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VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 31

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PM leaves on Europe tour

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh left Hanoi on August 31 for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), and for visits to the UK and France from October 31-November 5, at the invitation of his British and French counterparts Boris Johnson and Jean Castex.

His participation in the conference will extend a strong message on a responsible, proactive and active Vietnam that is joining hands with the international community in settling global challenges on climate change; and demonstrates determination, efforts as well as difficulties and challenges facing Vietnam in coping with the phenomenon.

The PM’s working visit to the UK and official visit to France will help consolidate the political trusts and further deepen multi-faceted cooperation; thus making the relations with those two strategic partners become practical and effective in every field, especially in those of health care, pharmacy and vaccine diplomacy.

They will also continue to realise the Party and State’s foreign policy of independence, self-mastery, peace, cooperation and development; diversification and multilateralisation in foreign relations; proactive and active international integration; and being a friend, a trustable partner and a responsible member of the international community.

Through the meetings with the Vietnamese communities in those two countries, the visits will help build up the all-nation solidarity and strength and manifest gratitude to them for their recent support to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam./.

Former German ambassador becomes head of Germany-Vietnam Association

Rolf Schulze, former German Ambassador to Vietnam, has been elected the new President of the Germany-Vietnam Association at its congress held recently in Berlin.

Addressing the congress, Schulze pledged to exert efforts to promote the association’s activities in the time to come, thus contributing to fostering the relationship between Germany and Vietnam.

According to Siegfried Sommer, Schulze’s predecessor, the association was founded in 1991 with an aim to strengthen the friendship between Vietnam and Germany as well as the cooperation between the two countries.

He noted that in the recent two years, due to impacts of COVID-19, a number of activities of the associations have been postponed, but the “Vietnam Info” Newspaper has been published regularly to provide information on the political, economic and cultural situation in Vietnam as well as the situation of the bilateral relationships.

On behalf of the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany, Minister Counsellor Dang Chung Thuy lauded the role that the Germany-Vietnam Association has played in connecting people of the two nations. He hailed efforts and contributions of the association during the past 30 years to the development of the friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

According to Thuy, the governments and people of Vietnam and Germany have given each other great and valuable support. Particularly, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Germany has provided Vietnam with a large number of COVID-19 vaccine doses directly and through the COVAX Facility, making Germany the second largest vaccine provider of Vietnam among European countries.

At the congress, delegates adopted the revised Charter of the association and selected a new executive board with 11 members./.

Two centers under auspices of UNESCO make debut

The Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology, in coordination with the Ministry of Science and Technology, on October 29 inaugurated the International Center for Physics (ICP) and the International Center for Mathematical Research and Training (ICRTM).

The two centers were established under the auspices of UNESCO to contribute to the realization of strategic goals on scientific-technological development and international commitments of the Government, and promote international cooperation in the related fields. 

Their main activities include providing international training in physics and mathematics; conducting international level physics and mathematics studies; and advising policy makers, educators and the public in the fields of physics and mathematics.

Training activities at the two centers begin immediately this year, focusing on advanced talent training, postgraduate and postdoctoral training in physics and mathematics through scientific research programs and projects. These programs are available to citizens of Viet Nam and regional countries, as well as some African countries.

The two centers will cooperate in research with domestic and international universities and institutes, particularly those in ASEAN countries, Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Cooperative activities include short-term exchange of experts and organization of conferences and seminars.

Thua Thien-Hue: 229 students get Vallet scholarships

As many as 229 outstanding students in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue received Vallet scholarships during a ceremony on October 29.

The total value of the scholarships is over 3.3 billion VND (143,930), with each valued from 11.5 – 30 million VND.

The Vallet Scholarship Fund was established in 2001 by Professor Odon Vallet from France’s Sorbonne University, through the Meeting Vietnam organisation. It has been the largest non-governmental scholarship fund in Vietnam over the past two decades.

The professor uses the annual interest from his inheritance to fund scholarships for students posting outstanding academic results in France, Benin, and Vietnam.

To date, more than 40,000 outstanding Vietnamese students and pupils have been presented with the Vallet scholarships worth over 200 billion VND (8.72 million USD). In Thua Thien-Hue alone, over 4,500 scholarships have been presented to local students.

Meanwhile, 50 poor students with good academic performances in the northern province of Hai Duong also received the “Sharing The Dream” scholarships, which is funded by Thailand’s SCG Group.

The total value of the scholarships is 260 million VND (11,340 USD). Each university student received 6 million VND, while school students got 4 million VND each.

Since 2007, Sharing The Dream scholarships have been presented to over 5,000 students in localities nationwide, including 100 from Hai Duong./.

Digital technology projected to earn 74 billion USD for Vietnam by 2030: Seminar

Digital technology, if exploited to the maximum, can bring over 1.733 quadrillion VND (74 billion USD) to Vietnam by 2030, with the most beneficial sectors including manufacturing, agriculture and food, and education-training.

The information was unveiled in a report on potential of Vietnam’s digital economy, which was presented at a recent workshop held in Hanoi.

Conducted by strategic economics consultancy company AlphaBeta, the report showed that Vietnam has many opportunities to benefit from the digital economy.

Accordingly, the young, educated and tech-savvy population accounts for 70 percent of its citizens under 35 years old. The literacy rate in the 15-35 age group is over 98 percent, higher than the average global rate of 91 percent. About 70 percent of the population uses smart phones. Vietnam also has the second fastest growing Internet economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.

The report, meanwhile, pointed out a number of barriers in exploiting benefits from digital technology, including regulatory requirements, digital connectivity, and a shortage of digitally skilled human resources.

Co-organised by the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Vietnam National Innovation Centre (NIC) and Google, the workshop reviewed the current situation and possible development of Vietnam’s digital economy, as well as mechanisms and policies to promote its growth.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said in the context of being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam needs to accelerate the digital economy’s development on the basis of science-technology and innovation to improve the quality of life, productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

World Bank Lead Economist for Vietnam Jacques Morisset recommended that it is necessary for Vietnam to focus on upgrading digital skills for workers, encouraging businesses’ innovation, and enhancing the accessibility and quality of information.

NIC Director Vu Quoc Huy said the centre has cooperated with partners such as Google and Amazon to organise online training and capacity building programmes in technology, e-commerce application, and digital transformation for domestic businesses.

He noted the building and implementation of more programmes to support innovation for businesses will be done in the time to come./.

Local tourist attractions becoming popular among Hanoians

As Hanoi, together with other localities nationwide, is gradually returning to the new normal, the municipal tourism sector is also reactivating itself with a relatively large number of Hanoians drawn to local destinations – an encouraging sign for its recovery.

The lingering fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it compulsory for the imposition of movement restrictions to contain the coronavirus transmission, which has greatly affected people’s spiritual life.

Given this, as soon as Hanoi lifted social distancing rules and eased curbs on socio-economic activities in late September, travel demand has risen sharply. While tourism activities nationwide have yet to fully recover, on-site travel is becoming a major trend and proving to be an effective solution.

Except for museums and parks, other tourist sites in Hanoi haven’t been reopened. While people are still reluctant to visit those places of interest, many have chosen to spend their weekends at resorts and homestay facilities in the suburbs of the capital city.

This trend is attributable to the fact that after months of arduous staying at home due to the coronavirus resurgence, people are in great need of relaxation in an open space, fresh air, and close to nature. It is also suitable to the current context, when it is unable to put the pandemic under a complete control, as travellers can have their own space, thus helping reduce contact among different tourist groups.

Nguyen Van Quan, Managing Director of the Tan Da Spa Resort in Van Hoa commune of Ba Vi district, said right after Hanoi halted social distancing and hotels and other accommodation facilities were permitted to operate at their 50-percent capacity, the number of people booking rooms at resort and homestay sites in the suburbs has begun to bounce back.

Going on holiday after the social distancing period is now a choice of many Hanoians, he went on, noting that resorts and homestay sites along Thang Long Avenue which are in close proximity to the downtown are currently a magnet to tourists.

Quang added the Tan Da Spa Resort is always half full in every weekend, and that the site only serves fully vaccinated visitors coming from “green zones” so as to ensure pandemic safety.

A manager of The Moonlight, a homestay establishment in Minh Phu commune of Soc Son district, said the district is home to hundreds of homestay facilities, most of which are fully booked on weekends, and it is also the case for The Moonlight.

A large number of people have also chosen similar sites in the outlying districts of Ba Vi, Son Tay, Thach That, and Dong Anh as their leisure destinations.

Tourism authorities, associations, clubs, and companies in Hanoi are promoting the building of safety tours, with priority given to local places to serve residents in the capital city.

On October 23, the Hanoitourist travel company launched a walking tour enabling visitors to explore the unique historical and architectural values of structures built in the French time, including the Vietnam National Museum of History, Hanoi Opera House, and Bac Bo Phu (now the Government Guest House), in the city.

Hanoitourist Director Phung Quang Thang said tour prices have been discounted strongly to stimulate local travel demand, adding that more tours in the new normal will be developed by his company.

Many other travel businesses are also eager to launch tours of places of interest in the capital to attract Hanoians.

Authorities are planning to recover tourism in four phases, firstly focusing on local visitors. The city will reopen several “green” (free of COVID-19) tourist sites that have qualified infrastructure and unique tourism products on a trial basis, encourage sports, leisure, and homestay tourism in Ba Vi, Son Tay, and Soc Son; and permit travel companies to open short caravan tours in “green” places.

After that, Hanoi will coordinate with some localities that have brought the pandemic under control to resume inter-provincial travel.

The return to the new normal is giving much hope to the tourism sector to meet people’s travel demand and shore up the pandemic-hit industry./.

Vice President meets Portuguese officials, chairs business dialogue in Portugal

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan met with Vice President of the Portuguese parliament Edite Estrela, held talks with Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva and chaired a business dialogue forum on October 29, as part of her working trip to the European country.

During the talks with Minister Augusto Santos Silva, Vice President Xuan affirmed that Vietnam is pursuing a foreign policy of independence and diversification and multilateralization, under which it is deepening bilateral cooperation with important partners, including the European Union in which Portugal is a member.

The two sides took note with satisfaction the positive progress in Vietnam-Portugal relations in recent years, and agreed upon measures to further the bilateral cooperation in the time ahead.

They said the two countries should increase the exchange of visits at all levels, particularly at high-level, to create a momentum for bilateral ties.

Vice President Xuan conveyed an invitation to visit Vietnam from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa.

The sides stressed the need to study directions for bolstering cooperation in all aspects, especially economics, trade and investment. They agreed on the target of raising bilateral trade value from 471 million USD in 2020 to 1 billion USD in 1 billion USD.

The Vietnamese leader called on Portuguese businesses to increase their investment and business operation in Vietnam, especially in fields that the two countries can complement each other such as sea economy, maritime, renewable energy and tourism. She said Vietnam is willing to serve as a bridge connecting Portuguese firms with the Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific markets.

Xuan asked Portugal to assist Vietnam in developing trade and investment ties with the EU, and urged the country to early verify the Vietnam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and help with the removal of the EC’s yellow card on Vietnamese seafood.

Minister Augusto Santos Silva affirmed that Vietnam is a priority partner of Portugal as well as the EU. He said there remains large room for the two countries to boost cooperation in trade and investment, and promised that Portugal will create favourable conditions for agencies and businesses of both sides to connect and expand markets. He also pledged to work for the early completion of procedures for the verification of the EVIPA.

