Deputy Prime Minister Trần Hồng Hà has approved Kiên Giang's Master Plan for the period 2021-2030, under which the province aims to become Việt Nam's maritime-centred economic powerhouse by 2050.

The plan also sets its sights on Phú Quốc City's transformation into an internationally renowned centre of tourism that is well connected with other global economic hubs. Rạch Giá City, meanwhile, is expected to transform into a city for green services and commerce; and Hà Tiên, a city of heritage.      

The province will also endeavour to reach an average annual Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth rate of 7 per cent between 2021 and 2030, of which the agriculture-forestry-fisheries sector accounts for 29.6 per cent, industrial and construction for 24.7 per cent, services for 41.1 per cent, and tax-less-subsidies on products for 4.6 per cent.  

GRDP per capita is expected to reach VNĐ127 million (US$4,985). Fiscal revenue is projected to grow at an average of 4.7 per cent annually. The figure for population growth is set at 0.17 per cent per year. Poverty rates would be kept well below 2 per cent.   

Kiên Giang has outlined a number of tasks to achieve the goals, which include enhancing connectivity in tourism, trade, investment and consumption between the province's mainland and its islands, developing a sustainable aquaculture sector and renewable energies, accelerating digital transformation and e-government, and speeding up administrative reform. 

Under the plan, the province will have its economic and social activities clustered in four sub-province regions: Tứ Giác Long Xuyên, Tây Sông Hậu, U Minh Thượng, and islands.

In the post-2030 period, the Rạch Giá Coastal Economic Zone will be established as a multi-sector economic zone. Its focus will be on commerce, services, logistics, tourism, aquaculture and renewable energies.

Additionally, Kiên Giang Border Economic Zone will be established in the same period, which will encompass Hà Tiên Border Economic Zone and Giang Thành Border Area.  

15 Vietnamese universities listed in QS Asia University Rankings 2024

Vietnam has 15 representatives featured in the QS Asia University Rankings 2024 which was recently released by UK-based education organisation Quacquarelli Symonds.

The highest ranking educational institution in the country went to Duy Tan University at 115th place, up 30 notches compared to the same period from last year.

This was followed by Ton Duc Thang University at 138th place, Vietnam National University-Hanoi at 187th place, and Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City at 220th place.

Most notably, there were four Vietnamese universities named in the list for the first time, including Nguyen Tat Thanh University, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education, the University of Transport and Communications, and Van Lang University.

Featuring a total of 857 Asian universities, the latest rankings of the top Asian universities are the biggest to date, QS stated. This year, Peking University took the top spot, followed by the University of Hong Kong, University of Singapore, and Nanyang Technological University.

Published annually since 2009, QS Asia University Rankings highlights the top universities in Asia each year using 11 indicators, including academic reputation with 30% of the total, employer reputation with 20%, faculty/student ratio making up 10%, staff with a PhD with 5%, papers per faculty at 5%, citations per paper with 10%, international research network at 10%, proportion of international faculty with 2.5%, and proportion of international students at 2.5%.

Activities to lure more visitors to Ninh Thuan

The south-central province of Ninh Thuan will organise a wide range of cultural and sports events to attract more tourists in Quarter 4, helping realise the set target of hosting 2.9 million tourist arrivals, including 40,000 foreigners.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Long Bien, the events will help Ninh Thuan known to visitors far and wide as an attractive and hospitable destination.

Standout events include the organisation of a famtrip to Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, and Lam Dong, a Ninh Thuan – Binh Thuan open golf tournament in November, and a kite surfing tournament in December.

Others to be organised within the framework of the Phan Rang – Thap Cham Culinary Culture Week that will take place from December 28 to January 2 include a street art performance, a cuisine festival, visits to local historical and cultural relic sites, a women’s volleyball tournament, a mountain running named “Phan Rang – Thap Cham city by night 2023”, and an international kite festival.  

