Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has emphasised the need to enhance determination and efforts to have the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seafood removed in the fifth round of inspection next year, for the benefit of the country and the people and to develop a sustainable, responsible, and internationally integrated fishery industry.

In an official dispatch issued on November 4, the PM said this work will demonstrate Vietnam's international responsibility towards international commitments and agreements in sustainably protecting the marine environment and marine ecosystems, and promoting sustainable marine economic development in association with ensuring security and sovereignty over the sea and islands of the nation.

Under the dispatch, all fishing boats with a length of 15 metres and more must unload seafood products at fishing ports (including private fishing ports and wharves). These activities should be monitored and traceable to ensure the origin of the products.

It is essential to strictly adhere to regulations on confirmation and certification of domestically harvested seafood products, and strictly prohibit and handle cases of legalising documents (if supported by grounds for criminal prosecution), the document said.

The PM also demanded to review of enterprises exporting seafood to the European market, prompt development, and use of an e-traceability system in order to monitor and control transparency and legality in accordance with regulations on origin confirmation and certification of aquatic products exploited domestically.

The “yellow card” has led to a significant decrease in seafood exports from Vietnam to the EU, and rigorous origin traceability checks for all products entering the European market.

Other import markets, including the US, have also implemented stricter control regulations for seafood products from countries that have received "yellow cards" from the EU.

Transparency in seafood origin traceability is essential not only to meet the requirements of export markets but also for domestic consumers. It helps enterprises to effectively manage issues related to food safety, disease control, and environmental safety throughout their production chains, thus fostering absolute trust with customers and the reputation of seafood businesses and producers.

As the EU ranks among the top five largest importers of Vietnamese seafood, the imposition of the yellow card has resulted in a continuous decline in Vietnam’s seafood exports to this market since 2017, according to the report titled “A Trade-Based Analysis of the Economic Impact of Non-Compliance with Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing - The Case of Vietnam” jointly published by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the World Bank (WB).

Compared to the 2017 figures, seafood exports to the EU decreased by 12% in 2019, equivalent to 183.5 million USD. This downward trend continued in 2020, dropping by 5.7% from the previous year. In 2022, the revenue reached only 1.3 billion USD, but the EU still remained one of Vietnam’s top five major buyers.

Right after receiving the "yellow card" in 2017, Vietnam proactively responded to the EC's recommendations. The country promptly enacted the Fisheries Law and established fishing vessel data covering registration and the issuance of fishing licenses from central to local levels.

Relevant ministries, agencies, and coastal provinces and cities of Vietnam have implemented IUU fishing prevention tasks and solutions in line with directives of the permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat, the Prime Minister, and the National Steering Committee on IUU Fishing Prevention and Control.

However, Vietnam’s efforts have yet to meet the expectations of the EC, requiring more efforts of the country in this work.

NA concludes question-and-answer session

The question & answer session of the 15th National Assembly’s 6th sitting wrapped up in Hanoi on November 8 after two and a half days.

A total of 457 turns of deputies registered to join the session, of whom 152 raised questions and 39 others participated in debates, according NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

For those who registered to put questions, yet to have such chances due to time limitations, the top legislator asked them to send the questions to the Prime Minister, Cabinet members and leaders of agencies to get written answers in line with regulations.

For the first time in the 15th tenure, the PM, all Deputy PMs, 21 ministers and heads of sectors directly answered questions related to 21 different fields grouped into four areas, namely general economics – macroeconomics, sectoral economics, socio-culture, and judiciary matters, internal affairs and state audit.

Based on the results of the session, the legislature will consider issuing a relevant resolution at the end of the meeting, Hue said, urging the Government, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuracy, ministers and heads of sectors to absorb as much as possible the raised opinions and continue to concertedly, resolutely and comprehensively implement the NA’s resolutions on supervision and questioning, focusing on overcoming shortcomings in each sphere.

For law building and enforcement, the NA Chairman suggested improving the efficiency of coordination between agencies and localities, and strictly handling individuals and collectives with wrongdoings in the work.

He stressed the need to step up economic restructuring and growth model reform, spur growth, raise growth reform, generate more jobs and increase income of labourers on the basis of maintaining the macro-economic stability, and ensuring major economic balances, and social welfare.

It is necessary to quickly approve and implement a plan to materialise the National Energy Master Plan and National Power Development Plan VIII, ensuring energy security, while accelerating administrative reform to facilitate exports and imports, he said.

The leader also ordered reviewing and amending the set of criteria for new-style rural areas for 2021 – 2025, and removing obstacles to transport infrastructure projects.

Hue also urged greater efforts to implement the new salary regime from July 2024, and mobilise more resources for education, training and culture, saying a national target programme on Vietnamese culture development should be outlined and submitted to the legislature for issuance at the latest session.

At the same time, ministries, agencies and localities need to pay more attention to disease prevention and control, and the protection of public health, he said, noting that budget should be prioritised to preventive and grassroots health care, and solutions should be taken to completely handle the shortage of drugs and medical equipment at public hospitals.

Bac Lieu seeks ADB support for coastal road project

Chairman of the Bac Lieu provincial People’s Committee Pham Van Thieu has suggested the Asian Development Bank (ADB) support the Mekong Delta province's coastal road project that runs through the locality.

Receiving Tomoaki Kawabata, ADB Transport Specialist, on November 8, Thieu said that although the province’s gross regional domestic product expanded by 7.3% on average a year, Bac Lieu has faced a lot of difficulties, especially in transport.

To promote its potential for development, Bac Lieu is in dire need of dynamic road projects to boost the province’s economic development but also help it adapt to the impact of climate change.

The total investment capital for the project is estimated at over 9.62 trillion VND (392.4 million USD). Of which, more than 3.7 trillion VND is reciprocal funding from Vietnam.

The coastal road will be 53km in length with four lanes. It will create a route along the sea dyke from Soc Trang to Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces.

At the reception, senior experts from the ADB requested the consulting unit and the province to clarify further the project adjustment as well as the supplement of some connection routes. They were also concerned about how to balance the funding and whether the project will affect mangrove forests.

NA Chairman thanks Belgian Chamber of Representatives for resolution supporting AO victims

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue has sent a thank-you letter to President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Eliane Tillieux as the chamber on October 5 passed a resolution in support of the Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in Vietnam, with absolute approval votes.

In the letter, Hue expressed his joy and emotion at the approval, highlighting that the resolution is important and meaningful to Vietnam as it can help increase the international community’s awareness of the AO disaster in Vietnam, thus further supporting the country to tackle the war consequences.

The NA Chairman emphasised that the Belgian Chamber of Representatives is the first parliament in the world to pass such a resolution in support of the AO/dioxin victims, which creates a great resonance, affirming Belgium's role in the international arena and spreading a positive message to parliaments around the world.

The adoption of the resolution by the Belgian Chamber of Representatives is a historic milestone, affirming the good cooperative relationship between Vietnam and Belgium in the context of the two countries celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year, he noted.

