Social News 17/6

Minh slips 2 places in latest BWF world rankings

Coming off a spate of lacklustre showings, leading Vietnamese shuttler Nguyen Tien Minh dropped two places to No. 66 in the latest Badminton World Federation men’s singles rankings.

While Minh’s wife, Vu Thi Trang, slid to No. 40 in the women’s singles rankings.

In doubles, Do Tuan Duc-Pham Nhu Thao, however, jumped eight places to No. 48. 

ABB limits fresh water leakage in Ho Chi Minh City

ABB, a pioneering technology leader in industrial digitalisation, has helped Ho Chi Minh City to save 500,000 cubic metres of non-revenue water—water that has been produced but has been “lost” before reaching customers—per day, roughly the daily capacity of a medium-sized water plant in the city.

ABB limits fresh water leakage in Ho Chi Minh City

A strategic ABB AbilityTM Symphony® Plus SCADA system has been designed to help Ho Chi Minh City’s fresh water system to limit leakages.

The ABB system integrates a sophisticated leakage detection and management system from water network management company TaKaDu.

The project will deploy several data collection points, such as sensors and meters for flow and pressure monitoring, to the water network and allow water corporation SAWACO to digitally monitor the network conditions “nearly in real time.”

“Projects like the Ho Chi Minh City water network show the full potential of advanced automation for all municipalities dealing with rapid expansions or aging infrastructure,” said Kevin Kosisko, managing director of ABB’s Power Generation and Water business.

“Furthermore, the smart collection of digital data from the field will offer real-time insights on the network status, allowing for increased revenues,” said Kosisko.

The utility will be able to continually detect, analyse, and manage network events, transforming the information into immediate action to reduce water losses.

Ho Chi Minh City aims to reduce water leakage to 10 per cent only by 2020 from the 30 per cent in 2016.

NA Vice Chairwoman welcomes Lao officials to study in Vietnam

National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong on June 28 met with governmental and military officials from northern Laos who will attend Vietnamese language training courses in the northern province of Son La this year.

Speaking at the meeting, Secretary of the Son La province Party Committee Hoang Van Chat said his province will host Vietnamese language courses for 104 officials from eight northern Lao provinces while professional training will be provided to 30 others from Lao border guard forces in Huaphanh and Luang Prabang provinces. 

Another 40 officials will be admitted to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Vietnam.

The Lao students will receive lessons in Vietnamese listening, speaking, reading, writing and intensive Vietnamese for specific fields, including social affairs, science, forestry, engineering and economics.

They will be provided free accommodation and opportunities to go on field trips and take part in extracurricular activities.

Welcoming the Lao officials, Phong, who is on a visit to Son La, hailed the close and faithful relationship between Vietnam and Laos, which was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane, and has been fostered by generations of Party and State leaders and people of the two countries.

She praised Son La for organising such training courses, noting that they will contribute to strengthening bilateral ties.

Muskmelon farming area increasing in southern Vietnam

Muskmelon has been favorite in domestic and foreign markets with high selling prices sending businesses and farmers to expand farming area in the southern region for the last one year.

After conducting a pilot program to grow 30 varieties of muskmelon from other countries, HCMC Agricultural Hi-Tech Park (AHTP) has chosen four varieties suitable with the climate in the southern region of Vietnam, where can cultivate four crops a year with each crop lasting 2-2.5 months.

Farmers can grow 2,500-2,700 plants per 1,000 square meters during dry season and 2,200-2,500 plants during rainy season. This yields about  21,000 muskmelons weighed 1.5 kilogram each. A kilogram has been priced VND24,000 at fields.

In HCMC, about 30 households have developed over 40 hectares of the fruit meeting a small part of domestic consumption demand. About 15,000 tons are imported from China a year.
Largest farming areas are in Hoc Mon and Cu Chi districts. An economic cadre in Cu Chi said farming area has increased day by day mainly by export firms in the district. In Nha Be, two businesses have invested in about four hectares for export.

Khang Nguyen Company, specializing in seed supply, said that incorrect export information has led many people to grow muskmelon.

Still, many farmers have not applied hi-tech farming measures, resulting in low quality fruits which were sold at markets in the city at the price of only VND17,000-18,000 a kilogram at the end of May.

Surveys by the company show that muskmelon area is estimated to near 200 hectares in the southern region.

Mr. Do Viet Ha, deputy head of HCMC Agricultural Hi-Tech Park, said that muskmelon price approximates $8-10 a kilogram in the Japanese market while it is only $3 in Vietnam. 

So businesses can earn much profit from the fruit's export. However their supply has been unstable because farming area has been expanded while quality has not been equal with only one third of the fruits in a hectare. 

Muskmelon supply is usually short in most countries during winter months, causing high import demand during this time. 

Therefore, authorized agencies should plan the fruit’s farming zones, scales and areas to meet export demand and prevent uncontrolled farming expansion from causing oversupply and price drop.

Activities on Vietnam Family Day launched at book street

Many exciting activities to celebrate Vietnam Family Day 2017 (June 28) are taking place at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, District 1, HCMC.

