Numerous venerable, dignitaries, monks and nuns along with children, artists and thousands of Buddhist followers in Ho Chi Minh City joined Lord Buddha procession last night.

The Executive Board of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in Ho Chi Minh City last night hosted a procession of the statue of infant Buddha departing from An Quang Pagoda to Vietnam Quoc Tu Pagoda, where has the main altar of Buddhism in Ho Chi Minh City, to perform bathing ceremony of the baby Buddha statue as well as celebrate the Vesak Day (the Lord Buddha's birthday) in the Year of Buddhist Calendar 2568 (2024).

At the Vietnam Quoc Tu Pagoda, Most Venerable Thich Le Trang, Head of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board of Ho Chi Minh City and Head of the Organizing Committee of the grand ceremony presided over the bathing ceremony of the infant Buddha statue.

The dignitaries, monks and nuns of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Executive Board of Ho Chi Minh City offered incense and prayed with chanting sutras following the traditional ceremonies.

Exhibition on Japanese sushi to come to Bac Giang

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam is set to present an exhibition on Japanese sushi on May 24 in the northern province of Bac Giang’s museum, aiming to promote Japanese history and culture to both locals and tourists.

As many as 50 items under five themes, including an introduction about sushi, sushi in the Edo period from 1603 to 1868, modern sushi culture, sushi experience, and sushi in the world will be present to the public at the function.

Visitors will have opportunities to experience wearing Happi clothes which are Japanese costumes during the festival, learning to write in Japanese and sing in Japanese, as well as making Origami paper.

The exhibition includes a simulation of a visit to a sushi shop in Japan. People who know little about sushi will be able to greatly enjoy getting acquainted with the cuisine on offer at the event.

Back in 2013 UNESCO inscribed washoku, Japanese cuisine, on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, with sushi being the archetypal example. Sushi is a refined and healthy food that looks good and tastes delicious, meaning it has already become a familiar item on menus worldwide.

Sushi has now spread outside of the East Asian nation’s borders and is typically enjoyed by people all around the world.

This function aims to provide an in-depth visual guide to the appeal of sushi. Indeed, it includes the chance to learn about how Japan took in sushi in its original form; as well as how it modified sushi to suit the natural environment, culture, and lifestyles of individual areas worldwide.

Trial opens for defendants in transnational money laundering ring

The Hanoi People’s Court on May 15 opened the first instance trial for 21 members of a transnational money laundering ring.

Among them, 14 were prosecuted by the municipal People's Procuracy for "fraudulent appropriation of property, and seven for "money laundering.” Many of them played important roles in the Jibian international crime ring.

Between September 27 and November 9, 2022, police arrested Mac Binh Hung and many others of the 777pay criminal group belonging to Jinbian Company headquartered in Cambodia.

The group provided bank accounts for fraudsters to instruct Nguyen Thi L, 39, residing in Cau Giay district, Hanoi, to transfer money for them, with transactions worth nearly 20 billion VND (785,778 USD) in total carried out from August 25-30, 2022. The woman reported the case to the Hanoi police after recognising that she had been deceived.

The police also found that Phan Van Minh, 46, in Ho Chi Minh City, laundered more than 10 billion VND transferred by 777pay.

The trial is scheduled to last for five days./.

One dead, two missing after Phu Yen boat accident

One person has died, and two others remain missing after a boat capsized on the Ba River in Phu Yen Province on Wednesday evening.

Chairman of Phu Hoa District People's Committee Nguyen Ba Khai said that the accident occurred when six male construction workers from a nearby bridge project operated a motorboat on the Ba River to get home after work at 7pm on May 15.

"The boat suddenly capsized and three of them managed to swim to shore," the official said. "Rescue forces found one person, 34-year-old Nguyen Cuu Dong, a but he died shortly after from drowning while being rushed to hospital. Meanwhile, rescue forces are still trying to find two others, 31-year-old Nguyen Manh Nguyen and 46-year-old Le Duc Cuong, who remain missing."

The Ba River, which is the largest river in the central highlands and southern coastal region, runs from Kon Tum Province through Gia Lai and Phu Yen before reaching the sea.

PM requests authorities to focus on treating poisoned people in Vinh Phuc province

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the Ministry of Health, and other relevant agencies to promptly handle the food poisoning case in northern Vinh Phuc province.

On May 14, as many as 350 people suffered from food poisoning at Shinwon Ebenezer Vietnam Co. Ltd. in Khai Quang industrial zone in Vinh Yen city of Vinh Phuc province.

In order to continue promoting and effectively implementing solutions to prevent food poisoning, in Official dispatch No. 50/CD-TTg, the PM requested the People's Committee of Vinh Phuc to direct local relevant agencies to focus on treating the people suffering from the food poisoning, inspect and clarify the causes of poisoning and take measures to handle the case in accordance with regulations.

The People's Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities across the country were asked to continue to strictly implement the tasks and solutions directed by the PM in Official dispatch No. 44/CD-TTg dated May 3, 2024.

The PM has also requested the Ministry of Health to continue to closely monitor the situation, direct the application of appropriate measures to prevent and handle food poisoning and promptly support localities to handle and overcome consequences of food poisoning in case of necessity./.

Beach city opens key western ring road  

The central city officially opened a 19km western ring road which helps connect National Highway No 14B and the Hồ Chí Minh Trail in the first phase, completing the city’s urban traffic network with National Highway 1A in the west of the city.

The four lane road, took six years to build and cost a total of VNĐ1.5 trillion (US$60 million).

It will, the Director of the city’s managing board of traffic investment and construction projects, Nguyễn Minh Huy said, create smooth traffic links from the city’s inner traffic zone and key roads, through to industrial parks, as well as to the under-construction Liên Chiểu deep-sea port.

It is also one of several key projects to improve connections in the western side of the city as well as contributing to the development of the central Highlands region, he added.

Earlier this year, the city began construction of another road and bridge to link the southeast urban zone with the National Highway 1A system and a coastal road connecting the national road system and Liên Chiểu port.

Infrastructure projects aimed at making Đà Nẵng an attractive investment and tourism destination and a ‘green and smart’ city by 2025 include the relocation of the railway station, upgrading sea ports, the expansion of the Hải Vân Tunnel and a new Liên Chiểu port and Kim Liên rail freight station. 

Vietnamese PM congratulates Singaporean counterpart

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Wednesday sent a letter of congratulations to Lawrence Wong as the latter took office as Prime Minister of Singapore.

Wong, 51, took his oath of office on Wednesday, succeeding Lee Hsien Loong, 72, who stepped down after two decades at the helm. 

Vietnamese, Cambodian journalists enhance cooperation, mutual understanding

A delegation of the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) led by its President Puy Kea visited and worked with the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper, and the Vietnam Journalists' Association (VJA) on May 14-15.

