Japan’s press agencies have highlighted President Vo Van Thuong’s ongoing official visit to the country, especially the elevation of bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the World.
The Japanese government’s official website on November 27 ran an article on the talks between President Thuong and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, which took place earlier the same day.
With the theme of “Japan, Vietnam to strengthen security and economic ties,” another article published by Japan Today on November 28 said the announcement of the new partnership meant that Japan has now gained the status of Vietnam’s “top-tier partner.”
It cited Kishida as saying at a joint press conference after their meeting that Vietnam is “a key partner in achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Thuong also said that close cooperation between the two countries contributes to the region's peace and prosperity, according to the article.
“Kishida and Thuong agreed to expand their cooperation in wide range of areas from trade, climate change and economy to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it said.
Public broadcaster NHK and Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) also covered the meetings between the Vietnamese leader and former Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan Nikai Toshihiro, former PM Yoshihide Suga, and members of the Japan-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance.
President Thuong’s visit from November 27-30 is his first official visit to Japan as the head of state, and the fourth by a Vietnamese State leader since the two countries set up their diplomatic relations 50 years ago.
It is taking place in the context that Vietnam and Japan have enjoyed fruitful cooperation in all fields.
Japan’s foreign ministry spotlights elevation of Vietnam-Japan relations
The official website of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 27 prominently featured information about the talks between President Vo Van Thuong and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, with a focus on their concurrence in elevating the countries’ relationship to the "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia and the World".
According to the ministry, the two leaders held a candid exchange of views for the future development of bilateral relations under the new partnership.
In the economic field, Kishida expressed his desire to further strengthen cooperation with Vietnam, an important supply chain hub and one of the most promising investment destinations, in order to realise a "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Partnership (FOIP)" and to promote initiatives that will lead to growth and vitality of the entire region.
Thuong supported Kishida’s statement, and the two sides confirmed their further collaboration on major ODA and investment projects.
The two sides concurred to cooperate in the high-tech sector, digital transformation (DX), and green transformation (GX). The leaders said they will work together for the success of the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Summit to be held on the occasion of the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in December.
In the security field, both sides agreed to expand defence exchanges and promote cooperation for the transfer of defence equipment. They welcomed the recent provision of training-related equipment to the Vietnam Coast Guard Education and Training Centre, and concurred in proceeding with cooperation through such programmes as the “Official Security Assistance (OSA)”.
Kishida stated that Vietnamese human resources are essential for Japan's socio-economic development, while Thuong expressed his hope for further cooperation from the Japanese government to strengthen people-to-people exchange, including among the younger generation, and to enable Vietnamese residents in Japan to play an even more active role.
Concerning regional and international affairs, the two leaders shared their view to work more closely together in dealing with regional and international affairs, including the ASEAN-Japan commemorative summit, the East Sea issue, and the realisation of a “World without Nuclear Weapons".
Following the meeting, the leaders issued a joint statement, announced the elevation of the Japan-Vietnam ties, and witnessed the exchange of cooperation documents.
PM’s attendance at COP28, Turkey visit look towards sustainable development: Deputy FM
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will announce Vietnam’s new initiatives and commitments at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in joint efforts against climate change, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet.
In an interview granted to the press ahead of the PM’s trip to attend the World Climate Action Summit (WCAS) within COP28, hold bilateral activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and pay an official visit to Turkey from November 29 to December 3, Viet stressed the significance of the summit in the context that climate change remains the biggest challenge and the greatest public concern globally this year.
Therefore, Vietnam hopes that COP28 will reap tangible outcomes, especially in the areas of top concern, according to the official.
Viet elaborated that the participating countries are expected to take stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embark on sustainable, just energy transition.
Developed countries should fulfill their commitments, especially to financial support and technology transfer to developing nations in this process, he continued, adding that the conference is expected to put forth a clear, feasible global adaptation target framework.
The Loss and Damage Fund should be put in place soon for a new, larger financial source in support of developing countries and others most severely affected by climate change, he said.
For Vietnam, after the PM announced the country’s commitments to net zero emissions by 2050 at COP26, which was held in the UK in 2021, the government and ministries, agencies, and localities have taken drastic, specific actions to achieve the goal, Viet noted, taking the examples of the approval of National Power Development Plan VIII, and the country’s joining the political declaration on the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in order to attract resources to its just energy transition.
Asked about Chinh’s Turkey visit and bilateral activities in the UAE, the Deputy FM said they are of special importance as Vietnam is celebrating the 45th anniversary of its diplomatic ties with Turkey, and the 30th anniversary of its diplomatic ties with the UAE.
This is also the first official visit by a Vietnamese PM to Turkey, Viet emphasised.
The trip is expected to contribute to consolidating political trust and creating new, breakthrough momentum for cooperation between Vietnam and Turkey and the UAE in all fields, from economy, trade and investment to new areas like innovation, science-technology and energy.
It will also help implement Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, and multilateralisation and diversification of foreign relations, the official said.
This is the PM's second visit to the Middle East within two months, following his attendance at ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (ASEAN-GCC) summit and bilateral activities in Saudi Arabia in October, reflecting Vietnam's clear interest in promoting multifaceted cooperation with the region, he went on.
Apart from meetings with high-ranking leaders and politicians from other countries, the PM will attend and deliver speeches at business forums and seminars, and receive representatives from leading enterprises, corporations, and investment funds of Turkey and the UAE, thereby facilitating Vietnamese exports, attracting new, high-quality investment flows, and expanding collaboration in new fields, towards the goal of sustainable development, Viet said.
HCM City beefs up collaboration with RoK’s province
Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Van Nen on November 27 received a visiting delegation from the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Gyeongsangbuk province led by its Governor Lee Cheol Woo.
Nen expressed his delight at the growing ties between Vietnam and the RoK as well as the sound collaboration between the city and the RoK in general and the province in particular.
He underlined that along with previous visits, this visit by the delegation has paved the way for the promotion of friendship and cooperation between the two localities.
Hailing the organisation of the HCM City- Gyeongsangbuk culture and tourism festival, Nen held that it is necessary to pay greater attention to the development of bilateral cooperation in culture to make it match the bilateral economic collaboration.
He emphasised that the relations between Vietnam and the RoK is thriving strongly thanks to a large Vietnamese community in the RoK and the RoK community in Vietnam.
For his part, Lee underscored the close ties between the two peoples, adding that his province is hosting a large number of Vietnamese people and a Vietnamese village is under construction there, featuring the typical beauty of Vietnamese culture.
The similarity in culture is an important factor helping reinforce and promote the friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as Gyeongsangbuk and HCM City, he said.