Leaders of the provincial People’s Committee asked the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to join hands with competent departments, sectors, localities and service suppliers to make preparation for the events and step up the popularisation of local tourism via digital platforms, press agencies, and social networks.

During January – October, the province welcomed more than 2.74 million visitors, up 21.8% year-on-year and accounting for 101.7% of the set plan. Tourism revenue was estimated at over 2.23 trillion VND (91.4 million USD).

The province is now home to 211 lodging facilities with 4,613 rooms. The occupancy rate reaches 90-100% during weekends and holidays.

Defence Ministry hopes for increased sharing with Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations

Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang received Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sen. Lt. Gen. Kurenkov Aleksandr Vyacheslavovich in Hanoi on November 9.

Stressing the growing traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, the host official said bilateral defence cooperation has continued to be carried out fruitfully and serve as a pillar of the two countries’ relations.

The two sides have effectively maintained such cooperation mechanisms as the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee for the Vietnam - Russia Tropical Centre and the defence strategy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level. They have also obtained recognisable cooperation results in manpower training, military medicine, military history, and cooperation between their military services and arms, among others, he noted.

He highly valued the role of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in the development of Russia and also applauded the cooperation activities between the Russian ministry and the Vietnamese National Committee for Search and Rescue.

Giang called on his guest to continue to direct relevant agencies of the Russian ministry to enhance ties with the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence’s Department of Research and Rescue - the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Natural Disaster Response, Search and Rescue, with a focus on delegation exchanges, manpower training, and sharing of specialised knowledge.

For his part, the visiting minister introduced his ministry’s functions and tasks, saying that international cooperation is one of the most important fields his ministry works on.

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations is ready to share specialised knowledge with and wishes to learn Vietnam’s experience in incident and natural disaster response, he went on, adding that it hopes to continue bilateral cooperation to help further intensify the two countries’ traditional friendship.

Vietnam makes active, responsible contributions to IAEA’s activities

Vietnam appreciates the results that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has achieved in the field of nuclear inspection and its leading role in supporting countries, including Vietnam, to ensure nuclear security and safety, Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations said at a debate on the 2022 annual report of the IAEA at the UN General Assembly on November 8-9. 

The Vietnamese representative acknowledged and appreciated the amount of work that the IAEA has completed in the past year, and thanked the IAEA and other members of the IAEA Board of Governors for cooperating with Vietnam while it serves as a member of the board in the 2021 - 2023 term.

Giang said that Vietnam and its partners are developing the Vietnamese Information Management System (VIMS) to enable nuclear facilities to submit reports online, which helps to simplify the inspection and supervision process and report-making process.

The ambassador hailed IAEA's technical cooperation programmes with many leading initiatives such as nuclear applications in tackling zoonotic diseases (the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action - ZODIAC), treating marine plastic waste (NUTEC Plastic), improving access to cancer diagnosis and treatment using radiotherapy (Rays of Hope) and many projects supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation. Through technical assistance projects, the IAEA has helped Vietnam implement nuclear reactor research projects and nuclear energy applications in various fields such as health, agriculture, industry, and research, environmental protection, water resources, and nuclear safety infrastructure development.

Regarding emerging nuclear energy technology, the diplomat said that technologies such as Small modular reactors (SMRs) and Floating nuclear power platforms (FNPPs) pose challenges and potential impacts on the current legal framework as well as security, safety and navigation. The development, deployment and operation of these nuclear energy technologies should be conducted following international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  

Vietnam supports a cautious and step-by-step approach within the IAEA framework for research, development, licensing, management and operation of FNPPs through close consultation with involved countries.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Ambassador reaffirmed Vietnam’s support for the IAEA to continue performing its functions and tasks, contributing to promoting the application of nuclear science and technology for peace, stability, cooperation and sustainable development.

Vietnam craft villages festival opens

The Vietnam Craft Villages Festival 2023 opened in Hanoi on November 9, with the participation of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and more than 300 delegates.