Receiving the Cambodian journalists at the VNA headquarters in Hanoi on May 15, VNA Deputy General Director Nguyen Tuan Hung briefed them on the operations of the agency, with 63 representative offices in all 63 provinces and centrally-run cities, and 30 overseas bureaus, including one in Cambodia.

Hung expressed his hope that the visit will help enhance mutual understanding between journalists of the two countries, thus contributing to the enhancement of the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional friendship.

The two sides exchanged views on measures to raise the quality of journalistic works, as well as challenges to traditional journalism in the digital era, and the application of artificial intelligence (Al) in operations of press agencies.

Later on the same day, Le Quoc Minh, Editor-in-chief of the Nhan Dan Newspaper, Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Information and Education, and VJA Chairman received the Cambodian delegation at the newspaper's headquarters.

On May 14, the Cambodian delegation was received by VJA Standing Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Loi.

At the meetings, the sides said the visit offered an opportunity to strengthen solidarity between press agencies and bring Vietnamese and Cambodian journalism closer./.

Vietnam, ASEAN step up efforts for quality early childhood development

The country greatly values the position and role of early childhood care and education (ECCE), Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said at the ASEAN ministerial meeting held on May 15 in Vientiane in Laos to ensure equitable access to quality early childhood development and care. 
The event featured the participation of officials from 10 ASEAN member states and Timor Leste, alongside representative from numerous international organisations.

The discussions highlighted a theme of ECCE for a sustainable future with a view towards further enhancing co-operation and mutual support in the field both regionally and internationally.

The Vietnamese side has carried out a nationwide educational programme aimed at integrating climate change adaptation and environmental protection content to provide kindergarteners with fundamental knowledge on these issues.

He informed the conference of upcoming Vietnamese programmes which will work to ensure that all girls and boys have access to ECCE, promote environmental education and climate change response, and establish green preschool models.

Deputy Minister Phuc also underscored the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training’s commitment to sharing the region’s combined efforts and accompanying its ASEAN peers in accelerating the implementation of the bloc leaders' declaration on ECCE adopted at the ASEAN Summit in 2023 and commitments made by participants at this conference.

A joint declaration was approved at the end of the function, covering the integration of sustainable environment education in preschool teacher training programmes and the equipment of early childhood educators with knowledge and skills on climate change and natural disaster risks, among others.

Vietnam regards Belgium as important partner in EU

Vietnam always considers Belgium an important partner in the European Union (EU), said Standing Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man at a reception for André Flahaut, member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, Minister of State, and former President of the Chamber of Representatives in Hanoi on May 15.

The all-around cooperation between the two countries, including parliamentary relations, has been growing  steadily, Man told his guest and expressed his hope that Flahaut’s visit will contribute to fostering the sound relationship between the two nations and legislative bodies.

Man thanked the Belgian Chamber of Representatives for its ratification of a resolution in support of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in Vietnam, to which Flahaut made significant contributions.

He suggested both sides continue with their close coordination and called for more practical support from the Belgian side to Vietnam in finance, technology and personnel development in dioxin remediation.

Host and guest showed their elation at the development of the legislative ties, within both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

To boost comprehensive collaboration and mutual political trust and understanding, Man suggested the two countries intensify the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially the high level, and via all channels, including the parliamentary one.

This is along with bolstering coordination and mutual support at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, he said, while affirming Vietnam’s readiness to serve as a bridge between Belgium and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as between the Belgian parliament and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

Highlighting economic cooperation as a pillar of the bilateral ties, the Vietnamese legislator stated that there is plenty of room for the two countries to advance the collaboration.

The NA Vice Chairman voiced his hope that the Belgian Chamber of Representatives will soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) before the end of this tenure to fully tap cooperation potential between the two nations in investment.

He also called on Belgium to urge the European Commission (EC) to soon lift its “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seafood.

Man thanked the Belgian Government for its valuable support to Vietnam over the past years in the areas of clean water, waste treatment, institutional enhancement, agriculture and rural development, health care, and education, saying he hopes for more support and cooperation in these fields.

In response, Flahaut told his host that the Belgian parliament has finalized procedures related to the cooperation agreement between the two legislatures and will soon send it to the Vietnamese side.

Echoing Man’s views, he said the two law-making bodies should better perform their supervision function and promote their coordination in monitoring the implementation of cooperation mechanisms and agreements between the two governments as well as important collaboration projects.

National Assembly gears up for busy 7th session

Preparations for the upcoming 7th session of the 15th National Assembly were a key focus of the ongoing 33rd meeting of the NA Standing Committee held in Hanoi on May 15.

NA Secretary General and Chairman of the NA Office Bui Van Cuong outlined a comprehensive agenda for the session, scheduled to begin on May 20 and conclude on June 27. Lawmakers will tackle a wide range of issues across 39 different topics, including lawmaking, socio-economic affairs, the State budget, and supervision.

The session will be divided into two phases, with the first running from May 20 to June 8 and the second from June 17-27, with an additional reserve day on June 28.

NA Permanent Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man underlined the urgency of finalising the draft revised Law on Social Insurance. He urged the NA's Committee for Social Affairs, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and relevant bodies to work collaboratively and proactively to ensure the law's approval during this session.

He proposed that the Government solicit further feedback from relevant authorities on several key matters, including the National Target Programme on Cultural Development, the draft amended Capital Law, and the draft revised Law on Organisation of People's Courts.

The agenda will include the NA's draft Resolution on piloting a new model of urban administration for Da Nang city, along with specific development mechanisms and policies; and a similar draft Resolution proposing supplementary development mechanisms and policies for Nghe An province.

Lawmakers will also delve into the State budget estimate for 2022 and a draft Resolution on a 2% reduction in value-added tax.

Vietnam looks to stronger ties with Argentina

Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Ngo Minh Nguyet has expressed her hope for closer cooperation with the Argentinean Government to further expand and deepen Vietnam-Argentina ties across multiple areas.

At a ceremony  held on May 15 to present her credentials to Argentinean President Javier Milei, Nguyet conveyed the regards from General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, Acting President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to President Milei. She also conveyed Prime Minister Chinh's thanks to President Milei for his invitation to visit Argentina in 2024.

Vietnam and Argentina established their diplomatic relations on October 25, 1973 and comprehensive partnership in 2010.

Over the past half century, bilateral relations have seen constant development in a multitude of fields, especially in politics, economy, trade and culture, and via all channels of Party, government people diplomacy.

Both sides have maintained the exchange of high-level delegations as well as exchanges among ministries, sectors and localities, while effectively carrying out the political consultation mechanism between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Inter-governmental Committee.

Economic, trade and investment cooperation has served as the foundation for long-term relations between the two nations.

