Congratulations to China on National Day

China’s national flag (Photo: internet)

Hanoi (VNA) – Top leaders of Vietnam have sent messages of
congratulations to their Chinese counterparts on China’s 68th National Day (October 1).

messages were cabled by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President
Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly
Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to Chinese Party General Secretary and President
Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman of the Presidium of the National
People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang.

the messages, the Vietnamese leaders congratulated the Chinese people on their achievements
over the past 68 years and wished the 19th National Congress of the
Communist Party of China (CPC) a success.

expressed their belief that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee,
the Chinese people will successfully accomplish the target of building a
modern, prosperous, democratic, civilized, harmonious and socialist State.

Vietnamese leaders also affirmed that the Party, State and people of Vietnam
attach great importance to the friendship and comprehensive cooperation with
China, and willing to join hands with their Chinese counterparts to develop
relations between the two Parties and States in a stable and healthy manner,
bringing practical benefits to their people and contributing to peace,
stability, and prosperity in the region and the world.

this occasion, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also
extended congratulatory messages to Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and
Foreign Minister Wang Yi.-VNA

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German Unity Day celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City

NDO/VNA – A meeting was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 30 by the municipal chapters of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Association (VDFG) to mark the 27th Day of German Unity (October 3).

President of the VDFG’s HCM City chapter Nguyen Huu Thien stated that the city is one of the localities which has cooperated the most with Germany, particularly in the fields of culture, education, trade and investment, thus helping tighten relations between the two nations.

While appreciating the coordination and support from the German Consulate General and the German Business Association in implementing key cooperation projects in the city, Thien affirmed that his association will continue organising people-to-people diplomacy activities with German partners in order to further develop bilateral ties.

Wilhelm Meyer, Attaché for Cultural and Economic Affairs from the German Consulate General in HCM City, said that the time-honoured friendship between Germany and Vietnam has experienced strong development, reflected through cooperation projects in culture, education, trade and investment.

The increasing number of German investors in Vietnam and the upcoming inauguration of the German House in HCM City manifests the attention Germany has given to Vietnam as its important partner in the region, he added.

Germany is currently Vietnam’s most important partner in the European Union in numerous fields such as politics, economy, trade, investment, science-technology, education-training and culture.

Two-way trade exceeded US$8 billion in 2016, of which nearly US$6 billion came from Vietnam’s exports, accounting for nearly 20% of Vietnam’s total export turnover to the EU.

By the end of April, Germany had ranked fifth in the EU and 20th in 116 nations and territories investing in Vietnam with 285 projects worth around US$1.4 billion.

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Hoa Binh Group conferred Labour Order

Construction company, Hoa Binh Group was awarded the Labour Order, second class, last week by President Tran Dai Quang for its contribution to the sector and society over the last 30 years. — Photo

Construction company, Hoa Binh Group was awarded the Labour Order, second class, last week by President Tran Dai Quang for its contribution to the sector and society over the last 30 years.

Established in 1987, Hoa Binh has now become the leading construction company in the country, having completed 350 projects including many measuring thousands of square metres like German House, Estella Heights, Vinhome Landmark 4-5-6, Riviera Point, and Serenity Sky Villas.

The company is now trying to expand globally.

Le Viet Hai, its chairman, said: “Our strategy is to keep growing in the domestic market because this is our foundation. We will also explore opportunities to develop in foreign markets. Developing our foreign market is a good way for us to … upgrade our skills and competitiveness. It will also help us catch up with foreign standards. This is the best way to develop the domestic market.”

This year Hoa Binh targets revenues of VND16 trillion (US$571 million) and profit after tax of VND828 billion ($29 million).

On the occasion of its 30th anniversary the company recently launched the Hoa Binh Charity Fund. Together with the existing Le Mong Dao Education Support Fund, it will help disadvantaged people and support healthcare sector.

At the anniversary celebrations the company donated VND5 billion ($178,000) to build a Maison Chance in Dak Nong. Work on it started in May last year, and when finished it will be a centre providing healthcare and vocational traning to ethnic and disadvantaged people.

The company also handed over 1,000 healthcare insurance cards worth VND630 million ($22,5000) to the Red Cross.

Many other charity programmes, totally worth over VND6.4 billion ($228,5000), were also undertaken on the occasion of the company’s 30th anniversary. — VNS

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Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand cement cooperative relations

Delegates to the ministerial meeting of the Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand Growth Triangle (Source:

Jakarta (VNA)
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (IMT) agreed to intensify cooperation in
tourism, transport, human resources and infrastructure projects at a
ministerial meeting of the IMT Growth Triangle in Indonesia on September 29.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister
for Economy Darmin Nasution said that the cooperation agreements are to support
integration of growth of the three neighboring countries and increase investment
in the IMT-GT area.

By cooperating in tourism
development, the countries will adopt tourism strategic framework as a
reference to promote cross border tourism and make IMT-GT as a sustainable and
competitive tourist destination, he said.

In the transport sector, the
three countries will cooperate in improving trade border gate system and cross-border
infrastructure to facilitate export-import activities.

Meanwhile, under the cooperation
programme in human resources development, inter-university cooperation has been
formed in the IMT-GT area through the UNINET Charter, including innovative
research and technology.

The countries also agreed to
implement connectivity projects including airports, seaports, roads, bridges
and railway, he added.

At the meeting, delegates agreed
that the secretariat of the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle will be
located in Pangkalpinang, the capital of Bangka Belitung province of Indonesia.-VNA

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Russia public cares about APEC Economic Leaders Meeting

Illustrative photo (Source: Internet)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting and the role of the host Vietnam
has attracted attention from the public in many countries, including Russia.

MediaMetrics, a major news agency in Russia, on
September 29 broadcast a one-hour radio newscast focusing on the APEC event with
the participation of Grigory Trofimtruk, head of the expert council of the
Eurasian ideas foundation.

The newscast was followed by over 7,000 people via the
online website and radio channel of MediaMetrics, a record figure for the
agency’s World News programme.

At the talk, Trofimtruk answered many questions of the
host on the APEC and the world situation as well as Russia-Vietnam relations, and
evaluated Vietnam’s role in the international arena and the global economy. He
also talked about Russia’s “look east policy” and the country’s position in the
Asia-Pacific region.

To many Russian people, Vietnam is a beautiful tourist
destination and a country with increasing influence in the world thanks to its diplomatic
ties with almost 190 countries and membership of 650 non-governmental
organizations, he said.

Vietnam has maintained a stable growth of about 7 percent,
which goes contrary to the common global situation and is considered as a
surprise record, he added.

Answering questions that audience sent to the show on
the role of APEC 2017, Trofimtruk said that this year’s APEC Economic Leaders
Meeting will take place amid complicated developments in the region and the
world as well.

