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Japanese journal: Vietnam to represent bright spot in global economy in 2021



Many forecasts have outlined the nation’s economic growth in the year ahead, with a reputable UK bank forecasting that the Vietnamese economy is likely to reach a growth rate of 7.8%, while ADB has predicted it will reach a figure of 6.3%.

Japanese journal: Vietnam to represent bright spot in global economy in 2021

This comment was made in an article by Dr. Bui Hung, a VOV correspondent based in Tokyo, which was recently published in Japan’s journal Security Anpo, January edition.

The article is titled “Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese economy has seen favorable development” and has gone on to capture the attention of Japanese readers.

Initially, the article stated that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a terrible impact on the socio-economic development of numerous countries globally, with many of them suffering negative economic growth. Despite these challenges, the Vietnamese economy recorded stellar growth of 2.91% last year and is forecast to continue to maintain the growth momentum at a high level in the year ahead, thereby becoming a bright spot of the world economy.

The author provides three main reasons for Vietnamese success against the pandemic. This includes absolute confidence in the direction of the Vietnamese Government, strictly complying with the requirements and instructions regarding COVID-19 prevention measures, along with the entire population’s unity and full awareness of the dangers of the pandemic.

Through success in containing the pandemic, the country has adopted a range of effective policies and measures aimed at boosting economic recovery and growth.

The author provides evidence which indicates that when it comes to the Vietnamese economy in 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasised that last year saw the local macro-economy remained stable, in addition to recording low inflation, steady growth, and an improved economic balance.

Although investment and trade were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through the implementation of economic policies and promoting the internal strength of the entire population, economic growth was achieved.

Furthermore, Vietnamese trading activities last year recorded important results, with exports enjoying positive growth and reaching US$26.7 billion in turnover, a rise of 1% compared to 2019, thereby recording the highest figure ever.

On November 15, 2020, ASEAN member states, including Vietnam, alongside five partners- Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEF). This agreement is expected to promote the formation of global supply chains as a means of contributing to the economic development of member countries, including the nation.

Previously, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were also signed, thereby demonstrating Vietnamese determination to meet its international commitments. Indeed, the country will strive to boost national reform in order to achieve greater international economic integration.

Moreover, the nation also outlined 12 indicators on socio-economic development in the year ahead in a draft report on socio-economic development. This draft report has been submitted to the National Assembly, in which the average economic growth rate is set at over 6%, with per capita income at approximately US$3,700.

Moving forward, it is predicted that there will be challenges this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic remaining complicated, although the major focus will be on the two key tasks of continuing to combat the epidemic whilst ensuring the safety and health of citizens. In addition, economic recovery and development efforts will also prove to be crucial.

Many experts and prestigious economic organizations worldwide remain optimistic the country recording annual economic growth of at least 6% over the coming years.

The nation also remains a strong destination that is able to attract great attention from foreign investors. Along with the signing of an array of international agreements, the country is fully committed to creating favourable conditions for foreign investors, including financiers from the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. In line with this, many foreign investors are keen to get involved in the Vietnamese market, while many enterprises are poised to start a business locally.

With these achievements, the nation remains confident of meeting the economic development targets set for 2021 whilst becoming a developed economy in the following years.  VOV



Two Việt Nam beaches among top beaches in Asia



Mỹ Khê Beach in Đà Nẵng City. VNA/ Photo

HCM CITY – TripAdvisor readers have named Mỹ Khê in the central city of Đà Nẵng and An Bàng in Hội An City among the most beautiful beaches in Asia.

Around three kilometres from Hội An, An Bàng was in the 24th position on the list of 25 best beaches in Asia, while Mỹ Khê finished off the list.

An Bàng is one of the few white-sand beaches left in Việt Nam that has yet to be spoiled by the boom in beach tourism that has resulted in overcrowding, coral damage and environmental pollution.

Once a hidden gem in the old town, the beach entered the international limelight when CNN listed it as one of the 100 best beaches on earth in 2011.

The 10-km-long Mỹ Khê beach running from the base of Sơn Trà Peninsula to Marble Mountains was catapulted to global fame when Australian newspaper The Sunday Herald Sun listed it among Asia’s 10 most beautiful beaches in 2012.

Considered Việt Nam’s most picturesque beach, Mỹ Khê Beach was named by American troops who visited during the Việt Nam War. –


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Young Vietnamese on the verge of becoming ‘lost generation’ amid pandemic



Hemingway once described “lost generation” as those coping with the aftermath of WW1, now young Vietnamese are on the brink of becoming a new version of the term.

Nguyen Thanh Tung, 22, graduated from university in June 2020, and was thrilled to enter a new stage in life.

But reality turned out to be harsher than he thought as he spent four months looking for a job in Hanoi and HCMC only to be repeatedly told “they will contact me when the Covid-19 pandemic is contained.”

He then decided to apply for a graduate course in the U.S. and was admitted, but the university has canceled on-campus classes meaning Tung cannot leave.

“It is like someone has pressed the pause button on my life, and I do not know how to find my play button amid this pandemic.”

Millions of other young people share his plight as colleges are closed, jobs are hard to find and mental and financial issues grow.

A man wears a protective mask as he drives past a banner promoting prevention against the Covid-19 pandemic in Hanoi, Vietnam July 31, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

A man wears a protective mask as he drives past a banner promoting prevention against the Covid-19 pandemic in Hanoi, Vietnam July 31, 2020. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

Many students have been unable to cope with virtual classes and the hiatus in extracurricular activities.

“Sometimes I cannot keep track of the lessons, or just get bored of sitting in front of the computer for hours, and so feel like I have failed to prepare well enough for my final exams,” Nguyen Ba Nghia, a sophomore at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, said.

