Bangkok Hackathon to save Southeast Asia’s energy system

Philippe Delalande is economic and political researcher from France who deeply understands Vietnam. He once worked as director of the Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau of Francophone Inter-Government Agency in Hanoi for five years and has written many books about Vietnam. A VOV correspondent in Paris interviewed him about Vietnam’s economy and economic co-operation between Vietnam and France. VOV: What’s your evaluation of how Vietnam’s economy has performed over the past 20 years? Mr Philippe: Since 1990, Vietnam’s economy has made amazing progress with annual average growth of 7.5 percent. Even when many Southeast Asian countries were damaged by the Asian economic crisis in 1997-1998, the country’s economy still kept growing. In 1999 its economic growth rate reached 4.5 percent while other Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia fell into crisis. I think that the growth rate can be attributed to the consistent economic policy of integrating gradually into the global economy in line with the situation in Vietnam. In addition, Vietnam has maintained its macro-economic policy for 20 years, in which it has reduced public debt and the inflation rate, ensuring a balance budget and controlling the amount of currency in circulation. VOV: You write in your books that one of Vietnam’s advantages is its political stability. Can you explain this? Mr Philippe: Political stability is one of the main factors that has helped Vietnam pursue its economic development policy. Since 1990, most other regional countries, except Singapore, have experienced coup d’etats or political crises. Meanwhile Vietnam has achieved…... [read more]

Viet Nam News The Vietnam News Agency has selected 10 events that shook the world in 2016: 1. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague rejects China's claim of the East Sea: On July 12, the Tribunal, constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), issued the final ruling on the Philippines's lawsuit against China on a dispute in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Việt Nam). The ruling clarified that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea area enclosed by the so-called "nine-dash line", and the "nine-dash line" drawn by China was contrary to the UNCLOS. This was the first international ruling related to the East Sea disputes. 2. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro passes away: The great revolutionary leader of the 20th century and a close friend of the Vietnamese people died on November 26 at the age of 90. Fidel Castro gathered and led revolutionary forces and founded the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere. His funeral procession passed through the island nation during nine days. Commemorative events were held worldwide. 3. The UK chooses to leave the European Union: The majority of UK voters opted for the country's separation from the EU in a referendum on June 23. The result shocked the world and shook the UK political scene. The decision by one of the EU's major pillars also increased the…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam News Agency has selected 10 most outstanding world events in 2016 as follow:1. The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the Netherlands, rejects China’s claim in the East Sea: On July 12, the Tribunal, constituted under Annex VII to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), issued the final ruling on the Philippines’s lawsuit against China on a dispute in the South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam). The ruling clarified that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea area enclosed by the so-called “nine-dash line”, and the “nine-dash line” drawn by China was contrary to the UNCLOS. This was the first international ruling related to East Sea disputes, which was supported by the international community.2. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro passes away: The great revolutionary leader of the 20th century and a close friend of Vietnamese people died on November 26 at the age of 90. Fidel Castro gathered and led revolutionary forces of Cuba and founded the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere. His funeral was held at national level in nine days. A number of commemorating activities were also organised in different places in the world. 3. The UK chooses to leave the European Union: The majority of UK voters opted for the country’s separation from the EU during the referendum on June 23. The event shocked the world and completely changed…... [read more]

Credit Suisse has estimated that more spending by Chinese visitors can boost Vietnam’s GDP by 1 percentage point. As more Chinese travel around the world, they leave bigger impacts wherever they go. Now experts say for countries that receive a large number of Chinese arrivals, including Thailand and Vietnam, their economic growth will be influenced by the spending habits of these visitors. A 30 percent increase in spending by Chinese tourists would boost Vietnam’s gross domestic product by nearly 1 percentage point, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing Credit Suisse. For Thailand, that would be around 1.6 points. Vietnam’s economy is expected to expand 6 percent this year, before speeding up to 6.8 percent next year. Mainland China accounted for 30 percent of all tourists to Vietnam, with more than 2.48 million coming in the first 11 months this year, up 54 percent from the same period last year. It was the biggest source market, and only came after Hong Kong in terms of growth. In September, the Chinese Tourism Administration released a top 10 list of favorite destinations for Chinese travelers, ranking Vietnam at seventh. Edward Lee, an economist with Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore, said in the Bloomberg report that tourism in Southeast Asia will benefit from the growing Chinese demand. The number of Chinese tourists into Asia as a whole has grown tenfold since 2000, Lee said. They now account for a quarter of tourists in Thailand, which came first in the China’s list of top 10 favorite…... [read more]

