Vietnamese, RoK top legislators hold talks
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on January 17 held talks with Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s NA Kim Jin-pyo who is on an official visit to Vietnam from January 12-18.
Welcoming the speaker to Vietnam on the first days of 2023, Hue expressed his belief that this visit will contribute to strengthening the relations of the two countries, including the two parliaments.
The two leaders agreed to continue consolidating political trust, especially in the context of complicated devleopments in international and regional situation. 
The Vietnamese top legislator emphasized that strengthening political and diplomatic trust will be the foundation to promote cooperation in other fields such as economics, trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges.
On the basis of the recent upgrade of the bilateral relations to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” status, the two leaders agreed to expand collaboration in technology transfer, human resources training, and defence technology.
Hue proposed the RoK continue assisting Vietnam in overcoming post-war consequences, including the project on the Vietnam-Republic of Korea peace village for the 2022- 2026 period.
They reached a consensus on soon achieving the goal of raising two-way trade to 100 billion USD by 2023 and 150 billion USD by 2030 in a more sustainable and balanced manner on the basis of making the most of existing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. 
According to Chairman Hue, digital transformation and energy transition bring both opportunities and challenges. On the basis of good political relations, the two countries need to strengthen cooperation to address issues in energy transition, especially to ensure the harmony of benefits and costs during the transition process to ensure fairness on global, regional and national scales.
The Vietnamese legislature is willing to organise exchange forums within the parliamentary framework to create legal frameworks for the formation of an equitable and sustainable digital transformation and energy transition ecosystem. 
Speaker Kim agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart’s proposals on the increase in the number of Vietnamese workers in the RoK such as skilled labourers, nurses, and information technology engineers. They also agreed on the promotion of vocational training for Vietnamese workers to meet the needs of Korean enterprises. He added that his country has completed domestic procedures for a bilateral agreement on social insurance between the two countries, hoping that Vietnam will complete its procedures to allow the agreement to be implemented soon. 
The two sides also agreed to regularly exchange information to remove problems related to visas and work permits in order to create the most favourable conditions for the two peoples.
Hue expressed hope that Kim and the Korean NA will continue paying attention to and protecting the legitimate interests of the Vietnamese community living and working in the country.
Vietnam supports the RoK playing a greater role and contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region, and continues to consider the RoK an important and long-term strategic partner, he said. He stressed that Vietnam will work closely with the RoK to successfully implement its role as the coordinator for the ASEAN-RoK relations in the 2021-2024 tenure. 
Vietnam always pays attention to and is willing to contribute to the denuclearisation process on the Korean Peninsula, and support efforts to maintain peace in Northeast Asia through dialogue, and by peaceful means, Hue stressed.
The Korean top legislator backs Vietnam’s stance on ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea in accordance with international law.
The two sides were unanimous in maintaining coordination in effectively implementing the cooperation agreements signed by the two NAs in 2013. They are considering the supplementation or signing of a new document to conform to the comprehensive strategic partnership and the current international situation.
The two National Assemblies will continue strengthening coordination and mutual support at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, making active contributions to maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the world, they said.
The two sides will maintain the exchange of delegations at all levels, promote the sharing of experience in law making, supervision and making decisions on important maters, and listen to the business communities and people of both countries with a view to creating a favourable legal environment for economic cooperation, cultural exchange and citizen protection.
Earlier the same day, Speaker Kim, his spouse and the RoK delegation laid a wreath in tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum.
In the evening, Chairman Hue is scheduled to chair a banquet for the RoK NA Speaker and his entourage.
Party leader receives visiting Speaker of RoK parliament
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong applauded the progress in the Vietnam – Republic of Korea (RoK) relations while receiving Speaker of the RoK’s National Assembly (NA) Kim Jin-pyo in Hanoi on January 17.
Welcoming his guest’s official visit after the two countries’ recent upgrade of their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the host leader said bilateral relations have been developing on the basis of the long-standing links, many common interests, complementary strengths, and achievements over the last 30 years since their diplomatic ties were set up.
He recommended the countries maintain close coordination to develop cooperation more substantively and effectively, in which focus should be put on increasing high-level mutual visits and meetings to enhance mutual understanding, discuss major policies and orientations for relations, and step up connections between their ministries, sectors, and localities.
In terms of parliamentary diplomacy, they should build on the cooperation outcomes and share legislative experiences to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Korean enterprises and people in each other’s countries, he added.
The Party General Secretary expressed his belief that the visit by Speaker Kim will greatly contribute to the comprehensive strategic partnership.
