An artisan from Hạ Thái Village decorates on a lacquerware item. 

Vietnamese outstanding artisans and handicraft products will be celebrated at the first craft village conservation and development festival that takes place at Thăng Long Imperial Citadel from November 9-12.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Việt Nam currently has over 5,000 craft villages, providing jobs for about 1.58 million labourers with an average monthly income of around VNĐ5-6 million (US$205 - 246) per person. Particularly, Hà Nội is home to over 50 per cent of the total number of craft villages in the country.

Many craft villages in Hà Nội, some as old as 500 to 1,000 years, have become well-known nationally and globally, such as Vạn Phúc silk village, Đông Hồ folk painting village and Bát Tràng pottery village.

“This is a significant activity aimed at preserving, reenacting, and promoting the traditional cultural values of the nation while forming contemporary cultural features of Vietnamese craft villages, among which those in Hà Nội serve as a central hub to spread these values to other localities,” said Director of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Nguyễn Minh Tiến.

“It is expected to boost consumption, increasing the value of craft products and developing tourism in craft villages, thereby generating more jobs and narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas,” he noted.

The highlights of the festival include the ceremony honouring 100 exemplary artisans and skilled craftsmen nationwide, and an international fair showcasing typical handicraft and specialty products of not only Việt Nam but also of other countries such as Laos, Indonesia, Thailand and Russia.

Its 300 booths exhibit and introduce notable handicraft products from traditional craft villages nationwide like Bát Tràng pottery, Mỹ Đức silk, Hạ Thái lacquerware and Chu Đậu ceramics, among others.

Outstanding artisans will be invited to demonstrate and showcase their skills at making various crafts such as wood carving, embroidery, silk weaving, conical hat making, pottery and bronze casting.

Within the framework of the festival, there will be several other organised activities. They include artistic programmes representing the cultural traditions of various craft villages, an international workshop on conservation and development of craft villages, a workshop on building a silk cocoon raw material region and the award ceremony of Vietnam Handicraft Product Competition 2023.

Việt Nam has set a target of reaching $6 billion in exports of handicraft products, a substantial increase from the $2.4 billion achieved in 2022. 

Germany’s Thüringen state an important partner of Vietnam: Foreign Minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son hosted a reception for Minister-President of German Federal State of Thüringen Bodo Ramelow in Hanoi on November 6.

Thüringen and Germany as a whole are important partners of Vietnam, he affirmed, expressing his belief that Bodo Ramelow’s working visit to the country will provide a fresh impetus for the bilateral relations, benefiting localities and businesses of both sides.

With a view to developing ties, Son suggested Thüringen State to support the German Parliament to approve the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), elaborating the deal will open up new cooperation opportunities for business communities, investors, and localities of both nations.

The official also suggested Thüringen step up cooperation with Vietnamese partners across the fields of its strengths such as agriculture, high technology, processing and manufacturing.

Both sides should enhance human resources training cooperation in various sectors, Son said, affirming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will help promote connection between Thüringen and competent ministries, sectors, localities, and businesses in Vietnam.

He took the occasion to thank Thüringen for its support for the Vietnamese people who are living and working in the state.
Bodo Ramelow, for his part, affirmed that Thüringen wants to become a trustworthy partner of Vietnam – a dynamic market with great potential for cooperation in the region.

He agreed with Son’s recommendations on measures to boost bilateral trade, stressing Thüringen stands ready to serve as a bridge for Vietnamese enterprises to access the German and many other European markets.

The official said he will accompany Vietnam in human resources training, particularly in the fields of environment, energy transition, circular economy, and health care.

He spoke highly of the contributions that more than 4,000 Vietnamese people in the state have made to its socioeconomic development, highlighting that the state has carried out a wide range of incentives to ensure employment, social integration and cultural identity of the Vietnamese community.

As part of his working trip to Vietnam, Bodo Ramelow and his entourage had meetings with several ministries and localities, including Hanoi, Phu Tho, and Da Nang, and organised activities to connect businesses of both sides.

Vietnamese volunteer veterans, former experts visit Cambodia

A delegation of Vietnamese volunteer veterans,  former experts, and representatives from families of Vietnamese soldiers killed in the Cambodian battlefield paid a visit to Northwest Battambang and Siem Reap provinces of Cambodia from November 3-7.

Addressing a meeting between the delegation and leaders of Siem Reap, Chairman of the provincial council Ian Khun thanked the Vietnamese Government and People’s Army for their support for the Cambodian government and people in the past and at present, especially the priceless sacrifice of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers to help liberate the Cambodian people from the genocidal regime in 1979.

He highlighted the increasing cooperation between Siem Reap and Vietnamese localities and mentioned the coordination with the Vietnamese side in searching for the remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in the Cambodian locality.

Trinh Vinh Pha, Vice President of the Vietnam – Cambodia Friendship Association, said that the trip aims to further strengthen the long-lasting friendship between the two nations.

He hoped the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the Party, State, Government, and people of Vietnam and Cambodia would grow stronger in the future.

Previously, in a reception for the delegation, Governor of Battambang Sok Lou said the locality established twinning relationships with many localities of Vietnam, such as Tra Vinh, Tay Ninh, Long An, Quang Nam, and Da Nang. These bonds show the strong cooperation between the two sides.

Battambang has been also coordinating with Long An in searching for and repatriating remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts in the locality, he said.

During their stay, the Vietnamese delegation also met Vice President of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Chairman of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association Samdech Men Sam An, and Secretary of State of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defence General Neang Phat.

