HÀ NỘI — The long-delayed Cát Linh – Hà Đông urban railway project needs an additional US$7.8 million for supervision and consulting costs, according to the Ministry of Transport.
In a recent document sent to the Ministry of Finance, the transport ministry said that the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract of the project could not be completed on schedule, causing delays and increasing the supervision and consulting cost by US$7.83 million.
The ministry also noted that the counterpart funds from Việt Nam are “very small” while the additional loan agreement of China totalled more than $26.4 million.
In April, the transport ministry requested the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) to consider and approve financing the supervision and consulting cost, but it was refused in August.
Funded by Chinese Official Development Aid (ODA), the total initial investment for the Cát Linh – Hà Đông urban railway project was VNĐ8.77 trillion ($381.3 million), which was then adjusted to more than VNĐ20 trillion ($886 million).
The project started in October 2011 and experienced several delays and cost overruns.
The progress of the railway project was on the agenda during a recent meeting between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. At the meeting, Việt Nam asked China to proactively resolve issues and limitations in some cooperation projects including the Cát Linh – Hà Đông railway project.
The first metro line in Hà Nội will run from Cát Linh in the inner district of Ba Đình to the outlying district of Hà Đông.
The system is designed to have a main elevated line of more than 13km, 12 stations, and 13 trains. Each train, with a designed speed of up to 80km per hour, has four carriages capable of carrying more than 900 passengers. —
UNGA 76: President meets foreign leaders, WB President in New York
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc had meetings with many foreign leaders and World Bank President David Malpass shortly after he arrived in New York on September 21 for the General Debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session (UNGA 76).
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) meets with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in in New York. (Photo: VNA)
The President met with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, who said that the RoK wants to further beef up the strategic partnership with Vietnam, so as to lift two-way trade to 100 billion USD by 2023 and deepen cooperation in digital economy, bio-products and finance. Moon announced that the RoK will donate more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine which will be delivered in mid-October to Vietnam
Thanking the RoK for its much-needed assistance, President Phuc said the two countries need to soon keep the virus at bay to promote their strategic partnership more widely and comprehensively in the coming time, particularly when they are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year.
Phuc asked the RoK side to continue expanding FDI projects, both in size and number, in Vietnam and ramping up technology transfer to domestic firms while pledging to provide further support for Korean companies to do business in the Southeast Asian country.
He also had a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin, during which both leaders expressed their delight at the strong growth of the bilateral trade, which reached 4.2 billion USD last year despite the impacts of COVID-19.
The Vietnamese president suggested the two sides resume delegation exchanges and meetings at levels and foster cooperation in multiple areas to mark the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year as soon as the pandemic is brought under control.
He asked PM Martin to push for the early ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) at the Irish national parliament and maintain the provision of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam in the coming time.
He wished Ireland to help Vietnam gain broader access to COVID-19 vaccine supply and provide it with medical supplies, such as ventilators and test kits.
Phuc also thanked Ireland for its support at the UN Security Council.
During his meeting with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Demark, President Phuc proposed assisting Vietnam in accessing vaccine supplies, including via the vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility.
The two leaders said they are pleased to see to the development of the two-way trade and the fulfillment of goals set in the Vietnam-Denmark Action Plan for the 2019 – 2020. The two sides are actively formulating an action plan for 2021 – 2022.
Frederiksen agreed with Phuc’s proposal, saying she will encourage more Danish enterprises to invest in Vietnam in the fields of maritime transport, seaport construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing of energy equipment, renewable energy, green technologies, sustainable husbandry and fisheries, green transformation, and climate change.
Meeting with the Vietnamese President, President of Slovenia Borut Pahour hailed the positive developments of the Slovenia-Vietnam ties, and voiced his hope to elevate Vietnam’s position in the country’s foreign policy.
For his part, President Phuc suggested the two countries early hold the third session of the Intergovernmental Slovenian–Vietnamese Commission for cooperation in economic-trade and science-technology, possibly in virtual form if necessary, to discuss cooperation orientations in potential fields such as machinery mechanics, automatism, logistics, food processing and sea port.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the transfer of production technology for COVID-19 treatment medicine for Vietnam and negotiations on the recognition of each other’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate and passport, paving the way for the travel of their citizens when international air routes resume.
The Vietnamese President said that Vietnam pays special attention to close collaboration with the EU in fisheries development and sustainable seafood exploitation. He urged Slovenia, as rotating President of the Council of the EU, to support and promote the removal of the “yellow card” imposed on Vietnam’s aquatic products.
Vietnam holds a consistent viewpoint of promoting responsible and sustainable seafood exploitation in line with regulations of international law, he affirmed.
During his meeting with President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader, the Vietnamese State leader showed support for the Dominican Republic’s intention to open an embassy in Vietnam.
He assigned the Foreign Ministry to work with its Dominican Republic counterpart to carry out the plan so as to foster the bilateral ties in a practical manner.
On the same day, President Phuc also met with heads of states and high-ranking officials of Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Latvia, Sweden, Guyana, Lesotho, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay, during which they discussed practical measure to strengthen and develop relations.
Leaders of the countries highly valued Vietnam’s performance as a non-member of the UNSC and the country’s effective and pragmatic engagement and contributions to global tasks, which they said demonstrates Vietnam’s high sense of responsibility and increasing role and position in the international arena.
President Phuc and the countries’ leaders reiterated that peace, stability, maritime security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea are of mutual concern, and underlined that disputes should be resolved by peaceful measures in tandem with international law.