For his part, Kim agreed with his host’s opinions about the enhancement of bilateral connections, expressing his delight at the fast development of the Vietnam – RoK ties, especially the upgrade to the comprehensive strategic partnership.
The Vietnam – RoK relationship is a typical example in international relations, he opined.
He affirmed that the RoK attaches importance to Vietnam’s position in its new strategies and initiatives towards the region, including the RoK – ASEAN Solidarity Initiative.
The Speaker also pledged continued dedications so that the two countries’ relations will grow unceasingly, strongly, and effectively in the next 30 years.
Concluding the meeting, the two leaders agreed on major orientations for promoting relations between their countries.
Vietnam always views RoK as important, long-term strategic partner: PM
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that Vietnam always views the RoK as an important and long-term strategic partner during his meeting with Speaker of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s National Assembly (NA) Kim Jin-pyo in Hanoi on January 17.
Both host and guest noted with satisfaction that the two countries’ relations have been developing unceasingly in all aspects over 30 years since bilateral diplomatic relations were set up.
At present, the RoK is ranking first among foreign investors in Vietnam with total capital reaching 80.5 billion USD; second in terms of development cooperation, tourism, and labour; and third in terms of trade with revenue hitting 88 billion USD in 2022. About 8,000 Korean enterprises are operating in Vietnam. Meanwhile, some 200,000 citizens of each country are living in the other country, including about 80,000 multicultural families.
PM Chinh congratulated the RoK on its national development achievements and thanked the country’s State, NA, and people for their precious, practical, and effective assistance for Vietnam in the recent past.
Congratulating Vietnam on fast and steady economic growth amid difficulties, Speaker Kim appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s attention to the development of the Korean business community.
He called on the Government of Vietnam to support his country’s hosting of World Expo 2023 in Busan; continue facilitating Korean firms’ operations in Vietnam; help Korean banks open branches; facilitate RoK citizens’ travel, work, and life in Vietnam; and back the expansion of the RoK’s educational establishments in the Southeast Asian nation.
PM Chinh pledged to consider his guest’s proposals.
To achieve the goals of the Vietnam – RoK comprehensive strategic partnership, he asked Kim and the RoK’s parliament to continue promoting substantive, efficient, and effective cooperation; increase all-level delegation exchanges and meetings between the countries’ Parties, Governments, and NAs; intensify cooperation in security and defence, especially the defence industry; and help Vietnam improve the capacity of its law enforcement forces at sea.
As economic ties remain an important pillar of bilateral cooperation, Chinh asked the two sides to work together to fruitfully implement the Vietnam – RoK Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to raise bilateral trade to 100 billion USD in 2023 and 150 billion USD by 2030 in a balanced and sustainable manner.
Vietnam welcomes Korean enterprises’ expansion of investment, especially in high technology, science – technology, innovation, green economy, digital economy, digital transformation, clean energy, smart city, and eco-city development, the PM noted, calling on them to create conditions for Vietnamese businesses to take part in supply chains to help Vietnam soon become a centre of regional and global value chains.
He expressed his hope for the RoK’s continuation of ODA cooperation mechanisms and assistance for Vietnamese people in the RoK. He also pledged support for Korean investors and citizens in Vietnam.
At the meeting, PM Chinh also affirmed that Vietnam always pays attention to and is ready to actively contribute to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and that it advocates efforts to maintain peace in the Northeast Asian region via dialogue and by peaceful means.
For his part, Speaker Kim said the RoK supports and shares the common vision on the safeguarding of security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; the maintenance of peace, stability, and legal order; the peaceful settlement of sea disputes; and the ensuring of countries’ rights and legitimate interests in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Headquarters of Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology inaugurated
Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue and Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Kim Jin-pyo on January 17 cut the ribbon to inaugurate the headquarters of the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST) at the Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Hue said that the VKIST project is the fruit of the two countries’ cooperation in science, technology, and innovation, which is considered an inevitable trend of the times. 
He said in the past time, the governments of the two countries have always paid special attention to VKIST and expected that the success of the institute model would create a driving force to promote the transformation of the national innovation system, contributing to a breakthrough for Vietnam’s science and technology.
For his part, Kim said that the VKIST project is of great significance in the two countries’ cooperation in science, technology, and innovation.
This is also the largest project financed by the RoK’s non-refundable aid in the world and is also the project to support the establishment of the first public research unit of the RoK, he said.
Emphasising that the success of VKIST completely depends on the researchers of the institute, he expects researchers to devote themselves to VKIST to contribute to the industrialisation and modernisation process of Vietnam. 
