Thứ Ba, 20 tháng 3, 2018

Government News 19/3

NA Standing Committee wraps up 22nd session

OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 
Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long

The 22nd session of the National Assembly Standing Committee closed in Hanoi on March 19 after seven days of sitting. 
Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long and Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh took the floor and answered questions. 
Minister Chu Ngoc Anh answered questions regarding the efficiency of adopting scientific research results in real life, control of technology export-import in production and services, and technological adoption in service of socio-economic development. 
He said the Party and State have paid due attention to the application of high technologies in agricultural production.
He said eight chain factories will be inaugurated this year to facilitate technological transfer in agriculture. 
Joining the question-and-answer session, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Science and Technology will work closely together to launch chain models and rearrange market planning and production. 
About concern over the import of outdated technologies, Minister Anh said the ministry will issue decrees and directives guiding the enforcement of the amended Law on Technological Transfer. 
For his part, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong pointed to policy, work performance, and scientific and technological application as the three main causes affecting the development of agriculture, of which scientific and technological application is decisive and crucial to the competitiveness of the country’s farm products.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said Vietnam currently ranks 47th globally in innovation index and 38th in technological expertise. 
He called on the State to issue practical mechanisms to make firms really become a centre of creativity and innovation. 
Concluding the meeting, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the Standing Committee piloted some changes in this question-and-answer session, which enabled more interactions between legislators and ministers in dealing with the issues raised.
She asked the government, the Council of Ethnic Affairs, the NA committees and agencies to promptly prepare quality bills to submit to the NA Standing Committee for consideration during the 23th and 24th session scheduled for April and May.
OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland

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Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (L) speaks at the meeting  

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has urged Vietnamese expats in Japan to continue uphold their role as bridges, contributing to helping Vietnamese enterprises promote exports. 
During a meeting with the Vietnamese community in Japan as part of his working visit to Japan from March 18-25, Nhan updated participants on recent achievements of Ho Chi Minh City, and highlighted its dynamic development. 
Japan is one of the two biggest investors in Vietnam, he said, adding that Ho Chi Minh City is currently the most attractive destination for Japanese investors in all fields. 
The southern hub is calling for investments in 127 key projects, including those in building smart hospitals, developing high technologies and infrastructure, and flood prevention, he said.  
He affirmed his current visit to Japan aims to learn from Japan’s experience as well as collect opinions from Japanese experts and economists, and those from Vietnamese businesses in Japan, towards mapping out development strategies and orientations for Ho Chi Minh City in the coming time. 
Speaking in the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong reported the development of the Vietnamese community in Japan, saying that the number of overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in Japan increased to nearly 250,000, 2.5 times higher than three years ago. 
Many Vietnamese people achieved prominent achievements in the field of invention and innovation, thus contributing to the homeland’s development as well as the relations between the two countries, he noted. 
At the meeting, OVs shared experience in simplifying investment procedures, thus facilitating Japanese firms’ operation in Vietnam
Representatives from young Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Japan said if Vietnamese firms want to succeed in the Japanese market, they need to consult, learn and apply Japan’s professional working style. 
Nhan is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other officials of the Japanese Government; have working sessions with representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo and Tsukuba universities, and organisations and enterprises working in the high-tech field.
HCM City vows to support private sector

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The meeting between city leaders and the enterprise community was organised on Saturday. 

