26.9% to a total of 48,423 units.

Man suggested the two sides strengthen cooperation in shipping and tourism, as there remains huge potential for bilateral collaboration in these fields.

He left for Hanoi on March 18, concluding his working visit to Spain.

Forum held to settle young people’s concern

A forum linking more than 11,000 locations at home and abroad was held on March 17 to gather opinions of youth union members, teenagers, and children and discuss solutions to issues that young people are concerned about.

The event, organised by the Secretariat of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMCYU) Central Committee, focused on two main themes, namely promoting youth’s strength to build a prosperous and happy country and creating an environment for children to develop comprehensively.

Permanent Secretary of the HCMCYU Nguyen Ngoc Luong said that last year, from a proposal of the Central Commitee, the Prime Minister promulgated a programme on the education of revolutionary ideals, morality and cultural life for young people in cyberspace for 2022 – 2030 period. This is a very important foundation for implementing the tasks and solutions of the Union, he said.

Regarding measures to help youngsters have more opportunities to learn traditional values, cultural lifestyles, and revolutionary history of the nation in the context of deeper integration,  Nguyen Minh Triet, Secretary of the HCMCYU Central Committee, said bringing the content of education relating to the country's history and culture closer to young people through digital solutions is one of the ways.

Other issues relating to solutions to enhance the connection of the youth volunteer movements, orientation on international volunteering as well as the populisation of the Vietnamese culture were also settled at the forum.

Bangladesh-Vietnam Friendship Society established

The Bangladesh-Vietnam Friendship Society (BVFS) was officially established on March 13, as one of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-Bangladesh diplomatic relationship.

The society sees the participation of former ambassadors of Bangladesh to Vietnam, members of the Bangladesh-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, war veterans, intellectuals, journalists, writers, and artists.

Shamsher M. Chowdhury, BB, former Foreign Minister and former Ambassador of Bangladesh to Vietnam, serves as BVFS President.

In his remarks, the official stressed that the establishment of the association demonstrates the close ties between the two countries, as well as Bangladesh’s efforts in promoting their solidarity.

With his love for Vietnam and his desire to keep contributing to the friendship and prosperity of Bangladesh and Vietnam, especially to promote people-to-people exchanges, cultural exchanges, Shamsher M. Chowdhury and his Bangladeshi friends decided to establish the Bangladesh - Vietnam Friendship Society.

Secretary of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury reviewed major milestones in the Vietnam-Bangladesh relations over the past 50 years.

He said Vietnam is one of the most dynamic countries in Asia and that he hopes with the engagement of the BVFA, the relations between the two countries and their peoples will grow in a more intensive and practical way.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien emphasised that the formation of the BVFA is meaningful to the Vietnam-Bangladesh relations as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The diplomat noted his hope that the association will organise activities bringing peoples of the two countries together, and help promote Vietnam’s land, people, culture, and achievements among Bangladeshi people.

On this occasion, President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga sent a letter of congratulations to the BVFA

In the letter, Nga said its establishment has contributed to cooperation and friendship as well as people-to-people diplomacy between the two countries, and expressed her hope for fruitful cooperation with the association in people-to-people diplomacy.

HCMC suspends karaoke parlors, bars, dance clubs for fire safety violations

Recreational facilities of dance clubs, bars and karaoke parlors in HCMC have been asked to stop operation for failing to meet fire prevention and fighting regulations..

HCMC suspends karaoke parlors, bars, dance clubs for fire safety violations ảnh 1

The functional force inspects a karaoke lounge in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

The announcement was made by Colonel Huynh Quang Tam, Head of the Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue Police Division (PC07) under the HCMC Department of Public Security at a conference on the socio-economic situation and pandemic prevention and control held by the municipal People’s Committee on March 16.

From December 16, 2022, to the present, the functional force (PC07) launched hundreds of inspections into dance clubs, bars and karaoke parlors, issued 88 fines worth VND558 million; asked 24 facilities to temporarily halt operation and 158 services to close.

In the coming time, the inspection delegations will continue to make lists of bars, discos, and karaoke lounges for close supervision and monitoring of their implementation of instructions; strictly ask enterprises to stop operation if they violate regulations on fire safety and firefighting.

