Social News 25/1

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Authorities bust traffickers for transporting firecrackers Several individuals were caught transporting forbidden commodities over the past few days, alerting authorities to the worsening problem of trafficking during the days approaching Tet (lunar new year). In Quang Ninh Province's Ha Long City yesterday, a team of economic and traffic police caught container driver Tran Van Dang transporting 17kg of made-in-China firecrackers. The Hai Duong Province resident said he purchased the goods in Mong Cai City for VND800,000 (US$37) and intended to resell them for profit. City police are completing the necessary documents to charge Dang with transport of forbidden goods. On Wednesday, the General Department of Viet Nam Customs's Department of Investigation and Anti-Smuggling and Quang Ninh Province's Mong Cai Border Gate customs officers dispatched forces to watch for firecracker smugglers. Although the smugglers escaped, they left behind four jute bags containing 30 strings of … [Read more...]

Dung Quat refinery expansion unveiled

The Dung Quat Economic Zone Authority (DEZA) and the Binh Son Oil Refinery Co. Ltd on January 23 unveiled a plan to upgrade and expand the Dung Quat Oil Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai. The Binh Son Company received the investment approval for the project last month. The 1.82 billion USD project, invested by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, will increase the plant’s annual capacity from 6.5 million tonnes of products to 8.5 million tonnes. The expanded refinery will cover more than 300 hectares, including 108 hectares of land and 196 hectares of water surface in Binh Tri and Binh Thuan communes, Binh Son district. The work is scheduled to be completed by 2022. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee and Head of the DEZA Pham Nhu So said the authority is entering the third phase of construction for the Tay Bac Van Tuong (Northwest Van Tuong) resettlement area, which will accommodate 341 households with 1,247 people relocated for the … [Read more...]

Members of int’l integration committee appointed

VGP – Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh has signed a Decision approving the list of members of the National Steering Committee for International Integration (NSCII). Accordingly, eight members include Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Minister of Public Security Dang Van Hieu, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung, Deputy Minister of Justice Dinh Trung Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga and Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan. The NSSCII is in charge of helping the Government and the PM devise directions, strategies and major solutions related to international integration, and suggesting key tasks of international integration in different periods. It also supports the Government and the PM in directing ministries, ministry-level agencies, Government agencies and People’s Committees … [Read more...]

Social News 23/1

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US Embassy announces student exchange openings The US Department of State has announced that it is now accepting applications for its Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) for emerging student leaders from Vietnam. The programme offers study at a U.S. college or university for eight Vietnamese students in which the participants will engage in one semester of undergraduate, non-degree study at an accredited two- or four-year institution. Participants will engage in local community service projects and take part in cultural enrichment activities. The host institutions will also provide participants with academic skill development classes. In addition, participants who do not meet the host institution language requirements will be eligible for two to four weeks of intensive English language instruction in the United States prior to the start of the academic portion of their programme. The programme is managed and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs … [Read more...]

Government News 22/1

PM greets new Panamanian Ambassador Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung welcomed new Panamanian Ambassador to Vietnam Servio Sammodio during a reception in Hanoi on January 21. The Government leader said the two countries should enhance cooperation on economics, trade, investment, science and technology on the foundation of their close political ties. He also proposed increasing collaboration and mutual support at international forums, especially at the United Nations, adding that the exchange of visits will help strengthen mutual understanding and trust. For his part, the Panamanian Ambassador assured his host that Panama is interested in extending its partnership with Vietnam further, with a focus on economics, investment, trade, and tourism. He also vowed to do his best to spur the Panama – Vietnam relationship, highlighting that 2015 is an important year as the two countries will celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Prime Minister promises to promote ties with … [Read more...]

