Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong, his wife and a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam left Hanoi on November 14 to attend the 2023 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and bilateral activities in the US from November 14-17 at the invitation of US President Joe Biden.

President Thuong and his spouse are accompanied by Chairman of the Presidential Office Le Khanh Hai, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc, Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Culture and Education Nguyen Dac Vinh, among others.

The Asia-Pacific region and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum are important priorities in Vietnam's foreign policy which aims to foster and enhance multilateral diplomacy, helping to protect and promote security and development interests and elevating the country's position.

Since Vietnam joined APEC 25 years ago, Vietnam has made positive and active contributions to the forum, proposing many initiatives and cooperation projects that are highly appreciated by other APEC members, contributing to promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and economic connection in the region, and maintaining APEC's role as a leading economic connection mechanism in Asia - Pacific.

Meanwhile, Vietnam - US relations have been developing strongly in the past time with a milestone marking the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations on the occasion of US President Joe Biden's State visit to Vietnam in September 2023 at the invitation of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The two sides have signed many cooperation agreements on economy, science-technology, education-training, and humanitarian issues, including commercial contracts with a total value of over 10 billion USD.

With the special significance of this year's APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and in the context of the Vietnam – US growing relations, President Thuong's trip to attend the event and his bilateral activities are of importance both multilaterally and bilaterally, helping to maintain and strengthen external relations for peace, stability, and favourable conditions for the country's development.

The theme of this year’s APEC is “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”. With a focus on connectivity, innovation and inclusiveness, APEC leaders will look into many issues of the global economy's concern, including the maintenance of sustainable supply chains, digital transformation, digital trade, energy transition, climate change fight, and green economy.

One of the purposes of APEC 2023 is to mark 30 years since the first APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting was held in the US. The US’s hosting of the meeting for the third time shows its commitment to regional economic development as well as its sense of responsibility towards the global economy.

Central Vietnam bracing for heavy downpours, massive flooding

The central region of Vietnam has experienced torrential rainfall of up to 800mm over the past few days that triggered water levers in major rivers from Nghe An to Thua Thien-Hue provinces to swell up quickly, leading to the risk of inundation, flash floods, and landslides.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF) attributed the heavy rainfall primarily to the influence of the ongoing cold spell, the strongest this winter.

Torrential rain hit Nghe An on November 13, flooding many streets which put the lives of local people into chaos.

Meanwhile, the provinces of Ha Tinh, Da Nang, and Thua Thien-Hue endured rainfall of between 100mm and 500mm, even reaching as high as 800 mm in some places.

Several places in the localities were flooded, with some areas left 200 to 300mm underwater.

Most notably, a herd of more than 50 cows raised by a family in Quang Tri province were swept away into the river, while 800 houses were submerged under water.

Experts warned about the potentially high risk of flash flooding and landslides occurring in the mountainous areas of central provinces as heavy rain is forecast to fall till November 17.

Local authorities scrambled to evacuate people living in areas at high risks of flash floods and landslides to safe places for safety reasons. They also strictly managed boats along the coast, lagoons, and rivers in the event of rising floodwaters.

President’s attendance shows Vietnam’s support for APEC process: ambassador

President Vo Van Thuong’s attendance in the coming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Week in the US this year demonstrates Vietnam’s support for multilateralism in general and the APEC process in particular, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Dung.

President Thuong and his spouse will lead a high-ranking delegation of Vietnam to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2023 and bilateral activities in San Francisco from November 14 to 17.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the trip, Dung said Vietnam, a highly active member of the forum, has served as Chair and host of APEC economic leaders’ weeks twice. It has made a number of contributions and proposed many initiatives to promote the APEC process, and its engagement has also reflected its support for the forum’s principles and processes.

Vietnam is ready to coordinate with other member economies to help this process develop even more, ensure sustainable economic development, and generate new opportunities and advantages, especially the conditions to address existing difficulties, problems, uncertainties, and challenges posed by the highly complicated world situation, he noted.

The diplomat added that the country’s participation in this year’s APEC event in the US is also a chance for it to step up bilateral relations with the North American country after the two sides elevated their ties to the comprehensive strategic partnership.

On this occasion, President Thuong and the Vietnamese delegation will take part in many activities in San Francisco, including meetings with local officials, scholars, and businesses to implement the agreements reached when the new partnership was formed, according to the diplomat.

Dung noted that APEC is a regional economic forum gathering 21 member economies, including the world’s biggest.

Amid numerous uncertainties and challenges in the world situation, this time’s APEC event will be an occasion for leaders of the 21 member economies to discuss these challenges and solutions, the policy coordination among them, how to secure the fastest possible economic recovery, and how to ensure healthy and strong economic development in the coming time.

The theme of this year’s APEC is “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”. With the focuses on connectivity, innovation and inclusiveness, leaders will look into many issues of global economies’ concern, including the maintenance of sustainable supply chains, digital transformation, digital trade, energy transition, climate change fight, and green economy, he went on.

One of the purposes of APEC 2023 is to mark the 30 years since the first APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting took place in Blake Island at the invitation of then US President Bill Clinton. The US’s third hosting of the meeting shows this country’s commitment to regional economic development as well as its sense of responsibility towards the global economy, Ambassador Dung remarked.

Vietnam makes effective contributions to all APEC cooperation aspects: Deputy FM

Vietnam has made active, responsible and effective contributions to all cooperation aspects of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum over the past 25 years and left many important imprints, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Hang on the threshold of President Vo Van Thuong’s participation at the APEC Leaders’ Week 2023 and bilateral activities in San Francisco, the US from November 14-17.

Hang noted that Vietnam successfully hosted the APEC Year in 2006 and 2017, during which many important results with strategic meaning to APEC as well as economic cooperation and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region were produced.

In 2006, Vietnam left a strong imprint with the Hanoi Action Plan to realise the Bogor targets in trade and investment facilitation. For the first time, APEC member economies agreed on the idea of forming a free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region and overall orientations on APEC reform.

In 2017, Vietnam proposed the initiative of building post-2020 APEC vision and the establishment of the APEC Vision Group, reflecting the country’s long-term and overall approach, which received support and high evaluation from members, laying the foundation for the forum to adopt the joint statement on Putrajaya Vision 2040 which defines orientations, strategic goals and priorities of APEC cooperation in the new period.

According to Deputy FM Hang, Vietnam is one of the most active members of APEC in proposing cooperation initiatives and projects. The country has proposed nearly 150 projects in various fields from human resources development, e-commerce promotion, food security, and enhancing women’s economic power, to rural and urban development, ocean debris, and climate change response.

These initiatives and projects have bolstered APEC cooperation that is consistent with the concerns and interests of members, while effectively serving Vietnam's socio-economic development goals, she said. 

The official underlined that Vietnam has affirmed its role in managing and speeding up the implementation of APEC cooperation through undertaking important positions in the forum’s mechanisms. Notably, Vietnam acted as Executive Director of APEC Secretariat, Chair of the ASEAN Group at APEC, and Chair/Deputy Chair of many important committees and working groups of the forum. Vietnamese businesses also actively participate in the APEC Business Advisory Council and the APEC CEO Summit.

Hang underlined that the success of the APEC Year 2006 and APEC Year 2017, along with other contributions that Vietnam has made to the forum, has helped enhance the position, role and reputation of Vietnam in the world arena, helping the country optimise opportunities and resources from APEC cooperation and regional economic collaboration and linkage mechanisms to serve the country’s socio-economic development.

Regarding the agenda of the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting from November 16-17, Hang said that this year, the meeting carries important meaning to the forum, which is the leading economic cooperation and connection mechanism in Asia-Pacific which is home to 38% of the world population and accounts for 62% of the world GPD and nearly 50% of global trade.

