The 33rd session of the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee will open Monday, the NA Office announced.

As planned, the session will take place over three days, from May 13-15, with permanent NA Vice Chairman Trần Thanh Mẫn delivering the opening remarks and sharing responsibility for chairing sessions along with other NA vice chairmen.

The committee will be putting forward thoughts on the draft Law on Fire Prevention, Fighting, and Rescue; the draft Resolution amending and supplementing Resolution No 119/2020/QH14 of the NA on piloting the model of urban administration and some specific mechanisms and policies for the development of Đà Nẵng City.

Regarding supervision activities, the committee will work on the supplementary evaluation report on the implementation results of socio-economic development plan and the State budget for 2023, alongside the budget in the early months of 2024.

It will debate the Government's proposal on the allocation of mid-term public investment plan of the State budget capital for the period of 2021-2025 and the capital plan for 2024 as well as those projects using increased central budget capital in 2022 that have completed investment procedures.

The committee will also consider suggestions of voters sent to the 6th session of the 15th NA and a report on the NA's voluntary activities in April 2024.

Also on the agenda, the Government's report on the thrift practice and anti-wastefulness in 2023 and the State budget settlement report in 2022.

Important issues to be tabled for discussion will also include the national marine plan for the 2021-30 period, with a vision until 2050 and investment in the national target programme on cultural development for the period of 2025-35.

At the 33th session, the NA Standing Committee will offer up suggestions for the preparation of the 7th session of the 15th NA and summarise the 7th extraordinary session of the 15th NA. 

Major transport projects to be promoted in Central Highlands

Mega transport projects will be stepped up in the Central Highlands in the coming years to help promote local socioeconomic development.

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) recently issued a plan for implementing the masterplan on socioeconomic development associated with safeguarding security and defence in the Central Highlands.

Under the plan, priority will be given to developing roads and air routes, tackling transport bottlenecks, and boosting connectivity in the Central Highlands with the coastal central region and the southeastern region, thereby helping tap into local potential and advantages.

The MoT will coordinate with central agencies and localities in accelerating site clearance and ensuring the progress and quality of projects.

The ministry will assist provinces to conduct studies and investment for such expressways as Quy Nhon - Pleiku, Khanh Hoa - Buon Ma Thuot, Tan Phu - Bao Loc, Bao Loc - Lien Khuong, Gia Nghia - Chon Thanh, along with some sections of North - South Expressway’s western wing.

It will also work with localities to expand the airports of Lien Khuong (Lam Dong province), Pleiku (Gia Lai province) and Buon Ma Thuot (Dak Lak province). Upgrades are planned for the Thap Cham - Da Lat railway route and the one traversing the Central Highlands, from central Da Nang through the Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong to southern Binh Phuoc province.

In addition, the MoT will step up the transport infrastructure projects connecting Vietnam with other countries in the Mekong sub-region, particularly within the framework of the Mekong sub-regional cooperation, the Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam Development Triangle Area, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to the plan.

The MoT plans to put the 118km Khanh Hoa - Buon Ma Thuot and 129km Gia Nghia - Chon Thanh expressways into use by 2027. The 67km Tan Phu - Bao Loc expressway is to be opened by 2028. Meanwhile, Quy Nhon - Pleiku Expressway, 180km long, will be open to traffic by 2030.

By 2030, the MoT is set to complete upgrading 63km of National Highway 24 (Kon Tum - Quang Ngai). Regarding aviation infrastructure, it will complete upgrading Lien Khuong, Pleiku and Buon Ma Thuot airports by 2029 and finalise the planning of Mang Den airport in Kon Tum province by 2025.

To carry out the plan, the MoT will coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance to prioritise resources for developing infrastructure in the Central Highlands. It will also enhance decentralisation so that localities can proactively maximise resources for transport infrastructure development./.

