Prime Minister holds sidelile bilateral meetings

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held bilateral meetings with his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha and Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on the sidelide of the 30th ASEAN Summit.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 30th ASEAN Summit (Source: VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 30th ASEAN Summit (Source: VNA)

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha reached the agreement during a bilateral meeting in Manila on April 29th on the sidelines of the 30th ASEAN Summit.

At the meeting, the two PMs said they are pleased that the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership has progressed well and agreed to resolve their outstanding problems in the upcoming joint cabinet meeting.

In addition, the two sides agreed to work towards a trade balance and enhanced investment cooperation in which Thai investors will assist their peers from Vietnam.

Phuc urged the effective implementation of the action programme to carry out the Vietnam-Thailand strategic partnership for the 2014-2018 period and established cooperation mechanisms in line with increase in high-level exchange of visits.

He proposed Vietnam and Thailand hold negotiations on bilateral agreements in criminal extradition and judicial assistance.

He also suggested the two countries establish a hotline for settlement of maritime incidents.

In terms of ASEAN cooperation, the leaders shared the view on prioritizing the building of unity in the bloc and promoting ASEAN’s central role. They agreed that ASEAN should enhance coordination of positions and viewpoints on regional security and strategic issues, including the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and pushing for real progress in negotiating the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The Thai PM invited his Vietnamese counterpart to visit Thailand.

Besides, durring the meeting with Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the two leaders agreed to further enhance bilateral partnership in trade, industry, agriculture and tourism at their meeting on April 29th

They agreed to continue exchanges of high-level delegations and work together to improve operation of the Vietnam-Brunei Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, the two countries’ joint naval working group and other bilateral cooperation mechanisms.

PM Phuc hoped Brunei will promote investment in Vietnam, particularly in the fields of infrastructure development, energy, food processing for export, and oil and gas exploitation.

He also asked Bruinei to offer favourable conditions to Vietnamese investors to do business in oil and gas services, halal food and farming products in Brunei.

The 30th ASEAN Summit, under the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, is expected to see the presence of leaders of the 10 ASEAN member countries. It is the first summit in 2017 under the Philippines’s ASEAN chairmanship

CPV/VNA



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10,000 homes to get smart shower devices for real-time information on water usage

SINGAPORE: A device that lets you know how much water you are using while taking a shower will be installed in 10,000 new homes over the next few years, Singapore’s national water agency, PUB said on Thursday (Apr 27).

File photo of water dripping from a shower head. (Photo: AFP/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/10-000-homes-to-get-smart-shower-devices-for-real-time-8796250

The agency has put out a call for proposals to supply these smart shower devices, under a pilot project called the Smart Shower Programme to be launched in the first quarter of next year.

“Such behavioural nudges could potentially change users’ habits and bring about reduction,” said PUB.

Citing a study conducted with the National University of Singapore from July 2015 to March 2016, PUB said households can save about 5L of water a person a day when provided with real-time information on water usage during showers. This could help households save about 3 per cent of their monthly water bill, PUB added.

The Request-for-Proposal, which will be launched on Apr 28 and will close at the end of May, aims to leverage economies of scale to mass-produce the devices, PUB said.

The agency also said it hopes to tap on ideas from the industry to improve the features of existing smart shower devices available in the market. This includes alternative ways of providing real-time feedback on water consumption during showers, and allowing users to download the data to their smartphones, tablets and laptops so they can monitor their progress in reducing water usage.

“Showering typically comprises 29 per cent of a household’s monthly water consumption. There is great potential to achieve substantial savings if we can change the user’s behaviour during his/her shower time,” said PUB’s Director of Water Supply (Network) Michael Toh.

“Water is a precious resource, and everyone is encouraged to make water conservation a way of life. By making users more aware of their water usage in their daily activities, we hope to encourage people to adopt good water-saving habits and use water wisely, reducing their water bill,” he added.

Source AFP



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Aquatic export hits USD2.1 bln in four months

Vietnam earned an estimated USD604 million from the export of aquatic products in April, bringing the total figure of the year’s first four months to about USD2.1 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent.

Photo for illustration (Source: VNA)

Photo for illustration (Source: VNA)

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Japan, the US, China and the Republic of Korea (RoK) were main importers of Vietnamese aquatic products, accounting for 52.2 percent of the total export value in the period.

