Lawmakers are expected to convene an extraordinary session in January 2023 to examine key issues, National Assembly General Secretary Bui Van Cuong said at the 17th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee on November 28.

The National Assembly will consider and decide on the national master plan in accordance with the Law on Planning, and pass the amended Law on Medical Examination and Treatment, said Cuong.

He went on to say, the lawmakers will examine some financial and budgetary issues, including the adjustment of budget allocations for the General Department of Taxation, and the General Department of Customs, supplements to state budget estimates of foreign non-refundable aid, and adjustments of lending capital of localities.

They will also give opinions on three bills relating to forces engaging in order-security protection at the grassroots level, road traffic order and safety, and amendment to the Law on People’s Public Security.

The extraordinary session will be convened in the first week of January 2023, concluded  National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue after considering options.

This will be the second extraordinary session of the 15th legislature, following the first held in early January 2022 when the lawmakers made timely decisions on fiscal and monetary policies for the implementation of the socio-economic recovery and development programme and deal with legal obstacles for national development.

NA Standing Committee convenes 17th session

The 17th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee opened in Hanoi on November 28, and will last only one day.

Under the chair of NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, the committee is scheduled to give opinions on the outcomes of the 4th session of the 15th National Assembly which concluded on November 15 and preparations for the legislature's 2nd extraordinary session and the 5th regular session in May next year. 

Regarding the NA’s 2nd extraordinary session, Hue said the Prime Minister has submitted to the NA Standing Committee seven urgent issues that need to be handled early, including the national master planning in 2021 – 2030, with a vision to 2050; a draft revised Law on Medical Examination and Treatment; and a number of financial and budgetary issues, including solutions to handle problems and inadequacies at some toll stations and transport infrastructure projects under the BOT investment form.
The NA Standing Committee will look into issues to be put on the agenda of the second extraordinary session. 

The committee will also consider and give opinions on a number of issues related to finance and budget, including the allocation of remaining capital from the central budget for the three national target programmes for poverty reduction, new-style rural area building and socio-economic development in ethnic minority-inhabited and mountainous areas, in the 2021-2025 period; and the adjustment of on-lending capital plan of localities in 2022. 

They will also comment on the signing of an agreement between the governments of Vietnam and the US on conditions for renovating, constructing and maintaining diplomatic sites of the two sides (COCA Agreement).

A proposal of the Prime Minister on the appointment and dismissal of Vietnamese Ambassadors abroad will also be considered and approved at the session.

Work symbolising Vietnam-Morocco relations inaugurated

The Vietnamese Embassy in Morocco has recently hosted a ceremony to launch a “Vietnam Gate” at Douar Sfari - the Vietnamese village in the outskirts of Kénitra city. 

On this occasion, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs Pham Quang Hieu sent a congratulatory letter and gifts to the Vietnamese community in Morocco.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Morocco Dang Thi Thu Ha highlighted the significance of the project, saying that the work imbued with Vietnamese culture aims to remind future generations of Vietnam and Morocco of the common memories of the two peoples, thus jointly contributing to the bilateral relations.

The Vietnam Gate in Morocco as well as the Moroccan Gate in Vietnam, which was build in Ba Vi, Hanoi in 1963, are symbols of friendship and common values shared between the two countries such as the love for peace, hospitality and gratitude, she said. 

Mustapha El Ktiri, High Commissioner for Veterans of Morocco, affirmed the Vietnam Gate in Morocco is a complement to the Moroccan Gate in Vietnam, helping to honour the common memories of the two peoples, contributing to promoting their cultural and historical values.

Meanwhile, Abdelilah Afifi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication of Morocco, said that the construction of the Vietnam Gate in Morocco further shows that the relationship between the two countries is being strengthened. 

Vietnam and Morocco established diplomatic relations on March 27, 1961. The Vietnamese community in Morocco was formed mainly from families with husbands being surrender soldiers during Vietnam’s resistance war against the French colonialists, and those who have moved to Morocco to live since 1972.

Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association celebrates 40th anniversary

The Switzerland-Vietnam Friendship Association (SVFA) marked its 40th founding anniversary in Zurich on November 26.

The event was attended by representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy, Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other organisations in Geneva, the Vietnamese Association in Switzerland and the Vietnamese community in the country.

Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Phung The Long reviewed the SVFA's contributions to the growth of ties between the two countries over the past four decades with many projects supporting the needy in Vietnam.

The diplomat pledged that the Vietnamese Embassy will always accompany the association to further foster the solidarity and mutual support between people of the two countries for peace and friendship among all nations in the world.

For her part, Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Vietnam's Permanent Mission to the UN, the World Trade Organisation and other organisations in Geneva highlighted the association's contributions to connecting friendship, enhancing the image of Vietnamese culture and people in Switzerland, teaching Vietnamese language, promoting people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, especially among the youngsters, and supporting the poor in difficult localities in Vietnam.

President of the SVFA Anjuska Weil underlined that over the course of its operation, the association has always pursued the motto of "exchange, information and understanding", which will be continued in the future.

Quang Binh boosts cooperation with Lao locality

Vietnam's central province of Quang Binh and Khammoune province of Laos have recently signed an agreement aimed at boosting their friendship and comprehensive cooperation. 

During their talks on November 25, representatives of the two sides discussed and agreed on cooperation orientations in 2023. 

Their liaison offices for preventing and controlling cross-border drug trafficking and crimes will devise regulations on sharing relevant information. 

The two sides will direct relevant sectors and agencies to coordinate in establishing twinning relationship between Langkhang village cluster of Khammoune's Bualapha district and Dan Hoa commune of Minh Hoa district in Quang Binh. 

They also agreed on implementing necessary procedures to open the Doc May-Lu Nghi pathway in the area of national landmark 552; and striving to complete the upgrade of the road from Langkhang village to Naphau border gate of Khammoune province. 

The two sides also agreed to deal with undocumented migrants and unregistered marriages in border areas shared between the two localities.

Buddhists convene national congress in Hanoi

The ninth national congress of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) officially opened in Hanoi on November 28 themed ‘Discipline - Responsibility - Solidarity – Development’.

During the three-day event, the Patronage Council and the Executive Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha will review the VBS’s achievements in the previous five years and set out strategic tasks for the development of Buddhism in the next five years (2022 - 2027).

The congress is expected to elect the new Patronage Council and Executive Council and ordain the Supreme Patriarch of the VBS for the 2022 - 2027 term. It will consider amendments to the VBS’ Charter and honour individuals and organisations for their contributions to Buddhism development over the past five years.

Nearly 1,100 Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns, and representatives of the Vietnam Buddhist Association overseas are expected to attend the congress.

Dak Lak spends more than $2.2 million to end elephant rides

The Dak Lak Central Highlands province will spend more than VNĐ55.4 billion (US$2.2 million) to convert the model of elephant-riding to elephant-friendly tourism.

The project is scheduled to be conducted from November 2022 to December 2026 with a sponsor from the Animal Asia Foundation (AAF).

It will be conducted in Buôn Đôn and Lắk districts.

The project aims to replace elephant riding tourism with a friendly tourism model.

Under the project, elephant herds will be preserved and looked after.

Elephant owners will be compensated for their lack of income.

Tourism centres will receive technical support to transform into an elephant-friendly tourism model.

Education and awareness-raising activities on elephant protection and conservation will be given to the community.

Statistics of the Đắk Lắk Centre for Elephant Conservation, Animal Rescue and Forest Protection Management show that from 2009 to 2021, 22 elephants in the province died due to different reasons. The province currently has 37 elephants in Lắk and Buôn Đôn districts. 

Digital transformation helps companies achieve breakthrough development
Companies making the digital transformation are better at coping with crisis and recovering from it, a forum titled ‘Hacking growth in the digital economy’ heard in HCM City on Friday.

Therefore, investment in it is worthwhile and helps companies achieve a breakthrough in development, attendees said.

Organised by TV Hub and VTV Digital, the forum attracted 1,000 experts, association members, SME owners, startups and investors, who shared their experiences in making the digital transformation and the lessons learnt.

A survey found only 15 per cent of businesses opting for digital transformation while 99 per cent of SMEs cannot afford it and consider it something meant only for big companies.

Just half a year ago consumers could not use QR codes to pay in traditional markets, he pointed out to underline his point.

