The first Vietnamese “banh mi” (baguette) festival opened in Ho Chi Minh City on March 30 night, bringing together 120 pavilions from domestic and foreign restaurants, hotels, bakeries and businesses.

The festival, to last until April 2, aims to recognise the value of bread for Vietnamese cuisine and honour the skill and creativity of bakers. It is expected to attract 50,000 visitors.

A ceremony to honour top long-standing and famous bread brands in Vietnam, and a workshop on the development of  bread in Vietnam will be organised in the framework of the event.

"Banh mi" is ranked 7th among the best street foods in the world by TasteAtlas, a website dedicated to discovering fresh ingredients, traditional dishes, and authentic restaurants around the world. It was also named among the 50 best street foods in Asia by CNN.

“Banh mi” (pronounced 'bun mee') is a popular Vietnamese variety of sandwich that shares the same core ingredient - a baguette.

The baguette was brought over to Vietnam during the colonial period, and nowadays it is one of the few remaining legacies from the time. In the beginning, most "banh mi" sandwiches consisted of bread, meat, and seasonings, with no added vegetables.

Prime Minister to attend fourth Mekong River Commission Summit in Laos

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend the fourth Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, on April 5, according to the Foreign Ministry's communique.

His attendance is made at the invitation of the Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone.

Laos will host the fourth MRC Summit and its International Conference in the capital from April 2-5. The MRC International Conference, which attracts global and regional experts in the fields of water and related resources, energy, food, transport, transboundary rivers, river basin management, governance and development, will discuss the latest knowledge and innovative solutions to issues facing the Mekong and other river basins.

The MRC, an intergovernmental organisation established in 1995 following the Mekong Agreement among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, serves as a regional platform for Mekong-related cooperation and knowledge sharing.

NA Law Committee holds 13th plenary session

The National Assembly (NA)’s Law Committee convened its 13th plenary session on March 30, reviewing the adjustments of the Law and Ordinance Building Programme in 2023 and a draft programme for next year.

According to a report delivered at the session, the Government proposed adding the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on People's Public Security to the fifth NA session’s working agenda for the legislature’s consideration and approval.

Five draft laws, namely the draft Law on Citizen Identification (amended), the draft Law on Credit Institutions (amended), the draft Law on Roads, the draft Law on Road Traffic Order and Safety, and the draft Law on forces participating in security and border protection at the grassroots level, will be put on the table during this session, scheduled to take place in May.

These draft laws will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval in the sixth plenary session, which will be held later this year.

During this session, the legislature will also give comments on the draft Law on defence industry, security and industrial mobilisation; the draft Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Property Auction; and the draft Law on Capital City.

For the 2024 Programme, the Government, the Supreme People's Court, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and National Assembly deputies have proposed to include 18 draft laws into this programme.

Specifically, six draft laws, which will be discussed in the sixth session, will be adopted in the seventh session, while 10 draft laws will be considered in the seventh session and approved in the following one. And two draft laws will be put on the table at the eighth session.

Governor-General of Australia to pay State visit to Vietnam

The Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley, will pay a State visit to Vietnam from April 3 to 6, the Foreign Ministry announced on March 30.

The visit is made at the invitation of President Vo Van Thuong.

Warning given to Dong Nai Provincial Party Committee's Standing Board

The Political Bureau convened a meeting at the Party Central Committee's headquarters on March 30 under the chair of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to consider a disciplinary measure against the Standing Board of the Dong Nai Provincial Party Committee in the 2010 – 2015 and 2015 – 2020 tenures.

After reviewing the proposal of the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commissions, the Political Bureau found that the Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee in the 2010 – 2015 and 2015 – 2020 tenures violated the principle of democratic centralism and working rules; displayed a lack of responsibility, and loose leadership, and a lack of inspection and supervision, letting the Party Civil Affairs Committee of the provincial People’s Committee, the People’s Committee, and a number of organisations and individuals violating the Party's rules, the State's laws, and regulations on financial management, investment, bidding, and land use in some projects.

The violations have caused serious consequences, great damage and risk of state budget losses; triggered public concern; and affected the reputation of the local Party committee and administration.

Based on the Party's regulations on disciplinary measures against Party organisations and members who commit violations, the Political Bureau decided to give a warning as a disciplinary measure against the provincial Party Committee’s Standing Board in the 2010 - 2015 and 2015 - 2020 terms.