Meanwhile, the highest surge was seen in the Brazilian market with 75.1 percent, followed by the Netherlands with 43.4 percent; Japan, 29.5 percent; the RoK, 25.2 percent; China 17.9 percent and Canada 15.2 percent.

Imports of aquatic products were valued at USD427 million in the four months, 35 percent higher than the same period last year.

The MARD said the price of Tra fish for processing in the Mekong Delta region was higher in April compared to the previous month, fluctuating between 24,000-26,000 VND/kg, while supply remains limited.

According to the Vietnam Fisheries Society, aquaculture contributed three percent to the country’s gross domestic product in 2016. Export turnover of aquatic products in the year increased 7.4 percent year-on-year, reaching USD7.05 billion.

The figure is expected to rise 5 percent this year, hitting USD7.5 billion, 65 percent of which would come from aquaculture./.

CPV/VNA



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Vettel on pole for Russian GP in Ferrari one-two

SOCHI: Championship leader Sebastian Vettel admitted it felt “fantastic” to lead Ferrari to their first front row lock out in nine years after he took pole position in Saturday’s (Apr 29) thrilling qualifying session for the Russian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel steers his car during the qualifying session for the Formula One Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom circuit in Sochi on Apr 29, 2017. (Photo: AFP/Alexander Nemenov) Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/motor-racing-vettel-on-pole-for-russian-gp-in-ferrari-one-two-8806188

The four-time world champion’s blistering fastest lap and Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen’s second place on the grid brought to an end rivals champions Mercedes long and dominant supremacy in qualifying.

The 29-year-old German outpaced Raikkonen by 0.059 seconds with another Finn, Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, third fastest with less than a tenth of a second separating the top three.

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest, the first time Mercedes failed to have a car on the front row for 31 races.

“If you have a rhythm here it feels fantastic,” said Vettel, who has won the last nine races at which he started from pole position.

“And I am glad I got it back. It is great to have both cars on the front row, but it is only part of the job done.

“I knew it would be tight, I knew I would be the first one crossing the line. I got Valtteri’s time – and he did not manage to improve – and when I got the message I had got it … I was over the moon.

“In qualifying, Mercedes have been very, very strong. I am sure it will be very close tomorrow, especially over the long run We will see, but for now we are full, of joy. We are back – at least if you talk about the front row!”

It was Vettel’s first pole this year, his second for Ferrari and the 47th of his career.

Ferrari also achieved a front row lockout for the first time in 127 races going back to the 2008 French Grand Prix, where Raikkonen took pole. “It’s hard to understand how we’re going to make it better, said Raikkonen.

‘UPPER HAND’

Vettel’s success also brought to an end Mercedes’ run of 18 straight pole positions dating back to last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“To be honest, Ferrari have had the upper hand all weekend, but as always Sunday is the day that counts,” said Bottas.

Hamilton, rarely away from the front row, said he had plenty of homework overnight. “I need to find out what we are missing,” said the former three-time world champion.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams, Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull and German Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.

Mexican Sergio Perez was ninth for Force India ahead of his team-mate Frenchman Esteban Ocon.

On a warm sunlit day at the Black Sea resort, with a track temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, the opening Q1 session saw Mercedes top the times.

Vettel and Raikkonen were second and third for Ferrari behind Bottas and Hamilton while a late accident saw two cars – Briton Jolyon Palmer’s Renault and German Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber – go off and into the tyre barriers.

That signalled an early exit for the pair along with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren Honda, Swede Marcus Ericsson of Sauber and grumbling Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Haas.

The luckless Palmer had earlier had the engine in his Renault car changed between final practice and the start of qualifying.

When Q2 began, Raikkonen was the early fastest man as the teams prepared their tyres – to be used again on Sunday to start the race – before Bottas took over top spot in 1:33.264.

The session ended with Bottas ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton third ahead of Vettel while out went Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and Canadian rookie Lance Stroll of Williams.

Also out went local hero Russian Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas and two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso in his McLaren Honda.

The top ten shootout began with the two Mercedes waiting in the pit lane and then, on a warm-up lap, a bizarre scrap between Hamilton and Hulkenberg, the German appearing to hold up the Englishman.

“He’s driving quite dangerously,” said Hamilton, while Raikkonen went fastest and Vettel second for Ferrari before Bottas grabbed second.

Hamilton, fighting his car for rear grip, was only fourth after the first runs, the Mercedes men clearly affected by Hulkenberg’s antics.

