Mozambican PM visits Steering Committee on incidents and disaster response

However, the coordination remains inadequate, according to a political report presented at the 11th National Party Congress. Therefore, the Communist Party of Vietnam worked out important directions to ensure both marine-based economic growth and national defence and security until 2020. In the document of its 11th National Congress, the Party focused on developing the marine economy to fully tap Vietnam’s potential. Vietnam has a coastline of 3,260 km and sovereignty and jurisdiction over a total area of about 1 million square kilometres of the sea includinginternal waters, territorial waters, the contiguous zone, exclusive economic zones and its continental shelf. It has 3,000 islands of various sizes, 12 archipelagoes, as well as the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos. All the sea and islands are in 125 coastal districts in 28 provinces, including 12 island districts. Of the 1,656 km2 of Vietnam’s islands and archipelagos, 66 islands are inhabited with a total population of more than 155,000 people. All the islands and archipelagoes are an inseparable part of the country that plays a very important role in national defence and construction. Developing the marine-based economy The Party and State have attached great importance to the sea and islands and are determined to turn Vietnam into a strong marine-based country, considering it a strategic target for national defence and construction. In the 1990-1992 period, Vietnam launched an East Sea – Islands programme, followed by the Party Politburo’s policies on sea-based economic development and the struggle to protect the country’s sovereignty…... [read more]

This is the curtain raising event to mark the Vietnam – Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2012 and confirms the unswerving policy of Vietnam to treasure and bring bilateral relations to a new height. Bilateral relations have been continuously promoted in various fields through the exchange of reciprocal visits by the two countries’ top leaders. Worthy of note were last year’s visits to Vietnam by President Chummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsinh Thammavong, and National Assembly Chairperson Pany Yathotu, and visits to Laos by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. They have reinforced trust and bonds between the two nations. Phankham Viphavan, President of the Laos – Vietnam Friendship Association, says such special relations are found nowhere else in the world. “Our leaders have paid special care to improving the younger generation’s understanding of the two nations’ traditional relations,” says Viphavan. “The project on the traditional Vietnam-Laos relations has contributed practically to enhancing the awareness of the two countries’ peoples on their loyal and close ties." 2012 is observed as the Vietnam – Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year, which also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 35 years of the Vietnam – Laos Friendship and Cooperation Treaty. Vietnam has established a national steering committee on the Vietnam – Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year with various activities to be held nationwide. Vu Xuan Hong, Chairman of the Union of Vietnam Friendship Organizations, says the two Friendship Organizations should actively prepare for the celebration, and…... [read more]

"It is imperative to severely punish corrupt officers who have involved in trade fraud, or aided and abetted smugglers," he stressed. Phuc, who is also Head of the National Steering Committee for Anti-Smuggling, Trade Frauds and Counterfeit Goods, raised his concern over the escalation of smuggling and trade fraud that have caused negative impact on people’s health and living conditions. He asked relevant ministries, agencies and localities to make greater efforts in combating these crimes by promoting information dissemination and intensifying strict inspection against smuggling and trade fraud. He proposed finalizing the legal scheme and offering local businesses more incentives to help them develop and protect their brand names in order to sharpen the competitive edge of Made-in-Vietnam products.... [read more]

The PM asked the Ministry of Health and the national steering committee for human influenza prevention and control to closely monitor and effectively respond to the developments of the epidemic. According to the PM, necessary measures must be employed at border gates to control the movement of travellers and commodities from the affected areas. Any suspected cases must be quarantined for further monitoring, and border gates must be well prepared to receive and treat these patients to ensure the epidemic cannot spread further across the community. The PM asked the Ministry of Health and the national steering committee to work closely with the World Health Organisation to keep media agencies and the people abreast of the epidemic and preventative measures. The Ministry of Health said that it has prepared 1,000 respirators, 34 quick-test sets and hundreds of thousands of boxes of chemical disinfectant to be supplied to provinces and cities in case of emergency. Hanoi braces itself for swine flu An inspection task force comprising staff from various sectors has been deployed to monitor seven checkpoints in the capital city of Hanoi around the clock to pre-empt any possible swine flu outbreak. Veterinarians, market controllers, police and even servicemen are present at the sites to supervise the transport of livestock and poultry and sterilize it in a timely fashion, says Nguyen Huy Dang, Vice Director of the Municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Mr Dang says that the city is making a huge effort to quarantine all animals as…... [read more]

At 04.00 on May 4, Chan-Hom, the first of its kind to hit the East Sea this year, was positioned at 10.3 degrees north latitude and 112.1 degrees east longitude, about 380km off the south-central coast. It packed winds of between 62-74km near its centre. In the next 24 hours, the storm is forecast to move slowly north and northwest and continue to strengthen. South-central and south-western provinces are expected to experience strong winds and heavy rains in the coming days. The National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control on May 3 asked coastal provinces and cities from Da Nang to Ca Mau to keep a close watch on the development of the storm, strictly manage the number of fishing vessels operating at sea and draw up prevention plans if the storm makes landfall.... [read more]

Mr Nga gave the warning at a conference held in Hanoi on May 6 by the National Steering Committee on Influenza in Humans. The official reported that the nearly 18,000 visitors who have entered the country through 10 border gates and airports have all been monitored and two of them were found with high temperatures and subsequently quarantined until the final test results are available. Vietnam has applied emergency measures to prevent the epidemic from reaching its shores, he said, adding that by 5pm on May 6, the country had still not detected any cases of virus A/H1N1 infection. To effectively prevent the spread of the virus, the Health Ministry has been holding training courses for local medical workers in all 63 provinces and cities. The ministry has also entrusted local preventive medical centres and hospitals to keep a close watch round the clock to promptly discover and deal with any cases of infection.... [read more]

The centre said local authorities across the region should take measures to prevent floods to minimise human and property losses. Heavy rains over the past few days have already caused damage to both human and property in the northern region. Statistics on the damage should be available in the next few days, reported the National Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control, Heavy rains trigged a landslide which killed two people in Bac Kan province and held up traffic on a section of National Highway 3 which links Bac Kan and Hanoi. The Cau river in Bac Ninh is being constantly monitored as its waters have already surpassed the dangerous level of 50cm. The local authorities have been working to repair the damage and have evacuated people from areas at high risk of landslides. Heavy rains inundated more than 5ha of rice, 4h of other crops and 1ha of an aquaculture farm in Yen Bai province’s Tran Dien district, causing an estimated loss of VND100 million (US$5,600) Lightning has also been a problem; it has struck and killed six and injured 12 farmers harvesting rice during a thunderstorm in central Nghe An province last Saturday. Farmers are being warned not to stay in their fields during thunderstorms.... [read more]

The MoH said that they were a mother and child returning to Vietnam from the US. However, an independent source said they were not on the same flight with the first patient. So far, A/H1N1 flu has been recorded in 56 nations and territories in the world and Vietnam is the 54th country. Currently, the swine flu situation in the world remains complicated. In Vietnam, the disease has a high risk of spreading out from city centres, so people, especially for those who have had contact with A/H1N1 patients, should actively observe MoH regulations. The same day, the MoH and the National Steering Committee for Avian Influenza Disease Control and Prevention held an urgent meeting to discuss preventive measures against the spread of the epidemic and prepare facilities and medicines to efficiently cope with A/H1N1 flu.... [read more]

It is estimated that about 40,000 Vietnamese die from smoking-related diseases each year, quadruple the number of road traffic fatalities. The annual cost of treating lung cancer, coronary thrombosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the most common diseases caused by smoking, is estimated to reach more than VND1 trillion (US$56.2 million). “Hidden face” murderer With the message of “Show the truth: Picture warnings save lives”, World No Tobacco Day (May 31) and Vietnam’s national “no smoking” week (May 24-31) will focus on health warnings describing the harmful effects of tobacco use on tobacco packaging. The health warning in pictures is an effective education channel with low expenditure because most smokers see the message. According to Dr. Ly Ngoc Kinh, deputy head of the national steering committee for preventing the harmful effects of tobacco, health warnings that contain both pictures and words will leave smokers with stronger impression of harmful effects of tobacco use. “At present, most people know that tobacco is harmful, but they still lack knowledge about smoking-related diseases,” he said. A survey, conducted by the Vietnam Standards and Consumer Protection, showed that more than 80 percent of Vietnamese consumers said that the health warning “smoking causes lung cancer” on tobacco packaging should cover 50 percent of the packaging instead of 30 percent as at present. Another study also demonstrated that the health warnings on tobacco packaging have helped to reduce the rate of male smokers in Vietnam by 1.1 percent. However, the current health warnings are shown in…... [read more]

He said on June that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Vietnam Sea and Islands GeneralDepartment will play a key role in the organising board and the steering committee, which will include representatives from the relevant ministries and agencies, such as the Ministry of Defence, the Navy, marine police forces and the search and rescue committees in 28 coastal provinces. It is important to bring the all the week’s activities as close to life as possible, Hoi said. The Sea and Island GeneralDepartment also proposed presenting “For Home Seas” awards to organisations and individuals who have made great contributions to protecting the country’s territorial waters. Earlier on June 12, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed to the organisation of the Sea and Islands Week from June 1-8 every year in response to World Environment Day, June 5, and World Ocean Day, June 8, following the proposal by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.... [read more]

Accelerating cooperative relations between Vietnam and Mozambique

NDO – Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario has arrived in Hanoi, starting his four-day official visit to Vietnam per invitation of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, aiming to strengthen the traditional friendly relations between the two countries.

Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa. Over the past years, the Mozambican government has actively called for foreign investment, strengthening the upgrade of infrastructure, promoting internal power in national construction, focusing on reducing poverty and ensuring food security. Thereby, Mozambique has attained significant achievements in its economic reforms, reporting a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 3.6% in 2016. The country has seen a lot of economic flourishes this year, with increasing agricultural outputs, strengthened production and exports, and stabilised domestic currency. Other nations have begun to resume their official development assistance (ODA) sponsorship for Mozambique, while foreign investment in the country rose sharply, primarily in the fields of gas and mining. Mozambique’s GDP growth in 2017 is predicted to reach 4.5%. The Southeast African country has been rated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a nation with the fastest economic development outlook in the Southern Sahara region.