Firstly, this year’s meeting marks 30 years since the first meeting was held, also in the US. At that time, APEC leaders agreed on a joint vision on a community of Asia-Pacific economies for peace, security and prosperity of the people.

Secondly, this year’s meeting is to take place in the context where the world economy as well as the global and regional economic connectivity has changed deeply, along with intertwined risk, challenges and opportunities, as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges. This is an important moment requiring APEC members to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, turning challenges into opportunities for recovery and sustainable development.

Themed “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All”, the meeting will focus on evaluating APEC cooperation outcomes over the past 30 years, drawing lessons and defining cooperation orientations in the new period. The leaders will also discuss major issues in the world and regional economy, especially the promotion of cooperation in trade, investment, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the strengthening of regional economic connections and linkage, stated the Deputy FM.

Mentioning Vietnam’s expected contributions to the event, Hang said that with the significance of this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the growing relationship between Vietnam and the US, President Thuong’s trip to the US for the meeting and bilateral activities has important meaning.

The Vietnamese State leader and other APEC leaders will discuss issues with crucial meaning to the world and regional economy, and sketch out cooperation in trade, investment, science-technology, innovation and many other areas.

Vietnam and other members will promote the spirit of dialogue, construction and responsibility, uphold multilateralism and join hands for sustainable development and prosperity of the region, said the Deputy FM.

According to the official, President Thuong will attend and address the APEC CEO Summit, which expects the participation of more than 2,000 leaders of leading firms in the world and Asia-Pacific region. He will call for the joint efforts of the business community to overcome current challenges and fully tap opportunities for sustainable growth in the region and particular economy, including Vietnam.

The President will engage in bilateral activities with US leaders and partners, especially those in California, with the aim of continuing to beef up the partnership between the two countries in the spirit of their joint statement on the establishment of their comprehensive strategic partnership, especially in the fields of education and training, science-technology, innovation and locality-to-locality connectivity, Hang underscored.

High tide in Mekong Delta rising, exceeding third-stage warning level

This morning, the Southern Regional Hydro-meteorological Station warned that water levels at downstream river stations in the Mekong Delta are rising exceeding the third-stage warning level.

According to weather forecasters, the highest peak water level was today measured at My Thuan station at 1.67m approximately the second-stage warning level while it was 1.81 m at the Can Tho station around the first-stage warning level.

The Southern Region Hydro-Meteorological Center warned in the coming days, that the highest water level at most measuring stations on rivers and canals in the Mekong Delta region will rise rapidly following the high tide period in the early October of the lunar calendar. The peak tide is likely to be seen on November 14 and 16.

At the My Thuan station, the water level can reach 1.85-1.90m, higher than the third-stage warning level of about 0.05-0.10m and it is likely about 1.95m-2.00m in Can Tho station, approximately or about 0.05m lower than the third-stage warning level.

The Ganh Hao station alone may be at approximately or above the third-stage warning level roughly 3 - 0.10m.

Meteorologists also warned about natural disaster risk levels in the downstream areas of the Tien and Hau rivers at level 2.

Vietnam, US reap positives results in defence cooperation

Vietnam always considers the US one of the important partners in its foreign policy, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army Sen. Lieut. Gen Nguyen Van Nghia told Commanding General of the US Army Pacific (USARPAC) General Charles Flynn at their talks in Hanoi on November 13.

Nghia welcomed Flynn and his entourage to visit Vietnam as the two countries are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership which was recently upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership for peace, cooperation and sustainable development during the State visit to Vietnam by US President Joe Biden in September.

He said Vietnam wants to enhance its relations with the US based on the respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and political institutions, for the benefit of both countries and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Over the past years, the two countries have reaped positive results in their defence cooperation, especially in the settlement of war consequences, United Nations peacekeeping operations, personnel training and military healthcare, and cooperation between armed services, he said.

Speaking highly of USARPAC's role in carrying out bilateral cooperation activities, he suggested that in the coming time, both sides should continue effectively realising signed documents and agreements, with priority given to promoting cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, improving the effectiveness and quality of training cooperation and deepening medical healthcare collaboration,

He proposed the US prioritise cooperation in addressing the war consequences, including continuing to increase support to Vietnam in dioxin detoxification at Bien Hoa airport, reviewing the results of dioxin detoxification at A Sho airport in A Luoi district of Thua Thien Hue province, and treatment of dioxin-contaminated soil at Phu Cat airport in Binh Dinh province.

Vietnam pledges to create favourable conditions for the most effective search for US servicemen missing in action, the officer said.

On this occasion, Nghia invited Flynn and USARPAC representatives to attend the second Vietnam International Defence Expo scheduled to take place in late 2024.

Flynn, for his part, underlined the importance of Vietnam-US defence ties, especially cooperation with USARPAC and affirmed his commitment to making every effort to bolster the collaboration and achieve the set common targets.

The officer said he will work closely with the US Embassy and the Office of the Defence Attaché to continue reinforcing the bilateral ties, and wished that the Vietnamese and US armies would cooperate in more areas such as exchange of delegations, personnel training, and attending events hosted by the two sides.

PM welcomes Japanese firms investing in Vietnam’s priority development areas

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received President and CEO of Japan's Marubeni Corporation Masumi Kakinoki in Hanoi on November 13, expressing his hope that the group and other Japanese enterprises would continue expanding cooperation and investment in Vietnam’s priority development areas.

Since 1991, Marubeni has so far invested approximately 90 billion JPY (592.97 million USD) in Vietnam, creating jobs for 7,500 workers.

At the meeting, both host and guest were pleased to note that the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategic partnership is developing fruitfully, strongly, and practically in many spheres with increasingly consolidated political trust.

PM Chinh stated that despite facing many challenges, the Vietnamese economy is showing positive signs of recovery. The nation's macro-economic situation remains stable, inflation is kept under control, and growth is being promoted, ensuring its overall balance. He described it as an important foundation, leading to an increasing number of Japanese enterprises investing and succeeding in the nation.

Regarding Vietnam as an important market in Asia, Kakinoki unveiled plans to continue investing billions of USD in local projects across seven sectors, including energy, goods processing and exports, and infrastructure development. He expressed his hope to receive the Vietnamese government's assistance in accelerating the implementation of these projects.

Welcoming the plans, the PM affirmed that Vietnam is making efforts to improve its business climate, creating even better conditions for foreign investors to cooperate, invest, and succeed in the country, while protecting their legitimate rights and interests.

Vietnam is focusing on innovation, digital transformation, green transition, renewable energy and e-commerce development, he said, urging Marubeni to suggest policies and mechanisms to support Vietnam in related human resources training, technology transfer, and management experience sharing.

He also suggested the corporation step up trade promotion and business networking activities, boost the export of industrial and agricultural products of Vietnam’s strengths, assist the linkage of supply chains between Vietnam and Japan serving the participation in the global value chain.

Marubeni should further closely coordinate with Vietnamese partners in the areas of wind, solar, and biomass power, helping Vietnam switch to green, clean, and sustainable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, PM Chinh said.

11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of IFRC to feature host of events

The upcoming 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Hanoi this month is set to feature a series of seminars, a youth forum, and an event to honour outstanding charity donors.

As heard at a press conference on the event in Hanoi on November 13, the conference is scheduled to take place on November 20-23. This is the second time the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) has taken the hosting role.

Themed “Becoming Disaster Ready in the Asia Pacific”, the quadrennial conference will evaluate the outcomes and progress of implementing measures at the previous edition in 2018, orient the operating plan for Asia-Pacific during 2023-2026, and promote cooperation among national associations across the region.

It is expected to promote the image of Vietnam and its people, and enhance development cooperation between the VRC with international partners and businesses around the world. It will affirm the commitments of the Vietnamese government, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the region in climate change and catastrophe response.