HCM City pledges to protect the legal rights and benefits of the business community, a city leader said.
Speaking at a meeting between city leaders and the enterprise community on Saturday, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee said, “Enterprises will be checked only once a year and leaders will reduce 30 per cent of their meetings to be able to go into the field and help enterprises handle difficulties,”
“The city will try to cut half of the current time for investment procedures and this year, the administrative reform index of the city will rank in the top ten of the country,” he added.
To create more favourable conditions for the enterprise community, Phong also revealed that a task force to handle land and ground compensation will be set up to assist enterprises.
“Programmes of connecting banking and enterprises, investment stimulation; the establishment of a project development fund and a financial support fund for public-private-partnership will be promoted.”
The chairman also pledged that policies to implement special mechanisms for the city will make enterprises stronger and will “not hinder nor become a burden for the business community,” he added.
At the meeting, Lê Thị Thanh Lâm, deputy general director of Sài Gòn Food Company and representative of the Food Association, asked the relevant authorities to instruct the education sector to receive safe products from the association.
“Our association will provide technical supervision for parents to check the quality of food for children at the school, which can not be done now,” she said.
Lê Hoàng Châu, chairman of the city Real Estate Association, commented that HCM City should consider that the average area for each person to rent in the city be 15 sq.m as in Hà Nội, not 20 sq.m as the Construction Department has just suggested.
Trần Việt Anh, chairman of Nam Thái Sơn Corporation, said HCM City is now losing its competitive advantage in logistics because the city is facing terrible traffic jams and there is no huge storage for logistics.
“Neighbouring provinces such as Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu and Long An are trying to improve their infrastructure and services in logistics by strongly investing in road systems, seaports and storage,” he said.
Trần Anh Tuấn, deputy chairman of the HCM City Computers Association mentioned how to promote startup enterprises.
“Big companies and professional associations should have more of a role and contribution by guiding and assisting startup enterprises,” he said.
At present, HCM City is facing many great challenges. Right now, only 1.49 per cent of the city’s enterprises are big, 5.68 per cent are medium, 4.58 per cent are small and 88.25 per cent are tiny.
The private sector is still the major driver of the development of the city with GDP growth at 8.15 per cent. Each year, the city contributes 27-28 per cent to the national State budget and the city improved the business environment to attract US$10 billion through FDI during 2016 – 2017.
This year, the city will deploy the project “Smart city 2017 – 2020 with vision to 2025” with four solutions: building a sharing database and developing an open data ecosystem; setting up the city’s socio-economic development prediction and stimulation centre; establishing a smart city operation centre; constructing an information safety and security centre.
The city plans to co-operate with the HCM City Business Association to organize the “HCM City Economic Forum” in October.
HCM City welcomes Japan’s high-quality infrastructure investment

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Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan  hopes for more Japanese investmentin high-quality infrastructure in the city.

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hoped that the Japanese Government and businesses will continue support and investment in the city, especially in high-quality infrastructure.
He expressed his wish at his meetings on March 19 with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitaoka, as part of his trip to the East Asian nation.
Speaking highly of the Vietnam-Japan relations as well as the ties between HCM City and Japanese localities, which are in the most flourishing period ever, Nhan thanked Japan for backing Vietnam and its southern hub in the past years.
He noted that Japanese support in infrastructure is crucial to HCM City, a city which is expected to be home to 15 million people by 2030 and contributing 22 percent of the national gross domestic product, as transport and water drainage facilities are hampering the city’s development.
After the two countries become strategic partners, they have seen thriving cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that Can Tho and Nhat Tan bridges are vivid illustrations of the tight collaboration.
Lauding HCM City’s role in the national economy, the Japanese officials said that Japan stands ready to help the city build high-quality infrastructure.
The same day, Nhan went to Ibaraki prefecture, where he visited Tsukuba University and Tsukuba science city.
Congratulations to Wang Yi on promotion as State Counselor

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi  

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on March 19 cabled a message of congratulations to Wang Yi on his reappointment as Chinese Foreign Minister and promotion to State Counselor. 
His promotion was approved by the National People's Congress of China the same day.
Vietnam-US Society President receives US guest

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VFW Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Vincent “B.J” Lawrence 

President of the Vietnam – US Society (VUS) Nguyen Tam Chien hosted a reception in Hanoi on March 19 for Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the US Vincent “B.J” Lawrence
Chien briefed the guests about people-to-people diplomacy activities of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the VUS and the humanitarian support programme between the two countries, especially the recovery from the consequences of war-era landmines, issues regarding Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and the search for remains of missing US servicemen in Vietnam. 
He reviewed important milestones in VietnamUS diplomatic ties in peacetime, the role of the VUS and mass organisations in promoting bilateral ties. 
Lawrence, who is in Vietnam from March 18-22, said the visit affords him a chance to learn about Vietnam’s post-war recovery and development, the country and its people. 
In 1991, the VFW sent representatives to the delegations of the US Congressmen and ex-veterans to Vietnam to discuss the search for the US servicemen missing in action. 
It also sends delegations to Vietnam each year to learn about the country’s situation, the VietnamUS relations, and especially dealing with the search for missing Vietnamese and US soldiers during the war.
Vietnamese, Cambodian customs bolster cooperation

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At the high-level talks between the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia on March 19.  