The 4-day event aims at preserving and promoting values of traditional craft villages, and boosting consumption, improving handicraft product value and developing tourism in craft villages.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan highlighted that while urban areas illustrate the nation’s vibrant socio-economic development, rural areas are the place where cultural identity and values have been kept for years.

As traditional handicraft products have made significant contributions to the economy and society, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will continue working closely with competent ministries, sectors and localities to create favourable conditions for handicraft artisans and designers to preserve the traditional values, giving a helping hand to build new-style rural areas, and improve rural livelihoods.  

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee of Hanoi Tran Sy Thanh said the capital has been prioritising the development of craft villages and carrying out a wide range of mechanisms and policies to preserve them, striving to form an innovative centre for the introduction of OCOP products and branch out nine centres for design and introduction of OCOP products in districts and towns by 2025.

Hanoi will further its coordination with the MARD to effectively carry out the preservation work for traditional craft villages, Thanh said.

NA Chairman Hue visited booths displaying OCOP products and handicraft products from Laos, Indonesia, and Thailand.

As many as 300 booths are displaying traditional creations at the festival, including Bat Trang ceramic, My Duc silk, Phu Vinh bamboo and rattan, Ha Thai lacquer, Chuon Ngo mother-of-pearl inlaid, Chu Dau pottery and many more.

Alongside handicraft products, it also introduces high-quality OCOP agricultural specialties such as Dien Bien rice, Tu Le sticky rice, and Vi Thuy organic rice.

During the festival, artisans and craftsmen also demonstrate how they create delicate embroidery pieces, weave silk, and make conical hats, pottery objects or copper bas relief.

Hanoi delegation’s visit seeks stronger cooperation with Japan

A delegation of Hanoi led by Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thi Tuyen is on a working visit to Japan from November 7-11.

At a meeting with representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan, the two sides reviewed cooperation achievements in recent times, expressing their joy at the fruitful development in the Vietnam – Japan extensive strategic partnership, as well as the strong bonds between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the LDP.

They also discussed and shared experience in building and developing their Party systems at grassroot level; and mechanisms to mobilise the participation of young Party members.

Tuyen emphasised that the CPV always defines that diplomacy via the party channel creates a solid political foundation for state relations, and guides the stable and sustainable development of bilateral relations between Vietnam and other countries.

She expressed her hope that the LDP leaders will continue to maintain delegation exchanges at all levels between the two Parties to share information and experience on Party building; and promote local cooperation and people-to-people exchange between young people of the two countries.

Previously, the delegation had a working session with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) to learn from Japan’s experience related to policies and practices in implementing high-tech agriculture development.

The Japanese side shared information about Japan's policies to encourage and develop research, transfer and application of technologies to farming, production, processing and trading of agricultural products; digital transformation to develop smart and green agriculture; and develop robots and automated machinery, and experience in digital management of agricultural data.

Tuyen suggested the Japanese government and MAFF support Vietnam in training experts, technical interns and staff, and agricultural managers; transfer technologies in the production and processing of agricultural products to Vietnam; and enhance connections between the two countries’ businesses to boost market access for their agricultural products.

During their stay, the delegation visited Kanagawa prefecture to discuss orientations to foster cooperation between the two localities.

Governor of Kanagawa prefecture Yuji Kurowa affirmed the desire to regularly maintain delegation exchange activities between the locality and Hanoi.

Both host and guest agreed on the need to expand cooperation between the two localities, especially in areas of Kanagawa’s strengths such as trade, tourism, service, electronics, and biotechnology.

The Hanoi official welcomed Kurowa’s upcoming visit to Hanoi to attend the Kanagawa Festival 2023 from November 17-19.

In Kanagawa, the Vietnamese delegation made a field trip to Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST), which is a typical model of public-private partnership invested by Panasonic Corporation.

Da Nang most searched by Indian tourists

The central city of Da Nang has topped a list of the ten most sought-after destinations by Indian tourists on the travel search site Skyscanner India.

