Social News 27/9

Vietnam strives to be paid for emissions reduction efforts

A conference was held in Hanoi on September 27 to collect final ideas to complete the Emissions Reductions Program Document (ER-PD) in the northern central region before it is sent to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) in late November and is defended at the Carbon Fund’s meeting in December.

The ER-PD in the northern central region is the first regional-level project implemented by the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme in Vietnam, with a hope to reduce gas emissions and intensify the absorption of around 33.06 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The FCPF, through the World Bank, committed to pay for emissions reduction efforts with 60 million USD for 10.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from 2018 to 2024.

Nguyen Van Ha, deputy head of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, hailed the significance of the ER-PD in the northern central region as it helps people understand more about the importance of forests.

If the document is approved by the FCPF, Vietnam and the World Bank, which represents the FCPF, will negotiate and sign an Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA), thus contributing to implementing the national action programme on REDD and the target programme on sustainable forest development, and to showing Vietnam’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The ER-PD will be carried out in Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue in the northern central region whose forest coverage is 57 percent or 2.9 million hectares.

Largest private hospital operates in Da Nang

VND1,200 billion ($52.7 million) Vinmec International General Hospital which is considered the biggest of this kind today opened in the central city of Da Nang. 

The hospital built on the area of 37,000 square meter comprises of nine floors, one basement, with 222 beds to serve thousands of people annually. It is well equipped with state-of-the-art devices.

This is one of four medical clinics selected to serve APEC 2017 which will take place in November in Da Nang City

Vinmec International Hospital operation will help reducing the overload status of public infirmaries in the city; accordingly serious patients do not need to go to big hospitals or go abroad for treatment.

Bird flu occurs in Kon Tum Province

A poultry flock of 4,700 chicken of farmer Tran Duc Hoa in Kontum has tested positive for avian flu, said the Husbandry and Animal Health center in the highlands province of Kon tum’s Dak Ha District yesterday. 

Right after receiving the test result, the center, the local government and his family destroyed all waterfowl and 3,000 eggs. In addition, the center staff instructed the farmer to disinfect the coop and landfill.

The avian flu outbreak has re-occurred the second time in the farmer’s poultry flock in two successive years. Before, in January 2016, the disease infected 2,100 poultry, causing loss of VND140 million ($6,158).

Global ICT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities

The Global ICT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities (GITC) was held in Hanoi to help youth with disabilities to overcome their difficuties and challenge themselves for a better future by providing them with access to ICT and related experience, encouraging strong participation in society of youth with disabilities and finding a job. 

The Global ICT Challenge for youth with disabilities in 2017 was initiated by the Health and Social Benefit of South Korea with the participation of Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (KSRPD) and LG Corporation to mark 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Korea.

Candidates were divided into four groups comprising of mental illness, deafness, visual impairments and physical disabilities to part take in different challenges in the competition.

ETool Challenge was for hearing-impaired candidates, physical and mental disabilities to make Powerpoint presentation while eLifeMap Challenge tested candidates the ability to deal with circumstances through searching information in internet and the difficulty level depended on candidates’ disabilities.

For team work, a group of four people had to complete eDesign Challenge and eCreative Challenge by using soft ware Scratchs.

LG Corporation’s General director Kim Young-lak said that the competition aimed to create opportunities for youth with disabilities to discover their self competence as well as to improve their ability to leverage information and social participation expecting to bring a society without barriers and take heed to disabled people’s right.

Vietnam Airlines to run 700 further flights for Tet holidays

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-budget Jetstar Pacific plan to add more flights on domestic routes to serve high travel demand of people during Tet (the Lunar New Year) holidays.

Vietnam Airlines will fly 694 additional flights on local routes from January 31, 2018-March 2, 2018, providing 127,000 seats to meet increasing travel demand on the holiday. The total number of seats during the period will be 1.4 million. The carrier will use its wide-body aircraft with more than 300 seats for its flights.

Menawhile Jetstar Pacific has begun to sell 540,000 seats on the national holidays.

Carriers have affirmed that they will not increase fares for their flights during this period.

Vietnam Railway Company offers cheap tickets at $0.44

The Vietnam Railway Company has announced to offer 10,000 cheap tickets at the cost of VND10,000 to VND100,000 ($0.44- $4.4) as per its promotion campaign starting on September 26. 

Accordingly, the company will sell these tickets at the cost for passengers who travel from October 1 to December 27 in all routes. The ticket selling system will select lucky passengers randomly. Cheap tickets will be sold through the website:

In addition to cheap ticket, the company will discount 30 percent compared to summer tickets as well as reduce price for social welfare beneficiaries. Moreover, the company will give discounted tickets to passengers who buy tickets many days before departing day, or tickets for group of travelers.

Exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa comes to Tuyen Quang

A photo exhibition, entitled “Vietnam’s Hoang Sa, Truong Sa: Historical and legal evidence”, opened in the northern province of Tuyen Quang on September 26.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Hoang Vinh Bao affirmed Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint on its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes as well as its jurisdiction rights over waters and continental shelf in the East Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

The display of materials and photos affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over two archipelagoes aimed to raise awareness of protecting the country’s sea and island sovereignty among officers, soldiers and people, he added.

On showcase are photos, documentaries and documents, including those issued by the Vietnamese feudal states from the 17th to 20th century and others written in ancient Chinese, French and Vietnamese languages, together with nearly 100 maps and atlases asserting Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.

There are the Nguyen dynasty’s royal records and administrative documents from 1954-1975 and from 1975 to now, which affirm Vietnam’s exercise and protection of its sovereignty over these islands.

The exhibition also features 65 maps certifying that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes belong to Vietnam, published by Western nations since the 17th century.

It runs until September 30.

Soundwaves concert series launched at The Grand Ho Tram Strip

The Grand Ho Tram Strip in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province has commenced its series of fountain-side Soundwaves concerts with the participation of renowned Vietnamese singers. 

The Ho Tram Soundwaves concert series featured an exciting show of Toc Tien over the weekend by the Fountains of Ho Tram at the integrated resort in the southern province. The performances of My Tam and Issac 365 will take place at the six-storey water stage on October 28 and November 25 respectively.

Toc Tien said before her performance that it was a pleasure to stage the opening act for such an extraordinary lineup of Vietnam’s top artists. “I’m positive my colleagues in show business will be just as excited as I am to be part of this unique project.”

All the Soundwaves entertainment events are free to the general public.

Michael Kelly, executive chairman of The Grand Ho Tram Strip, said guests have flocked for the best vantage points to see Vegas-inspired light, fountain and music shows each week at the integrated resort. 

“Soundwaves sees us turn up the volume on our entertainment program with a series of Vietnam’s best known entertainers wow-ing our guests each month,” Kelly said.