HCM City marks Russian October Revolution

A get-together to celebrate the 106th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution (November 7, 1917 - 2023) was held by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) on November 7.

Addressing the event, Chairman of the  Vietnam - Russia Friendship Association (VRFA) Hoang Minh Nhan spotlighted the significance of the Revolution, saying that it left a great influence on the revolution in Vietnam and its subsequent developments.

The Revolution laid the foundation for the traditional relationship between Vietnam and Russia, which has stood the test of time, he noted.

The relations are developing constantly across all spheres,he said adding that both sides have regularly had meetings and exchanged delegations at all levels.

Valery Mikhailovich Karchagin from the Russian Consulate General in HCM City said the strengthening of the comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam is one of Russia's top priorities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Party official highlights relationship with China in Vietnam’s foreign policy

The Party, State and people of Vietnam always view the relationship with China as a strategic choice and a top priority in the country’s foreign policy, a high-ranking Vietnamese Party official affirmed on November 7.

Politburo member, Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and Chairman of its Inspection Commission Tran Cam Tu made the affirmation at a meeting with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China Zhao Leji in Beijing as part of the former’s visit to the neighbouring country.

Tu conveyed regards from National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue to Zhao, and congratulated the Chinese Party, State and people on their achievements over the past time.

He also briefed the Chinese official on Vietnam's socio-economic development, Party building and fight against corruption and other negative phenomena.
Informing Zhao about outcomes of his talks with Li Xi, Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s Commission for Discipline Inspection, Tu emphasised the importance of maintaining high-level exchanges and contacts, as well as cooperation via all channels.  

Zhao, for his part, also noted that the Party and Government of China regards Vietnam as a priority in the country’s neighbourhood diplomacy, and his belief that Tu’s visit will contribute to further concertising common perceptions reached by the two Party chiefs.

The NPC stands ready to enhance cooperation with Vietnam to promote high-level exchanges as well as those between specialised committees, friendship parliamentarians’ groups, and people’s councils of localities, share experience in law-making, and coordinate with Vietnam in regional and international forums, he affirmed.

The official commended achievements Vietnam has recorded, particularly in Party building and corruption combat, and expressed his belief that the collaboration of the two Parties’ inspection agencies will contribute to raising the leadership of each Party, as well as the relations between the two Parties and countries in the new situation.

Vietnam named first destination in IOC’s community sport-healthcare initiative

Vietnam is among the five countries mentioned and the first destination of the international cooperation initiative on community sports and health, said Susanne Gaerte, Senior Manager of Olympism 365 – a strategy by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) aimed at strengthening the role of sport as an important enabler for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Gaerte unveiled the information at a working session with the Sports Authority of Vietnam in Hanoi on November 7. The initiative is carried out by the IOC and PATH, an international, nonprofit global health organisation, to promote Olympism 365. It targets the establishment of national groups comprising healthcare and sports-related entities in at least five countries to jointly implement community programmes involving sports. The goal is to help 1 million people assess opportunities to participate in physical activities and get benefit from them.

At the meeting, Nguyen Thi Chien, deputy head of the authority’s office of sports for all, stated the Vietnamese Party, State and Government pay significant attention to community sport programmes. Many sport activities for the public have been regularly organised, attracting a large number of participants, thereby contributing to raising people’s awareness on physical practices.

Expressing her delight at the attention, Gaerte said she believes it will be a favourable starting point for the implementation of the initiative in Vietnam.

To translate the initiative into reality, she proposed conducting a series of consultations and gathering input from relevant parties in the fields of sports and health, therefore drafting a framework for the action plan.

The two sides also discussed various matters of mutual concerns, including infrastructure, human resources, policies, and collaboration among relevant ministries and sectors, to ensure that the plan meets the criteria of safety, comprehensiveness, and sustainability.

IBA champion Thảo back in action at Hồ Tràm Rumble

Việt Nam world champion Trần Văn Thảo will fight Mexican elite Kenbun Torres at the international WBO Global Title Match: Hồ Tràm Rumble on November 18 in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province.

The event will consist of six thrilling bouts featuring boxers from 10 countries at The Grand Ho Tram Resort and Casino. It is organised by Cocky Buffalo, leading company in martial art training and events, and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO). It will also be broadcast live on VTVcab.

Local supporters will be glued to the fight with the IBA champion Thảo facing Torres in the feather (54kg) category.

Thảo is back to action more than a year since he beat Andrew Laurio last September to become the first world boxing champion of Việt Nam, taking an IBA belt.

The former WBC Asia champion has recorded 15 wins (10KOs) and one loss.

Meanwhile Torres has fought 16 times and has 12 wins (nine KOs) and four losses (two KOs).

"I have prepared very carefully for this match," said Thảo.

"My rival is strong but I will have local support. Hope that I can bring into play my strong point to win."

In the main card, DianXing Zhu of China will fight to keep his WBO Global minimum weight (47.5kg) against Thai Sanchai Yotboon.

Zhu owns an impressive record of 10 wins (nine knock-outs) in his 11 matches.

The 27-year-old is currently the world No 12. He is the champion of the WBC Asian minimumweight category.

In July he defeated Vietnamese Sẳm Minh Phát to secure his right to fight for the WBO title this weekend.

Yotboon is younger at 26 but more experienced with 18 appearances in the rings and earned 12 wins (eight KOs).

He is No 2 in his home town and No 70 in the world. He is in best form with three wins in a row recently.

Another fight featuring a Vietnamese competitor is in the feather class between Thái Hoàng Huy (four wins (two KOs) and one loss) and Maobi Ngaka of Botswana (two wins, one draw, one loss).