According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the Skyscanner India report said Indian searches for information related to Da Nang’s tourism since the beginning of this year has increased by 1,141% year-on-year, doubling the search volume for its runner-up, Almaty city of Kazakhstan.

Indian searches often focused on flights, hotel room prices and transportation fees.

Hanoi capital city came fifth in the top 10.

In the first nine months of 2023, more than 95,000 Indian tourists travelled to Da Nang, accounting for nearly 50% of the total number of visitors from India to Vietnam.

Da Nang is home to nice beaches and many restaurants, including 30 serving Indian food.

HCM City to organise 10 job transaction floors

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs plans to organise ten job transaction floors in the coming time with some to be held online to connect job seekers and employers amidst increasing unemployment in the city.

Deputy Director of the department Huynh Le Nhu Trang said at a regular meeting of the municipal People's Committee on November 9 that although the city’s labour market is facing many difficulties, it is forecasted that labour demand will regularly increase to prepare for year-end production.   

According to the department, in the first ten months of this year, over 142,700 workers applied to get unemployment benefits in the city, up 10.93% from the same period last year. However, the number of workers getting unemployment benefits showed a reduction in October with 14,227, compared to 17,729 reported in June.

In the last quarter of 2023, the city’s labour demand is expected to reach 75,500 - 81,500 jobs, mostly in the trade-service sector (70.13%), the industry-construction sector (29.69%) and the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector (0.18%).

The official said that the department will closely coordinate with relevant agencies and organisations to monitor the employment and labour relations situation in enterprises to promptly solve arising problems and take appropriate measures to prevent and minimise labour disputes.

The department also plans to support enterprises in training workers through refresher courses and distance training.

Vietnamese tourism market introduced to Belgian firms

The tourism market of Vietnam was introduced to Belgian travel firms during a conference in Belgium’s Anvers city on November 9.

Addressing the event, Tran Ngoc Quan, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Belgium, updated participants on Vietnam’s new visa policies, including the application of e-visas on citizens from 257 countries and territories, and the extension of e-visa validity from one to three months, creating more favourable conditions for foreign tourists to Vietnam.

Iako Khomeriki, a representative of APG - the sale agent of Vietnam Airlines in Belgium, said that the Vietnamese carrier is a favourite airline of passengers travelling to Vietnam. After COVID-19 pandemic, in June 2022, the airline resumed its flight routes to Europe with seven flights each week on the Hanoi-Paris route and 3-4 flights on Ho Chi Minh City-Paris route. The number of flights from Hanoi to Germany has also increased to 6-7 flights per week, he said, holding that this is a good condition for European tourists to explore Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of Asian Trails Vietnam Bui Viet Thuy Tien said that Vietnam is strong in MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism thanks to diverse tourist destinations across the country. Moreover, Vietnam is a convenient transit point for flights to Laos and Cambodia, Tien said.

Representatives from Belgium travel firms affirmed that they will continue to introduce Vietnam tourism to their customers in Belgium and Europe.

Tien said that after COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to resume the MICE tourism market, which has attracted great attention from Belgium visitors.

Tom Van Beek from De Buck Agency said after 20 years of presence in Vietnam, the company found that customers are satisfied with Vietnam where they can explore many exciting things. Particularly, travelers love Vietnamese cuisine, he said.

However, he held that the greatest challenge to travel companies of Belgium is the lack of a direct air route connecting Belgium and Vietnam. Having to take one or two transits with a duration of 17-18 hours has made tourists hesitate to choose Vietnam, he explained.

National Action Month on HIV/AIDs Prevention and Control 2023 to be launched

The National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control 2023 will be held from November 10 to December 10 with a wide range of activities, aiming to mobilise the involvement of leaders, policy makers, service providers and the community in HIV/AIDS prevention and control as well as increase support for people living with HIV, an official has said.