On November 27 evening, the HCM City- Gyeongsangbuk culture and tourism festival kicked off in HCM City.
Addressing the opening, Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc said that he believes the festival will help promote the image of the province to local residents, while contributing to bolstering cultural and tourism collaboration between the two localities and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and the RoK.
Lee highlighted the strong bond between the RoK and Vietnam, stressing that his province is strong in tourism with six UNESCO-recognised cultural heritage and expressing his hope that Vietnam and Gyeongsangbuk will continue to expand exchanges to further develop partnership between the two countries.
The festival will run until November 29.
Romania's National Day celebrated in HCM City
The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organizations (HUFO) on November 27 held a ceremony to celebrate the 105th anniversary of Romania's National Day (December 1, 1918 - 2023).
Speaking at the event, President of the Vietnam - Romania Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Truong Giang highlighted the historical significance of Romania's National Day, saying in 2023, his association has taken activities to support and accompany the Romanian Embassy in Vietnam. It serves as a bridge promoting solidarity, friendship, and cooperation between the people of the city in particular and Vietnam in general and the Romanian people.
For her part, Cristina Romila, Romanian Ambassador to Vietnam, said that Romania and Vietnam have a long-standing traditional friendship which has been nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries.
The relations have seen various positive results in recent times, especially in the exchange of high-level delegations as well as in the fields of culture, education, and people-to-people exchange.
On this occasion, Ambassador Cristina Romila thanked the Vietnam - Romania Friendship Association and the HUFO for working closely with the embassy to successfully implement cultural exchanges, trade promotion activities and people-to-people diplomacy, contributing to enhancing the bilateral ties.
Ceremony celebrates 50-year Vietnam-France diplomatic ties
The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association on November 27 held a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-France diplomatic relations (1973-2023).
Representatives from Vietnamese agencies, ministries, and organisations and the French Embassy in Vietnam, French organisations, and businesses attended the event.
Speaking at the ceremony, VUFO President Phan Anh Son said that for years, the Governments and people of Vietnam and France always treasured and constantly cultivated the two countries’ relations in all fields and at all levels.
He emphasised that during the past 50 years, along with the Party's and State’s foreign affairs activities, people-to-people exchanges have made practical contributions to strengthening mutual understanding, promoting diverse and effective cooperation in all fields, and creating a solid foundation for bilateral relations to develop.
Nguyen Thuy Anh, President of the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association, said that France has been not only Vietnam’s leading economic and trade partner in Europe and the largest European donor to Vietnam for decades, but also the country with which Vietnam has the most vibrant people-to-people exchanges, she said, adding that medicine, education, science, technology, culture, and tourism are areas where the people of the two countries have been cultivating a strong and cohesive relationship.
French Ambassador to Vietnam Olivier Brochet appreciated the role of the VUFO, the Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association, and friendship organisations of the two countries in organising many foreign affairs activities that help consolidate and develop the friendship, solidarity, and cooperation between the two nations over the past years.
He affirmed he is willing to support and create favourable conditions for strengthening people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
At the celebration, participants enjoyed some famous French music performances staged by Vietnamese artists and students.
NA chairman hails successful organisation of 9th global conference on young parliamentarians
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on November 27 hailed agencies and localities for the success of the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians that took place in Hanoi from September 14-18.
Chairing a meeting to review the event organisation, the NA Chairman said that the conference's success is beyond expectations as leaders of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), and domestic and international delegates appreciated the preparation and results of the event.
The conference achieved its set goals, contributing to enhancing the prestige of the Vietnamese National Assembly and promoting the images of the land, people, and culture of Vietnam.
Hue praised the organising committee for choosing the conference theme “The Role of Young People in Promoting the Realisation of Sustainable Development Goals via Digital Transformation and Innovations”, with discussions highlighting the role of young people in accelerating the realisation of sustainable development goals through digital transformation and innovation.
The conference adopted its first-ever statement after nine editions, demonstrating the determination, high consensus, and strong commitment of the young parliamentarians to implementing sustainable development goals globally.
The NA Chairman praised the information and communication work before, during, and after the conference by news agencies and media.
He also hailed the organising committee, subcommittees, the NA’s Foreign Affairs Committee, ministries, agencies, provinces, and cities such as Hanoi, Bac Ninh and Quang Ninh for their contributions to the conference.
On this occasion, 13 collectives and 28 individuals were awarded the Certificates of Merit from the Chairman of the NA Office, including the Vietnam News Agency and Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
Training course on int'l humanitarian law for Vietnamese peacekeepers opens
The Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations on November 27 coordinated with agencies of the Ministry of National Defence and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to organise a training course on the International Humanitarian Law for officers and personnel who are expected to join Vietnam’s Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 6 and Engineering Unit Rotation 3.
A total of 156 trainees took part in the four-day training course which provides them with basic and essential knowledge about the International Humanitarian Law, conflict environments, those who are protected under the law, and kinds of violations.
This is the first training course for peacekeepers expected to participate in the Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 6 and Engineer Unit Rotation 3 before they take UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan and Abyei.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations Colonel Nguyen Nhu Canh emphasised that understanding the conflict environment and international principles of ensuring humanitarian and human rights will help Vietnamese peacekeepers to be well prepared for their jobs.
The training course also contributes to consolidating and strengthening cooperation in the field of United Nations peacekeeping between Vietnam and the ICRC, he said.
Lloyd Gillett, a senior expert on the armed forces from ICRC Bangkok (Thailand), said that during the training process, trainees also learn about the law on military operations, the application of the International Humanitarian Law in peace support activities; commander's responsibilities as well as content related to sexual violence in conflicts.
He said the International Humanitarian Law is not just a set of rules that need to be applied and followed, but also an effective tool for commanders at all levels to develop military plans.
Since 2015, the ICRC has supported the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations to organise similar training activities. Over the past time, the two sides have always strived to maintain important training activities even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Friendship exchange held between Vietnam, China front organisations
A delegation of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) led by Vice Chairman of the 14th CPPCC National Committee Wang Yong arrived Vietnam on November 27 for the 2nd friendship exchange with the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh.
Vice president of the VFF Central Committee Hoang Cong Thuy led a delegation to welcome the guests.
Speaking at the welcoming ceremony, the Vietnamese official said the CPPCC delegation’s visit, which follows the other visits by leaders of Vietnam and China, helps tighten the two countries’ relations in general and the cooperation between the two agencies in particular.
The year 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. Thus, the two countries have been increasing friendship exchanges, strengthening cooperation in various fields, and paying further attention to promoting the comprehensive cooperation and deepening connections in economy, trade and tourism.
