Political Headlines December 24

President: Court sector keeps up with judicial reform
President Truong Tan Sang said he believes the court sector will keep up with the reform of the judicial system in line with the newly-adopted Constitution and Party’s Resolutions.

President Truong Tan Sang and officials of the Supreme People's Court. (Photo: VNA)

President Truong Tan Sang and officials of the Supreme People's Court. (Photo: VNA)

At a working session with the Supreme People’s Court in Hanoi on December 23 to review this year’s judicial reform and launch its tasks for 2014, President Sang hailed its efforts this year and asked for a review of the implementation of the Party’s Resolutions and State laws.

At the same time, the court must improve judges’ performance by training them in professional skills and ethics, he noted.

Top officials of the Supreme People’s Court reported to the President that the sector has dealt with nearly 365,000 legal cases this year, or 92.3 percent of the total, up more than 34,400 from last year. Basically, the quality of legal proceedings has improved.

Additionally, it has fulfilled its role as a mediator for all sides in a dispute.

In the settlement of appeal requests, the court and its provincial-level bodies have resolved over 7,400 lawsuits, a year-on-year rise of 5.3 percent.

In the legislation, it has been drafting and perfecting three bills and three ordinances while providing input on other laws and legal documents.

On the enforcement of criminal sentences, the first instance courts handed down verdicts to some 129,000 defendants and granted remissions to over 52,000 with good rehabilitation records.

The court, however, also acknowledged that the number of cancelled or amended indictments has yet to fall as expected, especially in administrative cases.

PM exhorts trade counsellors to facilitate export growth

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday (Dec 23) urged trade counselors and officials at overseas missions to work harder to expand the country’s export markets and facilitate business in the industrial, farming and service sectors.

In a meeting held in Ha Noi, the Prime Minister also called on the officials to increase their contributions to negotiations underway on a series of trade agreements at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

He said they should come up with proposals tailored to the export of each commodity so as to avert protectionist barriers in importing countries.

For their part, the trade counselors asked relevant ministries, agencies and localities to implement agreements reached between Vietnamese and foreign leaders.

Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, said at the meeting that two-way trade volume has gone up to US$132.2 billion this year, up 15.4 per cent from 2012.

Despite turbulences in several foreign markets, some sectors including garment and textiles, leather and footwear, woodwork, electronic products and spare parts have gained stronger footholds, he said.

The ministry aims for an export growth of over 10 per cent next year and a trade deficit of six per cent, Hoang said.

It will also work to realise international commitments and speed up negotiations for the early signing of free trade agreements, he added.

South Korea supports Viet Nam youth leadership project

Some 600 educated Vietnamese young people will be selected to work as local leaders in 62 poor districts across the city under a project supported by the Korean International Exchange Fund.

The project, which is the focus of the Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday, Dec 23, in Ha Noi between the Korean International Exchange Fund and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Home Affairs, aims to encourage strategic co-operation between the two nations.

The 600 young people, who will work as vice chairmen/chairwomen of the communal people’s committees, will be selected on the basis of their college degrees and other outstanding qualifications compared with their peers.

The co-operation programme will continue for five years. About 40 Vietnamese project members have also been invited to South Korea under an exchange programme.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Tran Anh Tuan emphasised that the major goal of the project is to provide training and improve the management capacity of the government through the project members.

He also said he hoped the Koreans would share their experiences of developing the quality of governmental staff across various sectors.

PM asks Russia to affirm trade, energy deals

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday (Dec 23) asked the Russian State Duma to support co-operation programmes between the two countries, especially in trade, oil and gas and nuclear power.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets with First Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Melnikov in Ha Noi yesterday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (left) meets with First Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Melnikov in Ha Noi yesterday.

He made the statement while receiving visiting First Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Ivan Melnikov yesterday in Ha Noi.

Also, Prime Minister Dung said he hoped the Russian State Duma would continue their support for the negotiation process and signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

For his part, Melnikov affirmed the support of Russian State Duma for the existing projects and programmes between the two countries, mentioning the nuclear power project in Ninh Thuan Province.

On the same day, Melnikov met with Viet Nam National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, and the two NA leaders agreed to actively implement signed agreements, maintain all-level delegation exchanges and experience sharing, while enhancing close collaboration at regional and international conferences.

Both sides also acknowledged that co-operation between the two legislatures has been continuously consolidated and developed in recent times, contributing to cementing the Viet Nam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership.

Regarding the Viet Nam-Russia relationship, the two leaders agreed to continue strengthening co-operation in such areas as oil and gas, nuclear power, trade and investment, security and defence, science and technology, training, culture, tourism and labour co-operation, among others.

NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung expressed his hope that Russia would act as a bridge for the co-operation between Viet Nam and other European countries.

The Russian State Duma Vice Chairman spoke highly of Viet Nam’s achievements in social-economic development, saying that Viet Nam is becoming one of the most dynamic countries in the world.

On the same day, Melnikov met with NA’s Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu and politburo member and permanent member of the Communist Party of Viet Nam’s (CPV) Central Committee’s Secretariat Le Hong Anh.

Ben Tre cherishes Japan’s help

The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on December 22 held a forum to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Japan and honour Japanese organisations, social activists and businesses for their help to the locality.

Vo Thanh Hao, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said Ben Tre appreciates contributions rendered by Japanese non-governmental organisations and individuals to the province over the past four decades, adding he believes that the friendship between the two countries will further accelerate.

Over the past 40 years, charity and social organisations from Japan have carried out many humanitarian activities in Ben Tre. Notably, the Japanese Cleft Palate Association and the Vietnam-Japan Children Supporting Association have performed thousands of operations for children in Ben Tre.

Besides, many Japanese businesses, including Furukawa Automatic Systems, NIDEC, Tosok Precision, Showa and Marubeni Group, have expanded their investment in Ben Tre, making Japan the second largest foreign investor in the locality.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also supported many infrastructure projects in Ben Tre, improving the socio-economic development in poor rural areas.

Addressing the function, Inui Hiroyuki, a representative from the Japanese General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, held that the event will help further deepen the mutual understanding between the peoples of both countries.

He said he hopes the Vietnam-Japan ties will develop stronger with higher efficiency in Ben Tre.

During the event, the provincial People’s Committee presented certificates of merit to Japanese organisations and individuals in recognition of their contributions to the province over the past years.