The General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia agreed to enhance cooperation at high-level talks between the two customs bodies in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19.
They reached consensus on pushing the negotiations between the two finance ministries on mutual support in customs sector to create legal foundation for bilateral collaboration.
Along with simplifying administrative procedures, they will work together to fight smuggling, trade fraud, drug trafficking and other illegal trade activities in border localities via improving information exchange mechanisms.
At the event, they stated that the two customs bodies have carried out a line-up of bilateral cooperative activities to facilitate two-way trade. They regularly met to update customs procedures as well as exchange information about passengers and goods items through the border gates. Also, they joined hands to crack down smuggling and trade fraud for imports and exports.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that Vietnam-Cambodia trade rose 29.7 percent year-on-year to over 3.79 billion USD in 2017. Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of more than 1.75 billion USD.
Party chief congratulates re-elected President V. Putin

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Vladimir Putin is re-elected as President of Russia. 

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong sent a congratulatory message to Vladimir Putin on his re-election as President of Russia.
Vladimir Putin is set for another six years in power after winning a record election performance with 76.66 percent of the vote held on March 18.-
President greets outgoing UAE Ambassador

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President Tran Dai Quang (R) greets outgoing UAE Ambassador.  

President Tran Dai Quang on March 19  received Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Vietnam Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani, who came to say goodbye before ending his tenure.
Praising the diplomat’s contributions to enhancing the bilateral friendship and multifaceted cooperation during his four-year tenure, the President highlighted his efforts in linking the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the UAE Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organise several business forums between the two countries, particularly the Dubai – Vietnam trade forum in Hanoi in November last year.
Quang said he believes the two sides will continue implementing their agreements as well as boosting the exchange of business delegations and trade promotion activities. 
The Vietnamese leader expressed his delight at progresses made in Vietnam – UAE relations in recent years, stressing that the UAE is among top trade and investment partners of Vietnam in the Middle East.
The UAE is the 7th biggest trade partner of Vietnam, with bilateral trade surpassing 6 billion USD annually in the past three years. 
Quang noted his expectation that the outgoing diplomat will continue contributing to the Vietnam – UAE friendship and collaboration in his new post.
For his part, Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani thanked Vietnam’s agencies and sectors for their cooperation with and support for him during his tenure in the country.
The UAE highly values upbeat outcomes of its cooperation with Vietnam, the ambassador said, adding that these achievements have placed the UAE among the top ten trade partners of Vietnam.
Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development

“Let’s support the rich who are talented and whole-hearted, who can help the country’s development,” said Dr. Nguyen Sy Dung, former vice chairman of the National Assembly Office, about Vingroup, the largest private economic group in Vietnam.

 Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development
Dr. Nguyen Sy Dung

- 2017 saw the rise of the private sector. Which private firms impressed you the most?

The strength of the national economy will depend more and more on private enterprises. TH True Milk has good quality and reliable agricultural products. Sungroup is known for its entertainment and tourism works. Hoa Phat operates well in various fields. VietJet Air is dynamic, but I do not have enough information about this business. Masan chose the market segment in a very practical way and it has also been very successful. In the fields of technology, FPT and CMC are good names, and even MISA – a small firm - has created a number of artificial intelligence products ... But I’m impressed the most with Vingroup.

- You said you are most interested in Vingroup. In your opinion, what has this group contributed to our society?

First of all, I must say that Vingroup is part of Vietnam's economic strength. Business capacity and the ability to create high quality products are indispensable if we want to have a powerful and competitive economy. I think this is Vingroup's most remarkable contribution to the country.

We can also talk about infrastructure works developed by Vingroup like Royal City, Times City, Vinhomes Riverside, etc. These are high-quality urban areas with synchronous facilities. Visiting these urban areas, we feel like we are on modern streets in Europe... Who benefits from these urban areas? I think the first beneficiary is the growing middle class in Vietnam. However, beneficiaries can also be others thanks to the diffusion effect of these projects. For example, I can watch free music in Times City even though I own no apartment there.

Thirdly, Vingroup has been able to make the most of talented people, the country's most valuable resources. The talented people here include overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who work for Vingroup. For example, former Vice President of GM is now General Director of Vinfast. This is not really noticeable, but in my opinion it is particularly important. Vingroup not only attracts talented people but it creates an environment for the talent to develop. Phi Anh is a very talented young man. At the age of 26 only, he was assigned as the director of the animation project named VinTaTa, which is invested in heavily by Vingroup. Utilizing talent is the great task of Vingroup.

- With nearly 5,000 employees, on average, each Vingroup staff member is generating VND1.6 billion (nearly $80,000) of revenue per year, which is not a small number at all. What do you think about this?

Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development 
Vingroup's VinMec offers free medical services for the poor worth VND1.5 trillion.