The minister informed that Portugal has decided to grant Vietnam with 160,000 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through the Covax mechanism, and suggested that the two countries continue to work together in responding to challenges posed by the pandemic and in helping the Vietnamese community in Portugal stabilize their life.

The two sides also discussed international and regional issues of common concern, and pledged to coordinate on multilateral and regional forums as well as support each other at cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN-EU and the United Nations.

At the meeting the same day with Vice President of the Portuguese parliament Edite Estrela, Vice President Xuan took the occasion to thank the Portuguese parliament for its strong support for strengthening relations between the two countries and the comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the EU.

She proposed that the two countries’ parliaments increase the exchange of delegations. She conveyed an invitation to visit Vietnam at an appropriate time from National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue to the President of the Portuguese parliament.

The two sides affirmed that cooperation between the two parliaments and countries will continue to be promoted in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks. They expressed support for maintaining peace and stability, respecting the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the region and the world, promoting dialogue and facilitating cooperation and development for common prosperity.

Addressing the Vietnamese-Portuguese business dialogue, Vice President Xuan briefed the business delegates on Vietnam’s socio-economic situation and the country’s development priorities such as high technology, innovation and digital economy. She affirmed that Vietnam will create all possible favourable conditions for Portuguese investors to operate long term and reap success in the country.

Portuguese business representatives showed interest in Vietnam’s orientation and strategy for development and integration, as well as possibilities for business cooperation.

The business dialogue was the last activity of Vice President Xuan in Portugal. She is scheduled to start an official visit to Greece on October 31./.

Transport ministry urged to submit plan on resumption of int’l flights next week

Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has urged the Ministry of Health to make available Viet Nam vaccine passport prior to November 5.

He tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promptly work with partners to speed up mutual recognition of proof of vaccination and recovery from COVID-19 in a bid to facilitate entry of foreign experts into Viet Nam.

Viet Nam has temporarily recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificates or vaccine passports from 72 countries and territories, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters at a press conference on October 21.

Regarding medical surveillance of entrants, Pham asked the Ministry of Health to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, relevant agencies, and localities to renew medical surveillance protocols for entrants with vaccine passport.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for coordinating with relevant agencies to issue instructions for arranging repatriation flights for Vietnamese living and working abroad.

Pham also tasked the Ministry of Transport to submit a plan on resumption of international flights before November 5./.

Efforts made to connect youth with heritage

Vietnam has a number of industrial heritages, including physical remains of manufacturing and mining sites and old factories such as Tran Hung Dao Mechanical Factory, Gia Lam Train Factory, Hanoi Brewery, Dong Xuan Knitting Company, and Ba Son Shipyard Factory. The industrial heritage is not only home to historical artifacts but also holds value regarding architecture, history, culture, and memory.

However, facts have revealed that today’s youth show less attention and connection to the country’s tradition and heritage. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made to strengthen the connection between young people and heritage in order to promote their role in preserving and upholding its value.

Accordingly, many industrial heritages have been transformed into cultural and creative spaces, which is considered as an effective solution to increase the connection between young people and heritage.

Several successful transformation projects include Complex 01, the 282 Design Workshop, and the French Cultural Institute in Hanoi, which were all refurbished from old factories.

These projects succeed in converting old buildings into multi-functional space complexes with unique architecture and many attractive entertainment activities, thus meeting the demand for entertainment while serving as meeting venues for people, particularly the youth.

It can be seen that this transformation makes young people become those who benefit most from industrial heritage, thus increasing their interest in heritage and raising their awareness and responsibilities in safeguarding and promoting its vitality.

Notably, these transformation projects were carried out by young people, who promoted their creative thinking and had an aspiration to preserve the values of industrial heritage as part of an unforgettable memory.

It would be a real pity if we replace industrial heritage with high-rise buildings and megacities, as it would not only eliminate factories and workshops but also remove the memories of the workers and the people who once lived and worked there.

Many industrial heritages in European countries have been recognised as UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Germany; the City Of Potosi, which is a hub for silver mining in Bolivia; Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpetre Works in Chile.

Thus, it is necessary to make further efforts, create more favourable policies and legal framework in order to transform industrial heritages into creative cultural spaces, where young people are connected with heritage and where memories are kept alive.

It is hoped that in the coming time, transformation models of industrial heritage in Vietnam will gain UNESCO recognition as world cultural heritages, contributing to promoting the image of the country and its people to international friends.

British Ambassador: Viet Nam will bring new ideas to COP26

Viet Nam will bring new ideas and new commitments to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) so that the world can all move together to keep global warming preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

British Ambassador to Viet Nam Gareth Ward made the above statement in a recent interview with the Viet Nam Government Portal ahead of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s departure to Glasgow for the COP26 and his working visit to the UK from October 31 to November 3.

Gareth Ward highlighted three main objectives for the conference. The first is to increase commitment by countries to reduce their carbon emissions. The second is to work close together to help countries to adapt, especially those suffering from the effects of climate change. And the third element is to increase the amount of finance provided by developed countries for developing countries.

“We have to work together to stop the Earth from warming more than 1.5 degree compared to pre-industrial level. If we don’t do this, we can have very serious consequences for people across the world including people in Viet Nam,” said the British Ambassador.

The UK is very pleased that PM Pham Minh Chinh will be going with a big delegation of Vietnamese experts to participate in the conference, he added.

Last year Viet Nam increased the level of its ambition in terms of reducing carbon emission. But this year many countries around the world have been committing to net zero. That’s a date by which the economy will be in balanced and that they will be emitting a neutral carbon footprint.

The diplomat hoped that Viet Nam will come forward with a date for net zero. So this sets a target for Governments, for businesses, for the societies to reduce their carbon footprint, expressing his confidence that Viet Nam would come forward with new ambitions and targets during the visit of the PM to COP26.

Regarding cooperation between the two nations in climate change adaption, Gareth Ward highlighted that both sides are working together to build housing in Central Viet Nam that can be resistant to flood so that people don’t lose their houses during serious weather events.

Meanwhile, the UK is also working with farmers in the Central Highlands so they can change their agriculture practice and cope with different weather conditions for their crops.

“Equally and importantly, we’re working together on energy. Viet Nam has huge potential in solar, wind, and hydro resources. These are renewable forms of energy that are clean. The UK is a world leader in offshore wind so we’re sharing experience about how Viet Nam can develop an offshore wind sector”, underscored the Ambassador.

Finally, both countries have promoted coordination as part of the global community to ensure that funding, which is provided by developed countries can reach projects and businesses can invest, said Gareth Ward.

Because ultimately, it’s not just about government’s acting. It’s also about businesses’ acting. When foreign companies invest in Viet Nam, they want to produce in a clean, green way. They want clean energy, and they want to use clean technologies to provide products for the world.

The UK also welcomes Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh for the working visit to the UK, said the diplomat, adding that there would be lots of commercial activities in the areas of health and vaccines, transport, aerospace and education. These are some of the sectors where the UK and Viet Nam have very good cooperation.

The UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement was inked at the beginning of the year. There are even more opportunities for businesses to work together in trade, export and import. In addition, both sides have had the strategic partnership for 10 years and the UK has become a Dialogue Partner of the ASEAN.

Viet Nam received several high-level visits from the British Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary. There has been the visit of Royal Navy Ship HMS Richmond, who visited Cam Ranh Port earlier this year to enhance cooperation in maritime security issues.

Equally importantly, both sides been able to push forward the agenda on global issues, affirmed Gareth Ward, adding that the UK has been very pleased to work with Viet Nam on health cooperation.

The UK has donated vaccines through the bilateral donation and via the UN COVAX Scheme to help Viet Nam to increase the vaccine rate as well as provided medical equipment to Viet Nam to help provide oxygen and other important treatment measures for COVID-19 patients in Viet Nam. The National Health System of the UK has cooperated with the Ministry of Health in Viet Nam to good practice.

“In the global pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. We really want to help Viet Nam to speed up vaccination program, but also change the approach of response to make sure the treatment is effective and also help the health system cope”, noted the Ambassador.

The UK has experienced in when the health system was overwhelmed and it needed to change and adapt. For instance, COVID patients can be treated very effectively at home, and only a small proportion of patients need to be brought to hospitals, the ones who are really ill. So that kind of flexible approach is experience the UK wants to share with Viet Nam so that Viet Nam can confidently move forward into the next phase.

The real element of combating the pandemic is through vaccines. The UK has been one of the global leaders in developing vaccines. The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID‑19 vaccine has produced one of the most effective vaccines which is widely used in Viet Nam. So cooperation in vaccine and also on genomic sequencing-that’s to make sure that new variants of the virus can be identified as it mutates, recommended Gareth Ward.

Kien Giang to welcome domestic visitors next month

Kien Giang to welcome domestic visitors next month hinh anh 1

The southern province of Kien Giang, home to Phu Quoc resort island, will begin welcoming domestic tourists on a trial basis in November.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, from November 1 to 30, Kien Giang will receive travellers from localities at low and medium risk of COVID-19 infection.

Visitors are recommended to purchase package tours offered by travel companies. They will be allowed to visit entertainment areas and tourist destinations that stay safe from the coronavirus like Rach Gia and Ha Tien cities, and Phu Quoc and Kien Hai island districts.

In the second phase, from December 1 to 31, on the basis of results of the pilot phase and pandemic developments, Kien Giang will welcome visitors from other localities, especially those with direct flights to Phu Quoc like Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Lam Dong, Da Nang and Hai Phong.

Apart from the above-said tourist destinations, holidaymakers can visit Hon Dat, Kien Luong, Kien Hai and U Minh Thuong districts, through package tours or self-guided tours, but must observe COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

The local tourism sector has encouraged travel agents and other service suppliers in the province to renew their products and services to attract visitors, while stepping up promotion activities.

For foreign tourists, Kien Giang will receive a number of charter flights going to its Phu Quoc island from November 20 to test the process of picking up and serving guests with “vaccine passport”./.

Vietnamese directors introduce theatre productions inspired by world literature ‘Antigone’

Six innovative theatre productions by six Vietnamese directors, which are all inspired by world literature ‘Antigone’, will be introduced to art lovers from this November.

This is part of the Antigone Project, which is being held by the Goethe Institute Hanoi in collaboration with the Youth Theatre of Vietnam.

The project attracted the participation of six Vietnamese theatre directors, including Bui Nhu Lai, Tran Luc, Ha Nguyen Long, Le Thi Hoa An, multimedia composer Ha Thuy Hang, and choreographer Tran Minh Hai.

Through their work, each of the artist will present the audience with their own interpretation of ‘Antigone’ by ancient Greek writer Sophocles.

Speaking at a press conference held on October 29 to introduce the project, Goethe Institute’s Director Wilfried Eckstein said that Antigone by Sophocles is world literature, which has inspired the creative world and challenged us to reflect on human nature and our place in society over the past 2,500 years.

According to him, ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles is little known in Vietnam; however, the female character’s fate is quite similar to that of Kieu in the ‘Tale of Kieu’ masterpiece by Vietnamese poet Nguyen Du (1766-1820).

Like Kieu, Antigone comes from a good family, makes a moral decision for moral reasons and is consequently at the mercy of power structures and violence in her environment. Her attitude can be both an example and a warning for us today, he said.