Bac Giang renews management thinking, diversifies cooperative models

The northern province of Bac Giang has set the target of establishing at least 80 new cooperatives in various fields and localities this year, according to Chairman of the provincial Cooperative Alliance Nguyen Duc Hien.

The province focused on developing diverse models of cooperative partnerships in different sectors, contributing to poverty alleviation, job creation, and improved living standards.

As of the end of last year, Bac Giang housed 1,116 cooperatives, including 731 in the agro-forestry-fishery sector and 20 people's credit funds. Bringing together 42,150 members, these establishments saw their total charter capital exceeding 2.77 trillion VND (110.8 million USD).

Currently, the province has 365 cooperatives operating in non-agricultural sectors, mostly industrial production, handicraft, construction, trade, and transport. Boasting over 1.29 trillion VND in combined capital and 3,301 members, they aim to meet market demands for domestic consumption and export.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Phan The Tuan said that in the time to come, Bac Giang will prioritise support activities, innovative management thinking, and quality improvement work involving the local cooperative models.

Cooperative members need innovations in management thinking and operations, the development of effective production and business plans, the allocation of specific funds for product promotion and market expansion, and the application of advanced scientific and technical advances, he said. Cooperatives should also utilise each other's services, while proactively accessing state support policies for growth.

He also called on local departments and sectors to support the establishment of new cooperatives, and enhance the role of existing partnerships./.

PM attends National Student Entrepreneurship Festival in Can Tho

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attended the sixth National Student Entrepreneurship Festival held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on May 12.

The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Education and Training, the HCM Communist Youth Union Central Committee and the Can Tho municipal People's Committee.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the PM emphasised that entrepreneurship and innovation are crucial drivers and resources for sustainable development of every nation. Entrepreneurship requires passion, determination, perseverance and the courage to overcome obstacles and challenges to strive for success.

He said the National Student Entrepreneurship Festival, held annually since 2018, has become an intellectual playground where valuable ideas and scientific research are developed to foster the entrepreneurial aspirations of young people. It also provides a conducive environment to support students in shaping and realising their entrepreneurial ideas and projects.

After six years of implementation, the Government’s project on supporting student entrepreneurship by 2025 has achieved significant results, attracting over 3,000 start-up projects from students, involving more than 20,000 people.

By the end of 2023, there were 110 co-working spaces for startups in universities, with over 120 universities incorporating entrepreneurship and innovation as mandatory or selective courses. Ten training facilities have allocated funds to support student entrepreneurship.

The Network of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centres at universities and colleges have been established.

PM Chinh expressed pride in many Vietnamese students who have achieved high academic and scientific research results domestically and internationally and have been recruited by major technology companies worldwide such as Facebook, Space X, Google, and Quora.

He pointed out some limitations, notably the limited and fragmented startup ecosystem, and the gap compared to other countries in the region and the world. The implementation of support policies for student entrepreneurship has been slow and incubation and start-up activities in higher education institutions have not yet been deeply explored. The infrastructure and laboratory facilities are insufficient, and there is a shortage of counselling and support staff for start-ups.

The PM directed the Ministry of Education and Training, as well as various departments, sectors and localities, to conduct a comprehensive review and enhance appropriate mechanisms and policies to create a supportive environment and legal framework for students to embark on their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Chinh required further enhancing of links between universities, colleges and research centres equipped with modern facilities, which would help students research and create sample products and foster connections between different fields through the support of faculty members, lecturers and coordinators.

He also emphasised the connection between student entrepreneurship support centres in universities and vocational education institutions with local entrepreneurship centres and the connections between localities and universities to enhance project development and better address practical local issues.

The Government leader highlighted the need to foster a spirit of innovation and creativity in the education sector. He said it is crucial to establish entrepreneurship and innovation support centres in higher education institutions and vocational education facilities. There should be proposals to establish start-up project exchange platforms for students with enterprises.