On behalf of the NA of Vietnam and personally, Chairman Hue respectfully extended the most sincere thanks to President Eliane Tillieux and Belgian parliamentarians for their adoption of the resolution as well as positive contributions to promoting the development of Vietnam - Belgium relations.

On this occasion, he invited Eliane Tillieux and a delegation of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives to visit Vietnam.

Deputy PM Tran Hong Ha receive US Prof. David Rogers

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on November 8 received visiting Professor David Rogers of the US-based Columbia Business School, who is known for his pioneering model of customer networks and his work on digital transformation.

At the reception, Ha told his guest that developing countries are facing challenges in transformation, such as inadequate governance capacity, incomplete laws and policies, and the lack of trained human resources and modern technologies, which require solutions at both national and global levels.

Vietnam is one of four developing countries participating in the Just Energy Transition Partnership with G7 countries and the International Partner Group, he said, adding that the problem posed in negotiating and implementing climate change agreements is to reform multilateral financial institutions, and resolve relations between developed and developing countries, and between governments and the private sector.

Regarding digital transformation, the Deputy PM held that governments will pioneer and be the biggest customers of digital businesses.

Digital transformation is only successful when people use and benefit from the digital society and digital economy. However, more attention should be paid to establishing standards, cultural values, ethics, behaviour, and cybersecurity, he said.

For his part, Rogers said digital transformation benefits governments, businesses, people and the entire society, stressing this is also a sustainable development trend.

However, countries need to take solutions to respond appropriately to the challenges to balance the development of trade and exchange in the digital environment with the control of negative and toxic impacts, information, and influences.

Friendship Orders conferred on St. Petersburg Governor, Ho Chi Minh Institute

Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dang Minh Khoi, on behalf of the State President of Vietnam, on November 7 presented a Friendship Order to Governor of Saint Petersburg Alexander Beglov in recognition of his contributions to and tireless efforts in maintaining and promoting relations between St. Petersburg and Vietnam in particular and enhancing the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Khoi noted that St. Petersburg is one of Russia's leading localities in cooperation with Vietnamese provinces. He thanked Beglov for his contributions to the development of cooperation in many fields, including culture, education and science.

Beglov pledged that St. Petersburg will make further contributions to the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, and informed that from December 3-8, a culture and business delegation of St. Petersburg will visit Ho Chi Minh City, and the Russian city will organise a Vietnamese week on the occasion of late President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday next year.
On November 8, Khoi also handed over another Friendship Order to the Ho Chi Minh Institute under the St. Petersburg State University, a leading academic research centre not only on Vietnamese history and culture but also on President Ho Chi Minh.

In 2012, director of the institute Prof. Vladimir Kolotov was also honoured with a Friendship Order.

Following the handover ceremony, the Russian version of the book on Sun Tzu's Art of War by President Ho Chi Minh made its debut.

Six people on sunk fishing ship rescued in Con Dao territorial waters

Six people, including a boy, on board a fishing ship that sank about 18 nautical miles to the northwest of Con Dao island of southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province were rescued and safely brought to the island by coast guards on November 8, according to the Coast Guard Region 3 High Command.

The fishing boat was broken when it was transporting 3,000 big ice cylinders from Soc Trang province to Con Dao island.

After receiving information about the incident at about 5:30 on the same day, vessel CSB 2011 of the Coast Guard Region 3 was immediately deployed to the site and conducted rescue operations for the vessel.

All the six people on board the fishing boat were rescued but the boat sank shortly after that. They were later handed over to Con Dao Border Guard in good health condition.

Vietnam, Germany intensify legal affairs collaboration

Representatives from the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence’s Department of Legal Affairs and the German Ministry of Defence’s Directorate-General for Legal Affairs held talks in Hanoi on November 8 to discuss measures to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

The two sides exchanged views on issues related to the building and perfection of the military and defence legal systems of the two countries; and the development of a number of legal documents on military affairs, national defence, United Nations peacekeeping, and civil defence

Head of the Vietnamese department Maj. Gen. Han Manh Thang briefed the guest on Vietnam’s making of military and defence laws with the goal of establishing a solid legal basis to carry out military and defence tasks, prevent and deal with sabotage plots and activities by hostile forces to protect the Fatherland's independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity and the people, the Party, the State, and the socialist regime.

Stefan Sohm, deputy head of the Directorate-General for Legal Affairs, shared experiences in participating in UN peacekeeping activities and in building a legal corridor for regional and world peace protection activities.

Both sides agreed on the necessity to sign an international agreement at the defence ministerial level on cooperation in military and defence legal affairs.

They pledged to continue promoting delegation exchanges, information sharing, and human resources training.

Japan’s Osaka prefecture commits to closer ties with Vietnamese localities

Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu hosted a reception in Hanoi on November 8 for a delegation of the Japan-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance of Osaka prefecture led by its Chairman Wada Kenji, who is on a visit to Vietnam from November 7-11.

Vu welcomed the delegation to Vietnam at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

He described Japan as Vietnam's leading economic cooperation partner in official development assistance (ODA), investment, trade, labour, tourism, locality-to-locality cooperation and people-to-people exchange.

Speaking highly of Osaka’s position and role in the Japanese economy with strengths in areas of interest to Vietnam, such as hi-tech agriculture, manufacturing and supporting industries, he suggested that Osaka prefecture’s alliance continue promoting coordination with Vietnamese localities, especially those with signed cooperation agreements such as Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

He also proposed increasing investment from Kansai region in fields of Vietnam’s interest, especially manufacturing, hi-tech agriculture and innovation. He also suggested increasing the frequency of flights between the two countries to boost people-to-people exchanges and tourism cooperation.

On the occasion, he thanked the Osaka authorities and alliance for providing support for the Vietnamese community living there, especially during COVID-19.

Wada Kenji, for his part, said it is the third time the alliance has arranged a visit to Vietnam since its establishment in 2007. He agreed with the host’s proposal to further intensify economic ties and supporting the activities of the Vietnamese Consulate General in Osaka.

He also committed further support for the Vietnamese community living and studying in Osaka, helping them integrate into the life and culture of Japan.

The guest also took the occasion to introduce the Osaka Kansai Expo, an international exhibition scheduled to be held in Osaka in 2025, and invited Vietnam to send a delegation to the event.

State leader welcomes new ambassadors of Venezuela, Laos

President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong received the newly accredited ambassadors of Venezuela and Laos, who came to present their credentials in Hanoi on November 8.

Congratulating Juan Carlos Fernandes Juarez on assuming his duty as Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam, President Thuong expressed his belief that during the term, the Vietnam - Venezuela cooperation will obtain new achievements.

Juarez said Vietnam and Venezuela boast long-standing and close-knit relations and friendship, noting that he hopes their relations will develop even more in the time to come.

A number of delegations from Vietnamese ministries, sectors, and enterprises have visited Venezuela to seek cooperation and investment opportunities, especially in the energy industry, he noted, voicing his hope that the two sides will strongly step up collaboration in this field.

The diplomat also showed his support for the further elevation of cooperation and added he hopes the Inter-governmental Committee will work together to effectively carry out measures for fostering collaboration, particularly in trade, aviation, health care, and technology.