In addition to an opening ceremony and a plenary session, there will be five seminars discussing the readiness for disasters and cooperation as well as to become sustainable development nations and trustworthy organisations.

A forum on boosting resilience capacity for youth aged between 18 and 30 is slated for November 20, while the VRC’s annual ceremony honouring outstanding philanthropists will take place on November 22 evening.

PM commits support to Vietnamese, Cambodian armies

The Vietnamese Government always offers all possible support to Vietnamese and Cambodian armies to enhance exchanges and discuss strategic issues impacting the national defence and security of each nation, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

During a reception in Hanoi on November 13 for Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Gen. Tea Seiha, PM Chinh welcomed thẹ guest’s visit, which coincides with the 70th anniversary of Cambodia's Independence Day and the founding anniversary of the Cambodian royal army.

Vietnam always values and gives top priority to the continuous development of the fine neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive, long-term and sustainable cooperation with Cambodia, he said, adding that Vietnam supports a peaceful, stable and prosperous Cambodia, with an increasingly affirmed role and position in the region and the world.

The PM wished that Cambodia would continue working with Vietnam to effectively realise high-level agreements; facilitating the exchange of delegations, especially those at high level; strengthening connectivity between the two economies; training human resources; and building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.

He also underlined the need for continued support for the Vietnamese community and businesses in Cambodia, including the legal status of Khmer people of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia, thus contributing to common development of both nations.

Gen. Tea Seiha, for his part, thanked the Vietnamese Party, State, people and army for their assistance to Cambodia in the past fight against the Pol Pot genocidal regime, the struggle for national independence and the current national construction and development.

Informing the host about the outcomes of his talks with the Vietnamese Minister of National Defence, he pledged to raise public awareness of the relationship between Vietnam and Cambodia, especially among young generations, thus raising their sense of responsibility for nurturing bilateral ties. 

PM Chinh lauded the results of talks between the two ministers, saying that defence cooperation is one of the most important pillars in bilateral relations. 

He stressed that Vietnam is performing the defence policy of "four nos" (no partaking in military alliances, no siding with one country to act against another, no foreign military bases in the Vietnamese territory or using Vietnam as leverage to counteract other countries, and no using force or threatening to use force in international relations). He wished that the two countries would remain united and not allow hostile or opposition forces to undermine solidarity between the two Parties and their people.

The host also committed support for the two armies to promptly and effectively deal with issues arising at the grassroots level, make active contributions to building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, and coordinate effectively in providing military counselling to leaders of both countries, thereby fostering the bilateral friendship.

Embassy builds citizen protection plans for Vietnamese in Northern Myanmar

The Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar has promptly devised plans to protect and ensure the safety of Vietnamese citizens living and working in some northern states, which have seen complex security developments in recent days.

In response to this situation and following the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the embassy has also actively engaged in discussions with relevant local authorities, requesting support measures from the Myanmar side to ensure security and safety for Vietnamese citizens and create favourable conditions for them to leave the dangerous areas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, has contacted relevant authorities of China and Myanmar, seeking their assistance to Vietnam in safeguarding its citizens in the region.

The MoFA has advised Vietnamese citizens to avoid traveling to or staying in Shan, Kayin, and Rakhine states, if not absolutely necessary. Those currently living in these states should promptly have plans to safely evacuate themselves and their assets to a third country or return to Vietnam. The citizens should get regularly updated on information from the Myanmar authorities and the MoFA (Consular Department or Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar) to respond promptly.

In case of emergencies, they can contact the hotlines for citizen protection of the embassy at 959660888998 and of the MoFA's Consular Department at 84 981 84 84 84; 84 965 41 11 18 or its email at baohocongdan@gmail.com.

Vietnam, China look to expand border friendship exchanges

Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Hoang Cong Thuy hosted a reception for Liu Xiaokai, President of Yunnan province's Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in Hanoi on November 13.

Liu is in Vietnam to attend the 10th conference on economic corridor cooperation between Vietnamese localities and China’s Yunnan province.

Thuy assured his guest that maintaining and developing the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China is a consistent guideline and a strategic, long-term and priority choice in Vietnam's foreign policy.

As the year 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Thuy hoped that both sides will enhance friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.

He also wished that Yunnan would continue promoting its comprehensive cooperation, expanding connections in economy, trade, tourism while fostering border friendship exchanges between Yunnan and Vietnamese localities. This contributes to realising the common perceptions reached by senior leaders and pushing forward the stable, healthy, and sustainable development of Vietnam-China relations, he said.

The host informed his guest that from November 27 to December 1, the VFF Central Committee will coordinate with the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference to hold the second friendship exchange in the northern province of Quang Ninh. He hoped that the effort will serve as vivid evidence and a practical activity to concretise the common perceptions reached by the highest-ranking leaders of both Parties and States, especially in people-to-people exchange.

Liu, for his part, affirmed that Yunnan is ready to cooperate with localities bordering Vietnam to enhance exchanges, experience sharing and transportation connectivity for mutual economic development.

He wished that in the coming time, both countries would continue facilitating friendship exchanges to raise mutual understanding and make it easier for Yunnan to cooperate with northern Vietnamese provinces.

The guest hoped that the second friendship exchange in Quang Ninh will further consolidate friendship between the two countries’ people and the two organisations in particular to the sake of peace, cooperation and development.

Vietnam ready to develop ties with US: Deputy FM

Vietnam stays ready to develop its extensive, stable and practical ties with the US, within the framework of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership established in September with 10 pillars, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang on November 13.

Receiving Commissioner of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Caroline Pham in Hanoi, Hang said amid global economic uncertainties, Vietnam always strives to promote economic linkages and create a favourable environment for the development of financial market, contributing to enhancing the exchange of information regarding perfecting mechanisms and policies and strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the financial sector.

She suggested that the two countries enhance dialogue and cooperation in areas of common interest, such as infrastructure and financial services, especially digital finance, quality workforce training, sharing experience in debt and aid management, customs duty fulfillment, and capital and stock market development.

Pham, for her part, expressed her delight at visiting Vietnam, one of the US’s key partners in its regional policy.

Agreeing with Hang's assessment regarding the special significance of President Joe Biden's visit to Vietnam in September and the upgrade of the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Pham said the events reflected a remarkable step forward in the two bilateral relations, enhancing mutual understanding and trust and demonstrating the US's commitment to opening up new opportunities for bilateral economic and financial cooperation.

An increasing number of US businesses, particularly in the financial sector, are interested in Vietnam, she noted. The official affirmed that Vietnam's financial market has significant potential and attractiveness, thanks to the country’s stable political environment, the people’s increasing participation in the financial market, and the government's flexible policies.

Pham thanks the Vietnamese government's agencies such as the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Finance for their active collaboration with the CFTC on trade policy, currency, and forex-related matters, and expressed her hope for the two sides’ further cooperation expansion in the financial and banking sectors.

She said that the CFTC plans to carry out activities to support Vietnam in workforce training and share its experience in building policy frameworks, risk management and overseeing the development of a healthy and stable financial market.

The host and guest discussed specific measures to further tighten the two nations’ economy-trade and finance-investment relations, which include promoting the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework negotiations and the US's recognition of Vietnam as a market economy, and fostering the bilateral collaboration in foreign exchange policies, development of digital economy and green economy, and supply chain diversification.

Spring festival in Japan’s Fukuoka highlights Vietnam’s cultural identity

An array of traditional cultural activities during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday will be featured at the fifth Homeland Spring to be held at Tenjinchuo Park, Japan's Fukuoka prefecture on January 20-21, Vietnamese Consul General in Fukuoka Vu Chi Mai has said.

At a press conference on November 13, Mai said the annual event has drawn the attention of Vietnamese expats and local residents in Kuyshu-Okinawa, while serving as a vivid illustration of the Party and State’s care for the Vietnamese community in foreign countries, including those in Japan.