Regarding the lack of public toilet facilities in the city, Head of the Division of solid waste management under the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Nguyen Hien said that public restrooms are mainly found in districts 1, 3, 5.

In the coming time, besides investment in upgrading and building public toilets, the department will mobilize post offices, petrol stations, cultural and training centers, supermarkets, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, bus stations, food and drink services and shops to create conditions for visitors to use their restrooms.

Over 1,000 people run in response to Earth Hour 2023 in Hanoi

More than 1,000 people joined a Race for Earth Hour 2023, which took place around Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi capital on March 18.

The race was one among the activities held in Vietnam to respond to the Earth Hour this year.

Citizens nationwide are encouraged to take a simple but meaningful act of turning off lights and other unnecessary devices from 20:30 to 21:30 on March 25.

An online quiz to learn about the Earth Hour is being held for the first time on the website of the National Energy Efficiency Programme at

The Earth Hour is an initiative launched by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and is the largest social event globally. So far it has been observed in 7,000 cities and towns across 172 countries and territories globally.

Vietnam first joined the Earth Hour campaign in 2009. In 2022, the country saved 309,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to 576.1 million VND (more than 24,000 USD).

The Earth Hour campaign in Vietnam is hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and receives the support of many businesses, especially Vietnam Electricity (EVN) which serves as the primary sponsor of the campaign.

The campaign is one of several actions being taken by the Vietnamese Government and people, demonstrating their strong commitment to uniting with the world in the fight against climate change.

Laborer right ensured for one-time insurance withdrawal cases

Vietnam Social Security and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs yesterday co-held a press conference on new content in the draft amended Social Insurance Law.

Deputy Director Nguyen Duy Cuong of the Department of Social Insurance (under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs – MOLISA) informed that there is a rise in the number of laborers wishing to withdraw social insurance in one time and quit the social security system. The figure increased from the annual average of 700,000 cases to 900,000 in 2022.

The amendment of the Social Insurance Law 2014 is to give more rights to laborers in order to attract them to join the system.

Deputy General Director of Vietnam Social Security Le Hung Son added that the proposed additions in the draft Social Insurance Law (amended) will offer workers with more options. For instance, alternative No.2 allows laborers to enjoy one-time insurance withdrawals (but only 50 percent of the total paid period) to satisfy personal demands. The rest will be kept there waiting for them to continue the program when they find a new job. All will be delivered when they retire.

Deputy General Director Son stressed that this new policy has considered both the immediate (answering urgent needs) and long-term (pension, social benefits in retirement) benefits of laborers. Therefore, it is suggested that participants in the social security system should not withdraw everything at one time.

The new content is expected to stop the wave of one-time insurance withdrawal among jobless people.

Drama plays mark 50 years of Vietnam – France relations

Young artists of the Hong Hac Drama Troupe are working on a series of new plays to mark 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and France.

The highlight is an experimental play on money and love adapted from Honoré de Balzac’s novel Eugénie Grandet.

The Vietnamese play adapted from Eugénie Grandet was written by female director Viet Linh, who is talented and well-known in both theatre and movies.

Linh worked with her younger colleague, theatre director Tay Phong on the play script.

The play is about a wealthy but miserly Felix Grandet whose deeds lead to tragedy for his daughter Eugénie and himself.

“I believe Vietnamese versions of French theatrical plays will offer something new and interesting for audiences, particularly the youth,” said director Phong in an interview with local media.

“Balzac released Eugénie Grandet in 1839 but it has modern content. The play’s message is about the hypocrisy and shallowness of wealthy people and how money controls their lives.”

Phong has worked with theatre designers to perfect his production with costumes, choreography, music, lighting and visual effects.

Other new plays adapted from works of French writers Catherine Arley and Marc Levy are also running and scheduled to debut in April.

Citizen ID card issuance for children under 14 necessary: Minister

Minister of Public Security To Lam emphasized the necessary of amending the Law on Citizen Identification, especially in protecting children's rights and the rights of the vulnerable.