Trangs Group boss releases autobiography, donates scholarships Huy Nguyen By Huy Nguyen in HCMC First News Company on Tuesday debuted the autobiography Gian truan chi la thu thach (Hardship is just challenge) by Ho Van Trung, chairman of Trangs Group. The book tells the life of Trung, from when he was an orphaned buffalo boy in La Khe Commune, Huong Tra District, Thua Thien-Hue Province until he moved to HCMC, graduated from university and joined student revolutions. In 1980, he moved to Australia and suffered a hard life in the first days of living in a new country. However, things turned around and Trung opened a restaurant named Trangs after his daughter. Since then he has expanded his food service business to Europe, America, Africa and many Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. The book calls on people to overcome troubles to lead as happy a life as they can. Along with its release in Vietnam, the autobiography is also debuted in English in the U.S. and Australia. At Tuesday’s launch at the Hotel Continental Saigon in downtown HCMC, Trung handed over VND40 million to teacher Nguyen Ngoc Ky, who has paralysis of the hands but still partakes in work and enjoys life to the full, VND30 million to Tran Quyet Thang, who has no arms but still can play the piano, and 30 scholarships worth VND3 million each for poor students.... [read more]

Ecological preservation highlighted in exhibition By My Tran in HCMC Riverscapes In Flux exhibition is opening at Cactus Contemporary Art Gallery in Binh Thanh District, highlighting key ecological issues in Southeast Asia. The exhibition, organized by the Goethe Institute, showcases the works by 17 artists from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The artworks reflect the ecological, socio-economic and cultural changes that the rivers in their countries are currently experiencing. Southeast Asia is characterized by large river landscapes like no other place in the world and these riverscapes resemble lifelines and roads which have developed into economic zones and vital ecosystems. The waterways secure food production and energy supply not only for the local population but often for a vast region. However, the economic exploitation of the rivers and the consequences of dynamic socio-economic development, typical of many Southeast Asian countries, have caused long-term damage to the river landscapes and the effects of climate change pose an additional threat to these already endangered eco systems. Therefore, Riverscapes In Flux seeks to create a discourse on this ecological key issue in a new context, expected to contribute to raising awareness of the invaluable ecological and cultural heritage which the river landscapes in Southeast Asia represent and create networks between artists beyond borders as well as to give new impulses to environment protection initiatives. Pieces include multimedia installations and photo series, videos and object installations, accompanied by film screenings and various educational and cultural activities. Among the artists who contributed…... [read more]

The short-term vision By Thanh Trung in Hanoi "In a visit to a business, I was surprised to know that Vietnam is able to supply cartons only. I was shocked to hear that Japanese alcohol producers have to import glass bottles," says a Japanese diplomat. Mitsuo Sakaba, in his frank remarks delivered at a recent forum in Hanoi, says that if the thickness of the bottle is not absolutely even, the quality of alcohol inside cannot be ensured and that if the tone of color is improper, the appearance of the bottle will become an eyesore. Such an issue is not only common in the support industry for alcoholic beverage makers but in many others as well. Few local companies can meet the strict quality and design standards set by Japanese companies and those from other countries. When he began his term of office as Japanese ambassador to Vietnam a year ago, he recalls, the top priority for him would be to promote supporting industries to step up trade and economic ties between Japan and Vietnam. This is the key topic of discussion he has often raised in his meetings with Vietnam's Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Vu Tien Loc. But no breakthrough progress has been made in the supporting industries. Actually, it is high time that an alarm bell could be sounded over the underdevelopment of supporting industries. For Sakaba, this has become a persistent concern. The lack…... [read more]