For their parts, the Vietnamese artists expressed their delight to join the Antigone Project, adding that they were interested in exploring the similarities in Eastern and Western cultures while working on the project.

They also voice the hope that the introduction of the six plays from November to March 2022 will give a boost to Vietnamese stage theatre after a long period of temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

International centres for physics, mathematics research launched

The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, in coordination with the Ministry of Science and Technology, on October 29 inaugurated the International Centre for Physics (ICP) and the International Centre for Mathematical Research and Training (ICRTM).

The two centres were established under the auspices of UNESCO to contribute to the realisation of strategic goals on scientific-technological development and international commitments of the Government, and promote international cooperation in the related fields.

Their main activities include providing international training in physics and mathematics; conducting international level physics and mathematics studies; and advising policy makers, educators and the public in the fields of physics and mathematics.

Training activities at the two centres begin immediately this year, focusing on advanced talent training, postgraduate and postdoctoral training in physics and mathematics through scientific research programmes and projects. These programmes are available to citizens of Vietnam and regional countries, as well as some African countries.

The two centres will cooperate in research with domestic and international universities and institutes, particularly those in ASEAN countries, Asia-Pacific region and Africa. Cooperative activities include short-term exchange of experts and organization of conferences and seminars.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Hoang Giang said that UNESCO’s recognition and sponsorship of the two centres affirms Vietnam’s position on the world science map.

Through these two science centres, Vietnam wishes to contribute to the science of the ASEAN region and the world, said Deputy Minister Giang. He affirmed that the Ministry of Science and Technology will support and create necessary conditions for the two centres to operate effectively and follow the agreement with UNESCO./.

Deputy PM urges accelerating process for vaccine passport recognition

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has assigned the Foreign Ministry to work with partners to speed up the recognition of “vaccine passports.”

The Government Office has just issued a document detailing the Deputy PM’s direction on “vaccine passports” and measures to facilitate the entry of foreign experts to serve economic development.

The Ministry of Public Health is assigned to take charge of issuing paper and electronic forms of Vietnam’s vaccine passport, to be completed before November 5.

The Ministries of Information and Communication, Public Security, and Public Health are tasked with developing an application and QR codes for vaccine passports in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction in Notice 242/TB-VPCP dated September 13, 2021.

Deputy PM Minh approved the policy on facilitating entry procedures for foreigners belonging to groups that are specified in the conclusions of meetings of permanent Government members on COVID-19 prevention and control; foreigners who travel to Vietnam to study the market, attend conferences and workshops or visit family members; and overseas Vietnamese and their family members. All those people should have certificates of COVID-19 vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.

For overseas Vietnamese, the regulations under Decree 82/2015/ND-CP on visa exemption continue to be applied.

The Health Ministry is tasked to take charge and cooperate with relevant agencies and localities to issue medical quarantine regulations for arrivals with “vaccine passports.”

Deputy PM Minh also approved in principle the resumption of regular commercial flights to and from countries/territories with high COVID-19 safety levels, with appropriate pandemic prevention measures to be taken.

The Ministry of Transport is to submit to the Prime Minister a plan on resuming regular international flights before November 5./.

Film week to celebrate 22nd Vietnam Film Festival

A film week will be held in the capital city of Hanoi and the central city of Da Nang from November 10-16 to celebrate the 22nd Vietnam Film Festival.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism assigned the Cinema Department to coordinate with the National Cinema Centre, Da Nang City Department of Culture and Sports and relevant agencies to make preparations for this event.

Twenty-six films were chosen for being screened during the week such as ‘Bang chung vo hinh’ (Invisible Evidence), ‘Bo gia’ (Dad, I’m sorry), ‘Gai gia lam chieu V’ (Camellia Sisters), ‘Mat biec’ (Dreamy Eyes), ‘Rom’, and ‘Tiec trang mau’ (Blood Moon Party).

The 22nd edition of the Vietnam Film Festival will take place from November 18-20 in the central province. This will be the first time the Vietnam Film Festival is held in virtual form.

The festival will introduce 128 films by 42 units, including 26 feature films, 56 documentaries, 15 science films, and 31 cartoons.

This year’s event will feature two new awards, one for a feature film with the best cinematography, and the other for outstanding debut by a director.

French newspaper ranks Vietnam as top destination for winter

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Vietnam has been topped the list of leading destinations in the world for winter, which has been announced by the oldest daily in France, Le Figaro. 

According to Le Figaro, Vietnam possesses a treasure of world heritages such as Ha Long Bay with its astonishing landscapes, and Trang An Tourism Complex which is known as Ha Long Bay on land.

Ninh Binh also has wonderful mountains that are covered by a vegetation overlooks rice fields and ancient temples, said Le Figaro.

Le Figaro noted that travellers should not miss the central region in Vietnam with many unexplored destinations, including Phu Yen Province with its long beaches or the ancient Champa ruins and rituals at sacred temples in Binh Dinh province.

Tourists will enjoy a wonderful and quiet time relaxing at the world’s leading resorts in Phu Yen, along with experiences of coral diving and taking cruises around the peaceful waters./.

Vice President hopes for stronger ties with Portugal

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan met Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa and received Vice-President of the Assembly of Portugal Antonio Filipe Gaiao on October 29 on the sidelines of her attendance at the 2021 Global Summit of Women in Lisbon, Portugal.

Meeting with Xuan, the Portuguese President affirmed that the bilateral meetings on this occasion are of great significance, creating an impetus for the two nations’ ties to continue to develop positively in the post-COVID-19 period.

Lauding key achievements that Vietnam has obtained during its national construction and development, he affirmed that Portugal attaches importance to and wishes to build its long-term relations with Vietnam.

Both Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Xuan expressed their delight at the growing friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Portugal since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1975. They agreed that there is a need for increasing the exchange of delegations at all levels in the time to come.

The Vietnamese Vice President praised Portugal’s role in the EU as well as in solving common problems of the international community. She wished that the two nations will strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation in order to make it a pillar of bilateral relations.

Emphasising that the sides need to continue to effectively implement the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Xuan suggested Portugal soon ratify the EU – Vietnam Investment Agreement (EVIPA) and urge the European Commission (EC) to remove a “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood.

She took the occasion to convey the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the Portuguese President to visit Vietnam soon.

At the meeting with Antonio Filipe Gaiao, who is also a member of the Portuguese Communist Party Central Committee, Xuan informed him on the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV)’s goals and orientations for national development for 2021-2025.

She suggested the Portuguese Communist Party continue to coordinate with the CPV on multilateral activities and support the early ratification of the EVIPA.

For his part, Antonio Filipe Gaiao talked about efforts of his Party in protecting the interests of the working class in Portugal.

On the same day, Xuan had a meeting with the Vietnamese community in Portugal. She informed them about the situation in Vietnam and stressed that the Vietnamese Party, State and people are striving to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic while implementing measures to restore the economy.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese community made their donations to Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention fund./.

Over 86,000 kids aged 12-17 in HCMC inoculated against Covid-19

86,324 children have been vaccinated against Covid-19 from the beginning of the vaccine rollout including 79,788 children aged 16-17 and 6,536 children aged 12-15 in Ho Chi Minh City. Medical workers have provided treatment to four cases of mild reactions after injection.

Today, the Center for Disease Control of Ho Chi Minh City (HCDC) said that on October 28, more than 86,000 children aged 12-17 in 21 districts and Thu Duc city had got vaccine against Covid-19. Go Vap District administered vaccination today.

Yesterday, Ho Chi Minh City established simultaneous 131 injection sites including at schools and hospitals. Pfizer’s Covid vaccine is fully approved for teens from 12 to 17 years old.

From October 29, Ho Chi Minh City will continue setting safe injection sites for children at school and community injection points as planned.

According to the HCDC, the city health sector yesterday administered 103,683 shots of the vaccine. Since Ho Chi Minh City started the vaccine rollout until the end of October 28, medical workers have administered 12,938,986 doses of the vaccines, of which 5,689,910 people have got two doses of the vaccines.

The rate of people over 18 years old having had one vaccine shot reached 99.48 percent while those who received full Covid-19 vaccine shots reached 78.93 percent and senior people over 65 years old received two doses of vaccine accounted for 90.15 percent. Ho Chi Minh City has also administered 3,311,218 doses of the Vero Cell vaccine citywide.

Can Gio: A green oasis in Ho Chi Minh City

As life gradually returns to the “new normal” state, Can Gio is the first destination in Ho Chi Minh City to pilot the reopening of tourism. By taking a speed boat along Saigon River, visitors will enter Can Gio, which is dubbed as the “green oasis” of Ho Chi Minh City.

Located 50km from downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio is the city’s only coastal district with a coastline of more than 23km and a river network stretching across 22,000 hectares, which creates favourable conditions to develop waterway transport. Therefore, many tourists opt for river tours to explore Can Gio during their trips.

What makes Can Gio more interesting for tourists is their mangroves, which boast a high biodiversity with assorted species of fauna and flora.

In 2000, UNESCO designated Can Gio as the first Mangrove Biosphere Reserve in Vietnam. It is also one of the most extensive rehabilitated mangrove forests in the world.

A visit to Can Gio offers tourists with interesting experiences of agriculture and aquaculture as most of locals in the district earn their living by salt farming, shrimp and oyster aquaculture and fish catching.

Visitors can also take a trip to Hang Duong Market, the most bustling market in the region, to sample fresh seafood specialities while enjoying the beautiful melodies of ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’, a genre of amateur folk music from southern Vietnam, by local performers.

No quarantine planned for foreign tourists with negative COVID-19 tests

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Foreign visitors to Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh – localities selected in a pilot reopening programme – will not have to quarantine from next month as long as they test negative for SARS-CoV-2. The visitors will also need to book a combo of air tickets, COVID-19 testing, hotel and registered destinations.

Before entering Vietnam, tourists must have received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days and no longer than 12 months before arrival. COVID-19 recovery certificates within 12 months before entry are accepted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is temporarily recognising ‘vaccine passports’ of 72 countries and territories, and is in discussions with nearly 80 others on mutual recognition for the ‘vaccine passport’.

Vietnam plans to welcome international visitors from November this year. The first phase starts from next month only for those using combo packages and visits several select destinations.

 Phu Quoc authorities arranged safe destinations to host visitors as well as developed plans to respond to visitors testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. After Phu Quoc, tourism authorities would draw lessons and expand to other destinations like Ha Long, Hoi An, Nha Trang, among others./.

Scheme of automobile toll collection in downtown HCMC continues to be proposed

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has just reported to the Municipal People’s Committee the scheme on automobile toll collection in the city center after the Innovative Technology Development Corporation (ITD) proposed to perform the project under public-private partnership (PPP) form and build- lease- transfer (BLT) contract model.
The study and project performance will be paid by the investor- ITD.

According to the proposal, the toll gates will be placed on roads heading to District 1, 3 including Hoang Sa Street along Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal to the intersection of Nguyen Phuc Nguyen- Cach Mang Thang Tam – Ba Thang Hai – Le Hong Phong – Ly Thai To – Nguyen Van Cu – Vo Van Kiet – Ton Duc Thang streets while some other toll gates shall be installed in streets of Truong Son and Cong Hoa in Tan Binh District, which have braced for traffic congestion.

