Denmark, Vietnam boost educational cooperation

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Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam suggested establishing a joint working group on education during a reception for Danish Minister of Education Christine Antorini in Hanoi on March 4. He hailed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on education in September 2013 as a significant foundation for realising concrete cooperative activities. The host hoped that Denmark would provide additional scholarships for Vietnamese students and facilitate bilateral coordination between educational establishments, especially those strong in science-technology, marine-based economy, oil and gas, and renewable energy. Denmark is a highly significant economic partner of Vietnam in North Europe, Dam said, adding that the pending free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union—and the birth of the ASEAN Economic Community this year—would provide Vietnam and Denmark with favourable conditions to bring trade between the two nations to US$1 billion by 2016. Antorini … [Read more...]

HCM City ups the ante on FDI

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(VOV) - HCM City has cumulatively attracted 5,300 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects and US$36 billion in pledged investment, city leaders announced at a March 4 meeting with foreign investors. Last year investment in the city hit a record high US$2.88 billion, triple the amount in 2013 and the city led the nation in FDI attraction. In the first two months of this year alone, the city has issued investment certificates totalling US$500 million, an on-year increase of 170%. Investors at the meeting suggested that the city should further improve transport infrastructure and improve human resource training to attract higher levels of FDI. They also urged the city to accelerate administrative reforms to create an environment more conducive to investors, particularly in customs and tax regulations. Alternatives to developing the support industry and new regulations on granting VISAs were also alternatives discussed. FDI businesses committed to help the city develop more … [Read more...]

Luxury cruise liner arrives at Nha Trang port

(VOV) -The five-star UK cruise liner Sapphire Princess docked on March 4 at the Nha Trang port in Khanh Hoa Province carrying over 2,600 foreign tourists and nearly 1,080 crew members. After docking, the holidaymakers disembarked and joined local tours to discover the beautiful sandy beaches and take in some sightseeing at the more than 14 top attractions in the region including Po Nagar Cham Towers, Nha Trang Beach and Long Son Pagoda. The timetable is for the ship to board the evening of March 4 and continue on to Vung Tau. According to local provincial officials, so far this year,Nha Trang has welcomed six cruise ships bringing in excess of 10,000 inbound tourists. … [Read more...]

Celebrating national identity through poetry

(VOV) - National Poetry Day, held on the 15th day of the first lunar month each year, is the nation’s biggest celebration of poetry and a timely reminder for us all to pause and reflect on the importance of literature to our national identity. This year’s theme is the nation’s sea and islands. "The day affords us the opportunity to introduce Vietnamese literature to the world and make it a symbol of our cultural past as well as the idealistic aspirations of the nation," said poet Nguyen Quang Thieu. In honour of the occasion, the Vietnam Writers’ Association hosted an international poetry recital at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi on March 4 that attracted in excess of 150 poets from 41 countries. In addition to poetry there was a wide array of other activities including art performances, exhibitions of literary works and exchanges between local and international poets. In the lead up to the event, the association staged recitals, calligraphy and folk art … [Read more...]

Vietnam protects guest workers in Thailand

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(VOV) - It is estimated that thousands of Vietnamese migrant workers fuel Thailand’s huge fishing and manufacturing industries as well as toil in restaurants and work as domestic helpers. Many of these workers do not hold legal documents authorising them to work in the country and as a consequence are vulnerable to exploitation and lack access to legal protection for fear that they would be deported. As a result, the Vietnam Overseas Labour Management Department working closely with the Thailand government has been taking the initiative to protect their rights. The majority of these workers are from farming villages in rural Vietnam and they send their salaries to their families back home. Many Vietnam migrant workers in Thailand As one example of the abuse, take the case of dockworkers at the Pae Pla Pier in Mahachai, Thailand. Guest workers earn between US$9–US$18 per day for carting barrels of fish from the fishing trawlers and loading on to seafood trucks. Another … [Read more...]

VFF begins supervision of tax, customs procedure reform

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) will begin supervising the tax, customs and social insurance procedures reforms in 2015. Accordingly, from now through the end of June, the VFF and its member organisations will supervise tax and social insurance activities in the major economic areas of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. The customs sector will be supervised during the last six months of this year, stated President of the VFF Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan at his working session with officials from the Finance Ministry on March 3. Nhan said that the programme will be carried out in 2015 and 2016 with the aim to improve the business climate and tax and customs procedures. He requested the Finance Ministry to assign officials to coordinate with the VFF to design a specific work plan, including producing initial results by June and summarised results by October, ultimately reporting to the National Assembly and Government. Supervision of … [Read more...]