To change the mindsets of company bosses, he said suppliers should show them the benefits the transformation could bring them. The Government should strengthen communication activities related to digital transformation, which it had done well so far, he said.

Other participants expected services, logistics and banking to be the sectors to embrace technology.

A delegate said 2023 was forecast to be a tough year and so companies would need deep pockets to afford digital transformation.

Viet Nam had favourable conditions to develop the digital economy with its young population, with GenZ and Gen Alpha accounting for over 42 per cent, delegates said. 

10 young talents receive Golden Globe Science-Technology Awards 2022

The Secretariat of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee yesterday held a ceremony for the Golden Globe Science and Technology Awards 2022, honoring 10 most outstanding young talents.

The 10 award winners are those with exceptional achievements in the fields of information technology, digital transformation and automation, pharmaceutical technology, biotechnology, environmental technology, new material technology.

Among them, many are the owners of practical patents, solutions, high-quality international publications, national and international awards. Five of these 10 winners are lecturers teaching and doing research in universities located in Ho Chi Minh City.

On this occasion, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee also delivered the ‘Vietnam Female Science-Technology Student Awards 2022’ to 20 outstanding female students.

Vietnam aims to boost children’s foreign language ability

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam yesterday signed a decision approving the program ‘Support for improving foreign language and international integration ability for Vietnamese youth in the 2022-2030 period’.

The program will be implemented both at home and abroad from 2022 to 2030.

The program focuses on the target group of Vietnamese youth with a special focus on target groups such as children, teenagers from low-income families, those in countryside regions, and students at vocational education institutions.

By 2030, Vietnam strives that all universities, colleges, high schools and specialized agencies in provinces and districts will establish one foreign language club or one foreign language association.

Space of UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritages opens in Bac Lieu

The "Space of convergence of Vietnamese Intangible Cultural Heritages’ quintessence" opened at the Cao Van Lau Theater in Bac Lieu City in the Mekong Delta province of the same name on November 27.

Intangible cultural heritages that have been honored and recognized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, representing the typical culture of ethnic minority groups  across the country include the cultural space of gong in the Central Highlands, Quan Ho (love duet singing), Ca Tru (ceremonial singing), Don Ca Tai Tu (Southern amateur music), Bai Choi singing, Cheo. 

Year-end painting exhibitions open in HCMC

Around 14 painting exhibitions have been organized in HCMC and Hanoi from November 25-27, showing the domestic painting market that is more attractive to people and art investors.

The display titled “Yesterday” of painter Tran Quoc Giang opened at the Eight Gallery, 8 Phung Khac Khoan Street in District 1. Some 40 exhibits, including 20 paintings presenting natural landscapes of Lai Thieu, Go Cong and Tien Giang will run until December 9.

Another show by Tran Quang Dung presents to painting lovers nearly 30 oil pictures at Huyen Art House, 8A Dang Tat Street in District 1’s Tan Dinh Ward.

“The wild dance” event of painter Hoang Vo will open from November 27 to December 1 at the HCMC Fine Arts Museum. About 70 artworks were made of various materials of acrylic, watercolor and Do paper in three recent years. Do paper (poonah paper) is made from the bark of the Do tree, which can be found in Vietnam's Northern region. This type of paper dating back hundreds of years ago has been used in Vietnamese folk art.

Bird flu virus found in three flocks of ducks in Quang Ngai Province

The  bird flu virus was found in three flocks of ducks with 2,240 birds in November in the Central Province of Quang Ngai. The provincial Sub-Department of Livestock Production and Veterinary Medicine has instructed people to implement measures to raise livestock and monitor the epidemic promptly. 

Right after test results showed that waterfowl in the province was positive for influenza A/H5N1 virus, Quang Ngai Sub-Department of Livestock and Veterinary Medicine coordinated with local authorities to immediately implement preventative measures to control the epidemic such as disinfection with Benkocid chemical, lime powder as well as killing 1,340 ducks in the herd.

According to the Quang Ngai Sub-Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, in the coming time, the risk of the introduction of the bird flu virus on poultry farms is higher because the weather is complicated at the moment; plus, through the results of monitoring samples, 38/168 samples taken in markets in Quang Ngai Province were found to be positive for influenza virus A/H5N1 and 4/168 samples were positive for influenza virus A/H5N6 the avian influenza virus since the beginning of the year.