Human chess, nem con (throwing a sacred ball through a ring) and nhay sap (dance between bamboo poles) will be organised, she said, adding that an art programme will be arranged with stellar performances by Vietnamese artists, models and actors as well as representatives from the Vietnamese community here.

Highlights of the festival will be the record 1,500 people in ao dai (long dress) forming a map of S-shaped Vietnam, and Fukuoka 2024 Ao Dai Week with 180 items created by six renowned Vietnamese designers, she stressed.

There will be 70 booths introducing Vietnamese and Japanese dishes, high-quality products and handicrafts from both countries, she added.

Chairman of the Association of the Vietnamese in Fukuoka Nguyen Duy Anh told the Vietnam News Agency that the festival is expected to support the Vietnamese community in Japan, promoting national culture, and popularising the image of Vietnam among Japanese, thus helping enhance the friendship between the two countries' people.

Last year, the "Spring Homeland 2023" programme was extremely successful, not only attracting the attention of the Vietnamese community, but also from the local Japanese community.
There are more than 20,000 Vietnamese learning and working in Fukuoka.

Film screened to promote Italy-Vietnam cultural cooperation

The film Hoa Nhai (Jasmine) by Vietnamese director Dang Nhat Minh has been screened in Italy as part of activities in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic relations.

The event was jointly organised by Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, the Administration of Rimini city, Italy - Vietnam Foundation, Fulgor Cinema, Fellini Film Library and Museum, Rotary Clubs in Romagna, Rimini, Rimini Riviera and Cervia Cesenatico.

Marco Leonetti, who is in charge of Rimini Film Library and Museum, said the screening of the Vietnamese film is one of the special activities that the museum is organising to further promote relations between the two sides, especially cooperation in terms of art and culture.

Nguyen Thai Hoc, Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Italy emphasised that the event marks another step forward in cultural and art collaboration between Vietnam and Italy, adding that it is even more meaningful as it was held in the city of Rimini, the hometown of the late talented director Federico Fellini.

He said "Jasmine", which is among those attending the Asian Film Festival in Rome in May this year, is one of the typical films of Vietnam recently, depicting the normal life in Vietnam with vivid images of the Vietnamese land and people in the modern time.

The film is about human relations during the busy life in an urban area. The characters include a shoeshine boy, a Hanoi-sidewalk barber, an old couple and an old musician who teaches a choir of blind children. The film focuses on kindness and concern for others which always connects people and makes everything firm and meaningful.

41st Asian & Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators opens in Hanoi

The 41st Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA 41) opened in Hanoi on November 13, with the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security being the host.

The annual event provides a platform for agencies responsible for prison and correctional administration within Asia-Pacific to meet, exchange ideas, and share practices in corrections.

This year’s event, to last until November 16, brings together more than 200 delegates from 25 countries, three international organisations, and 15 diplomatic agencies. This is the second time the Vietnamese ministry has hosted the rotary event.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Public Security Nguyen Van Long highlighted APCCA’s significant contributions to enhancing international cooperation in prison management and corrections.

Such information and experience exchanges between APCCA members are important for countries and territories to raise the efficiency of correctional practices, he continued.

The officer briefed the participants on Vietnam’s correctional landscape, which follows the Constitution and law, and its specific policies on education, vocational training and health care for inmates, along with those on amnesty and rehabilitation.

Long noted his hope that the participants will raise feasible solutions to improve the efficiency and quality of correctional administration, helping prisoners soon return to normal life and contributing to preventing and reducing crimes, thus creating a healthy environment for the development in each nation and the entire region.

The conference will touch upon challenges to the prison service in Vietnam and solutions to them; safe environment and health care for prisoners with mental and behaviour disorders, and those with drug-related problems, and disabilities; how to minimise recidivism through rehabilitation programmes; cooperation with private partners and organisations in corrections; and improving material facilities and technologies to serve the work.

Shie Yong Lee, head of the Singaporean delegation, said prisons should be safe places for both inmates and correctional administrators, stressing the need to promote social reintegration of prisoners and raise public confidence in prison management.

First held in 1980, APCCA now gathers 34 member agencies from 25 countries.

Quang Ninh hosts 18th ASEAN GO-NGO forum on social welfare

The 18th ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development took place in Ha Long city, the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 13.

As part of the 19th Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) and related events hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the event gathered representatives from Government agencies, non-government organisations of ASEAN member nations, the ASEAN Secretariat, UN agencies, and international organisations operating in social welfare and development in Vietnam and the region. Timor Leste took part in the event as an observer.

The forum focused on main challenges faced by social welfare systems and measures implemented or planned by countries to address these challenges.

In his opening remarks, Luu Quang Tuan, Director of the MoLISA’s International Cooperation Department, said countries should focus on more sustainable and long-term strategies for pandemic management, control and prevention because the cessation of the COVID-19 emergency status does not imply the disappearance of pandemics.

Lessons learned before and during the COVID-19 pandemic need to be integrated into policies, plans, and national social welfare systems, both in the short and long term, to ensure that no one is left behind, he said.

Countries should carefully consider emerging trends in the region, such as demographic changes, migration, the impact of climate change, and advancements in science and technology, along with persistent issues of poverty and diverse inequalities, he said, adding that these are significant challenges that demand responses from the social welfare systems and measures of ASEAN member countries.

He suggested participants engage in open discussions, and shared viewpoints for finalizing recommendations of the forum, which will serve further discussions among senior officials and as a foundation for ASEAN Ministers to formulate social welfare policies that meet the demands of people, especially vulnerable groups, in the coming time.

The forum contributes to realising long-term goals and commitments of ASEAN leaders in building a resilient, inclusive, people-centred community. It reflects the collective action of governments, non-governmental entities, businesses, and citizens to ensure that economic development goes hand in hand with fairness and stability, and ultimately benefits the people.

Delegates shared information related to social welfare policies and legislation, as well as exemplary practices, and put forth relevant recommendations.

The recommendations of the forum will be submitted to the 19th SOMSWD slated for November 15-17.

Festival highlights Vietnam- Laos special friendship

The Vietnam-Laos Special Friendship Festival 2023 is underway in Hue city in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

Jointly held by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the provincial People’s Committee, the event includes a photo exhibition, a trade fair, a scientific seminar, and an art performance exchange.

The photo exhibition displays more than 200 photos that highlight the history and development of the Vietnam-Laos special friendship and outstanding achievements in information and communication cooperation between the two countries.

The trade fair features 60 pavilions with highlights being publications and media programmes in Lao language from Vietnam News Agency, Nhan Dan newspaper, Radio The Voice of Vietnam and the national external information portal Vietnam.vn. Information technology and telecommunications enterprises such as Viettel, VNPT, VTC and businesses operating in the fields of tourism and trade also showcase their products at the event, along with goods under the One Commune One Product (OCOP) programme of Thua Thien - Hue and central provinces and cities.

During his visit to the photo exhibition and trade fair on November 13, Nguyen Trong Nghia, head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education emphasised the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, saying the two countries have achieved great achievements in economic, social, foreign affairs and their cooperation is effective in all fields.

Lao national arrested for smuggling 1,000 drug pills into Vietnam

Border guards of Thanh Hoa province, central Vietnam, confirmed on November 13 that they had arrested a Lao national for transporting a huge quantity of synthetic drugs into Vietnam.

The drug trafficker was identified as Thao Nao Ly, born in 1969 and residing in Viengxay district of Houaphanh province.

At 7:15 a.m. on November 12 he was caught red handed trafficking the drugs in Keo Te village of Nhi Son commune of Muong Lat district.

The items confiscated at the scene include two kg of opium resin and 1,000 pills of synthetic drugs. The authorities also discovered him in possession of a knife which he used to resist arrest. The case is under further investigation.