Accordingly, the non-stop electronic toll collection system will have an operating center connecting the gates to handle information and manage the toll collection.

The total investment of the project is estimated at VND2,274 billion (nearly US$100 million), including around VND478 billion (US$21 million) for the initial investment. The investor will self-arrange its capital to implement the project when the contract is signed.

The Municipal Department of Transport requested the City Department of Planning and Investment to consult the HCMC People’s Committee on considering and guiding the ITD Corporation to submit the project proposal.

Earlier, in 2010, the HCMC People’s Committee approved the proposal of ITD Corporation to implement 36 automatic toll gates in the surrounding streets of District 1 and District 3 and the neighboring areas with District 5 and District 10 with a total investment of VND1,200 billion (nearly US$53 million); however, the project could not be performed due to mixed opinions.

In 2019, the HCMC Department of Transport also proposed the investment of 34 toll gates for automobiles going to the city center. The gates managed by the Urban Transport Management Center were estimated to have a total investment of around VND250 billion (nearly US$11 million) from the city budget but it has not been implemented yet.

Vietnamese women abroad promote mutual support

Organisations of Vietnamese women have developed strongly among the overseas Vietnamese community, helping connect Vietnamese people and promote their mutual support with practical activities.

Formed in 2014, the Vietnamese Women’s Union in Malaysia has become a common house for Vietnamese women in the country.

Founder and President of the Union Tran Thi Chang, a doctor at the National Heart Institute of Malaysia, and members of the union have organised various activities to gather compatriots, especially women, to support each other in hard time.

Members of the union are working to launch a Vietnamese language course for Vietnamese children and Vietnamese brides in Kuala Lumpur, while giving free medical consultations to the Vietnamese community in the country.

Amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that lasted over the past two years, the union has accompanied Vietnamese people, especially workers meeting difficulties in the country. Chang and other members of the union have raised funds to buy thousands of gifts to deliver to Vietnamese communities in different localities of Malaysia.

Recently, the union has assisted them in getting COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Meanwhile in the Republic of Korea (RoK), which is hosting the largest number of Vietnamese brides in the world, many Vietnamese women have worked hard to settle down and integrate into the host society.

President of the Vietnamese Women’s Union in the RoK Mai Thi Hong Ngoc said that the union has done many things to assist the women in successfully integrating into the RoK society.

Besides, members of the union have organised cultural programmes to raise funds to assist disadvantaged people in the motherland, such as victims of flood and natural disasters or poor patients suffering from fatal diseases.

In Australia, the Association of Vietnamese Mothers led by Nguyen Bao Chau, a Vietnamese living in Melbourne, has become a corner for Vietnamese women to meet, exchange and support each other in all fields, especially in raising children in the country. The association has drawn the participation of over 12,000 members.

Since the pandemic broke out in the country, the association has given great help to single mothers and mothers who lost their jobs. Members of the association are also working hard to raise funds to support the frontline force in COVID-19 fight and pandemic-hit people in the home country.

Currently, the association’s activities have been expanded to all states across Australia./.

Hanoi greets around 5,000 visitors in October

The capital city of Hanoi welcomed approximately 5,000 visitors, most of them coming from localities inside the country, in October, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
The department also reported that the total revenue of the sector in October reached VND 14 billion.

Tourism activities in the city have been restarted since the municipal authorities allowed the reopening of selected facilities and services such as museums, parks, hotels and accommodation services establishment on October 14.

During the first three days following the decision, Thu Le park greeted 2,500 tourists, the Ba Vi National Park received around 500 visitors while 200 travellers went to Tan Da tourist site.

In the first ten months of this year, the capital city hosted approximately 2.92 million visitors and earned a tourism revenue of VND8.18 trillion.

To rejuvenate tourism, Hanoi’s hospitality sector has been actively renovating existing tourism products, including the night tours at Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Hoa Lo Prison, and tours to the Museum of Ethnology.

Travel businesses and management boards of tourist attractions in the city have also prepared plans to resume operations and services in the new normal state in accordance with regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control.

Vietnamese raise fund in support of Luang Prabang’s COVID-19 fight

Vietnamese Consul General in Luang Prabang province Nguyen Dang Hung on October 29 presented 25 million LAK (2,300 USD) to Secretary of the Party Committee of Luang Prabang city Viengthong Hatsachan in support of the host authorities’ fight against COVID-19.

The sum was raised by the Vietnamese community, association and businesses in the province.

Viengthong Hatsachan thanked the Vietnamese Consulate General, association and businesses in Luang Prabang for the gift, saying that it demonstrates the fraternal solidarity at a time when the city is battling with the most severe outbreak of the pandemic./.  

Top legislator chairs meeting on amendments to geographical indication regulations

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on October 29 chaired a meeting with representatives of the Government, ministries, sectors and NA agencies on handling acts of infringing upon industrial property rights regarding geographical indication.

The matter is one of the contents of the draft law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Criminal Procedure Code that the legislature is considering.

Speaking at the working session, Hue stressed that because there are many different opinions on this content, the NA Standing Committee, in principle, will consult the deputies.

He said it is necessary to revise regulations related to geographical indications in line with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement and Vietnam’s intellectual property strategy until 2030 to protect the interests of the country, consumers and the community.

The amendment will not only burden the State (because the right to prosecute or not prosecute still belongs to the competent authority), but also better the State management in this area, he noted.

The NA Chairman stated that, after this meeting, the NA Standing Committee will make a proposal to the legislature seeking its decision on a plan for regulations related to geographical indications, ensuring the principles of democracy and objectivity, and NA deputies will make the final decision./.

Vietnam, Russia review economic, trade, scientific cooperation ties

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Chernyshenko co-chaired the annual 23rd meeting of the Vietnam – Russia Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic, Trade and Scientific-Technological Cooperation via videoconference on October 29.

Both sides reviewed the implementation of the 22nd meeting’s minutes and discussed orientations and measures to further improve the efficiency of bilateral cooperation, towards the 10th anniversary of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership (2012-2022).

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral political exchanges, especially those at high level, have been maintained via videoconference. Trade between the two sides still grew at an encouraging pace while joint works across energy, oil and gas, industry and agriculture remained effective.

The two leaders suggested expanding cooperation into promising fields such as anti-pandemic, banking or renewable energy.

Thanh affirmed that Vietnam wishes to further enhance cooperation with Russia and stays ready to offer all possible support to the two countries’ energy, oil and gas firms. He agreed to step up a project on nuclear science and technology research centre, and other cooperation fields.

Chernyshenko, for his part, described Vietnam as a top significant partner of Russia in Asia-Pacific, especially in Southeast Asia.

He stressed that Russia wishes to further deepen ties in fields of potential and demand. He also pledged to further promote the efficiency of free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Concluding the meeting, the two deputy PMs signed the minutes of the meeting and agreed that the next meeting will be held in Vietnam next year./. 

Deputy PM values deepening of Vietnam – Kuwait ties

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai affirmed Vietnam always attaches importance to promoting sound relations with Kuwait while receiving visiting Kuwaiti Minister of Oil Mohammad Abdullateef M A Alfares in Hanoi on October 29.

Lauding Kuwait’s role and position in the region, Khai thanked Kuwait for creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese workers and expatriates in Kuwait, particularly amid COVID-19.

He hoped the two countries’ cooperation will grow across fields in the time to come, apart from oil and gas. Two-way trade between Vietnam and Kuwait surpassed 3.2 billion USD in 2020 and hit over 3.25 billion USD in the first nine months of 2021.

The Kuwaiti minister stated Vietnam is an important partner of his nation and expressed his hope for the bilateral relations to further develop across economy, trade and investment.

Labour is also a successful cooperation area between the countries, he added, wishing such collaboration will be boosted and more Vietnamese students will come to study in Kuwait.

The minister informed that the Prime Minister of Kuwait has decided to aid Vietnam 500,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and that the Government of Kuwait would consider offering more assistance to Vietnam in pandemic prevention and control.

Regarding oil and gas cooperation, he said that the Nghi Son refinery and petrochemical complex project, a joint work between Vietnam, Kuwait and Japan, has been successful in terms of technical aspect. He hoped that the Government of Vietnam will continue to support the success of the project.

In reply, Khai said that this is the largest petrochemical refinery project in Vietnam with capital from large oil and gas corporations. Considering it an important one, the Vietnamese Government has so far granted the project many preferential policies, he added.

Once operational, the complex will supply the Vietnamese market about 5-6 million tonnes of gasoline and oil annually, contributing to ensuring energy security./.

HCMC accelerates support on worker housing projects

Most of the businesses that can maintain production activities during the prolonged strict social distancing mandate in Ho Chi Minh City last time are those that have provided shelters for migrant workers. Therefore, the southern metropolis is accelerating support on worker housing projects.

Stable, decent-quality and affordable housing is also critical for communities and the overall economy. Housing instability can impede migrant workers’ ability to secure and maintain employment.

Deputy General Director of Ho Chi Minh City Finance and Investment State-owned Company (HFIC) Nguyen Hong Van revealed the financial solutions that the company has been implementing following the city’s above policy.

HFIC has determined to focus on supporting investment in housing projects for low-income people, workers, and student dormitory in its loan and investment index for the period 2021-2025 that has just been approved by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. In particular, the city’s stimulus program will give capital for worker housing projects.

Several housing projects for workers such as investment projects to build apartment complexes for workers in the resettlement area of Tan Tao Industrial Park, investment projects in housing for workers of Truong Thinh Investment-Construction Company and a worker accommodation project in Binh Chanh District’s Tan Nhut Commune have been financed by HFIC.

Currently, HFIC is supporting loan procedures for a worker accommodation project in Thu Duc City’s Thanh My Loi ward, which started on October 30, 2021. The project will provide about 1,100 apartments for employees, helping businesses in the area.

In addition, HFIC is also studying formalities for four other housing projects in District 7. City administrations are reviewing land funds for housing development for low-income earners in the period 2021-2025.

Furthermore, city authorities will consider the plan of industrial parks and export processing zones in connection with neighboring provinces including the Mekong Delta Province of Long An and the Southern Province of Binh Duong in a bid to create a land fund for worker accommodation. Preferential policies on tariff and land use charges must be considered to attract social contributions and ensure state management on rent.

Most rental houses are built by residents whereas the limited supply of worker accommodation from project investors; as a result, workers must reside in an unsafe and unhygienic environment in private rental houses.

It is therefore necessary that more people are eligible for low-interest loans for cheap commercial housing projects. Moreover, workers and laborers are entitled to ask for loans with low interest to buy a house.

Project investors who meet HFIC’s requirements will be given loans and HFIC will be willing to help them in completing formalities during the process.

Nguyen Van Be, Chairman of HCMC Business Association, said that approximately 288,000 workers are working at 1,500 enterprises in 18 industrial and export processing parks and hi-tech parks in HCMC.

However, existing dormitories in industrial parks and export processing zones just meet 5 percent – 10 percent of workers’ demand; hence, this is a favorable time for businesses to invest in expanding worker accommodation. The city should have policies to support loans, loan interest rates and simplify administrative procedures for construction permits to facilitate businesses’ worker accommodation projects at low prices.