The VKIST project is a development cooperation project between the two governments of Vietnam and the RoK. It is co-managed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Airlines, airports asked to ensure security, transportation during Tết rush
The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) has asked agencies under its wing to tighten control over order, security, and transportation during the Tết (Lunar New Year) celebration and spring festivals this year.
Specifically, Đồng Hới and Thọ Xuân airports were asked to provide services for night flights around the clock to meet demand.
Airports, particularly Tân Sơn Nhất and Nội Bài international airports, which are the busiest air hubs in Việt Nam, were asked to arrange proper staff and equipment to ensure smooth luggage screening and delivery.
Airports were also asked to arrange proper parking areas for shuttles so that passengers can find and use them conveniently.
Major airports such as Tân Sơn Nhất, Nội Bài, and Đà Nẵng were instructed to speed up the application of non-stop toll collection to avoid congestion when travel demand picks up.
The CAAV also requested its officials to strengthen internal inspection and supervision of the service of taxi firms allowed to operate at airports. 
Strict punishment will be given to violating drivers who are reported to cheat or overcharge passengers.
Airports were also required to urgently complete the maintenance of infrastructure and strictly comply with regulations and measures to ensure security and safety for under-construction maintenance works.
Meanwhile, airline operators were asked to develop plans and control measures to minimise flight delays and cancellations.
This year, people will have a seven-day holiday from January 20-26 for the Tết festival, the most important holiday of the year.
Nội Bài airport said over the weekend it received 80,000 domestic passengers a day on 400 flights, along with 22,000 international arrivals on 160 flights, a higher volume than usual but no serious congestion or long waits occurred.
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced that it will increase the number of flights for the fourth time to 108 with 20,000 seats in the January 16-30 period to meet skyrocketing demand during the Lunar New Year (Tet) Festival.
Flights will increase on major routes linking HCM City and Hà Nội, Vinh, Thanh Hoá, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng, and Huế.
In the period from January 6 to February 2, 2023, total flights Vietnam Airlines operates in domestic network will reach approximately 9,200, with nearly 1.9 million seats.
Previously, the airline made Tết flight increases in August and December 2022.
Vietnam Airlines advised passengers to make their travel plans early and purchase air tickets via its official sale channels. They are also encouraged to use online and digital check-in methods to save time. 
Veteran theatre director Doãn Hoàng Giang dies at age 85
People’s Artist Doãn Hoàng Giang passed away on Monday at his home in Hà Nội, from health complications due to old age, the Việt Nam Association of Theatre Artists said. He was 85.
Director Doãn Hoàng Giang was born in 1938 in Ninh Bình Province. He was a big name in Vietnamese theatre, culture and art.
Giang was one of the country’s bright young talents sent to the Soviet Union for education. His life’s ambition was to elevate the standard of performance on the Vietnamese stage, thus he and other artists spent their time studying and absorbing the essence of many cultures and art forms.
He studied acting at the Hà Nội University of Theatre and Performing Arts before deciding to pursue directing instead. Yet, after many years in the industry as an actor, he finally settled on the fact that directing is his true calling.
Giang is credited with helping to create a golden era of Vietnamese theatre in the 1980s and beyond.
His famous theatrical works include Hà My của tôi (My Hà My), Nhân danh Công lý (In the Name of Justice), Bài ca Điện Biên (The Song of Điện Biên), Nàng Sita (Miss Sita), and Hoàng hậu Ba Tư (Queen of Persia). 
In 2019, he staged a new version of the play Người mẹ trước vành móng ngựa (Mother in Front of the Bar of Court) which was based on the bestselling novel Madam X by American author Michell Avalon.
Additionally, the artist served as the Chairman of the Art Council of the Executive Committee for the Việt Nam Association of Theatre Artists for the 2014-2019 term.
50th anniversary of Paris Peace Accords celebrated in Hanoi
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a ceremony in Hanoi on January 17 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (Paris Peace Accords) (January 27, 1973-2023).
Prominent among the participants was former Vice President and former Foreign Minister Nguyen Thi Binh, who was head of the negotiation delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam at the Paris Conference.
The Paris Agreement was the result of the longest and most difficult struggle in the history of Vietnam’s diplomacy, with over 202 public meetings held over four years, eight months and 14 days.
In his remarks, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son recalled the negotiations and signing of the accord five decades ago, which together with previous ones like the Geneva Agreement in 1954, created a premise for the Vietnamese people to realise their aspirations for peace, national independence, national reunification and prosperous development.