Therefore, Vietnam, as the host of the event, should
put forth specific initiatives and solutions to address the current problems,
he said, adding that the Russian public hopes that the meeting will serve as a
forum for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump
to seek a common voice amidst tension in Russia-US relations.-VNA

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German Unity Day celebrated in HCM City

A performance at the meeting marking the 27th Day of German Unity (Source:

HCM City (VNA) – A
meeting was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 30 by the municipal chapters
of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Vietnam-Germany
Friendship Association (VDFG) to mark the 27th Day of German Unity (October

President of the VDFG’s HCM City
chapter Nguyen Huu Thien stated that the city is one of the localities with the
most cooperation activities with Germany, particularly in the fields of
culture, education, trade and investment, thus helping tighten relations
between the two nations.

While appreciating the
coordination and support from the German Consulate General and the German
Business Association in implementing key cooperation projects in the city,
Thien affirmed that his association will continue organising people-to-people
diplomacy activities with German partners in order to further develop the
bilateral ties.

Wilhelm Meyer, Attaché for
Cultural and Economic Affairs at the German Consulate General in HCM City, said
that the time-honoured friendship between Germany and Vietnam has experienced
strong development, reflected through cooperation projects in culture,
education, trade and investment.

The increasing number of German
investors in Vietnam and the upcoming inauguration of the German House in HCM
City manifest the attention Germany has paid to Vietnam as its important
partner in the region, he added.

Germany is currently Vietnam’s
important partner in the European Union in numerous fields such as politics,
economy, trade, investment, science-technology, education-training and culture.

Two-way trade exceeded 8 billion
USD in 2016, of which nearly 6 billion USD came from Vietnam’s exports,
accounting for nearly 20 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover to the EU.

By the end of April, Germany had
ranked fifth in the EU and 20th in 116 nations and territories investing
in Vietnam with 285 valid projects worth around 1.4 billion USD.-VNA

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NA leader presents gifts to children in Tuyen Quang

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presents gifts to primary and secondary students in Son Duong district of Tuyen Quang province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on
September 30 presented gifts to primary and secondary students in Son Duong district
of the northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang ahead of the Mid-Autumn

handing over the gifts to students at Ton Duc Thang and Tuan Lo Primary Schools,
Trung Yen and Tuan Lo Secondary Schools, the NA leader wished the children a
fancy festival and a good academic year.

the same day, Chairwoman Ngan visited and planted a tree at the National
Assembly’s Standing Committee Relic Site in Trung Yen commune of Son Duong
district where preserves many valuable documentaries on the Vietnam’s National
Assembly since the first election.

also offered incense and flowers in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at a temple
worshiping the late leader in Nguyen Tat Thanh Square in Tuyen Quang city.

chairwoman expressed her hope that the Party Organisation and people of Tuyen
Quang will continue uphold the revolutionary tradition to reap greater development
achievements, while preserving and promoting the values of its historical relic
sites to educate patriotism for younger generations.-VNA

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WB, AIIB help Philippines tackle flooding in Manila

VietNamNet Bridge – Ho Chi Minh City should create purposeful flooded areas to reduce flooding and the issue should be solved as a part of regional and national climate change adaptation strategy not a plan for the city’s administrative boundary, Mr. Ngo Trung Hai, director of the Rural and Urban Planning Institute of the Ministry of Construction has said. Many parts of HCMC have long experienced rampant flooding after heavy rains and high tides. Floodwater would not overflow the sewer system inner the city if there had space for it to run into. Local authorities have implemented many measures to…... [read more]

Ho Chi Minh City has for years spent hundreds of billions of dong to tackle flooding, but problems like delayed site clearance and lack of capital have slowed down progress on many important projects. Thu Duc District regularly suffers the worst flooding. Over VND253 billion (US$12 million) from the city budget have already been allocated for the district for construction of five sluice gates, to control recurring high tide. The first sluice gate on Go Dua Canal has begun construction and once complete, it will hold back tide waters in Hiep Binh Chanh, Linh Dong, Tan Phu and Tam Binh Wards.…... [read more]

Hanoi aims to put an end to flooding in the city’s centre including the districts of Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung and Hoang Mai by 2015. Flooding in Hanoi after heavy rain. Photo by Tin247 According to the city's drainage planning to 2030, Hanoi will also complete drainage systems in other residential areas and satellite urban sites in a bid to tackle flooding. One of the solutions being considered is collecting rainwater. Currently, the average annual rainfall in Hanoi is 1,676mm, higher than in previous decades due to climate change. In the future, the impacts of…... [read more]

The Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control has called for the creation of a Special Rescue Team to minimize flood damage. At a meeting in Hue Friday, the committee also suggested the implementation of four measures suggested in the past to tackle floods: directions on-the-spot; forces on-the-spot; materials on-the-spot; and logistics on-the-spot. Reported by Bui Ngoc Long - Translated by Hoang Bao.... [read more]

Ho Chi Minh City needs VND68 trillion (US$3.07 billion) to tackle flooding in 17 districts in the 2016-2020 period, according to the Steering Center for Urban Flood Control Program. The 17 districts include 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, Tan Binh, Tan Phu, Binh Tan, Go Vap and Thu Duc. The fund will be spent on building drainage and wastewater treatment works in center areas, and the north, northeast, southeast and west of the city. HCMC will clean up 32 kilometer Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Nuoc Len Canal, dredge 8.2 kilometer radial canals, and…... [read more]

The World Bank (WB) will help Vietnam build a power system costing VND200 billion (US$11.76 million) to supply electricity for the Cat Ba island district of the northern port city of Haiphong. The system includes two 36-kilometer power lines running from Cho Roc commune, Yen Hung district of northern Quang Ninh province to Cat Ba island, and two 110-kV transformer stations with a capacity of 50kVA each - one in Cho Roc and one in Tran Chau commune, Cat Hai district, Haiphong city. The Haiphong Power Company began construction of the system on June 30. Once fully operational in February…... [read more]

Many provinces and cities nationwide, along with organisations and enterprises operating in the central province of Quang Ngai, have presented almost 28 billion VND in cash and essential commodities to households in the most flood-hit areas in the locality. Of the total, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee donated 1 billion VND; Ho Chi Minh City, over 4.2 billion VND; the Vietnam Commercial Bank's office in Quang Ngai , 550 million VND; the Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade, 18 billion VND; the Quang Ngai Sugar JSC, 600 million VND, t he provincial Fund for Sponsoring Children, 70 million VND.…... [read more]

PANO – The floodwater in provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri is gradually receding but military units are still working hard in flood-gulfed areas. Troops transported food, water and necessities to every household, helped them overcome the consequences and prevent water-born diseases. Division 968’s troops helping locals relieve flood consequences The Quang Binh provincial Border Guard’s troops closely observing developments of the upcoming storm to promptly respond to it Local medical workers of Quang Binh province, in association with delegations, providing free check-ups and medicines for flood-hit people Ba Don town’s Military Command’s troops (Quang Binh province) cleaning…... [read more]

The World Bank (WB) on Feb. 14 affirmed it will continue assisting Vietnam in coping with risks of urban flooding through loans, technology support and analysis. The WB pointed out that Vietnam is among the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters, especially floods, which are encroaching on cities as the country’s urbanisation proceeds rapidly. In a recently released book entitled, “Cities and Flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for the 21st Century”, the WB recommends some priorities in policy to help Vietnam and other countries deal with the challenges of floods. In the context of growing pressure…... [read more]