In the 2004-2023 period, two-way trade surged by nearly 17-fold to US$ 3.45 billion in 2023. Vietnam is currently Argentina's sixth largest trading partner and fifth biggest export market, while Argentina is Vietnam's third largest trading partner in Latin America.

Argentina has supported Vietnam during negotiations for a free trade agreement with the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) which consists of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Later the same day, Ambassador Ngo Minh Nguyet laid a wreath at the statue of Argentinean Hero San Martin in Buenos Aires.

Vietnam vows to contribute more to ASEAN-New Zealand relations

Ambassador Ton Thi Ngoc Huong, Vietnam’s permanent representative to ASEAN, highly valued New Zealand's steadfast commitments to support ASEAN's centrality while addressing the 12th ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee (ANZJCC) meeting in Jakarta on May 15.

Huong showed her hope that ASEAN and New Zealand will have more practical activities to raise awareness by their people and enterprises to make good use of business cooperation opportunities.

Thanking Brunei for successfully fulfilling its current role as coordinator of ASEAN-New Zealand relations, the diplomat affirmed that as the next coordinator, Vietnam is ready to cooperate with New Zealand to strengthen the special bilateral relations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand relations in 2025.

At the meeting, ASEAN and New Zealand reaffirmed commitment to strengthening their partnership and enhancing cooperation including through continued implementation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2021-2025).

ASEAN welcomed New Zealand’s support for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and looked forward to concrete activities to enhance practical cooperation in line with the ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP adopted in 2023.

Meanwhile, New Zealand committed to supporting the ASEAN Centrality, particularly through its participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms and implementation of cooperation activities under the four themes outlined in the Plan of Action 2021-2025- Peace, Prosperity, People, and Planet.

Noting that 2025 marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-New Zealand Dialogue Relations, and a new Plan of Action (2026-2030) will also be adopted next year, both sides agreed to explore initiatives and activities to commemorate the milestone and further substantiate cooperation.

New Zealand reiterated its intention to request the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership with ASEAN in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of relations.

ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam./.

Nearly 100 Dong Nai workers hospitalised after late lunch at company

Nearly 100 workers at the Dechang Vietnam Company had been hospitalised with food poisoning symptoms after having noodles for supper at their company's canteen on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Trang Bom District Health Department, the workers ate chicken noodles for their supper and soon developed symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and fatigue afterwards.

"Some 500 workers ate the food and by Wednesday evening, nearly 100 of them were sent to hospital with those similar symptoms," the department said.

Director of the Trang Bom Healthcare Centre Nguyen Duc Phuoc said that while one of the workers faced serious conditions and had to use a ventilator, most others had light symptoms and were given some medicines for home treatment.

Dong Nai authorities are investigating the case.

The Dechang Vietnam, located in Giang Dien Industrial Park in Trang Bom District, provides electrical spare parts with some 1,200 workers.

More large-scale food poisoning cases have been reported recently in Vietnam.

More than 350 workers in Vinh Phuc Province were also hospitalised with suspected food poisoning after having lunch at their company's canteen on May 14. The cause of the incident has yet to be defined.

Earlier on May 1, over 500 people in Dong Nai also faced food poisoning after having banh mi sandwiches at a local bakery. Testing later showed that the sandwiches had been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Two children who faced critical conditions are still being treated at hospital.

British Council’s programme equips Vietnamese youths with climate skills

The British Council and the Can Tho University on May 15 held a ceremony in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho to launch a programme on climate skills in a bid to promote green transition.

The programme, coordinated by the British Council with global youths to promote green transition and reduce the use of fossil fuels, will be implemented until February 2026 in Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia and India.

Donna McGowan, Director of the British Council in Vietnam, said that the event aimed to equip vulnerable young people with the necessary skills to be able to participate in and be part of the green transition process and a low carbon economy.

It will also provide necessary resources, build community activities led by young people, remove barriers, and help them get closer to green jobs.

Implemented in Vietnam, the programme will contribute to promoting international cooperation, she said, adding that, participating British and Vietnamese experts will help promote the role of education in climate change adaptation, addressing the impacts and effects of climate change in the Mekong Delta region.

It will also create opportunities for young people to connect with experts and policymakers, thereby contributing their voices to the country's macro decisions in the field of climate and green transition, McGowan added.

Tran Ngoc Hai, Vice Rector of the Can Tho University, said that in Vietnam, the programme will be carried out in Can Tho city and Kien Giang and Soc Trang provinces.

On the same day, the British Council's delegation had a working session with Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thuc Hien who expressed his hope that the council will continue supporting the city in implementing projects to raise the community’s climate change response capacity./.

Over 21,200 sets of martyrs’ remains recovered: conference

More than 21,200 sets of remains of martyrs have been recovered since 2013, including over 3,300 sets in Laos and nearly 7,600 sets in Cambodia, helping consolidate the people’s confidence in the Party and State’s policies, heard a conference in Hanoi on May 15.

The hybrid event was held by the national steering committee for the search, repatriation and identification of fallen soldiers’ remains (National Steering Committee 515), drawing the participation of some 3,000 delegates.

Over the past years, the policies for organisations and individuals who engage in the search and repatriation have been implemented while vehicles and equipment have been effectively used to facilitate the work.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Vo Minh Luong, deputy head of the steering committee, asked competent ministries, sectors and agencies to continue stepping up the communications work to raise public awareness of the Party and State’s policies.

Relevant agencies and units should propose the Government issue new documents on the policies, make estimates, allocate funding and mobilise resources to support the search and repatriation of martyrs in accordance with the current regulations.

On this occasion, 26 organisations and 27 individuals were honoured for their excellent contributions to implementing and ensuring policies for organisations and people participating in the search and repatriation work./.

Việt Nam backs UNESCO’s role in education promotion: Ambassador

A member of the UNESCO Executive Council, Việt Nam always supports the organisation’s role in promoting education globally, Ambassador Đặng Hoàng Giang, Việt Nam's Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Wednesday.

At an ambassador-level session of the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning in New York, Giang also spoke highly of the group’s efforts in pushing ahead with contents and commitments relating to education.

He suggested holding activities between the group and UN member countries to step up dialogues and share information, initiatives and experience in education.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J.Mohammad emphasised the need to focus on ensuring finance for education and rights for teachers, and to optimise digital transformation in this field.

Launched on January 24, 2019, the group champions advocacy and outreach on the global commitments on education, including through concrete contribution to intergovernmental processes as well as the organisation of high-level and expert-level meetings. 

Taekwondo athletes take bronze at continental championships

Martial art athletes from the host nation won six bronze medals in the first days of competition of the 26th Asian Taekwondo Championship which opened on May 14 in Đà Nẵng City.

Over the first two days of the event, they competed in poomsae (performance) categories at the Tiên Sơn Sports Complex.