Stressing the strategic significance of the Paris Agreement, the minister said the victory was the result of the indomitable struggle and the great sacrifice of the Vietnamese army and people on the political, military and diplomatic fronts under the sound leadership of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh.
Lessons drawn from the Paris Agreement negotiations, signing and implementation have maintained their values, even in the Party and the State’s foreign policy during the present cause of reform, national development and defence, he continued.
The diplomatic sector, under the Party leadership, is resolved to grow in a more professional, comprehensive and modern fashion, contributing to realising the aspirations, visions and targets of development set at the 13th National Party Congress.
Speaking at the meeting, Binh called the Paris Agreement a victory decisive to the path towards the liberation of South Vietnam and national reunification, saying it was the result of the nearly 20-year struggle.
She also highlighted the solidarity and strong support from the international community, which, she said, gave strengths to Vietnam both on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.
Expressing her pride of the nation and the Party, Binh said she believes that under the sound leadership of the Party and good national traditions, Vietnam will develop more strongly and sustainably.
Hélène Luc, Honorary Senator and Honorary President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association, affirmed that her sentiments and happiness in the signing day have remained intact.
HCM City holds Tet pandemic hike drill
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health has freshly held a COVID-19 pandemic scenario exercise to get the system prepared in case of a hike of infections to be caused by a new sub-variant of the Omicron strain in the upcoming Lunar New Year festival (Tet), the biggest and longest traditional event in Vietnam.
As per the January 17 drill, in the holiday period from January 20-26, the city’s centre for disease control (HCDC) and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) detected a new sub-variant of the Omicron strain. Meanwhile, the local hospital for tropical diseases and general hospitals saw their number of COVID-19 cases surging by 3-4 times, and over half of their beds were occupied. Most of the cases were symptomatic, with the number of severe ones requiring oxygen increasing.
In response, a meeting was held and procedures underway to resume the operation of the 100-bed Field Hospital No 13 to ensure the city’s capacity of receiving and treating severe patients and minimising the number of related deaths.
Tang Chi Thuong, director of the department, said apart from the drill, the sector has prepared necessary medicine and medical equipment, including 100 resuscitation beds, 100 ventilators, and two portable X-ray machines.
To take care of 100 seriously ill patients, 54 doctors and 108 nurses are needed, he noted, adding that the department has prepared a list to mobilise human resources from hospitals.
The city will also arrange 45 locations for COVID-19 prevention vaccination serving the locals during Tet.
Minister requires immediate repair of loopholes in vehicle registration
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Thang yesterday stressed his direction for Vietnam Register to focus on tackling current issues related to congestion in vehicle registration so that the transportation need of the public is satisfied at Tet holiday.
Accordingly, Minister Nguyen Van Thang concentrated on limits and weaknesses in the organization tasks when carrying out the vehicle registration procedure. He then requested that Vietnam Register address four major problems in automobile registration: institutional building, registration regulation promulgation, administrative reform, and decentralization.
Particularly, Vietnam Register must urgently review and submit a proposal for the amendment of Decree No.139/2018/ND-CP promulgating business conditions for automobile registration services to address limits and loopholes leading to possible law violations lately. Vietnam Register is also asked to increase its inspection on vehicle registration processes from the pre-, while-, and post-stages using IT tools.
Also, any vehicle registration units that neither satisfy requirements nor observe laws must have their permit withdrawn. Sufficient human resources must be assigned to operational units to address congestion there and timely tackle any possible problem arisen.
Yesterday morning, HCMC allowed 4 suspended automobile registration centers to reactivate, increasing the total available centers in the city to 13 in order to help cease the congestion of nearly-expired vehicles waiting to complete the procedure.
Activities in pedestrian space in Hanoi’s heart suspended during Tet
Pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem lake at the heart of Hanoi will suspend activities during the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival from January 20 (or the 29th day of the last lunar month).
The space will reopen at 7pm on February 3, the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district announced on January 17.
Chairman of the committee Pham Tuan Long said that this move aims to facilitate the traffic during the Tet – the largest festival in year of Vietnamese people.
With its cultural, historical, landscape and architectural values, the Hoan Kiem Lake area has long been a tourist attraction, especially during holidays.
A firework show is scheduled to be launched in this area on Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Art exhibition celebrates the Year of the Cat opens in Hanoi
An art exhibition themed “Draw the Cats” opened at Van Mieu- Quoc Tu Giam or Temple of Literature – the first university in Vietnam – on January 17 to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year 2023 – the Year of the Cat.
Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS), said that the exhibition is a space to popularise the image of the cat – the zodiac animal for the upcoming Lunar New Year.
On display are 76 outstanding art works including lacquers, oil paints, acrylics and coloured wood carvings, which were selected from hundreds of entries from 900 applications.
The Cat is the fourth animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac, taking place of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac and it’s believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded and ingenious.
Le Xuan Kieu, Director of Centre for Scientific and Cultural Activities Van Mieu- Quoc Tu Giam, said the event is expected to turn the premise into a space to inspire creativity among youngsters.
The exhibition will run through January 29 at Van Mieu- Quoc Tu Giam and at VICAS Art Studio from January 31 to February 28.
Indian newspaper: Vietnam could be Asia’s next industrial hotspot
Vietnam has increasingly become a burgeoning industrial hub, especially for tech and apparel, wrote an article published by India’s on January 14.
The article said while parts of Asia are still recovering from the global pandemic, Vietnam’s economy has boomed, reaching an impressive 8.02% increase in GDP by the last quarter of 2022 – that’s faster than other major regional economies in Asia. Its export revenue hit 372 billion USD, up 10% year-on-year.
Explaining the boom of Vietnam’s industry, it said part of the reason is the disruption to supply chains on the Chinese mainland, Asia’s largest manufacturing hub, as factories were subject to shutdowns during COVID-19. Companies turned to alternative locations to continue and diversify their production streams.
Moreover, Vietnam has a competitive labour force and low manufacturing costs. It has a young and growing population of 97 million, 70% of whom are under 35 – that’s a considerable labour force for the manufacturing industry.
The article also noted that Vietnam is strategically located along a strip of 3,200km coastline which makes the country, particularly the north, an effective location for shipping cargo in and out. The government has been investing in development projects to improve the country’s infrastructure, particularly in the northeastern cities, to create a more attractive travel destination, and ultimately a more connected port and industrial hub, it said.
Another reason is that more companies are moving in Vietnam which is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of tech and apparel, with big brands like Nike, Adidas and Samsung operating across the country. Google’s newest Pixel phone, too, will be made in Vietnam, while Microsoft started shipping Xbox game consoles from Ho Chi Minh City in 2022.
Reports have also emerged that Apple supplier Foxconn is investing 300 million USD to expand their factories in the north of the country, and Dell, HP, Nintendo and Lenovo are all planning on setting up plants in the country as well.
Additionally, the Vietnamese government has been making strong efforts to make trade easier between Vietnam and the rest of the world. The nation has signed several free trade agreements with the EU, UK and nations across the Asia-Pacific, opening up the country to more trade opportunities, especially to the west.
Another strong driver of trade is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal to which Vietnam is a member, the article said.
Vietnam improving legal framework to attract green finance, green technology
Vietnam is actively implementing a roadmap for an improved legal framework for better attracting green finance and green technology; and encouraging green production and investment, said Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha.
He made the statement on January 16 while attending a dialogue on green finance and sustainable development within the framework of the 53rd World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2023 in Davos, Switzerland.
Speaking at the event, Ha emphasised that considering the green economy and green transformation an important growth engine in the long term, Vietnam is facilitating green transition, energy transition and transition to a circular and low-carbon economy.
In addition, in the context of digital transformation in all fields and at all levels in the country, Vietnam requires cooperation in digital transformation and exploitation of digital resources.
Ha called on corporations to step up investment, support Vietnam in green growth, and well implement international commitments to sustainable development and climate change, including those deliverd at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.
Vietnam Post to issue stamp collection on Paris Peace Accords
A postage stamp collection on the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (Paris Peace Accords) is set to be issue on January 27, also the date on which the document was reached five decades ago.
Published by the Ministry of Information and Communications and Vietnam Post, it includes a 46x31mm stamp valued at 4,000 VND (0.17 USD). The stamp features the image of the four parties involved around a giant table as part of their roundtable discussion at the Kléber international convention centre in France. Designed by artist Nguyen Du from Vietnam Post, the image has the brown-yellow-black tone, instead of its original black and white colour, to reflect the tense atmosphere of the event.    
The collection will remain in circulation until December 31, 2024. It was the second collection by Vietnam Post on the historical event, with the first consisting of two stamps and issued on January 27, 1975.
The Paris Peace Accords was signed on January 27, 1973 by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam, and the US, after 201 open sessions, 45 high-level private talks, 24 secret meetings, 500 press conferences, 1,000 interviews and hundreds of get-togethers in support of Vietnam.