Speaking at a press conference held in Hanoi on November 9 on the occasion of World AIDS Day (December 1) and National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control 2023, Vo Hai Son, deputy head of Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) under the Ministry of Health, said seminars, running events, music galas and drawing contests will be organised during the month to raise people’s awareness on the disease.

Eric Dziuban, Vietnam Country Director of US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said Vietnam is one of the leading countries in terms of public health response. Vietnam's lessons have been learned and implemented by other countries.

According to Bui Hoang Duc from VAAC, 10,219 new HIV infections were detected in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year and 1,126 people had died.

There are nearly 250,000 people living with HIV across the country. Infections are concentrated in southern provinces, with 60% of new HIV cases detected in the Mekong Delta, the Southeast, and Ho Chi Minh City.

The rate of HIV infections in the 16-29 age group has been increasing since 2022, accounting for 50% of the total number of newly detected infections, he said, adding that the infection rate is also rising in the group of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people.

In the first nine months of 2023, 177,009 HIV carriers received antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, meeting 80% of the designed target and the number of people receiving pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment surpassed the target, Duc said.

VN, foreign doctors discuss treatment of cleft lips, palate

Vietnamese and foreign medical professionals compared notes on comprehensive treatments at the 4th International Congress for Cleft Lip, Palate, and Craniofacial Deformity that opened in HCM City on Wednesday.

The annual conference has brought together 300 experts, who hope to enhance their knowledge and skills by exploring new technologies for comprehensive treatment of cleft lips and palate, one of the most common birth anomalies in Asia.

Việt Nam has an incidence of one in 500 live births, according to the National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology in HCM City.

Twenty three reports would be tabled and six workshops covering various treatments such as plastic surgery, orthodontics, speech therapy, nutrition, and guidance for parents on how to care for their children in terms of well-being, feeding and nutrition would be held, said Dr. Lê Trung Chánh, director of the hospital, said.

The hospital has reopened its Comprehensive Cleft Care Center after renovation and installation of state-of-the-art equipment, he said.

Established in 2018 with the support of the Canadian BC Children’s Hospital and British Columbia University, the centre was the first of its kind in Việt Nam.

It has treated more than 26,200 children with cleft lips and palate and other craniofacial anomalies since then.

All surgical procedures and treatments are free or subsidised by charity organisations.

Its personnel receive regular training from international professionals in treatment and the adoption of digitalisation in patient care.

The three-day conference is organised by the hospital, Canada’s Planet Smile for Kids Society and US nonprofit organisation Smile Train.

Seaport system master plan to include Cần Giờ international container port project

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has proposed to add HCM City’s planned Cần Giờ international container transshipment port project to a master plan for developing Việt Nam's seaport system by 2030.

The MoT on Tuesday announced that it is collecting opinions from relevant ministries and agencies on supplementing and adjusting the master plan for developing Việt Nam's seaport system in the 2021-30 period, with a vision to 2050.

Accordingly, the Cần Giờ international container transshipment port project is being proposed as one of the priority infrastructure projects to be implemented by 2030.

It would add to seaport group No 4 comprising five ports in HCM City and the southern provinces of Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương and Long An.

According to the Việt Nam Maritime Administration, scenario planning is being developed in line with the spirit of the Politburo's resolutions on socio-economic development of regions and localities to meet the development targets of each region and each locality.

When the Cần Giờ international transshipment port is completed, seaports in HCM City will meet the criteria for the classification of special seaports according to the new provisions of the revised Việt Nam Maritime Code in 2015.

With a total investment of about US$6 billion, the project is being studied by the Vietnam Maritime Corporation (VIMC) and the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) - the world's second-largest container shipping company.

The project has a designed capacity of 15 million TEUs. The two sides are working hard with foreign partners to finalise plans for investment and operations.

This project is a complement to the Cái Mép-Thị Vải seaport system, not a rival to weaken the existing seaport system.

By taking advantage of the deep water channel at the Cần Giờ estuary, construction of the port is expected to maximise the role of seaport group No 4.