Recalling the events marking the traditional and close friendship between the Vietnamese and Venezuelan people throughout history, President Thuong held that their numerous similarities form important prerequisites for developing a comprehensive partnership.

He asked the two sides to increase mutual visits at all levels, and the Inter-governmental Committee to take measures to foster bilateral cooperation, especially to enhance ties in the field of energy. He also noted that he looks forward to a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the near future.

At the reception for Khamphao Ernthavanh, President Thuong congratulated his guest on being appointed the Lao Ambassador to Vietnam and expressed his belief that with her sentiment towards and bonds with Vietnam, Ernthavanh will perform her tasks well to substantially contribute to the great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Expressing her honour to serve as the Ambassador of Laos to Vietnam, Ernthavanh pledged to help the great friendship, special solidarity, and cooperation grow more fruitfully in the future.

The host leader stated that the Vietnam - Laos relations are extremely special with their friendship and solidarity founded and nurtured by generations of leaders and having become a priceless common asset of both peoples. The two sides should exert stronger efforts to enhance comprehensive cooperation between their Parties, States, and peoples.

As the year 2024 is highly important to Laos, which will hold the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), relevant agencies of Vietnam will actively support the ambassador to help her fulfill duties, according to the President.

PM urges solutions to realise 5% growth target in 2023
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasised the necessity to streamline administrative procedures to remove obstacles for business activities, thus addressing challenges, unlocking resources for development, and promoting economic growth.
VNA Wednesday, November 08, 2023 18:59 
Great efforts needed to achieve growth target: experts
Monday, October 09, 2023 10:36
GDP economic growth target of 5-6% poses challenges
Tuesday, October 03, 2023 10:14
More efforts needed to achieve economic growth targets: official
Saturday, September 30, 2023 13:50
 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the session. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasised the necessity to streamline administrative procedures to remove obstacles for business activities, thus addressing challenges, unlocking resources for development, and promoting economic growth.

In his speech delivered at a question and answer (Q&A) session in the ongoing 15th National Assembly’s 6th sitting on November 8, the PM urged ministries, sectors, and localities to promote growth drivers and implement supportive policies for businesses, particularly fiscal and monetary policies.

It is also necessary to speed up public investment disbursement and attract investment from private and foreign areas, ensure price and market stability, particularly for essential commodities, and expand export markets. It is also necessary to diversify products and supply chains, and advance processing and manufacturing industries, he said.
 At the 6th session of the 15th NA. (Photo: VNA) 
According to PM Chinh, in October, the economic and social situation continued to show positive trends, and achieve significant results in various sectors.

He stressed that utmost efforts should be made to achieve a GDP growth rate of over 5% in 2023, thus providing an impetus for realising socio-economic development goals in 2024.

Attention should be also paid to ensuring national energy security, prioritising resources for high-quality human resources training, addressing the shortage of medicines and medical supplies, and increasing social labour productivity.

In response to questions about the salary reform plan from NA deputies, the PM stated that this is a matter of concern for both the Party and the State.

Wage reform will be implemented in all sectors, including the state and non-state areas, and enterprises, he said.

Legislatures of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam prepare for high-level meetings

Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations Vu Hai Ha on November 8 chaired an online meeting with the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Lao and Cambodian legislatures to discuss preparations for the first high-level conference of the NAs of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam slated for December.

They discussed the procedures, scheduled agenda and activities of the conference, including the opening and closing ceremonies, and two plenary sessions. Accordingly, the conference will be hosted by the Lao NA in Vientiane.

Scheduled discussions will feature the topics of enhancing the role of the three legislatures in promoting parliamentary cooperation to create economic connectivity between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam toward sustainable development, bolstering the supervisory role of the three NAs in national defence and security for the sake of peace and stability.

Delegates also offered their opinions on holding a friendly cycling race as a means to foster exchanges, friendship and closer bonds among participants.

According to the joint statement signed by the three top legislators on November 20, 2022 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the conference is aimed at consolidating relations, with a focus on socio-economic development, national defence and security cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges for sustainable development of the three countries and the region.

The event will be held biennially, with the top legislators taking turns to preside over and co-chair based on a rotating alphabetical order.

Vietnam's frigate to attend Peace and Friendship joint exercise in China

Vietnam's frigate 016-Quang Trung with a delegation of the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) on November 8 left Cam Ranh military port in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa to attend the Peace and Friendship 2023 joint exercise in China’s Guangdong province and pay a friendship visit to Hong Kong.

According to the Navy Region 4 High Command, the trip aims to implement the directions of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence on international integration and defence diplomacy.

It is expected to contribute to strengthening cooperative relations between the Vietnam People's Army and the Vietnam People’s Navy, and their Chinese counterparts for peace, stability, cooperation, and development of the region and the world.

Colonel Nguyen Van Ngan, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Naval Region 4 who is head of the Vietnamese delegation, said that during the joint exercise, the delegation will participate in events, including ship control simulation training, defence maneuvers, helicopter deck equipment and anti-piracy drills, as well as search and rescue operations at sea.

In addition, during this trip, officers and sailors of frigate 016 - Quang Trung will organise a long-distance seafaring training mission to improve their command, combat readiness, and weapon mastery, as well as accumulate experience in organising international events.

It is expected that the ship will return to the Cam Ranh Military Port on November 30.

Nghe An to receive Lao high school students during 2023-2024 academic year

The central province Nghe An will become the first locality to receive high school students from Lao provinces from the 2023 - 2024 school year, reported the provincial Department of Education and Training.

Accordingly, the boarding high school for ethnic minorities No. 2 in Nghe An is assigned to accommodate 31 Lao exchange students from the provinces of Xiangkhouang, Houaphanh, Bolikhamxai, Vientiane, Savannakhet and Khammouane.

Since 2012, Nghe An has allocated over 170 billion VND (7 million USD) to assist Lao provinces in human resources training. The provincial People's Committee has directed receiving Lao officials and students for language training at the Nghe An Pedagogical College, and undergraduate and postgraduate education at Vinh University, Vinh Medical University, Nghe An University of Economics, Industrial University of Vinh, and Vinh University of Technology Education.

The province has also granted scholarships to 1,157 Lao officials and students at local universities and colleges.

Lao students will undergo Vietnamese language training for a period of 10 months at the Nghe An Pedagogical College. Once completed, those who are officials will return to their respective positions and continue their work. The remaining students, based on their Vietnamese language proficiency, preferences and training needs, will be selected to pursue specialised studies at various universities in Nghe An.

Conference disseminates new regulations on entry, exit

The Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Department held a conference in Hanoi on November 7 to disseminate the Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Entry and Exit of Vietnamese Citizens and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam among foreign diplomatic missions and international organisations.

Delegates were introduced about new administrative procedures related to Vietnamese citizens, the issuance of entry permits, visas, and temporary residence permits for foreigners who are required to go through the procedures at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and new regulations in Vietnamese law regarding the entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam as stipulated in Law No. 23/2023/QH15.

The Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Entry and Exit of Vietnamese Citizens and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam was approved by the Vietnamese National Assembly on August 15, 2023.