Those contribute to concretising and promoting the realisation of common perceptions reached by the two countries' highest ranking leaders, helping with the continued stable, healthy and sustainable development of Vietnam - China relations in the coming time.
The coordination to organise the second friendship exchange between the VFF and the CPPCC in Quang Ninh is vivid evidence and practical activity to concretise the common perceptions, especially in the field of people-to-people exchange.
The event helps strengthen mutual understanding and promote friendship between the two agencies, contributing to the growth of relations between the two nations and between their people as well.
Embassy delegation visits Vietnamese students in Israel
A delegation of the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel led by Ambassador Ly Duc Trung on November 26 visited Vietnamese students at the Arava International Center for Agriculture Training (AICAT) in the south of Israel as the Israel-Hamas temporary truce came into effect on November 24.
About 80 Vietnamese students are studying at the AICAT and all of them are safe now.
Trung said that the visit aims to get detailed information about the safety of the Vietnamese students and encourages them to keep in touch with Vietnamese authorities and their families as well as follow the centre’s requirements for studying schemes and recommendations from authorities in the host country.
The ambassador called on the students to support each other to overcome difficulties and complete their training courses.
The ambassador also discussed with the centre’s representatives about measures to support and ensure safety for students and attract more Vietnamese students to the centre in the coming time.
AICAT Executive Director Hanni Arnon said that the students are part of the community there and they are protected like other members of the community.
The centre instructs the students to respond to warning signals and recommends they not leave Arave at this time as the place is safe now.
Over the past time, the embassy has kept contact with Vietnamese students through social networks, organising online meetings to update the situation and guide them how to stay safe.
About 500 Vietnamese expatriates and nearly 200 students, along with a number of temporary workers, are now in Israel. All are safe as they live far from conflict zones.
Vice President’s visits to Denmark, Norway help consolidate traditional friendship: Diplomat
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan’s official visits to Denmark and Norway from November 20-25 was an opportunity for Vietnam to consolidate the friendship with its traditional partners, while bolstering cooperation amidst rapid changes in the world and development in each country, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang has said.
In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, the diplomat said the visits to Denmark and Norway, the first made by Xuan, aimed at carrying out the 13th National Party Congress’ foreign policy of independence and self-reliance for peace, friendship, cooperation and development, multilateralisation and diversification of foreign relations, and deepening relations with traditional partners.
The visits were a vivid illustration for Vietnam’s respect for Denmark and Norway – the two friendship partners in Northern Europe which have supported Vietnam during the country’s struggle for national independence in the past, and its current cause of national construction and development, she said.
Furthermore, the trips will make contributions to enhancing the relations with the two countries which set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam more than 50 years ago, she said, adding Xuan’s visit to Denmark took place at the time when Vietnam and Denmark marked the 10th anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership, and right after the two nations established a green strategic partnership, while this was the first visit to Norway by a Vietnamese high-ranking leader after nearly five years.
Hang highlighted that the visits showed the resolve to expand the traditional friendship and cooperation, which helped open up new cooperative opportunities on the basis of mutual benefits, and strengthen collaboration and support each other at multilateral forums.
Hang went on to say that the visits demonstrated the Party and State’s care for Vietnamese expats, including more than 23,000 in Norway, and over 16,000 in Denmark.
During her stay, Xuan held talks with Danish and Norwegian leaders and received ministers and enterprises of both nations.
The visits are expected to contribute to consolidating political trust between Vietnam and Denmark and Norway, Hang said, adding leaders of both countries affirmed that they have attached much importance to boosting the relations with Vietnam in their policies in the region, and agreed to enhance delegation exchanges at all levels, promote the roles of bilateral cooperation frameworks and mechanisms, and closely work with Vietnam at multilateral forums as well as regional and international organisations.
Hang stressed that Xuan’s visits created new impetus for the collaboration between Vietnam and the two countries in economy-trade-investment, especially in the fields of Denmark and Norway’s strengths, and Vietnam’s interests such as renewable energy, sea-based economy, environment and manufacturing.
Danish leaders agreed to join hands with Vietnam to carry out the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and support the European Commission’s removal of its “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood.
Meanwhile, Norwegian leaders said they support the early conclusion and signing of a free trade deal between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
Leading enterprises from the two European countries, including CIP, Vestas, Lego, Equinor, Eagle Technology and Stena Recycling, said Vietnam holds huge potential to attract foreign investments.
The two nations, boasting strengths in science-technology and considerable experience in renewable energy and climate change response, said they support Vietnam in the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and its commitment to net-zero target by 2050, including financial support, technology transfer and human resources training.
Additionally, the visits contributed greatly to stepping up cooperation with Denmark and Norway across the fields of culture, sports, tourism, healthcare, education, gender equality, child protection, and people-to-people exchanges.
Based on the outcomes of the trips, competent ministries, sectors and branches will continue coordination and carry out specific measures to promote cooperative relations with Denmark and Norway into a stronger fashion, meeting the aspirations of their people, and contributing to regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development.
NA deputies debate draft revised Capital Law
National Assembly (NA) deputies underlined the need to give more power to the People’s Council of Hanoi in different fields while discussing the draft revised Capital Law on November 27 as part of their ongoing sixth session.
Duong Khac Mai, a representative from the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong held that promoting decentralisation to the city People’s Council in deciding the establishment, re-organisation and dissolving of specialised agencies and special administrative organisations under the People's Committee of Hanoi and local districts and townships will make state management activities more flexible.
Commenting on the draft revised Capital Law’s content on the attraction and use of talents and high-quality human resources development, Mai said that this is an important issue which is expected to create a "push" in terms of mechanism to attract, utilise, and develop high-quality human resources for the city.
However, the deputy asserted that it is necessary to give more power to the municipal People’s Council in issuing documents stipulating more detail regulations on the subjects of attraction, recruitment and appointment policies as well as support policies for talents, while building a suitable working environment for them to ensure their highest contributions to the city.
Giving opinions on the number of deputies to the Hanoi People’s Council, Nguyen Quoc Luan, a representative of Yen Bai province, agreed on the need to increase the number from 95 to 125. He explained that as once the People’s Councils in districts and wards no longer exist, the role and responsibility in examining, supervising and deciding on important issues will be assumed by the city People’s Council. Therefore, the increase in the number of city People's Council representatives is reasonable, he added.
In addition, Luan suggested the proportion of full-time deputies be increased from 25% to at least 30-40% to ensure the operational efficiency of the municipal People’s Council.
He also proposed that the NA consider the supplementation of power to the standing members of the Hanoi People’s Council in working with the city People’s Committee in dealing with issues arising between working sessions of the council.