It is not only meaningful for the benefits of the seaport but also enhances the competitive advantage of the Southeast region, creating more attractiveness for foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.

The MoT has also proposed to expand Nam Đồ Sơn Port in Hải Phòng City into a gateway port to play a key role in international transit and serve national defence and security requirements; and develop Vân Phong Port of the central province of Khánh Hòa and Trần Đề seaport in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng into international transshipment ports. 

Quảng Trị Province approves sea dumping areas

The People's Committee of Quảng Trị has just approved 720ha of sea area for sinking dredged materials.

The decision clearly states that Area No 1 in Gio Linh District has an area of ​​320ha, limited by corner points QT1-1, QT1-2, QT1-3, QT1-4, depth from 25 - 30m from level "0" of the national elevation system; while Area No 2 in Hải Lăng District has an area of ​​400ha, limited by corner points QT2-1, QT2-2, QT2-3, QT2-4 and depth from 22 - 25m.

In terms of scale, Area No 1 has a capacity of 2.4 million cu.m and Area No 2 can contain 3 million cu. m.

The maximum volume submerged in one day is 11,500 cu.m and 14,400 cu.m for area No 1 and No 2, respectively.

Dredged material transport equipment has a maximum tonnage of about 2,000 tonnes and the most suitable time to carry out submersion is from April to August.

In case the total volume of dredged material for dumping in the two areas exceeds the designed capacities, or dredged material transport equipment has a tonnage of over 2,000 tonnes, it is necessary to study in more detail the extent of diffusion of submerged material and change in the bottom topography of the areas to have suitable solutions to protect the environment and biodiversity in the area, as well as surrounding areas.

Regarding implementation, the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for announcing the areas of sinking dredged material in the sea under the management of Quảng Trị Province, and appraise and submit to the provincial People's Committee to issue, reissue, extend, amend, supplement and return sea dumping permits under the authority of the provincial People's Committee.

Annually, the department also has to develop plans and carry out environmental monitoring and supervision in marine areas to sink dredged materials according to assigned tasks.

After five years, the department will conduct a survey and re-assess the environment, biodiversity, dispersal and spread of materials in the ocean dumping area to serve as a basis for advising the provincial People's Committee in granting dumping permits for future projects.

The State management agencies and sectors are responsible for organising inspection and supervision of dumping activities and handling violations according to the provisions of law.

Organisations and individuals who have need to dump dredged materials in the above areas must fully carry out procedures to apply for sea dumping permits in accordance with regulations and can only dump dredged materials when granted permits by the State management agencies.

In addition, organisations and individuals must strictly comply with relevant legal regulations when dumping dredged materials at sea, such as using the right locations, only dumping the types of dredged materials and volumes as permitted by competent authorities, as well as taking responsibilities for any incidents or violations of law in dredging and dumping activities according to the provisions of law.

Hà Sỹ Đồng, vice chairman of the Quảng Trị People’s Committee, said that previously, the province did not have a plan designating specific marine areas to sink dredged materials, which made it difficult to manage, control and minimise pollution impacts caused by dredging and dumping of waste into the environment, ecosystems and marine protected areas.

Therefore, approving areas for dumping dredged materials in the sea is very practical, ensuring strict control, said Đồng.

Dumping dredged materials at sea is the intentional sinking into the sea of ​​objects and substances according to legal regulations.

According to the Law on Sea and Islands Resources and Environment, objects and substances sunk in the sea must meet the following conditions of not containing radioactive substances or toxins that exceed technical regulations on radiation safety regulations and environmental technical standards; being processed to meet environmental technical standards; ensuring no harmful effects on human health, environment, ecosystems and aquatic resources; and being unable to be dumped, stored or treated on land, or the dumping, storage or treatment on land not being socio-economically effective.