The World Bank (WB) said on November 18 that it will provide the Philippines with an emergency loan of 500 million USD to help the country develop a reconstruction plan for areas badly hit by super typhoon Haiyan. The WB said the emergency loan is being given following the request made by the Philippine Government and the bank is also ready to provide additional support, including through a conditional cash transfer programme that provides funds to poor families. According to WB President Jim Yong Kim, the bank is committed to supporting the Philippine Government in its efforts to rebuild the…... [read more]

Hanoi, Qatar Airways seek tourism development cooperation

(TITC) - In order to enhance tourism cooperation between Viet Nam and China and also further tighten the relationship between the two countries, from 10 to 17 September 2016, the delegation of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) attends the training program on tourism development cooperation in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China. VNAT’s delegation led by Ms. Pham Le Thao – Deputy Director of Travel Department will participate in exchange and training activities on tourism development cooperation, including seminars of “Viet Nam – China tourism cooperation”, “Human resource management in tourism enterprises”, “Overview of Yunnan tourism”, “Multinational tourism cooperation…... [read more]

VGP - Over 300 local and international tourism specialists attended the 22nd Joint Meeting of the World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Commissions for East Asia and the Pacific and for South Asia on May 11 in Hà Nội to discuss measures to foster tourism development in the region. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, expressed strong support and admire of the organization for Việt Nam, especially on the occasion of the 1,000th founding anniversary of Thăng Long-Hà Nội. Delegates, including representatives of the UNWTO's Commissions, 26 national tourism bodies, international and non-governmental organizations, foreign diplomats in Việt Nam, and famous…... [read more]

The Hanoi tourism sector is looking to regional links to improve efficiency as the capital is an attractive destination for tourists with more than 5,000 historical relics, close to 1,300 traditional craft villages, and a great number of intangible cultural heritages, according to radio The Voice of Vietnam. I n the first quarter of this year, Hanoi received more than 700,000 foreign visitors, up 15 percent, and nearly 4.9 million domestic tourists, up 8 percent compared to last year, thanks to the city's effort to promote the environment and boost cooperation among companies. Hanoi's current policy has changed the tourism…... [read more]

The Hanoi tourism sector is looking to regional links to improve efficiency as the capital is an attractive destination for tourists with more than 5,000 historical relics, close to 1,300 traditional craft villages, and a great number of intangible cultural heritages, according to radio The Voice of Vietnam. I n the first quarter of this year, Hanoi received more than 700,000 foreign visitors, up 15 percent, and nearly 4.9 million domestic tourists, up 8 percent compared to last year, thanks to the city’s effort to promote the environment and boost cooperation among companies. Hanoi’s current policy has changed the tourism…... [read more]

Visa-free entry between Vietnam and Singapore has confirmed the strong growth in tourism cooperation between the two countries. Singapore Tourism Board is the first foreign travel agency to open a representative office in Vietnam. It helps promote and increase the number of tourists from Singapore to Vietnam and vice versa. In recent years, bilateral relations between Vietnam and Singapore in various fields have flourished, bringing about practical benefits to the two peoples. Tourism cooperation between the two countries has made positive progress. Tourism Cooperation Agreement was signed at the governmental level on August 26th 1994. The Vietnam-Singapore Tourism Commission (SVTC)…... [read more]

A hundred travel agents and representatives of various organizations from Vietnam, Switzerland and France took part in the "Vietnamese and Swiss Tourism Development and Cooperation" seminar in Geneva, Switzerland on August 10. The seminar was an important activity to boost the development of Vietnam's tourism industry, especially at a time when Viet Nam is preparing to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a celebration of 35 years of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Viet Nam. At the seminar  (Photo:TT) Ms. Vo Thi Thang, Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said she highly appreciated the development of…... [read more]

CEO says Vietnam important to Qatar Airways global network By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (C) fields reporters’ questions about the carrier’s expansion plan in Vietnam at the news conference in Hanoi on Tuesday - Photo: Mong Binh HCMC - The chief executive officer of Qatar Airways has said Vietnam is an increasingly attractive destination for both leisure and business travelers and an important contributor to the airline’s global flight network and its ambition to become the world’s leading carrier. Akbar Al Baker raised the point at a meeting with reporters in…... [read more]

Qatar Airways officially launched the Doha-Hanoi route on November 2 with four flights a week. All flights will transit in Bangkok, Thailand every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. This is Qatar Airways's second route from Doha to Vietnam. The first route to Ho Chi Minh City was launched in 2007. With Hanoi, Qatar Airways has increased its destinations in the Asia-Pacific region to 18. At present, Qatar Airways has a fleet of 90 planes flying to 94 destinations worldwide. It plans to increase its fleet to 120 aircrafts and destinations to 120 by 2013.... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Qatari counterpart, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabir al-Thani, held talks in Hanoi Wednesday on the first day of the latter's official visit to Vietnam. PM Dung highlighted recent progress made in bilateral relations, especially in trade and investment, after expressing thanks to the Qatari Government and people for their assistance in the past and at present. "Both should work closely together to translate their own great potential into reality in the interest of the two nations," the Vietnamese Government leader said. In reply, Qatari PM Jabir al-Thanisaid his visit aimed to boost cooperation…... [read more]

(VEN) - In the 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK), there is ample opportunity to strengthen cooperation in tourism development. At a seminar to promote RoK tourism recently held in HCMC, representative of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism director general Nguyen Van Tan said that the issue of cooperation in the fields of culture, sports and tourism between Vietnam and the RoK has been considered. Cultural and tourist week had been held regularly in both countries. Six million international tourists visited Vietnam last year, including 536,000 from the RoK.…... [read more]

PM promises better social welfare for the elderly

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fifth from the right, first line) and outstanding elder people (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime
Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed on a proposal to improve social welfare
for the elderly, especially cultural institutions to serve their spiritual

PM Phuc gave the nod on September
29 while meeting leaders of  the Central
Committee of the Vietnam Association of the Elderly and 30 outstanding old
people in Hanoi on the occasion of International Day for Old Persons (October
1) and the Action Month for the Vietnamese Elderly.

The Government will continue
studying social welfare policies and mechanisms to bring into full play
valuable experience of the elderly, he said, stressing that strict punishments
will be imposed on bad behaviours against old people as regulated in the Law on
the Elderly.

PM Phuc affirmed that during the resistance
wars or peacetime, the elderly have always made great contributions and been a
backbone of each family.

President of the Vietnam
Association of the Elderly Pham Thi Hai Chuyen revealed that the association
now has over 100,000 chapters across the nation with 8.6 million members. Of
the total, 1.24 million are joining Party, Front and study encouragement
affairs or working as heads of resident areas, hamlets and villages, while over
5.7 million still earn their living.

Chuyen noted that one-third of
the elderly has yet to benefit from social protection allowances or others, so
they need more attention from the State and society.