It will be a match between a former Muay Thai fighter switching to boxing and a country leading athlete who is called Botswana's 'The Eagle'.

In other bouts, veteran Genesis Servania of the Philippines who has 34 wins in 38 matches will face Indonesian Waldo Sabu who won 14 in 29 bouts in the light weight class.

Mikhail Lesnikov of Russia will take on Manish of India in the super lightweigh.

South Korean Suh Joo Hwan will face Chinese Liu Mingwei in the super welterweight division.

Along with competitive matches, a party of music and dance performances will make it a entertaining night for supporters at The Grand Ho Tram. 

Trade unions better take care of informal workers in HCM City

Labour unions have better taken care of and protected the legitimate rights and interests of employees, especially informal workers, increasing the trust of the informal workers in the trade union over the past years in HCM City.

Statistics of the Hồ Chí Minh City Federation of Labour showed that the city has established an additional 118 trade unions since 2019, with the participation of nearly 6,000 members; bringing the total number of trade unions to 152 with more than 7,000 members in the city.

The members are mainly domestic workers, porters, bike-taxi drivers, and builders. Most of them are in difficult circumstances.

The trade unions have supported social, health, and motorbike insurance for the members; visited and given gifts to people who are ill or in difficult circumstances; organised training courses to help them improve their professional skills or given legal support to them if needed.

Trịnh Ngọc Trân, of Ward 16, District 8, said she had worked as a porter at Bình Tây Market for more than 37 years.

She often earned about VNĐ170,000 (US$7) daily in the past. But now, she only earns about VNĐ70,000-80,000 ($2.8-3.2) daily because the demand for goods was lower than before, she said.

“Thanks to supporting policies for poor households from the local trade union, my life is less difficult,” she said.

Nguyễn Thanh Phong, head of Bình Tây Market’s Trade Union, which was set up to take care of porters' lives at the market, said that the trade union had coordinated with security forces to carry and protect goods for small traders at the market.

The trade union had 64 members. Since participating in the trade union, the porters have worked more responsibly. Most of them also wanted to borrow capital from the policy for poor households to improve their lives and escape poverty, he said.

Võ Anh Kiệt, a member of the Bike-taxi Trade Union in Tân Định Ward, District 1, said the uniform that the trade union gave him and other bike-taxi drivers for delivering goods created more reputation for them when they worked for small traders at Tân Định Market.

Thus, Kiệt and his colleagues earned more and had a more stable life, he said.

Võ Anh Dũng, head of the Bike-taxi Trade Union in District 1, said thanks to participation in the trade union, members often shared and helped each other to overcome difficulties in life.

Besides, the members also worked more responsibly, he said.

The city’s Federation of Labour said the role of the trade union was not only to protect rights but also to connect and listen to the thoughts and aspirations of workers, increasingly attracting a large number of workers to participate.

Huỳnh Vĩnh Lâm, deputy chairman of the District 1’s Federation of Labour, said that the establishment of the trade union had created favourable conditions for informal workers to work and raise their awareness of improving the quality of life.

Thereby, many union members not only participate actively in worker movements but also in preventing and fighting against crime in the city, he said.

Nguyễn Thành Đô, head of the Legal Policy Department under the city’s Federation of Labour, said despite the achievements, the trade unions had not fully covered all the informal labour force.

Đô said the trade unions had to work harder to take care of more informal workers in the future so that trade unions could become a fulcrum for workers in the informal sector, a place to help them stabilise their work, make a living, and give legal support to them.

Currently, the trade union had been organising many training programmes, creating conditions for union members to interact, exchange experiences, practise and improve their skills, he said.

The Capital Aid for Employment of the Poor Microfinance Institution (CEP) would run many support packages for the trade unions’ members to improve skills and provide capital for them to improve lives, he said.

Previously, there were only a few trade unions, but now the number of trade unions had been expanded, attracting a large number of informal workers to join in the city, he said.

The trade unions have given more opportunities for informal workers to have a more stable life, contributing to building a strong trade union organisation and a modern and sentimental city, he said. 

Lạng Sơn works hard to boost new-style rural area programme’s implementation

Lạng Sơn’s Farmer Association has been working hard to encourage local farmers to participate in building new-style rural areas, following the national target programme on building new-style rural areas in 2021-25.

Hoàng Văn Ngôn, chairman of the association, said that the association had directed relevant units to diversify forms of dissemination to raise awareness of local farmers about the purpose and meaning of the programme.

The association also proactively developed plans with specific targets associated with the association's emulation movements, creating change and consensus among the farmers on implementing the programme in the province, he said.

Accordingly, the associations’ units focused on disseminating the Party and State's policies on the new-style rural area building programme as well as local plans to boost the programme’s implementation, he said. 

The dissemination was deployed in many forms, including through leaflets and loudspeakers as well as broadcasting news and posts on social network pages of the association from provincial to grassroots levels, he said.

The association had organised over 15,000 disseminating campaigns for more than 600,000 officers and members of the association since 2021, he said.

Hoàng Đăng Dũng, deputy chief of the New-style Rural Area Building Programme’s Coordination Office in the province, said the province had run many effective movements, promoting the participation of the whole political system and creating widespread social effects such as the movements “Building new-style rural areas on Saturday” and “Red Sunday to join hands to build new-style rural areas.”

Local media, provincial and district-level electronic information pages had regularly published news, articles and reports on the implementation of the programme’s shining examples and typical models to encourage the participation of more local farmers, he said.

