Multiple activities to mark Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day in Hanoi
The management board of Hanoi’s Old Quarter will host a variety of activities at popular cultural sites in the Old Quarter from November 17 to 26 to mark Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23), the Government news website reports.
The event contributes to preserving traditional cultural heritage values, boosting tourism and promote images of the Old Quarter and the capital to international friends.
The opening ceremony of Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day will be held at 7.30 p.m. on November 17 at Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Center, featuring an ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) performance of two fashion designers – Do Trinh Hoai Nam and Lan Anh to honor the beauty of the traditional long dress.
An exhibition on the system of former school examinations and a talk show on the traditional long dress for men in modern life will be open to the public at the cultural exchange center, 50 Dao Duy Tu Street on November 18.
Moreover, travelers can come to the Heritage House at 87 Ma May Street to learn about the unique Vietnamese tea culture and talk with domestic tea artisans.
Meanwhile, visitors to Kim Ngan Temple at 42-44 Hang Bac Street, Hoan Kiem District will be entertained with performances of ca tru (traditional ceremonial singing) and cheo (northern opera).
In addition, tourists will have the opportunity to watch shows displaying traditional costumes of Russia, India and Indonesia.
Exhibition boasts beauty of land, people and culture of ASEAN countries
More than 300 photos, and 60 reportages and documentary films highlighting the land, people and culture of ASEAN countries are on display in an exhibition that opened in Ninh Thuan province on November 16.
The works on display were the runners up and winning entries in the final rounds of competitions on photos and reportage, and documentary films of the ASEAN community in Vietnam, which were hosted by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) in 2010 and 2015.
They also include shortlisted entries of the photo and reportage festival on environmental protection and climate change in the ASEAN community in 2013; and the festival on diverse ethnic groups in the ASEAN Community in 2015.
ASEAN’s common stamp and seal are also showcased at the exhibition.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, MIC Deputy Phan Tam said that the exhibition aims to provide visitors with a better understanding of ASEAN, and Vietnam’s role in ASEAN, thus calling for a joint effort to build a peaceful, stable, developed, and people-centred ASEAN Community.
The event was also among a series of activities being held to realise the Government’s 2017-2020 action plan on promoting the image of ASEAN and ASEAN community to the public, he added.
The exhibition will run through November 19. After, all of the exhibits will be presented to the provincial People’s Committee to continue popularising ASEAN’s image to the public.
Disabled children learn life skills at Hanoi cafe
Doctor Do Thuy Lan has dedicated her life to helping children with disabilities.
For more than nine years, she has run a cafeteria in a small lane off Hoang Dao Thuy street in Hanoi’s Cau Giay district, as part of the Sao Mai (Morning Star) care centre for disadvantaged children, the Viet Nam News Agency reported. It is the first day-care centre in Hanoi providing support for children with mental disabilities.
The centre was first funded by a Dutch organisation. When the funding ended, the director sought other financial and non-financial support, but eventually decided to ask parents to pay for their children’s tuition.
Several children at the centre are from middle-income families from other provinces. So that they can take their children back and forth from the centre each day, they rent rooms and find work in the city. Families facing financial difficulties are supported with reduced tuition fees.
The cafeteria is also part of the centre’s programmes. All staff members are children with mental disabilities. They are equipped with basic life skills to help them become financially independent.
“The café is a venue to help the children to practice life skills after being taught by teachers,” said Dr. Lan. “In the café, children are taught to do simple work, such as washing dishes and glasses, arranging chairs and tables, making tea, or serving clients.”
“This is easy work for normal people, but for the children with mental disabilities, these are really hard jobs,” the doctor said. “Working in the café is a good environment for improving communication skills as well as gradually integrating them into society.”
The café is small. It opens from 8am to 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. There are two children working each shift. There is also teacher instructing the children during their working time.
Since opening nine years ago, the café has helped hundreds of children with mental disabilities and autism integrate into society.
One student, Loan, 14, has impaired hearing and low mental ability. She has been taught at the centre since she was four. After learning and working in the café, she is now able to perform basic skills by herself and she found a job.
Hoang Van Cuong, father of Hoang Anh Thang, another student at the centre, said working in the café was very helpful.
“My child was more confident and could help his mother with cleaning floors, washing dishes or cooking,” he said.
However, the café is now was facing difficulties.
Luong Thi Hoa, a teacher at the centre, said in earlier years, the café was always full of clients because there were few cafes in the area.
“But in recent years, more and more cafeterias have opened. So only loyal customers come to us,” Loan said.
