President Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined officials and residents in the northern province of Ha Nam at the traditional Tich Dien (ploughing) festival on February 7, which prays for bumper crops.
The event is held every year on the seventh day of the first lunar month to pray for a year of bumper harvests and prosperity.
According to historical records, the festival dates back to 987 during the Le Dynasty when King Le Dai Hanh decided to plough a field in Doi Son commune, Duy Tien district in now Ha Nam province to encourage rice cultivation. The practice became an annual tradition observed through many dynasties before falling into oblivion under the reign of King Khai Dinh of the Nguyen Dynasty. It was restored in 2009.
Rituals held within the festival include the procession of a huge drum and memorial tablet of King Le Dai Hanh. The procession then proceeds to the field where the king ploughed. This is followed by a ceremony to pay homage to the God of Agriculture to pray for a high-yield season and prosperity.
In his remarks, Phuc stressed that given natural disasters and diseases, particularly COVID-19 last year, the agricultural and rural sector has helped ensure food security, create a foundation for social stability, and contribute to Vietnam’s international integration, export, and prestige promotion.
Hailing the meaningful message of the Tich Dien festival, the President stressed that the Party and State always encourage the development of agriculture in the cause of national construction and protection.
Highlighting significant changes of Vietnam’s rural areas after more than a decade of implementing the new-style rural building programme, Phuc lauded progresses recorded in Ha Nam that have raised the local living standards and ensured social welfare and security.
He requested that the authorities and people press ahead with the transition from agricultural production to agricultural economy, which prioritises value and output of a number of key products.
All resources ought to be mobilised for farming and rural growth, while greater attention should be paid to the application and transfer of scientific and technological advances toward the formation of a smart agricultural sector, the State leader noted.
He recommended all-level administrations and sectors work to capitalise on international markets on the basis of Vietnam’s 15 existing free trade agreements (FTA), including the EU-Vietnam FTA, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Photos taken by VietNamNet at the ploughing festival:
Photo: Nguyen Tri/VietNamNet
Vietnamese PM arrives in US for 78th UN session
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh arrived in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon (local time), starting his seven-day trip to attend the high-level General Debate of the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session and other activities.
PM Chinh was welcomed at San Francisco International Airport by the U.S. city’s administration representatives, Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung, Vietnamese Consul General in San Francisco Hoang Anh Tuan, and some other consular officials.
Accompanying PM Chinh are nine Ministers of Public Security; Foreign Affairs; Planning and Investment; Finance; Industry and Trade; Culture, Sports, and Tourism; Information and Communications; Health; and Natural Resources and Environment.
As scheduled, PM Chinh will meet the Vietnamese community in San Francisco upon his arrival and will receive representatives of typical overseas Vietnamese businesses in the city one day later.
During his trip, the PM will attend and deliver a speech at the high-level General Debate of the 78th UNGA session at the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters in New York City.
The event will take place under the theme, ‘Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress, and the Sustainability for All.’
|Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh shakes hands with a representative of the administration of the U.S. city of San Francisco when he arrived there on September 17, 2023 (local time). Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
PM Chinh is also expected to speak at the UN Climate Ambition Summit and the UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPPR), also in New York.
As part of his week-long stay, the Vietnamese government leader will attend a Vietnam – U.S. business forum on technology and innovation, visit large corporations such as NVIDIA, Meta, and Synopsys in San Francisco, and receive a number of local leaders.
He will also meet UN leaders and have bilateral meetings with senior leaders of countries and international organizations, among other activities.
|Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.S. Nguyen Quoc Dung (R) shakes hands with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, the U.S., September 17, 2023 (local time). Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
At a press briefing in Hanoi last week, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Pham Thu Hang stressed that the PM’s trip to the U.S. “is extremely important to concretize the outcomes of U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Vietnam,” which took place on September 10-11, during which the two countries released a joint statement to upgrade the Vietnam-U.S. relations to comprehensive strategic partnership.
PM Chinh will wrap up his U.S. trip on Saturday and leave for Brazil on the same day for an official four-day visit at the invitation of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Vietnamese PM urges upgrade of China-ASEAN free trade area
China and ASEAN should quickly complete negotiations for the third version of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at the opening of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) in China on Sunday.
PM Chinh on Sunday afternoon wrapped up his trip to neighboring China to attend the two events in Nanning City, the capital city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, on Saturday and Sunday.
Delivering a speech at the opening of the two events, he suggested the governments of China and ASEAN countries boost their bilateral trade relations in a balanced and sustainable manner.
Their trade surged to US$975.6 billion last year from $78.2 billion in 2003, making them each other’s largest trade partner.
PM Chinh thus called for the two sides’ efforts to make ASEAN China’s first partner to reach trade value of $1 trillion.
He also urged the two sides to expand the piloting of smart border gates to meet their trade demand.
The Vietnamese government leader affirmed that Vietnam supports the cooperation between China and ASEAN in the open-minded, sincere, reliable, and equal spirit for the prosperity of nations in the region and in the world.
ASEAN and China should foster the traffic infrastructure connection and build linkage chains from raw material areas to production centers and consumption systems, the Vietnamese official said.
“We share the same goals and larger mutual benefits when jointly supporting the corporate community to expand their investment, production, and business, creating livelihoods for residents and foundations for peace, stability, and long-term cooperation in the region and in the world as a whole.”
China and ASEAN established the first version of their free trade area in 2010 and laucnhed an upgraded version in 2019.
The negotiations on the third version of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area were launched in November 2022 and expected to finish next year.
Dr. Vu Quy Son from the Institute of Chinese Studies told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the talks between PM Chinh and his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang on Saturday showed the importance of maintaining and boosting high-ranking delegation exchanges between the two countries.
China tends to enhance practical cooperation with Vietnam through its international cooperation initiatives to get the Southeast Asian country’s support in regional and international issues.
It is focusing on the cooperation of ministries, agencies, and the localities bordering Vietnam with equivalent units in Vietnam, Son added.
In the future, China may focus on trade collaboration to ease the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and upgrade infrastructure connectivity with Vietnam and ASEAN as a whole.
Vietnam looks to become one of Asia’s food innovation hubs
Vietnam aspires to become one of the food innovation hubs of Asia by contributing to expediting the transformation of global food systems, said Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), at the UN Security Council (UNSC) open debate on Thursday.
During the open debate, which focused on famine and conflict-induced global food security, Giang emphasized that recent reports and discussions at the 43rd session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference in Italy in July highlighted a growing challenge in food security worldwide, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Despite the recovery observed in various sectors after the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, food insecurity remains a headache in numerous parts of the world, particularly in regions affected by conflicts.
According to Giang, the most effective approach for preventing famine in conflict-affected regions is curbing violence and promoting peace.
The UNSC should play a more influential role in addressing the root causes of conflicts to mitigate the risks of food insecurity stemming from these conflicts.
The Vietnamese representative urged all parties involved in conflicts to respect the UN Charter and international law.
In addition, Giang suggested that the UNSC should work closely with specialized agencies like FAO, the UN World Food Program, and other international partners.
Additionally, enhancing cooperation with regional organizations can strengthen food systems’ resilience and ensure the sustainability of global food supply chains.
The Vietnamese diplomat emphasized that food security is not just a goal but a crucial solution for Vietnam’s socio-economic development.
Vietnam places high importance on the advancement of low-emission and climate-resilient agriculture, aiming to establish itself as a food innovation hub in the region.
Moreover, the country is dedicated to making a positive contribution to global food security by ensuring steady export of rice and other agricultural products and is ready to collaborate with the international community in tackling food insecurity resulting from conflicts.
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