Kelly added that “the Grand is where the stars come to play.” Phuong Vy Idol and Son Tung MTP took the stage when the Fountains of Ho Tram were launched at a VIP event in July this year.

The 120-jet Fountains of Ho Tram are able to project water over 25 meters into the air according to The Grand Ho Tram Strip. “The ‘dancing watershow’ is synchronized with full spectrum LGP LED light and presents a spectacular six-storey audiovisual fountain performance awash with rich, colorful hues,” it said. 

The Grand Ho Tram Strip is the first of a group of integrated resorts and residential developments on over 164 hectares of land along 2.2 kilometers of beach in Ho Tram in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

TRAFFIC and Intelligent Media call for wildlife protection

On the occasion of World Rhino Day (September 22), the global wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC and Intelligent Media, a behavior change communications company based in Hanoi, last Friday organized a seminar to discuss the role of Vietnamese media organizations in promoting the protection of endangered wildlife and combating illegal consumption of wild animals in Vietnam. 

With the sponsorship of the Peace Parks Foundation, Save the Rhino International (SRI), the UK Government, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the seminar was aimed at boosting social responsibility and raising public awareness of the importance of local media in wildlife conservation.

Attending the seminar were representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), State management agencies, non-governmental organizations, and both domestic and international media agencies.

Over the years, Vietnam has been known as a transshipment point and a large consumer of endangered wildlife, including rhino horns and ivory tusks. The high demand for using products from wild animals has resulted in the strong rise of wildlife poaching and trafficking, and illegal trade and consumption of wildlife products.

Since 2014, TRAFFIC has joined forces with government agencies, civil society and private businesses to implement numerous activities to reduce the illegal trade of rhino horns in the country. Obviously, the media plays a crucial role in spreading the message of fiercely fighting against the illicit consumption of wildlife products towards key groups of consumers and the community.

Madelon Willemsen, head of TRAFFIC representative office in Vietnam, said as a non-government organization engaged in wildlife conservation, TRAFFIC has concentrated on building initiatives to change public behaviors in the illegal trade of products from wild animals, but the essential role of the local media is undeniable.

HCMC finds more violations at high-rise buildings

Construction violations found at privately-owned houses in HCMC have accounted for a mere 2-3% of the total number of inspections in the year to September while irregularities at high-rise building projects have made up around 10%.

Tran Trong Tuan, director of the HCMC Construction Department, presented the alarming data at a meeting on the city’s economic and social performance on September 25, showing that enterprises tend to commit more violations than individuals.

According to a document released at the meeting, the department has inspected more than 51,500 construction projects so far this year, a year-on-year rise of 35.6%.

As a result, 1,595 cases are found to have committed administrative violations, accounting for 3.1% of the total number of inspections and rising by 35.6% year-on-year.

Notably, 830 cases have been involved in unlicensed construction, up a staggering 35.6% year-on-year, while 557 cases have conducted their projects not in line with initially approved designs, up 15.1%.

The majority of infringement cases have been detected in districts 7, 9, Binh Chanh, Cu Chi, Nha Be and Hoc Mon.

Tuan said violations in separate housing constructions have made up a mere 2-3% while those in high-rise building projects have hit about 10%.

He added the city has 145 high-rise building projects which are underway, with 15 of them committing violations.

Regarding the responsibility of construction inspectors, Tuan said, according to regulations, district-level governments are responsible for managing their localities, including construction activities. Meanwhile, grassroots governments no longer have construction inspectors, which is the reason behind a surge in construction violations.

To deal with the situation, Tuan said construction inspectors should be put under the management of grassroots governments.

In addition, the management and operation of apartment buildings are quite complicated. There often occur disputes between the investor who develops the condo buildings and residents, especially over the use of maintenance funds for such buildings.

The director told the meeting that disputes at apartment buildings account for 8-10% among the buildings citywide.

He said the department will classify disputes in order to have coping solutions. Besides, the department will team up with local governments to train management boards representing residents in condo buildings, as many are found to have shown little knowledge of housing management and operation.

HCMC to launch non-stop toll collection service in early 2018

HCMC will launch non-stop electronic toll collection service at three build-operate-transfer (BOT) toll stations on Hanoi Highway, Phu My Bridge and An Suong-An Lac in January 1, 2018.

According to the HCMC Department of Transport, the non-stop electronic toll collection systems at these tollgates will be connected with other tollgates nationwide in line with the guidance of the Ministry of Transport. Each toll station will have four lanes for non-stop electronic toll collection.

Non-stop toll collection will help eliminate traffic congestion by debiting the accounts of the registered car owners via an on-board unit (OBU) without requiring them to stop and buy tickets.

The city launched a non-stop electronic toll collection system at HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway toll station in August 2017. Data of Vietnam Expressway Services Engineering JSC (VEC E) as the tollgate operator shows that during the one-month trial, there had been only 185 OBUs bought or rented.

According to transport enterprises, of OBU price and rental fee are too high. In particular, each OBU is sold at VND2.3 million (over US$100) and offered for rent for VND70,000 per month with a minimum rental period of one year.

Vehicle owners can also borrow OBUs but they have to place a deposit of VND2.5 million.

Construction of one more easing airport traffic jam project initiated

The Urban Traffic Management Zone 1 under the HCMC Department of Transport yesterday initiated construction of expanding Hoang Minh Giam street which is one of six projects easing traffic congestion to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The street will be expanded to 36m with six lanes. The cost of the project is expected at VND166.2 billion (US$7.31 million).

The street expansion aims at synchronously connecting with the steel flyover at Nguyen Thai Son-Nguyen Kiem intersection. The Department of Transport says that is one of six projects to solve traffic jam for Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

Of the six projects, a flyover at the intersection of Truong Son street and Tan Son Nhat-Binh Loi outer belt road has been built. Hoang Minh Giam-Nguyen Kiem flyover is under construction.

Thirty-eight tollgates of BOT roads lower fee

As per the Ministry of Transport, thirty-eight tollgates of BOT (build-operate-transfer) roads amongst 77 ones have lowered fee, following the government’s decision No. 35/NQ-CP. 

To implement the decision the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance sent its document to investors asking to cut down the payment after two ministries have reviewed investment fee and financial plan of BOT projects last year.

So far, only thirty-eight BOT projects followed the directive to lower fee amongst 73 stations comprising of 55 BOT projects and 18 tollgates in the middle of construction..

The Ministry of Transport cut fee for 31 stations while 18 other stations have collected low payment so they have not cut down fee. The remaining six stations have not implemented the new payment because investors did not want price adjustment.

Leaders of the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam under the Ministry Nam said that it will liaise with project investors to adjust fee level.

The negotiations is planned to finish in October and then the directorate will propose the Ministry to approve the new fee level. Once it is approved, BOT tollgates will reduce fee in November.

