Obama’s landmark Vietnam trip in photos

Obama speaks with entrepreneurs at DreamPlex in Ho Chi Minh City on May 24, 2016. Photo credit: Jim Watson/AFP

US President Barack Obama, with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang (2nd L), is presented a bouquet of flowers by Nguyen Phuong Linh, 8, upon arrival at the Presidential Palace prior to a welcoming ceremony in Hanoi on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Pete Souza/White House US President Barack Obama ducks down under a low beam as he descends a staircase with Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan during a tour to late President Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house inside the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Pete Souza/White House US President Barack Obama and Vietnam's National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan feed fish in a pond during a tour to late President Ho Chi Minh’s stilt house inside the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on May 23, 2016. Photo credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters US President Barack Obama and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang take part in a joint press conference at the International Convention … [Read more...]

US president arrives in HCMC

(Photo: SGGP)

President of the United States left Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City yesterday afternoon during his three day visit to Vietnam and was present at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at about 4 p.m. Chairwoman of the city People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem and U.S. consul general to HCMC Rena Bitter received President Obama at the airport. The first destination of the US president in HCMC was Ngoc Hoang (Jade Emperor) Pagoda or Phuoc Hai Tu in Mai Thi Luu street, District 1. Ngoc Hoang Pagoda was built in 1892 over 2,000 square meters, being home to many ancient trees, turtle and fish ponds and hundreds of pigeons. The pagoda has three main altar compartments, over 300 statues and many skillfully carved sacred objects. Ngoc Hoang Pagoda was recognized to be national architectural and artistic relic in 1994. On the same day afternoon, President Obama met with Vietnamese start-up community at Miss Ao Dai … [Read more...]

High voter turnout in general elections

Van Nam and Dinh Duy The voter turnout had been updated by 5 p.m. on May 22 while the elections were due on 7 p.m. the same day, according to the Vietnam News Agency. The eligible voters, aged 18 or older, cast their ballots at 184 electoral units across the country to select 500 deputies from 870 candidates in the country’s legislative body. The newly elected lawmakers will serve from 2016 to 2021. Voters also picked 3,918 deputies to the provincial-level People’s Councils out of 6,528 candidates, and 24,993 and 294,055 representatives out of 41,777 and 497,312 candidates to the People’s Councils at the district and communal levels respectively. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCMC Election Committee for deputies to the 14th National Assembly and People’s Councils, said by 7 p.m. on May 22, 99.36% of more than 5.25 million eligible voters in the city’s 24 districts had exercised their voting right. As of 5:00 p.m., the voter turnout in … [Read more...]

Vietnamese start voting as national elections begin

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Vietnam’s five-yearly national elections official kicked off on Sunday morning, with more than 69 million eligible voters countrywide beginning to cast their ballots for members of the lawmaking National Assemble and People’s Council at local levels. >> Infographic: Vietnam’s 2016 national elections Vietnamese citizens, from 18 years old and above, will cast their ballots at 184 electoral units across the country to select members of the 14th National Assembly and People’s Council at three local levels, province/city, district and commune/ward. Voters will select 500 delegates from the 870 final candidates for seats in the country’s legislative body. The newly elected lawmakers will serve from 2016 to 2021. Early ballots have been carried out in several areas, including some military units and remote localities, which have ended successfully, according to the National Election Council. Nguyen Hanh Phuc, chief of the National Election … [Read more...]

HCMC hosts special art program on Election Day

An art performance marks the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People's Councils in the 2016-2021 period.

A special art program marking the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People's Councils in the 2016-2021 period took place at September 23 Park in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday evening. Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang, Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, Head of the Department of Propaganda and Training of the HCMC Party Committee Than Thi Thu, head of the HCMC Party Committee's Commission for Mass Mobilization Nguyen Thi Le, Deputy Chairwoman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu, crowded representatives of central and local departments and agencies, war veterans and local residents attended in the art program. Many new songs under theme of the election of the National Assembly and all-level People's Councils were performed during the program. Besides, the organization board also launched an exchange program with the citizens about their ideals and desires for list of … [Read more...]