Echoing Luan, deputy Nguyen Thi Viet Nga from Hai Duong representative said that the increase in the number of deputies to the Hanoi People’s Council to 125 is necessary as the city is one of the two localities with the largest population in the country, with an annual population rise of 1.4%.
At the same time, Hoang Quoc Khanh, a representative of Lai Chau province recommended that the head of the People's Council Office be a member of the People's Council.
Also on November 27, the deputies also reviewed the pilot implementation of the urban government model in Hanoi and Da Nang, and the three-year application of the model in Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam, UK bolster education cooperation
A delegation from the Ministry of Education and Training, led by Deputy Minister Hoang Minh Son, paid a working visit to the UK on November 20-23 to enhance cooperation between education establishments of the two sides.
Attending the British Council’s Going Global conference and a ceremony to launch the Transnational Education strategy in Edinburgh on November 20, Son discussed the sustainability of the strategy and the ability to expand it in Vietnam, and highlighted opportunities and challenges in the field.
At the Vietnam – UK principals’ forum on cooperation between institutes/schools and enterprises for sustainable development the same day, Son affirmed that higher education establishments in Vietnam and the UK have enhanced collaboration across training, research and academic exchange.
He valued UK’s support for Vietnam to improve its higher education quality, enhance cooperation between universities of both sides in innovation, digital transformation, energy transition, and human resources development, and better the quality of English teaching and learning in the Vietnamese education system.
Son had bilateral meetings with officials from the UK Department for Education and Department of International Trade, and representatives from the British Council on November 22.
At the events, both sides discussed measures to promote cooperation and support for Vietnam in digital transformation in education, AI development, semiconductor, green energy, and emissions reduction.
Besides, the opening of the UK top-ranked universities’ branches in Vietnam was also on the table.
On November 22 and 23, the working delegation visited and had working sessions with the Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge to set up education cooperation.
During the delegation’s stay in the European country, nine Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between Vietnam and British universities, enterprises, and the association of Vietnamese intellectuals in the UK and Ireland.
Hà Nội to accelerate digital transformation, focus on measurable results
|A resident in Hà Nội registers for his digital signature with the help from technology company staff. — VNA/VNS Photo
The capital city of Hà Nội has been rolling out multiple initiatives to accelerate digital transformation, as experts agree that technology application is key to growth.
One of the key guidelines for the city's digitalisation process is Resolution No 18-NQ/TU of the city’s Party Committee on digital transformation and smart city development to 2025, with a vision to 2030 which was issued in November 2022.
Last year, Hà Nội jumped 16 places in the Digital Transformation Index (DTI) to rank 24th out of 63 cities and provinces.
The capital city placed 18th nationwide in the digital economy development index (up 20 ranks compared to 2021), and 30th in the digital society development index (up 17 ranks compared to 2021).
The city’s departments and district-level People’s Committee have also been working with tech companies to issue nearly 39,000 digital signatures free of charge for Hà Nội citizens, with the aim of facilitating transactions and procedures on digital platforms.
In the central Hoàn Kiếm District, a campaign has been launched to promote cashless payments, which is considered a pilot to scale up the model to the entire city.
Hà Minh Hải, vice chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee said: “It is a must to eliminate formality in digital transformation.
“Our actions must be practical, effective and lead to measurable results.”
People working in digital transformation must pioneer and be determined to shift the working processes to inspire and lead others, he added.
Experts believe that it is a must to accelerate data utilisation to generate more value for both businesses and their customers.
This is an aspect that many companies are facing challenges in their digital transformation progress, having moved past concerns about funding, human resources and the transition period.
With rich experiences in providing digital services to approximately 500,000 businesses in Việt Nam, Viettel Group pointed out that some of the main obstacles in digital transformation today are a matter of data integration and connection, in addition to data quality for management and operations, exploring new values and making decisions based on data, and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) among businesses.
Sharing the same perspective, Nguyễn Thượng Tường Minh, CEO of tech solutions provider Base said that a significant number of companies are “overwhelmed” by complex technology that leads to incoherent and fragmented workflows that span various platforms.
This is why managers could not fully take advantage of the resources and identify the key issues in the overall picture to make decisions based on data, he said.
According to Đỗ Thị Thu Hà, senior partner at KPMG Việt Nam and Cambodia, a majority of businesses have turned a profit from investing in data management and analysis.
However, challenges remain in addressing scattered blocks of data that are not fully integrated into their systems, she said.
KPMG also recently published a global tech report, which was conducted with 2,100 businesses that have a minimum annual revenue of US$100 million from digital transformation.
The document revealed that most companies understand the advantages that digital transformation brings to their business, as well as customer experience and employee satisfaction.
Approximately 66 per cent of the companies surveyed have made efforts in digital transformation and data analysis to improve profits and productivity in the past 12 months.
On average, around 15 per cent of these businesses can regularly generate profits from monitored indications in data management.
Hà Thanh Tùng, chairman of data analysis firm Metric said that a survey showed 60 per cent of companies well conduct their market research through data will see higher profits than those that do not.
Around 54 per cent of businesses also agreed that data analysis directly impacts revenues, he said.
“A business that knows how to leverage big data has a 25 per cent chance of doubling its profits,” he added.
Base CEO Nguyễn Thượng Tường Minh said that good data utilisation will boost organisational management.
In fact, many businesses have been investing in internal data systems, which allow for faster decision-making processes and improvement in results.
Speaking from his experience assisting digital transformation in enterprises, deputy CEO of Viettel Solutions Đoàn Đại Phong said that firms that know how to analyse and leverage data will have more chance of success and growth compared to those that follow the conventional, more traditional paths.
Therefore, each business must have a data-based development strategy to better understand its customers and optimise the production process.
Đồng Tháp Province successfully develops New Rural Area models
The southern province of Đồng Tháp now has 109 communes recognised by the provincial People's Committee as meeting new rural standards, reaching 94.78 per cent of the target.
Eighteen communes are recognised as meeting advanced rural standards, reaching 52.94 per cent, and five units completed the new rural task including Sa Đéc, Cao Lãnh and Hồng Ngự cities, and Tháp Mười and Cao Lãnh districts.
It is expected that by the end of this year, three more districts will meet new rural standards, reaching 60 per cent of the target.
After more than 10 years of implementing the National Target Programme on building New Rural Areas, rural areas in Đồng Tháp Province have seen comprehensive changes in all fields.
The material and spiritual lives of the people are increasingly improved, contributing to sustainable socio-economic development.
This result is thanks to the firm leadership and direction of the provincial leaders, the consensus and creativity of people actively participating in many effective economic development models.
A number of outstanding and effective agricultural models in the process of implementing new rural development associated with agricultural restructuring have been replicated in many localities in the province.