After reviewing fees for route from North to South Vietnam, the Directorate calculated that a car running from the northern province of Lang Son to the Mekong delta province of Bac Lieu must pay a maximum fee of VND4.54 million through 29 tollgates in the National Highway while it has to pay VND4.8 million if travelling on expressway.

Statistically, the country has 70 BOT stations collecting fee in national highways, of which, 10 stations have the distance of 60-70 kilometers between two tollgates while 20 stations have distances of under 60 kilometers and three are not BOT projects.

Weak scaffolding blamed for kindergarten collapse

Hanoi's Nam Tu Liem District Construction Inspectors have announced that a kindergarten construction site collapsed because of weak scaffolding.

According to Tran Viet Trung, deputy director of Hanoi Department of Construction, when the builders completed pouring the third concrete floor of the Vuon Xanh kindergarten, the scaffolding shook and the new floor soon collapsed because it couldn't bear the weight. The floors below also collapsed. The second floor was completed a month ago.

The Hanoi Department of Construction asked the contractor to halt construction and district authorities to determine areas that may have a similar incident. Nam Tu Liem Department of Construction asked related parties to submit documents about the construction, consultant and supervisor.

On August 22, the Inspectorate of Nam Tu Liem Department of Construction inspected the construction and asked the investor to fix safety signs and the covers on the construction. A week later, the investor submitted the missing documents and was given permission to continue.

The incident is under investigation. Hanoi Department of Construction said they would determine the individual responsibility.

The project is designed to include three connected buildings, four floors and a basement. Nearly 500 square metres of the construction suddenly collapsed at around 3 am on September 25. The workers were still working at the time when the construction started shaking. The builders were able to escape.

Doomsday scenario: Mekong Delta may be wiped out in 100 years

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta could be wiped off the face of the planet over the next century if drastic measures are not taken, officials said at a national conference in the delta’s capital city Can Tho on September 26.

The delta, home to around 20 million people and responsible for half of Vietnam’s rice output, is losing ground to erosion along its 800-kilometer (497-mile) coastline almost every day, mostly along the Tien and Hau rivers that spill into the giant Mekong River.

Figures from the environment ministry showed that the delta has been losing around 300 hectares (741 acres) of land to erosion every year since 2005, while most of it sank by between five and 10 centimeters from 2010 to 2015. The issue is even more severe in coastal areas.

“Experts have warned that without intervention, the delta will be gone in 100 years,” Nguyen Van The, the top leader of Soc Trang Province, said at the two-day conference that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is scheduled to address on September 27.

The delta is at risk from a number of factors, from the millions of wells that are drying up the groundwater to the hydropower dams that hold alluvial deposits upstream.

Tran Thuc, vice chairman of the government's advisory panel on climate change, said that subsidence is the most serious threat to the Mekong Delta.

Thuc said there are 144 hydropower dams planned for the Mekong that would cause significant changes to the water levels and reduce the amount of mud and sand flowing downstream.

“They could cause permanent damage to biodiversity in the region. Some important species could become extinct, and communities within a 15-kilometer radius who rely on fishing and farming would be affected,” he said.

He said the drop in sediment would change river currents and allow seawater to encroach further upstream, aggravating the risks of extreme weather.

People in the delta have become familiar with drought and saline intrusion in recent years, but they have not seen a typhoon for two decades.

Officials said that people in the delta should be prepared for a bleak future.

Residents will need to look at short-term scenarios, such as what is going to happen in the next five or 10 years and what plants and animals will be able to survive on their farms.

“They will have to adapt to changes, so they will need support from the government,” he said.

For now, take a look at how erosion is taking a toll on the region.

Deputy PM requires overall inspection over sluggish urban project

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has required the HCMC People’s Committee to comprehensively inspect Mieu Noi residential area project, which has completed 90 percent of work volume since 2002 and been stagnant until now.

The Government Office has sent an announcement about the Deputy PM’s requirements to settle a complaint by Urban Investment and Development Consulting Company, who is investor of the project in Binh Thanh district, HCMC.

According to the announcement, the committee should base on inspection results to review the project’s plan, handle investor’s violations during the implementation of the project and completely solve residents’ complaints about land acquisition, compensation and resettlement to stabilize their lives as well as protect their legitimate rights and benefits.

The committee should report results of carrying out the requirements before December 1, 2017.

In 1996, the Prime Minister made a decision to approve 8.1 hectare Mieu Noi residential area project.

On April 28, 1997, the PM made another decision to reclaim over 6.9 hectares of land in Ward 3, Binh Thanh district to hand over to Urban Investment and Development Company, which is Urban Investment and Development Consulting Company now, to build the residential area.

After completing about 90 percent of work volume in 2002, the project has been stagnant until now affecting the legitimate rights and benefits of over 100 households.

Vietnam, China boost front collaboration

The Chinese Party and State treasure friendship ties with Vietnam and want to boost practical exchanges and cooperation in various sectors with the country, said Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Yu made the remark during a reception in Beijing on September 26 for a delegation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee led by its Vice President Truong Thi Ngoc Anh who have been on a working visit to China from September 22 to 27. 

The official highlighted the cooperation between the CPPCC and the VFF in the recent past and briefed the Vietnamese guests on China’s development situation, including preparations for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

For her part, Anh lauded the effective collaboration between the two bodies and suggested the sides increase delegation exchanges, engage in personnel training cooperation, and promote the friendship between the Vietnamese and Chinese people.

The same day, the Vietnamese delegation held talks with a CPPCC delegation led by deputy chairman Ma Biao.

The two sides informed each other on their respective performances in organising forums that helped the public and experts to engage in political affairs and in assisting effective implementation of policies by the two parties and governments.

The discussions also focused on measures to boost cooperation between the two agencies at both central and local levels in the future.

Vietnam has advantages for creative industries to develop: specialist

Although creative industries remain modest in Vietnam, there are certain local advantages for them to develop in the country, according to a specialist from Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Director of the Research Centre for Female Labour and Gender under MOLISA’s Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, was speaking at the workshop “Unlocking potential, creating style – APEC GIFTS (Gendered Innovation for Technology and Science) for Women in the creative industry”, which was hosted by the Department of Gender Equality of Chinese Taipei in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, on September 26.

Thuy said “creative industry” refers to a range of economic activities that are concerned with the generation and commercialisation of creativity, ideas, knowledge and information. 

There are 12 sub-sectors under the term “creative industry”, including advertising, architecture, interactive leisure software, the art and antiques market, design, film and video, publishing, music, the performing arts, television and radio, software and computer games, and cultural tourism.

She noted that the creative industry generates about 2.2 trillion USD in revenue or 3.3 percent the global GDP. Its revenue even surpasses the entire GDP of India, 1.9 trillion USD.

The creative industries generated 29.5 million jobs, equivalent to 1 percent of the world’s active population. They also employ more people than the automotive industry in the US, Europe and Japan combined.