The effective implementation of the dissemination had contributed to raising awareness of local farmers so that they proactively participated in movements to build new-style rural areas in the province, he said.

Specifically, farmers donated a total of more than 120,000sq.m of land, contributed more than VNĐ15 billion (US$615,000) and over 300,000 working days to repair over 100km of rural roads, 90km of local canals, 1,000 rural bridges and other public works since 2021, he said.

Nguyễn Kao, member of farmers' association of Cương Quyết Village, Gia Miễn Commune, Văn Lãng District of the province, said: “Previously, I do not know about the concept of building new-style rural area.”

Through disseminating activities of the association, he had grasped the purpose and meaning of the programme, he added.

My family thus donated more than 600sq.m of land to build a village cultural house in June 2022, he said.

“Seeing people participating in activities in a new, more spacious cultural house, I feel very excited and proud after contributing to the movement of building new-style rural areas in the locality,” he said.

The association said its website had posted over 200 news and articles, including many news and articles related to environmental protection, attracting over 100,000 viewers. As a result, most farmers have now raised their awareness of protecting the environment.

Currently, the province has more than 900 models of farmers protecting environment, such as green-and-clean rural roads managed by farmers, or farmers joining together to build garbage incinerators.

Other criteria in building new-style rural areas have also drawn active response from local farmers and achieved many remarkable results such as over 90 per cent of farmer households gained the title of cultural family; all farmer households that produce and trade agricultural products registered to ensure food safety and hygiene.

The province's average income per capita has reached VNĐ51.72 million ($2,119) per person each year, an increase of VNĐ16.72 million ($685) compared to 2017.

The province now has 86 out of 181 communes meeting new-style rural standards, including two model communes of Chi Lăng and Chiến Thắng.

The provincial administration has continued identifying the national target programme on building new-style rural areas in the 2021-25 period as a key programme in the province’s socio-economic development plans.

According to the local administration, the implementation of the programme would be more focused, synchronous, substantive and sustainable in the future.

Under the programme, farmers were identified as the centre, the administration said.

It is estimated that the province’s Farmer Association currently has over 108,600 farmers, accounting for 89.2 per cent of the total number of agricultural households in the province.

Besides the advantages, the province also faced difficulties and challenges in the implementation of the programme, such as the tasks and requirements of the new set of new-style rural criteria being higher than the previous period. The province needs more investment resources to invest in disadvantaged communes; the numbers of model new style-rural areas are still low and unsustainable; and the State-budget capital to implement the programme in the 2021-25 period is lower than the previous period, while the provincial budget capital is limited.

The province will continue to focus on solutions to improve the effectiveness of the programme, contributing to promoting the province's socio-economic development and improving the spiritual life of the people. 

Programme provides leadership skills for youth at SOS Children's Village in Việt Nam

Shinhan Life Vietnam recently organised graduation ceremonies for teenagers at SOS Children's Villages in SOS Hanoi, SOS Gò Vấp (HCM City) and SOS Đà Nẵng under the framework of the iLead programme.

iLead leadership values education programme is a cooperation programme between Shinhan Life Insurance Vietnam Limited Liability Company, BNJ Vietnam Company Limited (BNJ) and SOS Children's Village Vietnam.

Over nearly five months, the programme facilitates comprehensive development and helps develop leadership skills and confidence for all youth living at SOS Children's Villages across the country.

"Activities to enhance social responsibility are always one of Shinhan Life's priorities when operating in Việt Nam. We realise that investing in children's development and education is investing in a sustainable future. Our vision for the youth sponsorship programme is not just to provide opportunities and funding, but also to promote self-confidence, leadership and social responsibility," said Bae Seung Jun, General Director of Shinhan Life Vietnam.

From 2023 to 2025, the programme will provide the youth, aged between 15 and 25 years old, with leadership values designed by Dr John C. Maxwell, iLead Leadership Values programme. This is also part of YouthCan! Programme Initiative by SOS Children’s Villages International – Partnership for youth employability.

Participating in the iLead programme, the youth participated in exchange activities and shared about their efforts and progress.

The programme is an opportunity for learners to acquire leadership knowledge, skills and values that enable them to practice leadership skills while encouraging connection and harmony in the peer group; thereby developing better relationships with peers, finding their voice and taking action to align themselves with good values.

Shinhan Life Vietnam and BNJ Vietnam also awarded the children certificates of merit as a special recognition and encouragement, encouraging their efforts and self-improvement in their journey to adulthood. 

Singaporean media hails Mui Ne as new attractive destination for tourists

A boom in upscale resorts, the development of attractive investment policies, and the completion of a new expressway are all factors in the rise in popularity of the beach resort town of Mui Ne in southeast Vietnam, TTGAsia newspaper of Singapore wrote in its recent article.

March saw the nation announce that Binh Thuan province, which is home to Mui Ne and its stunning stretches of coastline, white beaches, sand dunes, and rich culture, will host the National Tourism Year 2023 initiative aimed at boosting tourism development in the region.

According to information given by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the province still has plenty of strides to make in its efforts to attract international visitors, with the campaign aiming to create “breakthroughs, contributing to further promoting tourism development in the south-central region”.

In order to contribute to this, authorities have developed a series of policies aimed at supporting investors in the area. This includes shortening the time to process documents and provincial leaders inviting businesses to make investments, the Singaporean media outlet wrote.

TTGAsia newspaper also pointed out that another game changer was the opening of the Dau Giay-Phan Thiet highway in April which cut down the transport time between Ho Chi Minh City and Mui Ne from 4.5 hours to just two. An international airport is also slated to open ahead in 2025 which is expected to further drive foreign tourists to the area.