A typical example is the "My Mango Trees" model of Mỹ Xương Mango Co-operative with the form of organising sales on the website, contributing to spreading the "Cao Lãnh Mango" brand far.
The "Smart Rice Farming" model of Mỹ Đông Co-operative 2 piloted on an area of 7.6ha of five households has cut costs by 50 per cent and increased productivity by more than 10 per cent.
Up to now, this model has been replicated to 60ha and products were committed to market by trading businesses from the beginning of the season.
In addition, the "Community Tourism" model at Tư Cá Linh Homestay in Tam Nông District, Flower-Fog House, Bamboo House and Rose House in Sa Đéc city have offered tourists back-to-nature services and family activities such as growing flowers, raising frogs, catching fish and experiencing rural life, so visitors can have real experiences about the lives of Đồng Tháp people.
In particular, many "clubhouses" have been established and developed from the implementation of the National Target Programme on Building New Rural Areas.
To date, the entire province has 92 "clubhouses" with nearly 5,000 members, and has deployed 110 operating models associated with each typical local industry and profession, creating new trends in production co-operation. Accordingly, the associations have proactively innovated their thinking and approached new science, engineering and technology in production which help improve the quality of the collective economy and bring practical benefits to farmers.
Up to now, the whole province has 357 One Commune One Product (OCOP) certified products reaching from three to four stars that are sold in shops in tourism areas.
Notably, in the process of building new rural areas in Đồng Tháp Province, many good models and creative ways of doing things have been replicated and developed, bringing practical benefits to farmers.
In order to create conditions for clubhouses to operate effectively, the provincial Party Committee and governments have directed functional branches to increase training in information technology and application of scientific advances, provide market information and computers, and install fibre optic transmission lines to quickly implement digital transformation process in agricultural production, consumption and linking production along the value chain.
Currently, the clubs have signed with businesses to consume products. The signing has helped raise awareness for farmers in production to ensure requirements and standards of food quality and safety.
Therefore, many members who participate in the production model at the request of consuming partners become the foundation for the formation and development of new co-operatives.
Up to now, there have been six safe agricultural produce co-operatives established on the basis of farmers' clubs, thereby opening up a new direction, consistent with the orientation of agricultural restructuring associated with new rural construction of the province.
Ngô Trường Sơn, Chief of the Central New Rural Co-ordination Office, said the appearance and vitality of the countryside must serve the people and be created by the people, that is the sustainable development direction of Vietnamese rural areas and is the target of the new rural construction process.
To do that, building new rural areas requires the initiative and creativity of people and communities to build a unique rural space for each locality, Sơn said
That is also a way to build "liveable countryside", contributing to improving people's quality of life, preserving and promoting the landscape and traditional cultural values of each Vietnamese countryside, he said.
That is also the mission and role of the clubhouses in the coming time. The clubhouse model will hopefully spread more strongly to other provinces.
“Up to now, it can be affirmed that the clubhouse is a suitable model. Practice shows that the clubhouse model has promoted positive effects in implementing the new rural construction programme associated with restructuring the agricultural sector of Đồng Tháp Province," Sơn said.
Đồng Tháp strives that by 2025, rural people's income will increase 1.6 times compared to 2020 (equivalent to VNĐ75.2 million (US$3,100) per year year).
The poverty rate will decrease by an average of 0.4% per year, and by 2025 the poverty rate will decrease to less than 3 per cent, the rate of people participating in health insurance will reach 95 per cent, the rate of households using clean water will reach 98 per cent, and the rate of trained workers will reach 79 per cent.
To achieve the goals set out in Plan 102/KH-UBND, the province leaders have directed localities to build a roadmap with better focus to accelerate the National Target Programme for New Rural Development.
At the same time, the local departments and branches were asked to regularly co-ordinate to remove difficulties in implementing projects on schedule related to infrastructure, transport and environment, as well as promote new models and practices in building cultural institutions and community learning centres, and proactively forecast the market for key commodity industries to proactively regulate and create stable output for agricultural products, well exploit the potential of each key product industry and enhance processing industry of agricultural products.
Regarding sustainable poverty reduction, the province required departments and relevant offices to promote good state management in supporting people to create livelihoods, stable jobs and incomes, and continue to introduce good production models and effective methods in implementing poverty reduction.
The provincial Party Secretary Lê Quốc Phong said that although the new rural district criteria have changed in a more difficult and demanding direction, localities have made strong efforts to achieve the encouraging results.
Phong asked local governments to set up more concrete roadmaps to soon reach the new rural development targets.
“The province's viewpoint is to always share, care and create conditions for localities in the process of building new rural areas,” Phong said.
“For any locality to be recognised as a new rural area, the material and spiritual living conditions of the people must be improved," he said.
Private theatre offers French drama
The Hồng Hạc Drama Stage will introduce a taste of France by offering new versions of works by Honoré de Balzac, Catherine Arley and Marc Levy.
Eugénie Grandet is an experimental play on money and love adapted from novelist and playwright Balzac’s novel Eugénie Grandet released in 1839.
The Vietnamese version is written by Việt Linh, who is talented and well-known in both theatre and movies. She is also a founder and art director of Hồng Hạc Drama Stage.
Linh’s play is about a wealthy but miserly Felix Grandet whose deeds lead to tragedy for his daughter Eugénie and himself.
It brings messages about the hypocrisy and shallowness of wealthy people and how money controls their lives.
It stars young artists Lê Chi Na, Thanh Tuấn, Lương Mỹ and Hồng Đào in leading roles.
The play’s director Tây Phong has worked to perfect his production with beautiful costumes, choreography, music, lighting and visual effects.
Other new plays adapted from writers Arley and Levy are À cloche coeur released in 1981 and Toutes ces choses qu'on ne s'est pas dites released in 2008.
The two Vietnamese versions feature a taste of French theatrical plays. The private Hồng Hạc Drama Stage began in 2015. Its owners, Linh and theatre director Phạm Hoàng Nam, and young actors have worked hard to offer experimental shows with new concepts and techniques.
“Live theatre evokes physical, emotional and social reactions; and helps young audiences develop a healthy appreciation of culture and the arts,” said Linh, in an interview with local media before opening Hồng Hạc Drama Stage.
Linh, 70, began her movie direction career in 1971. She studied in the Russian State Institute of Cinematography for five years before working for the State-owned Giải Phóng (Liberation) Film Studio in HCM City in 1985.
Her films have been shown in Russia, France, Australia and the US.
Her most popular works are Chung Cư (The Residential Building) released in 1999 and Mê Thảo Thời Vang Bóng (A Glorious Time in Mê Thảo Hamlet) released in 2002. These won top prizes for best film, actor and actress at national film festivals.