Yes, Vingroup has contributed to increasing labor productivity, creating jobs and paying high salaries for nearly 50,000 workers. This has great social effect. With its large ecosystem and value chain, this group is likely to indirectly create jobs for tens of thousands of others.

The fifth contribution of Vingroup is creating a competitive driving force among big enterprises and corporations. Vingroup has been actively creating new standards in its operating fields, benefiting its customers, and through this, improving the effectiveness of the national economy.

- If you are the chief of a provincial Party Committee, then which firm will you offer the red carpet treatment for its investment?

It seems that every locality is trying to attract Vingroup’s investment. Let’s see, if Vinfast operates at 100% capacity, then Hai Phong will have more than VND20 trillion of tax revenue from this project.

- There is also the opinion that Mr. Pham Nhat Vuong mainly invests in the business to serve the rich, and the poor do not benefit from his wealth. What do you think about it?

For businesses, choosing the right market segment is a matter of life and death. I think Vingroup has the right strategy because the middle class is developing very fast in Vietnam. Moreover, housing prices can only be cheap if the needs of the middle class do not fall into the cheap segment.

Vingroup is the largest private taxpayer in Vietnam. They pay taxes to the state, and the state takes care of the poor and social security.

In addition, I know that Vingroup has extracted thousands of billions of VND from its fund to do social and charity work. It’s a matter of whether they want to talk about it or not.

- Are you afraid that your appreciation of Vingroup may cause someone to think about you in the wrong way?

I have no relationship with Mr. Vuong or Vingroup. Except for a free water music show in the Times City, I do not owe them any debt of gratitude. I'm the descendant of scholars of Nghe An so I have to speak out the truth. 

For more than half a century, the boycott against the rich has led our society to a dead end. Today, the time is ripe for us to change our behavior. Please support the rich who are talented and whole-hearted for the purpose of developing our country. Only then will our country soon become rich and prosperous!

- Thank you!

Minh Tuan
Social News 19/3

Berlin requiem commemorates fallen soldiers in Gac Ma battle
A requiem was held at Tu An pagoda in Germany’s Berlin capital on March 18 to commemorate 64 soldiers who laid down their lives to defend Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago 30 years ago.
The event was chaired by Venerable Thich Tu Nhon – head of Tu An pagoda, attracting the attention of Buddhist dignitaries and followers, representatives from the Vietnamese war veterans’ association in Berlin-Brandenburg, and nearly 100 Vietnamese people living in Berlin and its surrounding areas.
Participants offered incense and prayed for the fallen soldiers.
Venerable Thich Tu Nhon said that the requiem is organised annually to show the Vietnamese community’s deep gratitude to the fallen combatants.
The Gac Ma battle took place on March 14, 1988.
Last year, a memorial site dedicated to the 64 martyrs was inaugurated in Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district of the central province of Khanh Hoa.
The highlight of the site is a monument featuring the naval soldiers holding hands in an “eternal circle” to safeguard the national flag symbolising the national sovereignty on Gac Ma reef. 
The work was built with money contributed by workers and public servants nationwide through trade union organisations under a programme launched by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour.-
Vietnam Friendship Village – symbol of solidarity

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AO victim children are provided with vocational training  

