Social News 23/1
Tay Ninh: Cross-border cracker smuggling increases in run-up to Tet





Smuggling of firecrackers from Cambodia to Vietnam has increased considerably during days approaching Tet (Lunar New Year), according to Tay Ninh Police’s economic police division.

The province’s police on January 21 caught a 30-year-old man smuggling 10 kilogrammes of crackers on motorbike from Cambodia to Vietnam.

The man, residing in Dong Tien hamlet, Tan Dong commune, Tan Chau district, confessed that he bought crackers from Cambodia and was transporting them to Vietnam for selling.

The case is under further investigation.

The trans-border smuggling of crackers from Cambodia to Vietnam often increases during the Tet festival. Smugglers often transport crackers at night and hide them at home before selling.

According to Colonel Le Hong Duong, Deputy Commander of the Tay Ninh Border Guard Command, on January 7 and 15, the border stations in Ka Tum and Tan Ha, Tan Chau district, seized dozens of kilogrammes of crackers illegally transported from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Cambodian Royal Guards extend New Year wishes to Vinh Long

A Cambodian Royal Guards delegation led by Deputy Commander General Keo Sa Bun visited and extended wishes to the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long on January 21 on the occasion of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year).

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Quang thanked the delegation for visiting the province on the occasion of Tet, Vietnam’s largest traditional festival during the year.

He briefed the guests on the province’s social and economic achievements and hoped the affection between the two countries in general and between Vinh Long province and Cambodia in particular will always thrive.

General Keo Sa Bun expressed his great gratefulness to Vietnam and Vinh Long in particular for their all-round assistance to Cambodia over the past time.

He said he believes that the solidarity and friendship between the two nations will continue to be strengthened and nurtured by next generations.

He  also wished Vinh Long province’s leaders, armed forces and people a happy and successful new year.

Vietnam peacekeeping centre launches official website

The Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre inaugurated its website at ww.vnpkc.gov.vn on January 20.

Run by the Ministry of Defence, the site provides official information, videos and photos related to Vietnam’s engagement in the UN peacekeeping missions, including training and international cooperation activities.

In his speech launching the website, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Pham Ngoc Minh stressed that the launch of the site is necessary given the booming of internet and its many advantages in information sharing.

The site will help disseminate information and attract resources to support the centre’s operation, he added.

Founded in 2014, the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre has sent 12 officers to serve as staff officers, liaison officers and military observers at the UN missions in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Their performance has been highly regarded by the UN, the mission commanders and international counterparts.

Poor households receive aid for Tet festival

Poor workers, households and children nationwide have received financial support to welcome the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. 

The northern port city of Hai Phong earmarked 1.2 billion VND (540,000 USD) for assisting poor workers in the locality. 

The Hai Phong economic zone presented gifts to 3,618 workers and 40 free rides to their homes in the countryside on January 25-26. 

On the occasion, its trade union hosted an event gathering more than 3,600 workers from local industrial and economic zones. 

In the central province of Quang Tri, the State President’s gifts worth nearly 6.7 billion VND were handed over to 32,720 families of war heroes and policy beneficiaries. 

The provincial authorities at all levels offered gifts worth around 895 million VND (40,680 USD) to 4,355 families of policy beneficiaries and residents living in need, and nearly 1,486 tonnes of rice to 31,363 families in specially disadvantaged circumstances.  

Philanthropists and businesses also donated 35,430 gifts totalling 15 billion VND (681,000 USD) to local poor households. 

On January 22, more than 2,000 children living in difficulty met at an event held by the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union. 

They were treated with music performances and gifts.

Labour federations assist poor workers ahead of Tet

Labour federations nationwide have held activities in support of poor workers ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. 

On January 21, the standing board of the Dien Bien provincial Labour Federation hosted a gathering to present gifts to 62 needy workers, each worth 700,000 VND (30.4 USD). 

In the evening the same day, the Labour Federation of southern An Giang province also offered gifts to 700 poor workers, each worth 600,000 VND (26 USD) in cash and kind. 

Also on January 21, families of 600 workers met at an event in Ho Chi Minh City, an annual activity hosted by the municipal General Confederation of Labour. 

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Dinh La Thang also attended the event. 