Hồng Hạc Drama Stage’s new plays will be staged on weekends in December at the Thanh Niên Theatre, 4 Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street, District 1.
Lai sets tournament record at Hanoi Midnight, becomes fastest runner of 2023
Nguyễn Văn Lai set a new tournament record, winning the VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight 2023 on November 26.
The former SEA Games champion finished first in a time of 2hr 25.04min, setting a new height in the men's full marathon category.
The previous record of 2:31.00 was set by Trịnh Quốc Lượng in the 2020 edition.
The 42km class lured a number of strong runners such as Lê Tấn Hi, Trương Văn Quân, Nguyễn Quốc Anh and Vũ Đình Duân. It was considered a tough race and difficult to predict the winner.
However, Lai did not meet any challenges from rivals. He went solo from the beginning to the end of the race.
Despite the record, Lai was not totally pleased with the result as it was four seconds short of his target.
"In cool weather conditions and with direct opponents, my achievement may not just have been a new record," Lai told Việt Nam News.
"The midnight run was organised at an unusual time which deviated from the circadian rhythm also causing challenges for runners to push up the pace.
"My goal will be sub 2:25 (running 42km under 2.25hr) before I think about plans to compete internationally and a new national record," said Lai who first won a full marathon event at the VnExpress Marathon Huế earlier this year.
Lai was Việt Nam's legendary runner in the 5,000m and 10,000m categories as he dominated the domestic and SEA Games competition for more than a decade.
He stepped back from international tournaments last year but is still an unbeatable rival locally. He just secured two golds at the National Athletics Championships last month in Hà Nội.
With November 26's result, Lai has become the fastest marathoner of 2023.
Quốc Anh came second, nearly 11 minutes after him. Văn Tâm was third at 2:40.20.
On the women's side, national team member Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ did not meet any difficulty to win the top podium. She finished in a time of 2:56.06.
She was followed by Nông Thị Trang (3:09.59) and Tạ Thị Minh Nghĩa (3:11.20).
While the full marathon was a solo performance of the two former SEA Games champions, the half marathons were competitive until the final meters.
Nguyễn Trung Cường and Hà Văn Nhật set up a dual race on the men's side, while Bùi Thị Thu Hà and Đoàn Thu Hằng were arch-rivals in the women's.
Both pairs ran neck-and-neck throughout the race. None of them establish a gap larger than 2m against their rivals.
Only a few hundred meters before the finish, SEA Games' 3,000m steeplechase winner Cường made a fast sprint to cross the finish line first in a time of 1:16.37, melting Nhật's plan to take the title to celebrate his birthday.
Nhật was second at 1:16.42, just five seconds after Cường. Đinh Thanh Huệ came third at 1:16.55 to take bronze.
Minutes later, Hà passed Hằng, also in the last meters, to secure her title with a time of 1:18.57.
Hằng tried her best but could only be the second finisher on 1:19.05.
About 11,000 runners take part in the VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight 2023 on November 26.
In the 10km categories, Nguyễn Kim Bảo Ngọc came from behind to win the men's title, clocking 35.25min.
Kenji Oyama of Japan was second with 35.30, followed by Nguyễn Duy Đạt at 35.51.
Phạm Thị Huệ dominated the women's race, finishing after 36.25.
Đặng Thị Thu Phương (49.26) and Nguyễn Thị Mai (51.04) were second and third, respectively.
The 5km run saw SEA Games silver medallist Lương Đức Phước take the men's gold and Nguyễn Thị Chuyên earned the women's top position.
The midnight run featured about 11,000 marathoners in newly designed courses that spanned five districts and passed through the city's famous landmarks.
About 2,000 children were also invited to run in the Kun Marathon as an effort of the organisers to popularise sports passion to the wider community.
Cambodia National Assembly leader to visit Vietnam
Chairman of the National Assembly of Cambodia Samdech Khuon Sudary will pay an official visit to Vietnam from November 30 to December 2, according to the Vietnamese National Assembly Committee for Foreign Affairs.
The visit has been made at the invitation of Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue, the committee said in its press communique on November 27.
RoK’s Chungcheong region enhances tourism cooperation with Ha Long
Authorities and the tourism sector of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Chungcheong region are seeking ways to boost tourism cooperation with Ha Long Bay – a UNESCO-recognised World Natural Heritage in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
According to the tourism council of the region which comprises Daejeon, Sejong, South Chungcheong, and North Chungcheong, recently representatives from the RoK discussed with those from Vietnamese localities on the opening of a direct air route between Cheongju and Van Don airports, and other measures to promote exchanges between the two countries.
Earlier, representatives from the tourism council of the region visited Ha Long city where they signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Vietnamese tourism sector.
A Ha Long K-Street imbued with the Korean style is expected to be put into operation next April, with an aim to promote the country’s culture in the city.
Ha Long Bay attracts around 14 million tourists each year.
Bac Giang pays heed to developing high-quality personnel
Authorities of the northern province of Bac Giang will pay attention to developing a contingent of cadres and public employees with adequate qualifications and high professionalism in order to meet the requirements of the new situation, according to the provincial Department of Home Affairs.
The Party Committees and authorities at all levels as well as agencies in the province are required to thoroughly grasp the Party's views and ideology on personnel work, considering this a decisive factor in the success of each agency and unit.
Cadres and public employees must meet the requirements in all terms of politics, ideology, ethics, lifestyle, working capacity and professional qualifications.
The locality will concentrate on improving the quality of personal planning work and continue to implement personnel rotation along with building and perfecting open, transparent, and democratic competition mechanisms in appointing and promoting cadres and public employees.
Bac Giang will also reform the recruitment and treatment policies for cadres and public employees, and work to ensure comprehensiveness, fairness, and objectivity in evaluating their performance.
In the coming time, the province will continue to implement policies to attract and train young female employees, as well as policies and incentives for cadres and civil servants working in specific industries and disadvantaged areas, in order to attract quality human resources.
Bac Giang will push ahead with the rearrangement of administrative agencies and public service units associated with personnel streamlining in accordance with the set plan (Photo: baobacgiang.com.vn)
The province will push ahead with the rearrangement of administrative agencies and public service units associated with personnel streamlining in accordance with the set plan. Regulations will be set for the numbers of staff for organisations in the political system based on the work requirements.
At the same time, the method and curriculum of training for public employees will be reformed, with regular refresher and professional training in State management and professional skills based on job positions provided for them with the aim of enhancing the quality of the contingent.
In addition, Bac Giang has promoted decentralisation along with power supervision through regulations and rules, ensuring democracy, openness, transparency and promoting the accountability of cadres and civil servants in performing public duties at agencies and localities.