Currently, Mui Ne is developing a policy relating to the night economy as it seeks to lure more visitors, especially international. This includes the two-kilometre night street at Mui Ne Summerland, with the pedestrian area hosting in restaurants, entertainment, and shopping facilities, as well as festival and art performances taking place weekly.

According to local Department of Statistics figures, since April 30 the number of guests visiting the Ham Tien-Mui Ne area has increased, reaching high capacity during weekends with room occupancy hitting about 80%.

In May, Binh Thuan tourism continued to make an impression, welcoming more than 805,000 visitors. This marks an increase of 9.18% compared to April and an increase of 66% over the same period from last year.

In the pre-COVID period Mui Ne had established itself as a firm favourite with Russian visitors, with Russian-owned resorts, restaurants, and signage catering specifically to the market in abundance.

Pham Ha, CEO and founder of Lux Travel DMC, said the area is now rising in popularity with European tourists, as well as visitors from Australia, China, and nearby southeast Asian markets.

Cao Bang border guards break up human trafficking ring

According to details of the arrests, officers of the Tra Linh Border Station discovered that a 12-year-old girl, who was among 21 Vietnamese nationals handed over by Chinese authorities, had been a victim of a human trafficking ring.

Upon expanding the investigation, the Cao Bang border guard forces arrested Nguyen Thi Lai, the victim’s 28-year-old cousin, residing in Vi Thanh City in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang.

Lai, who married a Chinese man, returned to the nation in May to visit her relatives. During that time she colluded with the victim’s family to sell her to a Chinese national nicknamed “Map” for CNY130,900, equal to VND400 million.

The victim’s family received VND150 million and a one gold bar worth VND60 million, while Lai got the remainder of the money.

Map, who was later identified as 29-year-old Trieu Thanh Long of Zhejiang province in China, and the victim’s mother, a 38-year-old resident of Dinh Mon commune in Thoi Lai district of Can Tho City, were later arrested by border guards.

A further investigation into the case is currently underway.

Vietnam- Japan Friendship Golf Tournament held in Yamanashi ​

The Vietnam – Japan Friendship Golf Tournament 2023 took place in Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture on November 6 with the participation of 120 golfers.

The event was held by the Vietnamese General Consulate to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Pham Quang Hieu said that the tournament provides an opportunity for people of the two countries to meet, exchange, and expand relationships, thereby enhancing mutual understanding and contributing more to the sound friendship relationship between Vietnam and Japan.

It is expected to contribute to strengthening solidarity among the Vietnamese community in Japan while creating opportunities for enterprises of both sides to exchange and seek cooperation in various fields.

Golf is one of the most popular sports in Japan. According to estimates by Alexandru Arba, a researcher specialising in Japan at Statista, in 2022, 10.52 million people in Japan used golf courses, an increase of nearly 13% compared to 10 years ago.

Vietnamese cultural heritages introduced to UNESCO community

Vietnamese cultural heritages and the country’s image were introduced to international friends during an event held on November 6 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France.

The cultural event was organised by the country’s permanent delegation to UNESO on the threshold of the 42nd session of the UNESCO’s General Conference, drawing the participation of nearly 200 ambassadors and representatives from countries to UNESCO.

Upon addressing the opening ceremony Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc said that the country had made contributions to the world’s treasure of heritage as it boasts eight world cultural and natural heritage items, as well as 15 intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Protecting cultural heritage in each nation will therefore help to strengthen solidarity, reduce violence and conflict, as well as promoting peace and sustainable development, he added.

Ngoc also stressed that the event would help international friends to gain a greater understanding about Vietnamese cultural heritages and the image of the country, while calling on UNESCO member countries to support Vietnamese candidacy for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in the 2023 to 2027 tenure.

For his part, Xing Qu, deputy director-general of UNESCO, spoke highly of Vietnamese contributions to protecting the values of cultural heritages and confirmed that the event had helped to promote the diversity of the country’s intangible cultural heritage to the world.

Participants in the event were given the chance to enjoy Vietnamese folk music, performances of Vovinam martial arts, explore the art of making Dong Ho paintings, and sample standout cuisines.

Friendship festival to celebrate Vietnam – Laos diplomatic ties

The Vietnam-Laos special friendship festival 2023 is set to take place in Hue in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue from December 11 to December 15 as part of activities to celebrate 61 years of diplomatic ties and 46 years since the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation between the two nations.

This information was revealed by Dinh Tien Dung, deputy director general of the Authority of Foreign Information Service at the Ministry of Information and Communications, at a press conference on November 6.

The occasion will be jointly held by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the provincial People’s Committee with the aim of promoting the image of Vietnamese innovation and development and highlighting the Vietnam – Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive co-operation.
The festival’s organizing board will further intensify information activities focusing on three pillars; including strengthening joint co-operation in the field of information and communication; boosting investment, trade, and tourism promotion activities between the two nations in general and Vietnamese and Laotian border localities; and people-to-people exchanges, especially those in border areas.

It will also include a photo exhibition, a trade fair, a science seminar, and an art performance exchange.

These activities will serve to highlight the history and development of the special friendship, as well as the outstanding achievements in information and communication co-operation between the two countries.

As part of the occasion, both sides will discuss prospects and challenges in joint press and media co-operation, as well as solutions to expand ties in this area moving forward. Digital transformation trends in journalism and communication, as well as the role of information and popularisation in promoting trade and investment ties between the two countries, will also be raised for discussion.

The festival is expected to further contribute to deepening the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive ties between the two countries.