Vietnam is one of the five
countries with the fastest aging rates in the world. The nation is home to 10.1
million old people, or 11 percent of the population. The figure is forecast to
rise to 20 percent by 2038, equivalent to 20 million people.

Therefore, the association
proposed the Government carry out policies or institutions suitable for the
population aging.-VNA

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PM chairs unprecedented policy dialogue with private companies

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the first-ever policy dialogue with leaders of 14 top private corporations.

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This is the first time PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs policy dialogue with private companies in a bid to seek ways to create favorable business environment for development of the private sector. 

Leaders of the Government Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the members of the PM’s Economic Advisory Group, which was established in July this year.

According to statistics, private economy has become an important economic engine of Viet Nam. Since 2010, the sector contributed over 43% to the country’s gross domestic product compared to around 28.9% of the State economic sector.

Speaking at the event, the PM highlighted the increasing number of the private businesses, accounting for 96.7% while State-owned enterprises (0.5%) and foreign-invested ones only make up 0.5% and 2.8%, respectively.

The Government chief pointed out that less than 10,000 out of the current 496,000 private enterprises are listed as large and medium-sized ones.

So what are the bottle-necks and what the Government should do to give a strong boost to the development of private businesses, he questioned.

PM Phuc stressed that the dialogue was organized so that the Government could hear frank and sincere ideas and aspirations of private corporations in order to create the best legal framework and business environment for the Vietnamese private sector.

One of the keys to economic growth in Viet Nam is the private sector, the PM said, adding that the Government expects to raise the private sector’s GDP share to 50-60% in the coming years.


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Up to 1.87 billion USD projected for offshore fishing development

Hanoi (VNA) -
The total investment for the offshore fishing industry for the 2018-2030 period
is projected to reach 42.2 trillion VND (1.87 billion USD).

The Directorate of
Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development released this
information at a meeting this week to discuss the master planning for offshore
fishing development, nationwide, by 2020, with orientation to 2030.

Of the total capital, 19.5
trillion VND or 46.2 percent will be used during the 2018-2020 period, and the
rest is reserved for the 2021-2030 period. The funds will be mobilised from the
State budget, local budgets, all domestic economic sectors and foreign

According to the
directorate, the objective of the master plan is to industrialise the offshore
fishing industry by 2020 and modernise it by 2030, so that the sector’s
productivity, quality and efficiency will be improved without harming fishery

Specifically, by 2020, the
output of offshore fishing will remain at some 1.62 million tonnes. For
offshore fishing vessels, the number of net trawlers will be reduced, while the
number of fishing boats will be increased. The number of service ships will be
some 1,480, thus creating jobs for some 231,100 offshore workers.

By the year 2030, the
exploited output and the number of offshore fishing vessels will remain the
same as in 2020. The number of trawlers will continue to be reduced, and the
number of fishing boats will continue to be increased. The number of service
ships will be some 1,570, thus creating jobs for some 243,300 employees.

Nguyen Van Trung, director
of the directorate’s Department of Exploitation, said that the issuance of this
master plan would be necessary to manage fishing ships and catch output. Until
now, localities had failed to do so, he said.

According to Deputy
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam, the Directorate of
Fisheries should clarify issues such as the scope of fishing at sea, job
shifting for local labourers, infrastructure for fishery services and shelters
for boats to avoid storms.

He added that the solutions
should be implemented toward stabilising or reducing catching output, and
improving quality to ensure the sustainable development of the sector.

Therefore, Tam asked the
Directorate of Fisheries to study and revise the planning carefully so that
this plan is in line with the 2017 Law of Fisheries and Law on Planning, before
it is submitted to the National Assembly at its next session.-VNA

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PM holds policy dialogue with leading private firms

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a policy dialogue with 14 chairmen and general directors of leading private enterprises in Hanoi on September 30. (VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held a policy dialogue with 14
chairmen and general directors of leading private enterprises in Hanoi on
September 30.

PM Phuc praised
the production and business achievements of the participating firms, which, he described
as important contributions to the economy.

The PM said he
wants the businesses to frankly talk about their difficulties and challenges, stressing
that the dialogue was a concrete action to implement the Resolution on the
development of the private sector, which was adopted at the 12th Party Central Committee’s 5th plenum.

The government
leader highlighted the recent substantial progress achieved by the private sector,
but also pointed to a lack of large-scale private companies. Most of Vietnamese
private enterprises are of small-, medium- and micro-sized firms, he said.

PM Phuc affirmed
that the Government will collect feedback from the companies to complete relevant
policies, improve the business climate, and remove bottlenecks in order
facilitate the private sector’s development.

According to the
Business Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment,
the private economic sector contributes 43.22 percent to the country’s gross
domestic product (GDP), accounts for 39 percent of the total social investment,
and generates 11.9 percent of all jobs. Meanwhile, the State economic sector
contributes 28.69 percent to the GDP.

In 2016, the
number of newly-established enterprises nationwide hit a new record with more
than 110,000, up 16 percent annually. In the first nine months of 2017, an additional
94,000 firms were established with a combined registered capital of 900
trillion VND (39.6 billion USD).-VNA

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First National Festival of Dao Ethnic Culture kicks off

A performance at the First National Festival of Dao Ethnic Culture (Photo: VNA)

Quang (VNA)
– The first National Festival of Dao Ethnic Culture and
the Tuyen Quang Mid-Autumn Festival opened in the northern mountainous province
of Tuyen Quang on September 29.

at the opening ceremony, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan
lauded the organization of the event, which aims to honour cultural values of
Dao ethnic minority people.

said that the cultures of ethnic minority groups are a priceless treasure of
the nation, contributing to the diversity of the Vietnamese culture.

also stressed the need to preserve the cultural identities of all ethnic groups
in Vietnam and the Dao people in particular during the cause of national
industrialization, modernization and development.

NA leader highlighted the Party’s and State’s policy of paying great attention
to the spiritual life of ethnic minority groups, as well as the significance of
incorporating the protection and promotion of cultural heritage of Vietnamese
ethnic groups with sustainable economic and tourism development in localities.

until October 4, the National Festival of Dao Ethnic Culture and the Tuyen
Quang Mid-Autumn Festival have gathered 12 art troupes from Lai Chau, Bac Kan,
Phu Tho, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Thanh Hoa, Son
La and Tuyen Quang provinces and Hanoi city.

As one of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, the Dao
community has an estimated population of 750,000. They mostly reside in
northern mountainous provinces such as Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, and Yen
Bai. Their main livelihood is farming in rocky areas, weaving, and silver craft

Tuyen Quang is the only province in Vietnam home to
all nine Dao subgroups, namely Dao Do, Dao Tien, Dao Cooc Mun, Dao Quan Chet,
Dao O Gang, Dao Cooc Ngang, Dao Quan Trang, Dao Thanh Y, and Dao Ao Dai.-VNA

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Phu Tho to reduce rate of poor households to 5 percent in 2020

Illustrative photo (Source:

Phu Tho (VNA) – The northern
midland province of Phu Tho is striving to reduce the percentage of poor
households to 5 percent by 2020, as part of its efforts to achieve sustainable
poverty reduction and improve living conditions of local people.