The Vietnam Friendship Village, set up 20 years ago, has contributed to ease the pain for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims by giving nursing services and vocational training to AO-infected veterans and children.
The Vietnam Friendship Village, which is run by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association, was formed on March 18, 1998. It covers over 3 hectares in Van Canh commune, Hoai Duc district of Hanoi.
It is a symbol of international solidarity for peace and friendship. The village was built with cooperation of six countries – the US, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and the UK following the initiative of George George Mizo, a US war veteran who joined the war in the south of Vietnam
The construction was funded with over 2 million USD from the Friendship Village International Committee and the Vietnamese Government.
After 20 years of operation, the village welcomed over 6,500 war veterans, former youth volunteers who are AO/dioxin victims and 700 children of the second and third AO victim generations.
The veterans and former youth volunteers receive treatment and nursing services and have chances to join cultural and sport activities as well as visits to different places and convalescences. 
Meanwhile, almost children adopted by the village are living with disabilities, especially intellectual disability due to the toxic chemical. Along with rehabilitation, they are provided with education and vocational training such as IT, embroidery, tailoring and making fabric flowers. Many of them have managed to find jobs and earn money. The most important thing is that they can integrate into society without a complex about their disabilities.
Each year, the Friendship Village International Committee provides financial assistance for the village. The village has become a venue for international friends who wish to meet and assist the victims.
With its efforts and achievements over the past 20 years, the village was honoured with the first class of Labour Order and certificates of merit from the Government and the Party Central Committee’s Commission on Information and Education.
In the coming time, the village aims to become a model in humanitarian and charitable activities, a destination of friends at home and abroad as well as a symbol of solidarity, peace, friendship, cooperation and reconciliation.
Exhibition features anti-war-in-Vietnam campaigns of US veterans
A special exhibition titled “Waging Peace – American Soldiers and Veterans opposing the War in Viet Nam” opened at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19.
Jointly held by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO), Peace and Development Foundation, and the US-based organisation Veterans for Peace (VFP), the event is displaying 80 posters, photos, and newspaper articles on past campaigns to end the war in Vietnam by US soldiers and veterans.
At the exhibition, Nguyen Van Manh, HUFO Vice Chairman and General Secretary, said VietnamUS relations have grown stronger in the past 20 years via friendly exchange programmes of politicians, scholars, veterans, and students of the two countries.
A large number of US veterans have returned to Vietnam to take part in local charity programmes and helped promote understanding about Vietnamese people and culture in their home country, he added.
The exhibition lasts until April 15.
Vietnam helps regional countries prevent natural disasters
The National Hydro-Meteorological Service (HMS) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has played a central role in supporting Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines in applying early risk warning systems, heard a workshop in Hanoi on March 19. 
According to HMS Deputy Director Tran Hong Thai, his agency has provided quality instructions for possible extreme weather events for these countries, helping them produce more accurate and timely weather forecasts and give early warnings of natural disasters. 
With its active contributions to the disaster prevention in the region, Vietnam has made remarkable achievements in improving capacity and sharing experience and knowledge with regional nations. 
The country has also helped promote connectivity among member countries of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for sustainable economic development in the region, Thai said. 
He emphasised the need for the service to promote international cooperation in preventing and mitigating natural disasters. 
Participants to the workshop focused their discussion on how to improve the ability of hydro-meteorological agencies in forecasting and warning; forecasting process, scenarios that are likely to occur and the worst scenarios; analysis of forecasts; among others. 
After the workshop, which ends on March 23, the HMS will coordinate with the WMO in holding a training workshop weather forecast between March 26-30.
Bac Giang steps up investment promotion
The northern province of Bac Giang will take drastic measures from now until the end of this year to lure more investments.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Linh recently asked local departments and sectors to hasten administrative procedures to attract both domestic and foreign investors to the locality.
The Department of Planning and Investment was asked to study new policies on investment attraction, and propose measures to increase the quality of projects.
The management board of industrial zones was directed to strengthen responsibility and urge investors to speed up construction on industrial zone infrastructure, and work with districts in ground clearance to create favourable conditions for investors.
Linh also asked the Department of Construction to work with Bac Giang city and districts to inspect and supervise the granting of construction licenses, enhance its responsibility of managing construction order and solve violations.
In the first two months of 2018, Bac Giang attracted 40 domestic-invested projects with total registered capital of 498 billion VND (21.8 million USD) and 15 foreign-invested ones worth 30 million USD. More 121.3 million USD was also poured into eight existing projects in the period.
Currently, there are 1,400 projects in the locality, of which 1,062 projects worth more than 78.7 trillion VND are invested by domestic businesses and 338 are foreign direct investment projects worth more than 3.9 trillion USD.
Fireman dies in accident, another injured
A fireman of Hà Nội’s Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department died after suffering multiple injuries in an accident, the department said on Monday.
Colonel Trần Ngọc Dương, deputy director of the department, said another fireman who was seriously injured was being treated at Bạch Mai Hospital for a broken collarbone.
On Sunday afternoon, a rescue truck of the fire department with seven firemen was pressed to service to rescue the victims of a crash between a coach and a truck near Vạn Điểm-Đỗ Xá toll booth on Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway.
On the way, the rescue truck, which was going from Hà Nội to Ninh Bình, collided with a 45-seater coach, with the registration number 29B-078.43, coming from the opposite direction. The accident took place near Thường Tín toll booth in Thường Tín District’s Văn Bình Commune.
The victims, including five persons from the coach, two firemen with minor injuries and four firemen with serious injuries, were rushed to Bạch Mai Hospital, according to Dương.
Besides the officer with a broken collarbone, all others have been discharged from the hospital.
The victims stranded in the accident on Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway were rescued.
University of East Asia win VUG’s futsal
University of East Asia triumphed in the futsal category of Việt Nam University Games (VUG) in Đà Nẵng on March 19.
The University of East Asia beat Architectural University 3-2 in the penalty shootout to clinch the title. Duy Tân University came third.
The winner will represent Đà Nẵng in the national final, which is scheduled to be held in May in the Polytechnic College’s Gymnasium in Hà Nội.
The VUG event saw the participation of eight universities around Đà Nẵng City, with more than 1,000 students watching in gymnasiums.
VUG will officially kick off in the northern city of Hải Phòng on March 24.
Launched in 2013, VUG is one of the largest sporting events for students in futsal and freestyle dance.
This year, the event is expected to attract 80 universities and colleges in six cities and provinces across the country.
Russians vote across Viet Nam