Vietnam drawn into tough group at 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup

Vietnam drawn into tough group at 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup hinh anh 1
Vietnam’s U17 team has drawn into Group D of the 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup final round. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam’s U17 team has drawn into Group D of the 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup final round together with strong rivals - defending champions Japan, India and Uzbekistan.

The drawing results were announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 30.

Japan, which had won the championship of the tournament three times, are considered Vietnam's toughest challenge in group D, but India and Uzbekistan are also not easy opponents.

The 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup will take place from June 15 to July 2 in Thailand. Coach Hoang Anh Tuan will call up 34 players for the Vietnamese team for training from April 1-16 at PVF football academy in Hung Yen province.

The U17 squad comprises a number of outstanding players who showed good performance in the qualification round such as Quoc Trung, Van Nam, Van Thanh, Trung Nguyen, Huu Trong and Dinh Thuong.

Vietnam topped Group F of the 2023 AFC U17 Asian Cup qualifiers, enabling the team to enter the final round. The four teams that advance to the semifinals will qualify for the 2023 U17 World Cup in October.

Seminar promotes public services in digital environment

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) held a seminar in the northern city of Hai Phong on March 30-31 to share experience in applying digital platforms and data to promote public services in digital environment.

The event saw the participation of many international experts from the WB, Microsoft, USAID, Health Insurance Review and Assessment (HIRA), and social insurance agencies of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, among others. 

Speaking at the event, VSS Deputy General Director Chu Manh Sinh said in order to continue enhancing social welfare cooperation between VSS and its partners in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, VSS will share its experience in applying information technology, designing, operating and promoting e-government services in the field of social welfare.

Foreign experts will also share their expertise and offer recommendations in digital transformation in social security and welfare, he added.

According to him, the VSS now manages a database of 98.7 million people, which connects with over 13,000 medical facilities and more than 620,000 organisations, businesses, ministries and departments. Each year, VSS receives and processes nearly 300 million electronic transactions.

Since the late 2020, the VSS has put the "VssID - Digital Social Insurance" app into use to enable beneficiaries to check their social, health and unemployment insurance status, and use public services provided by VSS agencies. The app is current available in Vietnamese, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. So far, about 30 million people have registered for this app, he said.

Experts from the World Bank, Microsoft Corporation, SAP Technology Group and others also contributed ideas to build a more modern and professional social security community, ensure social welfare benefits of every citizen and successfully build e-government of each country.

Vietnam, Italy agree on orientations to enhance Strategic Partnership

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Maria Tripodi co-chaired the fifth political consultation between the two ministries to discuss orientations to promote the bilateral Strategic Partnership in the coming time.

The two sides expressed their delight that the consultation was held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties, and the 10th founding anniversary of the Strategic Partnership.

They highly appreciated outstanding results in bilateral economic cooperation with the two countries becoming each other's important trading partner in the region. Two-way trade reached more than 6.2 billion USD in 2022, up 11% year-on-year, thanks to positive impacts of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Hang affirmed Vietnam hopes to develop and deepen its Strategic Partnership with Italy – a member state with an important role in the EU. She proposed the two sides step up delegation exchanges; maintain the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms in the fields of diplomacy, defence, economy and science and technology; and coordinate together in organising celebrations this year.

Regarding socio-economic recovery prospects and rich potential for the bilateral cooperation, the two sides agreed to work with each other to effectively implement the EVFTA towards a goal of 7 billion USD in bilateral trade as set by the two Prime Ministers during their meeting last December.

Hang also suggested Italy soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and push for the European Commission (EC)’s early removal of its ‘yellow card’ warning against Vietnamese seafood exports.

Tripodi, in turn, affirmed that the Italian Government supports the early completion of internal procedures for the ratification of the EVIPA, and encourages Italian businesses to promote investment in Vietnam.

She expressed her hope that the two sides will convene a meeting of the joint committee for economic cooperation in 2023, and continue to provide development credit for Vietnam in water resource management and sustainable regional development.

They also reached consensus on the maintenance of close coordination at multilateral forums, particularly in the UN organisations. Sharing opinions on regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two sides stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security, including marine security; supporting the settlement of disputes via peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Foreign minister hosts China’s Guangxi leader

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son hosted a reception for Liu Ning, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in Hanoi on March 30, discussing a wide range of issues to boost ties between the two sides.