All four pole-contenders were soon out on fresh rubber for their final showdown – and Ferrari’s takeover at the top.

Source AFP



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24 dead as Kyrgyz landslide engulfs village homes

A landslide engulfed part of a village in Kyrgyzstan on Saturday (Apr 29), killing 24 people, including nine children, the emergencies ministry said.

A handout picture taken on Apr 29, 2017 and provided by the Kyrgyz Red Crescent Society press service shows a general view of the landslide-hit Ayu villge in Kyrgyzstan’s Osh region. (Photo: AFP/HO)

The earth slip entombed the inhabitants of six houses when it hit the village of Ayu in the Osh region of the mountainous Central Asian country at around 6:40am (0040 GMT), the emergencies ministry said in a statement.

“All 24 citizens of Kyrgzystan, nine of them children, died under the landslide in the south of the country,” ministry spokeswoman Elmira Sheripova told AFP.

Over 250 rescue workers including medics and soldiers were at the scene.

Emergencies minister Kubatbek Boronov flew to the site on the orders of President Almazbek Atambayev to take “all possible measures to alleviate the consequences of the landslide and give all necessary help to families of the dead”, according to a statement on the president’s website.

Hours later, a second landslide hit a neighbouring village on Saturday afternoon, burying three houses. There were however no casualties, the ministry said.

In an emotional address published on the presidential YouTube channel, Atambayev pleaded with villagers to heed government warnings to leave their homes during extreme weather in this landslide-prone country.

‘FEAR GOD! LISTEN TO EXPERTS’

“The biggest pain in all the trouble that has befallen us is (the fact that) two or three days ago our compatriots living there did not listen to the specialists and refused to resettle,” said Atambayev, who announced Sunday as a day of national mourning.

“I appeal to my compatriots. A person’s life, especially the life of a child, is much more precious than any property, any livestock. You cannot put any sort of property above life!”

He added: “I’m addressing all my compatriots who don’t want to leave dangerous zones: Fear God! Listen to the experts and follow their advice.”

Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov visited Ayu village after the landslide and said the government would provide “all necessary assistance”.

“We profoundly understand that this is our shared tragedy,” he said in comments issued by the government’s press service.

The emergencies ministry said its chief Boronov was in charge of organising the evacuation of 40 families living close to the disaster zone and housing them in tents, given the risk of further landslides.

District official Alisher Bakyshev told local media that residents had been ordered to leave by the emergencies ministry in March due to the risk of landslides and 34 families had left their homes – but some later returned.

The landslide is the second tragedy to strike the ex-Soviet country of six million people since the beginning of the year.

In January a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village close to the country’s main airport, killing 39 people.

Ninety-five per cent of Kyrgyzstan’s territory is mountainous. A landslide in the country’s south in 2004 killed 33 people.

Source AFP



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Eight killed in road accidents in Vietnam on first day of long holiday

Eight people died and 11 others were injured on Saturday, the first day of a four-day holiday, in 15 traffic accidents throughout Vietnam, according to a report by the National Traffic Safety Committee.

Eight people died and 11 others were injured on Saturday, the first day of a four-day holiday, in 15 traffic accidents throughout Vietnam, according to a report by the National Traffic Safety Committee.

All of the crashes happened on the roads, the committee said, adding this number is far lower than that in the same period of last year.

Police officers handled 5,606 people for violating traffic rules, including road and waterway cases.

The officers took away 187 driver’s licenses, impounded 580 vehicles, and fined the lawbreakers a total of VND4 billion (US$175,200).

One of the accidents was caused by a tractor trailer in Ho Chi Minh City, killing a young boy and injuring two others.

Reports showed that the vehicle was traveling on National Road 22 in Hoc Mon District when it crashed into a motorbike carrying three people and a car idling at the traffic lights.

The tractor trailer continued to veer onto the sidewalk, uprooting a tree before slamming into a house.

The young boy died instantly after being dragged for a distance with the motorcycle, while the woman on the bike was severely injured, with the man sustaining slight scratches.

The house had its door destroyed whereas the tractor trailer and the car were badly damaged.

Police have yet to identify the driver of the tractor trailer. Further investigation is underway.

Vietnam started a four-day holiday on Saturday to celebrate Reunification Day (April 30) and Labor Day (May 1). The holiday will end on Tuesday.