Many young people have also been severely affected by the job market slump.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) said last year the youth unemployment rate in Vietnam was 10.8 percent, compared to 6.9 percent in 2019. It defined youths as workers aged 15 to 24.

In the third quarter the youth unemployment rate was 7.24 percent, 4.2 times the rate among people aged over 25.

On Facebook groups for headhunters and applicants, many people, mostly those embarking on a career, complain about how difficult it is to find a job.

“I spent five months looking for a job and got an internship, and then they told me they will not sign a contract because they want to cut their spending amid the pandemic,” one said.

“It is not ideal to be a young adult at the moment,” someone responded.

With the pandemic flattening dreams, plans and opportunities for young people, many face grave financial insecurity.

Some 52 percent of Vietnamese youths are worried about their financial situation, a survey by insurer Manulife found.

The travel restrictions since last year have forced many young people to put their plans on hold.

Le Thanh Trung, 23, has been waiting for months for his university in the U.S., the world’s biggest Covid-19 hotspot, to open so that he can start pursuing his graduate degree.

“I have deferred my enrollment from last fall to next summer, and so basically I have just held my breath for the last few months and waited; such a waste of time,” the Hanoian said.

Others have seen their wedding and baby plans disrupted.

There have been a lot of separations among young lovers, and many have no idea when they will meet again.

In Saigon, Nguyen Thi Kieu Trang has been waiting for her British boyfriend to come to Vietnam for their wedding, which was originally scheduled for last summer.

“There was no wedding,” Trang, 28, said. “The virus has delayed our wedding, and it will delay us having kids and other things.”

Without being able to get jobs and with other plans being disrupted, many are beginning to have mental issues.

“There has been a surge in the number of people with depression,” Dr Huynh Van Minh, head of the Vietnam Society of Hypertension, said.

The ILO has warned that high unemployment rates could lead to dangerous increases in depression and anxiety.

People wait to have unemployment benefits at the Hanoi Center for Employee Service in Cau Giay District, June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

People wait to have unemployment benefits at the Hanoi Center for Employee Service in Cau Giay District, June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

Silver lining

Many young people have tried to look for positive things by making new plans or taking up new habits.

“I see the Covid-19 pandemic is a catalyst that forces me to rethink my spending habits,” Nguyen Thu An, a white-collar worker in Hanoi who admitted to being a spendthrift before the pandemic, said.

Others found new hobbies during the social distancing campaign last year, such as cooking and gardening, or began to spend time with their family unlike earlier.

“I found out that I love growing plants, and my room is now full of greenery,” Tung, the new graduate waiting to leave for the U.S., said.

He also learned some barista skills, and so “I do not have to go out for good coffee.”

The pandemic has made some young people realize that they must be adaptable, sociologist Trinh Hoa Binh told VnExpress International.

Le Viet Chung, 29, of Da Lat Town said the pandemic taught him to adapt after his employer in Saigon laid him off.

“I was depressed and shocked, but then a friend suggested that I should try to embark on a new path.” The Saigon salesperson thus became a manager of a hostel in Da Lat.

Sociologist Binh is optimistic, saying the pandemic is enabling young Vietnamese to improve by overcoming “challenges that life throws at them.”

“Many of them could become part of a lost generation, but in the long run they will learn and grow.”


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White sand inspires artist to imagine and create



Visitors at the exhibition Nắm Cát Tha Hương (The White Sand in Exile) at Old Soul art centre at Lê Thanh Nghị Street in Đà Nẵng. Photo facebook Old Soul

ĐÀ NẴNG — An art exhibition by Xuân Hạ depicts her life through personal experiences and external materials in her homeland in the central region. 

Nắm Cát Tha Hương (The White Sand in Exile) is her work exploring the issues of sand exploitation in her hometown in Thăng Bình District in the south-central province of Quảng Nam. 

She reflects the impact it has on the material and spiritual life of the local residents.  

Hạ uses glass bottles she has collected that had washed up on shore to create her work. 

“White sand spreads across the seaside communes. Houses are built on sand. Trees are planted on sand. The tourism industry is built on sand. People’s graveyards are built on sand,” exhibition visitor Thảo Hương said.

“I was born in the central region and sand is something that is very familiar in my life.

“The exhibition brings emotions and memories of my childhood. I witnessed the river in my homeland drying up in summer because sand turned into cement. I visit my maternal grandparent’s graveyards with white sand and bushes.”

The exhibition originates from the culture of people that live in the central region, those that have attached their life to the sand.

A work entitled Trở Về (Back Home) is the glass bottles which include the date and the place they were found. 

Mắc Cạn (Stranded) is broken glass bottles, monolithic glass and photos printed on paper and photos of bottle caps were printed on glass. 

The series focuses on experimenting with materials, transforming both the forms and ideas of the glass bottles that Xuân Hạ collected.

By arranging and spreading the pieces, she recreates the scenes she has witnessed, including glass bottles lying across the wet shore and the graves on the dry white sand.

Xuân Hạ, born in Đà Nẵng City, is a visual and multimedia artist. 

In her recent work, she looks at the impact of urbanisation and industrialisation on millennial behaviour, especially in Việt Nam.

Through various forms of experimenting with space, using fragments of daily materials and manipulating moving images, her work is documentation born out of opposition between herself and the changes of her environment.

She has been an active practitioner in the local art community since the end of 2015 when she co-founded the art collective Chaosdowntown Cháo in HCM City.

She currently lives and works in Đà Nẵng and co-founded A Sông Club in the hope of learning and understanding more about her homeland.

The exhibition is held under the Cultural and Creative Hub Việt Nam Project which is funded by the European Union and the British Council.

It is running until Sunday at 102 Lê Thanh Nghị Street, Đà Nẵng City. — 


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