President Vo Van Thuong and his wife will lead a high-level delegation from Vietnam to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Week in San Francisco, the US and engage in bilateral activities in the country from November 14-17.

The trip is made at the invitation of US President Joe Biden, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 9.

Colombia desires Vietnam to soon open its embassy to further boost relations

Colombian President Gustavo Petro has suggested that Vietnam open an embassy in Colombia in the near future to create a premise for boosting all-around co-operation to be on a par with the friendly relationship, as well as the inherent potential between the two countries, especially in economics and trade.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Venezuela and Colombia Vu Trung My presents the credentials of President Vo Van Thuong to Colombian President Gustavo Petro Urrigo.
On November 8 (local time), Vietnamese Ambassador to Venezuela and Colombia Vu Trung My presented the credentials of President Vo Van Thuong to Colombian President Petro.

Upon addressing a ceremony in the capital of Bogota, President Petro conveyed his greetings to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Thuong, and other Party and State leaders. He also expressed his admiration for the past struggles for national liberation and unification, as well as the renewal achievements initiated and led by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

For his part, Ambassador My expressed his honour at taking on the responsibility of serving as Vietnamese Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia, affirming that he will do his best to contribute to further promoting the friendly relationship and multi-faceted ties between the two countries.

As part of the occasion, the Vietnamese diplomat also respectfully conveyed greetings of General Secretary Trong, President Thuong, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to President Gustavo Petro, affirming Vietnam's consistent policy of boosting ties with Colombia on three pillars, including Party diplomacy, State diplomacy, and citizen diplomacy.

Furthermore, according the Vietnamese Ambassador outlined that the two countries need to continue to bolster linkages in the fields of economics, trade, and investment in line with the good political relationship, which includes effectively implement the Memorandum of Understanding on trade, investment, and industrial cooperation, as well as the plan proposed at the First Meeting of the Vietnam - Colombia Joint Economic Committee held in September.

As part of the occasion of the 45th anniversary of joint diplomatic ties ahead by 2024, Ambassador My also proposed that the two countries bolster ties in launching a string of activities, including the exchange of high level delegations.

Along with achieving good political relations, Colombia is also one of Vietnam's most important partners in Latin America, with two-way trade turnover maintaining a high growth rate even in difficult periods of the market.

2022 saw mutual trade exchanges reach US$ 742 million, an increase of 11.4% compared to 2021 and double the figure recorded in 2018, making Colombia the nation’s fifth largest trading partner in Latin America.

Vietnam urges immediate ceasefire in Israel - Hamas conflict zone

Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pham Thu Hang on November 9 emphasised Vietnam’s appeal for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel - Hamas conflict zone.

“Vietnam strongly condemns the violent attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers, journalists, and essential infrastructure facilities,” Hang responded to a reporter’s question about the escalating tension in the zone of the Israel - Hamas conflict while addressing the ministry’s regular press meeting.

“In the spirit of the resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at the emergency special session on October 27, we call on the parties concerned to exercise an immediate ceasefire, adhere to international law and international humanitarian law, protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, open a humanitarian corridor, and immediately release the hostages taken.

“Vietnam welcomes and supports efforts by the international community to promote the parties’ self-restraint, dialogue, and settlement of differences by peaceful means on the basis of international law and the relevant resolutions of the UN to achieve a just, appropriate, and long-term solution to the Middle East peace process,” the official added.

Vietnam keeps effective communications on economic issues with US: spokeswoman

Vietnam will maintain close cooperation and regular and effective communications channels with the US share information, increase understanding and tackle outstanding problems in bilateral ties, especially in economy and trade, to help bilateral economic ties meet both sides’ interests, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang told a regular press meeting on November 9. 

She made the remark when responding to a question about the US Department of the Treasury’s latest report on the macro-economic and foreign exchange policies of major trading partners of the US.

The report, released on November 7, named six economies, including Vietnam, in the monitoring list of major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices and macro-economic policies.

The spokesperson noted that the report did not list Vietnam as a currency manipulator and made positive assessments on the results of the country’s monetary policy and exchange rate governance.

Vietnam treasures relations with Russia: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on November 9 affirmed that Vietnam always treasures its relations with Russia and remembers the wholeheartedly support the country has given to Vietnam during its national protection, construction and development.

Receiving the Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sen. Lieut. Gen Kurenkov Aleksandr Vyacheslavovich in Hanoi, Chinh said that Vietnam attaches great importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, considering Russia one of its top priority partners. He hoped for further practical and effective cooperation with Russia in all fields, for the common interests of the two countries' people, as well as for peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

He suggested the two sides continue to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially high-level ones, and effectively deploy existing cooperation mechanisms, particularly the intergovernmental committee mechanism, to remove bottlenecks in the cooperation process in the spirit of harmonised interests and shared difficulties.

The two sides need to promote the effective implementation of the results of the Intergovernmental Committee Meeting; hasten the upgrading of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); boost investment with a focus on developing new projects; and develop specific plans to soon reopen direct flights between the capitals of the two countries.

For his part, the Russian minister informed the PM about the results of his talks with Vietnamese Minister of Public Security General To Lam earlier, during which the two officials agreed on the urgent need to step up coordination between the two countries to raise the efficiency of firefighting, and search and rescue operations.

He said Russia always values traditional relations with Vietnam and wishes to promote the relations in all fields.