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Book launch “Trois nuage au pays des nénuphars” by Nuage Rose

  • Film scoring workshop with British composer Michael Price in Saigon

VietNamNet Bridge - Come to join a workshop with British composer Michael Price, who won an Emmy award for outstanding music composition for the BBC TV series Sherlock, in HCM City this May. He will also be joined by Vietnamese composer Nguyen Manh Duy Linh and filmmaker Phan Gia Nhat Linh. The great draw of this workshop is that Price and the Vietnamese speakers will explore the role of music in telling a story within a film, discuss trends in film scoring and examine the crucial relationships amongst the members of the film-making team. The participants will also have the…... [read more]

  • 17 young artists to join exhibition & music night “Hinge – A Transition”

VietNamNet Bridge – “Hinge – A Transition,” an event organized by 17 young people to depict life in Vietnam during the transition between the old and the new century, from 1990 to 2000, will take place at Hanoi Rock City, 27/52 To Ngoc Van Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi on May 7. The event consists of two main activities: Exhibition “The story of stuff in the 90s” (8 am – 5 pm) and interactive music night “The season we love” (7 pm – 9 pm). The exhibition “The story of stuff in the 90s”, examines objects from the past and…... [read more]

  • French pianist Célimène Daudet to perform in Hanoi next month

VietNamNet Bridge – French pianist Célimène Daudet will have a soloist night at the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien, Hanoi on May 11th. French pianist Célimène Daudet The winner of J.Françaix, the Fnapec competition and Pro Musicis award, Célimène Daudet is praised for her lyrical, exquisite and blazing piano sound. The French-born Haitian pianist, known as the “Artist of Spedidam generation”, is particularly famous for performances coordinated with the performing arts, especially dance. She has performed Bach’s l’Art de la Fugue, along with Yoann Bourgeois, more than 100 times. In Hanoi, she will perform Bach-Busoni’s Choral “Ich ruf zu…... [read more]

  • Beach tourism season kicks off

(VOVworld) – The beach tourism season opened at the Bien Dong Park in Da Nang city on Friday, featuring a kayak race, flashmob dance, beach games competitions, and an exhibition of local tours among a myriad of activities. Tourist will have the chance to explore Da Nang beaches and Son Tra peninsula through art performances, a tour to the top of Son Tra mountain where they are stunned by the breathtaking sunset panorama and a bird’s eye view, and a telescope station to look to the night sky. Ngo Quang Vinh, Director of the Da Nang municipal Department of Tourism,…... [read more]

  • “Biophilic Design – The Architecture of Life” to be screened in Hanoi, Saigon & Danang

VietNamNet Bridge - "Biophilic Design - The Architecture of Life" by Dr. Stephen R. Kellert will be screened in Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang this May. "Biophilic Design - The Architecture of Life" is not a film about a school of architecture, but a convincing analysis that people cannot live without nature. Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The…... [read more]

  • Typhoon Water Park opened in Quang Ninh

The most modern water park in the Southeast Asia Typhoon Water Park will be opened in the Sun World Halong Complex in the northern province of Quang Ninh on April 29. Covering the area of 20 ha, the Typhoon Water Park is designed like leading water parks in the world such as Typhoon Lagoon in the US, Blizzard Beach of the US Walt Disney World or Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi. The park therefore will meet all entertainment demand at all ages. The park is divided into three different sections; one for family, the other for kids and one for those…... [read more]

  • Kayak services on Ha Long Bay resume

Quang Ninh (VNA) – Kayak services on Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh will resume from May 1, said Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long. Earlier on April 1, the services were halted according to a decision by the Ha Long city’s authorities that worried cruise owners, tour operators and tourists as the sport is an interesting activity that attract lots of foreign visitors to Ha Long Bay. The provincial authorities have agreed to add kayaking into the list of tourist products in Ha Long Bay, which are available in eight tour routes,…... [read more]

  • Timeless musicals at “Let’s Be Broadway!”

