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Automatic toll collection set for all expressways in Việt Nam by end of July




An ETC station on the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway. — VNA/ Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Transport has asked the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam (DRVN), the Việt Nam Expressway Corporation (VEC), the Việt Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (VIDIFI), and other service providers to realise the Prime Minister’s request on completing automatic non-stop toll collection (ETC).

The ministry requested VEC to direct service providers and related units to urgently install and operate the ETC system on highways by July 31.

In case of delay, the ministry will handle it according to its competence or report it to authorities for strict handling in accordance with the law, including the suspension of toll collection.

The ministry asked DRVN to direct and coordinate with VEC in deploying the ETC system on highways managed by VEC, ensuring the schedule and smooth operation.

Meanwhile, VIDIFI was asked to continue piloting the ETC on the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway only.

In particular, the service providers must pay attention to information dissemination about the ETC on the expressway and prepare plans for traffic regulations and remote warnings to limit vehicles that are not eligible to enter the expressway, causing traffic jams and poor safety.

DRVN will support VIDIFI in successfully piloting the operation of ETC on the Hà Nội – Hải Phòng Expressway.

Besides, the agency has to make monthly reports on the pilot ETC operation’s results and propose the time of ending the operation as well as amending, supplementing and completing mechanisms, policies, legal regulations and other related issues on ETC.

Regarding the increase in the rate of using ETC payment tags (e-tags), the ministry requires ETC service providers to raise service quality to reach 80-90 per cent of the vehicles nationwide to use e-tags by September.

VNDR will direct and support service providers in increasing carding and expanding services to achieve the target rate of vehicles affixed with e-tags, the ministry said.

To install ETC stations on expressways, the ministry requested the DRVN to direct build-operation-transfer (BOT) investors managed by the ministry to coordinate and support localities in the installation before June 30.

The toll collection will be suspended at stations behind schedule.

According to the DRVN, by the end of May this year, the number of vehicles with e-tags was nearly 3 million, reaching more than 65 per cent, an increase of more than 648,000 vehicles compared to before December 31, 2021.

Currently, there are 48 ETC lanes belonging to stations managed by the Ministry of Transport (excluding the 12 lanes belonging to the Cầu Giẽ-Ninh Bình Expressway managed by VEC) and 52 ETC lanes belonging to stations under local management that need to be installed.

The DRVN will continue to mobilise and require vehicle owners to use e-tags and ETC service to reach at least 90 per cent of vehicles affixed with e-tags to use the ETC service by September.

The agency will also coordinate with the traffic police to strictly punish vehicle drivers who are not eligible to enter the ETC lanes causing traffic obstruction as per Government Decree No 123/2021. —




Vietnam leaps two places in global innovation index in 2023



Vietnam has leaped two places in the Global Innovation Index (GII) in 2023, ranking 46th out of 132 countries and territories, according to a GII report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on September 27.

Vietnam leaps two places in global innovation index in 2023 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Geneva – Vietnam has leaped two places
in the Global Innovation Index (GII) in 2023, ranking 46th out of
132 countries and territories, according to a GII report released by the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on September 27.

According to the report, Vietnam has continued to show progress
in converting innovation input into output performance. The country has jumped
from 59th position in 2022 to 57th position in 2023 in
terms of input level, while its output level was up one place to 40th position.

The GII input pillars include institutions, human capital
and research, infrastructure, market sophistication, and business sophistication.
Meanwhile, the output performance are knowledge and technology outputs and creative

Vietnam leaps two places in global innovation index in 2023 hinh anh 2Vietnamese scientists making NanoDragon satellite (Photo: VNSC)

Particularly, Vietnam has maintained its second position
among lower middle-income countries in the overall GII after India (40th).
Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam is behind Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

According to WIPO, Vietnam is among most impressive innovation
climbers of the last decade. Vietnam, along with India and the Republic of
Moldova, continue to be record holders by being innovation overperformers for a
13th consecutive year.

This year, Vietnam ranks 33rd in the unicorn
valuation, and 66th in research and development (R&D)


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Lobster larvae increasingly smuggled into Vietnam



In Vietnam, the import of wild-caught lobster larvae is under strict control because of short supply, yet the smuggling of this in-demand shellfish remains rampant on social media, posing immeasurable risks.

Many raft owners in Cam Ranh City, Khanh Hoa Province find it difficult to import official lobster larva shipments, while some online sellers offer lobster larvae in great numbers and with plenty of pricing.

When buying lobster larvae becomes a gamble

Despite being aware of numerous risks in quality, many consumers still go for buying lobster larvae online.

“Vendors vaguely claimed that these infant lobsters hailed either from Indonesia or the Philippines,” said Le Phuong Dung, a buyer in Cam Linh Ward, Cam Ranh City.

The price per lobster larva peaked at VND60,000 (US$2.46) in July and August, while each cost about VND40,000 ($1.64) at the moment, said Dung.

Besides purchasing from a regular contact, she usually orders lobster larvae online as this kind of trading is fast and affordable.

Screenshot of posts selling foreign lobster larvae at cheap prices all over the social network.

Screenshot of posts selling foreign lobster larvae at cheap prices all over Facebook

Baby lobsters need to be released into the water for customers to know whether they are vigorous or not, but those having sunk in the water cannot be returned even if it could be the provider’s fault, meaning buyers have to accept all the risk.