Social News 22/1

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Students stable after anaphylactic shock The 35 students who experienced anaphylactic shock after being vaccinated in a secondary school in southern Hau Giang Province are now in stable condition, according to the provincial Preventive Health Centre. On Monday, 35 students at Vinh Vien A Secondary School experienced difficulty breathing, headache, vomiting and fever after getting the measles-rubella vaccination. Ten were in serious condition and taken to the provincial general hospital. Doctors said these students were possibly in anaphylactic shock. The rest of the vaccines were revoked for testing. Head of the centre Nguyen Van Muoi said all the students would be discharged from the hospital and resume their studies soon. Under the measles and rubella vaccination campaign launched by the provincial health sector, children between 1 and 14 years old are being vaccinated from October to the end of this month. Hanoi increases treatment for mental health patients Ha Noi treated … [Read more...]

Government News 20/1

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PM welcomes Danish trade minister Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung greeted Danish Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen in Hanoi on September 19, assuring him that the government always facilitate operations of foreign enterprises, including Danish firms working in Vietnam. The PM said he is fully confident that the early ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) will open up new opportunities for Vietnam and the EU, including Denmark. He also took the occasion to ask for Denmark’s continued official development assistance to Vietnam, especially for climate change response and environmental protection. The host also expressed his wish that Denmark help the Vietnamese expatriate community assimilate into their society. Minister Jensen, for his part, affirmed that Denmark has always valued cooperation with Vietnam across sectors, and hopes that the upcoming … [Read more...]

Vietnam creates favorable conditions for private sector to develop

Photo for illustration. Source: sggp.org.vn

PANO – There have recently been rumors saying that the Vietnamese Government is unfair to the private economic sector; as a result, the sector has been contracted and many private firms have gone to bankruptcy. Is this true or not? The People’s Army Newspaper’s reporters have met private businesses and learnt about facts. The following is an insight into the situation. Businesspeople becoming much richer The view considering that the private economy has shrunk and private enterprises have become weaker and weaker and been on the edge of bankruptcy seems one-sided, short-sighted or too pessimistic. According to VnDirect Securities Corporation, an affiliate of a well-known private-owned group, IPA Investments Corporation, as of December 25th, 2014, 80 more US$ millionaires appeared on the Vietnamese securities market. This figure has brought the number of businesspeople with their securities holding valued at over US$ one million up to 395. Among them, President of … [Read more...]

Vietnam may force banks into bankruptcy as overhaul quickens

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Vietnam’s central bank said it will push for bank mergers and force weak institutions into bankruptcy as it intensifies an overhaul of the country’s banking system to boost growth. The State Bank of Vietnam will step up measures to "drastically" deal with weak banks that have no chance of recovery, according to a statement on its website yesterday. The central bank "is putting its utmost efforts to quicken overhaul of banks," it said. The Southeast Asian nation is targeting 2015 gross domestic product growth of 6.2 percent from 5.98 percent last year, as the economy shows signs of improvement on rising exports and investment. The years-long effort to clean up the banking system is a key component of the government’s drive to rejuvenate expansion, with lenders facing a year-end deadline to reduce bad debt to below 3 percent of total loans. "They are looking at 2015 as a decisive year," Alan Pham, Ho Chi Minh City-based chief economist at VinaCapital Group, the … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoi Tre News – January 16

Politics

Tuoi Tre News briefs you on some of the leading stories published today, January 16, in Vietnamese media: -- The Vietnamese Party, Government, and people always attach importance to maintaining and developing friendship and cooperation with China in a stable, healthy, and sustainable manner, Pham Binh Minh, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said at a banquet held in Hanoi on Thursday to celebrate 65 years of the two countries’ diplomatic ties. -- The Ministries of Public Security of Vietnam and Laos have agreed to intensify cooperation in the fight against organized, trans-national and hi-tech crimes as well as human trafficking and drug smuggling, according to what was discussed during a talk between Vietnamese Minister Tran Dai Quang and Lao Acting Minister Somkeo Silavong in Vientiane on Thursday. -- The government cannot ban or prevent information from being publicized on the Internet, so the most important thing is that the government and … [Read more...]