VietNamNet Bridge - A special musical night called "Let's Be Broadway!" will take place at the Institut Français de Hanoi - L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi on May 4 and 10. In this special night, artists will perform songs or musical excerpts from timeless musicals such as "Wicked" and "Miss Saigon" and also a classic "Phantom of The Opera" and Disney's all-time-favorite "The Little Mermaid" and "Princess and the Frog" and many more. Through the tales were told within every melody, the audience will be able to breathe in the passion for musical arts from actors and actresses while…... [read more]

  • May 1-7: Contemporary Concert "Nine Chapters of the Rain"

HANOI PERFORMANCE Musical Night “Let’s Be Broadway!” 7pm on May 4 L’Espace 24 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, In this special night, we are going to perform songs (or musical excerpts) from the timeless musicals such as “Wicked” and “Miss Saigon”. Also, guests can encounter a classic “Phantom of The Opera” and Disney’s all-time-favorite: “The Little Mermaid” and “Princess and the Frog” and many more. Ticket: VND400,000 – VND200,000 for students Contemporary Concert "Nine Chapters of the Rain" 8pm on May 5 Manzi Art Space 14 Phan Huy Ich Street, Ba Dinh District, Contemporary music concert by the Hanoi…... [read more]

  • Korean movie “A Moment to Remember” screens in Hanoi

VietNamNet Bridge – The movie by Lee Jae-han will be shown at the Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talents, 51 Tran Hung Dao Street, Hanoi on April 28. “A Moment to Remember”is based on the 2001 Japanese television drama ‘Pure Soul’. It stars Son Ye-jin and Jung Woo-sung and follows the theme of discovery in a relationship and the burdens of loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The movie was released on November 5, 2004 in South Korea. It was a major success domestically, topping the box office for two consecutive weeks to become the 5th highest-grossing film of…... [read more]

Vietnamese fintechs and the $35 billion dream

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam is an attractive fintech market with estimated value of $35 billion. However, it has lagged behind in the last 10 years.
vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, fintech, startup, MIC, banks

Harbour View, where VietUnion, the firm which owns Payoo wallet brand, has its office, is located in an advantageous position, on the pedestrian street of Nguyen Hue in HCMC, opposite the Bitexco building, the tallest in Vietnam.

It is not difficult to find restaurants and shops on the street which accept payment in cards. However, there are still many ATMs set up near crossroads or inside buildings.

Ngan Nguyen, an office worker, 25, said she doesn’t use cards or e-wallet because many restaurants still want payment in cash.

The appearance of Payoo in the area is considered a ‘symbol’ of the persistence of e-wallet service providers as many payment services have given up in the last 10 years.

Vietnam is an attractive fintech market with estimated value of $35 billion. However, it has lagged behind in the last 10 years.

The wave of investment in fintech firms, spilling over in Vietnam in the last few years, has made the company more optimistic and patient.

According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), roughly $53 billion has been reserved for fintech firms and there are over 3,500 fintech firms all over the world.

According to PwC, online payment and mobile money transfer services are becoming the gateway to approach a fraction of the population which have not yet transacted with banks.

It forecasts that mobile technology will help many new customers access financial services and open up a new market worth $3 trillion in global payments.

Vietnam has 90 million people, most of whom are young, 50 percent of whom have internet access and 70 percent use smartphone.

These factors, according to Nielsen, a market survey firm, are the important reasons for experts to believe Vietnam is a potential fintech market.

By 2016, more than 30 fintech firms had been established in Vietnam and two-thirds of them provide mobile payment services in the context of the e-commerce boom. Analysts believe that mobile payment will be the ‘bright spot’ in the Vietnamese fintech market this year.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, the founder and president of NextTech Group of Technopreneurs, commented that many people, about 70-80 percent of the total population in developing countries, including Vietnam, are still out of reach of banks. And they could be potential clients for fintech firms.

The deal of Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs investing $28 million in M_Service which runs MoMo e-wallet has helped fintech firms attract attention from investors.

According to Topica Founder Institute, in 2016, the total value of deals related to Vietnam’s fintech startups was $129 million, accounting for 63 percent of total value of startup deals.

RELATED NEWS

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Kim Chi



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Elderly build bridges for the young

Old people can be seen building bridges in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp.

They are veterans who want younger people to live more comfortable lives.

Many old bridges made from bamboo and wood have become weak.

The elderly folks are making new, stronger bridges from cement.

By Nguyễn Hành and Nguyễn Vân

It was a scorching hot day when I attended the launching of a bridge over the Cái Bàn River in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp.

But it was not the heat that warmed the cockles of my heart, and that of others present at the ceremony.

This bridge had been built by people in their late sixties, seventies and eighties, voluntarily, charging nothing for their labour.