Encouraging businesses and agencies to use products developed from startup projects and coordinating with educational institutions to provide career counselling, employment guidance, and startup support was paramount, he said. Shared experiential and creative startup spaces, actively involving students and lecturers in entrepreneurial activities to promote the commercialisation of research products are necessary.

PM Chinh noted the proactive allocation of resources for early establishment and improvement of the startup ecosystem, funds for science and technology development in higher education institutions, and expert and advisory networks.

He directed the investment in building standardised laboratories. Students should be provided with information on startup support policies, experiential activities and career orientation, he added.

The annual festival, part of the project to support pupils and students in launching their startups, includes various activities such as exhibitions on startups, forums and conferences on supporting start-ups in high schools, and the final round of a start-up contest for students./.

Tunnel connecting urban railway lines to be built

The Hanoi Department of Transport has just submitted an investment proposal and a pre-feasibility study report on a project to build a tunnel connecting two urban railway lines, No 2A and line No 3.

The proposal is contained within the departmental report to the Hanoi People's Committee, along with pre-feasibility study reports of ten other transport projects that are being planned for the city.

Among dozens of important transport projects aiming to reduce congestion and radically change the appearance of the capital's transport infrastructure, there is a project to build a tunnel connecting the Cat Linh - Ha Dong (at Cat Linh Station) and Nhon - Hanoi Train Station (at S10 Station) urban railway lines.

The department proposes building tunnels for pedestrians and a transfer hub, with two connection directions at Cat Linh elevated station of Line 2A and underground station S10 of Line 3) within the red line boundary in Ba Dinh and Dong Da districts.

At Cat Linh Station the design includes stairs, escalators and elevators, while passengers going from Station S10 will travel to the transfer floor.

The total investment of the tunnel project is estimated 113 billion VND (4.5 million USD) while construction of a tunnel connecting the two urban railway lines will make it more convenient for people to use the trains.

This is also a way to get more people to use the urban railways, reducing traffic volumes and better protect the environment.

Traffic projects that will be implemented in the near future include building Ngoc Hoi Bridge and roads at both ends of the bridge located on Ring Road 3.5; renovating and expanding the elevated and low sections of Belt Road No. 2; renovating and upgrading Son Tay – Hoa Lac – Xuan Mai section on the National Highway 21, building a route to connect Tran Hung Dao Bridge with Nguyen Van Linh Street; constructing the underpasses on Hoang Quoc Viet Street connecting to Pham Van Dong street and Tran Vi street, at the intersection of Tay (West) Thang Long - Ring Road 3 and at the intersection of Me Tri – Duong Dinh Nghe - Ring Road 3; and building a flyover on Le Trong Tan street and National Highway 6./.

Community warned of drowning accidents among children

Since this April, many drowning accidents have been reported nationwide, mostly happening to children. It is necessary to equip the public with necessary skills to prevent more such accidents from taking place.

The Child Affairs Department (under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs) informed that about 2,000 children are killed in drowning accidents each year. However, only 42 out of 63 provinces and municipalities allocate their budget to prevent this.

Statistics from the Ministry of Education and Training also reveal that only 2,200 over 25,000 schools all over the country have their own swimming pool (accounting for 8.63 percent), and the proportion of students able to swim is merely about 33.6 percent.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs asked that relevant ministries, state agencies, and localities pay more attention to the Government’s schemes like the National Action Program for Children for the 2021-2030 Period; the Child Accident and Injury Prevention and Control Program for the 2021-2030 Period; and related dispatches of the National Committee for Children regarding preventing drowning accidents among children. It also proposed more swimming lessons held to update the public about necessary skills to prevent drowning.

To minimize drowning accidents among children, especially during summertime, for the past 10 years, HCMC has been organizing various swimming lessons, with the aim of having over 60 percent of city children from 6 to 16 years old know how to be safe in the water environment by 2025. In 2030, this proportion must increase to 70 percent. In addition, the percentage of 6-to-16-year-old people in HCMC able to swim must be 50 percent and 60 percent in 2025 and 2030 respectively.