Statistics from the confederation showed that more than 686,900 workers and civil servants in the city have received financial support worth in excess of 253 billion VND (11 million USD) for the occasion.

Officials pay New Year visits to localities

Party and State officials and local authorities paid visits to units and localities ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival on January 21-22. 

Politburo member and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan presented gifts to 200 poor households in Tieu Can district and Tra Vinh city in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh.

While in Vinh Long, another province in the Mekong Delta region, the poor and policy beneficiaries also received gifts from the official.

Working with local authorities of the two provinces, Nhan asked for greater efforts to improve social welfares for disadvantaged people, especially during Tet, besides the main task of boosting economic development. 

In the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, authorities of the city and Cai Rang district presented Tet gifts to 300 merchants in Cai Rang floating market, each worth 300,000 VND (13 USD). 

While Soc Trang province, the Bach Dang square in Soc Trang city was inaugurated after four months of upgrading, serving as a venue for Tet celebration activities. 

In An Nghiep industrial park, the provincial Labour Federation held a programme attracting more than 500 poor workers to offer them a warm Tet. 

In Long An province, local authorities paid Tet visits to border guards and other forces working in the border line.

On January 22, head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh visited to armed forces, families of policy beneficiaries and heroic Vietnamese mothers in the central province of Quang Nam.

Poor access to loans hinders production development

Difficulties in borrowing money from banks have made it difficult for farmers to develop agricultural production in Hanoi.

Tran Dinh Thanh, head of the Farmers Association of Ba Vi district’s Cam Linh commune said the association includes 61 households raising a total of 270,000 chickens, reported by Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

It needs 17 billion VND (748,000 USD) to maintain their breeding activities, he said.

This meant each household was required to contribute about 300 million VND (13,200 USD).

However, most of them could borrow only 100 million VND (4,400 USD) from banks because to borrow more, banks required farmers to use their land-use right certificate as collateral, he said.

Most households rent land for breeding farms, so they have no land-use right certificates.

Ngo Thanh Tung, head of a group of animal breeders in Dong Anh district’s Viet Hung commune in Hanoi said the group is raising more than 50 sows and hundreds of pigs.

The group provides jobs for more than 20 local labourers with regular income of 3-5 million VND (132-220 USD) each month, he said.

Yet he and other breeders could only access 12 month loans from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). The short-term loans affected the breeders’ mindsets as they had to pay their loans back quickly, he said.

Thành said he hoped the Government would help farmers could borrow middle and long-term loans in the future.

In June 2015, the Government issued Decree 55/NĐ-CP, aiming to create favourable conditions for farmers to borrow money with preferential treatment. Under the decree, farmers can get a loan from 50 million – 3 billion VND (2,200 - 1.3 million USD) but were required to give banks their land-use right certificates before receiving money.

A representative from the SBV admitted to shortcomings in providing loans for farmers.

Nguyen Tien Dong, head of the SVB’s Credit Department said he knew many famers who failed to borrow money due to the need to provide land-use right certificates as collateral.

He said the SVB will ask the Government to amend regulations on mortgages to fix the shortcomings.

Economist Can Van Luc said lending money without collateral should be carefully considered because banks would risks borrowers failing to pay back their loans.

It is easy to see why banks had to carefully calculate the feasibility of a project before lending money, he said.

Luc said authorised agencies are advised to provide training for farmers so that they use the money they borrowed from banks effectively. When they present a feasible plan, they can borrow money from banks easier.-

Central Highlands improves human resources training

The Central Highlands is deploying a number of measures to improve human resources training.

According to the regional steering committee, since 2014, Central Highlands localities have opened 327 training classes for 27,409 officials at communal level.

Particularly, the region is prioritising financial resources to train officials from ethnic minority areas to sharpen their administrative management skills and political theory.

The committee has proposed centrally-run relevant agencies build a special training curriculum for the region.

The Central Highlands comprises of five provinces, namely Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong and Lam Dong.

Art programme welcomes OVs to homeland spring

A special art programme was held at Thong Nhat (Reunification) Palace in Ho Chi Minh City on late January 20 to welcome overseas Vietnamese (OVs) returning to enjoy the homeland spring.

More than 1,000 expatriates representing more than 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese around the world, along with senior officials and representatives of embassies and international organisations attended the annual programme.