After the armed conflict between the Government, led by the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), and the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) opposition party concluded in May 2017, FRELIMO has continued promoting its role as a ruling party on the national scale, guiding the country through the difficult phase. As a member of many international organisations, Mozambique has actively participated in addressing regional issues, whilst struggling to protect the legitimate interests of African countries as well as developing ones.

Vietnam is happy to see that the traditional friendly relations between Vietnam and Mozambique have been consistently growing across various spheres, relating to politics, economics, trade, education and culture. Since establishing their diplomatic ties on June 25, 1975, both countries have supported each other in past struggles for national independence as well as the current causes of national construction and economic development in each nation. Vietnam reopened its embassy in Mozambique in 2009, while Mozambique opened its embassy in Hanoi in August 2011. The fine relationship between the two countries has been marked by the mutual visits made by their respective leaders, notably Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to Mozambique in March 2016 and the visit made to Vietnam by Mozambican PM Aires Bonifacio Baptista Ali in September 2010.

Vietnam and Mozambique have signed many agreements and cooperation deals in the fields of economics, trade, investment, culture, education, science and technology. Two-way trade turnover increased three times, from US$13.83 million in 2006 to US$45.35 million in 2010. The figure was US$101 million in 2016, with Vietnam exporting over US$72.5 million worth of commodities to the African country. Mozambique ranks 11th out of the 72 countries in which Vietnam has invested. Currently, Vietnam’s military-run telecom group, Viettel, is conducting investment in Mozambique, contributing actively to the country’s socio-economic development. Vietnam and Mozambique have deployed a number of experience-sharing and technique training projects concerning agro-fisheries development. Both sides have inked a US$2.2 million cooperation project on developing food crops in Mozambique in the period of 2013-2017, aiming to support the African country in dealing with the issue of food security.

The visit made to Vietnam by Mozambican PM Carlos Agostinho do Rosario is aimed at facilitating trade and investment between the two countries, whilst also strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fields of mutual concern. The visit’s outcomes will write a new page in Vietnam-Mozambique multifaceted cooperative ties, thus contributing to peace, stability and development cooperation in the world.



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PM calls on Chinese investors to heed technology and the environment

NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on Chinese businesses to increase their investment in important sectors in Vietnam, with special attention to technological and environmental issues.

He made the appeal at a reception for Chen Yilong, Chairman of Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group Co Ltd., and Jiang Rongjian, Deputy Director of China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd. in Hanoi on July 31.

The PM suggested the two companies establish cooperation to carry out joint projects.

Chen Yilong said Kaidi, Huarong and Hanoi General Import and Export JSC (Geleximco) of Vietnam set up an international investment fund with an estimated value at US$15 billion.

Kaidi is keen on investing in thermo-electric plants in Vietnam and commits to building environmentally-friendly factories with cutting-edge equipment and technologies with the highest environmental standards, thus helping the country meet its energy demands, he said.

He added that the company is also interested in investing in Vietnam’s major infrastructure projects such as airports, seaports, logistics services and urban expressways, hence contributing to the country’s development.

For his part, Jiang Rongjian stated that Huarong is China’s largest unit in assets, finance and monetary management with its assets valued at US$220 billion in 2016.

Kaidi is Huarong’s long-term partner, he said, noting that his company hopes to participate in a number of big investment projects in Vietnam.

Applauding ideas raised by the two companies, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that with state-of-the-art technologies, high environmental standards and on-schedule progress, the companies will actively contribute to the relations between Vietnam and China.

He emphasised the Vietnamese Government’s viewpoints on suitable structure of coal-fueled thermo electricity and renewable energy, saying that Kaidi-invested thermo power plants in Vietnam have been listed in the national Power Development Master Plan VII.

The leader suggested Kaidi has specific working sessions with competent Vietnamese agencies to discuss the projects.



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PM receives Chinese business leaders

NDO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has suggested that the two Chinese companies, Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group Co Ltd., and China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd., establish cooperation to carry out joint projects in Vietnam.

The PM made the appeal at a reception for Chen Yilong, Chairman of Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group Co Ltd., and Jiang Rongjian, Deputy Director of China Huarong Asset Management Co Ltd. in Hanoi on July 31st.

The PM has called on Chinese businesses to increase their investment in important sectors in Vietnam, with special attention given to technological and environmental issues.

Chen Yilong said Kaidi, Huarong and Hanoi General Import and Export JSC (Geleximco) of Vietnam has set up an international investment fund worth US$15 billion. Kaidi is keen on investing in thermo-electric plants in Vietnam and commits to building environmentally-friendly factories with cutting-edge technologies with the highest environmental standards. According to Kaidi this will help the country meet its energy demands.

He also has stated that the company is equally interested in investing in Vietnam’s major infrastructure projects such as airports, seaports, logistical services and urban expressways, therfore contributing to the country’s overall infrastructural development.

For his part, Jiang Rongjian said Huarong is China’s largest unit in assets, finance and monetary management with its assets valued at US$ 220 billion in 2016.

Kaidi is Huarong’s long-term partner, has stated , that his company hopes to participate in a number of big investment projects in Vietnam.

Applauding ideas raised by the two companies, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc stated that with state-of-the-art technologies, high environmental standards and on-schedule progress, the companies will actively contribute to the relations between Vietnam and China.

The PM emphasized the Vietnamese Government’s viewpoints on suitable structure of coal-fueled thermo electricity and renewable energy, stating that Kaidi-invested thermo power plants in Vietnam have been listed in the national Power Development Master Plan VII.

The leader suggested for Kaidi to have specific working sessions with competent Vietnamese agencies to discuss these projects.



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Hamburg attacker had ‘radical Islamist’ motive: Prosecutor

BERLIN: A 26-year-old failed asylum seeker who carried out a deadly knife attack in a Hamburg supermarket likely had a “radical Islamist” motive, German prosecutors said on Monday (Jul 31).

Germany has been on high alert over the threat of a militant attack. (Photo: AFP/Markus Scholz)

The man, named as Ahmad A., had self-radicalised and had gone on the rampage “with the hope he would die as a martyr,” added prosecutors.

The Palestinian suspect had entered a supermarket on a lively Hamburg high street on Friday, snatching from the shelves a 20cm (eight-inch) knife which he used to slash at people around him. The assault left one dead and six wounded.

It was the first militant attack in Germany since Tunisian Anis Amri drove a truck into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market on Dec 19, killing 12 and injuring 48.

It also risks reopening a bitter debate over refugees two months before general elections, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her decision to open Germany’s borders in 2015, letting more than a million asylum seekers in.

“It appears that there is a radical Islamist background to the act,” prosecutors said.

The suspect had toyed with the extremist ideology for some time, and two days before he went on his rampage, he “finally decided to adopt a corresponding lifestyle,” they said.

“On the day of the act, he resolved to commit an attack with the hope that he would die as a martyr,” added prosecutors.

Investigators have however not found any indications suggesting that he was a member of militant groups like the Islamic State organisation.

‘CARELESSNESS’

Germany has been on high alert over the threat of a militant assault since Amri’s rampage in Berlin, for which the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.

Authorities had said earlier that Ahmad A. was deemed to be an “Islamist” but not believed to be dangerous enough to warrant being monitored by police.

Hamburg’s interior minister Andy Grote had initially said that there could have been an Islamist motive for the attack, the suspect also suffered from “psychological instability”.

Like Amri, Ahmad A. was due to have been deported after his asylum application was rejected by authorities, but the process was held up by a lack of identity documents.

As a clearer picture began to emerge over the suspect, accusations began flying that authorities may have been too complacent about the risk posed by such individuals.

Domestic security expert for Merkel’s centre-right alliance, Stephan Mayer, hit out at Hamburg authorities for failing to apply more stringent criteria on rating the danger posed by Islamists.

Marcus Pretzell of the Islamophobic populist party AfD also leapt in, saying that Hamburg happened because of “carelessness on the state’s part”.

Meanwhile, Germany was celebrating a group of courageous passers-by who helped stop Ahmad A.

As he was fleeing the supermarket, bystanders gave chase, flinging chairs to stop him. One of them, Toufiq Arab, an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, told Bild daily: “I’m not a hero, I only did my duty.”

Source AFP



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Serena serves ace for black women’s equal pay

NEW YORK: Serena Williams served up a rallying cry for equal pay for black women Monday (Jul 31), decrying that they would have to work on average eight months longer to earn the same as male counterparts in one year.

Serena Williams, shown here at the Costume Institute Benefit in New York on May 1, is using her voice to plead for equal pay for black women. (Photo: AFP/Angela Weiss)

The record-breaking tennis star and world’s highest paid female athlete – who has spoken candidly about sexism and racism – wrote a nearly 1,000-word essay in Fortune magazine to mark Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.

For every dollar made by a man, black women make 63 cents in the United States. Black women earn 17 per cent less than white women, and black women with graduate degrees get paid less at every level, wrote Williams.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion quoted data showing that only 44 per cent of white men recognise the pay gap as an issue.

“I have been treated unfairly, I’ve been disrespected by my male colleagues and – in the most painful times – I’ve been the subject of racist remarks on and off the tennis court,” wrote the 35-year-old.

“The cycles of poverty, discrimination, and sexism are much, much harder to break than the record for Grand Slam titles,” she added, calling for legislation and action to change the status quo.

Williams, who announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last December, is pregnant with her first child. She plans to return to competitive tennis next year.

“Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you,” she said.

“Most of all, know that you’re worth it. It can take a long time to realise that. It took me a long time to realise it. But we are all worth it. I’ve long said, ‘You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.'”