She said Vietnam has not made the best use of intellectual property and local small- and medium-sized enterprises spend only about 0.2 – 0.3 percent of their turnover on technological renovation.

The number of Vietnamese inventions proposed to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for recognition equal to 1/1,000 of China and 1/5,000 of Japan. While the country’s software industry productivity is worth some 10,000 USD per person each year, the figure is 14,000 – 18,000 USD in China and 140,000 USD in the US.

However, Thuy also recognised certain advantages of Vietnam, including the large domestic market. The country has a young population with “commercial” sensitivity and a high level of digital technology, in addition to the richness and diversity of regions and culture. Another advantage is that many new manufacturing industries in the supply chain of the creative industries have emerged.

Suggesting solutions to developing the creative industries, Thuy said it is necessary to set up a specialised state management agency along with a number of creative centres. She also highlighted the need for human resources training, a supportive infrastructure system, a favourable legal system, and the capacity to enforce intellectual property and copyright protection.

The workshop “Unlocking potential, creating style – APEC GIFTS for Women in the creative industry” was a side event of the ongoing 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Hue city.

Established in 1989, APEC comprises 21 economies which account for 39 percent of the world population, 57 percent of the world GDP and 47 percent of the global trade, according to statistics in 2014.

The APEC Year 2017 is taking place in Vietnam under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”. The country used to host APEC events in 2006.

APEC members seek to boost women’s presence in transportation

How to increase women’s presence in transportation, a sector that is still dominated by men, was the focus of the APEC Women in Transportation (WiT) Forum in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, on September 27.

The forum, themed “Gauging Progress and Moving Forward”, formed part of the ongoing 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum in Hue.

In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said in the field of transportation, ministers have paid their special attention and given priorities to the WiT initiative for the advancement of women in transportation.

In Vietnam’s transportation sector, only about 25 percent of workforce is women, and the percentage of female leaders is still modest, he noted, adding that over the past years, the country has been making efforts to implement the action plan for the advancement of women in order to foster their involvement in leadership and ensure gender equality in recruitment and education regarding women in this sector.

He highly valued the theme of the 2017 WiT Forum and considered it an opportunity for APEC economies to update and evaluate the work done over the past two years since the second WiT Forum took place in Cebu, the Philippines. It was also a chance for them to share experience and good initiatives and discuss solutions for the WiT initiative, developed for APEC women in transportation.

For her part, US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka said transportation supplies 10 to 20 percent of jobs in APEC economies, but the presence of women working in this sector is below 20 percent.

APEC recognises the importance of women’s economic empowerment, she added, citing the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as saying that if the global gap in workforce participation between men and women is closed, GDP worldwide will grow by nearly 12 percent by 2030.

At the forum, participants listened to the introduction of the APEC WiT Data Framework and Best Practices Initiative, along with voices from the sector’s insiders. They also examined conditions for women in transportation by discussing opportunities, roadblocks and relevant data.

The delegates also shared their own insights, experiences and priorities in a way that can inform future action.

Notably, some representatives of Vietnamese women presented the country’s particular efforts to link rural women to road projects and other transport jobs. 

These efforts include a project to increase ethnic minority women’s participation in rural road maintenance in Lao Cai province, and a pilot project to empower women to manage road maintenance in Lao Cai, Quang Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces. Another notable effort is producing helmets specifically for Thai women who traditionally must put their hair in a bun on the top of their heads to show that they are married.

The 2017 WiT Forum was hosted by the US Department of Transportation in coordination with the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) with 21 economies is the Asia Pacific’s premier economic forum. The primary goal is to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Vietnam joined APEC in 1998 and is hosting APEC events in 2017 under the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”.

National Assembly Chairwoman meets voters in Can Tho

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and deputies representing the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho met with local voters on September 26 in the run-up to the fourth session of the 14th National Assembly.

Voters from Cai Rang and Ninh Kieu districts raised their voices on the issues pertaining to environmental protection, food safety, corruption fight, BOT toll stations, health insurance, jobs for university graduates, among others.

Ngan told the voters that the NA will ask the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to monitor businesses’ production process more closely, saying production must be terminated if their owners are found to violate environmental protection regulations.

Regarding the fight against corruption, including the retrieval of corrupt assets, the leader said the NA will consider supplementing and amending the Law on Corruption Prevention and Combat so punishments can serve as a strong warning.

She said the Party and State have paid heed to the anti-corruption effort and the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption will continue bringing more corrupt cases to light.

She assured the voters that the law-making body will work to fine-tune the legal system to support the application of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model in service of the country’s infrastructure development and mobilize capital resources in society for the work, especially for transport infrastructure.

The leader also fielded the issue on farming production to ensure food security and export in the Mekong delta.

Workshop raises awareness of proactive contraception

A workshop on benefits of contraception was held in Hanoi on September 26 in response to World Contraception Day to raise public awareness of contraception and prevent unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion.

The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Health’s General Office for Population and Family Planning and the Vietnam Women’s Union with more than 300 local and foreign delegates in attendance. 

The workshop updated the participants on the family planning situation and demand for contraceptive measures in Vietnam, the reality of abortion in the world and the country, benefits of contraception and communication campaigns to raise public awareness of the issue.

According the office, there are about 24.2 million women of reproductive ages (aged 15 - 49) in Vietnam and the number is on the rise. It was estimated that about 77.6 percent of them used a birth control method last year and 66.8 percent of them used a modern measure.

Up to 250,000-300,000 abortion cases have been officially reported across the country each year.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien highlighted the importance of safe contraception, especially to juveniles and. 

Proactive contraception helps women avoid unwanted pregnancies and prevent long-term negative health effects, for example, pregnancy complications, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), stillbirths, and birth defects, he said.

For every USD spent on family planning efforts, society can save 31 USD, the deputy minister added.

In 2017, the General Office for Population and Family Planning teamed up with the Vietnam Women’s Union to organise a programme “La phu nu, toi chon song chu dong” (As a woman, I choose to live an active life), including a series of seminars across 12 cities and provinces, to provide knowledge on family planning and introduce different methods of birth control to women. The seminars were attended by over 1,200 women.

An online contest and painting competition are also underway to raise awareness of modern contraceptives among teenagers and youths in an attempt to reduce abortion, unwanted pregnancies and improve population quality.

The workshop also witnessed the launching of a 3-year action programme on family planning for community health, aiming to provide scientific information and updates on modern contraceptives, including birth control pills, to people of reproductive ages.

President Ho Chi Minh’s humanitarian thought highlighted in Bangladesh

A workshop was held in Bangladesh on September 24 to explore late President Ho Chi Minh’s humanitarian thought against imperialism. 