Human resource training crucial to pushing VN into top agricultural producer

In the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s sustainable agriculture and rural development strategy for the period 2021-2030 with the vision to 2050, the Ministry set a target that the GDP growth rate of the agricultural sector will reach an average of 2.5 percent-3 percent a year; plus, Vietnam will be among the world's top agricultural producers by 2050. To achieve that goal, the training of highly qualified agricultural human resources plays a crucial role.

According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh An, Chief Representative of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Vietnam, from 1993 to now, ACIAR has invested in 243 research projects in Vietnam, worth AUD157.5 million. ACIAR has supported many research institutes so that more than 120 Vietnamese scientists can participate in postgraduate training programs in Australia and leadership enhancement programs through ACIAR scholarships.

Over the next five years, ACIAR commits a budget of AUD23 million to agricultural projects in Vietnam with a focus on long-term research aiming the contribution to the transformation of the food and food system.

In October, the Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap kicked off the project ‘Australia - Vietnam cooperation on sustainable rice value chains in the Mekong Delta' with a total budget of more than AUD5 million to raise awareness of 1.5 million farmers. This is an investment project in the form of public-private partnership, implemented by CIAR and SunRice Group in collaboration with An Giang University under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, the Can Tho University, and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute in three provinces including An Giang and Kien Giang and Dong Thap.

The project will be implemented from now to 2025, focusing on establishing an advanced center for milling and post-harvest processing plant in Dong Thap Province’s Lap Vo District as well as setting up a rice quality control faculty. Simultaneously, the project will take farmers, agricultural extension officers and researchers to advanced centers to improve their professional qualifications.

EU asked to help Vietnam develop marine economy

Vietnam expects the European Union will help the country develop its marine economy, including aquaculture and fishing, as well as marine transport logistics.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the request on November 28 while receiving Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, who is in Vietnam for the 2022 Green Economy Forum and Exhibition (GEFE) organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam).

Chinh said Vietnam attaches importance to implementing international commitments on forests, seas and oceans, agricultural development, and climate change response, noting this is a global issue, so a global approach is needed.

According to the PM, Vietnam is one of the countries heavily affected by climate change, especially in the Mekong Delta, and therefore it has developed green development programmes and strategies to minimize the impact of natural disasters on its economy and human life.

As a developing country with a low starting point, Vietnam holds it is necessary to ensure fairness and justice in the transition process. It expects it will receive international support and assistance, including from the EU, in terms of finance, science and technology, human resource training, management experience and legislation, in order to carry out its transition process, said Chinh.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that Sinkevicius would contribute to promoting cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, while proposing that the commissioner lobby EU member states to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), so that the agreement would be enforced soon to bring benefits to both sides.

Sinkevicius, for his part, highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in implementing green policies to combat climate change, including a roadmap towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Besides, the country has effectively cooperated with the EU in combating illegal fishing, saying this is a long-term issue and Vietnam needs to make a greater effort in order to achieve the desired results.

The commissioner also suggested that Vietnam pay more attention to and coordinate closely with the EU in forest protection and development, and in protecting biodiversity of forests, seas and oceans, including stepping up the fight against plastic waste.

Kochi-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Festival opens in Japan

The Kochi-Vietnam Cultural Exchange Festival has been organised in Kochi Prefecture, Japan, recently for first time in an effort to boost cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

Addressing the opening ceremony on November 27, Tsuji Akinori, chairman of the Kochi-Vietnam Exchange Association, expressed his hope that the festival would contribute to introducing the unique cultural characteristics as well as improving mutual understanding between Vietnam and Japan.

Okamura Shouichi, head of the Culture, Community and Sports Department of Kochi Prefecture, emphasised that the local government has always placed great importance on the contributions made by the expatriate communities residing in Kochi, including Vietnamese nationals. 

At present, the number of overseas Vietnamese in Kochi Prefecture has amounted to more than 1,200, becoming the largest expat community to reside in the locality.

For his part, Le Huy Hoang, head of the office from the Consulate General of Vietnam in Osaka, stressed that the Kochi-Vietnam Exchange Association and the Vietnamese community in the Japanese Prefecture would serve to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the two sides.