Social News 16/1

Separate jails proposed for transgender, gay prisoners Homosexual and transgender prisoners may be housed in jails separate from the general prison population to protect them from sexual harassment under a plan proposed by the Social, Economic and Environmental Institute to the Ministry of Public Security. The institute has been studying gender-related problems for many years and says many countries provide separate jails for transgender prisoners who are classified as trans-female or trans-male. A 2014 report found that the majority of transgender prisoners wanted separate jails to avoid the risks of sexual harassment. Homosexual and transgender prisoners face the highest risk of sexual harassment. The institute cited statistics from the US state of California, which showed 67 percent of homosexual and transgender prisoners have suffered sexual harassment. The institute said that under current infrastructure in Vietnam, transgender prisoners can only either be held in solitary … [Read more...]

Government News 14/1

Foreign Ministry hosts New Year meeting with EU ambassadors The Foreign Ministry and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a New Year meeting in Hanoi on January 13 with EU Ambassador to Vietnam Franz Jessen as well as ambassadors and chargé d’affaires from EU member states. The meeting was the first in a series of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the EU (1990-2015). Addressing the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son highlighted positive development in bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and the EU over the past 25 years, as well as partnership between Vietnam and each EU member countries. He lauded the effective coordination and support that the EU and its members have given to Vietnam during the country’s development and international integration process. The diplomat also thanked the EU diplomats for their contributions to the growth of Vietnam-EU ties. Son expressed his belief … [Read more...]

Vietnamese fishermen suffer more Chinese attacks

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Nguyen Chi Thanh, 32, on his boat which was attacked by a Chinese crew off the coast of the Hoang Sa Islands on January 7, 2015. Photo: Van Minh/Tuoi Tre At least three fishing boats from Ly Son Island were attacked this month by Chinese crews that have moved into their traditional fishing grounds around the Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands. Nguyen Chi Thanh, 32, a fisherman and owner of one of the boats, said he and his men were attacked and robbed on January 7, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Tuesday. Thanh said ten Chinese people swooped in piloting two speedboats, smashed his boat and made off with his most sophisticated equipment and a ton of fish. Another boat, with 16 fishermen aboard, was attacked that same day by a Chinese coast guard ship. The boat's captain, Le Tan, told the newspaper that men on board the Chinese vessel threatened his crew, smashed some of their fishing and communication equipment and stole the rest. This second group of pirates also reportedly made off with … [Read more...]

Social News 14/1

Three big cities launch English Champion 2015 The Vietnam Central Study Encouragement Association, EQuest Academy in collaboration with the Vietnamese American English Centre (VATC) has launched an English contest for primary and junior high school students (English Champion 2015). The contest will kick off on April 1, 2015, for students from the 4th to 8th grades in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang. Contestants will compete in three rounds to show their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Competition will follow the knockout format, examining the competitors’ communication and presentation skills. Last year, English Championship 2014 drew the participation of thousands students from more than 20 primary and secondary schools in the three big cities. Awards include scholarships and cash (VND6.2 million or US$294 for the winner of the English Championship 2014). Pilot issuance of Criminal Record Cards by post approved The Prime Minister has approved a project … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s small (but growing) specialty coffee movement

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Tran Nhat Quang drives his black 4x4 slowly past small farms and derelict French villas on the outskirts of Da Lat - Vietnam's "Petit Paris." He breaks, suddenly, and points out a rangy Bourbon-Arabica shrub in someone's front yard. "The best coffee in Vietnam is here," he cries with a wag of his long index finger. "Just go out there and find it." Quang started his day at the crack of dawn, dodging backhoes and mud-spattered motorcycles on the sluice-like drive to his farm in a remote rural district of Lam Dong Province called Me Linh. The creative destruction of the once passable road has dragged so long, Quang has been forced to rent a warehouse space in Da Lat to house his massive roaster and other coffee processing equipment. "The transportation costs are killing me," he cries, as though he's happy to die. Before making it to the farm, we stopped in Da Lat briefly, for a cappuccino at the Bicycle Cafe. A local architect and his wife filled the colorful, rambling space with … [Read more...]