According to the provincial
Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the province now has about 41,000
poor families and over 31,000 near-poor households, accounting for 10.51
percent and 8 percent of the total number, respectively.

Of these households, 33 percent are
from ethnic minority groups and 23 percent have at least one welfare

Phu Tho plans to invest more than 1
trillion VND (44 million USD), including 925 billion VND sourced from the state
budget and 76 billion VND from the provincial funds, to carry out poverty
reduction projects.

The money will be spent on developing
local infrastructure, supporting production, diversifying rural livelihoods,
and scaling up successful models of poverty reduction in disadvantaged

To effectively implement the national
target programme on sustainable poverty alleviation, the department has worked
with State agencies and district administrations to update the status of the
poor and underprivileged areas in order to better support them, said Director
of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Bui Duc Nhan.

It has worked to raise people’s
awareness of poverty reduction and encourage them to be more independent and
overcome difficulties, Nhan said, adding that it has also called on local
organisations, businesses and individuals to join the efforts.-VNA

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FWD employees “share happiness” with elderly

At the gift presenting ceremony (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – As part of its first anniversary celebrations, FWD
Vietnam Life Insurance Company Ltd gave gifts to inmates at the Thanh Loc
Paralyzed Elder Nursing Centre in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12 and the Centre
for Social Protection No 4 in Ba Vi, Hanoi and its staff spent time with them
and did voluntary work.

As part of the company’s
“Happiness shared, Happiness fulfilled” initiative, its employees and agents
spent an afternoon distributing the gifts, cutting seniors’ hair and cleaning
their sleeping quarters.

They also hosted a
‘birthday’ party to celebrate the seniors’ longevity and express appreciation
for their lives.

Anantharaman Sridharan,
FWD’s general director, said: “I’m moved to see our employees, agents and
the social community come together so passionately to support this meaningful

“FWD wants to inspire
people to share happiness with others.”

The campaign was shared on
various social networks and quickly received supportive responses from the
community with more than 34,000 wishes sent to the elderly.

FWD Group
has a presence in Hong Kong and Macau, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Vietnam and Japan, offering life, medical and general insurance and
employee benefits in many of the markets. 

in 2013, FWD is the insurance business of Pacific Century Group.-VNA

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Community-based organisations tend to turn into social firms

Social enterprises seek opportunities at a workshop on collaboration and growth held on September 29 by the Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life in HCM City (Source: VNA)


HCM City (VNA) – A
conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 29 to discuss how
community-based organisations (CBOs) continue helping vulnerable groups since
the amount of foreign financial aid is declining.

Speaking at the event, Pham Hong
Son, head of G3VN group – a CBO for the gay community, said it has changed
itself to a social enterprise by building Galant general clinic specialising in
diagnosing HIV infection, treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases, among
others. It also commits to reserving 51 percent of its profits for supporting
the gay community.

Director of the Centre for
Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) Nguyen Nguyen Nhu Trang said six out of 31
CBOs in the south have turned into social businesses.

In particular, three CBOs, namely
“Aloboy”, “Hoa co may” and “Da khoc” have been cooperating together to create a
clean food distribution channel called AloFood, which sets aside 52 percent of
its profits to serve the community.

Trang said CBOs also play an
important role in HIV/AIDS prevention and control by working closely with victims
or those at high risk of infection.

The event was co-hosted by the
Centre for Promotion of Quality of Life (LIFE) and the US Agency for
International Development (USAID).-VNA

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“A Night of Ballet” opens at HCM City Opera House

HCM City
– The show “A Night of Ballet”, which include works by
Vietnamese and French choreographers, will begin at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera
House tonight.

The performance will open
with the contemporary ballet Duo, a new work by choreographer Nguyen
Phuc Hung.

“In Duo, I
combine ballet, music and visuals to surprise the audience and evoke emotions,”
said Hung, who has choreographed contemporary dances Cham tay vao qua
khu (Touching the Past) and Di qua tinh yeu (Gone through

Dancers Do Hoang Khang Ninh
and Sung A Lung, who won the Gold Medal at the 2016 National Young
Choreographer Talent Competition, will be featured.

The night will also include
the ballet Carmen Suite created in 1967 by Cuban choreographer
Alberto Alonso to music by Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin.

The ballet is based
on French composer Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, depicting the
tragedy of Carmen, a fiery gypsy, who falls in love with Don José.

The performance will
feature Nguyen Thu Trang as Carmen, Ho Phi Diep as Don José, and dancers from
the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO).

 “I believe my
experience in dance and life will help me play Carmen well,” said Trang, who
first played the role when she was 17 years old at the Giai Dieu Mua Thu
(Autumn Melody) Festival in 2012.

She has also performed
in The Nutcracker and Coppélia ballets.

The show will end
with French choreographer Julien Guerin’s ballet titled Dépaysement,
based on the music of Chopin, Satie, Faure, Beethoven, Albioni and Giazotto.

The dance is about a
spiritual journey of a young woman who dreams of sharing her feelings with
other people.

The work will feature Tran
Hoang Yen and French ballet dancer Chloé Glemot, who was trained at the
Paris Opera Ballet School between 1996 and 2003 and has worked as a
professional dancer for ballet troupes in the US, Canada and the UK.

Choreographer Guerin began
studying dance at the La Rochelle Conservatory in France at aged 9, and
completed his training at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de
Danse de Paris.

After graduating as a dance
teacher from the Centre National de la Danse de Paris in 2005, Guerin joined
several ballet troupes, including English National Ballet and the Ballet of the
National Opera of Bordeaux.

He has created and
choreographed several ballets, including Somnia Vertigo and Baudelairean

“A Night of Ballet” will
begin 8 pm at the Opera House at 7 Lam Son Square in District 1. Tickets are available
at the venue.-VNA

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Young artists go graphic in new show

A special exhibition of works by four young graphic designers, newly graduates of the London College for Design and Fashion (LCDF), opens in Hanoi today.

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Cover of the book Logolepsy by Dang Minh Nguyet.

All four designers use graphics to express themselves and seek people’s understanding through their works.

Ho Nguyen Hai Dang presents Saigon, Saigon, a multi-media project that gives the audience an immersive experience of old Sai Gon (HCM City). “Utilising modern techniques, I want to explore how to breathe new life to the past and pay tribute to the city I love so dearly,” said Dang.

“I will show people a vintage Sai Gon, a world of culture, music, and lifestyle, with a distinctive visual style all its own.”

Dang Minh Nguyet has chosen to make a “word book” called Logolepsy, which means an obsession with words. It’s a book about unusual and rare words, some short and others quite long, carrying wide meanings. There are words that could be impossible to translate into other languages, and words that are names for things that one would not even know there was a word for.

“The main reason I chose this project is because I’m not a talkative person. I usually talk or even text in a very short way, and I like things that have a big meanings behind or no one knows about,” she said.