Russian people are looking forward to the resumption of air routes between the two countries to strengthen investment, trade and tourism cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges, he added.

He affirmed that his ministry will coordinate with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to implement areas of cooperation as proposed by the Prime Minister.

Cultural similarities common thread that binds Vietnam-Italy relations

The Vietnamese Embassy in Italy coordinated with the Vietnamese Honorary Consulate in Turin city, the University of Turin, the university’s Asian Research Institute and the Asian Economic and Cultural Council to organise a talkshow highlighting the similarities between Vietnam and Italy.

Speaking at the event held at the University of Turin on November 8, Dr. Sandra Scagliotti, Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Turin city said that despite geographical distance, Vietnam and Italy have had 50 years of friendly relations and cooperation.

The two countries share similarities that form their cultural connection such as the French-style architecture seen at buildings in Turin and Ho Chi Minh City, culinary habits and languages.

In the presentation "Chao Ciao Italy", Vietnamese Cai Luong artist Linh Huyen highlighted the similarities in cultural traditions, in a typical Vietnamese and Italian family. For example, the role of the mother who is in charge of almost everything at home, the extended family with three generations living together, the custom of worshiping the Kitchen God found in Italy’s Pompeii and Vietnam’s localities.

On this occasion, Italian designer Maria Elena Di Terlizzi shared her experiences designing ‘ao dai’, a symbol of the beauty of Vietnamese women, but associated with the feminine characteristics of Western women.

She also introduced two ‘ao dai’ she made with materials entirely made in Italy, but have a traditional Vietnamese ao dai design. The designer expressed her wish to organise an ‘ao dai’ show in the near future in order to promote the Vietnamese costume made with Italian materials.

Participants at the talk show agreed that it’s cultural similarities that make Vietnamese and Italian people feel close to each other and that the similarities play an important role in promoting relations between the two countries.

Vietnam, Russia step up cooperation in firefighting, search and rescue

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security General To Lam and Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sen. Lieut. Gen Kurenkov Aleksandr Vyacheslavovich agreed on the urgent need to step up coordination between the two countries in order to raise the efficiency of firefighting, and search and rescue operations during their talks in Hanoi on November 9.

Lam affirmed that Vietnam values working together with Russia to strengthen the bilateral friendship, making it more effective, substantive, and sustainable.
Regarding cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, he said it is thriving across spheres, adding the ministries have maintained experience exchange in emergency preparedness and response.

The Russian ministry has helped the MPS train firefighters and search and rescue forces, provided it with scientific documents and shared experience in training methods.

Vyacheslavovich stressed that the close collaboration, particularly in firefighting, and search and rescue operations, as well as experience exchange in emergency preparedness and response has contributed to deepening the time-honoured friendship between the two countries.

Host and guest consented to increase all-level delegation exchanges, share experience in building early warning centres, and transfer technologies in fire prevention and control, and search and rescue.

The two sides will establish a joint research group to coordinate and share information to complete the legal system on firefighting, and search and rescue operations.

In August 2022, the two ministries signed a memorandum of understanding on the exchange of experience in emergency preparedness and response.

Ministry proposes to add Can Gio port into national planning

The Ministry of Transport proposed to add Can Gio international transshipment port in Ho Chi Minh City’s Can Gion outlying district to the national planning.

Can Gio port ảnh 1

The Ministry of Transport said that it has listened to ministries, relevant agencies, and local administrations for its dossier to adjust the master plan for the development of Vietnam's seaport system between 2021 and 2030. Moreover, the ministry proposed to upgrade 3 other seaports into gateway ports and international transshipment ports.

Specifically, Can Gio port was added to the Ho Chi Minh City seaport group with the planning scope in the land and waters of Cai Mep estuary, and can receive ships with a tonnage of up to 24,000 TEU or 250,000 tons or larger.

Based on the planning, the scale and roadmap for the port investment are suitable for the project to build the Can Gio international transshipment port approved by competent authorities.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the addition of Can Gio port is based on proposals from relevant agencies.

Prior, the Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Transport to update and add the project to the plan as a basis for appropriate implementation. Can Gio port is also included in the list of projects prioritized for seaport investment.

In its adjustment plan, the Ministry of Transport proposed to add Nam Do Son port as a gateway port combining international transit and the national defense service. It also proposed studies about the mechanism for the development of international transshipment ports at Van Phong in the South-Central Province of Khanh Hoa and in Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta region.

Vietnam committed to zero tolerance for drug crimes

A representative of Vietnam affirmed that Vietnam is committed to zero tolerance for drug crimes at the 30th Anti-Drug Liaison Officials' Meeting for International Cooperation.

Yesterday afternoon, the Narcotics Investigation Police Department, also known as C04, under Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security said that the Ministry of Public Security delegation led by Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Vien, Director of C04, attended the meeting in Busan, Korea from November 7 to 8.

Talking about Vietnam's views on the fight, prevention and combat of drug crimes, Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Vien affirmed that Vietnam is committed to proactively and responsibly contributing to efforts to promote cohesion with other countries around the world.

At the same time, he also said that Vietnam affirmed its policy of considering the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on Drug Prevention and Control, the 2019 Ministerial Declaration on strengthening the action to counter drug crimes, and the document at the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem which are fundamental documents in building world drug policy.