Football tournament held for Vietnamese community in Japan

The football tournament “FAVIJA KANSAI CUP 2023” was held on November 12 in Japan’s Shiga prefecture with the participation of 20 teams of overseas Vietnamese and Japanese people.

The football tournament “FAVIJA KANSAI CUP 2023” is part of the culture-sports exchange activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (1973-2023).

This is part of the culture-sports exchange activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (1973-2023).

The annual game was organised by the Vietnam-Japan Cultural and Sports Exchange Association (FAVIJA) under the auspices of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan.

Nguyen Huu Long, head of the tournament’s organising board, highlighted the significance of the tournament as it took place in the year that marks a special anniversary of Vietnam and Japan, while Yano Takaaki, representative of Wise Kansai Company, a co-sponsor of this year's tournament, said that besides employment support for Vietnamese young people, Japanese companies also want to give them a warm, joyful, and healthy atmosphere as a way to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the two countries.

Vietnam, Cambodia to develop defence cooperation to new height

Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Gen. Tea Seiha agreed to develop their countries’ defence cooperation to a new height, during their talks in Hanoi on November 13.

The talks followed an official welcome ceremony hosted by Minister Giang for the high-ranking delegation of the Cambodian ministry, which is paying an official visit to Vietnam from November 12 to 14.

Welcoming Tea Seiha on his first official visit to Vietnam as Deputy PM and Defence Minister of Cambodia, Giang offered greetings on the 70th anniversary of the Independence Day of Cambodia and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (November 9, 1953 - 2023).

The Cambodian official said the trip aims to further intensify the relations between the two countries and the two militaries. He also took this occasion to thank the Vietnamese ministry for helping with the development of the Cambodian military.

The two sides shared the view that bilateral defence cooperation has reaped many positive results and remains one of the important pillars of the countries’ relations, as seen in the effective maintenance of mutual visits at all levels, especially the high level, and the establishment and active implementation of defence cooperation mechanisms, thus promoting defence ties both intensively and extensively.

The collaboration in border management has been carried out fruitfully by both sides’ authorities, helping prevent unauthorised migration, illegal border crossing, and cross-border crimes and keep security, order, and safety in border areas. Vietnam and Cambodia have pressed on with border demarcation and marker planting to build a borderline of peace, stability, cooperation, and development.

The collaboration in training personnel and in finding and repatriating the remains of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers has also been stepped up and gained substantive results, they noted.

Both officials agreed that in the time ahead, Vietnam and Cambodia will enhance coordination to continue effectively implementing the protocol for 2019 - 2024 and annual cooperation plans to elevate defence cooperation to a new height, thus contributing to the neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and long-term sustainability between the countries.

The two sides will focus on holding all-level delegation exchanges; training personnel; increasing communications to educate military officers and soldiers on the traditional friendship, solidarity, and all-round cooperation between the two peoples and the two militaries; strengthening coordination in the fight against cross-border crimes, illegal border crossing, and unauthorised migration; and keeping consulting with and supporting each other at multilateral military - defence forums and conferences.

As many significant anniversaries of the countries and the two militaries will take place in 2024, especially the 45th anniversary of the victory over the genocidal regime in Cambodia (January 7, 1979) and the 80th founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22, 1944), the two sides will work together to hold meaningful activities marking these important events, the officials noted.

In addition, they will coordinate closely to successfully hold the first border defence friendship exchange among Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos and the annual meeting of the three countries’ defence ministers in December 2023. The coming events are of great importance as they will affirm the three countries and their militaries’ political resolve to treasure and consolidate their friendship and solidarity.

On this occasion, Giang invited Tea Seiha and other leaders of the Defence Ministry and military of Cambodia to attend the celebration of the Vietnamese army’s 80th anniversary and the second Vietnam International Defence Expo in late 2024. The Cambodian official accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Vietnam attends culture exchange in Hong Kong

Vietnam joined representatives from 22 other Asian countries and territories in a culture exchange highlighting the cultural diversity of Asia at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (China) on November 12.

The event was organised with the support of the Consulates of countries in Hong Kong after a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking via video at the event, which attracted more than 30,000 viewers, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Lee Ka-chiu said Hong Kong has always been known as a place that integrates global cultures.

The special administrative region is working to evolve Hong Kong into a comprehensive development centre for culture and arts, bridging China and the international community, he added.

The event offered a chance for participants to get an insight into Asian culture through art performance activities and an exhibition of traditional costumes.

Do Tu Quynh, who represented a Vietnamese dance group from Yuen Long district at the event, said that Vietnamese people in Hong Kong were very happy to take part in the programme, helping to introduce the culture, history and belief of 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam to people in Asia and the world.

HCMC, neighboring localities sign cooperation on digital transformation

The Departments of Education and Training of six localities signed a two-year cooperation agreement on digital transformation in the education and training sector on November 9.
Accordingly, HCMC and neighboring provinces in the southeastern region including Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong and Tay Ninh will cooperate to implement solutions for strengthening IT application and digital transformation as well as build a model of digital society development in the education and training area.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc emphasized that the application of information technology in education is one of the important tasks to improve teaching methods and the quality of educational and training activities.

The Southeast region continues to pay attention to investing in new fields to maintain its role as the economic locomotive contributing to the national economy, especially focusing on building mechanisms for the effective implementation of digital transformation in the education sector.

Vocational training unable to meet development needs in HCMC

Vocational training is unable to meet development needs in Ho Chi Minh City, said conference participants. The first conference of the Council of Principals of Colleges and Vocational Schools in the city in 2023 yesterday took place at Ho Chi Minh City College of Economics chaired by Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc.

Director of the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Van Thinh assessed that in recent times, vocational education institutions (VEIs) on a city scale have achieved many positive results in orchestrating work orientation and student recruitment. Teachers and students of vocational schools have made remarkable achievements in national and international vocational skills competitions.

However, the enrollment results for short-term training occupations still account for a high proportion of the overall annual enrollment results. This makes it difficult for most workers to adapt to rapid changes in science and technology compared to workers with vocational or college degrees. The work of digitalization and digital transformation has not been fully implemented by VEIs. In addition, many VEI facilities are degraded, having outdated technical teaching facilities, and small campus areas, and not complying with regulations.

To help the city's VEI facilities develop, Mr. Le Van Thinh noted that all units strictly implement the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee’s Plan No. 267-KH/TU dated September 21, 2023, to strengthen several measures.

In 2024, the Council of Principals needs to push promotional campaigns and work orientation in VEIs; Schools are responsible for providing information about post-graduate students at their faculties according to the instructions of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to create a field database for the institution, as well as vocationally trained labor.

Establishing coordination and engagement mechanisms between schools and businesses in each industry group will promptly provide human resources according to the recruitment needs of businesses and society, Mr. Le Van Thinh suggested.

According to Dr. Le Dinh Kha, Principal of Cao Thang Technical College, the city has set a target for the rate of trained workers to reach 87 percent by 2025 and 89 percent by 2030. However, there are not many VEIs training in mechanical and automation, and the trained human resources have not met the quantity required by society.

The city needs to have superior regimes and policies in building a team of teachers in the direction of standardization, ensuring quantity, synchronization in structure and quality of vocational skills to improve the quality of human resource training according to the requirements of the labor market.

Simultaneously, the city should encourage and enhance the responsibility and reputation of mechanical and automation professional associations in training high-quality human resources to serve its goals.

Similarly, Principal of Thu Duc College of Technology Vo Long Trieu said that in the city, there are currently about 5,500 businesses operating in electronics-information technology (IT) and nearly 2,000 startup businesses. Of which, the number of startups in the IT field is about more than 1,400 accounting for 70 percent. To meet the needs of businesses, vocational schools need to build good technical infrastructure in teaching and learning as well as improve training content and methods to satisfy society's needs.