The event, jointly held by the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh and the Nawab Salimullah Institute, brought together journalists, scholars and researchers from universities and institutes of Bangladesh, and businesspeople. 

Dr. Mostafizur Rahman stressed the great contributions of President Ho Chi Minh to the world’s revolution for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress. 

President Ho Chi Minh is one of the pioneer leaders in the anti-terrorism movement in Asia and also one of the most influential leaders in the 20th century, he said. 

The participants held that President Ho Chi Minh’s view that “nothing is more precious than independence and freedom” demonstrates a lofty humanitarian thought as it refers to independence and freedom of not only a single nation but individuals and mankind. 

His message has inspired Bangladeshi people during the struggle for national liberation as well as the present national construction, they said. 

Addressing the workshop, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa  said the workshop helps Bangladeshi friends understand more about President Ho Chi Minh’s humanitarian thought, which is Vietnam’s invaluable spiritual asset. 

The Nawab Salimullah is a non-governmental organisation of Bangladesh established in 1987, aiming to strengthen solidarity and friendship between Bangladeshi people and people from foreign countries through cooperation activities in culture, tourism, trade and education. 

Within the framework of cooperation between the Vietnamese Embassy and the institute, there will be a range of exchange activities to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Bangladesh diplomatic ties in 2018.

Vice President visits Ha Tinh following storm Doksuri

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh hailed authorities of central Ha Tinh province for directing efforts to minimise losses caused by the recent tropical storm Doksuri during a local working session on September 26. 

Before the arrival of the disaster, they urged vessels to anchor in safety ground and mobilised forces to work with farmers to promptly harvest summer-autumn crops. 

Electricity and water supplies, communications services as well as schools have been temporarily restored. 

The provincial authorities reported that two people were dead and 72 were injured following the disaster which unroofed 94,811 houses; destroyed 22km of dykes, canals and 66km of roads, damaged 1,649ha of vegetables and 944.3ha of fruit trees. The total loss is estimated at over 6.61 trillion VND (287.3 million USD). 

The same day, Thinh and her entourage visited and presented gifts to family of a dead victim in Son Loc commune, Can Loc district and four others suffering serious losses in Ky Lac commune, Ky Anh district.

Mekong Delta looks towards sustainable, climate-resilient development

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has called for stronger participation of the business circle and people in sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta. 

In his opening remarks at the Conference on Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Development of the Mekong Delta in Can Tho city on September 26, the Deputy PM appealed to international donors and organisations to continue providing appropriate technical and financial support for the region. 

He also underlined the need to further carry forwards the role played by the Mekong River Commission and use Mekong River water resources sustainably, for regional prosperity.

Deputy PM Hue urged the delegates to the conference to fully analyse challenges posed by climate change, the development process of the Mekong Delta and the use of water resources from upstream Mekong River while identifying short and long-term opportunities and forecasting major impacts on regional development.

The move aims to shape a development model as well as major transitional orientations for the Mekong Delta, he stressed. 

Besides, attention should be paid to breakthrough reform policies and mechanisms to spur the transform and sustainable development of the delta, focusing on mechanisms on land, tax, market construction, trade promotion, science-technology and human resources development, Hue said. 

He asked the delegates to define priority projects, tasks and programmes with the participation of the Government, localities, domestic and foreign organisations, especially residents and enterprises in the Mekong Delta and adjacent localities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City. 

The Deputy PM stressed that encompassing one city and 12 provinces with a total area of 3.94 million ha and a population of 17.5 million, the Mekong Delta plays an important role in the national economy. 

This is one of the deltas that have the largest agricultural output in Southeast Asia and Vietnam, contributing 54 percent of rice output, 70 percent of aquatic production and 36.5 percent of fruit amount to the country. Up to 90 percent of rice exports and 65 percent of seafood shipments of Vietnam come from the delta. 

However, the Mekong Delta is one of the four deltas hardest hit by climate change and sea level rise.

“The Mekong Delta has faced many severe impacts of climate change, sea level rise and extreme weather patterns,” Deputy PM Hue said, pointing out limitations in the use of Mekong water resources, the regional development model and State management in the region. 

Such impacts have created big challenges and threats to the development of the Mekong Delta, livelihoods and daily lives of people in the delta in particular and Vietnam in general, thus affecting the development of the region and the world at large, especially food security, he said. 

Given this, the Government and the Prime Minister decided to hold the conference, aiming to set forth a vision for sustainable and prosperous development of the Mekong Delta in close connection with the country’s key economic regions and the Greater Mekong Sub-region. 

During the first working day, the delegates focused their discussions on challenges, opportunities and solutions to transform the development model of the Mekong Delta; integrated planning, infrastructure development and regional coordination mechanism;  sustainable agricultural development, irrigation infrastructure and natural disaster response; and human resources mobilisation and coordination.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is expected to chair the September 27 working session.

Outcomes of the conference will serve as a foundation for the Government to issue a resolution on sustainable and climate-resilient development in the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam, Cuba share experience in press development

A delegation of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA) led by its President Thuan Huu paid a working visit to Cuba from September 18-25, with the purpose of exchange experience in press management and development.

During its stay, the delegation had a working session with the Cuban Journalists’ Association (UPEC) led by its acting President Aixa Hevia.

Aixa Hevia stressed the importance of professional training and improving journalists’ ethics.

He said new tools and expanded scope of press activities pose challenges to journalists while also bringing more opportunities for them. 

Thuan Huu, who is a member of the Party Central Committee and Editor-in-chief of Nhan dan (People) newspaper, shared the VJA’s experience in inspecting the observance of regulations related to professional ethics and protecting journalists’ legitimate rights and interests.

Thuan Huu proposed the VJA, which is currently President of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists, and the UPEC, which is Vice President of the Latin American Federation of Journalists, work as a bridge to develop ties between the two regional associations.

The VJA delegation also met Jose Ramon Balaguer Cabrera, head of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee’s Department for External Relations, and several Cuban journalists who are parliamentarians.

The delegation also visited and had working sessions with leaders of Granma and Juventud Rebelde newspapers, Prensa Latina news agency, Radio Rebelde and José Marti International Press Academy.

Thirty million people access soft loans in 15 years

Over 30 million poor households and other welfare beneficiaries have accessed soft loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) as of the end of August 2017, according to the VBSP.

The VBSP was established on October 4, 2002 to implement preferential credit policies targeting disadvantaged groups. Over the past 15 years, its soft loans have helped more than 4.5 million families escape from poverty; created jobs for 3.5 million people, including 111,000 overseas guest workers; and enabled over 3.5 million poor students to continue education.

The bank has also funded the construction of approximately 10 million rural clean water and environment treatment facilities; 520,000 houses for poor people and welfare policy beneficiaries and about 116,000 storm and flood-resistant houses, mostly in the Mekong Delta.