Võ Văn Lộc, a 82 year old native of Tân Hòa Commune in Đồng Tháp, was a founder of the voluntary construction team in 2008.

Initially, it had less than ten members, but boasts more than a hundred now. Over the last years, the team has worked hard to build more than a hundred new bridges and upgrade several dozen kilometres of roads to help local people.

“My hometown is poor and quite far from the province’s centre. Seeing locals, especially children, having to use the cầu khỉ (foot bridges) which are unstable and unsafe, my neighbours and I (all senior citizens) decided to form a team to construct bridges in the locality in order to make local’s lives easier,” said Lộc.

Over nearly ten years, the team has built more than 100 bridges 2 to 4.5 metres wide and 20 to 45m long, Lộc said.

At first the team would identify a dilapidated bridge and replace it with a new one under the approval of the authority.

However, after they built a dozen or so bridges this way, the team became well-known and local authorities began contacting them, said Lộc.

“When we [the construction team] get a new project, we will study the site, make a design for the bridge and give the authorities an estimate of expenditure. In recent years, local authorities have been giving us 25 per cent of total funding for a project. Together with the locality, we then call for donors to get the remaining funds. Finally the construction team starts the work, and we do it for free,” said Lộc.

In the first few years, because they lacked people as well as enough construction knowledge and experience, they only built wooden and cement bridges of less than 1.5 tonne weight limit.

“In 2010, we realised that we had to replace existing bamboo and wooden bridges with strong and durable cement bridges. If we continued to build bridges that were just 2 metres wide and had a 1.5 ton limit, they were no longer of practical use in a few years.

“So we came to find Hai Đâu in Lấp Vò District to learn to build bigger bridges with greater weight limits. Now we can build bridges of 5 tonne weight limit and meet construction standards set by the Đồng Tháp Bridge Association.”

Lê Văn Út, 67, is in charge of construction methods. He said, “We haven’t attended any official class for such things, we just learnt how to construct bridges from Hai Đâu and our friends.”

“When we build bridges, we have to carefully study reinforced concrete construction and things like that. Other skills such as organising and allocating jobs are also important. We learned to assign different jobs to different people, based on their age and specialisation,” said Út.

“We are proud to say that we have constructed more than 100 concrete bridges since our team was established in 2008, and until now none of them has any problem and thanks God that we haven’t had any accident while working.”

The team now has 115 members who are mostly from four communes of Lai Vung District – Tân Hòa, Vĩnh Thới, Long Hậu, and Long Thắng. Among them, more than 50 per cent are 60 and above, the youngest are in their 50s.

“I have been with the team for four years. Frankly, this volunteer job is physically heavy for us seniors. Yet, as we share the job, we feel it is less tough. To see a road or a bridge get finished, and local people, especially children commute easily is such a rewarding experience. It motivates us to continue building new bridges and roads,” said 76 year old Nguyễn Hòa Ân, a resident of Long Hậu Commune.

The team has expanded its work outside Lai Vung District to neighbouring Lấp Vò and Châu Thành districts.

“Whether it is our district or others, all our work is voluntary. But, for those who live far from the construction site, the locality or contractors should give them some commuting stipend. While we work on a bridge or road, locals always offer us food,” said Lộc.

“What concerns me most now is insurance for the construction team. We are mostly seniors, and while some are reasonably well of, others lead a hard life. When we work on the construction projects, unexpected accident could happen. It would be hard without insurance for their family and the team itself.”

Bùi Văn Lợi, 74, said, “We joined the project with the aim to refresh and improve the face of our hometown. Our desire is to eliminate all foot bridges and muddy roads in the locality.”

“We also wish to have health insurance and accident insurance, just in case of unfortunate incidents,” said Lợi.

Lai Vung District’s People’s Committee Chairman, Hồ Thanh Phương, praised the team.

“The volunteer construction team, over the last few years, have constructed more than 90 cement bridges and kilometres of cement roads for Lai Vung District and other localities. This has improved the face of the rural district,” he said.

“Their contribution is invaluable. That the locality has failed to support them with health and accident insurance is one of our biggest concerns. We have recently reviewed the conditions of the team members and called for funds to support them with insurance.” — VNS

GLOSSARY

It was a scorching hot day when I attended the launching of a bridge over the Cái Bàn River in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp.

To launch a new bridge means to open it to start functioning as a bridge. This usually happens with a ceremony.