Phạm Quốc Việt came third in the men's U30 individual poomsae. Lưu Quyền Phước was third in the men's over-17 individual freestyle. Nguyễn Thiên Phụng took bronze in the men's U40 individual. Nguyễn Phan Khánh Hân earned her medal in the women's over-17 individual freestyle and Liên Thị Tuyết Mai finished third in the women's U40 individual recognised.

The pair and team events will follow.

Việt Nam are one of strongest teams in the world in group five freestyle having won world titles several times.

The kyorugi (combat) matches will be on May 16-18.

In the previous championship in 2022, Việt Nam took six poomsae bronzes but failed to bring home a medal in kyorugi from South Korea. 

Ho Chi Minh City targets Australian tourists with roadshow

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism on May 13 and 14 partnered with the Consulate General of Vietnam in Sydney to host a series of promotion events aimed at attracting Australian tourists.

Over 25 representatives from Vietnamese airlines, travel agents, hospitality providers and industry associations attended the road show.

A business-to-consumer (B2C) event stood out, featuring live entertainment, informative presentations, and a comprehensive overview of Ho Chi Minh City's tourism experiences, all designed to enable Australian visitors to plan their dream vacations, said Deputy Director of the department Le Truong Hien Hoa.

A business networking event also connected the city’s tourism companies with their counterparts from New South Wales state.

The event attracted more than 2,500 visitors who explored over 25 booths showcasing a variety of prominent tourism products and services. Beyond browsing travel options, they were treated to an immersive cultural experience like "to he" figurine crafting, "non la" (conical hat) painting, traditional silk painting demonstrations, and "ao dai" (traditional long dress) fashion shows.

Traditional music and dance performances by the Bong Sen Theatre of Traditional Music and Dance also captivated visitors, offering a glimpse into Vietnam's rich cultural heritage.

Following the success of the Sydney events, the roadshow will continue in Melbourne on May 17, offering another opportunity for Australians to discover the beauty and charm of Ho Chi Minh City./.

Vinh Phuc company canteen suspended following mass food poisoning

The Ministry of Health has asked concerned agencies in the northern province of Vinh Phuc to treat the victims of a serious food poisoning which occurred at a local company on Tuesday afternoon.

In an urgent document sent to the Vinh Phuc Provincial Department of Health on Tuesday evening, the ministry also ordered an immediate suspension of the company's canteen.

According to a report from the Vinh Phuc Provincial Department of Health, more than 350 workers at the Shinwon Ebenezer Company developed food poisoning symptoms after lunch prepared by the company canteen.

"More than 3,290 workers ate fried chicken with chilli and lemongrass, cauliflower, green bean soup, and vegetable pickles between 11.30 am-12.30 pm on May 14," the report said. "Five workers started developing symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, and fatigue at 2 pm and were sent to a local hospital. More workers faced the same problems; by 5 pm the same day, 351 victims had been reported. There were different hospitals and healthcare centres in the area for treatment.

A doctor at the Lac Viet Friendship Hospital said they have received over 200 workers from the Shinwon Ebenezer Company who all had food poisoning problems.

"They are all improving after being treated, and 76 patients have been discharged," the doctor said.

At the Vinh Phuc Provincial General Hospital, all 67 food poisoning cases have improved.

Vinh Phuc Provincial Department of Health said on Wednesday morning that they have prepared about 1,000 beds at local hospitals in case more cases need treatment.

Vinh Phuc authorities are investigating the case.

South Korean Shinwon Ebenezer Company is located in Khai Quang Industrial Zone in Vinh Yen City and specialises in garment production for export.

Vietnam sees cases of malaria more than doubled in first four months

The country recorded 141 cases of malaria in the first five months this year, an increase of 107.4 per cent over the same period in 2023, and no malaria epidemic occurred, according to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology (NIMPE).

The locality seeing the highest number of cases is Khánh Hòa Province with 94 cases, accounting for 66.7 per cent of the total, followed by Nghệ An Province with eight cases and Hà Tĩnh Province with seven.

According to NIMPE Director Hoàng Đình Cảnh, in 2023, there were 249 million cases of malaria globally in 85 countries, an increase of five million cases compared to 2022.

Africa is still the region with the most severe malaria situation, with an estimated 233 million cases infected with malaria, accounting for 94 per cent of malaria patients globally.

The Western Pacific region, including Việt Nam, has about 1.4 million cases, accounting for 0.56 per cent of the total number of malaria patients globally.

Across Việt Nam, over the past ten years, the number of cases and deaths due to malaria has gradually decreased (from 15,752 cases to 448 cases last year). Particularly, in the 2014-16 period it fell by half, and in the 2019-21 period the figure dropped by a third, Cảnh said.

Last year, Việt Nam recorded 448 cases of malaria.

Among the provinces with malaria patients, 13 out of 23 provinces have imported cases.

"This is a challenge for malaria prevention and elimination that needs to be considered in the future," Cảnh said.

To achieve the goal of eliminating malaria by 2030 according to Resolution No. 20 dated October 25, 2017 of the 12th Central Party Committee on strengthening the protection, care and improvement of people's health, by 2027 the whole country must have no more cases of domestic malaria parasites.

Meanwhile, there are still many provinces with persistent and regular complex malaria outbreaks that are difficult to tackle, including Lai Châu, Khánh Hòa, Gia Lai, Đắk Lắk and Đắk Nông, the director said.

According to national statistics, there are about seven million people living in malaria-endemic areas in 1,030 communes, mainly poor people and ethnic minorities living in mountainous, remote areas and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) and border areas.

Part of the reason is limited public awareness, with people living in those areas not actively participating in malaria prevention work such as spraying residual chemicals, using mosquito nets and taking the correct/adequate dose of medicine when infected, especially ethnic minorities and seasonal workers in the fields.

In addition, the artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum malaria parasite, especially combined anti-malarial drug resistance, is at risk of spreading, he said.

Cảnh added that parasitic diseases have a high infection rate and prevalence in some areas, causing great harm to health, however parasitic diseases often have mild clinical symptoms, so it has not received much attention from people and the society.

Cảnh said that if economic conditions, food hygiene practices, personal hygiene and environmental hygiene are still poor, that will increase the risk of disease transmission and limit the ability of health authorities to prevent outbreaks.

A number of newly emerged disease-transmitting insects have a significant impact on people's health and lives such as three-winged ants, kissing bugs and black bean beetles. However, monitoring, detection and prevention work still faces many hurdles.

Authorities in some localities have not paid attention to directing and investing properly and promptly in the prevention of malaria, parasites and insects while officials performing the task of preventing malaria, parasites, and insects at the provincial level are always committed.

From 2021, the Ministry of Health has issued Decision No. 1745/QĐ-BYT on the plan to prevent common parasitic diseases in Việt Nam for the 2021-25 period; Decision No. 1744/QĐ-BYT guiding the monitoring and prevention of common parasitic diseases in Việt Nam; Decision No. 5003/QĐ-BYT on the plan for epidemiological zoning of common parasitic diseases in Việt Nam for the 2021-25 period.