It establishes legal corridors for the entry and exit of both Vietnamese citizens and foreigners, aiming to deal with challenges that have arisen in practice. It includes provisions that promote flexibility and simplicity, with a focus on providing the most favourable conditions for foreigners entering Vietnam and Vietnamese citizens traveling abroad.

The launch of online public services, coupled with strong decentralisation in the administrative procedures for foreigners by the police in various localities, has contributed to making it easier for government agencies, businesses, and individuals to handle administrative procedures related to entry and exit, thus saving travelling costs and time.

Vietnam sends over 132,000 labourers abroad in 10 months

Vietnam sent more than 132,000 labourers abroad in the first 10 months of 2023, according to the Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

The figure surpassed the target set for the year by 20%.

Among the workers sent abroad in the period, 44,669 were female, accounting for nearly 30%.  Japan remained the top destination of Vietnamese guest workers with 67,550, followed by Taiwan (China) with more than 50,960, the Republic of Korea (RoK) with approximately 6,000, and China with nearly 1,700.

According to statistics from enterprises, about 21,100 labourers were sent abroad in October alone.

Previously, the MoLISA has issued a decree regulating economic and technical norms on foreign language training for Vietnamese labourers working abroad under contracts.

10.000 farmers to access sustainable coffee growing techniques

An appreciation day for coffee farmers took place in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on November 7, in conjunction with the launch a project on enhancing capacity and accessing production support resources for coffee production in indigenous communities, promoting emission-reducing coffee production methods in compliance with the EU Deforestation-free Regulation (EUDR) in Gia Lai and Kon Tum provinces.

The event attracted more than 400 indigenous ethnic households that are outstanding coffee growers in Gia Lai and Kon Tum.

The project costs a total of 581,888 EUR (625,000 USD), 60% of which sources from the Netherlands’ JDE Peet’s company, 33% from Gia Lai’s Vinh Hiep Ltd, and the remainder from other partners. It will be carried out from October 2023 to October 2028, in the districts of Dăk Doa, Mang Yang, Chu Se, Chu Prong, Duc Co, and Chu Pah of Gia Lai and Dak Ha and Ngoc Hoi of Kon Tum.

Via the project, about 10,000 coffee-producing households in the localities will enhance their access to sustainable coffee production techniques towards regenerative agriculture. It will facilitate production connections and transfer excellent technical models to enhance financial management awareness, financial autonomy, gender equality, and labour rights within production linkages. Additionally, the project will promote greenhouse gas emission reduction in coffee production and establish a database to comply with EUDR.

Do Ngoc Sy, Director of Sustainability Asia Pacific at JDE Peet's, said JDE Peet's now caters to coffee demand of 150 countries and territories worldwide. By 2025, it aims to purchase the entire coffee output of Vietnam.

Nguyen Viet Ha, Senior Sustainable Manager of the 4C organisation, committed to support to Vinh Hiep and other coffee companies in Vietnam to bring the taste of Vietnamese coffee to the global market in a transparent manner.

Vietnam, Cambodia foster cooperation in military strategic research

Major General Vu Cuong Quyet, head of the Vietnam Institute for Defence Strategy, had a working session with a delegation from the Department of Military Strategic Research under the General Command of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces led by General Meas Vanna in Hanoi on November 7.

Quyet congratulated Cambodia on its achievements so far and highlighted the fruitful defence cooperation between the two countries over the years which he said has become one of the important pillars of the Vietnam-Cambodia relations.

He noted that collaboration in strategic research has received great attention from the two Ministries of National Defence and the two militaries.

For his part, General Meas Vanna thanked the Ministry of National Defence of Vietnam and the Vietnam People’s Army for their support to the Ministry of National Defence and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces over the years.

He said he believes that the solidarity between the two militaries will continue to be further fostered in the future.

At the working session, the two sides discussed the security and political situation in the region and the world to serve their performance in conducting research and giving strategic advice.

They also evaluated the outcomes of their cooperation activities and orientations for their collaboration in the time to come, thus contributing to further bolster their relations and the promotion of the Vietnam-Cambodian defence partnership.

Deputy FM receives UN Special Rapporteur on right to development

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet has received UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development Surya Deva, who is on a working visit to Vietnam from November 6 to 15.

At the meeting in Hanoi, Viet welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s proposal to choose Vietnam as the first country to visit after being appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

He highlighted Vietnam’s approach of respecting, protecting and promoting human rights, affirming that the country always puts people at the centre and considers them as the key stakeholder and impetus of the development process, which can be seen in the enormous achievements of Doi moi (Renewal) in socio-economic development, integration into the world, improvements in all aspects of people’s life, and the international community’s recognition.

Vietnam always ensures people, socio-political organisations, people’s organisations, enterprises, non-governmental organisations, development partners, and relevant parties engage in and contribute to this process. It is giving high priority to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals, with strong efforts being made in poverty reduction, climate change response, cutting net emissions to zero by 2050, environmental protection, and the building of a green and circular economy, he noted.

The Deputy Minister expressed his belief that the visit is a chance for Vietnam to share its good practices, challenges, priorities, and cooperation demand in this regard.

For his part, Deva spoke highly of the hallmarks and initiatives of the country as a member of the UNHRC during 2023 - 2025, along with its responsible and active participation in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Sharing the priorities of his term, the Special Rapporteur affirmed that he will maintain the general, balanced and transparent approach, promote international cooperation for the goal of sustainable and inclusive development, and enhance people’s engagement in the building, implementation and supervision of development policies.

He also called on Vietnam to continue bringing into play its role in the UNHRC and help to effectively promote the right to development in the country and the world.

During his trip, Deva will have meetings with many central agencies, socio-political organisations, people’s organisations, and enterprises. He will also visit some localities, projects, and socio-economic establishments to learn about the country’s achievements, challenges, priorities, and cooperation demand related to the right to development.

Ambassador honoured for contributions to Vietnam-Canada relations

The Senate of Canada on November 7 held a ceremony to honour Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Senator Victor Oh, head of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Association, expressed his hope that the ambassador will make more contributions to strengthening the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.

The bilateral relations have been nurtured and developed in various fields from trade, development cooperation, to education and culture, not only bringing about benefits for both sides, but also contributing to stability in the region and the world.

He spoke highly of the people-to-people exchanges as the Vietnamese community in Canada has contributed to enriching the cultural diversity of this country and helped Canadians gain a general understanding of Vietnam.

The senator also shared his great impression about Vietnam's development through what he witnessed during his visit and attendance at the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum in September, which focused on environmental challenges, circular economy and promotion of green energy initiatives. He affirmed that this is an important foundation to promote sustainable economic development and is a testament to Vietnam's commitment to a greener and more sustainable economic future.

Vietnam, Belgium bolster collaboration to support AO victims

President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Éliane Tillieux hosted a reception for Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao and representatives from the Collectif Vietnam Dioxine Association and the Belgium-Vietnam Friendship Association (BVFA) in Brussels on November 7.