Opening the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh highlighted the strong and comprehensive implementation of works relating to OVs, noting fruitful assistance to OVs, teaching and learning of Vietnamese, visits to Truong Sa archipelago, youth summer camps and exchanges.

This year, the Foreign Ministry and the State Commission on Overseas Vietnamese Affairs will continue working with other ministries and localities to carry out various activities, both at home and abroad, to call for OVs’ joint efforts in national development, he added.

Wishing the expatriates a happy New Year, President Tran Dai Quang reiterated OVs are an integral part of Vietnam, and the Fatherland always welcomes them back.

He noted the country’s significant achievements over three decades of reforms, attributing those successes partly to precious material and spiritual support of OVs.

He also expressed his delight at the all-round development of OVs, saying many expatriates succeeded in studying, working and doing scientific research and business which has made Vietnam known around the world.  

OV communities have also gained a foothold in many countries and greatly contributed to their local society. They have also educated their children about the homeland, the Vietnamese language and traditional culture.

The President voiced his hope that OVs will keep united to work for national development and for Vietnam’s friendship and cooperation with other countries. He vowed the best possible conditions for them to return to the homeland and have a better life in foreign nations.

HCM City’s leaders meet overseas Vietnamese on eve of Tet

Ho Chi Minh City’s leaders on January 20 held a meeting with overseas Vietnamese who returned home to welcome the Lunar New Year festival (Tet).

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, informed the overseas Vietnamese about the city’s socio-economic achievements and hailed their contributions to the southern hub by doing business, transferring technologies and making recommendations to HCM City.

He called on the overseas Vietnamese to continue upholding their patriotism, working as a bridge between Vietnam and other countries worldwide and joining hands to develop HCM City into a modern and civilised city.

On behalf of the participants, Tran Hoang Minh, a Vietnamese expatriate from the US, thanked the local authorities for favourable conditions that they have created for overseas Vietnamese to live, work and invest in the city.

Expressing his impression on Ho Chi Minh City’s positive changes, Minh stated that Vietnamese expatriates always remember and are willing to contribute to their homeland.

More compensation comes to Formosa incident-hit residents





Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has asked the Ministry of Finance to make an advance payment of 1.68 trillion VND (over 74 million USD) to compensate local residents in four central coastal provinces for their losses caused by a maritime environment incident last year.

The four effected localities, namely Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, will receive 560 billion VND, 760 billion VND, 160 billion VND and 200 billion VND, respectively. This is the second round of compensation for the affected people.

The sum is sourced from the compensation of Taiwanese Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd, whose wastewater caused mass fish deaths along the coast of the four provinces, affecting the lives of over 260,000 fishermen and seafood traders.

Formosa agreed to pay damages of 500 million USD to help local fishermen switch to other jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment. The company also vowed to deal with shortcomings in its waste and wastewater treatment.    

Deputy PM Binh requested the Ministry of Finance to promptly transfer the money to the localities while asking the provincial authorities to ensure the proper allocation.

HCM City supplies clean water to all households

The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City announced on January 20 that the city has fulfilled the target of supplying clean water to all of its 1.9 million households.

Over the past two years, the Saigon Water Supply Corporation and the Saigon Water Infrastructure Company has sped up the implementation of projects to provide clean water for additional 390,000 families in District 12, Binh Tan, Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon districts, accomplishing the goal at the end of 2016 as scheduled.

Le Van Khoa, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the supply of clean water to all of the city’s households helps to ensure local residents’ health and protect of underground water sources.

He noted 92 percent of water samples taken from drilled wells in the city were contaminated, affecting people’s health in the long term.

Khoa also revealed that the city is planning to expand its water supply systems by  installing over 1,000 km of water pipelines by 2019 and completing the construction of  Kenh Dong and Thu Duc 4 waterworks in 2018.

Tet gifts presented to Vietnamese-Cambodian families

Vietnamese Ambassador Thach Du and staff of Vietnamese representative offices in Cambodia on January 20 visited and presented gifts to a number of Vietnamese-Cambodian households in Phnom Penh on the threshold of the Lunar New Year (Tet).

While extending his Tet greetings to the families who are policy beneficiaries, the ambassador affirmed that the Party and State always consider overseas Vietnamese, including those in Cambodia, an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation.