HCMC to launch digital service system to provide high-quality public services

The HCMC People’s Committee plans to launch a digital service system to provide the best experiences and high-quality public services to people.

The “HCM Citizen E-Services” project integrating the city's online public services through a unified digital platform aims to celebrate the 50th anniversary of southern liberation and national reunification (April 30, 1975-2025).

Accordingly, people will use public administrative services of state agencies and social sectors of transportation, social security, healthcare, education, water, electricity, and others via an account, an IP address, and a mobile application.

Residents will receive information and notifications related to their work, study, and living environment from the municipal government quickly and automatically.

Occurrence of disease at same time likely to cause overlapping epidemics

The occurrence of dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease, chickenpox, pink eye, respiratory diseases, and influenza at the same time is causing the risk of overlapping epidemics.

People are more likely to get sick when the weather changes. The occurrence of dengue fever, hand, foot and mouth disease, chickenpox, pink eye, respiratory diseases, and influenza at the same time is causing the risk of overlapping epidemics. Worse, these diseases also tend to increase in the number of cases due to the impact of the weather changes.

At Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital’s Pediatric Center, in recent days, the number of children hospitalized has increased quite high, causing some treatment rooms to be overloaded. Doctor Nguyen Thanh Nam, Director of the Pediatric Center, said that according to disease epidemiology, in the late October and November periods, children's hospitalizations often increase, especially children under 5 years old, due to the unusual weather change. Most of them usually get respiratory diseases.

The National Pediatric Hospital has also seen an increasing number of children taken to the infirmary for treatment of respiratory diseases and flu. According to Associate Professor Dr. Le Thi Hong Hanh, Director of the National Pediatric Hospital’s Respiratory Center, most children are infected with respiratory syncytial virus with signs of pneumonia, cough, fever, and difficulty breathing; worse, some severe cases have respiratory failure.

Infirmaries in Ho Chi Minh City also reported a dramatic increase in the number of pediatric patients with respiratory diseases. Specifically, Dr. Le Minh Lan Phuong, Head of the Pediatric Hospital 1’s Medical Examination Department, said that every day hospital physicians examine about 4,500 pediatric patients; some days, doctors even have had to see 5,700 children per day, including many children with respiratory diseases whereas a month earlier, the hospital received an average of about 4,200-4,300 pediatric patients every day.

Doctor Nguyen Minh Tien, Deputy Director of the City Pediatric Hospital, said that from the beginning of October until now, the hospital has received nearly 5,000 small outpatients with respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, bronchial asthma, and acute respiratory infections. Some pediatric patients develop serious conditions and require high-flow oxygen, mechanical ventilation, and even ECMO intervention.

According to doctors, during the changing seasons, the temperature difference between day and night is often very high, which greatly affects the health of children and people with weak immune systems.

Along with the increase in respiratory diseases, a number of other epidemics are still complicated. For instance, recently, two children in Hanoi’s Chuong My and Phuc Tho districts were recorded with Japanese encephalitis. Doctor Nguyen Van Lam, Director of the Center for Tropical Diseases in the National Pediatric Hospital, said that Japanese encephalitis is very dangerous, with a mortality rate of up to 30 percent.

Moreover, according to the doctor, those who are cured of the disease still suffer permanent sequelae such as mental disorders, paralysis, speech disorders, convulsions, and epilepsy. Young children with Japanese encephalitis often have symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and chills. In severe cases, there may be signs of convulsions and reduced cognitive ability.

Meanwhile, the dengue epidemic continues to develop in many localities across the country. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, the country has currently recorded over 95,000 cases of dengue fever, including 26 deaths. Among localities, the number of dengue cases in Hanoi is still very high. Statistically, from the beginning of 2023 until now, there have been more than 28,400 cases of dengue fever in Hanoi, an increase of 2.7 times compared to the same period in 2022. Four Hanoians succumbed to the fatal disease.

Professor Phan Trong Lan, Director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, pointed out that dengue epidemic prevention is facing many difficulties, requiring anti-epidemic activities to be deployed persistently, continuously and decisively, especially during peak periods, to control the number of infection cases and deaths.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the number of dengue cases decreased by 11 percent compared to last month but is still at a high level. From the beginning of the year until now, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 15,037 cases of dengue fever. The districts with a high number of dengue cases include District 1, Binh Thanh District and District 8. Meanwhile, the number of hand, foot and mouth disease cases also tends to increase again up 14 percent compared to the previous month. Since the beginning of the year until now, Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 34,521 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease. Districts with a high number of hand, foot and mouth disease cases are Binh Tan , Nha Be and Binh Chanh districts.

Waste recycling activities not live up to public expectations

The hierarchy gives top priority to recycling, and other types of recovery in environmental management policy in Vietnam. However, waste recycling activities did not live up to public expectations.

Recycling helps to reduce waste and the pollution caused by the extraction and processing of virgin materials and converts waste materials into new materials and objects.

Mr. Ho Kien Trung, Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Pollution Control under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said that currently, importers want to use recycled materials for some types of clothing and products with a ratio of 30 percent-60 percent recycled materials.

Meanwhile, the production of these recycled materials in Vietnam is still manual, and small-scale, and the quality is not guaranteed. Therefore, to meet export requirements, Vietnamese garment businesses are required to import recycled, environmentally friendly materials from China.

Regarding the question of why the recycling industry has not been able to develop, Mr. Ho Kien Trung explained that because the technology and technical infrastructure of the recycling industry have not been met; subsequently, it has not yet diversified and fully utilized waste sources as recycled materials such as waste from bamboo and coconut shells to serve the garment industry that manufacturing industries need. Moreover, the government has not had preferential policies for the promotion and support of recycling activities.