Also in New York, President Phuc met with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
Appreciating Kerry’s contributions to the Vietnam – US relations over the past decades, President Phuc spoke highly of the initiatives by President Joe Biden’s administration to promote global efforts in climate change response.
The Vietnamese leader said both countries should enhance cooperation in developing renewable energy, improving climate change adaptation, and managing trans-boundary water resources via bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.
Vietnam is strongly committed to responding to climate change, he stressed.
Kerry affirmed that the US continues to attach importance to the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.
He emphasised the US’ determination and efforts to continue strengthening cooperation with and assisting developing countries, including Vietnam, to cope with this global issue.
Talking to WB President David Malpass, President Phuc said WB-funded projects and its policy advice have substantially contributed to Vietnam’s economic development and social security and helped the Vietnamese Government make effective macro-economic policies, surmount impacts of the global economic crisis, and maintain positive growth.
He thanked the WB for providing 6.2 million USD in non-refundable aid for Vietnam last year, and supporting allowing the country to delay the payment of certain loans given by the WB’s International Development Association (IDA) in order to reserve resources for purchasing vaccines, biological products, and medical equipment in the face of the pandemic.
The Vietnamese State leader asked the WB to continue giving policy advice on economic recovery and helping Vietnam access and buy COVID-19 vaccines, receive vaccine production technology, and manufacture vaccines in the country.
The WB Group President said he is impressed by the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as economic recovery.
He also thanked the Government for closely coordinating with the WB, stating that the WB will keep accompanying Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 and increase policy advice to help the country realise the goal of becoming a developed and high-income nation by 2045./.
Former Hà Nội chairman indicted for illegal involvement in digitalisation bidding package
HÀ NỘI — The Supreme People’s Procuracy has announced an indictment against Nguyễn Đức Chung, former chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee for his involvement in a bidding violation at the city’s Department of Planning and Investment.
Chung has been indicted for abusing power and position while on duty.
Other defendants indicted are Nguyễn Văn Tứ, former chief of office of Hà Nội Party Committee and former director of Hà Nội Department of Planning and Investment; Nguyễn Tiến Học, former director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment; Phạm Thị Kim Tuyến, former head of a division under the Department of Planning and Investment; and Phạm Thị Thu Hường, former chief of office of the Department of Planning and Investment.
Võ Việt Hùng, director of Đông Kinh Investment and Development Ltd Company, and Lê Duy Tuấn, sales director of the company, were indicted for bidding violations causing serious consequences.
The indictment says this is a case involving all defendants who directly committed the crimes, so they have equal roles.
Among defendants of the Nhật Cường – Đông Kinh joint venture, Bùi Quang Huy, general director of Nhật Cường Company, was the mastermind behind the crime, so he played a key role in the case.
Because Huy is on the run, the investigating agency has issued a wanted notice and decided to temporarily suspend the investigation against Huy.
According to the indictment, in 2016, the city’s Department of Planning and Investment launched a bidding package on digitalising business registration documents.
Nguyễn Đức Chung, then city chairman, abused his power to order the Department of Planning and Investment to suspend the bidding and was involved in the bidding process without legal authority.
Chung asked the department to allow Nhật Cường Company to pilot the digitalisation project with a personal motivation to create conditions for Nhật Cường to participate in the bidding, win the bid and enjoy the profits.
Illegal acts committed by Chung and officers of the planning and investment department in the bidding process reduced the effectiveness of the bidding package and caused more than VNĐ26.5 billion in damage to State properties.
Minh Hoa Company owned by Nguyễn Thị Trúc Chi Hoa – Chung’s wife – signed a fake contract with Nhật Cường Company to create conditions for the Nhật Cường – Đông Kinh joint venture to legalise bidding dossiers.
In 2019, the Ministry of Public Security started legal proceedings against Nhật Cường general director Bùi Quang Huy for smuggling and violating regulations on accounting and bidding, causing serious consequences.
In December 2020, Nguyễn Đức Chung was sentenced to five years in prison for appropriating State secret documents related to the case at Nhật Cường Company. —
Vietnam president urges vaccine allocation for nations with low vaccination rates at UN General Assembly
Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to countries with low a vaccination rate during his speech at the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) in New York on Wednesday.
President Phuc put forth specific proposals to promote multilateral cooperation with the UN as the center and take international law as the foundation to cope with complex global challenges, namely wars, conflicts, resource disputes, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The most urgent task at present is to control the COVID-19 pandemic through international cooperation, he said.
Priority in vaccine allocation should be given to nations with a low vaccination rate, the Vietnamese leader continued, adding that developing countries should be enabled to engage in vaccine production and supply chains.
The president stated that the key solution to contain the pandemic and foster economic recovery lies in each nation’s ability to strengthen its resilience.
“Resilience can only be sustained if it is based upon cooperation and connectivity among nations, particularly at a time when non-traditional security challenges do not know borders and can impact any nation,” Phuc said.
Vietnam is working closely with other ASEAN member nations to promote the bloc’s centrality in the maintenance of peace, security, and prosperity in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, he continued.
Vietnam shares the international community’s common voice on the importance of peace, stability, maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Vietnam Sea.
The head of state asked relevant parties to refrain from unilateral actions that may further complicate the situation and to resolve disputes through peaceful means in line with the UN Charter and international law.
“Vietnam will work with countries and people around the world so that together we can prevail over the pandemic, and build a world of peace, prosperity and happiness for all,” Phuc said.
“And this will be a glorious victory for us all.”
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