He highlighted the revolutionary tradition of the Vietnamese community in Cambodia as well as their contributions to the country’s resistance wars, adding that that the Party and State has designed a number of policies to help them overcome difficulties, stabilise their lives and contribute to the homeland.

Representatives of the families thanked the ambassador and officials for their care and greetings, and pledged to exert more efforts in their lives and study, boost economic development, strengthen solidarity, integrate well into the Cambodian society and uphold customs and culture of Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia is also scheduled to present Tet gifts to 200 poor Vietnamese-Cambodian families in Kien Svay district of Kandal province on January 23.

Catholic committee pledges to contribute to national development

The Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics is committed to implementing campaigns initiated by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF), stated Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the committee Tran Xuan Manh.

Manh made the statement when he visited the VFF Central Committee’s office to extend Lunar New Year greetings on January 20.

The priest asked for further collaboration from the VFF Central Committee so that the Catholic committee would contribute more to the nation’s socio-economic development. 

Appreciating Manh’s goodwill and greetings, Vice President and Secretary General of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man spoke highly of the committee’s contributions to the country’s economic growth, security and social welfare.

Man noted that the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics and 40 other religious signed a cooperation pact with the VFF to protect the environment and tackle climate change impacts. The Catholic committee also mobilized support from followers for drought and flood victims, as well as worked to raise legal awareness and respect among their followers.

He said he believes the Catholic committee will continue its good services in the coming time.

More islanders connected to national power grid in Kien Giang

More than 3,000 households in three island communes - Lai Son, Hon Nghe and Son Hai - in the southern coastal province of Kien Giang have been connected to the national power grid.

The Electricity of Vietnam Southern Power Corporation (EVNSPC) marked the official inauguration of the electricity supply projects to the communes at a ceremony on January 20. 

According to the EVNSPC, the three projects had a combined investment of 652 billion VND (28.68 million USD), sourced from the Government’s Programme 2081 on power supply for rural, mountainous areas and islands from 2013-2020.

The project to supply electricity for Lai Son island commune in Kien Hai district installed 43km of 110kV cables including 24.5km at sea, 13 transformer stations, and meters for 1,956 households. The project, with total investment of 467 billion VND (20.54 million USD), was started in December 2015 and completed in November 2016.

The project to supply electricity for Hon Nghe island commune in Kien Luong district installed 16.3km of 22kV of medium voltage sea-crossing cables, 9.9 km of medium voltage cable on the island and meters for 526 households on the island. The project, worth nearly 140 billion VND (6.16 million USD), was carried out between February and December, 2016.

The project on Son Hai island, which began in December 2016 and finished on January 19, 2017, included the installation of 4.8km of medium voltage cables on land, 4km of sea-crossing cables and meters for 556 households on the island.

It had  total investment of nearly 45 billion VND (1.98 million USD), of which nearly half was sourced from the provincial budget.

According to the EVNSPC, similar projects will be implemented to bring electricity to other island communes in Kien Giang, namely An Son in Kien Hai district, and Hon Thom in Phu Quoc district during 2017-2020.

Overseas Vietnamese urged to popularise traditional culture

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has expressed wish that the overseas Vietnamese would popularise traditional culture to Vietnamese generations abroad and international friends. 

He made the statement during a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on January 20 with 100 outstanding overseas Vietnamese who will attend the annual Xuan Que Huong (Homeland Spring) programme scheduled for later this month. 

Nhan informed them that the committee and several agencies are devising a plan to assist Vietnamese nationals abroad in preserving Vietnamese identity and language. 

He wished that the overseas Vietnamese would join hands for the homeland development, especially in the field of start-up as well as contribute to tightening ties between Vietnam and international friends. 

Several delegates suggested opening Vietnamese cultural centres abroad, making it easier for Vietnamese nationals to meet each other and introduce traditional culture to foreign friends. 

They also urged relevant agencies to ease traffic congestion, deal with environment pollution and unsafe food while accelerating administrative reform to attract foreign direct investment. 

It is necessary to increase external information services, diversify information channels and provide a full database on seas and islands sovereignty, they said, adding that start-up projects should consult intellectuals and businesspeople overseas to achieve the best results. 