According to C04 leaders, Vietnam shares a zero-tolerance view on drugs. The Southeast Asian country does not accept the trend of legalizing drug use, and it is steadfast on the roadmap towards the vision of building a drug-free region. Nevertheless, he affirmed the sovereignty of each country in choosing optimal and balanced solutions between supply reduction and demand reduction in combination with socio-economic solutions which are appropriate in terms of history, politics, economics and characteristics of socio-cultural demonstration in the war of the drug crime in each country.

Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Vien said that the Government of Vietnam focuses on synchronously deploying solutions amongst departments, agencies and sectors to reduce supply and demand, combined with reducing harm caused by drugs to fulfill its membership responsibilities.

Additionally, the government set out macro policies with long-term goals such as the National Drug Prevention and Control Program from 2021 to 2025 and the National Drug Prevention and Control Strategy with a vision to 2030.

In particular, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed the Law on Drug Prevention and Control in 2021, aiming to perfect the legal regulations on drug prevention and combat. The Prime Minister directed ministries, agencies and localities to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation while focusing on close coordination with countries in the region.

The 30th Anti-drug Liaison Officials' Meeting for International Cooperation was hosted by the Department of Drug Prevention and Control and Transnational Organized Crime under the Supreme Prosecutors' Office of Korea. The conference was attended by more than 200 delegates from 32 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, along with a number of international organizations.

The conference focused on the following topics such as overview of the drug situation in the region, situation and results of drug prevention and combat in member countries, effective management of precursors, preventing loss of precursors for synthetic drug production, and shared information to effectively fight transnational organized crime.

At the opening ceremony, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized that drug abuse is a serious problem worldwide and the fight against drug crimes is the shared responsibility of countries around the world and the region. Countries need to play their role and actively exchange and share information with other countries and partners in the region. Korea is committed to solving drug problems and it is ready to cooperate and support countries in solving drug problems, and resolutely work to have a drug-free society.

HCMC saves over VND1 trillion in administrative management cost

The HCMC People’s Committee has sent a report on its implementation of the financial autonomy mechanism in 2022 according to Decrees No.130/2005/ND-CP and No.117/2013/ND-CP. 

The report reveals that 100 percent of state administrative units in Thu Duc City and all districts, and government agencies are now adopting the autonomy and self-responsibility model regarding staff designation and administrative management spending. All are implementing the mechanism of expenditure allocation as well as the regulations on internal expenses and asset management.

The HCMC People’s Committee commented that effective application of the above regulations helps save costs in all state administrative units. By adopting practical measures to save the budget and combat against cost waste, these organizations are spending their allocated money more wisely. This saved amount is then used to increase salary for civil servants and public employees.

Most units have specified salary rise rates in accordance with work performance, which is obtained via democratic, transparent and public evaluations. These have helped to boost the work spirit among staff members when they are carrying out their assigned tasks.

At the city level, HCMC saves VND340.15 billion (US$14 million), equal to 25.8 percent of the allocated budget to adopt financial autonomy. About VND293.1 billion ($12 million) has been spent on bonus, fringe benefits, salary rises, and reserve fund.

At the district level, around VND257.8 billion ($10.6 million) has been saved, equivalent to 24.8 percent of the allocated budget to adopt financial autonomy.

At the ward and commune level, the saved amount is VND403.5 billion ($16.6 million), which is 27.7 percent of the allocated budget to adopt financial autonomy.

VN's karate team gains 3 bronzes at 21st Asian Cadet, Junior & U21 Championship

Vietnamese young karate athletes are currently competing in the 21st Asian Cadet, Junior & U21 Championship 2023 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and they have already secured three bronze medals in the events they have contested.

In the junior female kumite (sparring) 61kg event, athlete Nguyen Thao Hien reached the semi-finals but had to settle for a bronze medal. The champion in this event was athlete Musakhonova Saidabonu from Uzbekistan.

In the cadet female individual kata event, athlete Bui Ngoc Nhi earned a bronze medal, which is a noteworthy accomplishment for her, given the high level of skill among her opponents in the semi-finals. The champion of the kata event in this competition was athlete Takata Azusa from Japan.

This year's tournament drew participation from more than 440 athletes representing 26 countries and territories. The competition was held from November 4 to 8. The Vietnamese karate team consisted of 14 athletes, with most of them participating with funding from social sources.

Social network chat groups causing nuisance to both parents, students

The educational sector is promoting the use of IT in daily operation for this academic year. However, weaknesses in the code of conduct in cyberspace have created unwanted serious impacts on both students and parents.

Being a mother of a second-grader and an eleventh-grader, Thu Tuyet from HCMC shared that she is added to four social network chat groups for parents and homeroom teachers. On average, she receives hundreds of messages from these groups, which is so annoying that she has to turn off the notification function of those groups.

She commented that the information provided in such groups is sometimes rather misleading, resulting in misunderstanding and even unsuccessful communication among parents themselves or between schools and parents.

Truong Giang – father of a seventh-grader in HCMC – shared that to avoid unnecessary discussions in such a chat group between parents and teacher, the homeroom teacher of his child this year decided not to allow group members to send message, which is extremely useful to him to avoid unwanted disturbance from uncontrolled language or loss of important notices.

My Quyen – mother of an eighth-grader in District 1 of HCMC – recalled an unhappy incident in her child’s class. At the beginning of the academic year, two students had had a disagreement caused by misunderstanding, but were then back in harmony. However, in the parent chat group, the incident was continuously discussed and made many members annoyed and tired.