The agreement put an end to the longest and most difficult struggle in the history of Vietnam’s diplomacy.
Exhibition on Party, President Ho Chi Minh opens in Binh Thuan
The Ho Chi Minh Museum branch in the south central province of Binh Thuan has opened an exhibition showcasing paintings, photos and documents on the Party and President Ho Chi Minh at Duc Thanh relic site where he had taught before he left the country to seek ways for national salvation.
The exhibition, which will remain open to visitors until the end of February 6, is part of activities to celebrate the 93rd founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3, 1930-2023).
It is expected to contribute to educating people on the glorious tradition of the Party, the country and Binh Thuan province in the national liberation, building and safeguarding cause; introducing visitors to the great achievements of the Party in the past 93 years; and highlighting President Ho Chi Minh’s great contributions to the nation.
Photos featuring the beauty of Binh Thuan’s landscapes and people are also showcased at the exhibition.
COVID-19 spurs digital transformation in health sector: experts
The COVID-19 pandemic is a catalyst for speeding up the digital transformation in the health sector, according to experts.
Nguyen Truong Nam, Deputy Director of the Informatics Department under the Ministry of Health Ministry, during the two years of the pandemic, doctors have been accustomed to the application of information technology solutions in medical examination and treatment. The Internet access also facilitates the online check-up and treatment process, he told Dau tu (Investment) newspaper.
According to Nghe An province’s Department of Health, software on medical examination, treatment and health insurance payment has been applied at all health facilities in the locality.
Electronic medical records have been used at three public hospitals and all administrative procedures have been conducted on the province’s portal, it said.
Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan said that despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the health sector has successfully carried out a telehealth programme that connects with more than 1,000 health centres across the country, with thousands of people getting free medical consultions, examination and treatment.
Nguyen Huy Dung, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said that healthcare is one of the pioneers in adopting shared digital platforms with an aim to help doctors improve the quality of medical examination and treatment as well as enable people to access more convenient services.
According to Nam, the health sector targets all hospitals using electronic health records instead of paper-based ones by 2025.
Quang Nam strives to conserve elephant species, habitat
Quang Nam’s elephant species and habitat conservation area has been making efforts to fulfill its mission of protecting a herd of eight wild elephants – considered one of the last populations of the endangered Asian elephant in the central province.
The herd, including five matriarchs and calves, has lived in the 20,000ha conservation since its establishment in 2017.  
Mai Van Duong from the management board of the centre said people used to go in and out of this area a lot, encroaching on the elephants’ habitat. Since the establishment of the reserve, restricted human impact has helped improve the habitat and the animals’ health.
To prevent conflicts that might affect the living environment of the herd, the management board has organised communications campaigns and technical training for residents and provided them with some equipment such as loudspeakers and solar lights. When the elephants appear, locals can use lights to make them return to the forest instead of going deeper into the residential areas surrounding the sanctuary. The board has also planted a 5m honey locus fence to keep the group in their safe location.
UN official hails Vietnam’s efforts in caring for children
Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), had a meeting on January 16 with UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence against Children Najat Maalla M’jid who updated Giang on the outcomes of her recent visit to Vietnam and discussed measures to promote bilateral cooperation in the time to come.
Najat Maalla M’jid showed her pleasure at the fruitful visit, and highly valued Vietnam’s policies, law and socio-economic efforts and achievements as well as attainments in implementing sustainable development goals, caring for and protecting children, especially those in difficulty.
She affirmed that she will continue to provide Vietnam with policy consultations for law and institution completion, while assisting the country in mobilising outside resources for better life and future for children, especially those from ethnic minority groups and far-flung areas, ensuring that no one is left behind.
Ambassador Giang spoke highly of the Vietnamese visit by Najat Maalla M’jid and the support that UN agencies have given to Vietnam in caring for and protecting children.
The Vietnamese Government always give top priority to children and the centre of all development policies, he stated, affirming that the country will continue to closely coordinate with the UN in this field.
New Year wishes to residents, soldiers in Truong Sa
Lunar New Year (Tet) wishes were extended to residents and soldiers in Truong Sa (Spratly) island district via a live television programme organised by authorities of the central province of Khanh Hoa on January 17.
Tran Thi My Dung, a Truong Sa resident, said her family and others have received many Tet gifts from the mainland, adding that over the past few days, local residents, officers and soldiers have cleaned up the surroundings in preparation of the country’s most important annual festival.
Tran Danh Hoang, chairman of the People’s Committee of the district’s Sinh Ton commune, said that his locality had received all necessities from the mainland.