Also present at the meeting were Tran To Nga, a Vietnamese victim of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin now living in France, and Belgian lawmaker André Flahaut, who submitted a resolution on supporting Vietnamese AO victims to the Federal Parliament of Belgium in December 2021. The resolution was passed by the Belgian Chamber of Representatives on October 5 evening (local time) with absolute approval votes. This was also the first parliament in the world to pass a resolution to support AO/dioxin victims during the war in Vietnam.

Speaking at the meeting, Tillieux spoke highly of the cooperation between the parliaments of Vietnam and Belgium over the past time and expressed her delight when the resolution in support of the AO/dioxin victims in Vietnam received absolute approval votes from all Belgian political parties, showing genuine concern for AO victims both in Vietnam and the world as well as enormous risks to the environment caused by this toxic chemical. 

She emphasised that the sound relations between the two countries will continue to grow in the coming time in all spheres, not only through diplomatic and parliamentary diplomatic channels but also resolutions and decisions of the parliament.  

Ambassador Thao highly appreciated the support and great efforts of the Belgian parliament through the resolution which he said is a very meaningful action to mark the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. He affirmed that the decision will help increase international community’s awareness on support of the AO/dioxin victims. 

 Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao (R) hands over to the Belgian Chamber of Representative leader a thank-you letter from National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue. (Photo: VNA) 

He handed over to the Belgian Chamber of Representative leader a thank-you letter and an invitation to visit Vietnam from National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.   

Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Karl Hendrik Margareta Van Den Bossche said that the resolution is an initial step towards future resolutions to promote concrete cooperation with the Southeast Asian country, reflecting Belgium's political participation and commitment regarding the matter.

Tran To Nga, who has spent 10 years to pursue a lawsuit against 26 US chemical corporations that supplied 80 million litres of defoliants, including highly concentrated dioxin for the US military during the Vietnam War, stated that the resolution gives her more strength in the fight for justice for victims of AO. She said the Belgian parliament's resolution will encourage other countries to take similar actions. She added that the French Senate is also preparing to hold a meeting to discuss this issue.

Flahaut, who submitted the resolution to the Federal Parliament in December 2021, stressed that specific actions are needed to implement the resolution, noting that in the immediate future, Belgium will provide technologies to detoxify contaminated land in Vietnam. The resolution will also help to call on political parties around the world to join in the fight against the use of chemical substances in war.

Paintings of renown Korean artists on show in Hanoi

Eighty five ink paintings and a graphic installation work by renowned artists from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) are on display at an exhibition that opened in Won Buddhism office in Hanoi on November 7.

The event was held as part of activities to mark the 31st anniversary of the Vietnam – RoK diplomatic relations.

The paintings of Kim Chang Bae and Kim Won Do, along with the graphic installation work by Vietnamese artist Vu Bach Lien centre on the themes of lotus, birds and animals, meditation and tea meditation, and Korean literature, reflecting the cycle of seasons in nature as well as the philosophy of life in contemporary society.

Nun Han Hoa Chung from the Won Buddhism office in Hanoi said that the exhibition will give visitors a deeper insight into the image of Buddhist practitioners in the RoK, while serving as a venue to promote cultural exchange between the two nations.

The exhibition will run until November 14.

Vietnamese culture introduced in France

The programme Vietnam Days in France 2023 is underway in the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in Paris from November 8-9 as part of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties and 10 years of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

According to the Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event aims to promote the country’s images of land and people, beauty, hospitality and dynamic development, and unique culture to the Vietnamese community abroad and international friends. It is expected to contribute to deepening the Vietnam – France relations.

The programme comprises an art performance and a Vietnamese cultural space in France.

The art programme themed "Colours of Vietnam" features Vietnamese traditional arts such as Vi Giam folk singing, southern folk songs, Champa dance and lion-dragon dance, and an Ao Dai (long dress) show.

Meanwhile, 25 engraved lacquer works spotlighting French architectural imprints in Hanoi are on display at the Vietnamese cultural space.

The event offers visitors an opportunity to join cultural interaction activities such as playing Vietnamese traditional instruments, making To he (toy figurines), printing Dong Ho paintings, and trying traditional costumes from the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).

National External Information Service Awards presented to winning Venezuelan group

Politburo member and Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs Phan Dinh Trac has presented Vietnam’s National Foreign Service Information Awards to a Venezuelan group during his working visit to the country.

The work "Vietnam in Venezuela" by former Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Jorge Rondón Uzcátegui, former Second Secretary of the Venezuelan Embassy in Vietnam Miguel Angel Bastidas, and two other female authors Teresa Ovalles and Maikki Bastidas won the third prize in the broadcasting category. The radio talk show has been broadcast on the local Oyeven radio station by the team since March 2023.

Speaking at the ceremony on November 6 (local time), Trac expressed his appreciation of the contributions by the group and many Venezuelan friends to enhancing the mutual understanding, emotional connection, and friendly relations and cooperation between the two peoples.

Expressing their honour and joy for the prize, the winners committed to making relentless efforts to strengthen and enhance the Vietnam-Venezuela friendly relations and cooperation.

Earlier on the same day, Trac attended a photo exhibition on Vietnam and her traditional friendship and comprehensive partnership with Venezuela. On display were 34 photos selected from the archives of the Vietnam News Agency and the Vietnamese Embassy.

Hai Phong tourism to take off following UNESCO recognition of Cat Ba archipelago

The recognition of Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago as a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO in September has positively impacted the tourism industry in the northern port city of Hai Phong, home to the Cat Ba islands.

In the first nine months of this year, the revenue from accommodation and dining services in Hai Phong topped 17.2 trillion VND (716 million USD), showing a 13.77% increase. The tourism receipts amounted to 217.7 billion VND, up 50.93% annually.

The Cat Hai district People’s Committee reported that as of late September, Cat Ba welcomed over 2.4 million visitors, achieving 80% of the annual plan, equivalent to the total number in 2022. The total revenue from tourism services rose by 26% annually to over 2.4 trillion VND, or 90% of the yearly target.

To achieve such positive results, Hai Phong has rolled out many new tourism products, focusing on building a safe, green and eco-friendly destination. Particularly, culinary tourism experiences have become a highlight of the city. The city has also pushed ahead with the rural tourism development programme in line with the 2021-2025 new rural development strategy.

The city also pays attention to high-class tourism, planning some large-scale entertainment and resort projects. Accordingly, Do Son district is designated to become an international tourism hub with a focus on sports, recreational activities, and beach festivals. 

Most recently on October 9, the municipal Tourism Department collaborated with the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Kon Tum provinces to hold a tourism promotion conference themed "One journey, many destinations". This event aimed to popularise tourism of the three Central Highlands provinces to the people of Hai Phong. At the same time, it also introduced Hai Phong's tourism to travel companies in the region.

Earlier on September 24, Hai Phong and Lao Cai, Hanoi, Hai Duong, and Quang Ninh signed an agreement on cooperating to stimulate tourism demand and link their value chains based on the potential and competitive advantages of each locality.

Quang Ninh gets ready for busy cruise season

As the cruise season usually starts in October and ends in April, travel agencies in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh have made plans and established linkages to welcome cruise ships.