Students themselves also create or join various chat groups on social network sites and apps as the number of young smart phone users from 11-18 years old has increased significantly lately. They purposedly use those groups to exchange subject-related or project-related information. Nevertheless, many members are using the groups to attack their classmates or defame their teachers.

Recently, D.D. Junior High School in Binh Thanh District of HCMC has severely punished two students who directly attacked each other and one more student for recording a clip of the incident and then posting it on a social networking platform. This is the first time that disciplinary measures have been applied against students filming videos illegally.

In addition, many Fanpages of high schools are now considered a war platform instead of a place to exchange academic information. Choosing the ‘Anonymous Participant’ mode, students can use fierce comments and non-standard language to attack others or discuss such topics as boarding meal quality, timetables, exam schedules, extra-curriculum plans, training methods of some teachers, or even worse, secretly taken pictures of some students.

Aware of the seriousness of this situation, at the end of this October, Tran Dai Nghia High School for the Gifted in HCMC held a formal discussion themed ‘Social Media Code of Conduct’ to help students identify wrongdoings when using social networking platforms.

Deputy Director of the HCMC Education and Training Department Duong Tri Dung said that to establish ‘a happy school’, all schools need to pay attention to building codes of conducts, including suitable use of available functions in social media platforms.

In the upcoming time, this department is going to cooperate with related units to help students raise their legal awareness via attractive playgrounds so that they can better observe the law and fight against school violence.

Dr. Bui Hong Quan from the Psychology Faculty of HCMC University of Education shared that the use of social networks is becoming more popular among learners. Therefore, schools should organize discussions and learning projects to train them on the skills to properly exploit this tool for improvements and avoid its negative sides.

What is more, as students also use social networks at home, the care and regulations of parents are important in helping them develop appropriate behaviors on these platforms. Overuse of social networks can lead to harmful effects on both the learning process and cognitive development of children, not to mention an increase in the risk of being scammed, taken advantage of, or bullied online.

More importantly, parents should be a good model for their children to take after when accessing social networks or entering chat groups.

Teacher Vo Kim Bao from Nguyen Du Junior High School in District 1 stressed the essential role of a homeroom teacher as well as the collaboration with family in educating students about ethics and civilized behaviors on social networking sites, in shaping their personality.

To fulfill those goals, teachers must become students’ friends so that these young people are willing to share their thinking with the older and discuss possible solutions for their current problems at school. Teachers should actively learn how to use social networks effectively to orient their learners and timely handle any unwanted issues.

Teachers themselves must be flexible and patient when addressing students’ regulation violations on social networking sites. Instead of considering certain students as a good or bad person just because of some offenses, teachers must be willing to give opportunities for those regulation breakers to correct their wrongdoings. Cooperation between school and family is a necessity to ensure effective use of social networks among students.

Medicine prices in Vietnam in lower range in Asia-Pacific: conference

Medicine prices in Vietnam are in the lower range compared to those in other countries in the region, heard the Asian Federation for Pharmaceutical Sciences (AFPS) Conference 2023 that is taking place in Hanoi from November 8-10.

Themed “Collaboration for Breakthroughs in Pharmaceutical Sciences", the event is co-hosted by the Hanoi University of Pharmacy, AFPS, and the Ho Chi Minh University of Medicine and Pharmacy and held biennially among AFPS’s 24 member countries.

As the largest pharmaceutical conference in the Asia-Pacific, the event has attracted over 500 delegates in-person, including around 200 from 26 countries and territories, and 350 rapporteurs delivering oral and poster presentations.

In her opening speech, Vice Health Minister Nguyen Thi Lien Huong cited a report on the Vietnamese pharmaceutical industry as saying that as of 2022, the total value of the domestic pharmaceutical market had reached nearly 7 billion USD, with an annual growth rate of 10.6%. The average spending on medicines per capita hit 75 USD.

In Vietnam, there are 228 pharmaceutical companies that meet Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, including 17 facilities that have been certified with EU-GMP, which is equivalent to EU-GMP and PIC/S-GMP. The industry is currently seeing 90% of raw materials being imported and focusing on producing generic drugs and exporting several products, she said.

To sustainably develop the industry, she said the Government has approved a national strategy till 2030 with a vision to 2045.

The conference and sideline events provide a platform to share knowledge and experience among scientists, medical staff, pharmaceutical manufacturers and policymakers, toward a sustainable healthcare system.

Participants are discussing topics in specific areas, including clinical and social pharmacy, pharmaceutical management, pharmacology and biomedical science, drug research and development, medicine formulation and distribution; natural compounds and traditional medicine; and pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biosimilar analysis.

Conference seeks to tighten Vietnam - Australia links in digital healthcare

An international conference on digital healthcare is taking place in Hanoi with a view to enhancing Vietnam - Australia cooperation in the health system development and health security.

The hybrid event on November 8 - 9 was put on by the Vietnam Military - Civil Medicine Association, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH), and the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute at the Swinburne University of Technology of Australia.

In Vietnam, digital transformation and the building of a digital government, a digital economy and a digital society are identified as an important pathway for the country. In the digital transformation programme for the health sector by 2025 with a vision to 2030, the MoH targets that smart healthcare will have taken shape by 2025 with the three focuses of smart disease prevention, smart medical examination and treatment, and smart health administration.