The IT industry has short product life cycles and constantly changing technology, so universal training is inevitable. Retraining can be done through organizing on-the-job training or hiring reputable training units, Mr. Trieu suggested.

Addressing the conference, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc affirmed that the city is a major vocational education center of the country with nearly 200,000 graduates from vocational levels each year, accounting for 87 percent of the country's workers receiving annual vocational training.

However, each school’s strength has not been effectively promoted because there is still overlap in vocational training, and the key training strengths of each school have not been promoted. Therefore, each vocational education institution needs to self-review and evaluate its practice from which they will set strategies, plans, and roadmaps to overcome shortcomings and limitations as well as identify key areas to focus on training and avoid multi-disciplinary training without good orientation.

Worryingly, the number of workers who can meet the needs of businesses is not high. Thus, the Board of Principals of each school must assume responsibility for finding a solution to overcome this inadequacy. For immediate tasks, the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Ho Chi Minh City should coordinate closely with their sub-departments to have advice in planning and rearranging vocational schools according to the Secretariat’s Directive 21 and the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee’s Plan 267, said Mr. Duong Anh Duc.

Project to enhance Vietnamese language for ethnic minority students launched

A project to enhance the Vietnamese language for primary students of ethnic minority groups has been launched.

Room to Read, a leading nonprofit organization for children's literacy & girls' education programs at work in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Training, has just announced the launch of the Project to Enhance Language Development for Primary School Students in Vietnam.

The project aims to strengthen Vietnamese language education for ethnic minority students, as well as support local departments of Education and Training to establish 100 new libraries in Vietnam.

Accordingly, more than 60,000 children across the country are expected to get benefit from the project. Currently, children from ethnic minorities are having difficulty using the Vietnamese language from grade 1 and this will affect their long-term learning at schools.

Therefore, the course for developing Vietnamese listening and speaking skills for ethnic minority students before entering grade 1 includes providing appropriate storybooks, designing materials and implementing training activities for teachers is expected to help ethnic minority children build Vietnamese language skills, and create eagerness and confidence in learning amongst students.

Voluntary British medics on craniofacial trauma mission to Vietnam

A unique medical mission focusing on craniofacial trauma surgery for children will go to Vietnam from the UK to work with three major hospitals in Hanoi from November 16-30.

The mission is part of an annual education exchange programme between the two countries funded by Facing the World (FTW), a UK-registered medical charitable foundation set up in 2002 to treat children from developing countries with craniofacial defects.

Led by Professor Mike Perry, a consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the Northwick Park Hospital in London, the mission is the first of its kind to utilise complete integration of a foreign doctor with Vietnamese doctors to facilitate training and multidiscipline team building and surgical approaches. Professor Mike Perry is a listed Top 50 UK surgeon and is an expert in the field of craniofacial trauma and complex deformities following.

During this mission, Professor Perry will lead a team of Vietnamese doctors and anaesthetists who have been working with him over the years through FTW sponsored fellowships to conduct complex surgeries for children with craniofacial trauma and post traumatic deformities.

The operations will be carried out at Viet Duc, 108 Central Military and Hong Ngoc hospitals which are FTW’s partners in Vietnam. Prior to the surgeries, Professor Perry will join local doctors in conducting assessments and creating treatment plans for potential patients who come from across Vietnam.

Professor Perry is also expected to conduct a series of lectures on acute facial trauma management at the three hospitals, which can be attended online by Vietnamese doctors nationwide.

During this mission, FTW will also discuss with its partners a programme to help Vietnamese cancer patients.

Voluntary CEO of FTW, Katrin Kandel, said the mission is the second this year following the multidisciplinary mission in April. It is the 33rd mission since FTW first sent international medics to Vietnam to join local doctors in operating complex surgical cases in 2008.

Katrin stressed that creating teams of trained Vietnamese doctors and anaesthetists to take charge of patient consultation and operations domestically, like the one led by Professor Perry on this mission, is key to FTW programme, which is the hub-and-spoke approach where expertise is built up in the correct locations with all patients throughout Vietnam being able to access.

The CEO of the foundation said the approach aims to create viable and sustainable solutions to the needs and create sustainable expertise in Vietnam, which, FTW expects, in the longer-term will become part of the surgical expertise training scheme at FTW, acting as a craniofacial centre in Southeast Asia.

FTW started operations in Vietnam in 2007 after a Vietnam visit by the foundation found a high rate of birth defects and the need for establishing craniofacial centres in Vietnam.

The foundation’s key activities cover sending international medics to Vietnam to operate complex surgical cases; sending Vietnamese doctors abroad to learn new techniques and approaches of craniofacial surgery and treatment; and providing medical equipment, particularly telemedicine equipment and technology.

To date, FTW has helped provide surgeries for thousands of children with craniofacial defects across Vietnam and sent nearly 150 Vietnamese doctors to top medical institutions in the UK, Canada, the US and Australia for training. The foundation has also donated 2.4 million GBP worth of telemedicine technology and surgical equipment to its partner hospitals in Vietnam.

In the next five years, FTW plans to enable a further 40,000 operations to be performed by its trained Vietnamese doctors. The foundation expects to send at least another 200 Vietnamese doctors abroad for training and continue to donate medical equipment which is considered to be game changing.

19 wild animals released to nature in Quang Binh

A total of 19 wild animals, which were kept in captivity, have been released into Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in the central province of Quang Binh, according to the Centre for Rescue, Conservation and Creature Development under the park's Management Board.

The animals include six stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), two northern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca leonine), an Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), a keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), three impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa), two wildcats (Prionailurus bengalensis), and four pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus).

Vo Van Tri, the centre’s deputy director, said these individuals belong to IB and IIB groups, the list of endangered and rare species prioritised for protection following the Government’s Decree 84/2021/ND-CP. They were voluntarily handed over by residents and relevant agencies.

Earlier in April, the centre in coordination with Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park forest ranging department released 17 wild animals listed as endangered species, to nature.

Hanoi festival in Fukuoka highlights Vietnam – Japan relations

The Hanoi Festival in Fukuoka 2023 was recently held in Fukuoka by the Consulate General of Vietnam in the Japanse city, in collaboration with the administrations of Hanoi and Fukuoka, as parts of activities to mark 50 years of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan this year.

The Hanoi Festival in Fukuoka 2023 is held in Fukuoka by the Consulate General of Vietnam in the Japanse city, in collaboration with the administrations of Hanoi and Fukuoka.
The Nov. 10-12 event also celebrated 15 years of the establishment of the Hanoi-Fukuoka friendship.

The festival was packed with activities, including a fashion show introducing the latest Ao Dai collection by Vietnamese designer Duc Hung and an exhibition showcasing 50 photographs depicting Hanoi's culture, landscapes, people, and its development over the past 15 years.

Furthermore, more than 20 booths displayed a range of Japanese cuisine and handicraft ceramic products of Hanoi’s Bat Trang craft village.

Local residents and international friends also had the chance to enjoy performances put on by artists from the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.

Lao national arrested for smuggling 1,000 drug pills into Vietnam

Border guards of Thanh Hoa province, central Vietnam, confirmed on November 13 that they had arrested a Lao national for transporting a huge quantity of synthetic drugs into Vietnam.

The drug trafficker was identified as Thao Nao Ly, born in 1969 and residing in Viengxay district of Houaphanh province.

At 7:15 a.m. on November 12 he was caught red handed trafficking the drugs in Keo Te village of Nhi Son commune of Muong Lat district.

The items confiscated at the scene include two kg of opium resin and 1,000 pills of synthetic drugs. The authorities also discovered him in possession of a knife which he used to resist arrest. The case is under further investigation. 