However, these activities are being implemented very slowly, with only 33 out of 63 provinces and cities carrying out the phased plans of parasitic disease prevention for the 2021-25 period.

At the end of 2023, only 7 per cent of districts have conducted epidemiological zoning activities for parasitic diseases, he added. 

Vietnam guarantees the right to public healthcare for its people

The average life expectancy of Vietnamese people has surged by 15 years, with a significant decline being recorded in vaccine-preventable diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Vietnam has strived to expand the scope of health insurance, thereby moving the country toward reaching the goal of universal health care.

Poverty eradication, social security, and better medical care for people are all part of efforts the nation has been making to better ensure human rights.

The country is considered to be one of the fastest-growing countries in the world in terms of increasing the Human Development Index (HDI). In just a decade, Vietnamese HDI has soared by 46%, among the countries with the highest growth rate globally.

According to information provided by the UNDP's latest Human Development Report, the Vietnamese HDI human ranking continues to increase from 115 to 107, with country ranked in the group with a high HDI.

Thanks to great successes made in family planning, the national birth rate has dropped from 6.4 children per woman to 2.09 in 2006 and continues to be maintained at current level.

Vietnam is also among the six countries in the world to achieve the fifth Millennium Development Goal of promoting gender equality and empowering all women and girls in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the UN.

According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), unlike most developing countries, Vietnam was able to maintain economic growth during the most difficult years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although average growth has slowed and vulnerable groups and individuals have endured very difficult times, the nation has avoided a reversal of human development progress.

The country has obtained numerous achievements in improving people's lives and healthcare quality in recent decades. Indeed, the average life expectancy has increased by 15 years, with a significant decline made in vaccine-preventable diseases. The nation has expanded its health insurance coverage, moving toward its goal of achieving universal health care, Ghebreyesus said.

According to data from the General Statistics Office, the average life expectancy of Vietnamese people stood at 73.7 years old in 2022 and 73.6 years old in 2022, of which men were 71.1 years old and women were 76.5 years old.

Population quality has improved, while fertility has decreased sharply and the replacement fertility level has been basically maintained since 2005.

The death rate remains low, with the average life expectancy increasing due to the developments made in medicine and improved health care.

The nation has suffered unprecedented impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic which took lives, increased inequality, and reduced people's ability to enjoy human rights.

Ensuring the right to health care is also a top priority as the nation has carried out the largest vaccination campaign in history, with more than 266 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines being administered to most people aged 12 years and older in just over two years.

At a recent meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha, Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, regional director for the Western Pacific of the WHO, shared some of the WHO's priority goals in supporting and strengthening the capacity of the Vietnamese health sector in a bid to increase the capacity of the preventive health system to respond to future epidemics, improve the environment, promote healthy lifestyles, and ensure healthcare security.

The WHO predicts that the country will face many challenges moving forward, especially amid climate change seriously affecting the level of human development in the most vulnerable areas, forcing many people to relocate homes and lose livelihood.

However, WHO experts believe that Vietnam has enough capacity to manage the uncertainties related to cascading crises.

The right to public healthcare is always considered by the country to be one of the mist important human rights, with this being the basis for exercising many other human rights.

The exercise of the right to community healthcare is also associated with other human rights such as the right to life, the right to food, housing, employment, education, protection of privacy, and access to information.

The provisions of the 2013 Constitution on social security rights are specified in many specialised legal documents such as Labor Code, Social Insurance Law, Law on Elderly, Law on Children, Law on People with Disabilities, Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Health Insurance Law, and  Law on Occupational Safety and Health.

Laws in this area better ensures citizens' rights to access and use quality medical services, health insurance services, and social insurance, thereby creating a legal basis for implementing social preferential policies for policy beneficiaries and consumer protection. In addition, it serves to better resolve the relationship linking economic growth with the implementation of social policies in general, as well as labour and social security policies in particular according to the principles of equity and social progress.

The number of people participating in health insurance in 2020 reached 88.04 million,  accounting for 90.85% of the national population. Elsewhere, the figure of 2021 was 88.837 million, making up 91.01% of the population, exceeding the target assigned in the Government's Resolution issued in 2019.

By the end of 2023, health insurance coverage hit about 94% of the Vietnamese population. The social security system and social policies have proven their superiority in supporting workers facing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of June, 2023, the rate of ethnic minorities participating in health insurance averaged 91.9%. The rate of malnourished and underweight children under five stood at 15.8% on average, with the rate of stunting among children under five at 21% on average.

Although there are plenty of challenges ahead and resources for social security remain limited, Vietnam has been and will be making constant efforts to enable people enjoy better public healthcare. This is also the result of innovation and stronger socio-economic development.

Hanoi to offer national flags to all households for 70th Liberation Day

The Hanoi People's Committee has just announced a decision by chairman Tran Sy Thanh to present national flags to all households to celebrate the 70th Liberation Day of the city.

At a recent meeting, the committee agreed to provide funding for districts to organise activities and events to celebrate the occasion.

Fireworks, drone light show and contests are among Hanoi's planned activities to celebrate the 70th Liberation Day anniversary on October 10.

These will be a series of 50 activities and events held for the celebrations, mainly in September and October.

Among them are seminars, exhibitions, conferences, film screening, music performances, sport competitions, and Ao Dai Festival.

Charity events will also be organised to support local disadvantaged people.

These activities aimed at introducing and promoting Hanoi's image to domestic and international friends.

Hanoi currently has over 2.20 million households with over eight million people.

Dong Thap restaurants to focus on lotus dishes

Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap have just announced a list of 62 restaurants offering dishes made from lotus, a local speciality.

Dong Thap introduces up to 200 dishes made from lotus at the first Lotus Festival held in 2022.

The move will improve service for visitors to the province during the Lotus Festival, which will be held in Cao Lanh City from May 16 to 19.

The list shows 21 restaurants in Cao Lanh City that will introduce some of the most popular lotus dishes, including lotus root salad, rice with lotus seeds, spring rolls with lotus seed stuffing, grilled snakehead wrapped in lotus leaves, lotus seed soup, and lotus seed milk.

Some restaurants in the neighbouring provinces of Lai Vung, Cao Lanh, Lap Vo, and Hong Ngu City will also offer these special Dong Thap dishes.

Some of Thap Muoi District's lotus fields will be opened to visitors who can admire the beautiful scenery, learn about lotus farming and enjoy special dishes made from the trees.

Selected restaurant and food stall staff recently attended a training course organised by the Dong Thap Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to provide visitors with top-quality dishes during the annual festival.