Minister of Public Security To Lam speaks at the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee this morning
Speaking at the meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee this morning, Minister of Public Security To Lam emphasized that children under 14 years old should be granted citizen identification cards with chips for convenient management; he presumed not missing this opportunity to fill the gap in social governance.

The Law on Citizen Identification has been in effect for nearly 7 years, during that time there have been many directives to serve the people. The Party Central Committee’s Resolution 21 sets out the goal that by 2030, the entire population of Vietnam will be managed in a unified national population system, this is a very important guideline.

The Politburo’s Resolution 52 also defines the synchronous development of national infrastructure in a system of national data centers, synchronous and unified regional data centers. By now, it's already mid-term, with only a few years left until 2030, if this is not completed soon, it will be difficult to achieve the target, said Minister To Lam.

Explaining more about the proposal to issue citizen identification cards with chips for children under 14 years old, Mr. Lam said that he had worked with the Ministry of Education and Training and realized that citizen identification card issuance will serve well for exams as well as children's legitimate needs such as flying, using cell phones.

He gave an example that in many countries, babies are born with a passport right away. ASEAN tends to unify documents, accordingly, those having citizen identification cards with chips may not need a passport. If the countries are unified, Vietnamese citizens can also travel to ASEAN countries by citizen identification cards with chips, said Minister To Lam.

He also said, if the proposal is approved by the National Assembly, the citizen identification cards with chips of children must be changed every 5 years. The goal is that all people can transact in the electronic environment. According to the Minister, the socio-economic aspect is also very favorable if all people, including children, have special cards.

Previously, through verification, Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee on Legal Affairs Hoang Thanh Tung said that, about the issuance of citizen identification cards for children under 14 years old, members of the NA Standing Committee of Law and the NA Committee for National Defense and Security suggested good consideration because children have rapid changes in appearance and face, accordingly, without a regular update, information will be inaccurate.

Most children under 14 years old do not themselves (or are not allowed) to perform administrative and civil transactions, especially transactions requiring special cards; thus, the issuance of the cards will be a waste if it is not necessary.

Number of organ donors highest in Cho Ray Hospital

Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City has the highest number of registered organ donors in the country, according to the Vietnam National Coordinating Centre for Human Organ Transplantation.

As many as 62,555 people registered to donate organs in Vietnam last year, compared to just 265 in 2014. Cho Ray Hospital posted about half of the total registrations.

Since the first kidney transplant on February 28, 1992, the hospital has conducted 1,127 kidney transplants.

Among those, a total of 70 organs were transplanted from brain dead patients or those who had dysfunctional hearts.

The hospital has cooperated with transplant centres in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan (China), Australia, the US, and Spain, among others, to send doctors and nurses on study and experience exchange programmes.

Tran Van Thuan, deputy health minister, said the operation, which is becoming a routine technique at many hospitals across the country, especially Cho Ray, has contributed to reviving many of those patients with organ failure.

Nguyen Tri Thuc, the hospital’s director, said the hospital has maintained good cooperation with airlines, police and health authorities to deliver the donor organ across the country.

Cho Ray Hospital has pioneered in innovating solutions to utilise the sources of organs donated. In 2008, the hospital succeeded in transplanting organs from brain dead patients.

They also successfully performed transplantation from a donor with cardiac arrest on June 18, 2015, a cross-donor transplant on January 11, 2017 and ABO blood type incompatibility on December 29, 2021.

In Vietnam, anyone over 18 years old can register to donate their organs after death or brain death.

Two centres offering registration for organ donors are the Vietnam-Germany Hospital in Hanoi and Cho Ray Hospital.

Salary policy reform must be done

Investments in human capital can yield returns; thus, the salary policy reform must be urgently solved.

The human factor is crucial in the implementation of a strategic plan for building Vietnam to become a prosperous country by 2045 as per the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. Investments in human capital can yield returns; thus, the salary policy reform must be urgently solved.

Not only the education and health sectors but also employees in other professions complain a lot about wage policy.

Mr. Bui Cong Khanh who has been working in the internal affairs sector in Hanoi for nearly 20 years, said that his current total income including his bonus is less than VND9 million. His home is more than 20km away from the office, and for more than 10 years, in order to save money, he often goes to the office by bus and brings rice from home for lunch. Although he wants to work overtime to have more income to take care of his family, he hardly finishes his task before 5 PM.