The events are organized by HCMC Book Street Company and last till July 2.

The highlight of the event in June 28 is a talk show with the theme of happy family, aiming to introduce the family book store’s efficiency.

From June 29 to July 1, art performances will be launched and musician Nguyen Van Chung will have a talk to young people from 16pm to 17pm.

A startup program; clean eating-healthy living and moments of a happy family will be taken place in July 2.

Quang Binh tourism recovers after marine environmental incident

The central coastal province of Quang Binh received 1.5 million visitors, including more than 27,000 international tourists, earned a total revenue of VND1.6 trillion  (US$70.4 million) in the first six months of this year.

The provincial tourism industry show signs of recovery from last year’s Formosa-caused sea environmental incident.

Tourist attractions, such as Nhat Le, Da Nhay, Bao Ninh, Quang Phu, Hai Ninh beaches; Phong Nha, Thien Duong, Tien Son, Nuoc Mooc, Tu Lan caves have lured a great number of visitors.

After the blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island” hitting the big screen, domestic and foreign travel companies have simultaneously launched tours to Quang Binh, where many scenes were filmed.

From the effects of "Kong", Quang Binh have attracted many local and foreign film makers to come to the province and plan for upcoming movie projects.

In February, Quang Binh Province launched its official tourism website for international tourists at www.quangbinh-tourism.com, aiming at promoting provincial tourism and showing the real image of the province.

In addition, the local authorities have invested more than US$40,000 to promote tourism on the global travel site TripAdvisor in two years.

The provincial tourism industry expects to draw over 3 million travelers in 2017.

Water-music park to go up in Nha Be soon

Tai Nguyen Construction-Production-Trading Company has got green light from the HCMC government to develop a water music park worth US$3 million, local media reports.

The park scheduled to start operation in August will be located in the city’s outlying district of Nha Be, and is expected to create an attractive entertainment destination on the river route to take cruise passengers to Can Gio Biosphere Reserve and help to develop river tourism.

The park will stage nightly water music performance capable of serving some 2,000 visitors starting. In addition, the music park is slated to run for three years, and then will be upgraded depending on the entertainment demands of the public.

Multiple activities at HCMC Book Street to celebrate Family Day

The book street on Nguyen Van Binh road next to two of HCMC’s landmarks, the Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, will hold a series of entertainment activities and workshops for parents and kids from June 28 to July 2 on the occasion of the Vietnamese Family Day (June 28).

Parents can take their kids to the book street to participate in a workshop on the theme “Family is a sweet home” at 8.30 a.m. this Wednesday to know the benefits of family bookcases and learn how to design an effective bookcase so that children can get access to knowledge at an early age.

In addition, parents who are intending to let their children study abroad can join a talk show to listen to hands-on experience in overseas study from experienced speakers to prepare first steps for their children when living and studying away from home. The workshop is available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 29.

The book street is also expected to host multiple fun activities for kids, including quiz show, chess-playing, circus show, handmade product-making, and statue painting on two days June 30 and July 1 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is also a good chance for kids to relax during the summer break and arouse their creativity.

Especially, the program “Happy moments of Vietnamese families” will create a special opportunity for family members to pose for a family photo so as to record unforgettable moments at the busy book street to celebrate the Vietnamese Family Day.

 HCM City bus passenger number ascends

The number of bus users in Ho Chi Minh has increased during the first half of this year thanks to the use of new and improved buses as well as the opening of extra routes and services.

Since the beginning of 2017, the number of bus passengers in the southern hub has risen by 14.4% year-on-year, the first positive development following several years of declining use of public transport.

Buses in the city have provided service for 163.3 million passengers during the period, accounting for 47.2% of this year’s passenger goal set by local authorities.

According to Tran Chi Trung, director of the city’s Management and Operation Center for Public Transport, the increase in passengers can be attributed to the fact that nearly 700 new buses had been added to replace dilapidated old ones along some 39 routes.

About 800 CNG (compressed natural gas) buses are expected to be put into operation during 2017, contributing to an improvement in service quality and a reduction in environmental pollution, Trung continued.

Several new services have been added to hike the level of convenience for local residents and tourists, namely the addition of routes leading to Saigon Railway Station in District 3 and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District.

Four electric bus routes with a capacity of 15 passengers were also added to facilitate commuters in District 7 and the downtown area.

Long An sets aside nearly US$750 million for water work construction

The Mekong Delta province of Long An plans to invest more than VND17 trillion (US$748 million) by 2030, or some VND1.21 trillion (US$53.2 million) each year on average, to construct water works to supply clean water to the localit’s entire 1.5 million population.

The investment will be sourced from the State budget, official development assistance (ODA) and other foreign-funded capital as well as private firms.

The province will build 35 water works in 15 districts, towns and Tan An city at a total cost of about VND13 trillion, along with 200 rural water plants at more than VND4 trillion.

As part of efforts to provide clean water to all locals by 2030, Long An will encourage the private sector to invest in the water supply by providing them with preferential policies.