Around 30 activities will take place at the Lotus Festival 2024, the second of its kind organised in Dong Thap, including an international forum on the lotus, an exhibition on the lotus products, a food street featuring lotus dishes, and tours to visit lotus fields. Around 5,500 local women will join a traditional Ao Dai performance with a lotus theme.

Dong Thap introduced up to 200 dishes made from lotus at the first Lotus Festival in 2022.

Over 100 irrigation lakes drying in central region

Over 100 irrigation lakes are drying up with water below dead level amid prolonged drought in the central region.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, irrigation lakes in the central region currently have average water levels of 43-70 percent of their capacity, 3-10 percent lower than in 2022 and 2023.

In the northern central region, 481 out of 2,411 lakes have seen their water levels fall below 50 percent of their capacity, including 82 to below dead level. Meanwhile, 103 of 534 lakes in the southern central region have seen their water levels fall below 50 percent of their capacity, including 29 to below dead level.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting reported that the central region received rainfall of 50-140mm since the beginning of this year, a fall of between 20-60 percent compared to last year and between 50-70 percent compared to 2022. The two provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan almost saw no rain at all during the period.

The centre said, "Hot weather may become more intense from May to July in the region, and the dry season will continue until August."

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reports showed that the water shortage has badly affected 25,200-35,200 hectares of rice, vegetables, and fruits in the central region. Some 365 hectares of dragon fruits in Binh Thuan Province are dying from droughts.

The ministry has asked local authorities to monitor the weather forecast closely to ensure the proper operation of irrigation activities and minimise losses.

The ministry said, "We may need to switch to other plants or delay the new planting season to suit the weather conditions."

Nha Trang environmental projects face sluggish pace

Two VND1.06 trillion (USD41.65 million) environmental projects in Nha Trang City in the southern central province of Khanh Hoa are behind schedule due to site clearance issues.

The VND760-billion anti-saline intrusion dam on the Cai River was started on September 9, 2020 and was scheduled for completion by late 2022.
The project would ensure freshwater for 500,000 people and irrigation for 2,000 hectares of agricultural lands.

However, only three-quarters of the project has been finished.

According to Khanh Hoa’s project management board, only 25 out of 36 households agreed to the compensation. The project halted last year because of site clearance problems.

Meanwhile, the wastewater treatment plant in the north of Nha Trang, which costs VND300 billion and belongs to the Coastal Cities Sustainable Environment Project, is also sluggish.

The three-hectare plant, which has a daily capacity of 15,000 cubic metres, is in Vinh Ngoc Commune. Work on the project kicked off in 2021 and was slated for completion by late 2023. However, some facilities still need to be finished.

Lots of equipment has become rusty after being left idle for a long time.

The provincial project management board has identified slow site clearance as the primary cause of the plant’s current pace. However, the contractor is actively accelerating the remaining work, including the development of green spaces, to expedite the project's completion.

Can Tho wants to expand high-quality, low-emission rice farming

Can Tho City plans to develop 48,000 hectares of high-quality rice by 2030, increasing its focus on sustainable agricultural practices and emission reductions in the Mekong Delta.

By 2025, the city will cultivate 38,000 hectares of high-quality rice, and by 2030, the figure will rise to 48,000 hectares.

The city has initiated the “Sustainable Development of One Million Hectares of High Quality and Low-Emission Rice Associated with Green Growth in the Mekong Delta by 2030” program.

The project will particularly enhance rice cultivation in Vinh Thanh, Co Do, and Thoi Lai districts. This initiative seeks significant advancements in farming efficiencies and environmental sustainability.

According to the plan, all areas would adopt sustainable farming practices by 2030. These areas will receive certifications such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).

The city also plans to fully mechanize over 50% of its rice-growing areas by 2025, involving more than 32,000 farming households. This figure is set to rise to 70% by 2030, with over 42,000 households expected to adopt mechanized farming. These measures are anticipated to reduce post-harvest losses to below 10% by 2025 and further to under 8% by 2030. Moreover, by 2030, Can Tho aims to collect and reuse 100% of rice straw, increasing from 70% by 2025.

The initiative also includes environmental goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10% by 2025. Economic benefits are also projected, with a 30% increase in the value added to the rice production chain and farmers’ profit expected to exceed 40% by 2025.

Low-emission rice exports from the region are expected to account for over 20% of total rice exports by 2030.

To facilitate these advancements, Can Tho will establish a steering committee this year to oversee technical support, training, and infrastructure upgrades.

The Mekong Delta city currently has 144,000 hectares of natural land, of which nearly 80% is used for agriculture.

HCMC health sector uses chatbot to explain regulations

The health sector in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday launched chatbots to provide patients with 24/7 access to health information.

This sector’s move aims to enhance communication of new regulations of the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment No. 15/2023/QH15 and the Government’s Decree No. 96/2023/ND-CP in addition to traditional forms of communication.

Patients can go at is integrated between the NLP chatbot - natural language processing chatbot - and the machine learning model to help understand and respond to user questions accurately. The application utilizes new, modern technologies such as Rocket.Live, Rasa AI Conversational Platform, MongoDB, Python, and Linux.

The Chatbot will provide answers related to the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment thanks to being built from question data based on a question bank comprising 800 questions sent by medical facilities. All answers are compiled, updated, and supplemented continuously by the professional departments of the Department of Health and medical examination and treatment facilities.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being used in healthcare settings. Chatbots geared toward patient use are becoming more widely available.

With this application, medical staff or anyone in need of support will easily receive information and answers related to the provisions of the Law on Medical Examination and Treatment, as well as the Government’s Decree No. 96/2023. /ND-CP.

According to the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, although the chatbot is not too complicated, it can be considered a new product created from the innovation ecosystem of Ho Chi Minh City's health sector.

Subscriber identification used to eliminate junk SIM cards, spamming calls

The Telecoms Authority yesterday discussed possible measures to handle junk SIM cards and spamming calls in MIC’s regular press conference.

Deputy Director Nguyen Phong Nha of the Telecoms Authority (under the Ministry of Information and Communications – MIC) informed that from April 15, 2024, all telecoms businesses take full responsibility if the number of new SIM cards under their charge are developed not in compliance with current regulations.

When a violation is detected, MIC’s Inspectorate is going to apply suitable punishments to the highest level of forbidding the related business from having new subscribers. Meanwhile, a written warning will be sent to that enterprise, along with a corresponding report sent to the Prime Minister.

Deputy Director Nha further stated that after receiving feedback from the public lately, MIC has directed its units (the Telecoms Authority, the Inspectorate) to verify the reported cases. Preliminary verification results show that these cases all have necessary subscriber information.

At present, concerned telecoms businesses are asked to explain certain content in those cases and review the status of existing subscribers. It has been discovered that about 6 million subscribers own 4-9 SIM cards.