Vice chairwoman of the Sai Gon Hi-Tech park’s management board Le Bich Loan informed that of 52,000 employees at hi-tech park enterprises, 36,747 of them need a house. The Management Board of Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park worked with Thu Duc City to determine the land fund for the construction of worker accommodation. She petitioned that the city should soon have the policy to allocate land to investors to speed up the construction of worker accommodation.

In particular, the city needs to issue a set of standards for the quality and specifications of workers’ accommodation, to deter investors from building poor-quality housing which is associated with various negative health outcomes on workers.

9th, 12th graders in HCMC might return to school in early December

The HCMC Department of Education and Training will propose the municipal government allow ninth and 12th graders to return to in-person classes in early December.

Director of the municipal department Nguyen Van Hieu was speaking at a conference on the 2021-2022 school year on October 29.

The reopening of in-person classes must meet Covid safety requirements and also depend on the Covid situation in each district, Hieu said.

All districts in the city will have to complete the Covid vaccination of students at high schools this week, while younger students will be vaccinated next as the vaccine is the key to getting students back to in-person instruction.

The director of the department said that the health authorities of districts were reinstating the status of those schools converted into quarantine centers. Some 250 public schools in HCMC will be returned to district authorities in November so that students can return to school in coming months.

As of October 28, two days after vaccinating children, some 40,000 children aged between 12 and 17 in 21 districts and Thu Duc City had been vaccinated against Covid-19, the local media reported.

After getting the second shot of the Covid vaccine in early December, students can attend in-person classes, he added.

Earlier, the municipal department mapped out a plan to reopen schools in areas at low or moderate risk.

Ambassador hails Vietnam as true strategic partner of France

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery has affirmed that Vietnam is a true strategic partner of France.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on October 29 ahead of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s France visit from November 3-5, Warnery wished that the visit would help materialise commitments by the two countires, as well as further promote bilateral strategic partnership.

According to him, Vietnam and France worked closely together within the framework of the United Nations Security Council. He thanked Vietnam for backing France’s bid to become a development partner of ASEAN and hailed ASEAN’s key role in the Indo-Pacific in external policies of the European Union member states, including France.

He also spoke highly of close collaboration between the two countries in dealing with global issues.

On the significance of the PM’s visit, Warnery said it demonstrates the importance of bilateral friendship and cooperation in various areas.

On environment field, he said the French Development Agency (AFD) is assisting Vietnam in mitigating the negative impacts of climate change. During the visit, the AFD will sign deals to provide financial assistance for Vietnam to expand Hoa Binh hydropower dam, prevent flooding in Dien Bien Phu, and connect renewable energies, including solar power, with the national grid.

About bilateral medical ties, he applauded the two countries’ efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic via Vietnam’s presentation of masks to France last year and France’s delivery of vaccines to Vietnam this year.

The diplomat also wished for breakthroughs in aerospace cooperation, especially via the signing of a cooperation agreement among the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the National Centre for Space Studies of France, and Airbus Group.

The French Government is stepping up the teaching of French language to Vietnam via different channels and for those of all ages. At present, two schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are working as those in France. Up to 40 percent of their students are Vietnamese, thus creating a close bond between young people and French culture, he said.

The ambassador wished that flights between the two nations would be resumed to welcome Vietnamese students back to France in the near future.

As part of the visit, he said both sides will also sign a document recognising each other’s certificates, thus creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese students to study in France.

France is ready to help Vietnam improve the operations of public agencies, digitalise administrative procedures and build electronic portals for public services, he stated.

The Vietnamese PM’s visit will take place following his attendance at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and visit to the UK from October 31 – November 3./.

Party chief receives new Cuban Ambassador

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a reception in Hanoi on October 29 for new Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam Orlando Nicolás Hernández Guillén, on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the historic meeting between President Ho Chi Minh and leader of the Cuban revolution Raul Castro.

General Secretary Trong expressed his belief that with his wealth of experience, the ambassador will make active and effective contributions to consolidating and deepening the special friendship between the two Parties and nations.

He suggested both sides continue with high-level exchanges among ministries and agencies, uphold existing cooperation mechanisms, carry out agreed plans and projects, and consider new fields of their strength.

The host also took the occasion to thank the Cuban Party, State and people for staying ready to help Vietnam, especially in COVID-19 vaccine cooperation. He expressed his belief that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), the Cuban people will overcome difficulties and successfully build a prosperous and sustainable communist nation.

Ambassador Guillén, for his part, spoke highly of bilateral collaboration in various fields and timely support that the fraternal Vietnamese Party, State and people provided for their Cuban counterparts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He vowed to do his best to make active and effective contributions to the special friendship between the two Parties and countries during his tenure.

The diplomat informed the host about achievements in the implementation of the Resolution adopted by the PCC’s eighth Congress in April, adding that Cuba is striving to complete vaccination for the entire population this year and gradually embark on the post-pandemic economic development strategy./. 

Int’l conference touches upon multi-aspects of Vietnamese studies

Researchers at the 6th international conference on Vietnamese studies (ICVNS 2021) have discussed various aspects ranging from history, language, literature, Sino-Nom, to ethnicity and religion, said Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS).

In his speech concluding the two-day event on October 29, Thanh said the conference also focused on the relation between Vietnam and the world, comprehensively covering the economic, political, cultural, social, legal, educational, and environmental issues of Vietnam from the perspective of Vietnamese studies.

Themed “Vietnam’s Active Integration and Sustainable Development”, the event was co-hosted by the VASS and the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, on both online and in-person forms.

The ICVNS 2021 mulled over diversified contents relating to different fields and sectors of social sciences and humanities presented in 10 panels. A total of 120 papers were selected for the discussion from more than 730 papers submitted by Vietnamese and international scholars to the event.

The conference featured a forum on the achievements and prospects of Vietnamese studies.

The next edition of the international conference is slated for 2024./.

Vietnam, Indonesia exchange experience in COVID-19 prevention, economic re-opening

Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang visited Bali on October 28 and 29 to exchange experience with local authorities in adapting and living with the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening the economy, and promoting trade, investment and tourism cooperation between the two countries.

During his trip, the diplomat met with governor of Bali Wayan Koster, deputy governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (known as Cok Ace), and many other local leaders.

Receiving Quang, Wayan Koster lauded Vietnam’s disease control efforts, on which he often gets updated.

He wishes the sides to increase experience sharing and exchange in fighting the epidemic and reopening the economy and further promote exchange activities, especially regarding tourism between Bali and localities of Vietnam in the coming time.

The governor and other local leaders valued the two nations’ traditional ties and friendship, which was fostered by late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Indonesian President Sukarno as well as generations of Vietnamese and Indonesian leaders.

They reiterated the efforts to open three direct flights between Vietnam and Bali, and organise a photo exhibition week on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Indonesia in 2020.

On the occasion, Bali leaders praised the contributions of the Vietnamese community in the island and pledged to create favourable conditions for the establishment of the association of Vietnamese in Bali in line with local law and regulations./.

USAID helps Vietnam promote renewable energy projects

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced 860,000 USD in assistance for three renewable energy projects in Vietnam during the fourth Indo-Pacific Business Forum on October 28.

The new funding supports USAID’s ongoing efforts to reduce risk and transaction costs for project developers to encourage increased private sector investment in Vietnam’s renewable energy development – a key driver of economic growth and resilience, said a media release from the US Embassy in Vietnam.

Specifically, the new funding announced today will support the TSV and Asia Renewables’ onshore wind farms (350MW) in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai, the INGINE Pacific’s pilot off-grid wave technology on Ly Son island, central Quang Ngai province, and the Bamboo Capital Group’s (BCG) offshore wind farms in southern Ca Mau (300MW) and Tra Vinh (200MW) provinces.

The funding is being provided through USAID INVEST, a global USAID initiative that helps reduce barriers for investors to mobilise and channel private capital into high-impact areas.

With a growing private sector and international manufacturing and export base, Vietnam has one of the most dynamic emerging economies in the Southeast Asia region, however current investment in energy, infrastructure, and health is insufficient to meet the country’s growth and development objectives, according to the media release./.

Students orphaned due to COVID-19 need psychosocial support: experts

School leaders and teachers need to work closely with families of children who have lost a caregiver due to COVID-19 to counsel them through their grief and offer them psychosocial support, experts have said.

A long-term, coordinated effort of teachers should be made with privacy, respect and sustainable principles to ensure children receive appropriate support, said psychologist Dinh Duc Hoi.

Private discussions between teachers and students should be arranged so that students’ family-related information is kept secret.

Hoi said that releasing private family-related information on social networks could have a detrimental impact on children who have lost one or both caregivers due to COVID-19.

Teachers should work closely with political and social organisations to offer psychosocial support to their students even when they move to other schools, he added.

More than 1,500 students in the city have been orphaned due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Department of Education and Training.

Duong Tri Dung, deputy director of the department, said that teachers and parents should work together to offer appropriate support for students as schools have adopted online learning due to the pandemic.

Schools have completed half of the first semester with fully online learning programmes for nearly two months.

A teacher of literature at a high school in Thu Duc city who declined to be named said that teachers needed to use various communication skills when talking to students who have suffered the loss of their caregivers due to the pandemic.

Inappropriate communication and care delivered by teachers could result in adverse consequences and cause students to be reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings, she said.

Pham Dang Khoa, head of the Education and Training Office in District 3, said that head teachers with trained skills and knowledge could help students without caregivers with their learning and long-term growth.

Nguyen Thi Diem My, a lecturer at the HCM City Pedagogical University’s psychology department, said that teachers needed to be fully aware of psychological changes among children who have lost a caregiver due to COVID-19 and give appropriate support./.

Vietnam-China youth friendship exchange opens

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee and the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) Central Committee launched the Vietnam – China youth friendship exchange via videoconference on October 29.

The event is to educate the two countries’ youths about the tradition of bilateral friendship, uphold their pioneering role in inheriting and fostering bilateral ties, and enhance the sharing of experience in youth union work and movements.

Speaking at the event, acting head of the HCYU Central Committee’s International Department Trinh Thi Mai Phuong hailed practical and helpful topics tabled for discussions at the event, believing that the exchange would become a bridge connecting the two countries’ young people, contributing to friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China.

Participants at the event discussed their joint work against COVID-19 pandemic, necessary skills amid the widespread global integration, effective models in the movement “I love my Fatherland” by Vietnamese youths and a series of activities for the mass by Chinese youths.

They also talked with Vietnamese and Chinese scholars, linguists and cultural researchers at the event.

The closing ceremony is scheduled for October 31./. 

Vietnam honoured as World’s, Asia’s Best Golf Destination 2021

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Vietnam is named the World’s and Asia’s Best Golf Destination 2021 at the eighth annual World Golf Awards held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

It is the second year that Vietnam has been honoured with the world title and the fifth consecutive year with the Asian title since 2017.

Despite the impacts of COVID-19, a record amount of votes was collected this year. The World Golf Awards celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism through the annual awards programme. It is part of World Travel Awards.

Earlier, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism was honoured as Asia’s Leading Tourist Board 2021 of the 28th World Travel Awards, after the first time it received the title in 2017.

The WTA also honoured Vietnam as Asia’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination, and Hoi An was named Asia’s Leading Cultural City Destination, Ha Long Bay as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction, and Cuc Phuong National Park as Asia’s Leading National Park./.