To achieve this, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of HCMC develops a detailed plan for each year to carry out the scheme ‘Safe Swimming – Drowning Prevention for City Children’. As a result, each summer, about 1,000 children learn this essential skill.

Different schools in HCMC also have their own plans to help their students obtain this skill, along with troubleshooting skills in swimming and first aid skills for drowning cases.

Specialist Level II Dinh Tan Phuong – Head of the Emergency Department of Children Hospital No.1 (HCMC) shared that since this April, his hospital has treated many severe drowning cases from neighboring provinces as well. As drowning happens fast but can leave long-term effects on victims, adults should be extremely careful when letting their children play near the water. Bathrooms should have their door safely shut when not in use. Children are encouraged to take swimming lessons.

Head Huynh Quang Tam of the Division of Fire and Rescue Police under the HCMC Department of Public Security warned that both adults and children should be well equipped with necessary swimming skills and knowledge to prevent drowning.

Swimming pools must have sufficient rescue equipment and have lifeguards on duty at all time. Whenever taking part in water-related activities, children must wear life jackets. These protective clothes must be available on ships.

If a drowning accident is detected but adults cannot swim, they should throw a log or buoy for children to grab. It is not advised for people unable to swim to jump into water for rescue at that time.

When rescuing a victim in water, it is necessary to hold his or her head out of water and try to calm that person. On land, the victim should be placed in a supine position on a hard surface. If the victim is pale, cannot breathe on their own, or without a pulse, artificial respiration methods should be carried out.

Lately, many schools in Ha Tinh Province have organized training and propaganda sessions to equip students with necessary skills to prevent drowning accidents. They learn about the reasons for drowning and practice steps to swim or rescue drowning victims.

Cybercrime scam leads to loss of over VNĐ1 billion in Bình Phước Province

The prevalence of high-tech fraud is becoming a growing concern, as criminals employ sophisticated tactics to deceive unsuspecting victims. A recent case in Bình Phước Province highlights the severity of this issue. 

On Tuesday, the Cyber Security and High-Tech Crime Prevention and Control Department of Bình Phước Provincial Police received a report from V.T.T, a resident of Tân Phú Ward in Đồng Xoài City. She fell victim to a high-tech scam, losing over VNĐ1 billion.

To make matters worse, she then became ensnared in a 'cash back' service trap, resulting in an additional loss of more than VNĐ300 million.

According to the details of the case, V.T.T regularly used her personal Facebook account to connect with people and engage in conversations. Approximately three months ago, she befriended an individual who called themself Nguyễn Hoàng Nam on Facebook.

By March 20, 2024, Nam introduced V.T.T to a stock investment opportunity through the website, promising profits ranging from 10 per cent to 30 per cent and she decided to participate.

Subsequently, Nam provided her with a web link,, and told her how to register for an account. From March 21 to March 28, 2024, V.T.T made nine money transfers to bank accounts managed by the website's 'customer care' department, totalling VNĐ350 million. She received eight order codes as per the instructions.

Following these transactions, V.T.T's MEXCGL account displayed a balance of VNĐ385 million, including the principal amount and profits. She attempted to withdraw the profits to her personal bank account and successfully withdrew VNĐ35 million.

Believing in the legitimacy of the stock investment website, V.T.T continued investing to generate further profits. From April 2 to April 9, 2024, she made an additional seven investment transfers, totalling VNĐ838 million.

However, when she tried to withdraw the principal amount and profits this time round, she encountered difficulties. Seeking assistance from the 'Customer Care' department, she was informed that in order to unfreeze her account, she needed to deposit a verification fee, disbursement fee and insurance fee.

At this point, V.T.T became suspicious that she had fallen victim to a scam, losing a total of VNĐ1.18 billion. Consequently, she ceased further investments.

On April 14, 2024, V.T.T was contacted by someone named Quỳnh claiming to be from a finance company specialised in recovering funds for online scam victims.