Besides actively trying to handle SIM cards with imprecise subscription information and to raise the public’s awareness via propaganda programs, MIC is simultaneously adopting various administrative and technical measures to stop spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

It is considering launching Voice Brandname and hotlines for state agencies like the police, the court, and the People's Procuracy to use in communication with the community.

Right now, MIC is working with the Public Security Ministry to issue an identification for police units. MIC has also directed telecoms enterprises to do the same to their official hotlines for customer care. These businesses are asked to cooperate to stop spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

In the upcoming time, MIC is going to review and supplement legal regulations while instructing network carriers to apply suitable technological methods to minimize the spread of spamming calls from fixed-line numbers.

HCMC companies struggle to find high-skilled workers

Local companies are struggling to fill high-skilled technical roles, facing significant hiring challenges, reports the city’s Employment Service Center.

Despite over 3,300 companies posting job openings for experts and high-tech workers on the center’s website since the beginning of the year, only about 300 Vietnamese candidates have expressed interest, with none meeting the hiring criteria.

These openings, initially targeted at foreign workers, encompass more than 7,000 roles across various sectors including architecture, construction, management, business, accounting, education, and engineering, offering an average salary of VND50 million per month.

A lack of awareness about these opportunities among local workers, coupled with the demanding requirements set by employers, are major barriers hindering the recruitment process. “Many Vietnamese workers are unaware of these job opportunities, and the stringent requirements might deter potential applicants,” explained a representative from the HCMC Employment Service Center.

Legally, companies must prioritize local candidates by advertising vacancies domestically before they can hire from abroad. This is in accordance with Government Decree 70, which amends and supplements Decree 152 on the employment of foreign workers in Vietnam.

As of May 13, nearly 800 positions remain unfilled, still within the recruitment period specified by the decrees. The ongoing struggle highlights a critical gap in the local employment market, underscoring the need for more effective strategies to bridge the skills and awareness gaps among Vietnamese workers.

Surge in food poisoning calls for urgent safety measures

There have been several recent cases of food poisoning, which have been attributed to the consumption of food from eateries and street vendors in the vicinity of schools. These incidents included one case in Ho Chi Minh City, one in the southern province of Lam Dong, and two in Nha Trang City in the southern province of Khanh Hoa, where one student died.

In response, Hanoi has implemented the "Hygiene Control of Food Sold by Street Vendors around Schools" model in Trang Tien and Hang Trong wards (Hoan Kiem District).

Nguyen Quoc Hoan, Deputy Chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee, said the model would be applied to food and street vendors around school gates, especially Tran Quoc Toan Primary School, Trang An Primary School, Thang Tam Kindergarten, Hoan Kiem Secondary School, Tran Phu High School and some streets including Nha Chung, Nha Tho, Ly Quoc Su, Quang Trung and Nguyen Khac Can.

Pham Thi Diem, Deputy Chairwoman of the Ba Dinh District People's Committee, said that to ensure effective implementation of the model, the district has asked educational institutions to strengthen communication with students and parents on food safety and hygiene. 

She added that the district authorities are focusing on inspecting and taking strict action against food and street vendors who do not comply with food safety and hygiene regulations, as well as preventing summer diseases in public and private educational institutions. 

"Ba Dinh has nearly 50,000 students studying in the district's schools. No cases of food poisoning have been reported in recent years," Diem said.

Hanoi is the first among Vietnam's provinces and cities to implement such a model to control food safety and trace the origin of food in restaurants and street vendors, said Dang Thanh Phong, Head of the Hanoi Food Sub-Department, adding that this model also raises awareness among students and parents about food safety and hygiene by recommending qualified and safe food outlets. 

"If the implementation is successful, the city will evaluate the model for further expansion," he said.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), there were 16 cases of food poisoning nationwide in the first quarter of 2024, resulting in three deaths and 659 people being affected (almost three times more than in the same period last year). 

The recent back-to-back food poisoning outbreaks are due to the hot weather, which favors the growth of disease-causing bacteria, especially those that cause gastrointestinal illness, the ministry said.

The problem is further exacerbated by inadequate processing and storage of food ingredients and the failure of certain food production and processing facilities to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations.

To ensure food safety and prevent food poisoning, the MoH's Vietnam Food Administration called on relevant authorities and localities to strengthen inspection and supervision of food safety and hygiene. 

This includes a focus on ready-to-eat meal processing plants, school canteens in industrial areas, schools, food vendors and street vendors, and bottled and packaged drinking water. 

The agency also said tough action was needed, including the suspension of businesses that fail to meet food safety requirements.

In addition, the agency promotes transparency by publicly disclosing the results of investigations into violations committed by organizations and individuals involved in food production and trade. This serves as a timely warning to the community and fosters accountability.

In addition, the health sector is advising parents to be more cautious when buying food for their children before sending them to school.

Binh Thuan celebrates Ho Chi Minh’s legacy with photo exhibition

The south-central province of Binh Thuan is celebrating the 134th birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19) and the 113th anniversary of his departure from the country in search for the way for national salvation (June 5) with a special photo exhibition at the Duc Thanh relic site.

The event, launched on May 15 by the provincial branch of the Ho Chi Minh Museum, showcases over 40 photos capturing the late leader's daily life. These images offer a window into his values: a life of simplicity, a deep connection with the people, unwavering respect for humanity, and a profound love for labour and nature.

The month-long event aims to encourage people from walks of life to actively study and follow his thought, moral virtue, and living style.

In addition to the photos on President Ho Chi Minh, the organiser is also displaying around 100 others highlighting the rich cultural, historical values and tourism potential of Binh Thuan./.

Vietnam shares experience in ensuring operation of informal labour area

Vietnam has implemented numerous policies to promote the role and ensure legitimate rights and interests of individuals and informal enterprises, especially household businesses, thus maintaining social and cultural cohesion and promoting sustainable production, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Vietnam's Permanent Representative to the UN has said.

Addressing a high-level dialogue on leveraging informal employment for inclusive development in Asia and the Pacific held by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York on May 14, the diplomat said close to 65% of the workforce in Vietnam is employed in the informal area.

He shared Vietnam's experience in improving legal frameworks, encouraging mutual support among business households through appropriate partnership models such as cooperatives, ensuring strict management, and timely support from local authorities for individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and household businesses.

Representatives assessed trends related to the informal labour sector in the region, and shared good practices and lessons in implementing policies and support measures for informal labourers and enterprises to enable them to continue contributing to economic development efforts.

According to the definition in the 2022 Report on Informal Employment in Vietnam by the General Statistics Office (GSO), the informal sector comprises establishments engaged in production or business owned by households and not established as separate legal entities, not independent of the households or their members owning them.

Informally employed individuals are those engaged in work that, as defined by law or in practice, is not protected by a labour law, does not entail income tax payment, or does not entitle them to social protection and other employment benefits./.