The customers go because they want to support the special staff at the café, she added.
In fact, the café has not been profitable in recent years. Many people want to rent the location for other businesses, but Dr. Lan refuses.
“The café cannot bring money anymore, but it has educational benefits for disadvantaged children,” she said.
Celebrities join charity run against heart diseases
Celebrities including singers My Linh, Bao Tram Idol and Duy Khoa will take part in the annual charity event “Run for the heart” set to transpire on Sunday (December 3) at Yen So Park in Hanoi.
Since the first charity run held in 2013, VND7.9 billion has been raised to save the lives of 338 children with congenital heart defects.
In Hanoi, the first run was held in 2015, attracting more than 5,000 participants and raising more than VND1 billion to provide heart surgeries for 48 children from impoverished families. The second event in 2016 collected over VND2 billion to help 120 disadvantaged children with heart problems.
celebrities join charity run against heart diseases hinh 1 The organizers said at a press conference in Hanoi on November 16 that they hope to draw around 10,000 participants. All proceeds from the charity run will be sent to Heartbeat Vietnam to offer surgeries to the disadvantaged children with congenital heart defects.
Twenty years of 7th Francophone Summit hosted in Vietnam in memory
A workshop took place in Hanoi on November 16 to mark the 20th anniversary of the seventh Francophone Summit hosted by Vietnam in 1997.
The event was jointly organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the Department of International Organisations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation of Francophonie (OIF) to talk about the event in memories and prospects.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc said the OIF has brought together 84 member states and governments over the past two decades, accounting for 20 percent of the global trade and 13 percent of the world’ GDP. It has made significant contribution to the fulfillment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to addressing global and regional issues, such as poverty, education and healthcare, people’s standard of living, environment protection, gender equality and childcare, Ngoc noted.
The organisation has also proved its vital role in preventing and settling conflicts and political crises as well as encountering terrorism in the member states, helping maintain peace and stability in the world, he added.
The deputy minister moved on to say that cooperation within the Francophone community has given Vietnam opportunities to strengthen relations with other member states like France, Canada, Belgium and more in Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Eric-Normand Thibeault, OIF Director for Asia-Pacific, said the 1997 Francophone Summit taking place in Hanoi, Vietnam, marked an important milestone in the community’s development with the adoption of the Charter of La Francophonie and the election of the first OIF Secretary General.
He highly appreciated Vietnam’s effort to promote the Francophone activities over the past years, suggesting the country should further enhance the education of French language at universities and make policies to encourage people to use foreign languages, including French. He affirmed that the OIF will continue to accompany Vietnam in fostering language and cultural diversity and deepening economic cooperation.
Attendees discussed the growth of Francophone in Asia-Pacific after the summit in Hanoi in 1997 and its challenges in the future; Francophone and future of multilateral diplomacy; and studies of French language education and teaching in French in Asia.
Cambodia inaugurates Vietnam-funded broadcast station project’s phase I
Phase I of a project on building nine FM radio and television broadcasting stations funded by the Vietnamese Government in Cambodia was inaugurated in Kampong Cham province on November 16.
The project aims to help Cambodia expand the radio and TV broadcasting coverage and improve broadcast quality. It is part of an agreement signed at the 14th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in October 2015.
Two phases of the project, financed through Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), are implemented in 2017 and 2018.
Under this project, four FM radio stations are built in the provinces of Kep, Tboung Khmum, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang. Meanwhile, five TV stations are located in some other provinces, including Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony, Cambodian Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s practical assistance to his country in many spheres, including information and communications. The broadcasting stations sponsored by the Vietnamese Government have proved effective, contributing to socio-economic development in Cambodia.
Kampong Cham Governor Kui Chamroen also highly valued Vietnam’s continuous and unconditional support since the defeat of the Khmer Rounge, helping to improve Cambodian people’s living standards.
For his part, VOV General Director Nguyen The Ky said he hopes the Vietnamese-funded radio and TV stations, equipped with modern facilities, will help increase the broadcasting coverage and quality and promote Cambodia’s capacity of producing radio and TV programmes.
On November 15, VOV General Director Ky, who is also member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, had a working session with Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia Men Sam An and General Director of the national radio station of Cambodia Tan Sarat.
Agritech challenge pushes agricultural transformation in Mekong Delta
The Mekong Agriculture Technology Challenge (MATch) was introduced in HCM City on November 16, aiming to support agricultural startups for the Mekong region’s agriculture to be turned into a more competitive and sustainable industry.