Worse, in many places, local authorities do not pay attention to the classification and recycling of waste. Many localities still believe that waste should be burned or buried, so they only invest in incinerators, consequently, waste - valuable resources – is burnt thoroughly or it is burning opportunities to increase recycling rates for commodity products of Vietnam when exporting and burning the carbon quota that the country should have received from recycling and reuse.

Chairman of the Vietnam Waste Recycling Association Tran Viet Anh also said that it is estimated that Vietnam generates about 64,000 tons of household solid waste every day and this number of household solid waste is constantly increasing over the years. Of this, about 85 percent of solid waste is being buried in landfills. This not only puts waste at risk of continuing to pollute the land, water and air ecosystems, but also wastes a large amount of resources, because a lot of waste can be processed into highly economical scrap which can be recycled and remanufactured.

If waste is classified and recycled, many resources will be saved, contributing to reducing environmental pollution. However, Vietnam has not taken heed of this and it has not been implemented because the recycling and reuse industry is not yet developed and there has been no comprehensive management of recycling for different industries.

Mr. Ho Kien Trung added that although the recycling industry is still facing many difficulties, Vietnam also has favorable opportunities for the recycling industry to develop. Specifically, at the United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP26), Vietnam made commitments to respond to climate change, including the reduction of its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 at the latest.

Therefore, in the coming time, all economic activities will aim to reduce pollution, increase recycling, and reduce carbon emissions. In particular, goods that want to be exported to countries must ensure carbon credits and demonstrate the process of minimizing carbon emissions.

In addition, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has also introduced regulations on extended manufacturer and importer responsibility (EPR) to contribute financially to waste collection, recycling and treatment facilities. In particular, one of the important policies to promote the development of the recycling industry is the form of carbon credit trading that has been included in the 2020 Environmental Protection Law.

Accordingly, companies that are collecting, processing, and recycling waste will have more opportunities and profits from providing carbon credits to businesses that have not yet met their carbon quotas. Far more than that, many policies to support and promote the development of the recycling industry such as preferential policies, investment capital support and tax preferences have also been issued.

According to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Trung, founder of the Center for Environmental Protection and Climate Change Response, in the context that climate change is getting worse and human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas; thus, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aiming for net zero has become a world-leading goal. This has created more opportunities for businesses to participate in the carbon reduction roadmap.

Nevertheless, to be able to deeply participate in this roadmap, businesses need to pay more attention to recycling and reuse of waste and companies’ activities should be oriented toward the development of products from recycled materials. Promotion of recycling and reuse of waste not only helps save costs and increase business competitiveness but also creates new business opportunities in environmentally friendly fields, products and services.

Being an expert, Associate Professor Phung Chi Sy from the Vietnam Association for the Protection of Nature and Environment, also said that promoting recycling and reuse of waste is an inevitable trend towards the circular economy. The transition to a circular economy is a great opportunity for rapid, sustainable development. At the same time, the country’s economic development is designed according to the circular economy model in which products and materials are designed in such a way that they can be reused, remanufactured, recycled or recovered also contributes to raising people's awareness about reusing and recycling waste.

According to Associate Professor Phung Chi Sy, in order to promote the recycling industry, authorities need to synchronously implement solutions such as promoting waste classification in households as well as have policies to promote the market for recycled products and call for investment in the development of industries that support recycling activities.

According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ho Chi Minh City, the total volume of domestic solid waste generated in the city is about 9,500 - 10,000 tons per day. Of which, the rate of composting and recycling accounts for 31 percent, and the rest is hygienically landfilled. The city has set aside two solid waste treatment complexes including Da Phuoc in Binh Chanh suburban district with an area of 614 hectares and Phuoc Hiep in Cu Chi outlying district with an area of 687 hectares for the treatment of domestic waste.

In the long term, landfill activities will put great pressure on the city's general land fund. Therefore, to reduce pressure on waste treatment, the city is also implementing solutions such as classifying waste in households in addition to a proposal to build waste recycling centers for the development of the recycling industry with an orientation towards a circular economy.

23rd Vietnam Film Festival promotes Da Lat as filming location

The 23rd Vietnam Film Festival is scheduled to take place in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong on November 21-25.

In the post-Covid-19 period, the Vietnamese movie industry has gradually recovered. The organization board selected 91 films from nearly 200 submissions, including 16 featured movies, 31 documentaries, 19 scientific films, and 25 animated movies, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam Ta Quang Dong said.

It is an opportunity for artists, filmmakers, producers, and businesses working in the industry to exchange experience and share inspiring stories, he added.

According to Director of the Cinema Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vi Kien Thanh, the 23rd Vietnam Film Festival attracts high-quality pictures, including the highest-grossing movies and international award-winning films such as the picture, “Tro tan ruc ro” (Glorious Ashes) by director Bui Thac Chuyen that won the “Bes Featured Film” at the Golden Kite Awards 2023, and the top award at the Festival des 3 Continents 2022 last December in Nantes, France.

This year’s event themed “Building the Vietnamese film industry, rich in national identity, modern and human” will include activities, such as a free screening week to be held in major cities of Da Lat, Hanoi, and HCMC; a program presenting award-winning movies by Vietnam Television; seminars on copyright protection in the film industry development and key issues in building Vietnamese movie industry;

The film festival is held in Da Lat City for the first time, marking the 130th anniversary of the city’s establishment (1893 – 2023) and the recognition of the resort town as a UNESCO Creative City of Music.