In his remarks at the conference, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said digital transformation is a focal task of the health sector, which needs to prioritise resources for boosting information technology and digital transformation to improve specialised capacity, management effectiveness, and people’s access to medical services.

He emphasized the necessity for the engagement, resources, and wisdom of the entire health sector, people, and enterprises, as well as the cooperation and assistance from international partners.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr. Tran Quy Tuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Health Informatics Association, noted digital transformation in health care is intended to help people better access and use highly effective medical services, and receive continuous and life-long health protection, care, and improvement. It will contribute to a modern, quality, equal, and effective health system well integrating into the world.

However, the process is facing a number of difficulties, including poor infrastructure that hinder the application of electronic medical records in many hospitals, and the shortage of a financial mechanism for IT application in healthcare. Other limitations include limited IT skills of medical workers, the shortage of IT manpower as well as standards and guidance for connecting data among medical information systems, Tuong pointed out.

Assoc. Prof. and Dr. Pham Le Tuan, Chairman of the Vietnam Military - Civil Medicine Association, considered the conference as the start of the cooperation between scientists and experts of Vietnam and Australia to help Vietnam build a national action plan on digital transformation in health care.

At the event, participants shared experiences in developing and applying digital health apps, managing health data, using the internet for telemedicine, and digitalising primary healthcare. This is also a chance for insiders to introduce their Industry 4.0 technological products for the healthcare industry.

HCM City calls for Japanese bank’s support for green projects

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Bui Xuan Cuong on November 8 expressed his wish that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) will support the southern largest economic hub in providing finance for Japanese and Vietnamese businesses to roll out projects aiming to promote green growth and circular economy, towards net zero emissions.

At a reception for JBIC Governor Hayashi Nobumitsu, Cuong noted that the former's visit will contribute to enhancing cooperation between HCM City and Japanese partners, especially those investing and doing business in the city.

HCM City appreciates the companionship of the Japanese Government, people and businesses, the JBIC, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during the city’s construction and development process, the official said, expressing his thanks to the JBIC for its contributions to the success of the HCM City Economic Forum in September, which took the theme of “Green Growth – Journey to Zero Net Emissions.”

He noted his hope that the bank will make recommendations for the city on green economy, circular economy, and renewable energy, and promote cooperation between Japanese and Vietnamese businesses in implementing projects under the public-private partnership (PPP).

In reply, Hayashi said the JBIC has supported Japanese enterprises in carrying out many projects in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure construction and energy development, affirming the bank wants and is willing to directly or indirectly provide capital for Japanese projects in the Southeast Asian nation in achieving the goal of net zero emissions and energy transition.

Hayashi commended HCM City’s investment attractiveness and stressed that the bank stands ready to provide finance for Japanese businesses to invest and churn out products helping raise local residents’ living standards.

The JBIC also wishes to cooperate closely with HCM City in green projects, covering such areas as urban waste and wastewater treatment, and biomass power plant construction.

Plenty of room for Vietnam to boost urban development: Official

With the current urbanisation rate of only 42.6%, there is plenty of room for Vietnam to promote urban development, Minister of Construction Nguyen Thanh Nghi said at a forum on sustainable urban development held in Hanoi on November 8.

The Politburo’s Resolution 06-NQ/TW affirmed that urbanisation is inevitable and is the driving force of urban development, he said, stressing the need to make careful preparations to ensure urban areas can promote their roles defined by the Politburo, helping to enhance the life quality of the community and increasing new surplus values for socio-economic and environmental development.

According to the Resolution, after 35 years of “Doi moi” (Renewal), Vietnam has gained important achievements in urban development, including the expansion of urban spaces and improved socio-economic infrastructure. The economy of urban areas has grown at a high rate, contributing 70% of the country’s GDP.

Economic growth poles and centres for science-technology, innovation, education and training have been formed in major cities, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. By the end of September 2023, the country has 902 urban areas, including two special–level urban areas, along with 22 tier-1, 35 tier-2, 46 tier-3, and 94 tier-4 urban areas.

However, Nghi pointed out a number of shortcomings during the urbanisation process, with the urbanisation rate below the target set at the socio-economic development strategy for the 2011-2020 period, and a big gap between the country’s urbanisation rate and the world’s average.

Meanwhile, the quality of urbanisation has been low, and the quality of urban infrastructure has yet to meet the requirements of population and economic development, he added.

In order to deal with these problems and realise the Politburo’s Resolution, the Government issued a resolution on an action programme to implement the Politburo’s resolution, with the  aim of speeding up urbanisation and enhance the quality of the process and form a chain of smart cities connecting with the region and the world, he said.

Besides, the country needs to complete institutions and policies regarding sustainable urban planning, construction, management and development, while boosting the comprehensive urban technical infrastructure, ensuring fast and sustainable urban economic development and improving the living conditions of people in urban areas, Nghi said.

The minister said that the Government’s action programme defines 11 specific targets for the urban system, which provides a foundation for ministries, agencies and localities to build their own action plans in the work.

Nguyen Duc Hien, Vice Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, said that currently, 60 out of 63 provinces and centrally-run cities nationwide have built and issued their own plans of action to realise Resolution 06, showing their high awareness of the role, position and significance of urbanisation and fast and sustainable urban development.