Following the news of an increase in basic salary from July 1, Mr. Khanh said that his wage is not growing at a fast enough rate to keep up with inflation in a large city such as Hanoi.

Speaking at the last National Assembly session, Mr. Truong Trong Nghia from Ho Chi Minh City said that the reform of wages and incomes of officials, workers and public employees should be enough for employees to reproduce their labor and support the family, Mr. Truong Trong Nghia said.

Before retiring, former Minister of Home Affairs Le Vinh Tan also affirmed that it is necessary to resolutely implement the new salary regimes because officials and public servants earning a high salary feel motivated to do a good job. On the other hand, according to experts, it is necessary to have an appropriate salary policy to attract and retain talented people and capable people in the public sector.

The Department of Home Affairs of Ho Chi Minh City’s announcement about the results of the implementation of the policy to attract excellent students and young scientists according to Decree No. 140/2017/ND-CP on the policy of attracting and creating human resources that from 2018 to now, Ho Chi Minh City has not attracted any excellent graduates and young scientists in public sectors. The main reason that no excellent students and young scientists agreed to work in public sectors in the past 5 years is due to low income and remuneration policies in the public sector and direct competition with the private sector.

The Ministry of Home Affairs also acknowledged that a large number of civil servants and public employees quitting their jobs is an existing problem in the mechanism and policy of management of human resources that the Ministry of Home Affairs needs to have immediate and long-term solutions.

From July 1, the basic salary for civil servants and public employees will increase to VND 1.8 million. This increase also only contributes to improving the lives of wage earners, but cannot meet the needs of life and it is not enough to eliminate the gap between public sector salaries and non-market wages.

According to Mr. Luu Binh Nhuong, Deputy Head of the Civil Volunteers Committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee, it has been so far difficult for us to carry out the reform of salary policy, because wages always depend on the budget.

Recently, the National Assembly passed Resolution 54 on a specific mechanism for Ho Chi Minh City, allowing Ho Chi Minh City to pay higher wages, but that was only a slightly higher salary increase, not enough to attract talented people. The current salary is both not true to the nature of the salary, and does not guarantee fairness in terms of grades and contributions to the right capacity and can disrupt the wage system," Mr. Nhuong said.

He said that the salary cannot be equalized, and wage policymakers should consider job positions.

Working in the internal affair sector and quite knowledgeable about salary issues, Mr. Bui Cong Khanh said that it is necessary to create a source of salary payment by collecting taxes fully and avoiding loss of revenue. This will be a huge source of money to be able to calculate the salary balance in the future.

On the other hand, those who do not meet the job requirements should be laid off. The rate of laid-off personnel in any agency usually accounts for about 30 percent, Mr. Khanh stated.

Vietnamese, Lao security forces strengthen ties

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security Gen. To Lam hosted a reception in Hanoi on March 17 for Lao Deputy Minister of Public Security Sen. Lieut. Gen Kongthong Phongvichit.

Earlier, Phongvichit co-chaired the 13th Vietnam-Laos security cooperation conference in the central city of Da Nang on March 15.

Lam hailed the successful organisation of the conference with the signing of the minutes that covered new cooperation areas such as fighting cyber crime, wrongful and distorted allegations on social media, and State management on foreign non-governmental organisations that violate national security of the two countries.

Vietnam has consistently maintained special friendship with Laos, and stays ready to help Laos overcome current difficulties, continue with socio-economic development, diversify and multilateralise foreign relations to improve its position and role within ASEAN, he said, adding that Vietnam is willing to help Laos ensure its security and order during its ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2024.

Lam stressed that the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security wants to work with the Lao counterpart to maintain independence, self-reliance, political stability and relationships with other countries; prevent external forces from taking advantage of one country to harm the security and stability of the other as well as ties between the two nations.

He wished that Laos will help Vietnam address issues related to strategic interests.

The host asked the two countries’ public security forces to maintain their traditional and close relations on the basis of high political trust and mutual respect.

The minister believed that they will fulfill tasks assigned by the two ministries on the back of great bilateral friendship and special solidarity.