By the end of August, the bank’s total outstanding loans stood at an estimated 167 trillion VND (7.34 billion USD) with bad debts accounting for only 0.43 percent.

Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Dao Minh Tu said the VBSP has contributed to preventing predatory lending practices in rural areas, encouraging the poor to save money for their future and implementing the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction.

The percentage of poor households across the country declined from 11.8 percent in 2010 to 4.25 percent in 2015.

Kien Giang welcomes over 4.8 million visitors so far

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang served over 4.8 million tourists in the first nine months of this year, a rise of 6.7 percent over the same period last year, including over 279,000 foreigners.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, the sector earned over 3.4 trillion VND (149.56 million USD) in the reviewed time, up 24.4 percent year on year.

Phu Quoc island and Ha Tien were most popular destinations of Kien Giang, which lured over 2.7 million and more than 1.5 million visitors, respectively.

In the rest of the year, Kien Giang hopes to draw more tourists thanks to its hosting of the Miss Grand International 2017 in Phu Quoc in November.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Van Huynh said that along with the success of the National Tourism Year 2016, the province has promoted its tourism  through various channels, while investing in the sector to make it a spearhead one in 2020, with special focus on promoting infrastructure system.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, the province will concentrate on Ha Tien as the major tourism hub with close connection with Phu Quoc and other sites in the region.

Meanwhile, the province will also focus on developing strategic products with higher quality of service, while strengthening the protection of the environment and wastewater treatment to support tourism development.

Vietnam, Cuba share experience in press development

A delegation of the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA) led by its President Thuan Huu paid a working visit to Cuba from September 18-25, with the purpose of exchange experience in press management and development.

During its stay, the delegation had a working session with the Cuban Journalists’ Association (UPEC) led by its acting President Aixa Hevia.

Aixa Hevia stressed the importance of professional training and improving journalists’ ethics.

He said new tools and expanded scope of press activities pose challenges to journalists while also bringing more opportunities for them. 

Thuan Huu, who is a member of the Party Central Committee and Editor-in-chief of Nhan dan (People) newspaper, shared the VJA’s experience in inspecting the observance of regulations related to professional ethics and protecting journalists’ legitimate rights and interests.

Thuan Huu proposed the VJA, which is currently President of the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists, and the UPEC, which is Vice President of the Latin American Federation of Journalists, work as a bridge to develop ties between the two regional associations.

The VJA delegation also met Jose Ramon Balaguer Cabrera, head of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee’s Department for External Relations, and several Cuban journalists who are parliamentarians.

The delegation also visited and had working sessions with leaders of Granma and Juventud Rebelde newspapers, Prensa Latina news agency, Radio Rebelde and José Marti International Press Academy.

Đà Nẵng begins exchange programme with Sakai

The central city of Đà Nẵng and Sakai City in Japan’s Osaka Prefecture will start an intership programme for civil servants from Đà Nẵng to work in the Japanese city, deputy chairman of the central city’s People’s Committee Hồ Kỳ Minh told a meeting with Sakai City leadership last week.

Minh said the two cities had signed a co-operation deal in 2009 to develop the programme as a partnership agreement.

The two sides agreed to boost short-term exchanges for work and language tgraining.

Japan also plans to open a consulate office in Đà Nẵng City to boost tourism and exchanges between Japan and the central city.

Đà Nẵng is also enhancing co-operation with Yokohama, Nagasaki and Kansai.

The Japan-Việt Nam Culture Centre will be built in Ngũ Hành Sơn District, while a 134ha industrial park has been designed for small- and medium-sized businesses from Japan investing in Đà Nẵng.

Japanese language teaching has been taught at some junior secondary schools following the city’s foreign language teaching programme for 2012-20.

Đà Nẵng has hosted an annual Japan-Việt Nam Exchange Festival in the city since 2013.

Hoàng Minh Giám Street to be expanded

The HCM City Transport Department’s Urban Traffic Management Board No.1 began construction on the expansion of Phú Nhuận District’s Hoàng Minh Giám Street yesterday.

The 433m-long street will be expanded from 10.5 – 21m to 30m wide, with a total of six lanes for vehicles. Its pavement will also be upgraded.

This is the third of six projects that aim to reduce traffic congestion around Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport.

The expansion project is worth VNĐ166 billion, of which VNĐ43 billion is for construction and VNĐ106 billion for compensation to residents affected by the project.

Vietnamese woman arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine

Customs officers arrested a 25-year-old woman on Monday for trafficking in methamphetamine hidden in a disguised gift parcel sent by air from the US to Việt Nam.

According to customs officers at HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, 400 grams of meth were hidden in the suspect’s shampoo bottles, clothes, sweets and nutrition powder.

The city’s Department of Public Security’s Drug-Related Crime Investigation Police Division is continuing its investigation. 

4 key robbery gang members arrested

The HCM City Police announced on Tuesday they have arrested four key persons of a gang that was involved in at least 30 robberies in HCM City and neighbouring provinces.

Early last month, police discovered that a gang of some 10 members rented rooms at hotels in Tân Phú and Bình Tân districts, drove motorbikes and used flick knives and tear gas spray to rob people on the streets.

After the robbery, they usually pushed the victims to the ground. On several occasions, they committed the robberies even if when were aware the police were following them.

Around the middle of last month, HCM City decided to assign a team to track down and investigate the gang of thieves.

Colonel Lê Ngọc Phương, head of the city police’s Criminal Police, said four robbers were caught on September 17 at a karaoke bar in Bình Tân District while taking the drug ecstasy.

Upon searching their homes and motorbikes, police also found two knives, tear gas spray, six motorbikes, six mobile phones, five rings and two necklaces that were stolen.

Police are on the lookout for other members of the gang.

Experts call for better access to contraceptive methods

Some 250,000-300,000 cases of abortion are reported annually in Việt Nam. Last year, more than 265,500 cases were reported.

The statistics were unveiled at a conference held in Hà Nội on Tuesday, during which experts shared experiences and knowledge about unexpected pregnancies, unsafe abortions and various contraceptive methods.

Speaking at the conference, Đinh Anh Tuấn, deputy director of the Maternal and Child Health Care Department under the Ministry of Health, said that unsafe abortions remained a problem for the community and a challenge for different countries across the world, especially developing countries.

Tuấn said that there were three mains reasons for unexpected pregnancies in Viet Nam. The first reason was that as many as 55.6 per cent of couples do not use contraceptive methods. The second, was that more than 39 per cent of them use contraceptive methods, but in the wrong way, or the method was ineffective. Another reason was that the couples want to use contraceptive methods, but do not have access to them.

“At present, the country lacks technical guidance on abortions and there is no co-ordination between abortion services and family planning services,” said Tuấn.

Women’s health care after an abortion has not received proper attention, and services of supplying contraceptive methods for women after an abortion is also not good, he said.