Xuyên Tâm Canal cleanup project to start work in 2024

After prolonged delays, the project of dredging, environmental improvement, infrastructure construction and land exploitation along a section of Xuyên Tâm Canal in Gò Vấp District is set to start work in August 2024.

The main investor of the project, Urban Infrastructure Construction Investment Projects Management Unit, signed an advanced cost contract as the districts of Gò Vấp and Bình Thạnh performed surveys and prepared a compensation plan for affected households.

The project includes a main canal route nearly 6.7 km long from Nhiêu Lộc - Thị Nghè Canal to Vàm Thuật River and three branches longer than 2.2 km.

Nguyễn Hoàng Anh Dũng, deputy director of the unit, said that the part of the canal passing through Gò Vấp District was expected to start construction in August 2024, because the workload would be less than the section passing through Bình Thạnh.

In Gò Vấp, the total area of ​​land recovered for the project is more than 19,500sq.m with about 84 households affected.

The locality has prepared resettlement apartments for relocated households at Khang Gia apartment blocks , Ward 14, Gò Vấp District. Construction of this canal section through Gò Vấp District is expected to be completed in May 2025.

The total length of Xuyên Tâm Canal is about 8.2km, of which the project's scope from Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè Canal to Vàm Thuật River is 6.6km long.

Construction of the project requires the reclamation of about 159,000m of land, and the relocation of about 1,880 affected households along the canal.

The project has been delayed for more than 20 years and is also one of the city’s urgent projects of urban betterment and development in the period 2021-25.

For many years, Xuyên Tâm Canal has been polluted due to illegal discharge of untreated domestic waste and wastewater used by households living along both sides of the canal.

That has caused blockages of water flow that pollute the environment and cause flooding.

City authorities have made great efforts to increase public awareness about the need to stop littering into rivers and canals, and strictly manage illegal encroachment and littering. 

Health experts call for raising community’s awareness of diabetes prevention

Health experts called for raising awareness among the community, health workers and policymakers about diabetes prevention at a meeting in Hà Nội on November 11 on the occasion of World Diabetes Day 2023.

"The increase in diabetes around the world seems to be unstoppable, but we have a duty to act to prevent its development," said Deputy Director of the Medical Services Administration Vương Ánh Dương at the meeting.

“The Ministry of Health calls on all levels of Government, unions, agencies, organisations and all people to pay attention to diabetes, and together light up hope for the bright future of diabetes prevention and control activities in Việt Nam. Let's take action today to change the future of diabetes,” said Dương.

Experts call on the community to be proactive in healthcare; have a healthy lifestyle; assess risk for early detection of type 2 diabetes; screen for complications and adhere to treatment to improve the quality of life and prolong the lifespan of people living with diabetes. In addition, experts also call on people and those living with diabetes to proactively equip them with knowledge to protect their health today and tomorrow.

The activity is under the framework of the "Diabetes Care for Children and Adolescents in Việt Nam" - Changing Diabetes in Children Initiative (CDiC) programme for the period 2023 - 2025. CDiC is a public-private partnership programme initiated by Novo Nordisk with the participation of global partners such as the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and Roche.

Speaking at the event, Novo Nordisk Vietnam General Manager Erik Wiebols praised the efforts of the Vietnamese health sector in improving the quality of prevention and care of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes.

“The health ministry is very dedicated to educational programmes to raise people's awareness, proactively updates prevention and treatment guidelines and effectively organises training courses to improve disease diagnosis and treatment capacity for medical staff at all levels,” said Wiebols.

He said that the health sector should continue the policy to enhance the quality of care in lower level establishments. Therefore, people with diabetes can have access to quality health care services and treatment options at all healthcare levels.

“Over the past 100 years, Novo Nordisk has always strived to make insulin use as effective and convenient as possible. We are committed to helping society defeat diabetes, and our strategy is clear – accelerate the prevention of diabetes and obesity, and provide access to affordable care for vulnerable patients in every country,” said Wiebols.

Diabetes has become one of the common causes of disability and premature death in most countries. Every five seconds, one person dies from diabetes. Diabetes is also the cause of 6.7 million deaths in 2021, mainly through increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Early diagnosis and timely treatment of diabetic nephropathy can prevent blindness and reduce the consequences of diabetes for the patient, family and society. Screening for diabetes complications is an important part of effective disease management, to ensure optimal health for patients, according to IDF.

Also according to IDF in Việt Nam, there are nearly four million people living with diabetes (by 2021). Most of these are type 2 diabetes. But only one-third of people with diabetes are diagnosed, equivalent to more than 2.5 million people with undiagnosed and undetected diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by IDF and the WHO in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight.

The World Diabetes Day 2023 campaign is held worldwide with the theme "Access to diabetes care" and the specific message Know Your Risk, Know Your Response focuses on the importance of knowing the risks of diabetes to help prevent and delay disease progression, while also highlighting the impact of diabetes-related complications as well as the importance of access to the right information and care to ensure timely treatment and management of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes, towards improving quality of life of people living with the disease.

Liveshow to present vocal lecturers of national music academy

Several of Việt Nam’s top singers who are also vocal lecturers of the Việt Nam National Academy of Music (VNAM) will gather to perform during a special liveshow in Hà Nội on November 17.

The liveshow, entitled Mùa Thu Vàng (Golden Autumn), will take place at the concert hall of VNAM, the country’s biggest professional music training institution.

VNAM deputy director, People’s Artist Quốc Hưng, is the general director of the concert, while famous folk singer Tân Nhàn is the production director.

A line-up of Việt Nam’s leading artists will perform melodies praising love and the beauty of autumn. The performers include People’s Artists Quang Thọ and Quốc Hưng, songbirds Lan Anh, Tân Nhàn, Phương Nga, Phương Uyên, Tố Loan, Thăng Long, Bích Hồng and Hương Ly, and singers Phúc Tiệp, Lê Anh Dũng and Mạnh Hoạch. 

The first part of the show will feature classical songs that are included in the training curriculum of the Vocal Faculty.

The concert repertoire will also include several popular romantic ballads.

Talking with media in a press conference about the concert on Monday, VNAM deputy director Quốc Hưng said that the liveshow will present harmonically the academic quality of the national music institution and the entertaining feature.

“The audience can realise the academic quality that is needed in vocal training, and at the same time enjoy the allurement of a liveshow," he said.

Especially, the concert will present performances of different generations of famous artists, who are also talented lecturers.

“It’s will be memorable event when I will be performing on the same stage with my old lecturer – People's Artist Quang Thọ,” Hưng said.

Responded to his former student, artist Quang Thọ said he is very happy to be a part of the liveshow.

“When I was a young student, singing with my lecturers was an experience of great pride and emotion. Later I became a teacher, and whenever I am on the same stage with my students I feel very happy because I contributed to the training of those young generations of talented artists,” he said.

Alongside lecture-student duo Quang Thọ and Quốc Hưng, the show will also feature other lecturers and their students, including singer Lan Anh and her student Tân Nhàn, and Hương Ly, who is student of Tân Nhàn.

Singer-lecturer Phúc Tiệp shared: “When a lecturer participates regularly in performance, they not only inspire their students, but also create chances for their students to learn and have a better career orientation.”

The concert also features diva Thanh Lam and singer Quang Hà – who were former students of the Vocal Faculty. 

Thai tourist complains of Danang taxi overcharging

Danang City Department of Tourism are investigating a foreign tourist complaint about being overcharged by a local taxi driver while visiting the city.

The move came after the fanpage of Danang Grab taxi drivers shared on Sunday the Facebook status of a Thai female tourist who complained about being overcharged by a Grab driver.

According to the tourist, she had agreed with the driver on a fee of VND1.50 million (USD 61) for a trip from her hotel in Danang to Ba Na Hill and Hoi An City, including a drop at Linh Ung Pagoda. However, the driver then asked her to pay VND 3.80 million.