Long An will allow the use of natural rivers for plants using surface water, while helping investors exploit underground water. The province will also support enterprises in land use and capital access.

Currently, about 20 percent of people in Long An have accessed clean water. The province has been allocated about VND200 billion each year for water work construction, while private firms have invested about 100 billion each year to the water supply sector, mostly in Can Duoc and Can Giuoc rural districts.

Seeds’ quality, not quantity, crucial for agricultural development, workshop says

Developing high quality, climate resilient seeds and making them available in the market under a strong and holistic legal framework would greatly benefit farmers and be critical in transforming the agricultural sector, Hoàng Văn Thắng, vice minister at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), said.

According to the World Bank, the agricultural sector in the Mekong region has been focusing on quantity, however, quality is imperative to improve productivity and income, thus contributing to food security and economic growth.

Despite the region being a large exporter of key products such as rice, coffee, pepper and cashew, Mekong agricultural products are known for their poor quality and reduced price on the global market. With a limited legal framework, it is challenging to ensure quality control or promote new seed varieties.

Policymakers from Việt Nam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar gathered in Hà Nội on Tuesday to gain insight into the best international practices in seed governance.

According to Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, head of MARD’s Crop Production Department, Việt Nam is aiming to meet local seed demands and expand the market internationally.

However, plant varieties that are disease resistant and can adapt to climate change in Việt Nam have not been well researched. Meanwhile, a large number of plant varieties have been identified, yet not many are of high quality and commercial value, thus the number of new plant varieties used in production has been insignificant.

Việt Nam’s challenge in seed selection is the weakness in technological application. In the future, a legal framework in technological application will be formed to introduce high-quality breeding which is able to adapt to the unfavourable conditions and pests, reducing the use of pesticides and ensuring food safety.

From regional experience, a representative of Laos said the private sector is important in supporting seed development in Laos. However, the private sector is still small, accounting for 30 per cent of seed companies.

Cambodia, meanwhile, has launched a seed law, while Myanmar’s government supports the private sector in seed development, especially in terms of technology.

Augustine Langyintuo, senior agribusiness specialist, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice of the World Bank Group, suggested harmonising seed rules of a regional bloc. This involves simplified custom procedures that facilitate quick movement of quality seeds within the regional bloc and motivating seed companies to invest for a wider market.

At the workshop, the World Bank Group also introduced its initiative – "Seeds for All Toolkit".

The Toolkit is a comprehensive guide for policymakers in developing countries to customize regulatory frameworks and establish realistic priorities consistent with their capacities, yet compliant with international best practices. It is developed in partnership with the multi-donor investment climate advisory service of the World Bank Group (FIAS).

“Using advanced seed varieties can improve the quality, grades and standards of farm produce, allowing Mekong countries to tap into the world’s niche markets. Going forward, seeds will become even more important as we address increasing climate change and environmental challenges as well as greater demands for more and better food,” Achim Fock, World Bank Vietnam’s portfolio and operations manager, said.

“The toolkit will help them draw on the best practices to unlock the full potential of seed systems,” he said.

Movie week to celebrate 70 years of war invalids and martyrs

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently promulgated a decree on celebrating movie week to mark the 70th anniversary of war invalids and martyrs (27/7/1947-27/7/2017).

The ministry has asked the Việt Nam Cinema Department, director general of Việt Nam People’s Army, Việt Nam People’s Army Cinema, People’s Army Film and Recording Tape Agency and other relevant agencies and departments to celebrate the anniversary nationwide for six days, from Juy 24 to 30.

The movies to be screened during the week includes feature film Mắt Biển (The Eyes of the Sea) and documentary films K10, Ta Còn Gửi Lửa Trong Than (We Are Still Keeping Fire in Coal) and Tầng Sâu Bình Yên (The Low Level of Peace) in HD file and DVD. The films will be sent to cinema groups and provincial movie distribution and cinema centres.

The ministry has also asked all relevant national movie companies, departments and agencies to design promotion documents for the movie week and send a group of singers and staff members to perform for people at the war invalid and martyr care centre in the northern province of Phú Thọ’s Military Region II.

2.8 million tourists visit HCM City in six months

International tourists to HCM City reached 2.8 million in the period from January-June, a 14.7 percent year-on-year increase, according to the municipal People’s Committee. 

During the period, the city’s revenue from tourism services also saw a yearly rise of 12 percent to an estimated 53.61 trillion VND (2.35 billion USD).

Since the beginning of the year, the city has been organising monthly events to attract and retain visitors, including Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long robe), southern land cuisine and southern fruits festivals, among others.

The city also introduced a number of new tourism products recently, including medical tourism and craft trading streets.

HCM City welcomed 5.2 million foreign tourists in 2016, making it the first locality to touch the milestone of five million overseas visitors. The southern hub expects to receive 5.6-6 million international tourists by the end of this year.

VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE

Minh slips 2 places in latest BWF world rankings, ABB limits fresh water leakage in Ho Chi Minh City, NA Vice Chairwoman welcomes Lao officials to study in Vietnam, Muskmelon farming area increasing in southern Vietnam
 
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