Bus passengers reduce 5.5 percent in HCMC

The number of bus passengers has been reducing in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

The number of bus passengers reached 225.7 million in the first five months this year down 5.5 percent over the same period last year, reported the Ho Chi Minh City Public Transport Management Center to chairwoman of the city People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam last night. According to the center, the reduction was because the attitude of drivers and ticket collectors has not been good and passengers still have their pockets picked. The city has met difficulties in finding suitable places to build bus stations. Downgraded vehicles and traffic jam have slowed bus speed and throw routes off schedules, which are major reason causing a lot of residents not use this transport service. In addition, many bus drivers have quitted because of high work pressure leaving difficulties for transport firms. So far, HCMC has 107 subsidized and 33 unsubsidized bus routes. The number of routes increased by four compared to last year but the number of buses reduced by 213 to 2,599. Since … [Read more...]

HCM City People’s Committee has two new vice chairmen

Secretary of the HCM CIty Party Committee Dinh La Thang (C) congratulating the new vice chairmen Huynh Cach Mang (R) and Tran Vinh Tuyen

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has two new vice chairmen, elected at the 21st session of the 13th municipal People’s Council on April 21. Huynh Cach Mang, deputy head of the municipal Party Committee’s organisation board, was elected as a vice chairman of the People’s Committee by 83 of the 87 votes. The position was also entrusted to Tran Vinh Tuyen, head of the municipal Party Committee’s inspection board with the same number of votes. Other deputy heads of the People’s Committee are Le Van Khoa, Le Thanh Liem and Nguyen Thi Thu. The committee is chaired by Nguyen Thanh Phong. The election of the new vice chairmen was for the 2011 – 2016 term. During the 21st and last session, the 13th municipal People’s Council will scrutinise and approve several reports of the People’s Committee. They will look into the implementation of the Council’s resolutions on urban planning and clean water provision, along with the … [Read more...]

Accomplishments of the 13th National Assembly

The 11th session of the 13th National Assembly

(VOVworld) – The 13th National Assembly has approved more than 100 laws to create a firm legal foundation for the building of a state governed by law, human rights protection, and economic development. The 13th National Assembly ratified the 2013 Constitution, 107 laws, and numerous resolutions. Building a legal foundation for national development The 2013 Constitution reflects the national requirements of economic and political reform, national defense, and global integration. The revision of laws and decrees has fine tuned the legal system, contributing to national stability and growth. Ngo Duc Manh, a National Assembly deputy for Binh Thuan province, said: "Over the past 5 years, Vietnam has struggled to overcome challenges of the global financial and monetary crisis ò 2008 and has coped with serious violations of national sovereignty. The National Assembly has ably performed its legislative and constitutional tasks. The National Assembly has helped to maintain a … [Read more...]

City pollution data of low reliability

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Van Nam Environment experts said at a meeting between the HCMC People’s Council and experts last week that environmental pollution in the city has not been warned in a timely manner partly due to the poor pollution monitoring system. Phung Chi Sy, deputy director of the Institute of Tropical Technology and Environmental Protection said the environment must be monitored regularly and continuously to issue timely warnings. According to experts, semi-automatic and haphazard monitoring could not reflect the actual environmental pollution situation. Since 2012 the city has not invested in a good environmental monitoring system. Therefore, the city has not been able to collect comprehensive data, making it difficult to accurately assess water and air pollution. Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of the Institute of Environment and Resources under the Vietnam National University in HCMC, said environment monitors in the city in recent years have focused on observation, and they have … [Read more...]

Much effort needed for HCMC to increase bus passengers

(Photo: SGGP)

The number of bus passengers has been reducing in Ho Chi Minh City since 2013 and there are many things for the city to do to obtain its target of one million bus passengers a day by 2020, reported delegates at a meeting on public transport planning and development on Saturday. The Department of Transport reported many problems such as unreasonable route network, bad service quality, downgraded bus fleet and weak management ability. Travel by buses has been time consuming because worse traffic jams following population and vehicle increase and no bus lanes. There has no policy to limit private vehicles. Buses have faced lack of parking areas to pick up and drop of passengers because station projects have been implemented slowly. Mass Rapid Transit and Bus Rapid Transit systems have yet to develop. Permanent Commissioner of the People’s Council Huynh Cong Hung said that bus service has not been on time, convenient and safe enough to lure passengers. Some delegates said that … [Read more...]