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A family enter the polling booth at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội, on March 18, 2018. 

Hundreds of Russians living in Việt Nam on Sunday voted for the next president across Hà Nội, HCM City and Đà Nẵng.
Many Russians began showing up at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội in the morning to cast their ballots for one out of eight presidential candidates, one of whom is the current President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fourth term.
Two tourists from Moscow, Alexandr and Denis, visited the polling place just minutes before departing for the airport. They were en route to Kuala Lumpur and transited in Hà Nội on election day.
“It’s good that we were able to vote,” they said.
An officer of the Russian Trade Representation in Việt Nam, Nadezhda Ilixeeva, said that she voted for President Putin as “he is the best option for the highest position.”
“I chose the one who can guard the country,” she said.
“I hope that Russia’s living standard can get better in the coming years.”
The three polling stations at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội and the consulates in HCM City and Đà Nẵng City would open from 8am throughout to 8pm Sunday, said the Russian Ambassador in Việt Nam, Konstantin Vnukov.
Early voting before election day had been also carried out at another four locations in Vũng Tàu, Nha Trang, Mũi Né and Phú Quốc, which are home to a large number majority of Russian expats and tourists.
“So far the number of Russian citizens casting their votes is tenfold compared to previous elections,” Vnukov said.
“It demonstrated that the Russians care a lot for the future of their country.”
There is not an official record of the number of Russians living in Việt Nam, but the ambassador estimated it could range between 5,000 and 6,000 people. 
High-tech shrimp breeding brings higher profits
More than two years ago, Đặng Thanh Tân, a farmer in Bình Minh Town, northern Ninh Bình Province decided to switch from breeding shrimp in traditional ponds to high-tech farming. Over the course of the same breeding period, the new technique brings about higher shrimp productivity and quality than the traditional method.
By the end of 2015, after studying shrimp breeding models nationwide, Tan decided to renovate his farm by building a green house and spreading out a layer of canvas at the bottom of the pond.
Tân said that the high-tech shrimp farming model requires breeders to build a pond with an appropriate area (2ha), as well as additional ponds assisting the main one.
Several years ago, the shrimp he raised in the traditional pond yielded low productivity as the shrimps were affected by unfavourable weather conditions and attacked by diseases. Now he uses probiotics instead of antibiotics so that shrimps have better resistance against diseases and are of a better quality.
“The biggest advantage of high-tech shrimp farming is a closed breeding process. Breeders can control the breeding environment so that they can prevent disease risks since shrimps are released to the pond until they are grown up,” he said.
“I can release only 50-70 shrimp per sq.m to a traditional pond but up to 150-200 shrimp per sq.m to a high-tech pond. The risk of death stays very low. Each kg has 40-50 shrimps,” he said.
Thanks to new technology, Tan is able to cut down on production spending. He built a separate water treatment area covering the same area as the breeding pond (2ha).
On the same area, his model helps save money compared to other models, including saving water thanks to the water treatment system which helps improve biological safety and reduces energy costs thanks to a special air pumping system.
With the traditional method, breeders have to feed shrimps. Tan uses an automatic shrimp feeding machine which helps prevent food being wasted in the water and reduces labour. Shrimps fed by this method also grow faster.
Last year, after three seasons, he harvested 50 tonnes of shrimp products worth over VNĐ8 billion (US$348,000). The total profit gained was estimated at more than VNĐ3 billion ($130,500).
Tân said that he would multiply the high-tech shrimp farming model and apply additional technologies to his farm.
The high-tech shrimp breeding model requires big investment but brings about high profits, controls diseases and addresses environmental problems. Its production is really sustainable, said Nguyễn Tiến Thành, standing deputy secretary of Party Committee of Ninh Bình Province.
He encouraged local shrimp breeders to switch to high-tech farming for higher profits.
Typhoon Damrey affected houses to rebuild in central region
The central Quảng Nam province, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Việt Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Republic of Korea, in partnership with the Việt Nam Red Cross Society, has launched the Damrey housing recovery and rehabilitation project.
As planned, the first five of 80 resilient houses will be built for households which suffered damage from the typhoon in the province this year.
The project aims to support the building of 300 resilient houses in three central provinces of Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên and Quảng Nam.