Soldiers said although they are living on islands, they always feel the warm and close like on the mainland. They affirmed that they will try their best to perform the tasks assigned on them.
On this occasion, provincial authorities handed over gifts to families of outstanding military personnel who are on duty on Truong Sa.
Book, exhibition mark Paris Peace Accords anniversary in France
L’Historique de Verrières (Historical Association) in Verrières-le-Buisson city on the outskirts of Paris has opened an exhibition of photos, documents and newspapers on the wartime in Vietnam, as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam (Paris Peace Accords) 50 years ago (January 27, 1973).
The delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam to the Paris Conference stayed at No 49 (now No 17) Cambacérès Street in Verrières-le-Buisson for the negotiation process from 1968 to 1973.
Some 20 large-sized panels about the war and the accords are displayed at the city hall.
Visitors can also have a look at precious documents extracted from a collection of hundreds of articles by French and international press, which are collected into a book titled “1968-1973 Verrières-le-Buisson: Havre De Paix” (1968-1973 Verrières-le-Buisson: Haven of Peace).
Christian Gautier, one of the book’s authors, said that when he was a child, his family lived opposite the house where the delegation stayed, and every May 1, he used to pick flowers – a symbol of good luck – to give to Nguyen Thi Binh who was then Foreign Minister, and Head of the Delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam to the Paris Conference.
Gautier has the hobby of collecting newspaper articles, including many about Vietnam. Fifteen years ago, he thought he should gather together articles, pictures, and documents related to the Vietnam War, particularly those about the city of Verrières-le-Buisson and Vietnamese friends during that period.
According to him, he collected articles from both French and international newspapers and magazines, with all political trends, leftists or rightists, opposers or supporters, but almost all support peace for Vietnam.
On the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, Christian Gautier and some of his friends published the book “1968-1973 Verrières-le-Buisson: Havre De Paix”.
For the celebration of the 50th anniversary, Historical Association in Verrières-le-Buisson city republished the book with added documents.
Tourism activities must be organised sufficiently during Tet
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism has recently requested the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism in provinces and cities to ensure tourism activities on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet).
The administration said that people nationwide will have a long vacation, and international and domestic tourists are expected to increase so some tourism spots may be overcrowded.
Therefore, the administration asked the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the provinces and cities to strengthen the management and inspection of the quality of tourism services, especially accommodation services, transport, travel activities, tour guides, catering in tourism attractions and entertainment facilities.
The departments must coordinate with relevant agencies to ensure security and safety for tourists, promptly detect, prevent and resolutely handle acts of stalking and troubling tourists, as well as implement the regulations and instructions of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the prevention of diseases, especially the prevention of COVID-19 infection.
The departments were also asked to guide the management boards of tourism areas and establishments to actively develop plans and organise activities to serve tourists during Tet.
The businesses should prepare enough food and goods to serve tourists. Prices must be publicly listed.
The relevant units must review the facilities, promptly repair damages, strictly implement measures to prevent the spread of diseases and ensure food safety and hygiene.
Restaurants and catering establishments should only use food of clear origin, and not use colourants and potentially harmful additives.
Hotels and restaurants should ensure sufficient human resources to serve and support tourists and collect garbage and waste everyday.
French films to be screened online for free during Tet holiday
A collection of 16 French famous films are set to be screened free of charge via online movie platforms from January 18 to February 18, allowing local people to enjoy viewing them throughout the Lunar New Year, known as Tet in Vietnam.
The French film festival is to be held by the French Institute in Vietnam (L’Espace) in co-ordination with BHD Company.
This represents the fifth consecutive year that event has been organised with the aim of introducing French movies to Vietnamese audiences. Previous events held in the past attracted over one million views each year.
As many as 16 films from a range of different genres such as documentaries, comedies, dramas, classics, and short films will be screened. Movies are to be shown with Vietnamese subtitles.
The movies on offer include Au Poste!, Sauver ou périr, Plonger, Le vin se lève, Selfie, Messe basse, Les magnétiques, Pettite nature, Une histoire d’amour et de désir, À propos de Joan, À nos amours, Anxious body, Histoire de 2 trompettes, Nuisibles, Please don’t touch, and Ronde de nuit.
French films will be introduced to the audiences through online movie platforms such as VOD DANET, FPT PLAY, and FPT Television.
Vietnam, EU, and Germany partner to enhance public financial management
The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance, the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, and the German Embassy in Hanoi co-hosted the first meeting of the steering committee of the project on “Strengthening Public Financial Management in Vietnam” on January 17 in Hanoi.