Education sector uses technology applications to improve students’ self-study

Regarding the task of the new school year in the context of the epidemic, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training Nguyen Van Hieu said that the education sector will continue using technology applications and implement digital transformation to improve students’ self-study in the school year 2021-2022.

Mr. Hieu made the statement at an online conference to summarize the 2020-2021 school year and implement the direction and tasks for the 2021-2022 school year yesterday organized by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training with the participation of Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Duong Anh Duc.

Additionally, Mr. Hieu added that educational institutions have made the most of face-to-face teaching and learning as well as improving the quality of teaching and learning on the internet and television.

According to the Department’s report, the education sector has completed the dual goal of both ensuring safety to prevent and control the Covid-19 epidemic and completing the school year plan in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Following the direction of the municipal People’s Committee, around 94.58 percent of educational institutions set up Covid-19 safety groups while all educational institutions meet safety standards according to the set of school safety assessment criteria.

During online teaching, teachers have had various initiatives including recording lectures, posting them on the school website periodically, online learning through Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook live stream tools, giving assignments through Zalo or Viber.

By the end of 2020, the total number of schools in the city was 2,366 schools, an increase of 40 schools compared to the prior academic year. Of 2,366 schools, there are 1,374 preschools, 507 primary schools, 283 junior high schools, and 202 senior high schools.

The total number of students in the whole city is 1,682,908 students, a decrease of 2,811 students compared to the previous school year. Some densely populated districts have suffered population pressure leading to large classes; therefore, students can’t take two lesson shifts per day.

The Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Education and Training said that in the academic year 2021-2022, the education sector will continue to improve the efficiency of administrative reform and state management simultaneously promoting educational institutions’ autonomy associated with self-responsibility.

In particular, in the coming school year, the education sector will develop training teachers to ensure the quality of compulsory education according to the program, especially information technology and foreign languages.

Mr. Hieu added that at the moment, about 250 schools that had been used as treatment facilities in the fight against Covid-19 have been handed over to the education sector while another 250 schools will return to the sector in November as scheduled.

The sector will conduct disinfection for preparation of welcoming students back to schools, the Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City will ask for the permission of the People’s Committee to teach ninth-graders and twelve-graders directly at schools.

Speaking at the conference, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc expressed that the 2021-2022 school year takes place in the context of the epidemic, so teachers and students faced many difficulties. As a result, teachers and students have been struggling with online learning in the first semester; worse, many teachers and students are not used to the new form of teaching and learning.

By the end of October 2021, approximately 97.66 percent of students in primary schools and 98.4 percent in secondary schools can have textbooks. Therefore, the education sector ought to continue to have more solutions to ensure 100 percent of students have textbooks.

Currently, the southern metropolis has 300 classrooms per 10,000 people, but due to the impact of the epidemic, many school construction projects have been delayed. Some districts such as Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Go Vap, District 12, Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon have fewer classrooms; hence, there are large classes in these districts.

In the coming time, the education sector will continue to coordinate with the health sector and people’s committees of districts to renovate educational institutions as well as speed up vaccination for students aged 12-17 in a bid to welcome them back to schools.

The Vice Chairman asked the Department of Education and Training to propose solutions and initiatives to support students and teaching staff facing difficulties in the sector. Particularly, educational institutions ought to develop teaching plans in both face-to-face and online teaching to increase opportunities for learners to access knowledge.

Thu Duc City starts social housing project with 1,000 units for workers

A construction project of 1,000 social homes for workers has been kicked off in Thu Duc City on October 30, offering affordable accommodation to around 3,000 people.

The project located at the address No.100 Vo Chi Cong Street in Thanh My Loi Ward covers on an area of two hectares, including the construction area of 1.5 hectares. It has four blocks, including three of 9-story buildings and one 5-storey building.

The project has a total investment capital of around VND 1,200 billion (US$52.6 million) and is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, HCMC Finance and Investment State Owned Company (HFIC) Nguyen Ngoc Hoa said that the company has offered financial support to housing projects for workers in Thu Duc City, including this project carried out by the Thu Thiem Group with a loan of over VND800 billion in response to the city’s policy on strengthening providing social homes for workers.

According to Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thu Duc City Hoang Tung, the construction is one of the first projects for workers in Thu Duc since the city’s establishment. The city has many processing and industrial zones, high tech parks with nearly 200,000 laborers.

About 70 percent of them are immigrant workers who are living in substandard rental housing and slums. Social housing development project for workers is one of Thu Duc’s key plans in the 2021-2025 period to meet a huge demand for housing.

Techmart 2021 exhibits post-harvest technologies
 
The Center for Statistics and Science and Technology Information of Ho Chi Minh City (CESTI) is organizing a virtual Techmart for post-harvest technologies on October 28-29, 2021 at the address of www.techmart.techport.vn

The Techmart this time attracts the participation of around 50 businesses in the field and educational institutes to display over 150 practical technologies for commercialization purposes.

This Techmart introduces technologies related to produce process and preservation after harvesting time to make highly nutritious products with no residues of harmful chemicals.

Typical technologies to appear in Techmart this time are digital transformation solutions for post-harvesting; an IoT platform to monitor and synchronize data in agricultural production; solutions to manage manufacturing and distributing systems with the ability to track product origin.

Techmart is an annual event to commercialize promising research results of research centers, educational institutes, and technological enterprises and for startup businesses to seek potential investment partners.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 31
Kien Giang to welcome domestic visitors next month

Businesses supported to effectively exploit science-technology development fund
 
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology has issued Plan No.1481 about instruction and support for businesses to establish and use their science-technology development fund during their digital transformation process from 2021-2025.

Enterprises mentioned in Plan 1481 are those sited in HCMC and set up according to regulations in the Business Law. They are allowed to deduct no more than 10 percent of their revenues assessed for business income tax in this period to establish their science-technology development fund in order to carry out scientific-technological activities.

This fund is supposed to finance such activities as scientific-technological activities to serve the digital transformation process, training programs, the building and maintenance of quality control systems, information infrastructure construction.

Conducting scientific research activities to make new products or services as well as upgrading technologies for digital transformation of businesses will receive a finance support of up to 30 percent from the city budget for this matter.

The Technology and Technology Market Management Division under the HCMC Science and Technology Department is responsible for cooperating with related state agencies to implement the content of this Plan for a term of one year from 2021 to 2025.

Helping facial-different children face the world with a smile

When Facing the World (FTW) began its work years ago, its modus operandi was to bring children needing complex facial surgeries from all over the world to the UK.

“We then saw a very high incidence of children being brought over from Vietnam; and we were then invited to go to Vietnam by another charity to see what the situation was,” FTW CEO and Trustee Katrin Kandel said.

The occurrence of birth defects in Vietnam is estimated to be ten times higher than in neighbouring countries.

“So it became clear to us that this would be the first country where we would roll out our programme,” Kandel said.

Over the years, the programme has succeeded in transforming the lives of many children and youth.

Finding new look

“My wife broke out into tears when she saw Chinh for the first time after giving birth to him.”

Pham Duc Dung, Chinh’s father, remembers the moment vividly, almost three decades on.

“She grieved for him and for herself.”

Pham Duc Chinh, 28, was born to a poor farmer couple in a small village in the northern province of Thai Binh.

He was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterised by craniofacial abnormalities. In Chinh’s case, this included down-slanting eyes, absence of cheekbones, underdeveloped ears and a cleft palate.

“His condition was so severe that he stayed at hospitals more often than home during his first three years,” the father told Vietnam News Agency. “I remember his being at emergency rooms all the time.”

When Chinh turned five, his parents decided he should have a normal life and must go to school like other kids do. They took him to hospital after hospital in Hanoi, only to learn that there was nothing much doctors could do about his condition.

The young boy’s facial deformities made school a difficult place to be. “Absent ears made it particularly hard for me to listen in open spaces like classrooms or halls.” But it was not the only problem.

“I was bullied by classmates and younger kids ran away from me in fear,” Chinh recalled.

As time went by, Chinh began to face up to the fact that his facial deformities would be with him forever.

Then, out of the blue, he got a call from a doctor at Hanoi’s 108 Military Central Hospital three years ago. The compassionate doctor offered to sign him up for a charity project run by FTW so that he could receive free reconstructive facial operations.

Chinh went through three plastic surgeries in just one year to reconstruct his eyelids, nose bridge and cheekbones. The surgeries were done at the Centre for Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery established in the 108 Hospital with FTW support in 2018.

“It has been more than a blessing to us,” his father said. They had been waiting for this opportunity for so long.

Now he is finally able to face the world with a lot more confidence.

Sustainable shift

FTW began running medical missions in Vietnam in 2008, during which a multidisciplinary team of medics operated jointly with their Vietnamese counterparts on complex surgical cases like that of Chinh.

Moving away from the model of treating one or two children a year at astronomical cost, the UK-based charity is now able to operate on thousands of children by providing continuous training for Vietnamese doctors.

FTW has so far awarded more than 100 international training fellowships to Vietnamese medics who were sent to top medical institutions in the UK, Canada and the US to observe and learn new techniques and approaches. A further 140 fellowships are currently in the planning.

“We went together as a team of medics from different specialties – anaesthesiology, resuscitation and emergency, neurosurgery, and others – to major hospitals in the UK and Canada, all expenses covered,” said Doctor Vu Ngoc Lam, Director of the Centre for Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery. He was one of the awardees who joined 3-4-week training courses with his colleagues from 108 Hospital about two years ago.

They were instructed in how to perform a number of specific medical techniques neither popular nor done properly in Vietnam, and given the opportunity to meet top experts in different fields.

“It is not difficult to access general information about these techniques from Vietnam, but the main point is that the courses allow Vietnamese doctors to observe, with their own eyes, how the techniques are effectively done,” Lam said. “This is very hard to understand just from reading documents.

“Many children have such complex problems that you cannot fix them with a simple operation,” Kandel explained. “It requires a whole team of doctors including non-surgeons, such as anesthetists, speech therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists… the whole support system has to work together.”

“Our focus is very much on enabling doctors from Vietnam to go all over the world to top medical institutions and observe how these teams work together,” she said, adding that this helps them “establish a relationship and then ultimately bring back or utilise in Vietnam what is most appropriate for Vietnam.”

The foundation expects that in the longer term it can go to another country with Vietnam taking part as the trainer, she added.

‘Learned a lot’

Nguyen Hong Ha, head of the Department of Maxillo-facial, Plastic, Aesthetic Surgery at the Hanoi-based Viet-Duc University Hospital, confirmed that FTW’s approach not only reduced costs, but also improved the professional skills of Vietnamese doctors.

“Instead of bringing some children needing surgeries to the UK, the foundation sends a medical mission to Vietnam. It can take advantage of local health care infrastructure while the mission can conduct operations for many children,” he said, adding that Vietnamese doctors have learned a lot from them.

Ha said he could never forget the first engagement between FTW’s experts and a local team seven years ago. They decided to perform surgery on an 11-month-old baby who had facial differences and a respiratory problem.

It took about 7-8 hours to perform the operation and it was a success in terms of facial improvement. However, the baby developed complications several days after the experts left.

Doctors at the Viet-Duc University Hospital consulted with the experts and agreed that another surgery must be done right away. This was done with consultation of foreign experts via the telehealth platform. Ten days after the three-hour second surgery, the baby was discharged from the hospital. Now she attends school and can speak normally.