National Assembly needs fit-for-purpose deputies

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The selection of candidates for election for the next five year term of the National Assembly is gathering pace as the general election will take place in two months. Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, in a meeting with voters from Hanoi’s Ba Dinh, Hoan Kiem and Tay Ho districts on March 8 said "Voters should use their right to wisely choose and elect the most worthy candidates in this important political event." Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (right) met with voters from Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District on March 8 There is a widely-held belief among the public that less than adequate deputies had been elected in previous NA tenures. Some NA deputies were suspended for lying in their CVs, while others were prosecuted for bribery, or unbecoming behaviour. Voters also criticised some deputies as being a waste of space as they had made no contributions at all during their entire NA term. According to the Tuoi Tre Newspaper, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of … [Read more...]

HCM City to build observation stations

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VietNamNet Bridge - HCM City plans to build 27 automatic and 227 semiautomatic observation stations over the next five years to check on water surface, underground water and air pollution. Total funds needed will be VNĐ495 billion (US$22.2 million). Environmental quality control must ensure 14 norms, according to deputy director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Van Phuoc, who spoke at a recent meeting with the city's People's Council. Infrastructure limitations have caused the city to focus on four norms covering water surface, underground water, exhaust emissions and environmental quality around waste treatment sites. They have basically met minimum requirements except exhaust treatment. Nguyen Thi Hong, former vice-chairwoman of HCM City's People's Committee, said last year the city allocated VNĐ15 billion ($672,900) to improve observations stations in the city. This year the city plans to allocate VNĐ28 billion ($1.25 million) for these … [Read more...]

HCMC praises 150 city excellent citizens

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A ceremony honoring 150 typical examples in Ho Chi Minh City was held at Ben Thanh Theater on March 7. The event was attended by Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Dinh La Thang, Senior Lieutenant General and Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Nam , Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang and Chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Coucil Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam. The program called "People shining in the daily life" aims to highlight excellent citizens who have made outstanding contributions in developing and building the city as well as making the society and country to be more civilized. Deputy Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang expressed his deep gratitude to good people and praised their significant work. He asked local authorities of districts in the city to cooperate with organizers, Ho Chi Minh City Police Newspaper and HCM City Television, to introduce more good people doing good things. … [Read more...]

HCM City needs over $22 mln to control air pollution

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The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment has built a project on an air quality observation center in the phase 2016-2020, which will need a total fund of VND495 billion (U$22.18 million) to build 27 automatic and 200 semiautomatic observation stations. Environmental quality control must ensure 14 norms, said deputy director of the department Nguyen Van Phuoc at a meeting with the city People’s Council yesterday. However infrastructure limitations have caused the city focus on four norms covering water face, underground water, exhaust fume emissions and environmental quality around waste treatment sites. They have basically met minimum requirements except the exhaust fume treatment. Nine automatic observation stations which the Norway and Dane Governments assisted construction in 2003-2012 have been ruined and useless while HCMC has used semiautomatic observation systems at 16 spots since 2012. However they have operated from 8-9 a.m. and 3 … [Read more...]

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Workers check furniture products for export at a workshop in Quang Nam. All timber collected from log farms have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications.

Quang Ninh welcomes nearly 2 million visitors The northern province of Quang Ninh received nearly 2 million visitors in the first two months of the year, up three per cent from the same period last year with international visitor numbers increasing by 10 per cent, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Spiritual relics like Yen Tu Buddhist relic, Ba Vang Pagoda, Cua Ong Temple, and Cai Bau Pagoda attracted the most visitors, it said. The province's localities have organised art performances and sports and traditional games for visitors. The province reported that revenues from tourism in the period are estimated at more than VND1.2 trillion (US$53.7 million), a year-on year increase of 14 per cent. Boasting a 250km long coastline, Quang Ninh is famous for Ha Long Bay, one of the world's natural wonders. Tourists are also attracted by its many beautiful beaches like Bai Chay, Titop, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, and others. Acacia forests a big … [Read more...]