MATch is the latest in a series of innovation accelerators by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) with funding and support from the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It looks for innovative agribusiness startups and technological solution providers from across the globe to help transform the Mekong region’s agriculture industry into a leading global supplier of “safe and nutritious food for all”.
It includes two challenges – the MATch Startup Accelerator and the MATch Market Access Accelerator. The first is aimed at innovative early stage agritech startups and traditional agriculture businesses with new, scalable business models in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The second will help mature international agritech companies expand into the Mekong region. Participants will receive mentorship and assistance with their expansion plans including product adaptation, and forge relationships with potential partners and investors in the region.
The competition provides awards and prizes worth 200,000 USD in total, given via technical support and service provision. Award winners will also be introduced to and receive finance from strategic investors.
It is accepting online applications at www.match.mekongbiz.org until the end of December, 2017.
Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue meets with Samsung Vietnam leader
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue received General Director of Samsung Vietnam Shim Won-hwan in Hanoi on November 16, applauding the firm’s increase of locally made components in its products.
Briefing his host about activities of the Republic of Korea-invested Samsung Vietnam, Shim said the firm’s exports have reached 44 billion USD and is expected at 52 billion USD – 53 billion USD at the end of 2017. About 160,000 people are directly working at Samsung factories in Vietnam, and the figure that includes indirect workers is up to 180,000, excluding employees of the company’s suppliers.
The number of Vietnamese businesses directly supplying components for Samsung has risen from four in 2014 to 29 in 2017, and it targets this number at 50 by 2020.
Samsung has devised a detailed training programme to turn Vietnamese firms into its suppliers, he noted, elaborating that it has organised workshops and support industry exhibitions to seek vendors, sent Korean experts to give advice and help improve potential businesses’ capacity.
The firm has also paid attention to personnel training through providing training courses and sending skilled employees to the RoK for further training, the executive noted.
Voicing his delight at Samsung’s development in Vietnam, Deputy PM Hue said with its projects in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces and Ho Chi Minh City, Samsung has become the biggest FDI investor in Vietnam with total registered investment capital of 17.3 billion USD.
He highly valued Samsung Vietnam’s moves to increase supplying companies, develop local support industry and raise the rate of locally made components.
He asked Samsung to implement the research and development centre project in Vietnam soon, adding that the Vietnamese Government will actively support this project.
The Deputy PM also suggested Samsung, a multi-sectoral and multi-national group, to invest in other fields that it is strong at such as energy, seaport infrastructure, science-technology, and health care.
Hue hoped that Samsung will be a role model of successful foreign investment in Vietnam and an example of connecting local enterprises with foreign investors, thus having positive influence on Vietnam’s support industry.
HCM City bolsters cooperation with RoK localities
Relations between Vietnam’s southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s localities have developed through economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.
Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong made the remark at a reception for RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Hyuk in the city on November 16.
He said the two sides have signed several cooperation agreements over the years, bringing in positive outcomes.
At present, HCM City and the RoK’s Gyeongsangbuk-do are jointly organising a world cultural festival in the city, aiming to attract tourists, locals and businesses.
Lee Hyuk highlighted the growing bilateral ties and hailed HCM City’s efforts in working with the RoK to host the festival.
He hoped the two sides will further promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Exhibition on ASEAN opens in Ninh Thuan
An exhibition on the ASEAN Community in Vietnam opened in the south central province of Ninh Thuan on November 16.
The exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ninh Thuan People’s Committee, was attended by representatives from the Embassies of Laos and Thailand, along with tourists and local people.
It featured more than 300 photos and nearly 60 documentary films that entered international contests in recent years. The ASEAN postage stamp and seal were also on display.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Phan Tam noted that it is part of activities of the Vietnamese Government to raise public awareness of ASEAN and the establishment of the ASEAN Community.
The exhibition runs until November 19. Afterward, all of the exhibits will be presented to the provincial People’s Committee for further display.
Central region reviews green growth strategy realisation
Nearly 100 delegates from 19 cities and provinces in the central region were brought together at a conference in Nha Trang resort city, Khanh Hoa province, on November 16-17, to review the five-year implementation of the national green growth strategy.
The strategy was approved in 2012, requesting ministries, sectors and localities to build a green growth action plan to apply in reality. However, so far, only 32 out of the 63 cities and provinces and eight ministries and sectors have done this.
Nguyen Thi Minh Hien, deputy head of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said many countries are interested in developing low-carbon green growth as it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, improve the quality of economic growth, change manufacturing and consumption structure toward sustainability, and improve local living standards.