Forbes ranks Williams as the highest earning female athlete with a pay check of US$27 million – but only 51st on an overall list of highest paid athletes. Forbes ranks Roger Federer as the world’s highest paid tennis star at US$64 million.

“Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay,” Williams tweeted Monday with a picture of herself wearing a T-shirt saying “Phenomenal Woman.”

Source AFP



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Multi-dollar tax evasion discovered in import companies

A number of enterprises have taken advantage of technology used for tax collection to avoid paying taxes.

Customs officials inspect fruit imported from China at the Tân Thanh border gate in the northern province of Lạng Sơn. – VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt

The Law on Value Added Tax (VAT) regulates that unprocessed, or preliminarily processed, agricultural, forestry and aquatic products imported from foreign countries are not subject to VAT. However, if these imported products are sold to individuals and small business vendors in the country, they are subject to a VAT rate of 5 per cent.

In recent years, customs agencies have applied technology in tax collection, which allows enterprises to use email and digital signatures for customs and tax declarations online, as well as allowing them to write, print invoices and pay taxes by themselves without requiring submission of lists of goods purchased and sold during each tax period.

A number of enterprises have taken advantage of these methods, importing unprocessed agricultural, forestry and aquatic products from China and selling them to local business vendors and individuals without paying taxes to local tax agencies, the Hải quan (Customs) newspaper reported.

The process of founding fake companies to import goods and evade taxes is no longer trivial but practised on a wide scale, according to the report.

Thirty-four out of 93 enterprises that imported goods through the Tân Thanh border gate last year were found to not have declared VNĐ1.15 trillion (US$50.7 million) worth of imported goods that were sold to locals, according to the customs agency of the northern province of Lạng Sơn.

Tax payment fraud worth VNĐ53 billion ($2.3 million) was discovered in eight enterprises. Twenty-nine other enterprises listed an amount of goods – which was sold to locals, hence subject to 5 per cent VAT – as having the same or higher value than the amount of goods they imported.

In particular, the Lạng Sơn Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Import-Export Co. Ltd., was found to have avoided paying VNĐ23 billion ($1 million) in tax. The company’s director, whose name was included in the invoices, was found to not be involved in directing the company.

The Trường Sơn Trading Co. Ltd., registered in the coastal Quảng Ninh Province’s Hồng Thái Đông Commune, was found to have avoided paying VNĐ12.4 billion ($545,600) in tax. The commune’s authorities said such a company never existed.

Source VNA



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10 sinkholes appear near Quảng Bình power plant

The appearance of 10 sinkholes in sweet corn fields in the province has been worrying locals for a month, but scientists say is a normal phenomenon in the karst area.

One among 10 sinkholes found near Hố Hô power plant.-Photo danviet.vn

The sinkholes appeared at a distance of 1km from the reservoir of the Hố Hô power plant in Hương Hóa Commune.

Each hole is some 50sq.m. wide, 2-6m deep and shaped like a cylinder.

“These worried locals a lot. For a month now, they linked these holes to supernatural phenomenon,” Nguyễn Thị Thao, the commune’s chairwoman, said. Thao, therefore, wanted related agencies to study the cause to relieve locals’ worries.

The sinkholes run along the outlet stream of the reservoir and have been developing gradually since a month now.

Following an investigation trip to the area, Nguyễn Đức Lý, director of the local Department of Sciences and Technology said the sinkholes were created due to normal topographical movements.

“This is normal phenomenon and has been recorded in other regions in Việt Nam. It is not unusual in the karst area at this locality,” Lý said.

He warned that although the holes would take time to gradually sink, locals should avoid jumping inside them to avoid dangerous and swift sinking.

Lý told locals to fill the holes with soil to continue their cultivation.

However, he promised a detail report to the province authorities and asked them to install a fence around the holes to prevent unexpected accidents to locals and their cattle.

Also, according to Lý, there was no evidence to prove any link between the sinkholes and the Hố Hô power plant.

Source VNA



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Ronaldo denies tax fraud at court hearing

MADRID: Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo denied hiding millions of euros in income at a court hearing near the Spanish capital on Monday (Jul 31) where he was charged with tax evasion.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s highest paid athlete, according to Forbes magazine AFP/JAVIER SORIANO

The Portuguese – the world’s highest paid sportsman according to Forbes magazine – is the latest football star to fall foul of Spain’s taxman.

He follows in the footsteps of his arch-rival, Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who was found guilty of the same offence last year.

“I have never hidden anything, nor have I had the intention of evading taxes,” Ronaldo, 32, told the court, according to a statement from the sports agency which represents him, Gestifute.

“I always voluntarily file my tax returns because I think we all must file a return and pay taxes according to our income. Those that know me, know what I ask my advisors: that they have everything up to date and properly paid, because I don’t want problems.”

Accused of having evaded €14.7 million (US$17.3 million) in tax, he entered and left the court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives, via an underground garage to avoid the press.

Prosecutors allege he took “advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities”.

They say this was a “voluntary and conscious breach of his fiscal obligations in Spain”.

Prosecutors accuse the four-time world player of the year of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for low corporate tax rates.

In addition, they say the Real Madrid striker only declared €11.5 million of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to €43 million.

They also accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include €28.4 million in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

‘LEGAL AND LEGITIMATE’

Ronaldo told the court he did not create a “special structure” to manage his image rights when he moved to Real in 2009 but simply maintained the one set up in 2004 while he was at Manchester United “long before I thought of coming to Spain”.

This structure had been deemed “legal and legitimate” by the British tax office.

The affair has taken its toll on Ronaldo.

According to press reports, Real’s all-time top goalscorer threatened to leave Spain over the affair, giving supporters a fright. He has since decided to stay on, according to Real coach Zinedine Zidane.

If he were put on trial and found guilty, Ronaldo would risk “a fine of at least 28 million” euros and could potentially be jailed for three and a half years, the Gestha union of experts at Spain’s Inland Revenue has said.

Since extending his contract last November until 2021, Ronaldo is the highest paid sports star in the world with $93 million earned in 2016-2017, according to Forbes.

Ronaldo is not the only footballer to fall foul of authorities in Spain, which is only just recovering from a damaging economic crisis that saw countless people lose their jobs and inequalities rise.

Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and €2.09 million fine last year for tax fraud. His prison sentence has since been replaced by another fine of €252,000, which corresponds to €400 for each day of jail.

Barcelona’s Argentine defender Javier Mascherano, meanwhile, agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year.

Brazil star Neymar, another Barcelona forward, and his parents are also due to stand trial for alleged corruption over his transfer from Santos in 2013.

Real have not been spared either.

Apart from Ronaldo, former player Angel di Maria, Portuguese defender Fabio Coentrao and Jose Mourinho, who coached the club from 2010 to 2013, have all been accused of tax fraud.

All are clients of super-agent Jorge Mendes, who was also questioned and put under official investigation last month by a Spanish court investigating alleged tax evasion by Monaco’s former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, another footballer in his stable.

Source AFP



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Tourists seeking ‘Despacito’ discover Puerto Rico’s La Perla

SAN JUAN: Something unusual is happening in La Perla, a poor barrio clinging to a steep hillside between Old San Juan and the sea where the video for the pop hit “Despacito” was filmed.

A man takes a selfie in the Puerto Rican neighbourhood of La Perla, where the video for the pop hit “Despacito” was filmed. (Photo: AFP/Ricardo Arduengo)

“The gringos are coming!”

Outsiders were afraid to venture in before, but since Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s megahit, tourists from all over the world are descending on the narrow streets that wind among La Perla’s brightly colored houses.

“Despacito?” they inquire.

And the barrio’s residents obligingly point out the locations where the video was filmed: The rocks facing the sea where Fonsi sings the refrain, the sea wall where ex-Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera strolls, the little plaza where men play dominoes – the tables and chairs just as they were in the video.

With the video on the verge of becoming the most watched on YouTube (2.9 billion visits since January, fast approaching the 2.98 billion record held by Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again”), a barrio once burdened with a bad reputation is now a tourist hot spot.

“I totally came for the tourist video,” said Jennifer Adams, a 28-year-old middle school teacher from North Carolina. “I’ve seen the music video many times and I knew where I needed to go, I got pictures, I tried to dance.”

As for Rivera’s sexy walk by the sea, she laughed and said, “I tried.”

Her goal now is to learn the song’s lyrics so she can sing it in karaoke.

Meanwhile, a Swedish woman took pictures of herself in front of Luis’s rocks and a Moroccan tourist ambled along “Despacito coast” – as the area around the sea wall has come to be known in tourist brochures.

In a recent interview, Fonsi marveled at the song’s impact on the non-Spanish speaking public.

“The language doesn’t matter,” he said. “What’s important is the flavor, the rhythm, the music.”

“NO MONSTER HERE”

The video’s director, Carlos Perez, said Fonsi and Daddy Yankee “had a very clear vision of what they wanted.”

“The key words were culture, sensuality, color and dance. What we did in essence was to go film in a barrio that had the qualities that supported what we wanted to do,” Perez said. “But the evolution of La Perla begins and ends in La Perla.”

In fact, residents’ efforts to improve their barrio are independent of “Despacito.”

The song’s success is a welcome coincidence that “fell from the sky,” said community board president Yashira Gomez.

Old San Juan, with its cobbled streets and colonial buildings, sits on a hill on a walled peninsula. The little houses that make up La Perla are clustered on the other side of the wall, where the sea crashes against the rocks.

Its residents have fought tooth and nail to preserve it, and artists like Calle 13, Ismael Rivera and Ruben Blades have dedicated songs to it.

With 1,600 inhabitants, it is one of the poorest communities in San Juan. Drug trafficking largely drives its economy, with the government trying in vain to clear it.

On Yelp, reviewers comment on the dangers outsiders risk going there.

“Please don’t go there! It is NOT SAFE!” wrote user Gaby G in a three-year-old posting.

