HÀ NỘI — Former Deputy Health Minister Trương Quốc Cường has been sentenced to four years in prison in the first-instance trial of the case relating to the trading of counterfeit medicine labelled ‘Health 2000 Canada’.
The verdict cited the official’s lack of responsibility causing serious consequences; and abuse of positions and power while on duty, which took place in HCM City, some other localities, and at the Health Ministry’s Drug Administration (DAV).
The Hà Nội People’s Court imposed the sentence on Cường on May 19.
Two other defendants, Nguyễn Việt Hùng, former deputy director of the DAV; and Lê Đình Thanh, a former official of Hồ Chí Minh City Customs Department – were sentenced to three years and two years, respectively, on the same charge.
Two former officials of the DAV – Phạm Hồng Châu and Nguyễn Thị Thu Thủy – were handed four years for abusing positions and power while on duty.
Nine other defendants were given imprisonments ranging from six to 20 years for trading counterfeit medicine.
According to the verdict of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, as head of the DAV from 2007 to 2016, Cường failed to fulfil his responsibility in supervising and inspecting the work of experts in assessing and granting licences for seven kinds of drugs, leading to the approval of dossiers for the import and consumption of six out of the seven counterfeit drugs, labelled ‘Health 2000’, in Việt Nam with a total value of over VNĐ148 billion.
After the drugs were imported and consumed in Việt Nam, although he received information about the suspected origins of the drugs, Cường did not give direction to stop their circulation, or recall and destroy the drugs. As a result, domestic medical establishments continued to use the supplied counterfeit drugs without clear origin to treat patients at a total value of over VNĐ3.7 billion.
Meanwhile, former DAV deputy director Hùng did not perform his assigned tasks and duties and thus failed to detect and stop the wrongdoings of his subordinates in assessing and licensing the drugs. —
Vietnam – S.Korea trade likely reaches $100bn this year: Consul General
The two-way trade between Vietnam and South Korea may amount to US$100 billion this year, instead of 2023 as previously targeted, said South Korean Consul General in Vietnam’s Da Nang City Ahn Min Sik.
The South Korean diplomat released his ambitious expectation after reviewing the bilateral trade result of $45 billion in the first half of this year at a seminar held in the central metropolis on Friday.
The event, themed “The history of exchanges between and future prospects of the Vietnam – South Korea relationship,” was part of the celebration of the 30-year anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Despite the heavy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, both countries gained a two-way trade value of $80.6 billion in 2021, much higher than the $500 million recorded 30 years ago, Consul General Ahn said.
Considering the ongoing trade growth trend, as shown in the first six months of this year, the bilateral turnover may reach $100 billion in 2022, instead of next year as earlier expected, Ahn said.
The diplomat also revealed that the two countries’ people-to-people exchanges have expanded to five million people, including nearly 60,000 Vietnamese-Korean multicultural families.
At the event, Vietnamese and South Korean scholars suggested the two nations deepen the bilateral relationship, through expanding cooperation in the fields of politics, diplomacy, economics, culture, science and technology, education and tourism, and people exchanges.
Since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1992, the two countries have twice upgraded their relations to ‘comprehensive cooperative partnership in the 21st century’ and then to the ‘strategic cooperation partnership’ in 2001 and 2009, respectively.
The relationship between the two countries is about to be further elevated to a ‘comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership,’ so the two countries need to draw up a plan for the next 30 years of the bilateral ties, the consul general said.
South Korea is now an important leading partner of Vietnam in most fields, while the Southeast Asian nation, a fast-growing and dynamic economy with an important role in the ASEAN and East Asia, is also a key partner of South Korea in its New Southern Policy, according to the Da Nang Portal.
Geographical, historical and cultural similarities between Vietnam and South Korea have helped the two nations get close to each other and promote a great development of their cooperation and friendship relations, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Lan, from the Academy of Politics Region 3, commented.
Over the past 30 years, the fruitful relationship between the two countries has been influenced by a series of factors, both objective and subjective, both historical and contemporary, including the changes of the world situation from 1991 up to now, the reform efforts by South Korea, Vietnam’s doi moi (renovation) policy, the external relation policies of both sides and the needs for mutual cooperation, Dr. Lan elaborated.
In addition to its embassy in Hanoi and a consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City, South Korea launched another consulate general in Da Nang on November 6, 2020.
Vietnam, US continue cooperation in energy security
Vietnam and the U.S. have agreed to continue their cooperation in energy security, the U.S. Department of State said in a press release on Thursday.
Delegations from Vietnam and the U.S. met in Washington, D.C. for the fourth annual U.S.-Vietnam Energy Security Dialogue on July 26-28.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An and the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) Senior Bureau Official Harry Kamian led the delegations.
The delegations discussed key areas for continued bilateral clean energy cooperation such as power market development, energy conservation and efficiency, transmission, power storage, and the steps necessary for an energy transition that will achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Vietnam and the U.S. discussed the future of advanced clean energy technologies such as offshore wind, nuclear, hydrogen, electric vehicles, and battery energy storage, as well as Vietnam’s consideration of the role of liquefied natural gas.
The delegations welcomed the participation of private sector representatives from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
ENR’s Power Sector Program highlighted ongoing technical and regulatory engagements in support of the Japan-U.S.-Mekong Power Partnership.
In addition, ENR invited Vietnam to two power market and renewable energy study tours in the U.S..
The tours will take place later this year and will be led by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and U.S. Energy Association, with the participation of other partners.
Representatives from Dominion Energy shared valuable insight with the delegations regarding the company’s experience in U.S. offshore wind development.
ENR also highlighted AES Corporation’s intent to pursue offshore wind development in Vietnam, another reflection of the growing commercial ties between the U.S. and Vietnam in the clean energy sector.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced a grant awarded to the National Power Transmission Corporation of Vietnam (NPT) for technical assistance to advance the deployment of smart grid technologies in Vietnam.
NPT selected Connecticut-based Actionable Strategies LLC to provide the assistance.
On July 26, Deputy Minister An also chaired a roundtable on sustainable energy development organized by the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.
Former Israeli Prime Minister visits landmarks in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his spouse visited famous landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday afternoon within the framework of their working visit to Vietnam.
Their itinerary included the statue of Tran Hung Dao, Bach Dang Wharf, Nha Rong Wharf, Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Zone, the statue of late President Ho Chi Minh, Ben Thanh Market, and the construction site of the metro line No. 1.
|Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak poses for a photo at the statue of late President Ho Chi Minh in Ho Chi Minh City, August 5, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Ehud Barak came to Vietnam at the invitation of the Boston Global Forum (BGF) and a number of Vietnamese enterprises.
Previously in Ho Chi Minh City, he had a meeting with Vietnamese entrepreneurs, visited the painting exhibition “Vietnamese wishes” featuring artworks of hundreds of disadvantaged children at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, and held a talk with local students.
|Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (3rd R) and his spouse (2nd R) go for a walk at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Zone in Ho Chi Minh City, August 5, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Barak is scheduled to participate in a discussion on August 16 at the Hanoi Opera House organized by BGF that is meant to promote the friendship of Vietnam and Boston in Massachusetts of the U.S.
Ehud Barak was Israel’s 10th prime minister from 1999 to 2001.
He also served as Israel’s defense minister and deputy prime minister.
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