According to them, authorised agencies should closely liaison with the overseas Vietnamese communities abroad to bring more students to foreign countries to improve foreign language skills and expertise.

Traffic website expected to help ease traffic jams in HCM City

Everyone who wants smooth movement on roads in Ho Chi Minh City now can visit the city’s traffic website at giaothong.hochiminhcity.gov.vn, which made its debut on January 19.

A mobile app of the website, managed by the municipal Department of Transport, for Android phones is also available.

It supplies updated information about traffic density and movement speed, along with live images of traffic recorded by more than 300 cameras of the Transport Department across the city. 

Website users can keep up with information on congested streets and the control of traffic flow so as to choose the best route to go.

Details of parking areas or public toilets, among others, can also be found on this website, which is also designed to help users easily give feedback on traffic problems.

At the launch, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee Khuat Viet Hung said HCM City is taking the lead in applying IT in traffic infrastructure management. Basing on the city’s experience, the Transport Ministry will consider similar applications for the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam and other localities.

Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Van Khoa said IT application is a pragmatic non-structural solution to traffic congestion, which has got worse in the city recently. It helps with not only traffic management but also the building of a smart city.

Traffic solutions for major intersection

Solutions to ease traffic congestion on the Phap Van intersection of Hanoi have been proposed by the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.

The Phap Van intersection has high traffic flow as its connects the Phap Van – Cau Gie Highway with Ring Road 3 and the Nuoc Ngam coach station with the Giap Bat coach station.

Traffic congestion occurred over all traffic lanes that surround the intersection during peak hours and holidays, said Nguyen Van Huyen, Director of the directorate.

The quality of the current transition lanes fall short of traffic demand, due to damaged road surface and obscured traffic signals, making it an urgent task to renovate the intersection and develop more transition lanes, he said.

The renovation project for the intersection is currently in its second phase, aiming to construct 6 traffic lanes for motor vehicles, which are estimated to be inaugurated at the beginning of 2018.

A new turning lane will be developed so that vehicles can turn right from the feeder road of the intersection’s interchange to a transition road from the Thanh Tri Bridge.

A switch back curve will be developed under the Phap Van viaduct to reduce the number of vehicles taking the left turn at the intersection between the Phap Van – Cau Gie Highway and Ring Road 3 to enter the city.

A new right-turn lane will be connected to the Phap Van – Cau Gie Highway to ease traffic congestion at the highway’s entrance that crosses Ring Road 3.

The administration also proposed improvements to the connection point between Ring Road 3 and National Highway 1 to make it easier for vehicles to turn right to go into the city’s centre, as well as connecting the right-turn lane from the Tran Thu Do street with the entrance lane of the Phap Van – Cau Gie Highway.

The solutions are estimated to cost 423 billion VND (18.6 million USD), of which some 256 billion VND (11.3 million USD) will be spent on site clearance.

They will be carried out under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) mechanism.

Conference seeks to develop responsible tourism in HCM City

A conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 19 to discuss how to develop responsible tourism as part of efforts to achieve economic growth, preserve culture and protect nature.

Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Bui Ta Hoang Vu said tourism growth has posed a challenge to management, planning, the environment, tourism resources and culture.

Peter Semone, Executive of Destination Human Capital, and President of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) underlined the trend of responsible tourism in the world.

He suggested the city’s tourism sector focus on promoting the quality value of tourism and raising the public awareness of responsible tourism development while designing a smart city in line with modern tourism development.

HCM City aims to become a worth-living city, which will make it an attractive destination for international tourists, Peter said, adding that the city needs to preserve its historical values while upholding its cultural identity to lure tourists.

Addressing the conference, Tran Vinh Tuyen, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee said a continuous growth has been seen in tourism revenues, but yet met the city’s expectations. Responsible tourism lays the foundation for the sustainable development of the sector until 2020 and a vision through 2030.

The event aims to bring all stakeholders together for the sustainability of the environment, socio-economic and community in tourism development.

The local tourism sector has recorded an average annual growth of 8-10 percent. It expects to lure six million international tourists and build “an attractive, friendly and safe” tourism city in 2017.

Over 2.6 million USD raised for flood victims via fatherland front

Ministries, agencies, individuals and organisations have so far donated 62 billion VND (2.69 million USD) to flood-hit victims in the central and Central Highlands regions via the National Relief Fund and Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee.