In late October, two cruise ships - the Viking Orion of Norway and the Bahamas’s Silver Muse - carried some 1,200 tourists from Europe to the province, where the visitors explored the famous Ha Long Bay and local cultural and cuisine traditions.   

Since the beginning of the year, Quang Ninh has welcomed many cruise ships, some of them having returned twice. According to the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, so far 18 international cruise ships have registered to bring tourists to Ha Long Bay from late October to the end of the year. 

They are all luxury ships which have docked in Quang Ninh many times such as Viking Orion, Silver Muse, Celebrity Solstice, and Silver Whisper. The cruises specialise in serving tourism routes in Asia and South Pacific, and depart from many different countries.

With an adequate port system, beautiful landscapes, and a prime location in Asia’s important maritime traffic routes, Quang Ninh is a suitable stop for cruise journeys in the region and the world.

Especially, the province is located near China – a potential market for cruise tourism with many international shipping lines operating cruise ships. It is also a convenient stop near other North Asian markets such as Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

In addition, Quang Ninh has developed many destinations that meet cruise tourists’ needs for entertainment or shopping, such as the high-class amusement and entertainment area SunWorld Ha Long Complex, Bai Chay beach, Quang Ninh Museum - Library, Quang Ninh Expo Centre and Ha Long market. 

The operation of the Ha Long International Passenger Port since November 2018 has created a big boost for the province’s cruise tourism. The port can serve two ships at the same time and can serve cruises of up to 225,000 GRT, carrying 8,460 people.

Marko Snajdar, Captain of the Viking Orion said that Quang Ninh has many advantages to develop cruise tourism thanks to its location, its nature, a developed infrastructure system and adequate services.

According to him, when arriving at the province, tourists have got memorable experiences here.

With the recent changes in Vietnam’s visa policy, cruise tourists can complete procedures quickly and have more time for sightseeing and relaxation. 

Quang Ninh tourism businesses have also taken the initative in linking with travel agencies to form a synchronous tourism product chain. 

Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, Director of Tan Hong Ltd Company’s Quang Ninh branch, said that she highly appreciates the infrastructure investment and improved quality of services on Ha Long Bay. She said the activities on the bay are very interesting and safe, attracting a large number of tourists to spend the night on the bay.

She added that foreign tourists, especially European ones, love to learn about the local ethnic culture, so her company has piloted a tour in the mountainous area of Hoanh Bo, which received positive feedback. Hang said the company will bring more guests to the area in the coming time.

To make Quang Ninh become an attractive destination for cruise tourists, the province has implemented communication marketing campaigns, especially promotional activities abroad, and cooperated with shipping companies to promote the locality’s images. The province has also developed specific short-term and long-term plans for the development of the cruise tourism market.

At the same time, the province’s tourism sector continues with efforts to improve service quality, focusing on developing luxury tourism product lines, and training human resources, promoting the strengths of transportation infrastructure, and ensuring security and safety for visitors.

Quang Ninh to host Hokkaido Festival

The Hokkaido Festival in Ha Long will take place in the northern province of Quang Ninh, home to UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay, from November 17-19.

Themed “Quang Ninh- Hokkaido: Rich Cultural Integration”, the event aims to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam - Japan diplomatic relations.

Diverse activities such as a Quang Ninh - Japan investment promotion conference, an exhibition of Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine, street art performances, a workshop on cultural - tourism ties and human resources development, and a friendly golf tournament, will be held on this occasion.

The festival is part of the cooperation agreement signed between the Quang Ninh People’s Committee and the Hokkaido prefectural administration.

It is hoped to contribute to the promotion of the cultural traditions of Quang Ninh and Hokkaido, as well as the two countries in general, and attract foreign visitors to the Vietnamese province.

The opening ceremony is expected to draw about 4,000-5,000 people, including Japanese artisans and artists.

Table tennis club cup opens for pro athletes, promising exciting competition

The 10th Hà Nội Open Table Tennis Club Tournament, the Hànộimới Newspaper Cup, will feature more than 300 athletes on November 9-12 in the capital city.

They will compete for a total of VNĐ120 million (US$4,900) in prize money across 12 categories for men and women, divided into different age groups, individual and team categories.

One new change this year is that professional athletes can compete in the men's team events.

All national senior team members such as national champion Nguyễn Anh Tú, SEA Games champion Đinh Anh Hoàng and former SEA Games winner Nguyễn Đức Tuân have registered.

In addition, former national players such as Vũ Quang Hiền, Trần Tuấn Quỳnh, Phan Huy Hoàng, Nguyễn Bích Ngọc and Nguyễn Thị Mai have been listed as athletes in the semi-pro category.

"The increasing number of participants proves the role of our tournament, a favourite event in the table tennis community," said Nguyễn Minh Đức, editor-in-chief of Hànộimới Newspaper.

"The change is to improve the competitiveness of our tournament. It is also a play ground where athletes, especially juniors, can sharpen their skills."

Responding to Việt Nam News' questions about the tournament's preparation in facilities and organisation, Ngô Thu Thủy of Hà Nội Sport Training and Competition Centre said all have been well managed at highest conditions.

"All equipment used at the competition such as netd, tables and balls are of an international standard," said Thủy, deputy head of Table Tennis Department.

"All national referees have been mobilised to officiate almost 600 matches at the Hà Nội Open. It is all to ensure the fairness, accuracy and the success of the event."

Việt Nam to beat Philippines in World Cup qualification’s first match

Defender Bùi Hoàng Việt Anh insists Việt Nam are targeting a win in the Philippines next week in the first qualification match of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Asian zone.

Coach Philippe Troussier and his players are currently taking part in an intensive training camp in preparation for the November 16 match of Group F at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

“We have trained together for long time and played quality teams in preparation for the World Cup qualification," said Việt Anh.

"There were troubles in these matches and we have learned a lot from strong rivals. In general, I believe that we have had good preparation for this qualifier."

Việt Nam will have to play against the hosts on artificial grass, unfamiliar for Troussier's team.

"We have to adapt to all conditions," said Việt Anh, who has been training for several days on an artificial surface.

"We are confident will will gain three points from the Philippines. A win will be a motivation for us before we host a stronger Iraq team days later."

On November 6, Troussier called veteran Bùi Tiến Dũng back to the team after defender Đỗ Duy Mạnh unexpectedly suffered a leg injury from a motorbike accident.

Captain Dũng scored the winner in Viettel FC's 1-0 win over Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh in the V.League 1 on Sunday.

Dũng was one of key members of Park Hang-seo's team during his five-year reign. But he could not find a regular place in Troussier's side in recent games. He was even not called to the national team at the FIFA Days in October.

Troussier will take 28 players to Manila on November 13. They will have three days training before the match.

They will next play Iraq on November 21 at the Mỹ Đình Stadium.

Supporters can buy tickets, ranging from VNĐ200,000-600,000 (US$8.2-24.6), on app VinID until November 11 or until tickets run out, whichever comes first.

Virtual art exhibition raises funds to build houses for needy people

A virtual art exhibition is being held to raise funds to build houses for needy people in the central provinces of Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên Huế featuring art works by 22 artists nationwide.