Meanwhile, Director of the Urban Development Agency under the Ministry of Construction Tran Quoc Thai proposed building five policies on sustainable urban management and development in Vietnam, including classifying and managing the development of a sustainable urban system with synchronous network suitable for particular regions, managing new areas, upgrading and re-developing modern, green, smart urban areas towards sustainable development.

Besides, it is necessary to develop a synchronous urban infrastructure system with strong connectivity and resilience to climate change, he said, stressing the need to manage the urban underground space and speed up decentralisation and delegation of power in urban management and development, he added.

Lai Chau seeks to beef up cooperation with Indian partners

Vice Chairman of the Lai Chau Provincial People's Committee Ha Trong Hai received a visiting delegation from the Indian Embassy and the Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) in the northwestern mountainous province on November 8.

Highly evaluating the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership, Hai expressed his appreciation for the support provided by Indian partners to Lai Chau in recent times such as scholarships for local civil servants to enhance their foreign language skills in India, and funding for a concrete and steel bridge project in Do village, Khong Lao commune, Phong Tho district.

The official proposed the embassy help connect businesses from Lai Chau and India in the fields of tourism, agriculture, mining, and education. He also underscored the need for support to accelerate the official export of Lai Chau's cinnamon to the Indian market.

Additionally, he suggested encouraging Indian enterprises to transfer black tea processing technology to Lai Chau's businesses.

Highlighting India’s abundant cooperation potential with Lai Chau, particularly in the tea, cinnamon processing, and tourism sectors, Indian Deputy Ambassador Subhash P. Gupta affirmed that India always welcomes and is ready to support a delegation of Lai Chau businesses to visit and carry out tourism and trade-investment promotion activities.

With IREL capable of exploiting 10,000 tonnes of rare earth minerals annually, IREL Chairman and Managing Director D.Singh expressed his desire to explore the possibility of cooperation with Vietnam in rare earth processing.

In response, Hai pledged to create favourable conditions for and accompany Indian enterprises in conducting surveys and establishing long-term investments and business operations in Lai Chau. He also expressed his hope for new development steps in cooperation between the province and Indian partners in the time to come.

Vietnam joins international charity fair in Indonesia

Vietnamese products such as handicrafts, lacquer paintings, jewelry, ceramics, coffee, bread and spring rolls are being sold at an international charity fair in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The event, the 54th edition of its kind, held by the Women’s International Club (WIC) in Jakarta from November 8-9, drew the participation of 40 embassies in Indonesia. More than 300 local businesses introduced their food and beverage products at the fair.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Indonesian President’s wife Irina Joko Widodo said that the fair was a special occasion, demonstrating the rich diversity of cultures and the spirit of generosity that unites all people in the world as well as in the region. The fair also contributed to supporting disadvantaged people in Jakarta.

According to the organisers, with the proceeds from the fair, WIC aims to create meaningful and lasting impacts on the lives of impoverished people, helping them to achieve their dreams and have a better life.

Founded in 1950, the WIC is a non-profit social organisation. With the motto "Friendship through understanding", the club has mainly focused on social charity activities.

In addition to providing scholarships to students, the WIC is currently sponsoring many local social organisations, including elderly care centres, orphanages, and schools for children with disabilities and special circumstances.

Vietnam joins 2023 World Travel Market London

About 10 Vietnamese firms offering aviation, tourism and lodging services participated in the 2023 World Travel Market London (WTM London) which took place from November 6-8.

As many as 40 countries, 221 exhibitors and 9,000 trade visitors took part in the first ever WTM at London Olympia in 1980. WTM London now facilitates 2.8 billion GBP (3.4 billion USD) in industry deals and has around 5,000 exhibitors from 182 countries and regions and more than 51,000 participants, according to its website.

Vietnamese businesses have partaken in the event for more than 10 consecutive years, except for 2020 and 2021 when it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, displaying diverse tourism products and services.

Huyen Nguyen, Managing Director at Hanoi-based Go-Indochine, said WTM London offers a good opportunity to participating firms to maintain and promote relations with their traditional partners and seek new ones, and stay updated on the global tourism business trend.

She held that there should be a coordinating unit to effectively promote Vietnam’s tourism at such big events as WTM London.

Vietnam was honoured in 45 categories of the 2023 World Travel Awards, one of the leading tourism awards in Asia, which is dubbed as the “Oscars of Tourism”. The country was named Asia’s Leading Destination for the fifth time and Asia’s Leading Nature Destination for the second time in a row.

Its total revenue from tourism is estimated at 582.6 trillion VND (23.7 billion USD) in the first 10 months of this year, according to the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism.

In the period, the country welcomed 10 million foreign tourists, exceeding the target of 8 million for the whole year, and served 98.7 million domestic holiday-makers. In October alone, the tourism sector served 1.11 million foreign visitors and 5.2 million domestic tourists.

Vietnamese, Chinese provinces foster ties in anti-drug law enforcement

The public security forces of Vietnam's Cao Bang province and China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region held talks on November 8 on the bilateral cooperation in enforcing drug prevention and control laws in areas along the shared borderline.

The Chinese delegation to the event included Vice Director of the Public Security Bureau of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Luo Qiquan, and leaders of a number of agencies and localities of Guangxi.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese delegation was led by Colonel Doan Hong Hieu, Deputy Director of the Cao Bang Department of Public Security and Head of the provincial Investigation Police Agency, and leaders of a number of divisions under the provincial Department of Public Security as well as heads of public security divisions of some border districts of Cao Bang.