The locality has also strengthened inspection and supervision of the performance of public duties and enforcement of policies related to civil servants and public employees, and promptly handed related violations.
According to the provincial Department of Home Affairs, the province has 1,856 cadres, of whom 13 hold doctors' degrees, 761 people have master's degrees, and 1,024 people with bachelor's degrees.
The total number of public employees in the province is 34,670, with nine holding PhD degrees, 1,309 master's degrees, and 25,794 with bachelor's degrees.
Meanwhile, among 2,253 cadres and civil servants at communal level, 90.9% have bachelor's degrees and 2.09% have higher degrees.
Bac Giang is among the first localities to implement the re-arrangement and consolidation of the organisational system of administrative agencies and public service units in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Party Central Committee, decrees of the Government, and related documents.
Since 2021, the Department of Home Affairs has held 20 courses in State management for 1,940 cadres and civil servants, 25 courses in professional training for 2,525 public employees and 16 refresher courses for 1,600 communal cadres.
Co-operation between member countries key to Mekong sub-region sustainability: forum
Co-operation between its various countries is key to promoting sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region, speakers told a forum held last Friday in HCM City.
Speaking at the third Mekong International Forum, Dr Phạm Lan Dung, acting director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said the Mekong sub-region plays a strategic role in the integration and economic growth of Asia.
It sustains over 60 million people in its basin and provides a quarter of the world’s freshwater fish and 15 per cent of its rice, she said.
Despite its rich potential and geostrategic importance, it faces challenges due to the lack of co-ordination among the Mekong countries, she said.
Countries are aware of the problem, but it is not easy to solve it due to differences in interests between development partners and the various countries and between the countries themselves, she added.
Florian C. Feyerabend, director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Foundation Vietnam, spoke about the economic strength of the sub-region, particularly the Mekong Delta, but also its vulnerability to climate change, including rising sea levels, saltwater intrusion, droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events.
Experts called for more practical solutions to address them, , including a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of sub-regional cooperation mechanisms.
It is also vital to foster sharing of information, knowledge and experience between experts, scientists and policymakers in the sub-region, they said.
Winding almost 3,000 miles from the Tibetan plateau to the East Sea, the Mekong accounts the world’s largest inland fish catch.
The sub-region countries include Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Việt Nam.
The event, titled “Improving the effectiveness of coordination between Mekong sub-region cooperation mechanisms, towards sustainable development,” was jointly organised by the diplomatic academy’s Institute of Diplomatic Strategic Studies and the foundation.
It was attended by 150 delegates, including officials from embassies and consulates and several provinces and cities in the delta.
Cultural heritages create resources for national development
Safeguarding and promoting cultural heritages fulfil the cultural aspirations of the people, building an integrated Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity and generating resources for the overall development of Vietnam.
Vietnam boasts a wealth of cultural diversity thanks to its numerous ethnic groups. As each group possesses a distinct cultural identity, they collectively form a rich and varied cultural heritage. Safeguarding and promoting this cultural heritage fulfils the cultural aspirations of the people while building an integrated Vietnamese culture imbued with national identity. It also generates resources for the overall development of Vietnam.
Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, each with its own language, customs, and traditions. Despite their differences, they come together to confront natural disasters and external threats, working collectively to develop and safeguard the nation. These diverse subcultures evolve side by side and harmonize to foster unity within the rich tapestry of Vietnamese culture.
According to the Department of Cultural Heritage, Vietnam’s 40,000 historical and cultural relics and scenic spots include 10,000 provincial and municipal level relics, 3,600 national relics, and 130 special national relics. Vietnam has some 8,000 festivals that celebrate local customs, practices, performing arts, crafts, cuisine, and costumes.
From a handful of museums constructed at the end of the 19th century, Vietnam has developed a modern museum system that includes 180 institutions that collectively house more than 4 million artifacts, relics, and antiques reflecting local, regional, or national culture.
Vietnam has had 33 world heritages acknowledged by UNESCO over the past 30 years, 30 of them designated as cultural heritages. These cultural treasures are a priceless legacy left by our ancestors that attests to the enduring nature of Vietnamese culture. These heritages show to the world the visual, spiritual, and historical depth and significance of Vietnamese culture past and present.
Throughout national construction and development, Vietnam has consistently recognized and valued cultural heritage as the embodiment of national identity and a valuable resource for national development. Decree 65, the inaugural decree on cultural heritage preservation signed by President Ho Chi Minh on November 23, 1945, states "Preserving cultural heritage is of paramount importance and necessity in Vietnam’s national development."
Subsequently, a multitude of legal instruments on the preservation of cultural heritage have been adopted, progressively attaining a more cohesive, inclusive, and detailed legal framework. These include the 2001 Law on Cultural Heritage, the Law amending and supplementing the 2009 Law on Cultural Heritage, and other legislative provisions to safeguard and promote the cultural heritage of Vietnam.
To adapt to societal changes, and to establish a legal framework for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism is collecting public input on the revised draft Law on Cultural Heritage.
For this initiative, the Ministry is concentrating on three key policy areas, one of which is the mobilization of resources to safeguard and promote Vietnam’s cultural heritage.
The draft law clarifies regulations protecting and promoting cultural heritage, introduces new provisions for the "Cultural Heritage Preservation Fund," and proposes amendments to clarify the roles and responsibilities of social organizations in these endeavors. It also outlines a direction for, and adjustments to, community management and protection of intangible cultural heritages, emphasizing sustainable development and integration.
The revised Law on Cultural Heritage is slated for presentation to the next National Assembly session in 2024.
Safeguarding and enhancing cultural heritages is the collective responsibility of the people, who have a pivotal role in the protection, preservation, transmission, and promotion of cultural heritage. Communities who live in proximity to these heritages have a heightened awareness of their significance, which fosters pride and instills a sense of responsibility for their protection. The preservation of cultural heritages gives a distinctive character to tourism in each locale, which helps the economic development of Vietnam’s provinces and cities.
Culture creates a nation’s identity and is the essence of its soul. As long as the culture thrives, the nation endures.
Vietnam-Russia cultural exchange in Da Nang excites crowds
A cultural exchange between Vietnam and Russia was held in Da Nang on November 26 as part of activities to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of diplomatic relations Vietnam and Russia.
Ho Ky Minh, vice chairman of the Da Nang municipal People’s Committee, expressed his hope that the programme would serve to introduce Russian culture to people in Da Nang, and also to promote Vietnamese culture to Russian friends.
Da Nang will continue to push for further cooperation with localities of the Russian Federation in tourism, trade, and education, as well as people-to-people diplomacy to contribute to the development of long-standing friendship between Vietnam and Russia, he noted.