V.T.T paid a fee of VNĐ26 million to investigate and recover her VNĐ1.18 billion, which, according to Quỳnh, was under investigation by the police and tax authorities.

However, she was then asked to make an additional payment of VNĐ26 million for a second order code. After the payment, V.T.T was allowed to join a group of three individuals who demanded VNĐ260 million to settle and disburse the funds.

If she paid later, she would be subject to a 20 per cent VAT fee of VNĐ678 million. Unable to afford the amount, V.T.T expressed her intention to withdraw, but the group pressured her for payment.

Suspicious of another scam, she filed a complaint with the Department of Cyber Security and Crime Prevention, and the police are currently investigating the case.

Bình Phước Provincial Police has advised the public to increase their awareness of property appropriation fraud schemes based on this recent case warning that it is crucial not to engage in stock investments or other forms of investment through unofficial applications, as cybercriminals will create deceptive links and applications that resemble those used by legitimate organisations and individuals.

They added that individuals need to promptly report any information about cyber scammers or victims they come across. Reporting and denouncing these kinds of cases to the police can help prevent and regulate the situation, leading to prompt investigation and legal action.

Science & Technology funds hamstrung by capital preservation rule

The regulation requiring provincial Science and Technology Funds (STFs) in Việt Nam to preserve their capital while lending for R&D projects is crippling their operation.

The Law on Science and Technology mandates that provincial STFs operate on the State Budget's financial allocations and entrusted resources from enterprises' STFs.

This regulation places provincial STFs under the category of State-Budget-financed funds, which are subject to the principle of capital preservation.

However, the principle presents a significant hurdle for fund managers as S&T research inherently carries risks. If a project fails to deliver the expected outcome, fund managers would risk paying out of their own pockets to meet the "capital preservation" requirement.

Personal liability causes the funds to operate cautiously, or even not operate at all to avoid risk.

Lâm Văn Tân, Director of Bến Tre's Department of Science and Technology, revealed that the STF of Bến Tre, with a capital of VNĐ10 billion (US$393,000), had approved loans for 16 projects.

He said he was worried about the possibility that some projects might default on their loans, causing the fund to lose money. In that case, he might have to use his own money to cover the loss.

"In the worst-case scenario, where borrowers default on their loans, I would have to use my own money to repay the fund," said Tân.

"I have submitted a request to the provincial authorities to cease the operation of the fund, but I was told to wait for instructions from the Ministry of Science and Technology."

Bến Tre is not the only province that wants to dissolve STFs. Of the 32 provinces and cities that have established STFs, Đà Nẵng, Kiên Giang and Trà Vinh have shuttered their STFs due to their ineffectiveness.

Lending activities by STFs in other provinces and cities are also low. Notably, there are only nine STF-financed projects with a total capital of VNĐ11.3 billion ($445,000) across the country.

Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, Director of Hà Nội's Department of Science and Technology, revealed that the STF of Hà Nội had been inactive since its establishment and was merged into Hà Nội's Development Investment Fund in February 2018.

Despite the merger, the new fund has also been unable to provide loans to any businesses engaged in S&T activities.

"The biggest issue that prevents the fund from lending is the requirement to preserve its capital," Sơn said.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed two optional amendments to the Law on Science and Technology to deal with the legal issue that holds back STFs.

Option 1 involves abolishing the regulation on STFs as few provinces and cities have established such funds in recent years. For those funds that have been established, their operations will continue to be suspended.

Option 2 involves revising the regulation on STFs to allow provinces and cities to decide whether or not to establish such funds. An additional provision can also be enacted to encourage the establishment of enterprise-owned STFs and venture capital funds for the R&D of advanced technology. 

Ninh Thuận aloe vera in high demand during hot summer

The south-central province of Ninh Thuận’s aloe vera is seeing high demand, as its cooling property makes it an desirable product during the current hot weather.