Social News 11/1

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Skyscraper project on Han River bank cancelled In an interview by Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper yesterday, Da Nang's Party Secretary Tran Tho said the project to build a skyscraper dubbed a "lighthouse" on the Han River in the central city will be cancelled. Mr. Tran Tho said that Da Nang city People’s Committee has just given approval to implement the project but not yet agree to carry out the project on the river. However, after receiving the objection from the public and architects, the city authority decided to cancel the project, he said. Mr. Tho said that he had requested the city’s government to look for a new place to build the skyscraper. After the city committee approved the project, many architects and municipal development experts raised their voice against the project. They said that project would damage landscape of river that has helped the city become one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam In addition, the project’s investor- investment … [Read more...]

Social News 10/1

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Facelift for HCM City Post Office stirs criticism Relate news HCM City Post Office gets facelift after 40 years A facelift for HCM City's 130-year-old post office has stirred critics for being too garish, even through the colours used matched those of the original building that is a landmark of the city. The building, at 2 Paris Commune in District 1 was built in 1886 by the French colonial government and, along with the Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Tax Centre, is considered a symbol of HCM City, making it a popular destination for foreign tourists and attracting thousands of visitors a day. Local authorities spent nearly VND5b to restore the façade, the project starting in September 2014 and scheduled for completion ahead of next month's Tet. The post office is decorated mainly in orange-yellow with white trim and highlights, which was its original colouring and symbolised the colours of the Vietnam post and telecommunication industry. On January 6, the … [Read more...]

National conference on human and cultural development to ensure sustainable growth

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(VOVworld) - The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies hosted a national conference on human and cultural development to ensure sustainable growth. During the event in Hanoi on Friday, dozens of speakers reported on culture and lifestyle, Vietnamese cultural promotion abroad and innovation. A member of the Party Theoretical Council, Dinh Xuan Dung, was one of the speakers: "Culture must be one key development pillar in provinces and ministries to ensure sustainable development. Cultural industry must be researched and developed to promote unique values of Vietnamese culture." Delegates talked about solutions to link culture with human factors and promote Vietnamese culture values worldwide through diplomacy and overseas Vietnamese. Dr Pham Duy Duc from the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy told VOV: "We should promote the role played by the State through institutional openness and people’s diplomacy. Vietnamese images could be promoted by opening … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s private carrier Air Mekong loses license after 22-month hibernation

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Private Vietnamese carrier Air Mekong has had its air transport license voided as it failed to present a workable plan to resume business after a hiatus of more than 20 months, the Ministry of Transport said earlier this week. The license Air Mekong obtained from the ministry on October 30, 2008 was dropped, the ministry said Tuesday in a directive that took effect the same day, 22 months after the airline’s last commercial flight. The air transport license of an airline will be canceled if the carrier stops operating for 12 months in a row, according to Government Decree No. 30, which manages the aviation transport sector. Air Mekong began offering commercial flights in October 2010, but had to suspend business to "restructure its fleet" as of March 1, 2013. The airline then faced a license revocation by April 2014, when its air operator’s certificate was due for expiry. An air operator's certificate, or AOC, is the approval granted by a national aviation … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoitrenews – January 9

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Tuoitrenews briefs some of the leading stories published today on Vietnamese media: -- Vietnam and China will celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2015, according to Pham Thu Hang, Deputy Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. High-ranking leaders of the two countries will exchange congratulatory messages, and a series of activities will be organized by both sides to consolidate and further deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, she said at a regular press conference on Thursday. -- Regarding China’s drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981’s movement in international waters into the East Sea, Pham Thu Hang, Foreign Ministry Deputy Spokesperson, said at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday that Vietnam’s authorized agencies are assigned with firmly safeguarding the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction in the East Sea. -- State President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan … [Read more...]