With a total EUR14 million in funding coming from the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the ultimate objective of the project is to contribute to poverty alleviation and sustainable growth in Vietnam.
During the course of the event, Vietnamese Vice Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi emphasised that the project, which is being co-financed by the EU and the German Government, is an important part of the wider roll-out of Vietnam’s National Financial Strategy for the 2021 to 2030 period.
He added that the three focus areas of the project are also priorities of the Ministry of Finance moving forward, with high hopes that the tripartite co-operation among the Ministry of Finance, the EU, and the Federal Republic of Germany will be successful.
For his part, EU Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti noted that the EU remains strongly committed to supporting sustainable development and inclusive growth in Vietnam. Indeed, strengthening economic governance, such as public financial management, is of great significance in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the initiative “Collect More – Spend Better”.
He went on to reveal that the “Strengthening Public Financial Management in Vietnam” project is part of the ongoing EU-supported Enhancing Economic Governance Programme, expressing hope that it will contribute to the country’s macroeconomic stability and enhance the Government’s ability to implement fiscal policies.
The four-year project reaffirms Germany’s long-standing commitment aimed at supporting the country to achieve its sustainable development goals. With extensive experience gained from partnerships and joint initiatives, including with the Ministry of Finance, Germany remains fully committed to collaborating with the Vietnamese side in the strengthening of public finances.
A robust public finance management system will therefore make substantial contributions to the country’s long-term socioeconomic growth.
With the implementation of the project over a period of 66 months by German Development Cooperation GIZ along with the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance, the purpose of the project is to improve state budget management. This is along with boosting revenue forecasting, enhancing the management of public debt, and improving both the local tax environment and revenue mobilisation.
4.8 million Hà Nội residents can use ID cards in health checkups
More than 4.8 million Hà Nội residents have had their health insurance cards integrated into their chip-based ID cards to date, of which 271,000 people have put them into use.
Hà Nội Social Security (HSS) has coordinated with local health departments to facilitate medical checkups and treatment covered by integrated insurance cards, said agency director Phan Văn Mến, adding that 590 medical facilities in Hà Nội have accepted the ID cards for their services.
According to the HSS, 7,738,435 people in Hà Nội have so far this year joined health insurance, up 256,303 from last year’s figure, raising the rate of health insurance coverage to 92.9 per cent, exceeding the target set by the municipal People’s Council and People’s Committee.
Warm Tet atmosphere covers Truong Sa islands
As spring is just around the corner, officers, soldiers and residents on Truong Sa’s islands in the central province of Khanh Hoa are busy preparing for the Lunar New Year (Tet) – the biggest festival in a year of Vietnamese people.
Phan Nguyen Xuan Thuy, a resident on Sinh Ton island, said that Tet essentials in remote Truong Sa are sufficient to manifest the traditional features of the Vietnamese people. Everyone is busy preparing traditional foods and five-fruit trays, and decorating apricot trees to welcome guests who are officers and soldiers on the island.
The most exciting are the making of ‘banh chung’ (square sticky rice cake), art exchanges, and participation in traditional folk games by both soldiers and residents, Thuy added.
Fresh in his mission on Sinh Ton island, sailor Truong Ngoc Quang said that this will be the first time he celebrates Tet away from home but in a very special place.
Putting aside his homesickness, the young soldier said he is determined to complete his mission and preparing to celebrate Tet with his comrades-in-arms on the island.
Truong Sa officers, soldiers and residents are not left lonely, as ships from the mainland keep visiting them one after another on the approach of Tet.
Unloaded from the ships are not only Tet gifts and necessities to serve their daily life, but also the affection and attention of people nationwide towards Truong Sa.
All these have been making Tet in Truong Sa warm and special so that officers and soldiers on duty there can fulfil all assigned tasks.
Tuyen Quang-Ha Giang expressway to be built
The northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang has decided to invest 6.8 trillion VND (207 million USD) to construct an expressway connecting with its neighbour, Ha Giang province.
The investment capital consists of more than 4.49 trillion VND (189 million USD) from the State budget and over 2.3 trillion VND (97 million USD) from the local budget.
The project’s implementation period is scheduled to last until 2025.
The Traffic Construction Projects Investment Management Board of Tuyen Quang province has been assigned to be the investor of the project.
The two-lane expressway is designed to have a total length of 77km, starting from the intersection of Tuyen Quang-Phu Tho expressway and national highway 2D in Nhu Khe commune, Yen Son district of Tuyen Quang province to Km77 00 through Ha Giang province.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes


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