But that is changing thanks to the efforts of the community, which set up a communal baker, cultivated two vegetable gardens and raised US$80,000 from private donors to paint 402 houses in vivid colors this year.

“They always said it was a dangerous barrio because we’ve been saddled with a history that wasn’t the best,” said Gomez. “But now you can go in and see that nothing will happen. There is no monster here, no bogeyman, nobody is going to kill you, nobody is going to mug you.”

As she spoke, the community board’s vice president, Lourdes Lopez, showed a group of tourists around. Later, she explained that the community’s next project is to set up a small business offering guided tours.

“We take them through the whole community, showing them the most historic things, because we have more history to offer,” Lopez said.

BRAND RECOGNITION

Hotel occupancy in May rose 9 per cent compared to the same month last year, but there are still no overall figures to confirm the impression that tourist visits are up, said Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the government’s Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Puerto Rico hosted 1.7 million tourists in 2015, 6 per cent of its total GDP, according to the US Senate Finance Committee. But even when official figures are available, statistics won’t say how many specifically came for the “Despacito” experience.

A bump could also be attributable to the end of last year’s Zika crisis.

But Izquierdo is sure that “Despacito” enhanced the island’s brand recognition.

“All the elements are in place for Puerto Rico to top the list for travelers seeking a Caribbean destination,” he told AFP.

And that is good news for the US territory, which has been hard hit by a financial crisis that resulted in bankruptcy in May.

Marwan Badran, Hotels.com’s manager for Latin America, said online searches for hotel rooms in Puerto Rico shot up 45 per cent this year.

“We often see spikes upwards for locations of hit movies or TV series and celebrity weddings,” he said. “Puerto Rico is no different now that Despacito has become the world’s most streamed song in history.”

Source AFP



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MSF refuses to sign on to new migrant rescue rules

ROME: Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) refused on Monday (Jul 31) to sign a code of conduct on migrant-saving operations in the Mediterranean, while others including Save the Children approved the new rules.

A migrant man carries a child as they disembark from the Italian rescue ship Vos Prudence run by NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as it arrives in the early morning of Jul 14, 2017, in the port of Salerno. (Photo: AFP/Carlo Hermann)

“There were two sticking points that prevented us from signing the code,” said Tommaso Fabbri, head of MSF’s Italy mission, after the charity took part in a meeting in Rome between the interior ministry and non-governmental organisations.

One was the obligation for rescue vessels to operate with an Italian police official on board, and the other was the ban on moving rescued migrants from one aid vessel to another at sea, which complicated missions, he said.

“We are doctors, not policemen,” Fabbri told AFP. “We will continue to carry out rescue operations without changing anything,” he said, but added the organisation was “open to controls” by the Italian coastguard in the name of transparency.

The code, created to address the biggest migrant phenomenon in Europe since World War II, lays down 13 rules Rome insists must be followed to prevent aid groups rescuing migrants from acting as a magnet for human traffickers.

But the rules have been widely criticised by the NGOs as making it more difficult for them to save the lives of those attempting the perilous crossing from the shores of crisis-hit Libya to Europe.

The interior ministry said those who “refuse to agree and sign are excluded from the system of sea rescues”.

The German NGO Jugend Rettet, a privately-funded aid organisation which has been carrying out rescue operations in the central Mediterranean, also refused to sign.

“We would only sign if the new rules made our work more efficient and increased the security of our volunteers,” spokesman Titus Molkenbur told journalists at the close of the meeting in Rome.

‘RESTORE CLIMATE OF TRUST’

The new rules, which have been given a green light by Brussels, forbid NGOs from sailing into Libyan waters unless lives are at risk, or communicating with smugglers – including using lights that could attract traffickers.

Save the Children had signed up because its ship – the Vos Hestia – already operated according to most of the rules laid out in the code, the charity’s director general Valerio Neri said in a statement.

He said the decision to agree to the code “was dictated by the desire to guarantee continuity for the rescue operations, in a transparent fashion, and restore a climate of trust and collaboration”.

The charity said it would “constantly monitor” the code’s application “to make sure it does not hinder the efficacy of search and rescue operations at sea by NGOs”.

MOAS, the Maltese-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station, also rubber-stamped the rules “in solidarity with the government and the Italian people,” said founder Christopher Catrambon.

“Our mission has always been to save as many lives as possible at sea, and this document allows us to continue to do just that,” he said.

Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms sent a letter to Rome saying it was willing to sign the code, the ministry said.

Nearly 95,000 people have been brought to safety in Italy this year, a rise of one per cent on the same period last year, according to the interior ministry.

The privately-funded aid boats performed 26 per cent of the rescues carried out in 2016, rising to 35 per cent so far this year.

Source AFP



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First e-child care training system inaugurated

NDO/VNA – Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman of the PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), gave himself up to the Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public after nearly one year of evading international arrest warrant, the ministry reported on July 31. On September 16, 2016, the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Police Agency decided to launch criminal proceedings against Thanh, born in 1966 and residing at House No 24-C2 Ciputra in Hanoi’s Tay Ho district, for alleged violations of State regulations on economic management resulting in losses of nearly VND3.3 trillion (US$142 million) for the PVC during his leadership. After finding that Thanh had fled abroad, the ministry decided to issue an arrest warrant domestically and internationally for him. Earlier, members of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee agreed to expel Thanh from the Party with 100% of approval votes. According to the Secretariat, between 2007-2013, in his positions as Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Director General of the PVC, and later as Secretary of the PVC’s Party Committee and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thanh showed irresponsibility and negligence in the leadership and management of the corporation’s operation, and violated legal regulations on business administration, resulting in many wrongdoings and losses of nearly VND3.3 trillion. As the top official of the corporation, Thanh must bear the main responsibility for the mistakes and wrongdoings. As Thanh was responsible for the wrongdoings, law violations and losses at the PVC, leaders of the…... [read more]

Neither increased investment in the State-owned sector nor the extraction of resources will be the country’s growth engine during the years to come, the first working session between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the newly-formed economic advisory board heard on July 29. Progress in reforming the economy has been a race against time. Without an effective solution to actualize the government’s command and create motion within the entire bureaucracy, the primary economic targets of National Congress XII of the Communist Party of Vietnam will not be accomplished, Mr. Vu Viet Ngoan, Head of the board after leaving his post as Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, told the session. Other than long-term policies, the policy system in the short- and mid-terms need to touch on two basic matters, with the first purpose of policies being to untie difficulties, reducing fees for businesses and enhancing the effectiveness of the State economic sector. In the midst of that, drastically reforming the organization and implementation stages of the government’s directives are the decisive factor. Second to that is the renovation of the current operating structure. The bureaucracy, while being “pulled” by the Prime Minister, needs to be “boosted for efficiency” by the public and society. Associate Professor Dr. Tran Ngoc Anh from the US’s Indiana University suggested there be a monitoring system to assess the implementation of policies and government directives by ministries, authorities, and provinces. Director of Research at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, meanwhile,…... [read more]

NDO – The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) have signed a Record of Discussion (R/D) for a project aiming to support the victims of trafficking in Vietnam. The signing ceremony, held in Hanoi on July 31, was for the “Strengthening the Operation of Hotline for Counselling and Supporting Trafficked Survivors” phase II, in continuation of the “Establishment of Anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hotline” phase I which was implemented during the 2012-2016 period. In phase II, the project will help to expand the existing Child Help Hotline 18001567, operated in Hanoi, An Giang and Ha Giang provinces, to include a function as a hotline for anti-TIP, as well as strengthening the operation of the hotline during 2017-2020. Under the upcoming phase II, the connecting unit in An Giang and the newly established unit in Da Nang will be upgraded into higher level regional call centres, which, together with the existing unit in Hanoi, are expected to enhance the counselling on anti-human trafficking in the Southern, Central and Northern regions, in addition to improving the overall support for the victims of trafficking. The centres’ counsellors will be under the management of MOLISA and will be offered training in order to ensure the required expertise and support service quality. The nation-wide recognition of the hotline No. 18001567 is expected to improve the effectiveness of the projects activities. Since it began operations in October 2013, there have been nearly 10,000 calls…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered Hà Nội authorities to quickly investigate a weekend fire at a bakery that killed eight people, most of them teenagers. On Saturday, just hours after the fire, the PM asked the capital People’s Committee to closely co-operate with the Ministry of Public Security to determine the cause of the fire, and report the result directly to him. The blaze started at around 10.30am on Saturday morning at a confectionary workshop by National Highway 32 in Đức Thượng Commune, Hoài Đức District, when 17 workers were working inside. As the fire spread very fast, only nine people managed to escape. The building quickly collapsed, trapping eight people in the flames that were only put out about three hours later. Seven people were confirmed dead at the scene, while one succumbed to severe burns at the hospital. Hoài Đức police on Saturday managed to identify the victims. The only female victim, 55-year-old Cấn Thị Tâm, was the cook at the workshop. The rest of the dead people were young men, with the youngest, Kiều Văn Trúc aged just 15. Other victims were identified as Nguyễn Nho Thành, 16, Kiều Tiến Trọng, 17, Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, 19, Trần Quang Huy, 20, and the 27-year-old Lê Văn Hoạt. The age of the last victim, Khuất Văn Thịnh, is yet to be ascertained. Two 16-year-old teenagers, Nguyễn Tiến Anh and…... [read more]