Since 2009, especially after the establishment of the Border Liaison Office (BLO) in August 2022, Cao Bang and Guangxi have seen progress in the bilateral cooperation in prevention and combat of trans-border drug-related crimes.

Through diverse exchange methods, the Counter-Narcotics Investigation Police Division of Cao Bang and the Counter-Narcotics Police Office of the Guangxi Department of Public Security have shared information on drug-related criminal situation and fostered coordination in seizing wanted criminals in an effective manner.

For example, in August, after receiving information from theirCao Bang counterparts, Guangxi police arrested Doan Thi Uyen, an extremely dangerous criminal who resided in Trang Dinh district of Lang Son province and escaped to Guangxi. On September 20, Guangxi's police handed over Uyen to the police of Cao Bang province.

At the talks, the two sides discussed the outcomes of their partnership in the prevention and fight of drug-related crimes, and pointed out shortcomings in their coordination and information exchange over the years. They also agreed on measures to deal with the shortcomings and collaboration orientations in the coming time.

Concluding the talks, the Department of Public Security of Cao Bang and the Public Security Bureau of Guangxi signed a coordination regulation between the BLO of Cao Bang and the BLO of Guangxi, aiming to increase the exchange of information and experience for better performance in preventing and handing trans-national drug-related crimes and protecting security and order in the border areas.

Friendship Orders conferred on St. Petersburg Governor, Ho Chi Minh Institute
Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi, on behalf of the State President of Vietnam, on November 7 presented a Friendship Order to Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov in recognition of his contributions to and tireless efforts in maintaining and promoting relations between St. Petersburg and Vietnam and enhancing the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.
Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov is honoured for his contributions to and tireless efforts in maintaining and promoting relations between St. Petersburg and Vietnam in particular and enhancing the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Khoi noted that St. Petersburg is one of Russia's leading localities in cooperation with Vietnamese provinces. He thanked Beglov for his contributions to the development of cooperation in many fields, including culture, education and science.

Beglov pledged that St. Petersburg will make further contributions to the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, and informed that from December 3-8, a culture and business delegation of St. Petersburg will visit Ho Chi Minh City, and the Russian city will organise a Vietnamese week on the occasion of late President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday next year.

On November 8, Khoi also handed over another Friendship Order to the Ho Chi Minh Institute under the St. Petersburg State University, a leading academic research centre not only on Vietnamese history and culture but also on President Ho Chi Minh.

In 2012, director of the institute Prof. Vladimir Kolotov was also honoured with a Friendship Order.

Following the handover ceremony, the Russian version of the book on Sun Tzu's Art of War by President Ho Chi Minh made its debut.

Fund-raising campaign launched to conserve Con Dao sea turtles

A campaign named “Save The Ocean” was launched on Con Dao island in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on November 8 to raise fund for habitat conservation of sea turtles.

According to statistics from the Management Board of Con Dao National Park, only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. Therefore, sea turtle conservation is always given special attention by the unit.

The launch of the campaign shows that there are currently many domestic and international organisations and individuals taking practical actions to join hands with the board in preserving sea turtles in particular and biodiversity in Con Dao in general.

The board is the first in Vietnam to successfully implement a sea turtle conservation programme.

As of October, it had successfully rescued nearly 2,200 turtle nests with over 195,000 eggs, tagged 390 mother turtles, hatched 1,761 nests, and released under control 142,319 hatchlings into the sea.

In response to the campaign, the suitcase and luggage supermarket system, an organiser of the campaign, committed to contributing 100,000 VND (4.1 USD) per suitcase sold to the work in Con Dao National Park. It also donated 150 million VND to the management board to serve the conservation of sea turtles.

Ghana, Vietnam share prospects for promoting bilateral ties

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the UN and his counterpart from Ghana Harold Agyeman have unanimously agreed that both sides boast huge potential to further expand bilateral co-operation across multiple fields.

During the pair’s meeting held on November 8 to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries and co-operation at the UN, Ambassador Giang sounded his appreciation for the increasingly close traditional friendship between the two countries over the past 50 years. Indeed, the Vietnamese diplomat was especially grateful for Ghana's valuable support for the country’s past struggles for national independence.

The co-operative ties between the two sides have recorded many positive achievements, while Ghana is currently the country’s largest trading partner in the West African market, with rice being a key export item.

Based on sound relations, the two sides agreed that the two hold huge potential to further expand bilateral co-operation in a multitude of aspects by intensifying the exchange of working visits to other markets, and expanding trade and investment co-operation in potential fields such as renewable energy and clean energy.

The West African nation is ready to serve as the gateway for Vietnam to gain access to the West African market, while Vietnam stays ready to be the gateway for Ghana to expand linkages in the ASEAN region.

At the UN, both sides will continue to promote multilateral exchanges and co-operation on issues of common concern, whilst working together to find solutions to current challenging global challenges.

Vietnam originally established diplomatic ties with Ghana on March 25, 1965. Over the past five decades, relations between the two countries have grown steadily, especially in the fields of trade, investment, and agriculture.

5th ARF Workshop on Implementing UNCLOS opens in Hanoi

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 9 coordinated with the embassies of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU to organise the 5th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Implementing UNCLOS and other International Instruments to Address Emerging Maritime Issues in Hanoi.