HCM City needs $22.5m for environmental projects

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HCM City needs an investment of VND495 billion (US$22.5 million) to build 27 environmental measurement systems and 200 semi-automatic environmental measurement points. During a working session with the People's Council on Thursday, officials from the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment said that environmental measurement systems in the city were out of date. Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of the department, said that in order to guarantee environmental quality, 14 criteria should be met. However, due to the limited facility, the department has focused on four criteria including surface water, ground water, and air and environment quality near waste treatment areas. "The system to treat wasted air has not met the standard as required," Phuoc said, adding nine automatic air measurement systems supported by Norwegian and Danish government in 2003. Since 2012, the city has been using a semi-automatic measurement system in 16 locations around the city. However, … [Read more...]

HCM needs $22.5m for projects

HCM CITY (VNS) — HCM City needs an investment of VND495 billion (US$22.5 million) to build 27 environmental measurement systems and 200 semi-automatic environmental measurement points. During a working session with the People's Council on Thursday, officials from the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment said that environmental measurement systems in the city were out of date. Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of the department, said that in order to guarantee environmental quality, 14 criteria should be met. However, due to the limited facility, the department has focused on four criteria including surface water, ground water, and air and environment quality near waste treatment areas. "The system to treat wasted air has not met the standard as required," Phuoc said, adding nine automatic air measurement systems supported by Norwegian and Danish government in 2003. Since 2012, the city has been using a semi-automatic measurement system in 16 locations around the … [Read more...]

HCMC needs over $22 mln to control air pollution

a-plant-emitting-black-smoke-in-dong-hung-thuan-ward-district-12-photo-sggp-1853238-images244210-exhuuast-fume

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment has built a project on an air quality observation center in the phase 2016-2020, which will need a total fund of VND495 billion (U$22.18 million) to build 27 automatic and 200 semiautomatic observation stations. Environmental quality control must ensure 14 norms, said deputy director of the department Nguyen Van Phuoc at a meeting with the city People’s Council yesterday. However infrastructure limitations have caused the city focus on four norms covering water face, underground water, exhaust fume emissions and environmental quality around waste treatment sites. They have basically met minimum requirements except the exhaust fume treatment. Nine automatic observation stations which the Norway and Dane Governments assisted construction in 2003-2012 have been ruined and useless while HCMC has used semiautomatic observation systems at 16 spots since 2012. However they have operated from 8-9 a.m. and 3 … [Read more...]

Committee discusses body of candidates for NA election

HA NOI (VNS) — The Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee yesterday organised its first meeting on the structure, composition and number of candidates to stand for the upcoming 14th National Assembly election. From now till election day on May 22, there will be two more meetings to compile the final list of candidates standing for office. According to Nguyen Thi Nuong, chief of the NA Committee of Deputies' Affairs, in the 14th NA, there will be 198 deputies allocated for the Central Government, accounting for 39.8 per cent of the total – an increase of 15 deputies compared with the 13th NA. Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Thien Nhan, President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Committee, said the upcoming elections for the National Assembly and People's Councils at provincial, district and commune/ward levels were events of great significance for the country in 2016. "The Viet Nam Fatherland has the right and responsibility to ensure the elections will be conducted … [Read more...]

HCM City offers gifts to poor for Tet, enforces traffic safety

HCM CITY (VNS) — Officials in HCM City have ensured a happy Tet (Lunar New Year) for the poor and others who are under priority social policies through special activities. Speaking on the Listen and Discuss TV talk show on Sunday, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee Nguyen Thi Thu said the city had given Tet gifts to heroic mothers and disadvantaged children. The city has also held activities for workers who cannot return to their hometowns for Tet. Lam Dinh Thang, deputy secretary of the city's Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, said the union had mobilised more than VND20 billion (US$900,000) from philanthropists for Tet activities for the elderly, island soldiers, youth and workers. The union has also given 6,000 bus tickets to disadvantaged students and workers to return home during Tet, he said. Thang said the union had also offered part-time jobs to 9,000 students and workers who were not returning home for Tet. The union has also organised 150 art … [Read more...]