During the session, the host proposed that the two sides promote existing bilateral cooperation mechanisms and programmes, expand friendship exchange between the people along the shared border, and effectively implement legal documents regarding land border and related agreements.

The two sides shared delight at the sound development of the Vietnam-China relations over the years, especially after Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China last year.

They agreed that the success of the visit has given a strong impetus to the growth of the traditional friendship between the two Parties and the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Underlining the role and significance of local cooperation in the overall relations between the two countries, the two sides held that the fruitful collaboration between Vietnamese localities and Guangxi is a bright spot in the bilateral relations.

 Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (right, front) hosts Liu Ning, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in Hanoi on March 30. (Photo: VNA)
Son affirmed that Vietnam always treasures the friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China, considering the ties as a top priority in the country’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification. He thanked Guangxi for providing medical equipment to Vietnam to support the country in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

He suggested that the two sides increase visits and meetings among sectors and agencies at all levels, and roll out measures to further enhance the efficiency of customs clearance process, thus maintaining the smooth supply chain and trade activities, increasing the volume of Vietnamese goods transiting China to third countries by rail through the Dong Dang (Vietnam) - Ping Xian (China) border gate.

The two sides should work closely together to complete the procedures to upgrade a number of border gate pairs and open new ones, while strengthening collaboration in managing and ensuring border security, thus facilitating friendship exchanges and traveling activities between the two countries, and building a shared border of peace, stability, cooperation and development.

For his part, Liu briefed his host on the socio-economic situation of Guangxi, affirming that the locality pays special attention to the friendship and win-win cooperation with ministries, sectors and localities of Vietnam, and hopes to work with Vietnam to realise common perceptions reached by senior leaders of the two Parties and nations, thus further deepening the relationship between the two countries.

He asked for Vietnam’s support to the organisation of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) in Guangxi, and pledged that the Chinese locality will coordinate with the Vietnamese side to organise the Spring meeting for provincial Party Committees’ secretaries and the 15th meeting of the joint working group of Guangxi and Vietnamese provinces of Ha Giang, Quang Ninh, Lang Son and Cao Bang in Guangxi in 2024.

The Chinese official also raised a number of proposals related to cooperation in various areas such as transport infrastructure connections, customs clearance facilitation, tourism, and people-to-people exchange.

Vietnamese, Chinese localities eye stronger border trade

Secretary of the Party Committee of Lang Son province Nguyen Quoc Doan held talks with Liu Ning, Secretary of the Party Committee of China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, in Lang Son city on March 30, during which they discussed measures to further expand border trade cooperation. 

The two sides positively evaluated the close high-level relationship between the two Parties and States, as well as between Lang Son and Guangxi, which has been increasingly strengthened and nurtured. They also discussed measures to promote the potential and strengths, and step up cross-border trade.

Liu said he hopes the two countries will continue to strengthen strategic development and connection and deepen practical cooperation in various fields, thus strongly promoting the partnership and comprehensive strategic cooperation in the new era.

The Chinese official said Guangxi is currently implementing measures to promote the smooth distribution of resources and circulation of market factors in China and ASEAN countries, including Vietnam.

The locality will make it easier for Vietnam to export its goods, especially agricultural products, to the Chinese market, he stated, expressing his hope that the two sides will enhance transportation connectivity, focusing on highways connecting border gates.

He urged Lang Son to expedite the construction of a highway section from the Huu Nghi International Border Gate to Chi Lang, saying that both sides are working together to upgrade the railway from Pingxiang (China) to Dong Dang (Lang Son) and Hanoi.

The two sides should jointly promote the construction of a smart border gate pilot project on the specialised cargo route between Tan Thanh (Lang Son) and Pu Zhai (Guangxi), and implement the round-the-clock customs clearance service to facilitate the trade of agricultural products, the official said.

He also stressed the need for the localities to build a mechanism to jointly share information related to goods and means of transport across borders and to enhance cooperation in border management, preventing and combating smuggling and cross-border crimes, improving the capacity of bilateral border management, and building border fences.

For his part, Doan affirmed that Lang Son province will thoroughly consider related issues and proposals put forward in order to promote infrastructure connectivity, and accelerate the development of an express cross-border route for goods transportation between Vietnam and China and the construction of a smart border gate.