But it was not the heat that warmed the cockles of my heart, and that of others present at the ceremony.

To warm the cockles of my heart” means to make the different body parts that make up the heart, or make the heart and the person happy.

This bridge had been built by people in their late sixties, seventies and eighties, voluntarily, charging nothing for their labour.

To do something voluntarily means to do it without expecting to be paid.

Võ Văn Lộc, a 82 year old native of Tân Hòa Commune in Đồng Tháp, was a founder of the voluntary construction team in 2008.

A founder of the construction team is one of the people who started it.

Initially, it had less than ten members, but boasts more than a hundred now.

Initially means at first.

Over the last years, the team has worked hard to build more than a hundred new bridges and upgrade several dozen kilometres of roads to help local people.

To upgrade roads means to do work on them to make them better.

“Seeing locals, especially children, having to use the cầu khỉ (foot bridges) which are unstable and unsafe, my neighbours and I (all senior citizens) decided to form a team to construct bridges in the locality in order to make local’s lives easier,” said Lộc.

If a bridge is unstable it could collapse.

At first the team would identify a dilapidated bridge and replace it with a new one under the approval of the authority.

To identify a dilapidated bridge means to see that it is in that condition.

Dilapidated means broken down.

“When we [the construction team] get a new project, we will study the site, make a design for the bridge and give the authorities an estimate of expenditure.”

A site is a place where something, like the construction of a bridge or a building, takes place

An estimate is a careful guess.

Expenditure means cost.

“Together with the locality, we then call for donors to get the remaining funds.”

Donors are people who give.

In the first few years, because they lacked people as well as enough construction knowledge and experience, they only built wooden and cement bridges of less than 1.5 tonne weight limit.

Lacked means “were without”.

“In 2010, we realised that we had to replace existing bamboo and wooden bridges with strong and durable cement bridges.”

Existing bamboo bridges are bridges that are there now.

Durable bridges are bridges that last and can cope better with weathering and other things that may cause bridges to break down.

“So we came to find Hai Đâu in Lấp Vò District to learn to build bigger bridges with greater weight limits.

A bridge’s weight limit is the greatest amount of weight it can cope with carrying. If anything heavier than the weight limit goes over the bridge, it could harm the bridge.

“When we build bridges, we have to carefully study reinforced concrete construction and things like that.”

Reinforced concrete means concrete that has things like wire put into it to make it stronger.

“Other skills like organising and allocating jobs are also important.”

To allocate jobs means to give different jobs to different people to do.

Frankly, this volunteer job is physically heavy for us seniors.”

Frankly, means speaking the plain truth.

To see a road or a bridge get finished, and local people, especially children commute easily is such a rewarding experience.

To commute means to travel from home to work, or school, and back.

It motivates us to continue building new bridges and roads,” said 76 year old Nguyễn Hòa Ân, a resident of Long Hậu Commune.

If something motivates them to carry on building, it gives them reason to want to do it.

“But, for those who live far from the construction site, the locality or contractors should give them some commuting stipend.”

A stipend is a small payment given to someone to help them perform duties.

“Our desire is to eliminate all foot bridges and muddy roads in the locality.”

To eliminate all foot bridges and muddy roads means to get rid of them.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. A word that describes elderly people.

  2. The number of years in which the team has built more than 100 bridges 2 to 4.5 metres wide and 20 to 45m long.

  3. The relationship between Lê Văn Út and people who taught him how to construct bridges.

  4. The people who Nguyễn Hòa Ân enjoys seeing commute easily when a bridge is finished.

  5. The age range of the youngest of the bridge builders.

ANSWERS: 1. Seniors; 2. Ten; 3. Friends; 4. Children; 5. Fifties.



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Hanoi to replace various bus routes

The Hanoitimes – As many as 62 new bus routes will be launched in Hanoi by 2020 to meet the local demand and reduce traffic jams, according to Ha Huy Quang, Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Transportation.

New bus routes opened

New bus routes opened

With the new routes, the number of bus routes operated by the Hanoi Transport and Service Corporation (Transerco) will be increased to 150. In 2017, Transerco will operate 14 more routes with 200 new modern buses. Particularly, seven routes with 48 new buses will be launched in the second quarter of the year.

Recently, two new routes No.93 and No.94, which link the city centre with the southern and northern suburban areas, were put into operation. Route 93 travels between the Nam Thang Long bus station and Bac Son commune (Soc Son district) with 79 trips a day.