“In the past, we didn’t dare to conduct operation on such complicated cases, but after working together with foreign experts, we gained confidence and can now handle up to 90 percent of the surgeries,” he told VNA.

Ha also said they used to contact FTW experts two times very month, but this has now become once every two months or even less, with consultation sought only in very complicated cases.

He said that with the availability of sophisticated equipment, his department can perform “single stage auricular reconstruction by pourous polyethylene frame using single incision endoscope-assisted for temporoparietal fascia harvest…”, in other words, ear reconstruction, one of the most difficult plastic surgery techniques.

“The Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery Centre of Viet-Duc University Hospital is one of a few centres in the world that can successfully carry out the technique”, he said, adding that the advantage of the method is that the patient only needs one surgery at a very early age (4-5 years) and can benefit from better aesthetic results than other methods.

Equipment support

Apart from providing corrective surgeries, the foundation has worked with its Vietnamese partners to identify medical equipment needed during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitated the donation of 28 advanced monitors worth 308,000 GBP (530,000 USD) to the country.

“We identify truly game changing equipment. We don’t donate consumables (things used once and then thrown away). We have donated items like microscopes, ultrasound machines and endoscopy towers,” Kandel said.

Since the latest phase of the FTW programme was launched, more than 2 million GBP of medical equipment has been donated, including inTouch telemedicine to Hong Ngoc, Viet Duc, K (Cancer) and 108 Military Central hospitals as part of expanding national and international links and treatment capabilities.

FTW has collaborated with the Royal College of Surgeon of England in granting global accreditation to the Viet Duc University Hospital and 108 Military Central Hospital.

“It was important for the foundation that the approach be assessed by an outside body. The accreditation has given the hospitals a standing within the international medical community,” Kandel said.

Talking about future plans, she said the foundation is hoping that international travel resumes and that doctors will be able to travel freely once again.

“We want to resume taking doctors from Vietnam for fellowships to all our partner hospitals in the USA, Canada and the UK.”

Kandel said the foundation also wants to restart sending missions to its partner hospitals in Vietnam, increase the telemedicine platforms internationally and finally continue to donate game-changing medical equipment.

For his part, Chinh, now a university researcher, is hoping to have one or two more surgeries to make eating and communicating easier.

“It is a test of my inner strength and destiny,” he said./.

Localities cautious over tourism reopening

After months in lockdown, several provinces and cities nationwide have resumed tourism activities and reopened for visitors under strict safety guidelines.

Many travel agents in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa have received domestic tourists who had “Covid green card” or “Covid yellow card” since October 16. Nha Trang City’s attractions, such as Ponagar Tower, Hon Chong Promontory, public beaches, hotels and Vinpearl Resort have also reopened.

Executive director of Champa Island Nha Trang Resort Hotel and Spa, Vo Thi Phuong Nha said that the resort must ensure the implementation of Covid-19 prevention and control rules and safety standards for room, restaurant and environment. The facility has received a small number of visitors for over ten days but the hotel staff is very happy and eager for the reopening of tourism sector.

Three 3-5 star hotels and resorts in Phan Thiet City, Binh Thuan Province have also welcomed the first delegations of tourists in recent days. At first, the province will focus on receiving domestic visitors and expects to greet international tourists in the first quarter of 2022, said Chairman of the Binh Thuan Province Tourism Association Nguyen Van Khoa.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has slightly lifted some Covid-19 restrictions on trans-provincial travelling and on swimming at public beaches since October 16. Service facilities in areas at the Covid-19 alert level 1 and 2 have been allowed to re-operate at 100 percent capacity. In the locations at the Covid-19 alert level 3, indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 25 people have been banned while accommodation and food services have been permitted to operate not exceed 50 percent capacity.

Mr. Nguyen Van Hau, an owner of a 40-room hotel in Vung Tau City said that accommodation units are required to build the disease prevention and control plan approved by district-level authorities. The provincial Department of Tourism has issued a document on asking hotels and resorts not to receive travelers from affected areas, such as HCMC, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An.

Most of localities cautiously launched disease prevention and control rules, including receiving at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine around 14 days after vaccination, displaying certificate of recovery from Covid-19 within six months, children who have not got vaccinated must have negative test result for Covid-19, collecting samples of all arrivals for Covid-19 testing, employees who directly contact with customers have to be fully vaccinated while others must get at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Director of the Department of Tourism of Khanh Hoa Province said that tourist businesses have to build prevention and control plan of Covid-19 and take responsibility for managing their employees and visitors. The department has coordinated with functional units to build pandemic response plan for tourists infected with the virus.

On October 26, the Department of Tourism of Kien Giang Province announced that the province will begin welcoming local tourists starting on November 1 and carry out a pilot plan on receiving travelers coming from the areas at the Covid-19 alert level 1 and 2.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lam Minh Thanh approved an experimental program on receiving international visitors having vaccine passport to Phu Quoc Island and charter flights to the island from November 20, welcoming 3,000-5,000 travelers per month via charter flights to the limited destinations in the province from December 20-March 20, 2022, receiving 5,000-10,000 people per month from March 20-June 20, 2022.

Long An agrees to share 300,000 AstraZeneca doses with Mekong Delta provinces

The Mekong Delta province of Long An has heeded a request from three other provinces in the delta—Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Dong Thap—to share 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with them.

The provincial government of Long An this morning, October 29, said it had proposed the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) allow it to transfer the doses to the three provinces mentioned above, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Earlier, on October 18, NIHE issued a decision allocating 350,000 doses of the vaccine to Long An in three phases. However, after reviewing its demand for the vaccine, Long An now needs 50,000 doses to give the second shot to its residents and set aside a backup amount to vaccinate workers who would come to Long An from other localities.

The leader of Long An then contacted the three provinces, saying it would like to share the vaccine with them to ramp up their vaccination rollouts for people aged 18 and older.

In response, the three provinces asked for vaccine support, with each expected to receive 100,000 doses.

According to the reply document from Dong Thap, its vaccination rate for those at 18 years of age and older is below 70%. In Ben Tre, the first-dose vaccination rate for those aged 18 and above is just over 60% and the second dose rate is over 14%. Tien Giang also said its vaccination rate remains low and has yet to ensure Covid safety. The three said it would be tough for them to reach the vaccination rate of 95% by the end of this year.

As for Long An, all of its residents 18 and older had received their first shots and more than 85% of this age group have been fully inoculated.

Of the 350,000 doses set to be distributed to Long An, the province has received nearly 50,000 doses, while the rest are being stored at NIHE.

Malaysian scholar hails Vietnam’s contributions to ASEAN

Vietnam’s contributions have helped strengthening ASEAN’s role, promoting resilience and bringing better initiatives to the region, according to Dr. Hoo Chiew Ping, senior lecturer at National University of Malaysia (UKM).

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Malaysia on the occasion of the end of the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits and related meetings, Dr. Hoo praised Vietnam’s contributions, especially to the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and to forming a COVID-19 vaccine and medicine supply chain for the region.

She said that ASEAN is one of the first regions in the world to have a COVID-19 response fund, so supporting research and development of vaccines should be a priority to make good use of these funds.

To maintain self-sufficiency in the vaccine-related issues, a supply chain of medical supplies will help enhance ASEAN’s resilience, she said.

Vietnam was one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to succeed in containing the spread of COVID-19 last year, as well as recent outbreaks, the scholar noted.

She also emphasized the need for Southeast Asian countries to create their own supplies in order to combat any global pandemic crisis in the future.

Vietnam’s contributions not only elevate ASEAN as a region in the international arena but also strengthen intra-bloc resilience, according to Hoo./.

Over 5,200 new COVID-19 cases documented on October 30

Vietnam logged 5,227 new COVID-19 cases, including three imported cases, on October 30, according to the Ministry of Health.

Among 50 cities and provinces nationwide reporting new infections, Ho Chi Minh City recorded the highest number of 1,042, followed by southern provinces of Dong Nai (679), Binh Duong (665), Bac Lieu (404), Kien Giang (298), An Giang (231), Tien Giang (223), Tay Ninh (203), and Soc Trang (190).

The national tally now stands at 915,603.

According to the Ministry of Health’s report, 2,831 patients nationwide are in serious conditions, with 290 requiring invasive ventilation and 15 on life support (ECMO).

In the past 24 hours to 5:30pm of October 30, the country saw 64 deaths from the disease. The death toll now hits 22,030.

On the day, additional 2,204 patients were given the all-clear, taking the total number of recoveries to 818,336.

By October 30, the country has injected over 80.52 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 23.91 million people now fully inoculated./.

Vietnamese association in Japanese locality receives Miyanichi award

The Vietnamese Association in Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture has just been awarded the Miyanichi Prize for international exchange by the Miyanichi Newspaper, for its great contributions to promoting the friendship between the Japanese locality and Vietnam.

According to the Miyanichi Newspaper, the Vietnamese Association in Miyazaki has organized and participated in many cultural activities, and it also serves as a bridge to promote friendly relationship between Miyazaki prefecture and Vietnam.

The association has supported Vietnamese expats living, studying and working in Miyazaki, through holding exchanges, giving help in translation and interpretation, and popularizing information about COVID-19 prevention and disaster warning.

In particular, in the landslide caused by the typhoon No.10 in 2020 in Shiiba village, the association launched a campaign to raise funds for supporting the families of two Vietnamese trainees killed in this disaster, collecting over 1.6 billion VND (over 69,000 USD).

Miyanichi is an annual prize awarded by the Miyanichi Newspaper to organizations and individuals that have outstanding contributions to Miyazaki prefecture in the fields of economy, science, culture and society, education and international exchange.

In 2021, the Miyanichi Newspaper presented nine awards to two individuals and seven organisations. The Vietnamese Association in Miyazaki was the only foreign organization receiving this award this year.

The Vietnamese Association in Miyazaki officially made its debut on October 16, 2021. However, the board for campaigning and preparing for the formation of the association was set up at the end of 2019. The board organized many activities such as translating the life guide of Miyazaki prefecture’s authority into Vietnamese, holding football tournaments, raising funds to support disadvantaged Vietnamese people, providing medical advices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organising Japanese and Vietnamese language classes./.

WriterZen becomes only Vietnamese representative at Ad World Conference 2021

Linh Nguyen (Daniel Nguyen), CEO of the digital content marketing platform WriterZen, was the sole representative from Vietnam at the Ad World Conference 2021, which was held virtually from October 27 to 29.

The conference drew the participation of more than 100 world’s leading experts in advertising and software industry as well as and representatives from Tech Giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

At the event, Linh Nguyen delivered a speech on building content to boost organic traffic growth for websites.

His participation at the conference contributed to promoting Vietnam’s advertising and digital content industry to international friends.

Just two months after its launch in May this year, WriterZen was established as one of the best marketplace deals in Appsumo history, with more than 4,000 paid users and 300 plus 5-star reviews across multiple independent solution review platforms.

Notably, WriterZen ranked 11th among top rated SEO software companies and top 4 in the list of easiest software to use on the G2 platform. To date, WriterZen has attracted more than 10,000 users from around the world.

20 outstanding young teachers honoured in Hanoi

A total of 20 outstanding young teachers were honoured at ceremony held in Hanoi on October 29 by the Hanoi Municipal Youth Union and the municipal Students’ Association.