He suggested strengthening the exchange of delegations and specific and practical cooperation activities between the Party committees and authorities of the two localities; focusing attention on implementing agreements signed at the spring meeting between secretaries of the Party committees of Vietnamese and Chinese localities, and the 14th Conference of the Joint Working Committee between four Vietnamese border provinces and Guangxi; and stepping up import-export activities, border crossing.

The Vietnamese official also proposed Guangxi complete internal procedures to put the specialised cargo transport route into official operation before June this year.

Doan also called for coordination between the two sides in to approve investment proposals to uphold the role of the Dong Dang - Pingxiang international railway border gate pair in import-export activities. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of effectively implementing the three legal documents on the border and the minutes of the Vietnam-China Land Border Joint Committee’s meetings.

He expressed his belief that the two localities will continue creating breakthroughs to develop their friendly cooperation relationship into a shining example in the overall relationship between Vietnam and China.

Vietnam calls for comprehensive, all-society approach to waste management

Minister Counselor Le Thi Minh Thoa, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, has called for a comprehensive and all-society approach to sustainable waste management.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly’s session on zero waste – breakthrough solution to sustainable development goals (SDGs) on March 30, Thoa said sustainable waste management plays a crucial role in achieving the SDGs, especially Goal No.12 on sustainable production and consumption and Goal No.13 on climate change response.

Fully aware that zero waste is a solution to climate change, Vietnam passed a national action plan on circular economy, with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% of the total national income and reuse and recycle, and treat 85% of the plastic waste, as well as reduce plastic waste in the ocean by half. Vietnam has also built a national action programme on ocean plastic waste management with a target of reducing 75% of the plastic waste by 2030, she said.

According to her, international and regional cooperation in the effort is extremely significant, especially in financial support and technological transfer to ensure sustainable production and consumption, effective and eco-friendly waste management.

She also suggested the international community consider establishing a legal framework for waste management and treatment to achieve the zero waste goal.

According to the UN, "zero waste" is an approach to promoting sustainable production and consumption, waste treatment in a closed-loop system, maximising the reuse of resources and mitigating air, land, and water pollution. In November 2022, Turkey introduced an initiative to designate March 30 as the International Day of Zero Waste and encourage the UN General Assembly to discuss this issue.

Workshop talks cooperation in agriculture adaptive to climate change

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and relevant agencies organised a workshop on agriculture adaptive to climate change in Asian deltas.

The event was intended to promote connectivity and cooperation in materialising initiatives on agriculture adaptive to climate change, especially on the integration of the two initiatives by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) - Excellence in Agronomy and Asian Mega-Deltas – into the implementation of the MARD’s strategy on rice cultivation.  

Rice production is facing a host of challenges, especially climate change impacts, and at the same time, it is playing a role in worsening greenhouse gas emissions, heard the workshop.

Pointing to difficulties in rice production in the Mekong Delta due to traditional farming methods, climate change and water resource issues, Deputy Director of the Can Tho City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thai Nghiem stressed that the coordination between countries and relevant sides in applying solutions and initiatives in sustainable agriculture will help to raise productivity and ease impacts on the environment.

Participating experts shared the view that farmers should receive support in mechanisation, risk management, material management and policy solutions in rice production.

The utilisation of scientific-technological solutions and mechanisation in a concerted and accurate way is crucial to rice production as it contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as workforce, fertilizers and varieties, while ensuring rice quality, according to IRRI Deputy Director Dr. Virender Kumar.

The experts also shared different models of connectivity between relevant sides in agriculture adaptive to climate change.

Forbes Vietnam Innovation Forum: Sailing the digital sea

It is a need to build a dynamic, fast-growing, sustainable and self-reliant economy on the basis of science-technology and innovation, and in combination with international relations and integration, heard a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 30.

The Forbes Vietnam Innovation Forum, themed “Sailing the digital sea”, was jointly held by Forbes Vietnam, the Vietnam National Innovation Centre (NIC) and Do Ventures.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said factors such as geopolitical competition, trade wars between powers, and strong impacts of the fourth Industrial Revolution have presented an urgent need for self-resilience in production.

Vietnam has climbed up five places to the 54th position in the latest Global Startup Ecosystem Index by startup research company StartupBlink, he said, adding that the country remained among the world top 50 innovative countries.