Phongvichit, for his part, wished that both sides would maintain regular meetings between public security forces in localities sharing the border.

He vowed to consistently prevent hostile and reactionary forces from taking advantage of one country to undermine political stability and social security and order of the other, as well as harm the bilateral relationship.

Da Lat to soon build two parking lots in suburban areas

The new two parking lots being about 10 kilometers far from Da Lat city center are expected to provide over 2,000 parking spaces for the different means of transport.

On March 15, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province Tran Van Hiep has just signed a decision approving the detailed plan of constructing two parking lots, including the first one right at the foot of Prenn Pass and the second one in combination with the current bus station at the T-junction Darahoa in Lac Duong District.

The two parking lots are located around 10 kilometers from Da Lat city center, at the gateways to the city from Southern provinces and Central coastal localities.

The first parking lot is located at the foot of Prenn pass in Ward 3, Da Lat City and Hiep An Commune, Duc Trong District which covers an area of 38.2 hectares to serve around 790 buses, 122 small-size bus-line parking lots, 200 lots for taxi and automobile connecting with the National Highway No.20.

Meanwhile, the second parking lot in combination with the bus station at the T-junction Darahoa in Lac Duong District will connect with the National Highway 27C in a part of 144A area, Da Sar Commune, Lac Duong District with an area of 36.6 hectares. It will provide 817 parking spaces for buses, 83 for small size buses and 60 ones for taxi and automobiles.

Apart from the parking lot, the project will include a bus station to constitute urban convenience which would contribute to improving the social infrastructure system and reducing the number of motor vehicles in Da Lat city center.

The People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province required the Provincial Department of Transport to collaborate with localities to announce the plan, and put landmarks serving for construction.

Vietnam-France friendship association holds 7th congress

The 7th congress of the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association took place in Hanoi on March 17 to review its operation in the past tenure, elect a new leadership, and set out orientations and tasks serving the 2023-2028 tenure.

The function elected Nguyen Thuy Anh, member of the Party Central Committee and the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee and Chairwoman of the NA’s Committee of Social Affairs, as the president. She was among 50 key executive, management, and inspection positions elected at the event.

In her remarks, Anh expressed her honour for being given such a great responsibility and pledged to do her best to complete the tasks set out at the congress, contributing to enhancement of the association’s performance in the time to come.  

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery held that over the past time, Vietnamese and French leaders have always affirmed their desire for strong development relations.

The bilateral strategic partnership is clearly demonstrated in high-level visits by generations of their leaders and in many fields of cooperation from politics, security, economy, education, and health, the diplomat affirmed. The friendship association plays a very important role conducive to such outcomes, he said.

President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga lauded achievements the association has made in the past tenure and recommended it focus on proposing ideas and building an action plan serving people-to-people exchange in the new tenure.

Public toilets designed with aesthetic, financial purposes

Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai has just asked Voluntary Youth Public Benefit Service Co. Ltd. for designs of public toilets for the downtown area.

Accordingly, Voluntary Youth Public Benefit Service Co. Ltd. must prepare new public toilet designs that are modern, aesthetic, environmentally friendly, and fully equipped for necessary functions, along with financial plans, operation and management methods. More importantly, the designs must ensure to earn revenues for workers there.

The People’s Committees of Thu Duc City and all districts must cooperate with the HCMC Departments of Tourism, Transport, Construction in order to evaluate the results of investment amounts into building public toilets in public places since 2020.

A report should be prepared, including advantages and disadvantages during the investment and operation periods, together with measures to improve service provision and management. The HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment will then compile these proposals for feasible solutions to apply.

Thu Duc City and all districts, especially those in the downtown area, should mobilize the support from such buildings as post offices, gas stations, cultural centers, training centers, supermarkets, stores, malls, restaurants, hotels, food shops, public transport stations to aid individuals with a need to use a toilet.

President: Vietnam values strategic partnership with Australia

Vietnam always values the promotion of friendly relations and strategic partnership with Australia, a long-standing traditional partner and one of the countries forming comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN, President Vo Van Thuong told Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski during a reception in Hanoi on March 17. 