He said that the MoH will improve the coverage of contraceptive methods to ensure more and more couples can access these services. The supply of contraceptive methods after an abortion will be strengthened, more training on the field will be given to medical workers, and private clinics conducting abortion services will be supervised strictly, he said.

The conference was held by the Việt Nam Women’s Union, the MoH’s General Office of Population and Family Planning and the Bayer Co Ltd, as part of World Contraception Day which is observed on September 26. The conference attracted the participation of more than 300 representatives from different ministries, sectors and non-governmental organisations.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Health, Nguyễn Viết Tiến, said that World Contraception Day was a global campaign to indicate youths’ responsibility in safe sexual relations and pregnancy prevention for themselves.

World Contraception Day was aimed at improving the awareness of the people about contraceptive methods, and helping them make a proper choice related to reproductive health, he said.

Experts agreed that family planning education was an investment with the lowest expenses and the highest effectiveness.

At present, the country has more than 24.2 million women in the child-bearing age, from 15 to 49 years, according to the General Statistics Office.

Heroin trafficker sentenced to death

A criminal involved in the trafficking of 490 heroin cakes in 2015 was sentenced to death on Tuesday morning.

Bùi Văn Biên, 30, resident of the capital city’s outer Thạch Thất District, was convicted of “illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs” and “arms trafficking” during a legal trial in the capital city on Tuesday morning.

He was sentenced to death for the first offence and given four years’ imprisonment for the latter. The final sentence for his crime was the death penalty.

Biên was arrested in May under a wanted order after fleeing his residence and being on the run for a year since 2016. His heroin trafficking ring, which transported heroin from the northern province of Sơn La to Hà Nội to be sold in China, was uncovered by the police in 2015.

Eight other members of the ring were also sentenced to death in April, including death row inmate Nguyễn Văn Tình, 28, who escaped the T16 detention centre in Hà Nội’s Thanh Oai District on September 10 and recaptured a week later.

Three others were sentenced to life imprisonment.

On July 23, 2015, 170 heroin cakes were discovered at the bottom of a gas tank when a truck transporting the tank was stopped by the Hà Nội Drug Crime Investigation Police near Cầu Đổng Bridge in the capital city’s outer Gia Lâm District.

Hundreds more heroin cakes, two K59 pistols and dozens of bullets were discovered as the investigation expanded. Some 320 heroin cakes were also found hidden at the bottom of two other gas tanks.

The total number of heroin cakes seized was 490, or 119kg. Most members of the ring were arrested.

The ring was led by Đặng Minh Châu, 44, resident of Lạng Sơn City. It was established in 2004 after Châu moved to the Guangxi autonomous region in China and lived with a local man.

Châu and her partners in crime conducted illegal trade of some 1,200 heroin cakes up till the time she was arrested. Some 862 cakes, or 304kg of heroin, were traded successfully.

Biên was involved in the trafficking of 670 of the 1,200 heroin cakes, or 231kg of heroin.

Free surgery for handicapped children

Doctors from the Facing the World Foundation from the United Kingdom are performing free health checks and surgeries on poor handicapped children, particularly those with maxillofacial disability.

The doctors are working with their Vietnamese counterparts from Hồng Ngọc General Hospital to perform the surgeries at the hospital from September 25 to 29.

Eligible patients will undergo surgeries if they meet health requirements.

The young patients will be provided post-surgery care and support at the hospital for one to two months after the surgery, depending on the condition of the child.

This is the fourth time that Hồng Ngọc Hospital has co-ordinated with Facing the World Foundation to carry out the programme.

The hospital has received 300 applications to participate in the programme, of which 60 have been checked and found to be eligible. The children come from different localities across the country such as Hà Nội, HCM City, Tuyên Quang, Hà Giang and Nam Định provinces.

MoT petitioned over tolls on National Route 18

The People’s Committee of the coastal Quảng Ninh Province on Monday urged the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to waive tolls on National Route 18 for nearby residents.

Hundreds of residents of the northern province’s Đại Yên Ward gathered at the Đại Yên build-transfer-operate (BOT) toll station on National Route 18 last Wednesday, requesting a waiver of tolls for those who live in adjacent areas and frequently pass the station, the Người lao động (The Labourer) online newspaper reported.

“It’s unreasonable that locals like us who pass the station three or four times a day are subject to tolls,” a local resident told the newspaper. It is the second time in a fortnight that residents gathered to express their objection to toll collection at the station.

Upon the residents’ request, the Quảng Ninh People’s Committee on Monday proposed to MoT’s Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam to waive tolls for drivers of vehicles with less than 12 seats that are permanent residents of Hạ Long City’s Đại Yên Ward and Quảng Yên Town’s Minh Thành Ward.

The Ocean BOT JSC, manager of the Đại Yên toll station, also proposed to reduce tolls for all vehicles passing the station.  

Nguyễn Xuân Cường, deputy director of the directorate, agreed to present the proposals to MoT.

The Đại Yên toll station is located on a stretch of National Route 18 that connects Hạ Long and Uông Bí cities. The stretch was renovated under the BOT mechanism and reopened for public use in October 2014. All vehicles running to and from these two cities must pass the station.

Central fishermen modernise offshore fishing vessels

The Institute for Manufacture Shipbuilding (UNINSHIP) under Nha Trang University has built 22 composite offshore fishing boats for fishermen in various provinces including Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

The vessels are equipped with sonar machines, radar with range of 72 nautical miles and insulated cellars to preserve seafood.

UNINSHIP Deputy Head Pham Tuan Long said that modernising fishing vessels helps fishermen earn more profit and allows some boat owners to pay back loans for ship building before due dates.

The aquaculture sector in the central localities is encouraging fishermen to develop composite fishing vessels. Along with modern equipment, the boats are cheap to repair, are reliable, easy to maintain and fuel-efficient.

Khanh Hoa is home to the largest composite fishing fleet with 18 boats, which were built from loans under a 2014 decree. The decree aimed to boost the development of fishery sector, including building high-capacity and composite boats for deep sea fishing.

Government resolved to develop Mekong Delta sustainably: PM

The Government aims to develop the Mekong Delta sustainably and prosperously, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed. 

While chairing a plenary session of the Conference on Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Development of the Mekong Delta in Can Tho city on September 27, PM Phuc said the Government is committed to creating an optimal mechanism, mobilising the participation of people, businesses and international organisations, and materialising actions, initiatives, tasks and solutions raised at the conference to turn challenges into opportunities and develop the region sustainably. 

He underscored the need to devise new policies on regional development, along with identifying the delta’s major challenges posed by both climate change and other factors. 

Apart from transforming the development model, the delta needs to roll out solutions as well as priority programmes and projects in the future, the PM said. 