In 2022, Vietnam posted the highest growth rate in digital economy in Southeast Asia with 28% as compared with the previous year, from 18 billion USD to 23 billion USD. The growth rate is expected double the national GDP growth by 2030.

They are encouraging signs as Vietnam shifts from the recovery mode to a regeneration phase, the official noted.

Google and Temasek also estimated that Vietnam's digital economy will reach 43 billion USD by 2025.

Orkan Akcan, Executive Vice President for International Growth of Insider, an Asian technology unicorn, said innovation and optimising development opportunities during the transition from the traditional economy to the digital economy will bring a lot of opportunities to Vietnam.

He suggested domestic firms utilise innovation and develop right products to access markets and affirm their footholds.

Nguyen Duc Long, a representative from the NIC, said the centre has selected some sectors to focus its support for startups, including smart production, smart cities, cyber security, digital communications, semiconductor and medical technology.

Binh Dinh signs cooperation pact with four southern Lao localities

The south-central province of Binh Dinh and the four southern Lao provinces of Attapeu, Champasak, Salavan, and Sekong on March 30 signed a cooperation agreement for 2021 – 2025.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Anh Tuan stated that the signing ceremony is an important political event, opening a new phase of cooperation between the sides and covering comprehensive content in many fields, especially politics, economy, culture, tourism, education, and training.

According to the pact, their collaboration, based on the demand and conditions of each locality, is set to cover myriad areas, including agriculture, investment promotion, education, health, science-technology, tourism, and foreign affairs.

The Vietnamese and the Lao provinces have agreed to coordinate in implementing a friendship project suitable to the Lao side’s needs and Binh Dinh's assistance capacity.

As heard at the event, in the 2016-2020 period, Binh Dinh sent 38 delegations to visit and work in the southern provinces of Laos and hosted 56 delegations from them. It granted 215 scholarships to Lao students to study at the local universities and colleges, while giving aid to help the Lao localities overcome the consequences of natural disasters. Trade and tourism promotion was boosted between the two sides via conferences, seminars, and exhibitions. They also established a website to introduce their images, landscapes, and culture./

Vietnam, San Marino ministries reach agreement on political consultations

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, International Economic Cooperation and Telecommunications of San Marino have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on enhancing political consultations.

The document was inked by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and San Marino Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Economic Cooperation and Telecommunications Lucca Beccari at the headquarters of the San Marino Embassy in Rome, Italy, on March 29.

Both sides affirmed that the signing of the MoU marks a new milestone in the bilateral relationship and creates momentum to promote the Vietnam-San Marino friendship in the coming time.

Earlier, the two officials had a working session, during which they briefed each other on the situation in their respective countries and exchanged views on the development orientations for the bilateral ties.

They spoke highly of the progress in socio-economic recovery post-COVID-19 in each country and agreed on some measures to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

Accordingly, the two sides will increase the exchange of all-level delegations, organise many activities to promote trade, investment, and tourism, and enhance business connectivity, especially in the fields of services, tourism, and heritage conservation.

Hang informed the San Marino Minister about Vietnam’s socio-economic situation in the past year, with its GDP growing by over 8%, and import-export turnover reaching a record high of over 732 billion USD.

Vietnam hopes to strengthen its multi-faceted relations with San Marino, the Deputy Minister affirmed.

Beccari congratulated Vietnam on its achievements, highly valued its potential, and pledged that San Marino is ready to share its experience and support the Southeast Asian nation in meeting the high EC and international standards in trade and investment, sign cooperation agreements in potential areas such as culture and tourism, and welcome Vietnamese exchange students.

Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, the officials affirmed that they will maintain close coordination and mutual support at multilateral and international forums such as the United Nations and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), among others.

They also emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world, including maritime security in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam and San Marino signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations in 2007 and a double taxation avoidance agreement in 2013.

Politburo reviews 10-year implementation of resolution on social policies

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on March 30 chaired a meeting of the Party Central Committee’s Politburo and Secretariat on a project summarising the 10-year implementation of Resolution No. 15-NQ/TW dated June 10, 2012, of the 11th Party Central Committee on social policies for the 2012-2020 period.