Nguyễn Văn Tùng, an aloe vera farmer in Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm City, said that he grows over 4,000sq.m of the crop, and thanks to favourable weather and stable water sources, his plants grew well and produced a high yield.

His family recently harvested around 18 tonnes of aloe vera leaves for a profit of nearly VNĐ40 million (US$1,575), and is preparing the next batch.

Trần Thị Lan, with her 3,000sq.m aloe vera farm, also harvested over eight tonnes of the crop. With the current price of VNĐ2,200 per kg, she and other aloe vera farmers are reaping decent profits, enough to keep growing the plant.

Nguyễn Văn Tài, a trader, said that every day he buys over 40 tonnes of the produce to sell to beverage and cosmetic factories at southern cities and provinces.

The current prolonged hot summer is driving up demand for aloe vera products, which are great for cooling off, he said.

Aloe vera requires a high amount of sunlight and is suitable with sandy soil.

Ninh Thuận’s weather is hot and dry with little rain, and has an abundance of coastal sandy soil, making the province a big supplier of aloe vera.

According to local farmers, growing 1,000m2 of aloe vera requires an investment of around VNĐ10 million, takes around eight months to grow, and can be harvested for up to five years.

A well-cared for batch of aloe vera can be harvested up to 11 times a year, yielding 7 tonnes per harvest.

According to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, aloe vera is easy to grow and care for, and is very suitable for farmers with low capital and little access to water.

The department is working with localities to survey farming areas, support aloe vera farmers in pursuing VietGAP farming standards, connect them with buying businesses, as well as diversify products made with the crop.

The province has around 350ha of the crop spread mostly in Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm City and Ninh Phước, Thuận Nam and Thuận Bắc districts.

By 2030, it plans to have over 500ha. 

Railway sector to add more trains during peak summer season

The railway sector will add more trains on the North-South route from May 15 to meet the travel demand of passengers during the peak summer season.

According to the Vietnam Railway Corporation, six twin trains for Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City route SE1/SE2, SE3/SE4, SE5/SE6, SE7/SE8, SE9/SE10 and SE11/SE12 will be added during the peak period.

Additional trains will operate on routes of Hanoi – Vinh, Hanoi – Dong Hoi and Hanoi – Da Nang.

During the peak period, from May 17 to August 18, the railway sector will apply discounts of five percent and 10 percent on train fares for passengers who plan to buy tickets of twin trains SE1/SE2, SE5/SE6, SE9/SE10 and SE11/SE12 around 20 to 39 days, 40 days or above before the departure respectively, excluding tickets for a four-seat cabin on twin trains SE1/SE2.

On the occasion, the railway sector also announced the twin train fares for the route of Hue – Da Nang from May 15.

Accordingly, the train fares on the Hue-Da Nang route shall be traded at VND180,000 (US$7.1) and VND210,000 (US$8.3) per ticket per turn operating from Monday to Friday, on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Sen village festival opens with diverse activities

The Sen village festival to mark the 134th birthday of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19, 1890-2024) opened on May 11 evening in Kim Lien commune, Nam Dan district, the central province of Nghe An.

The festival's opening ceremony featured an artistic and cultural performance narrating the life and revolutionary career of President Ho Chi Minh, his contributions to the country, and his love for the homeland.

Notably, the event saw the participation and performance of the music and dance theatre, trumpet team and cavalry team from the Ministry of Public Security.

The festival which runs until May 19 covers activities that will be held in Vinh city and Nam Dan district, notably, a flower offering ceremony at President Ho Chi Minh's monument, a parade to his hometown, an incense offering ceremony at Chung Son temple and Kim Lien relic area, a singing festival with the participation of more than 600 performers from 20 local amateur art troupes, a provincial volleyball tournament, and a traditional martial arts tournaments.

Folk games linked with President Ho Chi Minh’s childhood activities will be held in Kim Lien commune, while a journey to Sen village marathon will be held with the participation of more than 3,000 domestic and international runners.