President Thuong thanked Australia for being the second largest donor of COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam with 26.4 million doses, thus helping the country drive back the pandemic and recover socio-economic development.

He said two-way trade between the two countries hit 16.1 billion USD last year. With 579 projects worth nearly 1.98 billion USD, Australia ranked 20th out of 139 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. During the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Australia increased the supply of official development assistance to Vietnam by 18% and assisted the country in development cooperation projects, especially in improving livelihoods and clean water supply. In particular, Australia assisted Vietnam in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Speaking highly of the Australian Government’s scholarship programmes, Thuong said a number of Australian educational establishments have contributed to the training of Vietnamese management officials.

The host suggested enhancing collaboration in fields of each country’s strength such as climate change, environment, agriculture and tourism to match bilateral strategic partnership.

Vietnam will actively fight corruption, fine-tune laws, create the best business environment to attract more foreign investors, including those from Australia, he said.

Goledzinowski, for his part, said 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and he will actively contribute to bilateral relationship.

He proposed further coordination in UN peacekeeping missions, national defence-security, personnel training, climate change and use of renewable energy.

The guest wished to receive support from the Vietnamese ministries and agencies in Australia’s investment projects in the country.

As mining is Vietnam’s strength while Australia has modern technology, he wished to reinforce bilateral cooperation in this field to raise two-way trade.

500 Cambodian residents, those of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia get free health check-ups, gifts

About 500 Cambodian people and those of the Vietnamese origin in Borebo district, Cambodia's Kampong Chhnang province, received free health check-ups and medicine on March 18.

The activity was organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, Cho Ray-Phnom Penh Hospital, the Khmer-Vietnamese Association, and local authorities.

Ambassador Nguyen Huy Tang expressed his sincere thanks to the Kampong Chhnang provincial administration and authorities of Borebo district for supporting and creating favourable conditions for those of the Vietnamese origin in the locality to have a stable life.

He called on the provincial administration and Governor Sun Sovanarith to continue their attention to creating conditions for the Kampong Chhnang province’s Khmer-Vietnam Association to operate more effectively as well as facilitate the lives of those of the Vietnamese origin.

On this occasion, the embassy also handed over 500 packages of gifts to disadvantaged households living in Borebo district.

PM praises collectives, individuals for search, rescue in Turkey

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a gathering in Hanoi on March 17 to honour collectives and individuals of working delegations from the ministries of Public Security and National Defence engaged in search and rescue in Turkey in wake of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The quake, occurred on February 6, has been the largest in Turkey since 1939, killing tens of thousands of people and injuring hundreds of thousands of others, destroying tens of thousands of buildings. Turkey declared a state of emergency in 10 provinces and appealed for assistance from the international community. It was the first time Vietnam had sent a large staff, including 76 officers from the Ministry of National Defence and 24 from the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), to join in search and rescue in a foreign territory.

Col. Nguyen Minh Khuong, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Police Department of Fire Prevention and Fighting and Rescue, said the delegation coordinated to rescue one survivor and handed over 14 bodies of victims to medical units.

They also donated nearly 2 tonnes of medical equipment, visited and presented gifts to victim families, he said.  

Maj. Gen Pham Van Ty, deputy head of the Search and Rescue Department under the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army, said from February 13-22, the delegation conducted search in 31 locations, found 28 dead victims and partnered with counterparts from Bahrain and Mexico to bring 10 dead victims out and hand over three sites with victims to local rescue forces.

They voluntarily raised 4,000 USD to help local residents buy food and supplies. Before returning home, they donated 25 tonnes of relief goods to local authorities.

Speaking at the event, PM Chinh said the engagement in post-quake search and rescue efforts in Turkey is a vivid demonstration of the sound foreign policy, the sense of responsibility and the international solidarity spirit of the Vietnamese Party, State and people. This also affirms Vietnam's reputation and capacity of dealing with international issues which have been highly appreciated by the international community, the Turkish Government and people and welcomed by the Vietnamese people.

As climate change will become worse and unpredictable, he noted that search and rescue hold extreme significance in the cause of protecting national security, social safety and order and well-being of the people. It is also a crucial task in the national defence system.