The exhibition Xuôi Dòng Sông Thu 2023 (Autumn River Flows Down 2023) showcases 32 paintings in oils, acrylic, watercolour, silk and lacquer by famous painters such as Bùi Tiến Tuấn, Nguyễn Hồng Quân and Lê Kinh Tài.

The works reflect different themes of the beauty of landscapes, women and lifestyles. Still lifes and portraits are also featured.

Tuấn, a lecturer at the HCM City Fine Arts University, presents two portraits named Tuổi Mộng Mơ (A Girl’s Dream) on silk and Tuổi Của Nàng (Her Beauty) in acrylics at the exhibition. Both highlight the beauty of women at different ages.

Tuấn, 52, has had many solo and group exhibitions in the UK, France and South Korea. He won a silver medal at the National Fine Arts Exhibition in 2010 and his paintings are in collections at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, HCM City Fine Arts Museum and private collections.

Meanwhile, Quân introduces two watercolours depicting life on the river in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta. They are titled Câu Chuyện Bên Sông (A Story Beside River) and Chợ Nổi Phụng Hiệp (Phụng Hiệp Floating Market).

Quân, 66, graduated from the HCM City Fine Art University in 1995. He had three solo exhibitions and joined numerous group exhibitions.

Artist Ngô Trần Vũ, the exhibition’s organiser, said, “Around 50 to 100 per cent of the profits from the painting sales will be used to build houses for needy people in Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên Huế provinces.”

He added the Gieo Nhà Gặt Nhà (House Building) Fund was initiated in 2008, giving 70 houses worth VNĐ3 billion (US$122,000) to poor people in the two provinces.

The exhibition is raising funds until November 9.

All exhibited works can be viewed at 

Gia Lai culture and tourism week to take place in mid-November

Culture and Tourism Week of the central province of Gia Lai will be held from November 11-19, featuring a wide range of activities to promote the culture and tourism of the Central Highlands.

According to Tạ Quang Đông, deputy culture and tourism minister and also art director and chief director of the programme, the event honours the value of the cultural space of gongs in the region, which has been recognised as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by the UN culture agency UNESCO.

This is also an opportunity for Central Highlands ethnic groups to meet and learn from each other's experience in conserving, promoting and disseminating the gong culture space, he said.

The opening ceremony of Gia Lai Culture and Tourism Week 2023 will take place at Đại Đoàn Kết Square in downtown Pleiku City.

The highlight of the event will be the ceremony to receive the Special National Heritage Certificate for the Rộc Tưng Gò Đá archaeological site and the declaration of the collection of An Khê ancient stone tools as a national treasure.

The highlight of the week is the Gia Lai Gong Culture Festival to be held November 11-12.

As part of the Gia Lai Culture and Tourism Week, there will also be a trade fair showcasing the province's distinctive agricultural produce. About 250 booths will introduce local handicrafts, farm specialties, culinary delights and tourism-related products.

Many other sports and cultural activities will be held within the week, including Tree Marigold - Chư Đang Ya Volcano Week and Gia Lai Trail 2023 - The Dream of the Great Mountains running race.

Meanwhile, a traditional wooden boat race on the Pô Cô and the Ia Grai District’s gong culture festival will take place in Ia O Commune, Ia Grai District, from November 16-18.

According to Nguyễn Thị Thanh Lịch, vice chairwoman of the People's Committee of Gia Lai Province, as many as 1,000 artisans from five Central Highlands provinces will participate in this year’s event.

"We are determined to create a truly remarkable, fresh and impactful Gia Lai Culture and Tourism Week 2023," she said. 

North-South Expressway Project’s capital disbursement for year reaches over 70 per cent

North-South Expressway Projects in the 2021-2025 period have so far disbursed more than VNĐ33.2 trillion (US$1.31 billion) out of over VNĐ46.4 trillion ($1.9 billion) of total allocated capital this year, according to the Department of Planning and Investment (Ministry of Transport).

The capital disbursement reached 72 per cent of the year’s plan.

The disbursement rate of component projects of Bãi Vọt-Hàm Nghi reached 74 per cent, Bùng-Vạn Ninh – 70 per cent, Vạn Ninh-Cam Lộ – 75 per cent, Vân Phong-Nha Trang – 73 per cent, Hậu Giang-Cà Mau - 77 per cent, Hàm Nghi-Vũng Áng – 66 per cent, Quảng Ngãi-Hoài Nhơn– 69 per cent, Hoài Nhơn-Quy Nhơn – 66 per cent, Quy Nhơn-Chí Thạnh – 60 per cent and Chí Thạnh-Vân Phong – 64 per cent.

In particular, the two component projects with the highest disbursement rate are the Cần Thơ-Hậu Giang expressway reaching 91 per cent and Vũng Áng – Bùng at 86 per cent.

In 2023, the Ministry of Transport's public investment plan allocated more than VNĐ95 trillion ($3.9 billion).

The North-South Expressway Project for the period 2017-2020 was allocated more than VNĐ17.5 trillion ($715.9 million), the same project for the period 2021-2025 is allocated nearly VNĐ46.4 trillion ($1.9 billion), other important and urgent projects received a capital of nearly VNĐ1.6 trillion ($65.5 million), the ODA project group got more than VNĐ7.8 trillion ($319 million), and other domestic projects are allocated capital of nearly VNĐ27.8 trillion ($1.13 billion).

In order to speed up disbursement progress, the Ministry of Transport asked investors and project management boards (PMBs) to regularly review and update disbursement plans of each project and contract package to promptly detect difficulties and problems in the implementation process to propose solutions.

The investors and PMBs were also requested to speed up settlement procedures for projects, strengthen field inspection and supervision, and push contractors and consultants to accelerate the construction progress of ongoing projects to ensure progress and required quality.

Investors and PMBs need to co-ordinate with localities to resolve problems and complete procedures to speed up disbursement progress for site clearance. 

HCM City to spend $6.7m on health programmes

HCM City plans to spend around VNĐ166 billion (US$6.7 million) on its health programmes this year.

The municipal People's Committee has issued a plan to implement about 20 health programmes.

Accordingly, the city will allocate more than VNĐ2.5 billion ($101,385) to ensure vaccine coverage according to targets set by the national expanded immunisation programme, and proceed to control and eliminate some diseases by preventing, strengthening and improving the quality of the vaccination system.

More than VNĐ46 billion ($1.87 million) will be spent on the infectious disease prevention programme to minimise the incidence and death rate from infectious diseases and the risk of disease outbreaks, aiming to protect and improve people's health and socio-economic development.

Nearly VNĐ15 billion ($608,320) will be distributed to the HIV/AIDS prevention programme to boost coverage of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to reduce the HIV infection rate and HIV/AIDS-related deaths in the community.

That will contribute to achieving relevant objectives and targets stipulated in the National Strategy to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030, lowering the HIV infection rate in the community to below 0.54 per cent, and the new HIV infection rate to below 0.03 per cent.