The sum was raised in response to appeals of President of the VFF Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan to support victims of flood, drought and saline intrusion last year. 

On January 19, a representative from the Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) handed over 105 million VND (4,500 USD) to the VFF Central Committee in Hanoi on January 19 to aid flood-hit victims in the central region.  

In the past, the VOV raised 621 million VND (27,000 USD) for the effort and called on individuals and organisations to work together for the victims. 

Speaking at the event, Vice President and Secretary General of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man pledged to transfer the sum to the victims as soon as possible ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year. 

He said last year, the country incurred losses from disasters, including the marine environment incident.

Vocational training strengthened for rural labourers

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a plan on vocational training for 1.4 million rural labourers from 2016-2020.

Under the plan, at least 80 percent of the graduates will be employed or improve their income.

Among them, one million will receive short-term primary vocational training on agricultural production, while the rest will train at intermediate and college levels.

According to the ministry, the targeted group includes the agricultural labour force in areas implementing agriculture restructuring and new-style rural area building. Priority will be given to those working on farms, cooperatives, and enterprises in connection with farmers, the disabled, disadvantaged households and women.

Training services will focus on technical and management skills in cultivation, husbandry, fishing, fish farming, salt processing and salt production. The training will also help implement programmes on restructuring agricultural production, adapting to climate change and addressing maritime environment pollution.

Localities will select appropriate the occupations related to large-scale agricultural production, chain-production, hi-tech products, and food safety.

Pilot training courses will be held in key production areas before being applied widely. Training curricula will be revised to be more relevant to the labour market and hi-tech agricultural production.

Capacity building will be enhanced for vocational teaching and managing staff at all levels.

Wheelchairs given to war invalids, disabled people

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) received 1,000 wheelchairs for war invalids and the disabled from IM Japan – a Japanese international human resources training agency, on January 19.

Addressing the event, MoLISA Minister Dao Ngoc Dung lauded the contributions of the IM Japan in Vietnam, especially to Vietnam-Japan labour cooperation, adding that the ministry will promptly deliver the wheelchairs to people in need.

Chairman of the IM Japan Yanagisawa Kyoei expressed his hope that the gifts will help the disabled integrate better into society.

On the occasion, MoLISA handed out 200 wheelchairs to people of Thai Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces.

Vietnamese, French notary associations establish twin ties

The notary associations of Vietnam’s northern province of Thai Nguyen and France’s Rouen-Normandy region have inked an agreement to establish their twin ties.

Jean Déléage, a member of the Supreme Council of French Notary, who is in charge of notary cooperation in Southeast Asia, witnessed the signing ceremony in Thai Nguyen on January 19.

At a meeting with Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nhu Van Tam the same day, the guest was told that Thai Nguyen is one of the three biggest education-training centers in Vietnam.

Therefore, the demand for certification of contracts and documents from organisations, businesses and individuals in the locality is increasing, Tam said.

This requires the province to further improve the operational efficiency of judicial agencies, including notarial activities, he added, proposing the French notary association to support the Vietnamese partner in the sphere.

According to the deal, the two sides will regularly exchange information and documents on notarial profession, share experience in the field, and refine procedures for drafting documents to ease concerns in inheritance, land, and identity. 

The agreement will come into force within five years and be automatically extended once in five years if the two sides have no documents to end its validity.

Thai Nguyen was the seventh locality of Vietnam to sign the twin cooperation with France after Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hai Duong and Vinh Phuc.

New film on life of VN diaspora in Russia

The life of the Vietnamese diaspora in Russia will be reflected in a new soap opera produced by Việt Nam Television titled Moscow – Mùa Thay Lá (Moscow – Season of Falling Leaves).

This is Việt Nam Television’s first film to be completely shot in Russia.

Director Trọng Trinh said the romantic yellow colours of the fall in Moscow and the emotional story of love and friendship will be key factors in attracting audiences.

The film stars Hồng Đăng and Hồng Diễm, the couple who won viewers’ hearts in the TV series Cầu Vồng Tình Yêu (Love Rainbow), which aired in 2015.