“The second reason is there are not a lot of different types of ‘word books’ except the dictionary, so I want to make something new, and also to challenge myself to do something I had never done before.”

Nguyen Minh Y discovers herself through a graphic work called Anxiety. Based on her experience of living with anxiety, she wants to spread the awareness among those who do not know exactly what an anxiety disorder is. She uses a series of fun illustrations, posters and postcards to describe what anxiety feels like in a creative way, to encourage those who fight against anxiety, and to seek support.

Pham Phuong Thao delves into his interest in cuisine with an illustration project that describes some specific traditional foods in Hanoi.

Phoở (noodle soup) has become famous worldwide and is loved by people in many countries. The shape of the noodle has influenced key visuals in Thao’s project called: “Have you eaten?” All the illustrations are made with continuous lines of a pho thread.

“The project is my effort to show appreciation for my hometown and hopefully make national and international folks love Hanoian cuisine as much as I do,” said Thao.

The exhibition, open to the public but of particular interest to young and aspiring designers, will remain open until October 1 at LCDF, 98 To  Ngoc Van Street, Hanoi.

Experts like Hoang Dao Hiep, CEO of advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi Vietnam and Richard Child, lecturer of Graphic Design at LCDF will host talks about graphic design and its role in brand communication. 


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Startup businesses still thirsty for capital

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The favourable business environment of Vietnam along with numerous incentive polices have offered optimal conditions for more and more enterprises to launch startups with their feasible ideals for new products.

Actually, startup businesses usually only have in-depth knowledge about projects, products, areas of production and business but lack the skills to call for investment and basic knowledge about various related fields such as finance and administration.

In addition, many businesses are often impatient in persuading investment funds to lend them money and most banks set a series of rigid loan conditions that startups find difficult to meet.

Phan Dinh Tue, Deputy General Director of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) says his bank is still in the process of building exclusive regulations for startup businesses.

According to some economic experts, the capital for startup businesses can still be found from banks and investment funds. The question is to have the knowledge and skills to call capital inflows from commercial banks and investment support funds.

There are many investors and private equity funds that startups can ask for help if their projects are proved to have great potential for development.

Ho Trong Lai from US financial advisory firm Waterstone Capital Partners LLC in Asia says if a start-up business wants to call for investment capital it is required to outline a specific project on personnel and capital using plans.

Many policies on streaming administrative procedures have been adopted, making it easier for businesses to embark on startups. The crux of the matter is how to ensure sufficient capital. It is now time for commercial banks to give a helping hand to startup businesses by setting appropriate lending criteria.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has set up the Startup Assistance Fund with a chartered capital of VND2,000 billion with a view to supporting startups but it is essential to define the right target and how much stakeholders will be involved in and how much will be provided by the fund.

Additionally, startups should stay more active in looking for investment funds or adventurous investors as the better way to help them get rid of capital shortage.

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Voluntary unemployment not a problem, says labour official

Dao Quang Vinh, director general of the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, tells the Labour Newspaper that voluntary unemployment is not something Vietnam has to worry about.

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If an employee is suddenly transferred by the employer to do a job that is not to his or her liking and decides to quit, would it be case of voluntary unemployment?

Many people misunderstand this as voluntary unemployment. If an employee quits after she or he is forced to do something that is not within her or his area of expertise, or working conditions become unbearable for some other reason, it is a case of that individual becoming unemployed.

Do such cases happen mostly with skilled workers?

It can happen to any group of workers, but in real life, it does occur usually with skilled workers who think it will be fairly easy for them to find another job.

What do you think about the problem of voluntary unemployment in our country at present?

I would say that the percentage of voluntary unemployment in our country at present is very small. 

The unemployment rate itself is not too high. Within the ASEAN bloc, we have the fourth-lowest unemployment rate after Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. 

Our unemployment rate is even lower than that of Indonesia, the Philippines or Malaysia, at a time when it has climbed to as high as 20 per cent in many European nations.

So voluntary unemployment is not something we have to worry about? Is there a chance it will become a problem in the future, in the context of Viet Nam deepening its regional and international integration, and when more jobs are created?

As I said earlier, voluntary unemployment in our country is not high, but job availability is. 

This is a positive sign for any voluntarily unemployed people to find jobs.

I don’t think it will become a problem. When employment opportunities are wide open, voluntarily unemployed people will have more choices to choose from.

Whether or not voluntary unemployment increases depends on two main factors: employment opportunities and the match or mismatch between supply and demand. 

Good information about the labour market is very important for job seekers. 

It will help them select work and working conditions that suit their capacity and preferences.

Quite a few university graduates are apparently deciding to work as Grab or Uber drivers instead of looking for other jobs. Can you comment?

It is true that quite a few university graduates are not able to find the good jobs they’d expected. 

That’s why some chose to become taxi or motorbike drivers. Many even put their university diplomas in the trunk and look for jobs in factories or enterprises as workers. 

But this does not just happen here, it happens in many other countries as well.

As we know, universities train and provide basic knowledge on subjects so that students can deeper into the field of their choice later on. In other words, learning is a lifelong process. 

Universities just provide a foundation that students can build upon in choosing and advancing their careers.

What if the number of voluntarily unemployed people does increase? Will it create undue pressure on the unemployment insurance fund?

Workers pay into the unemployment fund when they are employed. When they are unemployed, they are entitled to receive unemployment insurance, of course. 

We’re now living in a market economy, so living on the dole is natural. 

I think that Việt Nam Social Insurance should review its services and ask if the job they have done has earned them the people’s confidence.

What would you tell those university graduates that are working as Grab or Uber drivers?

I think it is a matter of concern. In our society, many parents still think that their children must go to universities after completing their high school. 

But we all know that we are now facing a “redundancy of engineers and a shortage of workers.” There is an imbalance between supply and demand for certain types of jobs.

So, if any university graduate thinks that he or she is good at being a Grab or Uber driver, there’s nothing wrong with their decision. 

What’s more important is that the job they are doing is appreciated by the market and the society. 


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Toyota Mekong Club Championship to begin in Dec.

The Toyota Mekong Club Championship (TMCC) is scheduled to be held from December 2017 to January 2018.

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Representatives of Viet Nam, the Da Nang team, took part in the Toyota Mekong Club Championship last year. — Photo courtesy of the organisers

The competition will feature clubs from the Lao Premier League, Cambodia’s Metfone C League, Thailand’s Toyota League Cup and Viet Nam’s Toyota V.League 1.

The first round of the event will feature home and away matches between representatives from V.League 1 and representatives from the Metfone Cambodian Premier League.

The first leg will be held in Viet Nam on December 9 and the second leg in Cambodia on December 13.

The winner of round 1 will attend the semi-final round with Laos (the winner of the semi-final in 2016), to be held in Laos on December 17. 

The winner of that match will then play Thailand (the winner of the final in 2016), on December 23 (first leg) and January 6 (second leg) in the final round.

Toyota established the TMCC back in 2014 with the objective of enriching the lives of the community through football in Mekong countries. 

The championship was hosted in Viet Nam with the participation of clubs from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

In 2015, Thailand joined the championship and matches were played in all participating countries. 