In addition, a street performance programme themed "Homeland in Lotus Season" will take place on the walking streets of Vinh city, and two photo exhibitions about President Ho Chi Minh will be held at Ho Chi Minh square in the city./.

Vietnamese entrepreneur first to receive Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

Marina Tran Vu, founder of EQUO, a sustainable brand that provides an array of sustainable materials and compostable products, has become the first businessperson from Vietnam to be honoured at the Cartier Women’s Initiative awards.

EQUO produces 100% plastic-free and compostable products such as straws, utensils, food containers, shopping bags, and water bottles from materials such as grass, rice, coconut, sugarcane, and coffee.

For individual consumers, the company’s products make choosing sustainability as easy as sticking with their current routines.

Since its founding, EQUO has kept approximately 30 million pieces of plastic out of the environment and aims to have an even bigger impact by influencing the attitudes and behaviours of consumers.

“We are replacing at least four or five of the top 10 worst single-use plastic items in the world with our sustainable alternatives. These are small solutions that will have a big impact collectively,” Marina said.

The 2024 Cartier Women’s Initiative Fellow Series was held in Ho Chi Minh City on May 10 to introduce two fellows selected for this year’s edition of the CWI Awards: Marina Tran Vu and Dr. Lynne Lim from Singapore, founder and CEO of NOUSQ, which develops and manufactures the world’s first robotic handheld applicator that revolutionises ventilation ear tube surgery for the otitis media.

Marina and Lynne are two of the 33 fellows selected for this year’s edition that represent the top three businesses within the nine regional awards and two thematic awards. These fellows are recognised for their remarkable achievements and meaningful solutions to the most pressing global challenges.

This year, for the first time in its 17-year history, the CWI has recognised the impact of women entrepreneurs from Peru, Morocco and Vietnam.

The first, second and third place awardees of each of the 11 awards will be announced during the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards ceremony that will be held on May 22 in Shenzhen, China.

The first-place awardees will take home 100,000 USD in grant funding, while the second and third place awardees will receive 60,000 USD and 30,000 USD, respectively.

In addition to the grants, all 33 fellows will also benefit from tailored mentoring and coaching, media visibility, networking opportunities and education courses from leading business school INSEAD.

Founded in 2006, the CWI aims to enable women entrepreneurs driving change to achieve their full potential.

It has evolved into a comprehensive leadership programme that has supported 330 women entrepreneurs hailing from 66 countries. It has awarded a total of 9.5 million USD in grant funding to support fellows’ businesses and has established a strong network of over 700 community members covering more than 66 countries./.

Hai Phong kicks off Red Flamboyant Festival, marks UNESCO recognition

The northern port city of Hai Phong on May 11 kicked off the 11th Red Flamboyant Festival and received the UNESCO certificate of recognisation for the Ha Long Bay – Cat Ba Archipelago as the World Natural Heritage Site - the first inter-provincial heritage of Vietnam.

As a significant socio-cultural and political event held annually in May in Hai Phong, dubbed as “The City of Red Flamboyant”, the festival aims to build up its reputation both domestically and internationally.

This year, a highlight of the festival is an art and music concert, the largest-scale art event ever held in the city with the performance of nearly 1,000 artists and popular singers.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang, and representatives from provinces, cities and embassies of some countries and territories attended the event.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tung said that the 2024 festival is of great significance as the Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago located in Hai Phong city and the neighbour province of Quang Ninh has recently been recognised by UNESCO as a world natural heritage site, the first inter-provincial heritage of Vietnam.

The two localities will develop an action programme to preserve and maximise the value of the heritage.

Along with economic development, Hai Phong pays due attention to building cultural works, and spiritual and religious facilities. Currently, the city has 132 tangible and intangible cultural heritages recognised as national cultural heritage and 21 national treasures.