In Moscow – Mùa Thay Lá, Đăng and Diễm play Minh and Phương, each other’s first love, who are separated by an unexpected upheaval. After many years, they meet again in Moscow and find that their hearts still beat for each other. However, there is a big gap between them because Phương is married to Đức, one of Minh’s friends. Phương is in a difficult situation because she has to choose between present happiness and the deep love of her past.

“Diễm performs her role in the film very successfully and so does Đăng,” said director Trinh.

“Their teamwork was perfect, although they’d not worked together for a year or so.

“I believe that the film will touch people’s hearts. It’s worth waiting for.”

The film was shot in Moscow and neighbouring areas. For Vietnamese people who have lived and studied in Russia, the film offers a trip down memory lane to familiar sites like the Red Square, Lenin Hills, Moscow Metro and the multi-functional Hà Nội-Moscow complex.

The film crew moved to different areas to find beautiful autumn scenes. When shooting began in Moscow, the leaves hadn’t changed colour. So the film crew had to travel to Sergiyev Posad City where autumn had already arrived.

“A lot of effort and hard work by the film crew made the peaceful and beautiful autumn scenes possible,” Trinh said.

“We had to manage the weather, food, the time zones, traffic jams and the distance between countries.”

The four-episode film will be screened on VTV1 from January 29 to February 1.

Nguyen A introduces new photo book on Vietnam’s intangible cultural heritages

Local veteran photographer Nguyen A last week launched his new photo book on Vietnam’s intangible cultural heritages on Nguyen Van Binh book street in District 1, HCMC, reports Sai Gon Giai Phong.

The book features 11 intangible cultural heritages of Vietnam, acknowledged by UNESCO, including tug-of-war, cai luong (southern opera), ca tru (traditional ceremonial singing), gong cultural space in the Central Highlands region and Hue imperial music.

Nguyen A told the audience at the book launch that he has more courage and passion to work on the book after countless meetings with artists, artisans, professors, scientists, scholars and farmers who have contributed to developing and preserving all the heritages of Vietnam which have been acknowledged by UNESCO.

Nguyen A had made hundreds of trips last year between north and south to meet artisans and related people to finish the book.

“Spring Fair” returns to Hanoi

The annual Spring Fair titled ““Lantern Street” celebrating the traditional lunar New Year opened at the Quan Ngua Stadium in Hanoi on January 16.

The event is a place where people can buy specialties of three regions for Tet holidays, take pictures and enjoy “Lantern Street”, traditional art performances.

The Spring Fair features nearly 500 display booths of businesses nationwide, presenting thousands of items.

The fair will run until January 23.

Vietnamese Tet fair opens in Hanoi

The “Vietnamese Tet holiday 2017” fair opens at the Vietnam Exhibition Center for Culture and Arts on January 18.
 
The meaningful event gives visitors an opportunity to learn more about traditional Tet holiday in the country.

Visitors will be immersed in the atmosphere of old New Year  at the “Vietnamese Tet holiday 2017” and take part in many cultural activities, such as exhibitions, “Tet holiday with traditional crafts”, “Paintings of the Year of the Rooster 2017”; “Spring Calligraphy” corner; spring flowers arrangement; folk games; food fair; and art performances.

The Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City announced that 18 science and technology projects of high school students were awarded the first prize of the contest for science-technology research held by the Department lately.

Of 37 entries sent to the organizer, 18 of them were selected for applicable creativity. Projects showed that high school students pay attention to automation, technology and technique.

In addition, the organizer selected 19 and 156 projects to give second prizes and third prizes.

All first prize projects will be sent to the national competition of science and technology held by the Ministry of Education and Training next time.

The annual competition aims to encourage high school students to carry out science and tech researches and apply knowledge into practice.

Northern press festivals in full swing

A press festival to welcome the Year of the Rooster opened at the Viet Xo (Vietnam – Russia) Friendship Cultural Palace in Hanoi on January 17.

Organised by the Hanoi Journalists Association, the event features 23 stalls of publications that together offer a socio-economic overview of the capital city last year.

The festival, which also serves as a gathering for journalists, lasts until January 18.

On the occasion, the municipal journalists association held a ceremony to present the Ngo Tat To press award to outstanding news stories last year. Reporters from the Hanoi Moi newspaper and Hanoi radio-television secured first prizes at the print and television categories.

The same day, similar festivals took place in the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Dien Bien.

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