As controversial as ever By Pham Vu in HCMC Browsing the Internet, one can see more than 100 countries have designated a distinctive flower as a national symbol to nurture national pride and identity. Lotus in India. Vanda Miss Joaquim (an orchid variety) in Singapore. Tulip in the Netherlands. Vietnam is among the few countries that have yet to choose a national flower. So it is explainable the national steering committee for the selection are feeling the urge to have one and this endeavor certainly costs no sweat to seek a public consensus. The issue has been in the news over the past year but it has started culmination since a six-day Lunar New Year flower and beverage festival was launched in Hanoi Tuesday this week. What flower will become the national symbol will be announced on Saturday but there has appeared too much hype about integrity, fairness and transparency in the selection process. Now everyone knows lotus is an unbeatable heavyweight candidate. If this was the result of a fair and transparent poll, people would take their hat off to that. An article published in Phap Luat newspaper on Thursday says the steering committee is obviously biased as a ceremony of announcing the national flower is titled the Night of the Vietnamese Lotus Spirit. Moreover, the furnishing theme of the event is also the lotus flower. In a seminar on what flower should be picked as the national flower, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed choosing lotus,…... [read more]

Textile-Garment Industry Expo 2009 kicks off in city By Van Nam - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - Around 305 companies from 24 countries and territories will introduce their garment and textile products and materials at the Vietnam Saigon Textile and Garment Industry Fabric and Garment Accessories Exhibition 2009 due to open in HCMC today. The four-day exhibition lasts until April 10 at the HCMC International Exhibition and Convention Center, 446 Hoang Van Thu Street in Tan Binh District. The 19th annual exhibition will also help domestic garment producers have more sources of materials for local production. The organizers also said in a press meeting on Monday that there would be several seminars on garment industry development during the four-day exhibition. The event is co-organized by Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, or Vinatex, VCCI Exhibition Service and the Hongkong CP Exhibition Company. A conference will be hosted at Movenpick Saigon Hotel this afternoon between members of the Asean Federation of Textile Industries (Aftex) including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and four non-member countries, China, India, Japan and Korea. The conference will discuss the region's garment and textile industry to seek optimal solutions for the difficult world economy, said Andrew Kay, managing director of CP Exhibition Company. Kay said that the number of exhibitors at this year's event is down by 20% compared to last year. However, Vietnam's garment industry still lures investors. On April 8th, another seminar will be held in the same hotel…... [read more]

Winning On Home Market By staff writers Vietnam has launched a large-scale campaign to promote the use of Vietnamese goods In August, the Political Bureau approved the launch of a drive dubbed “Vietnamese give priority to Vietnamese goods,” a large-scale campaign aiming not only at inspiring patriotism and national pride but also building a consumer culture in the public and helping local businesses improve competitiveness on the local market. The move, the first ever launched by the highest political body of Vietnam, is seen as correct policy in the background of the global economic slowdown that is taking its toll on every country, and Vietnam is not an exception.As an export-led economy, Vietnam has been hit due to the shrinking export markets and falling demand of consumers worldwide. Therefore, the appeal to use Vietnamese goods is lauded by economists as a way to stimulate domestic demand and a practical solution to help the economy ride out the tough times. It is also regarded as a wake-up call to local businesses, which has for years neglected the domestic market with a large population of 86 million people and strong purchasing power. According to official statistics, the revenue from domestic trade and services last year reached US$57.76 billion, while revenue generated from exports were US$62.27 billion. Pham Chi Lan, a senior economist, said foreign direct investment and export can help a country escape poverty, but to become a rich country, it is essential to develop the internal strength, mainly local businesses and…... [read more]




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