The major beneficiaries of the project are the poor and near-poor families whose houses were heavily damaged by the recent Typhoon Damrey. They also will be provided with the necessary knowledge and resources to repair and rebuild their houses to ensure that new houses can withstand future typhoons and floods.
Typhoon Damrey, which was the twelfth to hit Việt Nam last year, was the strongest one in 2017. It battered some of the poorest communities of the south-central coastal region. More than 130,000 homes were damaged, of which over 3,500 were destroyed. Dozens of displaced families have had to live in temporary and unsafe shelters.
“This project will help the typhoon-hit families to have safer houses after Typhoon Damrey”, said Đoàn Thị Tuyết Nga, Director of the Department of International Cooperation under the VNDMA.
Home is not only where the heart is, but also the biggest asset of local people. Building resilient houses is very important to save lives and mitigate the property losses.
“Helping vulnerable people to recover is one of the mandates of UNDP,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director, Akiko Fujii.
She explained that the housing recovery and rehabilitation project will ensure the safety of communities and help them enhance their resilience against future disasters.
"The Korean government is happy to join this effort to support Vietnamese people affected by Damrey in the central region by contributing US$1 million to the house repair project. As a friend and close development partner of Việt Nam, Korea will continue to support Việt Nam’s government in its efforts to overcome challenges posed by climate change. We hope that this project will bring hope and resilience back to the affected people", ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Việt Nam, Lee Hyuk said.
Director of the Disaster Management Department, Việt Nam Red Cross, Nguyễn Thu Hà said: “The support of UNDP and the Republic of Korea is very useful for the local affected communities. It can prevent them from falling back into poverty and enhance their resilience.”
Ha Tinh border guard busts drug smuggler from Laos
The border guard force in the central province of Ha Tinh arrested a man carrying 15kg of methamphetamine from Laos to Vietnam on March 18.
The arrest was part of an operation in which the local border guard has worked with the General Department of Vietnam Customs’ anti-smuggling inspection department and Vietnam Coast Guard High Command’s drug crime prevention office.
The arrested man was Thao Cu Mua, 31, from the Mong ethnic minority group in Laos’ Bolikhamsai province. He was caught allegedly smuggling 15kg of methamphetamine contained in 15 yellow plastic bags.
Mua admitted that he transported the drug into Vietnam for a Vietnamese person for 120,000 USD.
The case is under investigation.
AkzoNobel and artists complete Fresco for the Future
AkzoNobel has collaborated with professional artists and amateur art enthusiasts to paint a brilliant range of 30 dynamic 3D frescoes under the project “Fresco for the Future” in Canh Duong fishing village in the central province of Quang Binh.
AkzoNobel is a global paint and coatings company and the manufacturer of signature paint brands Dulux and Maxilite.
Starting on January 31, 2018, the project features diverse themes of history, culture, natural protection, human life, entertainment, and more.
Following the devastation caused by the Doksuri storm that ravaged the fishing village in October 2017, the frescoes help bring colour to the streets and to people’s lives as well as contributing to boost the development of the local economy. In the coming years, these frescoes will bring a new look helping to make Canh Duong an attractive tourist destination in Quang Binh.
The frescoes help bring colour to the streets and to people’s lives as well as contribute to the development of the local economy.
“The idea of this project was formed when our team saw the first fresco village in Tam Thanh, Vietnam over a year ago. We felt that the Vietnamese landscape is extremely idyllic, but poor. If we do more fresco projects like Tam Thanh in other villages, we can create a change in residents’ lives.
Therefore, we decided to go ahead with this project,” said Nguyen Viet Dung, director of GIUN9 Art Centre.
“However, we ran into some difficulties because a lot of storms hit Central Vietnam, especially Quang Binh province, while we were preparing for the project. Luckily, with the paint sponsorship of AkzoNobel Vietnam and the Quang Binh Tourism Department’s decision to turn Canh Duong into a key tourist spot of the province, we could successfully complete the project.”
The artists painted these frescoes with the premium external paint brand Dulux Weathershield—an innovative decorative paint product with a wide range of colour, which not only helps beautify the wall but also provides optimal protection from the harsh effects of extreme weather and climate change.
In order to complete this project in a very short span of time, the group of 15 artists from many provinces of Vietnam had worked hard day and night. All participating artists share the same passion for painting and dream of honouring the beauty of the Vietnamese island.
AkzoNobel Vietnam general manager Pamela Phua said: “One of the strongest commitments of AkzoNobel is to create more ‘human’ living environments across the world. And we are very proud of contributing to the success of the project.”