He voiced hope that the Kochi-Vietnam Exchange Association and local authorities would continue to organise a similar event in 2023, when both countries celebrate 50 years of bilateral diplomacy.

Remains of 11 Vietnamese martyrs found in Cambodia

As part of efforts to search and collect the remains of national martyrs, team K72 of the Binh Phuoc provincial Military Command have found 11 sets of remains of fallen soldiers who sacrificed their lives in Cambodia.

At present, one of the remains has been identified, with the other identities of the remains still being unknown.

The K72 team initially began its search for the remains of Vietnamese soldiers in Cambodia on November 7. As scheduled, the team will end the first phase of the 2022 - 2023 period on January 6, 2023.

The remains are expected to be repatriated and then re-buried at the martyrs’ cemetery in Binh Phuoc province.

Strong cold spell to hit Northern Vietnam this week

A srong cold air wave is moving toward Vietnam from the north and is expected to strike the northern and north-central regions in the middle of this week, according to the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

The air wave will reach the border on November 29 night and then affect northern and north-central regions in the following four to five days, said meteorologists.

This will be the strongest cold spell since the start of this winter that is forecast to cause temperatures to drop significantly to 12 to 9 degrees Celsius, they said.

Temperatures in the mountainous areas may fall to below 5 degrees Celsius, the weather experts warned.

Northern localities are currently enduring a warm air wave, with temperatures ranging between 25 and 33 degrees Celsius.

The capital of Hanoi is forecast to feel warmth on November 28-29 with daytime temperatures hovering around 30-33 degrees Celsius before tumbling to 14-16 degrees Celsius in the following two to three days when the cold front hits.

Vietnamese culture given platform to shine in the UK

A Vietnamese cultural programme themed “Fashion and Beauty” was held on November 27 in London, the UK, with the aim of promoting the beauty of Vietnamese culture to both British and international friends.

The event enjoyed the presence of Counsellor and Deputy Ambassador of Vietnam to the UK To Minh Thu, Dr Caroline Makaka, founder and CEO of Ladies of All Nations International (LOAN), Robbie Motter, founder and CEO of Global Society for Female Entrepreneurs (GSFE), and 300 guests from the Vietnamese community, organisations, and associations in the UK.

A number of activities were also held during the programme, including an exhibition on Ao Dai (the traditional Vietnamese long dress), a painting exhibition, art performances, and a food festival.

The highlight of the programme was Miss Ao Dai Vietnam in the UK, attracting the participation of more than 50 Vietnamese contestants living, working, and studying in the UK.

According to Minh Hoang, head of the programme's organising board, the event aimed to popularise traditional Vietnamese cultural values among international friends, whilst simultaneously contributing to preserving the identity of the Vietnamese community in the UK.

Dr Shellie Hunt, a guest of honour of the event, stressed that the cultural scheme would help to raise public awareness of both Vietnamese people and culture, as well as the beauty of Vietnamese women, through the pageant.

Ha Nam hosts Vietnam – Japan traditional art exchange

A traditional art exchange programme between Vietnam and Japan was held in the northern province of Ha Nam on November 27, as part of the activities to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

At the programme, artists from Ha Nam Provincial Culture and Arts Centre performed cheo (Vietnamese traditional opera), while Japanese artists introduced Vietnamese audiences to performances of Kyogen comedy, the first comedic art form in Japan with a long history of 650 years.

Kyogen is a traditional art form that Japan is proud to introduce to international friends and has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage.

Japanese Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Watanabe Shige said that Japan’s Kyogen and Vietnam’s cheo have similarities. He expressed his hope that the two countries will boost mutual understanding through the traditional art exchange programme.

Exhibition highlights precious documents of Ho Dynasty Citadel

An exhibition featuring Thanh Hoa cultural heritage is underway in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, as part of activities held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

In particular, the exhibition introduces many precious images and documents about the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, which was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage in 2011.

Thanh Hoa is home to many cultural heritage sites, including the Lam Kinh Special Relic Site, Con Moong Cave, Ba Trieu Temple and Le Hoan Temple Historic Sites, Ben En National Park, and games and performances which have been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage such as Chieng game and Cau Ngu festival.

A number of world heritage sites in other provinces and cities are also showcased at the exhibition namely Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary.

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