Da Lat is not only an attractive tourist destination drawing a large number of domestic and foreign visitors but also the best film shooting location.

Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Lam Dong Province, head of the Steering Committee for the 23rd Vietnam Film Festival, Pham S said that Da Lat City expects to receive directors, artists and investors during the 5-day event. On this occasion, the province will organize a program to develop tourism brands through cinema. Within the framework of the program, there will be film screenings, and tourism promotional activities introducing tourist attractions, products, and services.

VNeID having technical problems addressed to better serve citizens

The e-identification application VNeID, launched by the Public Security Ministry for 1 year, helps functional agencies to manage citizen data on the digital platform. However, certain technical issues have left a negative impression on the public.

Upgrading to level 2 in VNeID, Nguyen Thi Nhu Quynh from Ha Dong District of Hanoi has still been unable to integrate her citizen documents into the app. Since July, she has tried multiple times to add her vehicle registration certificate into VNeID, but repeatedly received the ‘failure’ result as the system cannot find corresponding data. Neither has she been able to add any dependent person to the list.

Another problem is the inconvenience to the senior, who are usually afraid of manipulating technology. 65-year-old Nguyen Thi Thang from Thanh Son District of Phu Tho Province shared that even though the police force in her commune had wholeheartedly instructed her how to operate the app, she still felt rather frustrated, and thus opting for the hard copy of her identification papers in transactions.

Yet another issue comes from trouble during the registration process of a VNeID account (password, issues when signing in with a new device). When actually displaying personal information via this app to the traffic police, many citizens are still asked to present the hard copy as well.

Nguyen Tam Hoang from Nghe An Province suggested that VNeID should allow users to integrate their citizen documents as well as their driving license, special medical insurance card issued by the police or military, the back of the citizen ID card, plus other authentication methods besides fingerprint.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam reported that many airports in the country have applied authentication via VNeID with level 2 for passengers in domestic flights. Nevertheless, the proportion of people choosing this method is not high owing to unstable or weak phone signal for Internet access, trouble operating the app among the elderly.

Discussing solutions for the above problems, Director Nguyen Thanh Vinh of the Center for National Population Database (under the Police Department for Administrative Management and Social Order – C06) said that level 2 of an e-identification account can display information of integrated citizen documents so that competent authorities can compare when performing transactions that require those papers.

The Public Security Ministry is working with relevant units to complete necessary policies and instructive documents in accordance with reality. Director Vinh shared that there is going to be a pilot in certain provinces and cities for the use of VNeID to display information of a driving license instead of presenting the hard version.

As to the unsuccessful integration of either a driving license or vehicle registration certificate into the app, Director Vinh explained that this is because the issuance unit of these papers (the Transport Ministry) has not updated necessary information in the system, or the provided information does not match any piece in the National Population Database. The Public Security Ministry will cooperate with the Transport Ministry to clean data and gradually amend the situation.

Regarding trouble in the registration process for a VNeID account, Head of C06 Nguyen Quoc Hung stated that the number of new accounts wishing to activate is quite large; therefore, in certain peak time like 19:00 – 22:00 pm, the system is rather slow in response. Also, there might be mistakes from users as their input information is not precise for integration.

Director Nguyen Thanh Vinh informed that VNeID now allows users to integrate their citizen ID card, social security card, driving license, vehicle registration certificate; to report accommodation changes; and to send feedback on social security and safety. VNeID can also be used by flight passengers.

In the upcoming time, VNeID 2.1.0 will add four new functions of integrating the history of an identification document, integrating information on the social insurance participation process, limiting and locking an e-identification account when the corresponding chip-based citizen ID card is expired, and integrating the e-wallet Epay (ETC).

Vietnam attends Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie in Cameroon

A Vietnamese delegation led by Ambassador to France and Representative of the State President to the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) Dinh Toan Thang attended the 44th session of the Ministerial Conference of La Francophonie (CMF 44) in Yaounde, the capital city of Cameroon, from November 4-5.

Themed “Good Governance: A Guarantee of Political, Economic and Cultural Stability for Francophone Citizens”, the event drew the presence of nearly 300 delegates representing around 70 delegations from 88 French-speaking member states and governments.

At the event, Vietnam, along with other countries, underlined the importance of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the OIF for peace, stability and sustainable development in the French-speaking community. 

In his speech, Ambassador Thang affirmed Vietnam's support and high appreciation for the role of the OIF and the OIF Secretary-General in working with member countries to find solutions to current crises and challenges, particularly in addressing instability and poverty in Francophone African countries.

He also supported the collective effort to turn the French-speaking world into a space of peace and stability, promote democracy, security, human rights, and prosperity. He expressed backing for the continued implementation of the 2020-2025 Francophone Economic Cooperation Strategy, the 2022-2026 Francophone Digital Strategy, the "French language for women" initiative, and various areas of cooperation. 

The diplomat also called on the OIF to continue paying attention to the situation in the East Sea.

The CMF 44 adopted 20 cooperation programmes of the OIF for the 2024-2027 period, focusing on culture-education, democracy and governance and sustainable development, with a special priority given to the interests of women and youths.

They also approved the Yaoundé Resolution which highlights the OIF’s commitments to its fundamental values, including peace, democracy, rule-of-law State, French language, linguistic and cultural diversity, sustainable development to eradicate poverty, protect the environment and respond to climate change.

The conference concluded with the handover of CMF chairmanship from Tunisia to France where the 19th Francophonie Summit will take place in Villers Cotterêts on October 4-5, 2024.

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