Therefore, fine-tuning mechanisms, policies and laws in the effort is a key and urgent task, he said, adding that it is necessary to learn from lessons in Turkey to add them into training sessions, enhance coordination between ministries, agencies and localities in coping with non-traditional security issues as well as pool public involvement in the effort.

On the occasion, the PM presented his certificates of merit to collectives and individuals in recognition of their contributions to the effort.

Tea ceremony marks Vietnam-Japan diplomatic anniversary

The Japanese Embassy in Hanoi on March 17 held a tea ceremony in the presence of visiting deputy grand master Machita Soryu of Urasenke, one of the three Japanese Tea Schools.

Addressing the event, Japanese Ambassador Yamada Takio said the exchange event is a highlight among activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations (1973-2023).

Considering the tea ceremony a fine traditional and typical cultural trait of Japan, Yamada said tea drinking, a similar culture between Vietnamese and Japanese people, contains elements that create understanding and compassion between the nations.

The ceremony treated participants to an introduction to Japan’s tea ceremony by Machita Soryu.

Vung Tau city popularises image to Asia-Pacific countries

The annual conference of the Tourism Promoting Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO) for Vietnamese members took place in Vung Tau city, the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on March 17 under the theme “Green Convergence”.

TGO Secretary General Woo Kyungha and leaders of the Vietnamese cities and provinces of Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Bac Ninh, Da Nang, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Long An, and Vung Tau attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hoang Vu Thanh said the event affords participants a chance to directly explore local tourism products, thus popularising the city’s images to other cities and provinces and Asia-Pacific countries.

Delegates listened to reports on the TPO’s activities, discussed previous regional meetings and upcoming activities, and preparations for the 11th TPO Council’s meeting in the Republic of Korea’s Jeonju city in September.

They also looked into the next venue for Vietnamese members at the conference and tourism promotion projects of member cities.

Representatives from Vung Tau and Da Lat cities gave presentations on "Green Convergence" - the official theme of "Vietnam Tourism Year 2023" with efforts to promote sustainable tourism development in Vietnam.

As part of the event, delegates visited booths showcasing specialties and landmark destinations of Vung Tau city.

As a network of tourism cities in the Asia-Pacific region, TPO was established at the fifth Asian-Pacific City Summit (APCS) in Fukuoka, Japan in 2002. In 2019, Vung Tau city was admitted as its 124th member. To date, Vietnam has eight member cities of this organisation.

Anti-corruption experience shared at Hanoi conference

Domestic and foreign experts gathered at a conference in Hanoi on March 17 to share international experience and lessons for Vietnam in organizing the enforcement of laws on anti-corruption.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs, highlighted the role and contributions of law building and the completion of institutions and laws as well as the organisation of law enforcement to corruption prevention and control.

Pointing out a number of Vietnam's weaknesses in law execution and the combination of the work and law-building activities, Hai stressed the need to take on international experience in law-building in association with the implementation of laws regarding corruption prevention and control.

Nguyen Cong Hong,  former Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)'s Law Committee, said that in order to seek optimal solutions to corruption, Vietnam has learned experience from many countries with different political institutions, including the US and those in Asia and Western Europe.

Sharing Japan’s experience in the field, Kono Ryuzo, Chief Advisor of the Project for Enhancing the Quality and Efficiency of Developing and Implementing Laws in Vietnam, gave a number of recommendations for Vietnam in anti-corruption, including strengthening the investigation and prosecution capacity of independent anti-corruption agencies, promoting the transparency of transactions in the public sector, and banning senior officials from working part-time or taking many positions.

Nguyen Hung Quang, head of the law office Quang and Associates and President of Vietnam International Commercial Mediation Centre (VICMC), said that with differences in political institutions, socio-economic development level, historical conditions and cultural and legal practices as well as people's intellectual level, the anti-corruption strategies and measures of countries have its own characteristics and requirements.

But in common, in order to effectively combat corruption, countries often focus on factors such as building a strict and clear legal system in general and legislation on anti-corruption in particular, which is synchronized with political determination from the top leaders, along with the development of a contingent of professional public servants with integrity and good ethics having full authority to handle corruption in an impartial and objective manner, he said.

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