The programme attracted nearly 500 delegates along with a large number of local residents in Da Nang, as well as Russian citizens living and working in the central city.
Participants were treated to vibrant art performances put on by Russian artists and students of Da Nang University.
They were also given the chance to sample traditional cuisine from both countries, buy souvenirs, and try famous Russian cosmetic, pharmaceuticals, and a variety of typical products of Da Nang.
Plane ticket prices skyrocket ahead of Tet holiday
According to air ticketing agents, there are tickets available for the upcoming Tet holidays. However, airfares are rising sharply on almost every route.
Flights from HCMC to Hanoi and provinces in the central region still see a large number of seats that are priced at ceiling levels.
Accordingly, a return economic-class ticket is priced around VND7 million for HCMC-Hanoi flights departing on February 7, 2024 (on the 28th day of the last lunar month) and leaving on February 15, 2024 (on the 6th day of the first month of the lunar calendar).
Passengers want to choose cheap red-eye flights but there is only a limited number of air tickets on sale. Only a few night flights departing from HCMC at 11:50 pm and arriving in Hanoi at 1:55 am on February 7, 2024, have the lowest price of up to VND6.4 million (US$264).
Economy tickets for some flights from HCMC to Vinh, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, and from Hanoi to Phu Quoc, Da Nang and Nha Trang have been also sold out in spite of the high prices.
Airlines plan to provide 5.5 million domestic air tickets during the Tet holiday, up 36.8 percent compared to the same period last year. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAV) has asked carriers to add more night flights to respond to the spike in travel demand during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday season.
However, airlines have cautiously increased flights due to rising input costs and revenue deficit. Some have even reduced their aircraft because of soaring rental prices. Of these, Bamboo Airways whittled the number of 30 aircraft down to 11, pacific Airlines removed 11 aircraft from its fleet to six, Vietravel Airlines cut its fleet from six to three, Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air have maintained their groups of planes of nearly 100 each.
The CAV has required carriers to provide passenger booking data and increase more night flights when the occupancy rate of seats reaches 70 percent.
Southeast region needs special national mechanism for sustainable growth
The Southeast Regional Coordination Council and the Planning and Investment Ministry yesterday co-held a conference themed ‘Consultation on planning for the Southeast region in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050’.
In his speech, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung stated that the Southeast region planning serves the goals of actively making ways for development, increasing inter-regional connections, identifying and addressing interdisciplinary or inter-regional issues, offering scientific and logical space for sustainable inter-regional development via effective uses of existing resources.
In the process of preparing for this planning, the Planning and Investment Ministry has paid several investigation visits to the six localities in the region. It has also worked with professional management units in related ministries to form a consistent measure for the growth of different industries and fields after reviewing and comparing major planning documents of all concerned localities.
In the meeting, Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission Nguyen Hong Son commented that regional planning is critical for the tasks of orienting future development, allocating space, attracting resources, co-protecting water sources, adapting to climate change, and connecting neighboring localities in the region. Therefore, this planning must be carefully prepared using an innovative mind and vision.
The representative of Dong Nai Province suggested the construction of railway and road systems to link to Long Thanh International Airport as well as the expansion of the HCMC – Long Thanh Expressway. The Tay Ninh Province counterpart mentioned the urgent need of building the HCMC – Moc Bai Expressway, and the Binh Duong Province one recommended the establishment of a number of green industrial parks and urban areas.
Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Phan Van Mai proposed that there must be a high development scenario for the Southeast region since this is the No.1 key economic zone with a high integration capacity and international competitiveness.
It is necessary at the Governmental level to allocate 30-50 percent of the national resources to this region by 2030 for a faster growth rate of two digits in the next 10-20 years. This means a special national mechanism saved especially for the region in order for it to focus on hi-tech industry, high-quality services.
In his conclusion speech, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed that Vietnam now has sufficient conditions to transform the Southeast region into the largest socio-economic center and the development model of the country.
Highly potential as it is, this region is still subject to limited policies and mechanisms and outdated strategic infrastructure. Hence, the Prime Minister asked that the preparation of the Southeast region planning should use long-term strategic thinking and breakthrough approaches, taking into account the factors of humans, natural resources, and culture-history. The first is the core, the second is the foundation, and the third is the driving force. The internal resources are the basic, decisive factor, whereas the external is crucial.
Prime Minister Chinh requested that the Ministry of Planning and Investment urgently finish this fundamental planning and present it to the Assessment Council before submitting it to him for approval in December 2023.
HCMC collects opinions to complete its master plan to 2040
Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Van Mai on November 15 said that he highly appreciated the contributions of scientists and experts, and hoped they would continue to help HCMC complete its master plan to 2040 with a vision to 2060.
Speaking at a conference on adjusting HCMC’s master plan to 2040 with a vision to 2060, the Chairman of the municipal People's Committee suggested the consulting unit, the Department of Planning and Architecture, experts, and delegates evaluate the results of the implementation of HCMC’s general planning.
At the meeting, participants especially focused on issues, such as multi-center urban development, transport infrastructure connecting to Can Gio urban area, underground space development, climate change response scenarios, water supply, and drainage system.
Delegates also paid attention to the construction of large-scale urban centers at gateways to create resettlement areas for residents, increasing population density and building regional social infrastructure at the gateways with stations on the inter-regional railway system, building a number of modern, cultural, environmentally friendly and creative urban areas to attract highly qualified workforce for construction of a financial center in HCMC.
According to the consulting unit, HCMC currently has five areas gathering entrepreneurs and a highly qualified workforce, including districts 1 and 3; Thu Thiem new urban area, and Thao Dien – Thanh Da- Truong Tho in Thu Duc City; Phu My Hung Urban Area; and Cho Lon (Chinatown) in District 5.
The urban design should be based on the unique ecological identity of seven typical areas of the city, including historical urban areas, spontaneous urban areas, riverside urban areas, flooded urban areas, canal urban areas, agricultural urban areas, and coastal urban areas, to ensure the continuity of ecological functions in the urban space to create a new urban experience serving residents and attracting visitors.
Chairman of HCMC People's Committee Phan Van Mai assigned the Department of Planning and Architecture and the consulting units to collect opinions and suggestions from delegates.
He pledged that the municipal authorities will strive to complete the city’s master plan based on opinions and suggestions from scientists and experts to submit a report to the Executive Committee of the HCMC Party Committee and the HCMC People’s Council at the end of December and the Ministry of Construction in January 2024.
The HCMC People’s Committee will pay attention to directing departments, Thu Duc City, and districts as well as create favorable conditions for the units to complete the documents.