The 2020-2021 school year is taking place in the context of the complicated and unpredictable developments of the COVID-19 epidemic across the country in general, and in Hanoi in particular. For most of the year, students have had to study online, which has greatly affected the activities of the Union and Association.

However, all levels of the Youth Union and the Students’ Association in Hanoi have actively changed their operation methods, applied information technology, digital transformation in accordance with the epidemic situation, actively participated in social work while gradually meeting the requirements of the international integration process.

On the occasion, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee presented the excellent emulation flag for the 2020-2021 school year to six universities and two high schools, and awarded certificates of merit to 12 collectives that obtained outstanding achievements in the implementation of the Youth Volunteer Summer Campaign 2021.

Vietnamese women abroad promote mutual support

Organisations of Vietnamese women have developed strongly among the overseas Vietnamese community, helping connect Vietnamese people and promote their mutual support with practical activities.

Formed in 2014, the Vietnamese Women’s Union in Malaysia has become a common house for Vietnamese women in the country.

Founder and President of the Union Tran Thi Chang, a doctor at the National Heart Institute of Malaysia, and members of the union have organised various activities to gather compatriots, especially women, to support each other in hard time.

Members of the union are working to launch a Vietnamese language course for Vietnamese children and Vietnamese brides in Kuala Lumpur, while giving free medical consultations to the Vietnamese community in the country.

Amid the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic that lasted over the past two years, the union has accompanied Vietnamese people, especially workers meeting difficulties in the country. Chang and other members of the union have raised funds to buy thousands of gifts to deliver to Vietnamese communities in different localities of Malaysia.

Recently, the union has assisted them in getting COVID-19 vaccine shots. 

Meanwhile in the Republic of Korea (ROK), which is hosting the largest number of Vietnamese brides in the world, many Vietnamese women have worked hard to settle down and integrate into the host society.

President of the Vietnamese Women’s Union in the ROK Mai Thi Hong Ngoc said that the union has done many things to assist the women in successfully integrating into the ROK society.

Besides, members of the union have organised cultural programmes to raise funds to assist disadvantaged people in the motherland, such as victims of flood and natural disasters or poor patients suffering from fatal diseases.

In Australia, the Association of Vietnamese Mothers led by Nguyen Bao Chau, a Vietnamese living in Melbourne, has become a corner for Vietnamese women to meet, exchange and support each other in all fields, especially in raising children in the country. The association has drawn the participation of over 12,000 members.

Since the pandemic broke out in the country, the association has given great help to single mothers and mothers who lost their jobs. Members of the association are also working hard to raise funds to support the frontline force in COVID-19 fight and pandemic-hit people in the home country.

Currently, the association’s activities have been expanded to all states across Australia.

Trung Vuong Hospital opens ward for seriously ill Covid patients

Trung Vuong Covid-19 Treatment Hospital, on October 29, established an intensive care unit (ICU) for Covid patients, according to Dr. Le Thanh Chien, director of the HCMC-based hospital.
Dr. Chien said the ICU for coronavirus patients is equipped with 50 beds, with 40 beds for critically-ill patients, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

The construction of the ICU started on September 7, when HCMC was enforcing the stringent stay-at-home mandate to slow the spread of the Delta variant. The facility was built on an area that was earlier the hospital’s parking lot, which covers 560 square meters.

The development of the ICU for Covid patients is aimed at keeping the hospital safe from Covid after it resumed its normal operations of admitting non-Covid patients, Chien said.

Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the HCMC Health Department, lauded the Trung Vuong Covid Treatment Hospital for saving many critically ill Covid patients with underlying medical problems.

Chau added that the latest wave of infections in HCMC has been brought under control and the city is on its way to adopting measures to live with Covid safely. Accordingly, medical facilities citywide need to prepare separate zones to admit Covid patients while also resuming their normal operations to receive and treat non-Covid patients.

Earlier, following the request of the city’s health authority, Trung Vuong Hospital on June 16 was converted from a Level 1 general hospital into the Trung Vuong Covid Treatment Hospital.

Coastal localities required to develop sustainable fishery exploitation

In order to ensure the sustainable development and long-term cooperation of fisheries and aquaculture, the industry must simultaneously carry out a lot of measures, including implementing legal fishing activities, complying with the EU Regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), modernizing the fleets of fishing vessels, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

In addition, the aquaculture sector needs also to focus on completing the legal basis in acordance with international regulations, investing in infrastructure and logistics, developing aquaculture to guarantee materials for processing and export, strengthening protecting fisheries resources and ocean life, he added.

after nearly four years of implementing the EC’s recommendations, the industry has basically finished the legal basic which is applicable to EU regulations.

The greatest weakness of the industry is the fisheries infrastructure restructuring. Coastal loclaities have detailed investment plans, excluding Da Nang. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the Ministry of Planing and Investment to sign a loan agreement with the World Bank (WB) to improve fisheries infrastructure in November.

The ministry is preparing to submit 10 projects and national programs on fishery investment to the Governemnt. Besides, localities are required to effectively implement guidance to surmount their existing problems and solve issues of IUU fishing soon.

At a virtual meeting with localities in September, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked coastal provinces to put an end to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to have the European Commission (EC)’s “yellow card” removed by the end of 2021. coastal provinces and cities across the country have strictly implemented measures to stop illegal fishing activities.

Localities with over ten infected families asked to get healthcare stations

A ward or commune of districts throughout HCMC having more than ten households with family members getting infected with Covid-19 has to established a mobile healthcare station to monitor and treat F0 cases (Covid-19 patients) at home, said Head of the Office of the city’s Department of Health Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai at a periodic conference held by the HCMC Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on October 28.

More stations will be set up if the localities have over 50-100 families with F0 cases. All family members must get tested for Covid-19 and take 14-day quarantine.

The residential area having two families and above of Covid-19 patients has been called as a community transmission cluster and temporarily blocked in 24 hours. All residents will be tested for the virus.

The quick response teams of districts and Thu Duc City must immediately transport severe Covid-19 patients with shortness of breath and oxygen saturation (SpO2) under 96 percent to hospitals while asymptomatic cases of F0 patients have been allowed to be treated at home and provided bag of medicines.

HCMC has given Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to 39,756 children aged 12-17 in 20 districts and Thu Duc City over one and a half days.

Based on levels of pandemic control measures, the People’s Committee of HCMC has firstly delegated the People’s Committees of District 7 and Thu Duc City to actively implement pilot plan on reopening alcoholic beverage services starting on November 15, said Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, Le Huynh Minh Tu.

wedding and event venues have been allowed to sell alcoholic drinks even after 9 p.m. but the seating capacity has to comply with the Directive No. 18 on continued prevention and control measures against Covid-19 and gradual economic recovery.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnam-news-headlines-october-31-788199.html

Society

Woman arrested after being wanted for 16 years in Vietnam

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Police in Vietnam have arrested a woman who had been at large for nearly 16 years after being convicted of a drug-related crime.

The Department of Public Security in southern Kien Giang Province confirmed on Sunday it had apprehended Le Thi Kim Tu, 41.

Police investigation showed that Tu and her husband were caught red-handed selling drugs in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2001.

The couple lived with their child in Hoc Mon District at the time.

In mid-2002, Tu was sentenced to seven years in prison while her husband got six years for illegally trading narcotics.

The woman was allowed to postpone her jail term as she needed to take care of her child, who was under 36 months old.

She was thus taken to Kien Giang Province so that authorities could supervise her during this period.

When Tu was ready to serve her prison sentence in 2005, officers found that she had run away from her place of residence.

The woman had been wanted by Kien Giang police since then.

Over the past 16 years, Tu had been living in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang after changing her name.

She had a romantic relationship with a local man and eventually lived with him and his family.

Following a recent argument, Tu attempted to attack her boyfriend’s mother with a knife.

Local police intervened in the incident and summoned Tu to their station for a working session.

Officers in Tien Giang eventually discovered Tu’s true identity and reported the case to their counterparts in Kien Giang Province.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211206/woman-arrested-after-being-wanted-for-16-years-in-vietnam/64572.html

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HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm

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The People’s Committee of HCMC has approved a decision to extend a pilot program allowing food and drink facilities to operate until 10 p.m.

HCMC: eateries continuously allowed to operate until 10pm

The decision that has not required eateries to close before 10 p.m. will take effect from now until December 31.

Accordingly, businesses are allowed to operate in districts with the Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2, resume on-site dining at 50 percent of their normal customer capacity in areas at the Covid-19 alert level 3 and move to mobile ordering and takeaway in the areas under the level 4.

The municipal government has also delegated chairpersons of the People’s Committees of Thu Duc City and districts to strengthen the inspection of food and beverage businesses serving alcoholic drinks and impose strict fines on violators

The city has seen the reopening of 9,796 food and drink services in Thu Duc City and districts, and 3,732 others selling alcoholic drinks from November 16-30, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

The experimental program allowing dining venues to operate until 10 pm daily has made outstanding contribution in stimulating consumption demand, production activities and trading; increasing State budget; creating jobs; and relieving the pressure on people, said the department.

However, many businesses have not ensured a safe distance of two meters between tables and registered for QR code yet. They have not got organizational business planning and publicized their maximum approved seating capacity. Some localities have not strictly carried out the inspection of food and beverage establishments’ activities.

On November 16, the HCMC People’s Committee previously launched a decision No.3818 on allowing food and drink facilities to resume on-site dining until 10 pm daily. The decision took effect until November 30.

Source: SGGP

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/hcmc-eateries-continuously-allowed-to-operate-until-10pm-798581.html

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Vietnam transport ministry floats quarantine regulation relaxation to restore int’l flights

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has mooted that the central government ease quarantine regulations and expedite recognition of ‘vaccine passports’ to prepare for resuming international flights.

The transport ministry submitted to the Government Office a document on solutions for restoring international flights, which was based on the suggestions of local airlines.

The government should request the Ministry of Health to consider the maximum relaxation of quarantine regulations for international arrivals, it said, adding that the country should gradually remove quarantine regulations for these passengers.

The government should task the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with speeding up the negotiations with countries and territories regarding the mutual recognition of ‘vaccine passports.’

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry of Information and Communications need to work together to establish a specialized app that allows flight passengers to file health declarations, which will assist in the control and tracing of international arrivals.

On November 30, the Ministry of Transport convened a working session with representatives of Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, and Airports Corporation of Vietnam to discuss the difficulties and solutions regarding the restoration of regular international air routes.

At the gathering, all airlines and airport operators agreed that international flights between Vietnam and other countries should be resumed.

To ensure feasibility, local airlines suggested the removal of quarantine regulations for passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease if they test negative for the novel coronavirus 72 hours prior to their flights.

Airport operators stated that they are ready to welcome back international travelers as all of their employees have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, while the airdromes are equipped with necessary facilities and equipment for pandemic prevention and control.

Representatives of relevant ministries and sectors expressed their support for the proposal, stating that the resumption of international flights will meet the travel demands of residents and promote the recovery of international tourism and the whole economy in general.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. 

Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, highly-skilled workers, and students have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements in place.

Vietnam has documented 1,309,092 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck it early last year, with 1,006,460 recoveries and 26,260 deaths.

More than 73 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one dose while over 54 million are now fully immunized.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/society/20211206/vietnam-transport-ministry-floats-quarantine-regulation-relaxation-to-restore-intl-flights/64565.html

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