The “gain in output, loss in price” lesson is a bitter disheartening experience for Vietnamese farmers. Vietnam's agricultural sector is facing numerous difficulties and challenges while industrial growth showed signs of slowing down. Smart agricultural development is sluggish due to shortcomings and barriers to land, market and capital. At present, Vietnam has three hi-tech agricultural zones approved by the Prime Minister in Hau Giang, Phu Yen and Bac Lieu provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development granted certificates to 26 hi- tech agricultural companies. In addition, three provinces built plans for construction of hi-tech agricultural zones, namely Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa and Lam Dong. Dr Doan Cong Khanh (Research Institute for Trade) said that agricultural restructuring has not touched enterprises and entrepreneurs. Vietnam’s care for agricultural development and priority for farmers are right but ineffective approaches. Although there are many incentive policies, few companies are interested in agricultural investment. Meanwhile, agriculture will not be able to be modernised if there is no business. Agricultural companies were insignificant by the end of 2015. According to statistics, only 1.01 per cent of established companies were engaged in agriculture in 2014, mostly small entities. Up to 55 per cent of companies had less than VND5 billion of registered capital. The impact of loosened agricultural and rural policies seems to reach the peak, even some becoming barriers to development. There are many agricultural and rural investment incentive policies but they are ineffective. According to Mr…... [read more]

GE Healthcare, in co-operation with Hanoi’s Friendship Hospital within the framework of the Diagnostic Imaging on Cardiac symposium, held the launching ceremony for the Revolution CT 256 detector rows, an innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. The launching ceremony for GE Healthcare’s state-of-the-art Revolution CT 256 detector rows, the newest in Friendship Hospital’s arsenal The ceremony took place on July 20, attended by government officials, domestic and international medical experts, GE representatives, leaders, managers, and the staff of Friendship Hospital and other hospitals. According to export.gov, a trusted source of market intelligence developed by international trade specialists and economists, much of the existing medical equipment in Vietnamese public hospitals is obsolete and needs replacement. Many hospitals lack sufficient equipment for surgery and intensive care units. Thus, the Vietnamese government encourages the import of medical equipment because local production cannot meet the demand. US-based GE Healthcare has become a familiar brand in the Vietnamese medical industry, as it has provided hospitals and clinics with modern medical equipment and numerous training courses for their medical staff. This is especially helpful in the context reported in a 2016 research study by the Danish Embassy in Vietnam. The report describes the demand for imported medical equipment as a growing one, especially for imaging diagnostic equipment, such as CT scanners. GE Healthcare is making yet another significant contribution…... [read more]

Overview of the conference (Photo: VNA) Son La (VNA) – Vietnam’s northwestern province of Son La and northern provinces of Laos held a conference in Son La on July 30 to discuss measures to intensify their cooperation in personnel training. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee of Son La Pham Van Thuy said that the province is currently hosting more than 1,000 Lao students from northern Lao provinces. Son La has offered support to the students, including assistance in dormitory with study equipment and good living conditions, he said, adding that the Lao students have quickly integrated into local society and show good performances. Meanwhile, representatives of the Lao localities pointed out some difficulties facing Lao students, including those in choosing majors and Vietnamese language. Chomsilath Thanapan, Vice Governor of Bokeo province, proposed Son La’s  training establishments specify their training programmes and inform the Lao side through its Department of Foreign Affairs, while enhancing the quality of Vietnamese language teaching for Laos students. Hoang Tien Duc, Director of the Son La Department of Education and Training, said that Son La will continue building its training plans with priority on areas of Lao northern localities’ demand. At the conference, the two sides also drew lessons in the field and put forth solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their cooperation in the future. Within the event, a ceremony was held to present Friendship Orders of the Lao President to the People’s Committee,…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – Vietnam’s northwestern province of Son La and northern provinces of Laos held a conference in Son La on July 30 to discuss measures concerning the intensification of their cooperation in personnel training. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee of Son La Pham Van Thuy stated that the province is currently hosting more than 1,000 Lao students from northern Lao provinces. Son La has offered support to these students, including assistance in dormitory, study equipment, and good living conditions, he also added that the Lao students have quickly integrated into local society and show good performances. Meanwhile, representatives of the Lao localities pointed out some difficulties facing Lao students, including challenges in choosing majors and difficulty with the Vietnamese language. Chomsilath Thanapan, Vice Governor of Bokeo province, proposed to Son La’s training establishments to specify their training programmes and inform the Lao side through its Department of Foreign Affairs, while also enhancing the quality of Vietnamese language teaching for Laos students. Hoang Tien Duc, Director of the Son La Department of Education and Training, said that Son La would continue building its training plans with priority on areas of Lao northern localities’ demand. At the conference, the two sides put forth solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their cooperation in the future. Within the event, a ceremony was held to present Friendship Orders of the Lao President to the People’s Committee, the Military Command, and the Public Security Department of Son La,…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – Vietnam’s northwestern province of Son La and northern provinces of Laos held a conference in Son La on July 30 to discuss measures concerning the intensification of their cooperation in personnel training. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee of Son La Pham Van Thuy stated that the province is currently hosting more than 1,000 Lao students from northern Lao provinces. Son La has offered support to these students, including assistance in dormitory, study equipment, and good living conditions, he also added that the Lao students have quickly integrated into local society and show good performances. Meanwhile, representatives of the Lao localities pointed out some difficulties facing Lao students, including challenges in choosing majors and difficulty with the Vietnamese language. Chomsilath Thanapan, Vice Governor of Bokeo province, proposed to Son La’s training establishments to specify their training programmes and inform the Lao side through its Department of Foreign Affairs, while also enhancing the quality of Vietnamese language teaching for Laos students. Hoang Tien Duc, Director of the Son La Department of Education and Training, said that Son La would continue building its training plans with priority on areas of Lao northern localities’ demand. At the conference, the two sides put forth solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their cooperation in the future. Within the event, a ceremony was held to present Friendship Orders of the Lao President to the People’s Committee, the Military Command, and the Public Security Department of Son La,…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – A Vietnamese boy who could barely walk or speak because of cerebral palsy gets two degrees at a US university and looks forward to new challenges, Phan Duong and Luong Huong report. Red letter day: Quan and his mother at his graduation ceremony at the Georgia Gwinnet College in the US in May. Photo kenh14.vn Graduation Day is special for all students, but the applause was particularly prolonged and resounding as Tran Manh Chanh Quan’s name was announced at the ceremony held at Georgia Gwinnett College in May this year. The special applause for Quan was not just that he was getting two degrees, one in IT and another in mathematics, but that the wheel-chair bound student was also suffered from cerebral palsy, a condition caused by brain damage that affects body movement, muscle control and co-ordination, reflex, posture and balance. Twenty-five years ago, when riding through a bumpy road in Ngai Giao Commune, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Quan’s mother, Le Manh Nu Vinh Son, fell off her bike. She was seven months pregnant with him. Quan was thus born with cerebral palsy. He could not sit by himself at the age of three. With monumental patience, Son and her husband trained their son with physiotherapy. It took a long time for Quan’s left hand to loosen a bit and for him to feel objects with it. He could only mouth a few words with great difficulty and the speech impediment is a lifelong condition, along with…... [read more]

First e-child care training system inaugurated

VietNamNet Bridge - Computer games are not only for entertainment, but also an art, which transport real-world references, meanings and ideologies and can therefore be political and social media, in a positive, educational or ensnaring, propagandistic manner. Featuring eighteen politically-ambitious computer games from the past twelve years, the touring interactive exhibition Games and Realities examines how computer games unfold their political potential.  In 4 years from 2016 to 2019, the exhibition is presented by the Goethe-Institut in 49 cities around the world. In Vietnam, the event will take place from August 3 to 27 at Goethe Institut, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hanoi. In these games, players experience the contingencies of political decision-making itself (Democracy III) and witness social injustices.  The games address precarious labor conditions (Sunset), gender issues (Perfect Woman), the surveillance state (Touchtone), the consequences of armed conflicts (This War of Mine), the treatment of refugees (Escape from Woomera) and resistance against totalitarian systems (Yellow Umbrella).  Adopting the characters of often-marginalized people such as a border official, housekeeper, drone pilot or war survivor, players experience limited possibilities and negative sanctions through both the character and the game play. Games and Realities presents 18 playable games that cover a wide range of social and political topics. In addition to trying out the games, visitors can view an introductory film about the exhibition (twenty minutes) and mini-documentaries about the games.  An accompanying exhibition catalog provides background information on these independent games and their unifying.  This exhibition Games and Realities is…... [read more]

The International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education in Vietnam (ICISE) in Quy Nhon city. The conference “Nanophysics: From fundamental to applications”is taking place at the centre (Photo: binhdinh.gov.vn) Binh Dinh (VNA) – As many as 120 foreign and domestic scientists are attending the conference “Nanophysics: From fundamental to applications”, which opened in Quy Nhon city, the central coastal province of Binh Dinh on July 31 as part of the 13th Recontres du Vietnam (Meet Vietnam) programme. The six-day event, jointly held by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the provincial People’s Committee, updates latest emerging nanotechnology in the world like allotrope and topo material.  Topics on nanoelectronics and nano equipment, superconductivity, magneto-resistive materials as well as strongly correlated systems are also debated. Professor Tran Thanh Van, Chairman of the Recontres du Vietnam foundation and founder of the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education in Vietnam (ICISE) in Quy Nhon city, said that as this year’s event drew the participation of reputed professors with significant contributions to the world’s nanophysics, it will create opportunities for Vietnamese scientists to learn experience in nano scientific research from international experts. The same day, the 13th Recontres du Vietnam programme kicked off a conference on general relativity and gravitation with the attendance of 16 experts from six countries.-VNA ... [read more]

Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario began his four-day official visit to Vietnam on July 31 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario The Mozambican PM’s entourage includes Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nyeleti Brooke Mondlane, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Luisa Meque, and Mozambican Ambassador to Vietnam Gamiliel Munguambe, and others. Vietnam and Mozambique established diplomatic ties on June 25, 1975 – the day when the African nation declared independence.  Mozambique is an important partner of Vietnam in Africa. The two nations have maintained cooperative relations through Party and State channels and people-to-people exchanges. The Communist Party of Vietnam and the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) have cooperated closely in personnel training and scientific research.  Bilateral economic and trade relations have enjoyed impressive growth over the past years. Two-way trade increased from just 13.83 million USD in 2006 to 101 million USD in 2016, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at 72.5 million USD. In the time ahead, the two countries will intensify collaboration in telecommunications, health, education, and mining, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in the production of rice, cashew nuts and soybean in the African country. VNA... [read more]

Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario (Source: GPM) Hanoi (VNA) – Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario began his four-day official visit to Vietnam on July 31 at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Mozambican PM’s entourage includes Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Nyeleti Brooke Mondlane, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Luisa Meque, and Mozambican Ambassador to Vietnam Gamiliel Munguambe, and others. Vietnam and Mozambique established diplomatic ties on June 25, 1975 – the day when the African nation declared independence. Mozambique is an important partner of Vietnam in Africa. The two nations have maintained cooperative relations through Party and State channels and people-to-people exchanges. The Communist Party of Vietnam and the Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) have cooperated closely in personnel training and scientific research. Bilateral economic and trade relations have enjoyed impressive growth over the past years. Two-way trade increased from just 13.83 million USD in 2006 to 101 million USD in 2016, of which Vietnam’s exports were valued at 72.5 million USD. In the time ahead, the two countries will intensify collaboration in telecommunications, health, education, and mining, and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises to invest in the production of rice, cashew nuts and soybean in the African country.-VNA... [read more]

The rise was reported after the index slid or remained unchanged for three months. In April, the monthly CPI remained unchanged, and it dropped by 0.53 percent and 0.17 percent in May and June, respectively. Compared with the same period last year, the index increased 2.52 percent, the office reported. However, the monthly rise of CPI in July was still the lowest in the past nine years. The increasing rate from 2008 to 2016 was between 0.13 percent and 1.17 percent. According to deputy director of GSO’s Consumer Price Index Department Do Thi Ngoc, the increase in CPI for July was mainly driven by the 3.19 percent price hike of food, including the increase in the price of pork, following six-months of declining prices, and the price rise in vegetables due to the impact of rainstorms and floods. Pork prices are from VND40,000 to VND49,000 (US$1.8-$2.1) per kilo, increasing from VND25,000 per kilo of the last three months following programmes to stimulate demand and to control the number of pigs raised by farmers, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Besides this, another reason was the higher prices of housing and construction materials, which was due to the tightened management of sand mining in localities, resulting in a higher price for sand, Ngoc said, adding that the good item saw a rise of 1.07 percent in July. The high 0.46 percent rise in medicine and healthcare services also contributed to the country’s average CPI, she…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Setting targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and monitoring this progress are imperative as the number of hepatitis patients in Viet Nam who receive treatment is too low, according to experts. The two-day conference highlights joint actions towards the elimination of viral hepatitis B and C in Viet Nam with a focus on priority populations held in HCM City on July 29 and 30. — Photo: VNS “Accessing diagnosis and treatment is a challenge", said Dr. Nguyen Thu Anh of General Department of Preventive Medicine at a two-day conference on joint actions towards the elimination of viral hepatitis B and C in Viet Nam that started on July 29 in HCM City. It is estimated that 3.22 million patients this year are living with the hepatitis B virus and are eligible for treatment given they have cirrhosis of the liver or a high viral load. However, only 43,230 diagnosed cases are receiving treatment. According to the department’s forecast, fatalities relating to liver diseases will trend up from 30,000 in 2015 to 45,000 in 2030 if there is no intervention. This year, it is estimated 967,000 patients will be diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus and only 74,000 of them will receive treatment. Dr. Kato Masaya of the World Health Organisation Viet Nam suggested that Viet Nam should set targets for “treatment scale-up” and a mechanism to monitor the progress. “Scale-up of HCV treatment will substantially reduce chronic infection, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver-related deaths,” Masaya said. “Upfront investment…... [read more]

CPI experiences slight rise in July (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in July rose again by 0.11 percent, following the rebound of food prices, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The rise was reported after the index slid or remained unchanged for three months. In April, the monthly CPI remained unchanged, and it dropped by 0.53 percent and 0.17 percent in May and June, respectively. Compared to the same period last year, the index increased 2.52 percent, the office reported. However, the monthly rise of CPI in July was still the lowest in the past nine years. The figure from 2008 to 2016 was between 0.13 percent and 1.17 percent. According to deputy director of GSO’s Consumer Price Index Department Do Thi Ngoc, the increase in CPI for July was mainly driven by the 3.19 percent price hike of food, including the increase in the price of pork, following six-months of declining prices, and the price rise in vegetables due to the impact of rainstorms and floods. Pork prices are from 40,000 VND to 49,000 VND (1.8-2.1 USD) per kilo, increasing from 25,000 VND per kilo of the last three months following programmes to stimulate demand and to control the number of pigs raised by farmers, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Besides this, another reason was the higher prices of housing and construction materials, which was due to the tightened management…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the General Secondary Education Department in the Ministry of Education and Training, spoke to the newspaper Tuoi tre (Youth) on ways to detect and nurture young talents. Nguyen Xuan Thanh Vietnamese students attending international competitions have done very well, winning gold medals. In your opinion, what are the key factors for our students to win such high awards? In previous years, our students participating in international competitions lacked practice, although their theoretical exercises were well done. This year, with lessons learned from previous years, our students have done quite well in practice exercises and earned high scores. Would you please elaborate on the new strategy? In the past few years, the Ministry of Education has poured more investment into schools for gifted students to achieve international standards. In my opinion, this is the right decision to foster our young talents. Elite students who are candidates for international competitions have received special treatment. They are specially trained in both theory and practice, particularly in developing plans for experiments and analysing their test results. In my opinion, this is the right approach to train students for future international competitions. If in the past, we focused our efforts on transferring our knowledge to the students, now we have switched to give them prompts on how to solve the problems. Our ultimate objective is to encourage the students to come up with interesting and clever answers. In my opinion, this way has encouraged the…... [read more]

Customers shop at a supermarket in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Viet Nam’s monthly consumer price index (CPI) in July rose again by 0.11 per cent, following the rebound of food prices, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). The rise was reported after the index slid or remained unchanged for three months. In April, the monthly CPI remained unchanged, and it dropped by 0.53 per cent and 0.17 per cent in May and June, respectively. Compared with the same period last year, the index increased 2.52 per cent, the office reported. However, the monthly rise of CPI in July was still the lowest in the past nine years. The increasing rate from 2008 to 2016 was between 0.13 per cent and 1.17 per cent. According to deputy director of GSO’s Consumer Price Index Department Do Thi Ngoc, the increase in CPI for July was mainly driven by the 3.19 per cent price hike of food, including the increase in the price of pork, following six-months of declining prices, and the price rise in vegetables due to the impact of rainstorms and floods. Pork prices are from VND40,000 to VND49,000 (US$1.8-$2.1) per kilo, increasing from VND25,000 per kilo of the last three months following programmes to stimulate demand and to control the number of pigs raised by farmers, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Besides this, another reason was the higher prices of housing and construction materials, which was…... [read more]

NDO – Three out of four Vietnamese students attending the 2017 International Biology Olympiad (IBO) have won medals, including one gold and two silver medals, according to the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). >>> Vietnam wins four gold medals, ranks third at IMO 2017 >>> Vietnam reaps high results at int’l chemistry Olympiad This is the best result Vietnam has ever attained at an IBO event. Accordingly, at this year’s event, held from July 23-30 at the University of Warwick, Coventry, the UK, 12th grader Truong Dong Hung from Hue High School for the Gifted won the only gold medal for Vietnam. Especially, Hung’s results (55% practical and 75% theoretical) were ranked 22 out of 245 candidates and also the highest personal achievement of any Vietnamese student to attend the IBO so far. The two remaining silvers went to Duong Tien Quang Huy from Lam Son High School for the Gifted in Thanh Hoa province and Nguyen Phuong Thao from High School for Gifted Students under the Hanoi University of Science, Vietnam National University. With this result, Vietnam ranked 12th overall, following the success by other teams attending Mathematical, Physics and Chemistry Olympiads. At the IBO 2016 hosted by Vietnam, the hosts won a gold, a silver and two bronze medals. Vietnam, together with the US, Chinese Taipei, China, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the UK, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Indonesia and the Czech Republic, won gold medals. Minister of…... [read more]

Tay Ninh looks to develop sustainable tourism industry

Tay Ninh, February 21 (VNA) – The Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain tourism complex in southern Tay Ninh province welcomed this year’s 1 millionth visitor on February 20. The lucky tourist, 31-year-old Do The Quyet from central Binh Phuoc province, and the 999,998th and 999,999th visitors, along with those in their groups, were presented with flowers, lucky money and free cable car ride tickets from the Tay Ninh Tourism and Trade Joint Stock Company. According to Duong Van Phong, Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism, nearly 900,000 holiday makers have visited the site since the beginning of the 2016 Mountain Ba Spring Festival, which opened at the Ba Den Mountain Historical and Cultural Relic Site on February 11 (the fourth day of the Lunar New Year). Over 100,000 tourists flocked to the event on the opening day. It is expected that about 1.5 million festival-goers will visit the destination during the one-month-long festival. Ba Den is the highest mountain in Vietnam’s southeast region at 886 metres above sea level. The site, with an abundant spectrum of pagodas and caves, is considered one of the most famous spiritual lands in the southern region, worshipping Linh Son Thanh Mau (Linh Son Holy Mother). VNA/VNP... [read more]

TAY NINH (VNS) — The Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain tourism complex in the southern province of Tay Ninh welcomed this year's one millionth visitor on Saturday. The lucky tourist, 31-year-old Do The Quyet from the central province of Binh Phuoc, along with the 999,998th and 999,999th visitors, as well as those in their groups, were presented with flowers, lucky money and free cable car ride tickets from the Tay Ninh Tourism and Trade Joint Stock Company. According to Duong Van Phong, director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism, nearly 900,000 holiday makers have visited the site since the beginning of the 2016 Lady Mountain Spring Festival, which opened at the Ba Den Mountain Historical and Cultural Relic Site on February 11. — VNS... [read more]