“AkzoNobel utilises its own key strength—protection and colours—to energise the communities and make their lives more livable and inspiring. The programme of renovating civil construction under storm-resistant standards shows our efforts to contribute to the sustainable development of Quang Binh province,” she noted.
Sakura blossoms on display at VN-Japan cultural festival this weekend
Some 50 sakura trees of different species, above 2.5m high each, and 10,000 branches of sakura blossoms will be displayed during the 2018 Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Festival in downtown Hanoi, starting this weekend.
The event, which will take place at Ly Thai To Park by Hoan Kiem Lake from March 23-26, aims to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties this year.
Experienced artisans from Japan are helping arrange the exhibition, the organisers said in a press briefing on March 19, adding that the Japanese sakura will be exhibited alongside local flowers.
The event will include various cultural activities, such as the introduction of the Japanese tea culture, chess, Kendama folk games and Japanese cuisine near Hanoi Children’s Palace, besides a Yosakoi dance performance by 17 teams on Dinh Tien Hoang street.
The event will also host various Vietnamese traditional arts such as ca tru (ceremonial singing), hat xam (blind busker’s singing) and folk dances.
Further, the Hanoi authorities and Japanese partners will hold a meeting to discuss tourism, health, education and economic investment.
Japanese cooks will demonstrate the preparation of traditional food, including ramen noodles, soba noodles, takoyaki cake and sushi.
Binh Duong leader congratulates Phu Cuong Diocese on Saint Joseph’s Day
Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong province People’s Committee Dang Minh Hung on March 19 visited the Diocese of Phu Cuong in Thu Dau Mot city and congratulated its Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc on the Saint Joseph’s Day.
Hung praised positive contributions made by Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc, priests and Catholic followers in building and developing the province in the past years.
He hoped that the dignitary will continue his efforts to keep the work up and further the patriotic emulation movements, making contributions to the nation’s development and solidarity.
For his part, the Bishop thanked the local authorities for creating favourable conditions for local Catholic followers to practice their religion.
Phu Tho ready for Hung Kings Temple Festival 2018
The northern province of Phu Tho has finished preparation for the Hung Kings Temple Festival, one of the biggest festival of the year, which will take place from April 21-25, or the 6th-10th day of the third lunar month, said a provincial official.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ha Ke San, who is also leader of the organising committee, the festival will be hosted by Phu Tho at the Hung Temple Complex in Viet Tri city and surrounding communes while four other provinces including Thai Nguyen, Quang Nam, Binh Duong and Kien Giang will support its organisation.
This year, the province will continue making efforts to popolarise Xoan singing and Hung Kings worshipping rituals, which were recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, he noted.
To prepare for the event, the organising committee has been set up with sub-committees and inter-sector inspection teams responsible for monitoring and examining the preparation and businesses in the festival’s areas, he said.
Holy places and stairs leading to the Hung Temple Complex have been repaired and renovated while tour guides will be arranged to instruct tourists how to practice rituals, according to the complex’s director Nguyen Duy Anh. The complex’s management board will work to ensure visitors’ safety, he added.
A series of exciting festive activities will be held during the five-day festival, including a book fair, “chung” (square cake) making contest, exhibition, cultural camp, art performances and particularly Xoan singing. 
The annual festival takes place on the death anniversary of the Hung Kings, founders of the nation, to pay tribute to the Vietnamese ancestors.
Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong, married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co gave birth to a sack containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. 
The couple then decided to separate to populate the land, so half of the children followed their mother to the highlands and the rest went with their father to the sea.
The first child went with mother Au Co to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Vietnam, Van Lang.         
Ruling the country for 18 generations, the Hung Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose Nghia Linh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.
To honour the Hung Kings, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on Nghia Linh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as their anniversary.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worship traditions of most Vietnamese families, an important part of people’s spiritual lives.
The worshipping ritual of the Hung Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.