The event in hybrid format attracted about 150 delegates from 27 ARF member countries, international and regional organisations, diplomatic representative agencies, research institutes, experts, reputable scholars, and ministries and branches.

At the event, participants discussed ways to cooperate and solve challenges in marine management in the region, based on the application and implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and relevant international legal documents. 

In his opening remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Do Hung Viet affirmed the extremely important role of UNCLOS 1982 - the constitution of the seas and oceans - in the context that the world and the region are facing more and more challenges.

He said that territorial disputes, strategic competition, on-site tensions as well as climate change, sea level rise, and unsustainable marine exploitation have posed many risks to the East Sea - the waters with strategic and economic significance - that threaten peace, security, and stability, particularly maritime security and safety of the region. 

He said the UNCLOS continues to demonstrate its irreplaceable role in solving issues and disputes at sea, serving as a solid foundation for continuing to develop an international legal framework to address emerging challenges.

Viet held that more than ever, countries can only find solutions to maritime problems in the region through promoting cooperation, and by fully respecting and implementing UNCLOS.

Co-chairing the workshop, Canadian Ambassador Shawn Steil, Australian Deputy Ambassador Mark Tattersall, New Zealand Ambassador Tredene Dobson, and Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam all emphasised the important role and value of the UNCLOS.

At the workshop, participants discussed the regulation scale of the UNCLOS 1982 and relevant legal documents, conventional and emerging challenges in implementing the UNCLOS 1982.

Deputies work on socio-economic development plan for 2024, draft revised law on courts

The resolution on the socio-economic development plan for 2024, some other draft resolutions, and the draft revised Law on Organisation of People’s Courts were high on the agenda of the parliament on November 9.

In the morning of the 14th working day of the 15th National Assembly (NA)’s sixth session, legislators had a plenary sitting to discuss some amendments to the NA’s Resolution 53/2017/QH14, dated November 24, 2017, on the feasibility study report on the land revocation, compensation, assistance, and resettlement project serving the construction of the Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai. Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Thang later provided further information about some issues mentioned by legislators.

They also scrutinised a draft resolution on piloting some specific mechanisms and policies on investment in building road transport works. After that, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung gave more details to clarify some issues of NA deputies’ concern.

In the afternoon, after Chairman of the NA Committee for Economic Affairs Vu Hong Thanh delivered a report on revisions to the draft resolution on the socio-economic development plan for 2024, the parliament adopted this resolution.

Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh submitted the draft revised Law on Organisation of People’s Courts, and then Chairwoman of the NA Committee for Judicial Affairs Le Thi Nga read a verification report on this bill.

Following that, legislators had group discussions about the draft.

Exhibition features development achievements of Australia's partner NGOs in Vietnam

The Australian Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) on November 9 launched a photo exhibition that features development achievements of foreign non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) that are partners of Australia in Vietnam.

Over many years, the NGOs have developed people-to-people links, supported poverty reduction, addressed social issues, and contributed significantly to Vietnam’s remarkable socio-economic development.

Structured around 11 thematic areas, the photos capture memorable moments and events and key project activities of the NGOs' work in improving infrastructure and equipment, volunteering and people-to-people links, healthcare, education and training, child care and protection, disability-inclusive development, sustainable livelihoods, economic growth, empowering women and girls, digital technology application, and partnerships and exchanging experiences. 

Along with photos, 19 stories and real-life characters show the diverse work and achievements of the NGOs.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrew Goledzinowski said that NGOs are a key partner in Australia’s overseas development assistance globally and in Vietnam.

“Australia’s NGO partners bring a deep understanding of local context, close relationships with local authorities and innovative development approaches. These are assets that contribute to the warm relationship that Australia and Vietnam celebrate in our 50th anniversary year,” he said.

Nguyen Ngoc Hung, VUFO Vice President said that Australian NGOs have been supporting and partnering with Vietnam from early stages.

While their initial contributions encompassed humanitarian support such as infrastructure and medical equipment, and loans support, those NGOs have continually adapted their approaches and their focus has shifted towards capacity building, gender equality, economic growth, and engaging the private sector in the development of sustainable models, Hung said.

As one of many events celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Australia – Vietnam diplomatic relations during 2023, the exhibition will be open to the public until November 16.

Party membership badges awarded to former Deputy PMs

Former Politburo members, former Deputy Prime Ministers Truong Hoa Binh and Pham Gia Khiem were conferred badges for their respective 50-year and 45-year Party membership at a ceremony on November 9.

Politburo member, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presented the badges to the two former officials.

At the ceremony, Khiem expressed his honour to receive the badge, adding that during his 50 years of work, he always received the Party's leadership, direction, and guidance.

He affirmed that despite retirement, he always upholds the good ideals of communists as well as follows, supports, and contributes to the country's development under the Party's leadership.

Meanwhile, Binh thanked the Party, people, comrades, and colleagues for training, guiding, and helping him to fulfil his tasks during more than 55 years of work.

Binh vows to continue studying and following Ho Chi Minh's morality, ideology, and style, deserving the Party and the people's trust.

Reviewing the performance and contributions of the two former Deputy PMs, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh praised their efforts for the cause of the Party and the people.

Chinh also hailed the two former officials for their morality and lifestyle, affirming that they are always examples for Government officials and employees to follow.