Additionally, raising lobster larvae is like taking a gamble, for most of the larvae batch is highly likely to die on account of its own poor quality or inferior water source, said a buyer named Pham Ngoc Thanh in Cam Thuan Ward, also in Cam Ranh City.

In the role of a lobster larva customer, a Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper reporter contacted a Facebook account called H.Ng., who provides a variety of juvenile lobsters with different values in large numbers.

“Baby lobsters with green and white colors cost VND36,000 [$1.48] individually, while cobalt blue and ornate rock lobster larvae from Indonesia are respectively priced at VND33,000 [$1.35] and VND40,000 [$1.64] apiece,” this person said.

The tiny lobsters are packed in styrofoam boxes with oxygen aeration and delivered to rafts as far as in Binh Dinh and Phu Yen Provinces, south-central Vietnam, with purchase quantity unrestricted.

However, the seller stammered when asked about the products’ certificate of origin or food safety testing, stating “it’s just fine as long as customers receive robust lobster larvae.”

Le Van Hoan, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Khanh Hoa Province, said a report on the shortage of lobster larvae is being compiled and completed to send to the provincial authorities.

Lobster diseases potentially break out

Illegal lobster larva transportation highly likely leads to the emergence of seriously contagious fatal diseases, such as white spot disease and milky haemolymph syndrome in lobsters, causing mass mortalities in the aquaculture of the crustacean worldwide including Vietnam.

The Khanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development affirmed its written notice being sent to the People’s Committees of other provinces and cities to prevent smuggling, illegal trading, and transportation of lobster larvae from abroad to Vietnam via road, air, and some localities sharing a border with Cambodia.

The photo shows lobster larvae being raised in tanks. Photo: Thanh Chuong / Tien Phong

This photo shows lobster larvae being raised in tanks in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Chuong / Tien Phong

“The authorities will strictly handle cases of illegitimately transporting and trading larvae of unknown origin, along with encouraging lobster businesses to conform to regulations on aquatic-breeding management,” said Hoan.

Meanwhile, an official of the Khanh Hoa Sub-Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine said that no larva batch has been imported into this locality since the end of June 2023, meaning that these lobster larvae sold online must be smuggled or commercial fraud.

The sub-department and relevant agencies are pooling information on this case and reporting it to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development alongside the National Steering Committee for Anti-Smuggling, Counterfeit Goods, and Trade Fraud to find solutions to the problem.

In the meantime, white spot disease pathogens in shrimps elevate their death rate up to 100 percent within a short time since this virus is quickly infectious among prawns and present in many sources like lobsters themselves, water sources or intermediate hosts, said Nguyen Tan Sy, deputy director of Nha Trang University’s Institute for Aquaculture based in Khanh Hoa Province.

Either contaminated cultivated environment or seasonal changes do create favorable conditions for viruses to thrive and break out on a large scale, he said.

According to him, that some retailers who import lobsters into Khanh Hoa without complying strictly with relevant regulations results in the larvae’s high risk of contracting diseases.

On the other hand, the Institute for Aquaculture, with the support of the national government, will soon establish a long-term commitment with several Indonesian companies to export lobster larvae to Vietnam via the official channel in order to ensure quantity and quality for breeders, Sy said.

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“Princess Anio” opera premiers in Hung Yen



The “Princess Anio” opera, which recounts a 17th century love story between a Vietnamese princess and Japanese merchant premiered in the northern mountainous province of Hung Yen on September 27.

“Princess Anio” opera premiers in Hung Yen hinh anh 1A scene of the ” Princess Anio” opera (Photo: VNA)

Hung Yen – The “Princess Anio”
opera, which recounts a 17th century love story between a Vietnamese princess and Japanese
merchant premiered in the northern mountainous province of Hung Yen on September

The special performance aims to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (1973-2023).

The opera is based on a real story of the love between Japanese merchant Araki Sotaro and Princess Ngoc Hoa (called Princess Anio by
Japanese) in Vietnam’s Hoi An during the trading era of the Shuinsen in the
early 17th century.

Princess Ngoc
Hoa was the daughter of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, who reigned from 1613 to
1635.  In the early 17th century, Araki went to Hoi An to trade and
met the princess. They fell in love and got married. In 1620, he took her to Nagasaki, where locals loved her for her
beautiful appearance and gentle character.

Today, locals still stage a palanquin procession
ceremony to welcome Princess Anio at Nagasaki Kunchi Festival.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee
Nguyen Huu Nghia emphasised that Hung Yen has organised several practical
activities to mark the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relations and the opera represents the special bond and long-standing relations
in economic, commercial and cultural exchanges between Vietnam and Japan.

Over the past years, the province has stepped up foreign investment attraction and created favourable conditions to lure investors investing in the locality,
including those from Japan.

So far, Hung Yen has lured 516 active foreign direct
investment (FDI) projects with a total registered investment of about 6.3 billion
USD. Japan ranks first in the number of projects with 173 with a total capital of more than 4 billion USD.

Currently, 169 FDI projects of
Japanese investors have been put into operation with a total investment capital
of about 3.26 billion USD, creating jobs for about 45,000 labourers./.


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