The programme also aims to create a convenient environment, provide friendly treatment services, address HIV stigma and discrimination, and minimise the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the city’s socio-economic development.

The city will dispense more than VNĐ10.5 billion ($425,825) from its State budget for the non-communicable disease prevention programme to strengthen control of disease risk factors, promote prevention measures, early detection and treatment management to limit the increase in the rate of diseases, and disability and premature deaths related to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.

It will contribute to the protection and improvement of city dwellers’ health and the country's socio-economic development.

More than VNĐ3.6 billion ($146,000) is allocated for a nutrition programme to improve nutrition, limit the increase in overweight and obese residents, and improve stature and physical strength.

The city plans to spend more than VNĐ1.5 billion ($60,830) on the school health programme to take care of students’ health, aiming to reduce disease incidence, while controlling the emergence and increase of infectious diseases.

Around VNĐ1.8 billion ($73,000) will be given to the tobacco harm prevention programme.

The programme on monitoring the quality of clean water sources for domestic purposes and household toilet management is allocated VNĐ5.6 billion ($227,105).

The city plans to aid the training programme on waste management at medical facilities with VNĐ60 million ($2,430), and the climate change response programme with VNĐ609 million ($24,700).

It allocates the tuberculosis prevention programme VNĐ2.6 billion ($105,440), the programme to prevent and control chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma VNĐ535.6 million ($21,720), the leprosy prevention programme VNĐ94 million ($3,810), and the sexually transmitted infection prevention and control programme VNĐ104 million ($4,215).

It gives the accident and injury prevention programme VND854 million ($34,630), the population and development programme VNĐ70.5 billion ($2.8 million), and the reproductive health programme focusing on maternal, newborn and child health care VNĐ732 million ($29,686). 

Dangerous levels of UV rays reported nationwide

Almost all localities across the country will experience a dangerous level of ultraviolet (UV) rays on November 7, according to information provided by the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

The UV index is used to measure the intensity of UV radiation, with it ranging around seven to nine in all major cities on the day, except for in Hanoi.
According to the World Health Organisation, a UV index of 7.5 to 10.4 is deemed "very high", which means a very high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure.

Specifically, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the UV index in Ho Chi Minh City will reach 8.1. In addition, the index is measured at 7.2 in the central city of Da Nang, 7.5 in Hoi An City of the central province of Quang Nam, 7.4 in Nha Trang city in the southcentral province of Khanh Hoa, 8.7 in Can Tho City, and 8.0 in Ca Mau City. 

Elsewhere, the index in Hanoi is at a moderate level ranging from three to five.

It is forecasted that from November 8 to November 10, cities across the country will continue to see a high to very high UV index, apart from in Hanoi.

People are therefore advised to take extra precautions such as wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, as well as ensuring they stay hydrated.

Ambassador honoured for contributions to Vietnam-Canada ties

The Senate of Canada held a ceremony on November 7 to honour Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Vinh Quang on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of both nations’ bilateral diplomatic ties.

Senator Victor Oh, head of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Association, voiced his hope that the Ambassador will make greater contributions to further enhancing the two countries’ friendship and co-operation.

Bilateral ties have been nurtured and developed in a variety of fields from trade, development co-operation, to education and culture, not only bringing about benefits to both sides, but also contributing to stability throughout the region and the wider world. 
He hailed the people-to-people exchanges as the Vietnamese community in Canada has contributed to further enriching the cultural diversity of the North American country whilst helping Canadians to gain a general understanding of Vietnam in the process.

The senator also shared his positive impression about Vietnamese development through what he witnessed during his visit and attendance at the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum in September, which focused on environmental challenges, the circular economy, and the promotion of green energy initiatives.

This represents an important foundation in promoting sustainable economic development and is a testament to Vietnamese commitments to achieve a greener and more sustainable economic future, he said.

Traditional costumes of Vietnamese ethnic groups displayed in Paris

A collection of traditional ethnic costumes from Vietnam by French collector Alain Dussarps is on display at the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in Paris.

The exhibition, which opened on November 7, introduces about 70 sets of costumes, hats and scarves, along with many accessories, jewelry and daily items. The exhibits were used by people from more than 30 ethnic groups living mainly in the northern mountainous and Central Highlands regions, as well as minority groups in the Mekong Delta and Red River Delta.

Various items such as costumes of the Dao and Kho Mu people, brocade scarves of the Thai and Lo Lo people, baskets of the E De people, or jewelry of the Mong people show the life and diversity of Vietnam' ethnic minority groups.

Sonia Ait Mansour, a Moroccan student in France, remarked at the diverse of the costumes as well as the culture of Vietnamese ethnic groups. She noticed the costume of the Red Dao people, saying that it has many similarities with the costume of an ethnic group in her country.

Another visitor, Julien Paralles said he is particularly impressed by the colours of the costumes of ethnic group in the northern mountainous region, and realises the diversity in religions and cuisines of ethnic groups across Vietnam.

Collector Dussarps said that the collection was gathered during the time that he joined Red Cross Societies and charity groups to conduct about 60 humanitarian missions throughout Vietnam. The exhibitions of traditional costumes of Vietnamese ethnic groups have helped him raise funds for humanitarian projects in Vietnam. He undertook some 99 projects so far raising a total amount of 562,000 EUR (599,920 USD).

Nguyen Hai Nam, Chairman of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association (AAFV), said that along with introducing the traditional costumes of Vietnamese ethnic groups, the exhibition is also a chance to call for support of the groups in developing production. On this occasion, the AAFV also called for support for Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam, stated Nam.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang praised Dussarps’ enthusiasm in implementing humanitarian activities in Vietnam as well as his love for Vietnamese people, describing it as a long-standing friendship.

The exhibition will run until November 12.

HCM City eyes further cooperation with Cambodian localities

Ho Chi Minh City treasures and does its best to promote relations with Cambodian localities, including the capital city of Phnom Penh, contributing to the development of Vietnam-Cambodia ties, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan on November 8.

Hoan made the statement while congratulating Cambodian Consul General in HCM City Chan Sorykan on the 70th anniversary of Cambodia's Independence Day (November 9, 1953 - 2023).

On behalf of HCM City's leaders, Hoan congratulated Cambodia on its achievements made under the reign of King Norodom Sihamoni, the leadership of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Chairman Samdech Techo Hun Sen and new Prime Minister Samdech Thipadei Hun Manet.

Hoan believed that Cambodia and its people will continue to obtain greater achievements and become more prosperous.

According to the official, to implement the directions of the Party and State leaders on developing the bilateral relations, HCM  City is committed to strengthening cooperative relations with Cambodian localities and promoting specific cooperation projects, thus bringing practical benefits to both sides and contributing to socio-economic development of the localities.

For his part, Cambodian Consul General in HCM City Chan Sorykan said that this year marks the 70th anniversary of  Cambodia's Independence Day and the 56th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Vietnam (1967-2023).

Appreciating the role of HCM City in relations between the two countries, the Cambodian official pledged to do his best during his term to promote cooperation between Cambodia and southern localities of Vietnam, particularly HCM City, thus developing the Cambodia - Vietnam traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

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