The Ba Den (Black Lady) Mountain tourism complex in southern Tay Ninh province welcomed this year’s 1 millionth visitor on February 20. The lucky tourist, 31-year-old Do The Quyet from central Binh Phuoc province, and the 999,998th and 999,999th visitors, along with those in their groups, were presented with flowers, lucky money and free cable car ride tickets from the Tay Ninh Tourism and Trade Joint Stock Company. According to Duong Van Phong, Director of the provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism, nearly 900,000 holiday makers have visited the site since the beginning of the 2016 Mountain Ba Spring Festival, which opened at the Ba Den Mountain Historical and Cultural Relic Site on February 11 (the fourth day of the Lunar New Year). Over 100,000 tourists flocked to the event on the opening day. It is expected that about 1.5 million festival-goers will visit the destination during the one-month-long festival. Ba Den is the highest mountain in Vietnam’s southeast region at 886 metres above sea level. The site, with an abundant spectrum of pagodas and caves, is considered one of the most famous spiritual lands in the southern region, worshipping Linh Son Thanh Mau (Linh Son Holy Mother). Source: VNA... [read more]

Ninh is a southeastern province and a key economic zone of southern region. With important traffic axis such as Trans-Asia Road, Highway 22B and other important transport projects running through it, Tay Ninh is becoming the crossroad of international economic corridors connecting the key southern economic region and ASEAN countries, as well as of national economic corridors linking the Central Highlands with the Southwest. With its advantages of geography and transportation infrastructure as well as high potential, Tay Ninh has huge opportunities to develop provincial tourism to new heights. Cultural and spiritual tourism development Tay Ninh has great resources to develop most tourism types, in which the most favourable could be spiritual and cultural tourism. Ba Den Mountain - the highest mountain of the southern region, bearing a beautiful story about fidelity – has high spiritual value and is a pilgrimage destination which receives more than two million visitors each year. Every year in the first lunar month this place holds the Ba Mountain Spring Festival, a month-long event attracting over 1.5 million visitors. The attraction has mysterious caves and craggy paths leading to the summit. It also is a symbol of Vietnam’s heroic history, being one of the military bases in the resistance war period, a great resource to develop discovery, adventure or historical tourism. Ma Thien Lanh is a valley surrounded by three mountains. With a cool climate, it is an ideal location for a high-class resort. Cao Dai Temple is the centre of Caodaism, a religion founded…... [read more]

Add: 139A Street 30/4, Tay Ninh Town, Tay Ninh Province Tel: (066) 3812 410; Fax: (066) 3822 320 Email: [email protected] Website: http://sovhttdl.tayninh.gov.vn Tay Ninh Tourism Trade Investment Promotion Center Add: 003 Truong Dinh Street, Ward 2, Tay Ninh Town, Tay Ninh Province Tel: (066) 3813 233/ 3813 244; Fax: (066) 3813 239 Email: [email protected] Website: tayninhitpc.gov.vn/gioithieutrungtam.php... [read more]

Considering tourism one of the important economic sectors, over the last time, Tay Ninh province has invested in and effectively exploited its natural advantages and tourism potential, contributing significantly to GDP growth of the province. Currently, the province's tourism sector is implementing synchronous solutions and striving to bring Tay Ninh's tourism to national scale by 2020. The Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Duong Van Phong, Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism on this topic. Kim Bang - Minh Tuan report. The local tourism industry has gradually become an important economic sector, contributing to economic restructuring in Tay Ninh province. Can you share more about the achievements of the tourism industry of the province? With a favourable geographical location and unique tourism potential, Tay Ninh has favourable conditions to attract tourists and establish attractive tours. Tay Ninh has been exploiting all the existing tourism potential in a reasonable manner and achieved some encouraging changes which open up more opportunities in the future for Tay Ninh to develop tourism in forests, rivers; cultural, spiritual and historical tourism and to promote border gate trade with key famous tourism spots. In 2005 - 2012 period, revenue from tourism grew on average at 21.93 percent a year, contributing 2.9 percent to the provincial GDP (in 2012, it reached VND440 billion). Number of staying tourists, tourists, tourists going and coming through international borders rose 23.17, 6.7 and 34.34 percent annually, respectively. Based on the tourism development planning in the area, Tay Ninh has…... [read more]

- This is one of the important goals for tourism development in the Master plan for "Tay Ninh tourism development until 2020 and vision to 2030" approved by Tay Ninh provincial People's Council in Resolution No.29/2013/NQ-HDND dated August 29, 2013. The Plan aims to develop Tay Ninh tourism into the province's key economic sector, contributing to improving provincial economic structure, raising the quality of tourism products and the province's competitiveness; and also aims to protect resources and environment and preserve cultural indentity… Tay Ninh tourism industry sets the target to welcome 1.6 million over-night tourist arrivals and 3.2 million same-day visitor arrivals in 2015; 2.2 million and 4.1 million in 2020; 4 million and 6.1 million in 2030, respectively. Ecotourism, spiritual tourism and historical sites are main attractions of Tay Ninh tourism. Therefore, Tay Ninh will focus on tourism product development tied to festivals, belief, historical sites, cultural works, … and also concentrate on development of ecotourism products based on national park ecosystem, countrysides; development of craft village tourism, business tourism… Tay Ninh Province will prioritize investment for some projects such as Ba Den Moutain; Dau Tieng Lake, Ma Thien Lanh-Ba Den Moutain, Bau Ca Na and Moc Bai ecotourism areas, Lo Go - Xa Mat national park, etc. Eight solutions were proposed to stimulate the province's tourism industry, regarding investment capital, policies, human resources, tourism promotion, management of tourism businesses, science and technology applications and international cooperation… Hong Nhung... [read more]

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(Cinet) - The MOCST has had Notice No. 170/TB-BVHTTDL on January 16 informing a summary of Deputy Minister Ho Anh Tuan at the working day with Tay Ninh Provincial People's Committee. Deputy Minister Ho Anh Tuan proposes that Tay Ninh province should carry out some tasks as follows: Culture: directs Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to establish scientific document to turn into intangible cultural heritage including 04 heritages such as "Hat cheo thuyen", " Mua trong chhayzam", "Mua mam vang", "the hat ly dan ca cua dan toc Viet o Tay Ninh"; Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to carry out Project on maintaining and develop a sustainable tourism. About Sports: directs some departments and general departments of Sports and Physical Training to build a pilot program for Project to increase more physical training of Vietnamese people in 2011-2030 periods in Tay Ninh. About Tourism: quickly establish the Council to inspect a master plan to develop Tay Ninh provincial tourism up to 2020 and an orientation of 2030. About a proposal in Tay Ninh: Deputy Minister Ho Anh Tuan proposes that the province should support for building Junactioncity victory statue. Besides, Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism also should build the Junactioncity victory statue and make a report to the MOCST and send to Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance to submit to the Program of the Government. Tay Ninh should support for restoring the historical relics in the province. Cultural Heritage Department should continue to support…... [read more]

(VEN) - To diversify tourism products and improve service quality, Tay Ninh has focused on creating unique tourism products through renovating, upgrading and promoting tourism attractions such as Ba Den Mountain, Dau Tieng Lake, amusement park, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels. Ba Den Mountain is the first place mentioned in Tay Ninh. Ba Den Mountain is 11km far from Tay Ninh Town and located in the west of HCM, covering on an area of 24sq.km. Ba Den Mountain was recognized as the national cultural historical monument by the state. With the beauty of the religion combined with the architecture of caves, Ba Den Mountain annually attracts millions of tourists. To meet needs of transporting passengers from the Tay Ninh Ba Den mountain foot to the Tay Ninh Ba Den Pagoda, Tay Ninh Cable Car JSC has invested in the ropeway system with capacity of 1,000 passengers per hour. Standing before the large growth in the number of customers, the company has invested more in the ropeway system with total investment capital of VND175 billion. Together with Ba Den Mountain, Tay Ninh is also attractive for tourists with Dau Tieng Lake and Lo Go-Xa Mat National Park. Dau Tieng Lake is 20km far from Tay Ninh Town and is an uninterrupted tourism point between Tay Ninh Town-Tay Ninh Holy See-Ba Den Mountain. Tay Ninh's traditional handicraft villages with well-known products, such as Trang Bang Rice Spaghetti and Trang Bang Girdle Cake, are also exciting destinations for domestic and international tourists. Promoting…... [read more]

First e-child care training system inaugurated

Illustrative image (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has decided to establish the Thai Binh Economic Zone (EZ) in the northern province of Thai Binh. Under the decision, the coastal EZ will span 30 communes, one town in Thai Thuy, Tien Hai districts, and the coastal areas. They are 14 communes and town in Thai Thuy district, namely Diem Dien town, Thuy Hai, Thuy Luong, Thuy Ha, Thuy Tan, Thuy Truong, Thuy Xuan, Thuy Lien, Thai Nguyen, Thai Thuong, Thai Hoa, Thai Do, Thai Tho, Thai Xuyen and My Loc communes. The 16 others are in Tien Hai districts, namely Dong Tra, Dong Hai, Dong Long, Dong Xuyen, Dong Hoang, Dong Co, Dong Lam, Tay Giang, Tay Son, Nam Cuong, Nam Thang, Nam Thinh, Nam Thanh, Nam Hung, and Nam Phu. Covering over 30,583 hectares, the EZ includes an electricity centre; an industrial complex; a port and port logistics area; resorts and recreational areas; aquaculture areas and coastal protection forests; residential, service and administrative areas. The EZ aims to fully explore fully potential on natural condition and position in economic connectivity, trade and service; thus narrowing development gap with other regions, while attracting investment, ensuring national defence and security and preserving local marine ecosystem, historic and cultural values. Priorities will be given to the industries taking the advantages of local resources and in connection with other regional EZs, industrial parks.-VNA   ... [read more]

Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang congratulated Lao officials and dignitaries on New Year festival of Laos (Illustrative image. Source: VNA) Vientiane (VNA) – Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and the Lao capital city of Vientiane have agreed to foster and expand their cooperation in the time ahead and approve cooperation orientations for the 2017-2020 period. The agreement was reached at the talks in Vientiane on July 29 between a high-ranking delegation of Vientiane and a high-ranking delegation of Ho Chi Minh City led by permanent Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang. The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of high-level delegations, speeding up the implementation of a project to raise beeves in Vientiane, considering the provision of aid to buy equipment for a project on improving the budget collection system of Vientiane’s Finance Department and Tax Department. They also vowed to consider the possibility of constructing their trade and tourism centres in Ho Chi Minh City and Vientiane. Ho Chi Minh City pledged to help Vientiane organise agricultural, trade and tourism promotion programmes in the Vietnamese city, provide 17 scholarships for Lao students and postgraduates, and assist Vientiane in hosting the Laos Tourism Year 2018 and a tourism conference of Mekong River Sub-region cities. Earlier on the same day, the Ho Chi Minh City delegation was received by permanent member of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Phankham Viphavan and Secretary…... [read more]

Illustrative image (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has advised Vietnamese enterprises to carefully study export regulations of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when conducting business with UAE firms to avoid suffering losses. According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in the UAE, many Vietnamese firms have recently been defrauded by some UAE businesses. The office warned that Vietnamese enterprises should stay vigilant when selling goods to UAE firms at low prices, as this is a good reason for UAE firms to force Vietnamese firms to accept their payment methods and prices, and even devalue Vietnamese goods in the market. Pham Quang Nghia, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Dubai said that Vietnamese businesses should contact the Trade Office in the UAE before doing business in the market, an open and transit market for 40 percent of exported goods. To boost sustainable trade between Vietnam and the UAE, experts advised that Vietnamese firms should strictly abide by import-export regulations in the UAE to prevent their goods being sent back by local authorities. In the future, the Vietnamese Trade Office in the UAE will strengthen trade promotion through exhibitions and showcases of Vietnamese foods, farm produce and fruits in major supermarkets in the UAE. At the same time, the office will also help enterprises seek UAE partners and verify their information. Minister of MoIT Tran Tuan Anh said that the ministry will continue negotiating and signing cooperation deals to…... [read more]

Novotel Saigon. Illustrative image (Source: VNA) HCM City (VNA) – Since 2010, the number of 3-5-star hotels nationwide has doubled, helping enhance the competitiveness of Vietnam’s hotel system to the regional level. However, hotels also face fierce competition from new accommodation services. Statistics from the Vietnam Hotel Association showed that in 2010, Vietnam has 388 accommodation establishments with 40,602 rooms, but in 2016, the figures rose to 788 and 91,041 respectively. A survey by Grant Thornton Vietnam in 2017 said that 2016 was a recovery year for high-end hotels with the system’s capacity rising 5.6 percent from the previous year. However, despite the increase in the number of foreign tourists and capacity of the hotels, the prices of high-end hotels did not increase as they faced strong competition from emerging accommodation services such as bed and breakfast (B&B), rental houses and homestays, according to the survey. Grant Thorton Vietnam reported that there are 6,500 B&B establishments nationwide with an average price of 34 USD per night. Along with homestays, this accommodation is becoming more popular among individual tourists. Tao Van Nghe, President of the Ho Chi Minh City Hotel Association said that apartments for rent to tourists are also part of the 4-5 star hotel market share. This was why the number of tourists rose but the price of high-end hotels did not increase, he added. To raise their competitiveness, high-end hotels have invested heavily in services and infrastructure, while aiming to…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Joint Stock Corporation (Habeco) will start trading with code BHN on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE) on January 19, the southern bourse has announced. Habeco will list its entire 231.8 million shares, equivalent to the total listing value of nearly 2.32 trillion VND (103 million USD), at the reference price of 127,600 VND (5.65 USD) per share, the bourse said in a statement. The share price is allowed to fluctuate /-20 per cent on the first trading day. Shares of the North’s largest brewer are trading at some 128,000 VND per share on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), which is under the management of the Hanoi Stock Exchange. HCM City’s exchange on December 30, 2016, approved the company’s filing to move its listing from the UPCoM to HOSE. By changing its listing to HOSE, which is the main bourse in Vietnam, with total market capitalisation of some 68 billion USD, Habeco is expected to improve its reputation and draw more investments. The company has become a ‘phenomenon’ on the UPCoM since its debut on October 28 last year, when its price shot from an initial 39,000 VND per share to a peak of 225,800 VND per share on December 16. Headquartered in Hanoi, it is the largest beer producer in the North and the third-largest beer company in Vietnam, with popular brands such as Hanoi Beer and Truc Bach Beer. It owns 17 subsidiaries and six affiliated companies, with total…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister has instructed relevant ministries to allocate rice, antiseptic and vaccines from the national reserves to support localities in need. Accordingly, the Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai and Dak Lak will respectively receive over 605.2 tonnes and 500 tonnes of rice on the occasion of Lunar New Year. The central province of Binh Dinh will get 30,000 litres of antiseptic while 430,000 doses of vaccines will be allocated to the central province of Quang Ngai to prevent diseases on cattle herds. The provincial People’s Committees are responsible for receiving and promptly distributing the items to the locals.-VNA... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese economy needs to take caution against external shocks this year due to the global economic uncertainties, a scholar has warned. Director of the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research under the Vietnam National University’s University of Economics and Business Nguyen Duc Thanh made the comment during a ceremony in Hanoi on January 16 to release the macroeconomic report for the fourth quarter of 2016. The report warned of the possibility of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike three times this year, which could push up the USD rate in Vietnam, thereby hurting Vietnam’s exports and deteriorating trade deficit. In order to maintain the value of Vietnamese dong in the context of rising USD rate, the State Bank of Vietnam could increase deposit rates but this could pose risks and cause a ripple effect to the real estate sector, it said. Another concern is that major oil producers’ production cut since January 2017 could raise oil prices again. On the plus side, it could add more revenues to the State budget but also potentially put pressure on domestic inflation which has been higher recently due to the adjustment of public service prices. Thanh said the 6.7 percent growth target this year is high and an under-4 percent inflation is not easy to achieve, suggesting that achieving growth target be done with “patience over haste” policy in order to prevent a relaxation in stabilising the macro-economy. The report also forecast that the economy could expand…... [read more]

Viet Nam News Hà NỘI - The Supreme People's Procuracy on Sunday decided to prosecute six defendants in connection with fraud that occurred at the Việt Nam International Bank (VIB), Nguyễn Huệ branch (VIB Nguyễn Huệ), five years ago. Đỗ Xuân Hai, ex-director of Đức Hiếu Co Ltd; Nguyễn Trọng Năm, head of Năm Hường private enterprise; and Đỗ Quang Bình, director of Nam Bình Co Ltd; were prosecuted on the charge of "swindling to appropriate property." All three live in Chương Mỹ District of Hà Nội. The other three defendants, Nguyễn Thanh Hiếu, former director of VIB Nguyễn Huệ; Mai Ngọc Vinh, a former customer support employee at VIB Nguyễn Huệ; and Nguyễn Hồng Tuấn, former managing director at 135 Security Service Joint Stock company; were charged with "violating lending regulations of credit institutions." Both Hiếu and Vinh reside in Hà Nội, while Tuấn lives in Chương Mỹ District. According to the indictment, to obtain money to repay debts for individuals and banks as well as for personal expenses, Hai, Năm and Bình forged documents and appropriated over VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million) in the form os loans from VIB Nguyễn Huệ between January 2011 and April 2012. Hiếu, Vinh and Tuấn were accused of "violating lending regulations of credit institutions." The procuracy also demanded that Hai repay over VNĐ120 billion (US$3.1 million) to VIB Nguyễn Huệ, while Hiếu was ordered to repay VNĐ16 billion ($709,000) to Hai. Nguyễn Trọng Năm and Đỗ Quang Bình were ordered to repay over…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA) on January 16 launched the Sao Khue Awards in 2017 under the sponsor of the Ministry of Information and Communications. The award aims to honour high-quality and effective IT products and services in domestic market, which also can make inroads into international markets, contributing to promoting IT application and development in Vietnam in recent years. This year, the organising board will select ten excellent products and services in terms of socio-economic efficiency, brand reputation, revenue, market share, customers, and technological innovation. Programmes to promote awarded products and services will be arranged nationwide in the year. The deadline for submission is March 6 and the results will be announced at an awarding ceremony in late April this year. Vietnam has recorded strong development in software and IT service, which achieved average growth up to between 20-35 percent in 2000-2010 and from 10-15 percent over the last five years. The sectors importantly contributed to the national socio-economic development and further improving Vietnam’s position in the international IT map. VINASA Chairman Truong Gia Binh highlighted Vietnamese IT firms’ competiveness on the international market, expressing his hope that the Sao Khue award will help bring more opportunities to Vietnamese IT enterprises to introduce their products and services in foreign markets.-VNA... [read more]

Illustrative image (Source: New Strait Times) Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore has imposed road charge on foreign-registered cars, announced Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) on January 16. All foreign-registered cars will have to pay a reciprocal road charge of 6.4 SGD (about 4.48 USD) per entry when entering Singapore via the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints, the LTA added. The new law which took effect from January 15 is to match with Malaysia’s similar amount of levy implemented since last November. The move aims to ensure that Malaysia takes into consideration Singapore's response whenever they raise their fees or introduce a new levy, said Singaporean Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan. Up to 20,000 Singaporean vehicles enter Malaysia daily on average via the two checkpoints.-VNA ASEAN Community... [read more]