Last year, Thailand’s Buriram United FC emerged victorious and took home the trophy after the final. 

With the great enthusiasm demonstrated by the fans and the success of TMCC over the past few years, Toyota has decided to continue with the event this year. 


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Rich would benefit most from Trump tax cut plan: policy group

The wealthiest Americans would benefit the most from President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts while many upper middle-income people would face higher taxes, independent experts said on Friday in the first detailed analysis of the plan.

A U.S. Senate panel took Trump’s proposal, announced on Wednesday, a step forward by unveiling a budget plan for the coming fiscal year that acknowledges lost revenues from tax cuts, while Trump pressed ahead with selling the plan to the public.

A report from the non-profit Washington-based Tax Policy Center found that in 2018, about 12 percent of taxpayers would face a tax increase of roughly $1,800 on average.

That includes more than a third of taxpayers making between about $150,000 and $300,000, mainly because most itemized deductions would be repealed including for state and local taxes, it said.

Its analysis showed that the Republican tax proposal would fuel the growing federal deficit, providing $5.99 trillion in tax cuts while reducing federal revenues by a net $2.4 trillion in the next 10 years.

Trump, who promised major tax cuts as a candidate, has called his proposal “a miracle for the middle class,” but the report concluded it would provide middle-income taxpayers uneven tax relief. In 2018, all income groups would see their average taxes fall, but some taxpayers in each group would face tax increases, it found.

Taxpayers in the top 1 percent of incomes – above $730,000 – would receive about 50 percent of the total tax benefit from the tax overhaul, with their after-tax income forecast to increase an average of 8.5 percent, the group said.

“The biggest share of people with increased taxes will be … people who might be considered upper-middle-income people, high-income professionals, people whose income is between $150,000 and $300,000 in a year in 2017,” Tax Policy Center co-director Eric Toder said.

The bottom 95 percent of taxpayers could expect a tax cut of 0.5 to 1.2 percent, according to the analysis.

The proposed tax cuts for corporations and small businesses would reduce federal revenue by $2.6 trillion over a decade and largely would benefit high-income taxpayers, it said.

Trump, a real estate mogul-turned-politician, had pledged that the tax plan would not benefit the rich, himself included.

Budget resolution

The budget resolution released by the Senate Budget Committee, which would pave the way for Republicans to avoid potential Democratic procedural moves to block it, builds in $1.5 trillion in reduced revenue from tax cuts over the next decade.

The White House and Republicans in Congress aim to have the tax proposal passed by the end of the year. Republicans control the White House, the Senate and both chambers of Congress.

The resolution is vital to plans by the Republicans to move tax legislation through the Senate, which they control by a slim 52-48 majority, using a parliamentary process that lets them pass legislation without a customary 60-vote threshold that would necessitate some Democratic support.

The proposal calls for slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent, the small business rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent and the top individual rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent.

Democrats call the tax plan a giveaway to the rich and corporations that would balloon the federal deficit.

“The Senate Republican budget is the clearest sign yet that Republicans are intent on pursuing a tax plan that would blow a huge hole in the deficit and stack up debt, leading to cuts in programs that middle-class Americans rely on,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

Trump talked up the tax proposal during a speech on Friday to the National Association of Manufacturers business lobbying group in Washington, calling it “a giant, beautiful, massive — the biggest ever in our country — tax cut.”

“The biggest winners will be everyday working families, as jobs start pouring into our country,” Trump said.

The U.S. national debt stands at about $20 trillion and the proposal provided few details on how to offset the federal revenues that would be lost with the tax cuts.

Trump has failed to secure passage of any major legislation since taking office in January, with a healthcare overhaul collapsing in the Senate, money to build his promised wall along the border with Mexico failing to materialize and infrastructure spending legislation never getting off the ground.

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US says on track to destroy chemical weapons by 2023

The United States said Friday that it is on track to meet a 2023 deadline for destroying its stocks of chemical weapons and congratulated Russia on scrapping its own arms.

“The United States remains committed to the complete destruction of its declared chemical weapons. We are on track to meet our self-imposed deadline for complete destruction by the end of 2023,” a Pentagon spokesman told AFP.

“Over 90 percent of the United States stockpile has been destroyed,” the spokesman said, acknowledging that the target date had changed over the years due to “technological” challenges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the destruction of his country’s last chemical weapons on Wednesday and accused Washington of dragging its feet.

The U.S. “unfortunately is not carrying out its obligations when it comes to the timeframe of destroying chemical weapons — they pushed back the liquidation timeframe already three times,” Putin said.

The Pentagon spokesman noted that “Russia has solicited and received very significant funding from international donors,” including the U.S., which provided “over $1 billion in financial and technical assistance for the Russian chemical weapon destruction program.”

“We congratulate the Russians on their completed chemical weapon destruction. This is an important milestone in the arms control and nonproliferation community,” the spokesman said.

Russia and the United States amassed huge stocks of chemical weapons during the Cold War, but had agreed to destroy them after joining the 1997 convention by April 2012.

Both Russia and the United States had to push back their deadlines for getting rid of their chemical weapons.


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Toy-making village crafts childhood memories

VietNamNet Bridge – As the mid-autumn festival approaches, a festive atmosphere prevails throughout Hao Village in the northern province of Hung Yen.

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Carefully arranged: The finished masks are left for drying after being decorated by the artisans.

Wandering through the village, located roughly 60km from Ha Noi, visitors can catch sight of villagers making traditional toys like drums, colourful paper masks and star-shaped lamps—beloved features of every Vietnamese childhood. For generations, the villagers have specialized in these crafts, playing a critical role in mid-autumn celebrations across the country.

It is unknown when the village first began to specialize in producing traditional toys. The peak of craft production came at the end of the 1980s, when nearly all villagers took up the trade and the village was thronged with merchants who came from all over Viet Nam to purchase toys just before the festival.

As the country has developed and become more globally integrated, however, more and more imported toys—both eye-catching and cheaper than handcrafts—have appeared, particularly from China. The traditional toys of Hao Village, and the livelihoods that rely on them, are under threat.

As a consequence, many households have quit the traditional work to seek better jobs and more stable income. Only several families still pursued their ancestor’s trade.

The products of the village, however, still hold their own attractiveness, thanks to their simplicity and close association with people’s childhood memories. As there have been much doubt casted on the quality of imported toys in recent years, Hao Village’s traditional toys have regained some popularity, and locals have been happy to satisfy demand by returning to their traditional trade.

“Our traditional toys have been gained popularity among consumers, particularly the children, in the last two years,” local artisan Vu Thi La said. “We have to work very hard to meet the high demand both from the north to the south.”

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Nation’s drumbeat: The toy drums are painted with red paint and left for drying. — Photos

A meticulous process

At present, there are about 20 households producing traditional toys. Besides toy drums, which have been the main product of the village, the villagers have produced star lamps and paper masks, all made with simple and natural materials like bamboo or paper.