The historical traditions of the city and its people together with the honoured cultural heritage will be an important premise and motivation for the city to become one of the locomotives in the country's industrialisation and modernisation and a driving force for the country’s development.

Following the performance, a magnificent and astounding fireworks show lit up the port city's skyline, entertaining thousands of citizens and visitors.

The Hai Phong Red Flamboyant Festival 2024 also has 26 key events and 78 activities taking place across the city./.

Hung Kings Commemoration Day held in RoK for first time

The Korea-Vietnam Economic and Cultural Association (KOVECA), the Association for Liaison with Overseas Vietnamese (ALOV) and the authority of Seocho district in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK) on May 11 held an event to commemorate Hung Kings, legendary founders of Vietnam.

The event, the first of its kind that has been held in the RoK with the sponsorship of the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK, aims to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Representatives from the Vietnamese embassy, Vietnamese organisations, Seocho district, Hongcheon district, and Korean organisations, and overseas Vietnamese attended the event.

Nguyen Viet Anh, Minister Counselor from the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK, said the event is meaningful to the Vietnamese community in the RoK, helping to honour and introduce Vietnam's cultural and historical heritage to Koreans.

He applauded efforts of the ALOV and the KOVECA in organising the event, hoping that it will be held annually.

At the event, in addition to offering incense to Hung Kings, participants enjoyed performances with Vietnamese traditional musical instruments and folk dances. Korean traditional hanbok costumes and Vietnamese cuisine were promoted at the event./.

Vietnam, China localities join hands to clean up border river

The authorities of Hoanh Mo commune of Binh Lieu district, the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, coordinated with their Chinese counterparts from Fangchenggang city’s Dong Zhong town to clean up the environment along the shared border river from May 9 to 11.

The cleanup at the Hoanh Mo border gate was part of the twinning activities between the two localities, contributing to keeping the border area clean and facilitate two-way trade.

Around tens of tonnes of waste were collected for treatment.

Besides, cultural and sport exchange activities were also held on the occasion.

Binh Lieu district shares a border line of more than 43 kilometres line with China. Thanks to its sound people-to-people diplomacy, the district has been able to ensure stable security and order in border area, helping promote local socio-economic development./.

FAO supports Bac Kan’s agro-forestry development

A delegation from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) had a working session with leaders of the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan on the implementation of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) partnership on May 10.

The FFF is carried out in Bac Kan province in three phases, with the first one in Chu Huong and My Phuong communes of Ba Be district during 2014-2017, the second in Phuong Vien commune of Cho Don district and My Phuong and Yen Duong communes of Ba Be district during 2018-2022, and five communes in Ba Be, Cho Moi and Cho Don districts during 2023-2025.

Chairman of the provincial farmers’ union and head of the FFF management board Cao Minh Hai said that the facility has contributed to improving management capacity, promoting mechanisms and policies related to cooperatives through multi-sectorial forums, and enhancing business capacity and market and capital access of the cooperative groups.

He particularly stressed that the programme has helped local cooperatives respond to climate change through raising their awareness of the environment and improve their equal access to cultural and social services.

FAO representative in Vietnam Rémi Nono Womdim recommended the province continue support policies for sustainable development of local agriculture and forestry, branch out agro-tourism and experience tourism to create better income for locals, and integrate support programmes and projects so that cooperatives could capitalise on their advantages to shape up competitive products.

FAO will continue its support programmes for Bac Kan’s cooperatives, with a focus on developing clean agricultural model integrated with experience tourism, he added.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nong Quang Nhat thanked FAO for its assistance over the past time, expressing his hope for further support in the fields of eco-tourism, sustainable forest development and protection, among others, from the organisation in the coming time.

Bac Kan is now home to more than 374,000 hectares of forest, with the forest coverage topping 73% in 2023, the highest level in the country. The province has given weight to forest management, protection and restoration, contributing to local socio-economic development and improvement in local livelihoods./.

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