“I was very shocked," the tourist wrote. "The fee was not as we had agreed. So don't believe them, don't be cheated like us."

The tourist also posted a photo of the taxi's registration number.

Speaking about the issue, director of the Danang City Centre for Tourism Promotion Nguyen Thi Hoai An, said that they had heard about the complaint and had contacted the Grab Company for investigation.

"Grab said that the driver had stopped working for them since February," An said. "The passenger hadn't booked the trip on Grab's app but called the driver and they agreed on the fee themselves."

The official also said that they had contacted the transport department to deal with the case.

Over 200 prison administrators gather in Hanoi for Asia-Pacific conference

The 41st Asian and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administrators (APCCA 41) opened in Hanoi on November 12, bringing together more than 200 directors of prison administrations from 25 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

In his opening speech, Major General Nguyen Van Long, Deputy Minister of Public Security of Vietnam, outlined that the conference has made important contributions to improving international cooperation in prison management, education, and rehabilitation of prisoners.

He expressed hope that delegates would actively exchange experiences and feasible solutions which are appropriate to the reality and the situation of each member state in order to constantly improve the overall efficiency and quality of prison management, as well as the education and rehabilitation of prisoners.

Shie Yong Lee, head of the Singaporean delegation, said that the function is expected to provide solutions in order to help prisoners better integrate into the community and to contribute to reducing crime, thereby creating a healthy social environment for the development of each country and the region as a whole.

The APCCA is an annual event that features the participation of the directors of prison administrations of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, starting in 1980.

This is the second time the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam has hosted the conference that is set to last through to November 16.

Vietnam prioritises enhancing relations with Cambodia: President

Vietnam always wants to enhance ties with Cambodia, considering it a priority in its foreign policy, President Vo Van Thuong said when receiving Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Gen. Tea Seiha in Hanoi on November 13.

Speaking highly of the results of the earlier talks between the two defence ministers, President Thuong affirmed that the Vietnamese Party and State always encourage, support and create favourable conditions for cooperation between the two armies and defence ministries to make it more practical and effective.

He hoped that the two defence ministries would enhance information sharing and exchange views on global and regional issues, continue jointly realising existing agreements and pay attention to training officers, especially young ones. The two sides should effectively manage the shared border to build a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development as well as step up negotiations on demarcation and planting of border markers on the remaining border section.

The President encouraged the two defence ministries to increase military exchanges at the local, regional, and division levels, thus facilitating the sharing of experience in training and building the armed forces of each country.

He also expressed his wish that that the two sides would continue maintaining all-level exchanges, considering it an important foundation to beef up cooperation between the two countries.

Gen. Tea Seiha, for his part, informed the host about the outcomes of his talks with Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang, saying that the two sides had looked into ways to boost bilateral defence ties.

Hailing the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence as an important partner of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defence, he took this occasion to thank the Vietnamese Party, State, army and people for their support and assistance to their Cambodian counterparts.

He said in the current new term of the Cambodian Government, there are many new members who are all striving to inherit and uphold the achievements made by previous generations to continue nurture the traditional friendship, comradeship and fraternity between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Huge potential for Luxembourg, Vietnan to cooperate in new areas: Official

Luxembourg and Vietnam can expand their cooperation in new areas based on the solid foundation of the bilateral relations, the European country's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn has said.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam – Luxembourg diplomatic relations (November 15, 1973-2023), he said that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has created bright prospects for Luxembourg enterprises who have shown their interest in the Vietnamese market.

At the Vietnam – Luxembourg Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City on May 5, Luxembourg Prime Minister Zavier Bettel expressed his wish for cooperation across the fields of green transition and digital transformation. 

In his visit to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, Bettel also highlighted collaboration strengths in green and sustainable finance between the two countries, the Luxembourg diplomat underscored.

Jean Asselborn said he believes that current efforts to bolster cooperation in air transport, banking-finance, Fintech as well as science-technology will be accelerated in the coming time.

He elaborated that the EU and its member states have seen the necessity to sharpen focus on promoting investment and growth in green and digital transition, adding Luxembourg has for years stepped up the implementation of green and sustainable measures while developing the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and circular economy.

Although several enterprises of both nations have worked together to provide green and clean solutions that help Vietnam deliver on its net-zero target by 2050, Luxembourg believes that further efforts should be put in place to respond to climate change, including sea level rise and floods which have damaging impact on many countries, the official stressed.

He also said that fruitful cooperation in multi-faceted fields, from transport, logistics and medical technology to digital service and banking, is a vivid illustration for the diversity of business opportunities that Vietnam has brought to Luxembourg firms.

The diplomat expressed his delight at the enhanced development assistance and economic exchange between the two nations over the past decade, stating Luxembourg has contributed to the impressive socio-economic development in Vietnam, while the Southeast Asian country has an important role to play in the global value chain which helps the nation draw a large amount of foreign investment, including those from Luxembourg. 

Recalling the visits to Luxembourg by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh last December, Minister of Finance Ho Duc Phoc in July, and a delegation from the Ministry of Science and Technology also in July, he stressed that the Vietnam is interested in cooperating with Luxembourg in economy, Fintech, and sustainable finance.

There is a community of hundreds of Luxembourg people in Vietnam, many of whom came to study and decided to stay there to work and contribute to the renovation and development of enterprises in the host nation, he said, adding they have given a helping hand in consolidating the friendship between Vietnam and Luxembourg.

He expressed his hope for further exchanges between the two peoples, universities and businesses, helping enhance the bilateral relations.

Kento and Oanh win first marathon in Tràng An home to national heritages

Kabashima Kento and Nguyễn Thị Oanh won the first Tràng An Marathon - Footstrike from the Heritage - on November 12 in Ninh Bình Province.

Japanese Kento finished his full marathon category in 2hr 58.19. He was followed by Vietnamese Bùi Hữu Hướng (3:02.34) and Nguyễn Văn Tuyển (3:12.46).

Oanh, the multi-time SEA Games champion, crossed the finish line after 2:57.14. Specialising in middle distance categories, Oanh has recently added marathon in her repertoire. Oanh has won several events in both full and half marathon classes.

In Ninh Bình, Oanh met almost no challenge from other runners to finish in top position, leaving far behind Nguyễn Thị Trà Giang (3:26.07) and Phạm Thị Mỹ Duyên (3:27.43) who were second and third, respectively.

Nguyễn Trung Cường, another national athletic team member, won the men's 21km gold with a time of 1:13.05.

Lê Văn Thao (1:16.12) and Nguyễn Xuân Sơn (1:18.14) secured silver and bronze

Former SEA Games champion Phạm Thị Huệ topped the podium in the women's category with a time of 1:23.42.

Cẩm Anh Hà (1:36.49) and Bùi Thị Bình (1:38.07) were more than 10min after her.

The winners of the 10km were national runners. National champion and former SEA Games winner Lương Đức Phước (35.11min) won in the men's class and ASEAN University Games 2022 champion Đoàn Thu Hằng (40.35) dominated the women's.

Athletes compete at the Tràng An Marathon -- Footstrike from the Heritage -- on November 12 in Ninh Bình Province.
Tạ Duy Bằng (19.51) and Bùi Thị Nhường (25.33) secured the men's and women's 5km categories.

The first marathon of Ninh Bình, jointly organised event by the provincial Culture and Sport Department and Vũ Media (VRace), featured about 3,000 athletes at the ancient capital of Hoa Lư, the special national relic site.

Organisers said they made strong efforts to give runners best experience and memories when passing through the thousand-year-old relics such as Temple of King Đinh Tiên Hoàng and King Lê Đại Hành, Bái Đính Pagoda, Am Tiên Cave and Tràng An Wharf.

The sport event was expected to introduce Ninh Bình's culture and beauty identities to a larger community and was one of a number of activities to promote tourism.

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