Binh Dinh: Boat-to-shore plastic waste collection proves effective

A boat-to-shore plastic waste collection model, implemented by the central province of Binh Thuan since late 2023, has so far attracted the participation of 200 fishing vessels, yielding a series of positive outcomes.

Carried out as part of a 2022-2024 project on solid waste and fishery waste management in Quy Nhon city, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), it required participating boat owners to sign a commitment to not discharge plastic waste into the sea but instead collect the waste generated on their vessels to bring ashore. They agreed to install mesh bags on their boats, declare the types of beverages, food, and packaging used during their sea trips before departing, and confirm the amount of plastic waste brought back upon arrival.

According to statistics, more than four months after the launch of the model, the authorities have collected about one tonne of waste at the Quy Nhon fishing port, of which approximately 600 kg is recyclable.

Ha Thi Thanh Huong, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said that the model has significantly contributed to reducing plastic waste, protecting the marine environment, cleaning the oceans, and helping fishermen maintain a sustainable livelihood.

In the future, Binh Dinh will expand the model to other fishing ports in the area and increase the number of participating boats, Huong added.

By 2030, the province aims to have 100% of fishermen educated and trained on ocean plastic waste management and reduction, all fishing boats bringing their plastic waste to shore for further collection and treatment, and all fishing ports organise the collection and sorting of plastic waste from these vessels./.

Lộc Trời cycling team invited to compete in Russian Gold of Ladoga

Lộc Trời Group cycling team will make its international debut after receiving an invitation to compete in the Gold of Ladoga in June in Russia.

The second international multi-day race is part of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum's sports programme.

The team which won three top awards at the largest domestic event, HCM City Television Cycling Tournament last month, will send six cyclists to the June 1-8 competition.

They will compete in seven stages of 872km with the route passing through the roads of the Leningrad Region and the Republic of Karelia. The race will conclude with a stage in St. Petersburg.

The first stage of 62.4km will begin at 8pm and be expected to wrap up at 9.30pm.

"Many powerful riders of Russian and international clubs will compete in this event, making for a high-quality race," said coach Lê Thành Liêm.

"It is our first international tournament so we just target to learn as much as possible from strong rivals." 

Liêm however will not have his best rider Petr Rikunov, winner of the HCM City Television Cycling Tournament, in Russia.

Rikunov will compete for the national team and cannot ride for Lộc Trời Group.

He regretted that he would not race for the club but he would try his best to support the Vietnamese cyclists in his ability.

The first Ladoga Gold cycling race took place in July 2023.

Cyclists rode more than 1,000km surrounded by the natural beauty of Lake Ladoga. The multi-day route covered eight cities and more than 40 settlements in the Leningrad Region and the Republic of Karelia.

Teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the UAE took part in the race. And Belarusian Sergey Shevchenko won the general classification. 

High hopes as gymnasts hope to find Olympic spots at Asian championship

Vietnamese gymnasts will have their last chance to get an Olympic spot at the Men's Artistic Gymnastics Senior Asian Championships later this week in Taskent, Uzbekistan.

The 10-strong team, with all the elite athletes, will compete in all categories from May 16-19.

"It will be the final opportunity for the Vietnamese gymnasts who have prepared quite hard for high results," said Bùi Trung Thiện, an official of the Sports Authority of Việt Nam's Gymnastics Department.

"My athletes have been totally focused on improving their ability which will be on show at the upcoming event. I hope they will complete the task."

The first events will be the individual all-round. Two Olympic spots are available, one for men and one for women.

SEA Games champions Văn Vĩ Lương and Đinh Phương Thành are two Vietnamese representatives in the men's event, said to be the one with the best chance of success for Việt Nam.

Lương, 24, won gold in two recent SEA Games and has been a familiar face on the domestic podium over the last six years.

Thành, 28, is one of the best national gymnasts from the past decade and was the first Vietnamese to win golds in five SEA Games in a row.

Both Lương and Thành were members of Việt Nam's team that won team's all-round events in the 31st and 32nd SEA Games.

"Many strong athletes have already qualified , or their national Olympic committees have reached their quota places, so they will not get places regardless of their results," warned Thiện.  

"Based on the registration list, the toughest rival of Việt Nam is from Chinese Taipei. If we can advance to the finals and place higher, we will definitely take our slot. It will be tough, but we can make it." 

Other potential athletes are Nguyễn Văn Khánh Phong, Đặng Ngọc Xuân Thiện and Trịnh Hải Khang.

Phong was the 32nd SEA Games winner in men's rings after beating world champion Carlos Yulo of the Philippines last May. He finished second and earned silver at the Asian Gymnastics Championship in June and earned silver at the 19th Asian Games three months later.

Thiện is also a SEA Games champion and topped the pommel horse event in the last two SEA Games.

Khang is the youngest member of the team. He is expected to perform better that he did at the Egypt World Cup's vault in February when he was in the top six.

Thiện said the competitiveness was not as high as it was in previous qualifiers, but athletes needed to focus, perform to their absolute optimum and do better than their current best results at this tournament.

At the Tokyo Games in 2021, veterans Lê Thanh Tùng and Phương Thành took official slots. Tùng competed in the men's vault while Thành took part in the all-round event.

Asian Taekwondo artists to fight for medals in Đà Nẵng

The Asian Taekwondo Championship began on May 14 at the Tiên Sơn Sports Complex in Đà Nẵng.

More than 1,000 athletes, coaches officials and staff from 45 countries and regions will take part in the event, a record number for the tournament which normally features around 700 people.

Athletes will compete in the poomsae (performance) and kyorugi (combat) categories for men and women until May 18.

"It is a record number of participants, especially in the fighting disciplines because it is the last tournament for athletes to accumulate their world ranking points and sharpen their skills for the 2024 Paris Olympics," said the President of Việt Nam Taekwondo Federation (VTF) Trương Ngọc Để.

As the hosts, Việt Nam have the strongest competitors and are targeting the best possible results.

In the kyorugi, the hosts will take part in 12 out of 16 weight categories. Among them are former Asian champion Trương Thị Kim Tuyền (women's 49kg), Asian Games bronze medallist Bạc Thị Khiêm (women's 62kg), SEA Games winner Lý Hồng Phúc (men's 68kg) and potential Nguyễn Hồng Trọng (men's 58kg).

In the poomsae, 20 martial artists will compete in individual and team classes. Vietnamese players have won many Asian and world medals in poomsae in the past.

On May 14 morning session, Vietnamese athletes bagged three bronzes in poomsae events.

It is the fourth time that Việt Nam has hosted the continental competition. Three previous events were held in 1998, 2012 and 2018.

The Asian Para Taekwondo Open will follow on May 19 and the sixth Asian Taekwondo Open Championships will take the stage on May 20-24 in the same place. 

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