Translator chooses paintbrush over pen

Prominent literary translator Trinh Lu, whose translations include Life of Pi, Norwegian Wood, The Centaur in the Garden, has revealed a new talent, painting, at an ongoing exhibit in Hanoi. Entitled Painting en Plein Air in America, the exhibition showcases 67 oil paintings created by the translator between July and December of 2014. He captured the landscapes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, atop his minimalist studio-on-a-bicycle. Bearing a slight resemblance to the landscapes by master Russian painter Isaac Ilyich Levitan, Lu's paintings depict the greenery of America's midwest – the Hubbard Trail, Michigan Lake, Lake Park, Oak Leaf Trail and Estabrook Park. The artworks are accompanied by the artist's stories of their creation told in a 170-page book titled, Painting en Plein Air – 2014 Diary. The book, just published by Phuong Nam Book and the Vietnam Writers' Association Publishing House, is now available as a guided tour of the work. Born in 1948 in Hanoi, Lu was … [Read more...]

Behind Israeli PM’s visit to Washington

Although his trip was not welcomed by the White House, it’s a step in his plan prior to the Israeli election on March 17. (VOV) -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech to the US Congress criticizing the emerging nuclear agreement between the US and Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in the US on March 1st at the invitation of US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, not an official diplomatic invitation from the White House. Before leaving Israel, Mr. Netanyahu said he had a fateful mission to urge the US Congress to increase sanctions on Iran. His visit comes 4 weeks before the March 31 deadline for a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The White House gives no green light US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will not meet the Israeli Prime Minister. The White House ruled out any meeting with President Obama and insisted on the long-standing practice and principle that US presidents … [Read more...]

Vietnamese stars invited to David Beckham’s party

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(VOV) - Former Manchester United (MU) midfielder David Beckham has invited two Vietnamese singers, Ho Ngoc Ha and Toc Tien to participate in his party in London, UK. David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham warmly received their guests in Wellington Arch-one of most ancient and beautiful place in London. World celebrities including Kate Walsh (US), Tom Cruise (US) and Tracy Phillips and Benjamin Kheng (Singapore) were present in the party. In November last year, David Beckham toured Vietnam to promote the whiskey label-Haig Club. Here are some photos: … [Read more...]

Nha Trang turns elegant with reddish catappa leaves

Locals unwind beneath the catappa foliage on the beach.

Nha Trang, a tourist hot spot along the south-central Vietnam coast, looks amazing under the reddish cloak of catappa leaves in springtime. The resort city, located in Khanh Hoa Province, becomes adorable with its imposing centennial "bang" (catappa, or tropical almond) trees. From February onward, the trees, which line the streets there, shed their old "costume" and put on a new, gorgeous "outfit." The reddish or yellow foliage is perfectly congruous with the clear blue sky and casts shade over the silky sand and turquoise sea. Locals and tourists waste no time in taking leisurely strolls under the lush catappa shade and relishing the breezy ambiance. Photos capture the gorgeous leaves and the city’s tranquil milieu: … [Read more...]

Vietnam introduces business opportunities at London seminar

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(VOV) - Vietnam is a reliable partner which has joined many bilateral and multilateral agreements and a potential destination for foreign investors, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Ho Thi Kim Thoa. At a seminar held in London on March 3 by the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC), Ms Thoa introduced investment and business opportunities in Vietnam, emphasising that the country has actively restructured and completed the legal system and improved the investment environment to facilitate and create an equal and transparent environment for investors. She hoped that the seminar will provide businesses with update information about cooperation, investment and business opportunities in Vietnam, and help lift trade relations between the two countries to a new height in line with their potential. Lord Puttman, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, said UK businesses should be patient to set up relations and build up trust with … [Read more...]

Business opportunities introduced at London seminar

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(VOV) - Vietnam is a reliable partner which has joined many bilateral and multilateral agreements and a potential destination for foreign investors, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Ho Thi Kim Thoa. At a seminar held in London on March 3 by the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC), Ms Thoa introduced investment and business opportunities in Vietnam, emphasising that the country has actively restructured and completed the legal system and improved the investment environment to facilitate and create an equal and transparent environment for investors. She hoped that the seminar will provide businesses with update information about cooperation, investment and business opportunities in Vietnam, and help lift trade relations between the two countries to a new height in line with their potential. Lord Puttman, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, said UK businesses should be patient to set up relations and build up trust with … [Read more...]