According to Article 60 of Decree 40/2016/NĐ-CP, the list of objects and substances allowed to be dumped at sea is regulated to include: dredged substances, sludge, waste from seafood or waste generated from seafood processing activities, boats, floating platforms or artificial structures at sea, inert geological substances and inorganic substances, organic substances of natural origin, large objects made up mainly of iron, steel, concrete or similar non-toxic substances that, under specific conditions and circumstances, have no better treatment than submersion, and carbon dioxide (CO2) that is captured and stored.

Forum updates SPS standards in foreign markets

Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures in foreign markets were introduced to businesses and local authorities at a forum held by the Coordination Office for Agriculture and Rural Affairs in the Mekong Delta and Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosaniary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (Vietnam SPS) in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on November 9.

To date, Vietnam has engaged in 19 free trade agreements, many of which lay stringent SPS requirements, as well as other commitments on harmonisation of standards and regulations among the signatories, requiring businesses to adapt to bolster exports.

At the event, experts highlighted Vietnam’s commitments under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, updates on SPS measures, integrated pest management (IPM) for fruit trees and measures to prevent diseases, and the UK’s regulations on products of plant origin imported from Vietnam.

A Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) is required for almost all trees and their parts, including seedlings. Meanwhile, other products such as processed fruits and vegetables, bread and frozen materials can enter the UK market without the PC.

Competent authorities also provided information on import regulations of several key markets, including China, the EU and the US, while introducing measures to improve the quality of plantation areas, and updating businesses and cooperatives with information on the highest level of a pesticide residue that is legally tolerated in food in the import markets.

Vietnam's beauty, achievements showcased at Mexico City exhibition

A photo exhibition themed “Vietnam – Attraction and Dynamism” is underway in Mexico City, featuring a strong and beautiful nation of Vietnam.

Opening the event, which is part of the activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam-Mexico diplomatic relations, Mariana Flores Mayen from the General Coordination of Advisors and International Affairs of the Government of Mexico City said that the 30 photos displayed at the exhibition give visitors a deeper insight into the natural beauty, culture, people of Vietnam as well as the country’s socio-economic development achievements.

The official said that the exhibition expects about 500,000 visitors as it remains open period from November 9-11.

Meanwhile, Jose Manuel Gonzales, Director Mexico City Centre of History, showed his impression at the photos which spotlight the soul and character of the Vietnamese people.  

For his part, Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam said he hopes the exhibition will give a brief introduction of the nature and daily life of the Vietnamese people as well as the attainments in the cause of renewal and socio-economic development of Vietnam – a friendly nation that always opens its arms to foreign friends.

According to the diplomat, the exhibition is hoped to bring the people of the two countries closer together, thus further deepening the already sound solidarity and friendship between the two nations.

Earlier in October, the Vietnamese Embassy in Mexico also joined the ASEAN Bazaar in Mexico City.

National action month on gender equality launched

The National Action Month on Gender Equality and Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response was launched on November 10 by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), in collaboration with the United Nations Office in Vietnam and the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines.

MoLISA Minister Dao Ngoc Dung affirmed Vietnam's commitments to ensuring gender equality in general, and increasing women’s empowerment in particular; and emphasised the important role of communications on gender equality.

To address gender inequality in Vietnam, Dung stressed that in addition to laws, policies and programmes to ensure social welfare, communication is identified as the most important task and solution to raise awareness, change behaviour, contribute to eliminating prejudice, and move towards achieving substantive gender equality.

Pauline Tamesis, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, said that the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, natural disasters, wars, and conflicts all increase gender-based violence and worsen economic difficulties of households.

To minimise their impact, investing in prevention work is essential, as it not only helps women, children, and families, but also makes national economies healthier and more sustainable.

The action month has been held annually from November 15 to December 15 since 2016. To date, more than 10 million turns of people have gained access to messages of the programme, contributing to raising their awareness of gender equality and gender-based violence prevention and response.

At the event, Vietnam Airlines and the UN Office in Vietnam signed a commitment to participate in the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

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