Route 94 will run from the Giap Bat bus station to Kim Bai town (Thanh Oai district) with 80 trips a day. Both routes cost 9,000 VND per person one way. In addition, Transerco has replaced new cars for bus route No. 4 connecting Long Bien and Nuoc Ngam bus station.

By Minh Anh – Tuan Minh



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Film scoring workshop with British composer Michael Price in Saigon

VietNamNet Bridge – Come to join a workshop with British composer Michael Price, who won an Emmy award for outstanding music composition for the BBC TV series Sherlock, in HCM City this May.

This is a rare opportunity to share the creative process of film scoring with the composer as he talks about the highs and lows of his career.

This is a rare opportunity to share the creative process of film scoring with the composer as he talks about the highs and lows of his career.

He will also be joined by Vietnamese composer Nguyen Manh Duy Linh and filmmaker Phan Gia Nhat Linh.

The great draw of this workshop is that Price and the Vietnamese speakers will explore the role of music in telling a story within a film, discuss trends in film scoring and examine the crucial relationships amongst the members of the film-making team.

The participants will also have the opportunity of a mentoring session for a practical exercise with their own short film projects which will be shared with the public at a networking event.

Up to 15 young students/professionals can participate in this workshop. This includes ten music composition students or composers at an earlier stage of their careers who seriously wish to pursue music for film, TV, and other visual media as a career; a further five attendees will consist of filmmakers who have created their own short films (either in post-production or released) and who wish to either create or remake music for their films and learn more on how film music can shape narrative.

The participants must be available to join the whole program from 8 to 12 May. Please fill out this online application form before 9pm 27 April.

Michael Price’s work for film and television has been widely recognised, winning an Emmy award in 2014, as well as awards from the Royal Television Society, Music & Sound, and Televisual Bulldog in addition to a BAFTA nomination and two further Emmy nominations for the critically acclaimed BBC series Sherlock, which he scores with David Arnold.

Other current TV projects include the second season of crime drama Unforgotten and the fourth season of Sherlock (with David Arnold).

Prior to achieving acclaim as a composer, Price enjoyed significant achievements as a music editor on a number of blockbuster films such as Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Richard Curtis’ “Love Actually”, Beeban Kidron’s “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”, and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men”.

As a music editor, Price has been nominated for four MPSE Golden Reel Awards, winning in 2001 for “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”.

Duy Linh is a composer and stage manager at Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra.

He studied at Magnitogorsk Conservatoire before returning to Vietnam in 2005 after a Master’s degree in Composition.

He has worked with local filmmakers for many projects including feature films and TV series.

Duy Linh attended FAMLAB organized by the British Council in London in February 2016, and will share what he experienced from that trip and from the local industry through a practical workshop.

Nhat Linh is an independent film director and founder of the online short film festival Yxineff (2010-2014). He had his debut feature, “Sweet 20”, in 2016 and it became the highest-grossing Vietnamese film at the Vietnamese box office up till now.

The film was also acclaimed for its music and well-selected soundtracks.

Linh received the British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur award in 2013 for his work in promoting independent short film.

He will contribute to the workshop from a director’s point of view on how to work in collaboration between directors and film composers.

Please contact: Ms Hong Pham, British Council Vietnam, Tel. 04-3728 1924

Email: [email protected]

PV



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17 young artists to join exhibition & music night “Hinge – A Transition”

VietNamNet Bridge – “Hinge – A Transition,” an event organized by 17 young people to depict life in Vietnam during the transition between the old and the new century, from 1990 to 2000, will take place at Hanoi Rock City, 27/52 To Ngoc Van Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi on May 7.

The event consists of two main activities: Exhibition “The story of stuff in the 90s” (8 am – 5 pm) and interactive music night “The season we love” (7 pm – 9 pm).

The event consists of two main activities: Exhibition “The story of stuff in the 90s” (8 am – 5 pm) and interactive music night “The season we love” (7 pm – 9 pm).

The exhibition “The story of stuff in the 90s”, examines objects from the past and hasa special photo booth.

Visitors can participate in the 90s Cosplay corner, listen to special stories, encounter soulmates, play games and eat, enjoy the interactive music night “The season we love” and take part in many more exciting activities.

Entry is free.

Hotline: 0168 472 2296 or 086 816 8108.

PV



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