Traditional Lim festival lures thousands to Bac Ninh

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(VOV) -The annual Lim Festival of folk songs was held in Tien Du district in the northern province of Bac Ninh on March 2 and 3. The two-day spring festival attracted thousands of people from across the country. Besides Quan Ho (traditional love duet singing) , an array of folk games were also held to entertain visitors. They included bamboo swinging, wrestling, cock fighting, earthenware pot breaking, human chess and blind man’s bluff. These performances and games reflect the cultural identity of the Kinh Bac land - the cradle of the prestigious Ly dynasty (1010-1225) and Buddhism in Vietnam. The opening date of the festival is related to a legend, which says that a native woman of the Eastern hamlet of Noi Due commune, named Ba Mu, became a Buddhist nun at the Lim Pagoda and, thereafter, reached enlightenment. When a severe drought hit the village, the locals came to the pagoda and asked her for assistance. With the nun's help, the drought ended. Some photos of the Lim … [Read more...]

Thai Binh Tran Temple festival opens

The Tran Temple Festival 2015 kicked off on March 3 in Tam Duong hamlet, Tien Duc commune, Hung Ha district in the Red River province of Thai Binh. A ceremony was also held on the occasion to receive the special national relic honour for the Temple complex dedicated to the Kings of the Tran Dynasty ((1225-1400). The Temple was built in the Long Hung land where the Tran Dynasty ascended more than 700 years ago to commemorate Tran Kings, who always returned to where is now Hung Ha district to perform ceremonies proclaiming their victories over invaders to the ancestors. In 2014, the Tran Temple festival, which includes many original rituals and customs typical of the Tran Dynasty such as the procession of water, fish dishes contest, folk games, folk songs and dances, was recognised as the national intangible cultural heritage. This year’s festival, which will last till March 8, features activities re-enacting the development milestones of the Tran Dynasty and honouring its … [Read more...]

Good news for Hue tourism sector

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(VOV) - Central Thua Thien-Hue province welcomed more than 437,900 visitors, including 165,400 inbound travellers and 272,500 domestic tourists in the first two months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 10.8%. The tourism sector earned VND426.862 billion, a rise of 9.95% against the same period last year. Diverse cultural activities and festivities helped lure more than 82,000 visitors in the first ten days of the Lunar New Year (Tet) alone, up 30% against the previous Tet’s figure. Most of foreign visitors came from France, the US, Germany, the UK, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. Particularly, cruise ship Silver Whisper from Bahamas with nearly 700 international tourists on board docked at Chan May port on February 25, signalling a brighter prospect for the provincial tourism sector this year. Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Phan Tien Dung said 38 cruise ships with about 70,000 passengers have registered to … [Read more...]

Nam Dinh signs loan agreement with Kuwait Fund

The Ministry of Finance and the Kuwait Fund signed a loan agreement for a project to upgrade the irrigation system in the northern province of Nam Dinh on March 3 in Hanoi. The project has a total investment capital of about US$19 million, with US$13.6 million in loans. It will focus on upgrading irrigation infrastructure of two major channels in the coastal district of Hai Hau. Addressing the signing ceremony, Deputy Finance Minister Truong Chi Trung said the Kuwait Fund has provided Vietnam with US$147.9 million to date in loans for 12 projects. These loans, used for infrastructure building projects in rural provinces, have contributed to the localities’ economic development and poverty reduction objectives, he added. Many projects have yielded effective results, such as the Dau Tieng and Van Dinh irrigation systems and the Dac Ta-Ngoc Linh road. … [Read more...]

Vietnam supports increased UNHRC cooperation

(VOV) -Vietnam supports dialogue and cooperation between countries to promote the principles of international law and unanimity and restrict confrontation and imposition at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong Vietnam delegation head made the statement at the 28th UNHRC session in Geneva. Cuong highlighted the agency’s certain contributions to promoting respect and protection of human rights and helping raise awareness and more comprehensive objective approach to human rights. Regarding the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), he said, the UNHRC has timely responded to crises and serious violations of human rights in the world, adding that the organization needs to ensure transparency, objectivity, impartiality and intensify dialogues, cooperation and pay greater attention to the priorities of developing countries and vulnerable groups. … [Read more...]