He highlighted the engagement of the private sector and international partners, calling for stronger cooperation in the Mekong Sub-region in the process, which, he said, should be integrated with implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

It is necessary to take advantage of the digital and fourth industrial revolutions to transform the development model of the Mekong Delta, PM Phuc said. 

Recalling his visit to the Netherlands in July 2017 and his field trip to the Mekong Delta on September 26, the leader stressed the importance of climate change response planning.  

Encompassing one city and 12 provinces with a total area of 3.94 million ha and a population of 17.5 million, the Mekong Delta plays an important role in Vietnam’s economy. 

As one of the deltas with the largest agricultural output in Southeast Asia and the largest agricultural production area in Vietnam, it contributes 54 percent of the country’s rice output, 70 percent of aquaculture yield and 36.5 percent of fruit. Up to 90 percent of rice and 65 percent of Vietnam’s seafood exports come from the delta. 

However, the Mekong Delta is one of the four deltas worldwide most affected by climate change and sea level rise.

Given this, the Government held the conference to set forth a vision for sustainable and prosperous development of the Mekong Delta in connection with the country’s key economic regions and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

National Cup’s semi-finals to kick off

The first leg of the semi-finals of the National Cup will kick off today.

Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA) will meet Quảng Nam at the Vinh Stadium, while SHB Đà Nẵng face Becamex Bình Dương at the Chi Lăng Stadium.

All four teams are playing in the national premier league, V.League 1, and will try their best to take the title in the National Cup. Đà Nẵng, Bình Dương and SLNA are currently ranked in the bottom half of the table and will have a hard time making significant progress in the league. While Quảng Nam are second, but the road to a title is still difficult. Winning the Cup will be a solution if they leave the league without a title.

Đà Nẵng, Bình Dương and SLNA have won the Cup twice each, while Quảng Nam have only played in the Cup twice.

Notably, two pairs faced each other in two matches in the league.

Facing Bình Dương, Đà Nẵng won’t have key players, Hà Đức Chinh and Võ Huy Toàn, who haven’t recovered from injury.

Also, Lâm Anh Quang, Đặng Anh Tuấn, Nguyễn Thái Sung and Mai Thanh Nam are out because of injury.

Without these players, Đà Nẵng’s strategy will be seriously affected. However, with the experience of coach Lê Huỳnh Đức, the team hopes to overcome the challenge.

“Bình Dương will make the best use of our tactics in the upcoming game. We will make every effort to beat our rival,” said coach Trần Bình Sự of Bình Dương. 

National springboard diving: Nam and Duy win gold

Duo Phùng Văn Nam and Vũ Anh Duy won gold medals at the National Springboard Diving Championships.

The event kicked off at the Mỹ Đình National Sports Complex in Hà Nội on September 25.

The Hanoian pair took the lead with 277.50 points in the men’s doubles’ 3m soft board. Dương Văn Thành and Nguyễn Tùng Dương of Hải Phòng won the silver medal with 224.43 points. HCM City’s Bùi Xuân Hào and Võ Trọng Thành bagged the bronze medal with 213.24 points.

In the women’s doubles’ hard board, Nguyễn Vũ Thảo Quyên and Nguyễn Vũ Thảo Quỳnh of HCM City triumphed with 213.45 points, followed by the pairs from Hà Nội and Quảng Ninh.

In the men’s singles’ 1m soft board, Hải Phòng’s Dương Văn Thành bagged the gold medal with 270.30 points. Hanoian Nam and Nguyễn Tùng Dương of Hải Phòng took the silver and bronze medals.

The event, which continues until September 28, attracted the participation of 23 players from seven teams, including Hà Nội, Hải Dương, Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh.

The four-day event is an opportunity for the National Sports Administration to assess coaches and athletes and select outstanding athletes for the national springboard team.

Although springboard is not a popular sport in Việt Nam, Vietnamese athletes brought home gold medals from the Southeast Asian Games in 2003 and 2009.

Cantho Catfish beat HCM City Wings at VBA

Cantho Catfish beat HCM City Wings 85-71 at the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League at Cần Thơ Gymnasium on September 27. The two teams welcomed the return of their key players following intensive training in Australia, with both sides playing with their best line-up and hoping to triumph.

The first two quarters saw Catfish dominate. The trio of De Angelo Hamilton, Tâm Đinh and Sang Đinh displayed an excellent performance, together contributing 28 out of 43 points for the hosts in the first and second period. Tâm Đinh was the best scorer with 13 points, scoring four points in the last five seconds of the second quarter to help his team be in the lead with a score of 43-30.

Meanwhile, Bilal Richardson was the best player for the Wings with effective three-point shots to score 14 points.

In subsequent quarters, Sang Đinh was suddenly forced to leave the game due to individual errors. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, the Wings bounced back strongly with attacks by Bilal Richardson and Henry Nguyễn.

Not being shadowed by Sang Đinh, Nguyễn Lê Quốc Cường played more aggressively to score 15 points, including three three-point shots. Richardson also scored 18 points.

However, Catfish played better. Without Sang Đinh in the ring, Nguyễn Lê Quốc Cường was able to shine with three three-point throws. Notably, he continuously scored the points in just 30 seconds, making fans at the gymnasium jump with joy.

The team continued to play a closely cathup game. The match ended with a final score of 85-71 in favour of Catfish.

Gia Lai gives nod to solar power plant

The Central Highlands province of Gia Lai’s People’s Committee has given the go-ahead to the Gia Lai Electricity JSC, to invest in a solar power plant.

The 49MW plant, which will be located in Chu Gu Village, Krong Pa District, will be built on an area of 76ha at a cost of US$63 million to generate and distribute solar power.

It will operate for 50 years. Construction of the plant will start in the first quarter of next year and will be completed by the second quarter of 2019.

The People’s Committee asked Gia Lai Electricity JSC to develop an environment protection plan, and to submit it to the relevant authorities for approval.

The committee will withdraw the decision according to investment regulations, if the investor fails to implement the project or is unable to implement it, as scheduled after 12 months as of the date of receiving the investment decision.

Women sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for human trafficking

Hà Nội People’s Court on Tuesday sentenced two women to 20 years in prison for trafficking Vietnamese women and children to China.

According to the indictment, Hoàng Thị Loan, 40, from the northern province of Bắc Giang, and Nguyễn Thị Hương, 32, from the northern province of Tuyên Quang, left Việt Nam to work in China in 2012. Upon realising that many Chinese men wanted to marry Vietnamese women, Loan, Hương and other unidentified women planned to traffic women to China.

The trafficking gang lured two Vietnamese women and two children to China and “sold” them to “buyers” for VNĐ120-170 million each (US$5,200-7,400)

Three out of the four victims reported the trafficking to police after they managed to escape from the abuse in China and return to Việt Nam.

Early this year, Loan and Hương returned to Việt Nam and gave themselves up to the police.

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