Participants said that many localities in the central region were unaware of the importance of the strategy, so failed to build an action plan. Additionally, economic restructuring toward green growth is posing a lot of challenges relating to financial resources, land and planning.
The central region needs about 15 billion USD to invest in the field through 2020.
Deputy Director of the Binh Thuan Department of Planning and Investment Phan Nguyen Thanh Tan said the province built a plan to implement the green growth strategy in 2016, defining priority fields for investment of 36 trillion VND (1.58 billion USD). However, due to the limited local budget, the province needs capital from the central budget and businesses, he added.
Delegates said that it is necessary to promote green investment and have policies to mobilise public investment for projects in addition to building a mechanism to supervise and evaluate the implementation of the strategy.
Representatives from tourism hubs such as Thua Thien-Hue and Khanh Hoa asked the Government to boost human resources training and promulgate a national strategy and incentives to develop ecotourism.
Rare langurs released back into the jungle
Four Hà Tĩnh langurs (Trachypithecus hatinhensis), an endangered primate species, have been released into the Kẻ Gỗ Nature Reserve in the central provincve of Hà Tĩnh as part of a re-introduction programme.
The programme is run by the Endangered Primates Rescue Centre (EPRC), the Biodiversity Conservation Centre (GreenViet), an NGO in biodiversity communications in Việt Nam.
GreenViet, a partner in the operation, said it was the fourth consecutive release in the reserve since 2015. Twelve, of which two died in conflicts against local monkey groups, have now been returned to nature.
Biological researchers from GreenViet said the langurs were captive-born individuals from Cúc Phương National Park in Ninh Bình Province.
They said they will follow the released langurs for a few weeks to six months with tracking devices. Biologists hope they will build up a new colony in the 45,000ha reserve.
The Hà Tĩnh langurs, which are listed as endangered species by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species), exist only in a restricted area of central Việt Nam and eastern Laos.
The largest population of 200 individuals is in Quảng Bình Province, and a small group lives in Quảng Trị. About 80 Hà Tĩnh langurs have been born in captivity at the EPRC in Ninh Bình.
Disabled people in Quang Binh receive wheelchairs
The Lawrence S. Ting Memorial Fund and the Child Protection Fund of the central province of Quang Binh on November 14 presented 96 wheelchairs to people with disabilities across the province.
Speaking at the ceremony, Phan Chanh Duong, Director of the Lawrence S. Ting Fund, said the organisation has handed over nearly 19,500 wheelchairs to disabled people nationwide.
This is the fourth time it has sent wheelchairs to people in Quang Binh, bringing the total number of wheelchairs given to the province to 700, he added.
Nguyen Tien Hoang, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, voiced his hope that the organisation will continue to support disadvantaged people of Vietnam and Quang Binh province in particular.
Hai Phong port city asked to envisage future development
The northern port city of Hai Phong needs to regularly review its development master plan and envisage how it will be in the next 10-20 years in order to take supplementary moves in a firm, step-by-step manner, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong has told local authorities.
At a working session on November 15 in Hai Phong, the Party leader said the city boasts a lot of advantages and plays a significant position in the north. He recognised its achievements in economic restructuring and new rural building.
However, Hai Phong should fully tap its potential to grow vigorously and map out what to do in the three-year or five-year periods.
He emphasized the Party building and reorganisation as a key task, which relates to not only millions of Party members but also the whole political system, State apparatus, personnel work, and working lifestyle.
The prevention of corruption and negative phenomena must be conducted completely, drastically and persistently to create remarkable changes, he stressed.
Meanwhile, international integration, industrialisation and urbanisation must go with cultural preservation and promotion of great national unity, resilience, and creativity, he said.
He asked Hai Phong to reform growth models and promote investment attraction to take the lead in the country’s “Doi moi” (renewal) process.
Earlier on November 14, the Party leader visited the VINFAST automobile manufacturing complex and Dinh Vu-Cat Hai sea bridge – part of Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Highway – the longest sea bridge in Southeast Asia.
According to Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Council, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expands by 12.73 percent per year, higher than the yearly target of 10.5 percent.
The export turnover is expected to grow by more than 22 percent in 2017 and hit 12 billion USD by 2020. The budget collection across the city is estimated at 71 trillion VND (3.12 billion USD) in 2017, up 26.22 percent against the previous year, while the total social investment is projected to reach nearly 68 trillion VND (2.99 billion USD).
At the end of this year, the city strives to have 74 new rural communes, making up over 53 percent of the total communes. By 2019, all communes are hoped to gain this status.