The Politburo said that over the past 35 years implementing the Doi moi (Renewal) policy and the 10 years implementing the resolution, innovating and developing social policies is a consistent advocate of the Party and State with the spirit of economic growth coupled with social progress and justice.

The effective implementation of social policies and ensuring social welfare have contributed to strengthening people's confidence in the Party, State and regime, bringing about great achievements in realising social progress and justice, and improving people's material and spiritual life, affirming the superiority of socialism under the leadership of the Party.

However, the Politburo pointed to several shortcomings and weaknesses, including the lack of inclusiveness and linkage of social policies, the big gap in living conditions between regions and groups, unsustainable poverty reduction, not high human resources quality, and low social insurance.

The Politburo affirmed that maintaining the innovation and promotion of the effectiveness of social policies is a strategic and regular task of the Party, the State, the entire political system, and the society, contributing to ensuring the socialism orientation, boosting economic growth in parallel with social progress and justice, ensuring social welfare, and creating conditions for people to participate in and better enjoy the fruits of development.

It is necessary to build and perfect social policies in a comprehensive, modern, inclusive and sustainable manner, with the people placed at the centre, and being the subject, target, motivation and resources for development.

The implementation of these policies must be put under the direct and comprehensive leadership of the Party, the strict and effective management of the State, and the regular supervision of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and socio-political organiations; and see the active engagement of people and businesses, the Politburo stressed.

Hanoi raises funds for Vietnam’s seas and islands

The Vietnam Fatherland Front of Hanoi on March 30 called on people and organisations in the city to contribute to the “For Vietnam’s seas and islands Fund” this year.

Responding to the call, 34 units across the city have registered to donate over 30 billion VND (1.32 million USD) to the fund.

President of the front Nguyen Lan Huong said that authorities, people, and organisations in Hanoi always take practical actions to support soldiers and people in coastal areas and islands as well as contribute to building and protecting the sovereignty of the sacred sea and islands of Vietnam.

The fundraising runs from March 30 to June 30.

Resolution firms up drug, medical equipment supply

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed an official dispatch institutionalising Government Resolution No. 30/NQ-CP dated March 4, 2023 on continuing to implement measures to ensure the supply of drugs and medical equipment.

Under the Official Dispatch No. 179/CD-TTg, the Prime Minister asked the Minister of Health to focus on directing the prompt design and promulgation of legal documents to institutionalise Resolution 30, and submitting proposals to authorised agencies on the issuance of such documents.

The Health Minister should report difficulties and obstacles during this process to Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, and complete the work before April 10.

The ministry was also requested to actively coordinate with stakeholders to issue other necessary documents within its authority, and bear the comprehensive responsibility before the Government and the Prime Minister in case of the slow issuance of the documents.

The Prime Minister assigned Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha to take charge of directing the Ministry of Health to implement the above mentioned tasks.

Vietnamese students joint MRC river monitoring technology contest

Students from four Vietnamese universities are taking part in a Mekong River Commission (MRC) contest that seeks sustainable and advanced technologies for river monitoring.

The competition, taking place in Vientiane on March 30 and 31, features 14 teams from 11 universities in MRC member states of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The four Vietnamese universities consist of the Water Resources University, Can Tho University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Science, and VNU University of Science.

The MRC is currently running about 250 monitoring stations for factors affecting Southeast Asia's largest river such as hydrology, rainfall, water quality, ecological health, fisheries, and drought. However, most of their monitoring technologies rely on imported equipment, which is often expensive and sometimes outdated.

The competition is expected to discover and develop homegrown technology researched by universities, thereby reducing the cost of monitoring the Mekong River. The candidates have to design telemetry stations to measure four separate indicators of water level, rainfall, soil moisture, and water quality. The stations, which can be powered by solar energy, must suit specific terrains, locations, weather, and functions and be capable of collecting and sending telemetry data to the server in real time.

The 14 teams will take turns to present their projects, with four winners to be selected based on the criteria of accuracy, durability, cost-effectiveness and innovation. The MRC plans to work with the winners to deploy their technologies along the river.

The award ceremony is slated for April 3, and products of all the 11 participating universities will then be displayed at the Lao national convention center, where the 4th MRC Summit takes place from April 2-5.

The MRC, an intergovernmental organisation established in 1995 following the Mekong Agreement among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, serves as a regional platform for Mekong-related cooperation and knowledge sharing.

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