Vu Huy Tu, another artisan in the village, said the most important materials to make a toy drum are lime wood and buffalo skin. The wood is cut into pieces and lathed to create the body of the drum while the buffalo skin is scraped thin before being dried.

The process of making a drum is sophisticated, demanding meticulousness from each worker.

The final step, which is also the hardest one, is stretching the buffalo skin over the drum surface.

“If the skin is stretched too tight, the drum cannot produce the proper sound. If it is loose, the drum will be broken down easily,” La said, adding that this is why the worker must constantly test the elasticity of the drum surface.

Another favourite product of Hao Village is the masks made from paper board or pasteboard, depicting children’s favourite characters from Vietnamese folktales. Based on cement moulds, the artisans give the discarded papers a second life with their skilful hands by turning them into soulful and eye-catching toys.

During the peak production period, each household could make over 6,000 products. Prices of each range from VND10-50,000 (US$0,4-2,2) depending on size. On normal days, the income of each household is just enough to make ends meet, so every villager longs for the festivals where their products take centre stage.

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Celebration of culture: The masks are painting with vivid colours, depicting children’s favourite folktale characters.

And if the visitors wish, the villagers will willingly instruct them on how to make a drum or a mask on their own.

Another surprise to every visitor is the lovely children of the village. Born and raised in the hundreds-year-old craft community, they seem to have inherited remarkable skill from their parents. Not only can they take over the housework, they can also help their parents with creating the traditional toys that will bring joy to other children.

As the trend of travelling to the craft villages to learn about the traditional cultural values is on the rise, Hao Village has become a tourist destination, particularly for families with children. The wide open area around which the village’s houses cluster has become a playground for many children to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of their parents’ childhood.

After visiting Hao Village, almost every person holds in their hands a colourful drum or a mask. It is certain that the fresh smell of paint still lingering on the toys will entice the visitor to return.  

Even facing severe competition with foreign toys, the villagers strongly believe that their traditional products will always have a special place in Vietnamese children’s hearts. As villager La said: “Traditional trade will never fall into oblivion.” 

Phuong Ha


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Young teacher creates employment opportunities for students

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Minh also takes part in voluntary activities to help local husbandry households prevent diseases among their animals. 

Nguyen Van Minh has been working hard to find new teaching methods to inspire his students. Minh said: “Before each lesson, I select a specific example to help students understand the lessons more easily”.

In 2009, Minh set up a Veterinary Medicine club, which has now become a place where students, and also teachers, can practice their skills. 

Nguyen Phuong Nam, another teacher in the Department of Veterinary Medicine said “Minh’s club gives students soft skills and teaches them about the difficulties facing a vet in treatment. Minh is enthusiastic about helping farmers. He goes to farms and shows the farmers how to do husbandry and prevent animal diseases”. 

Minh makes use of Facebook to connect employers and students and creates employment opportunities for his students on the website Vet 24 which specializes in training and vet services. Thousands of students have landed well-paid jobs. 

Pham Thi Thu Huyen, a final-year student at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture said “Minh’s website includes employment information and data on enterprise demand, so we can find a suitable job. I have learned a lot from the teacher Minh”. 

Nguyen Van Minh integrates study with volunteer activities such as protecting buffalos and cows in winter. Minh has asked enterprises to donate chemicals and medicines to disadvantaged husbandry households in the outlying areas of Hanoi. 

 “We help local people raise cows, advise farmers about production, and environmental protection, and transfer technology. These activities give students experience and help the farmers”, said Mr Minh. 

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Seven new river tours launched in Saigon

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Each canoe is capable of carrying 20 passengers at maximum speeds of 50kph, Saigontourist said at the launch ceremony at the city’s Tan Cang tourism area.

The high-speed boats will bring tourists from Tan Cang to Cu Chi, Binh Duong, Can Gio and District 9 at a costs ranging from VND750,000 (US$33) to VND2.14 million ($94) per adult, and VND560,000 ($25) to VND1.61 million ($70) per child.

While these destinations are not new to river tourism, Saigontourist says several new features on their tour routes will attract new visitors.

One attraction featured on a Saigontourist canoe tour along the Tan Cang – Cu Chi route is a stop in Binh Duong to tour an orchard and ancient house. The former Bach Dang – Cu Chi river tour doesn’t stop in Binh Duong.

Similarly, the route to Can Gio will not stop at the Dan Xay ecotourism area, a common feature in other tour packages.  Instead, tourists will be taken to Can Thanh, the center of the outlying district, where they can enjoy the local market lifestyle.

Ho Chi Minh City has long been trying to boost its river tourism. Several routes have been launched but all have ceased since the shutdown of Bach Dang wharf in District 1.

In the first nine months of this year, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 4.2 million international passengers, up 16 percent from the same period last year, according to a report by the municipal administration.

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Canh Hoach, the village of two top doctorate winners

canh hoach, the village of two top doctorate winners hinh 0

‘Trang Nguyen’ was the title given to the person who gained top doctoral position in the Confucian education system during Vietnam’s feudal times. It was used in the Ly dynasty in the early 11th century, Tran dynasty between 1225 and 1400, the later Le dynasty between 1427 and 1789, and the Mac dynasty in the 16th century.

Vietnam had 55 top doctorate winners. Canh Hoach was one of 2 villages in Vietnam which had 2 people holding the doctoral title. The 2 top doctorate holders in Canh Hoach, Nguyen Duc Luong and Nguyen Thien, were maternal uncle and nephew.

Nguyen Van Thang, head of the Nguyen Duc clan in Canh Hoach and in charge of looking after the house to worship the two top doctors, told VOV “The progenitor of the Nguyen clan in our village was Nguyen Ba Ky who gained a doctoral title in 1463 under the reign of King Le Thanh Tong. His son was Nguyen Duc Luong who passed a royal examination and was recognised Trang Nguyen in 1514 under the reign of King Le Tuong Duc. He was appointed a post equivalent to deputy foreign minister. When he died, he was conferred the title of foreign minister. When Nguyen Thien was 6 years old, he was reared and taught by his uncle, first doctor Nguyen Duc Luong. Then Nguyen Thien was also recognized as Trang Nguyen in 1532 under the reign of King Mac Dang Doanh.”

canh hoach, the village of two top doctorate winners hinh 1
Canh Hoach communal house.

Nguyen Van Khanh, a villager, said “Vac villagers are proud of our two top doctors. As descendants, we hope we can uphold their family’s learning tradition and follow their outstanding examples to make our homeland more beautiful and wealthy.”

On New Year holiday and their death anniversaries, village leaders and others burn incense at the clan’s worshiping house in memory of the two top doctors.

Nguyen Van Thang, head of the Nguyen Duc clan said “The village festival takes place from the 11th to the 13th day of the third lunar month every year. 

There is a procession of palanquins in honor of Nguyen Duc Luong and Nguyen Thien who made great contributions to the nation and village. The procession finally stops at the worshiping house which was built in 1596. Inscribed steles, ancient incense burners, and 10 papers conferred by the King are still preserved here. The house has been recognized as a State-level cultural historical relic site.”

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