About ten thousand of people visited the Hung Kings Temples Complex on the Lunar New Year’s Day (Photo: baophapluat.vn)
Phu Tho - About ten thousand of people visited the Hung Kings Temples Complex in the northern province of Phu Tho on the Lunar New Year’s Day to pay tribute to the founders of the nation and pray for a happy new year.
Chu Van Duong, a resident in Au Co Ward of Phu Tho province, said as a New Year custom, his family always visit the Hung Kings temples and then worship the legendary ancestors of Vietnam - Mother Au Co and Father Lac Long Quan, at the temples dedicated to them on Sim Hill.
Security situation and environmental hygiene at the temples were well kept this year, said Luu Quang Huy, director of the historical complex.
As the number of visitors were likely to increase in the next few day, Huy suggested that people should continue to promote their sense of responsibility and follow the temples’ regulations to avoid pushing while keeping the environment there clean.
Located on Hung Mountain or Nghia Linh Mountain in Hy Cuong Commune, Viet Tri city of Phu Tho Province, Hung Kings Temple is one of the most sacred places of worship in the country.
People across the country and overseas visit this place every year on the Lunar New Year, and on the national day designated for commemoration of the Hung Kings (the tenth of the third lunar month).
The Hung Kings ruled Vietnam from 2879 BC until 258 BC and are considered as the founders of the nation.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.-VNA
Thứ Ba, 31 tháng 1, 2017
An Thoi Port in Phu Quoc Island (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi – Building trademarks for maritime products is crucial for Vietnam to exploit sea resources in an effective and sustainable way, making Vietnam a strong country in terms of maritime economy.
With a total coastline of over 3,260km spanning across 28 provinces and cities, over 1 million square kilometers of exclusive economic zone and more than 3,000 islands and islets, including Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, Vietnam’s potentials for sea-based economy are abundant.
The major target of the Vietnam maritime strategy to 2020 is to turn Vietnam into a country that has sea-driven strength and wealth. To this end, it is crucial to build an effective and sustainable maritime economy in line with the development of a strong sea and island trademark of Vietnam.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, more than 3,000 islands and islets of Vietnam has a total land area of 1,700 square kilometers.
Three islands having an area of more than 100 square kilometers are Phu Quoc in the southern province of Kien Giang, Cai Bau in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Cat Ba in the northern province of Hai Phong. There are 23 islands with more than 10 square kilometers in area, 82 others with area of over 1 square kilometers and more than 1,400 unnamed islets with high potential in tourism and economic development.
However, experts held that only a small number of islands have developed their own trademarks for their tourism and other products.
Many localities are still lacking suitable and comprehensive measures to make a master plan for the exploitation of their sea and island potential. They have underestimated potential of sea resources and environment. The building of maritime trademark has just begun.
The trademark of a maritime country is a collection of sea trademarks, which are not only marked with economic and business features but also with other areas, including names of place, recognised trademarks, and characteristics of culture, history, and prominent figures. It could easily leave strong impression and win customers’ interest.
Trademarks for maritime products are those developed for products and names attaching to the areas of navigation, seafood, tourism, natural resources, sea industries and maritime reserve areas.
The commercial products and names must be famous and become trademarks. A great number of businesses and localities with their strong maritime trademarks will help Vietnam become famous for its prestigious and high quality products.
In recent years, domestic and foreign consumers have become familiar to products with origin from Vietnam’s sea and islands, including Phu Quoc fish sauce, Ly Son garlic and Nha Trang bird’s nets, which have contributed to the growth of Vietnam’s sea and island trade mark.
Huynh Quang Hung, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Phu Quoc district, said the locality has developed a pepper farm to the GlobalGAP standards that would help build the island into a centre for ecotourism, resorts and high-end entertainment nationally and internationally.
The farm is expected to serve as an attractive site for tourists, contributing to expanding the “Phu Quoc Peppercorn” trademark which was recognised by the Department of Intelligence Property in 2011.
Along with peppercorn, Phu Quoc fish sauce and mother-of-pearl are also among trademarks that are being developed by Phu Quoc, said Hung.
Meanwhile, Ly Son island of the central province of Quang Ngai, which is also known as the “Kingdom of Garlic,” is focusing on growing trademark for its garlic.
Garlic brings an income of 1.5-2 billion VND per hectare for islanders each year. The peak season for garlic harvest is in April and May when tourists flock to the island to experience garlic harvesting.
At the same time, the south central province of Khanh Hoa has also worked to promote its own trademark for Nha Trang birds’ net, and the northern coastal city of Hai Phong has been advertising its Cat Hai fish sauce and Cat Ba’s forest bee honey.
According to Vu Sy Tuan, deputy head of the Sea and Island Department under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the building of trademark for maritime products requires joint efforts of central and local levels.
He stressed the need for specific, proper and synchronic policies as well as strong enough resources.
Tuan also highlighted the necessity of close coordination and high consensus among ministries, sectors, localities and businesses to improve the exploitation of sea resources.
Report hails Tay Nguyen’s neighbour districts development
Twenty-nine mountainous districts bordering Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) have reportedly achieved progress in social and economic development throughout 2016.
These districts have developed especially in terms of infrastructure construction and production, contributing to raising the living standards of local ethnic groups.
The districts cover a total natural area of 2.3 million hectares, with 1.4 million people, including 317 commune-level administrative units and nearly 1,900 villages and hamlets, which include 1,236 villages and hamlets of ethnic groups.
According to a recent report of the Tay Nguyen Steering Committee, in 2016, the districts focused on planning, using land to its potential, converting plant structure and bringing technological advances to production to increase crop yield in areas with ethnic groups.
Many districts in localities bordering Tay Nguyen areas of Khanh Hoa, Binh Phuoc and Phu Yen strengthened agricultural and forestry extension systems, using high yield seeds and good quality breeds in cultivation and animal husbandry to raise people’s income.
In 2016, despite unfavourable weather, the value of agricultural production in the districts bordering Tay Nguyen area was up 7.7 per cent compared with 2015. Some key crops such as rice, maize, cassava, and coffee, as well as pepper, rubber, cashew all increased, with over 71,000ha of rice, producing an average yield of 3.5 tonnes of paddy per hectare; over 116,800ha of cashew; nearly 12,000ha of coffee; and more than 41,300ha of rubber.
Last year witnessed an investment into husbandry in these districts with 1.4 million cattle.
In 2016, the districts invested in building 276 rural road projects, irrigation works, national power grid and water supply facilities. Currently, up to 94 per cent of villages and hamlets have access to the national power grid. Of these, districts in Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa have had all connected to power grid.
Over 96 per cent of communal medical stations in the districts have doctors. The whole region has created jobs for 56,000 workers and provided vocational training to 35,000 people.
Thanks to the positive measures, in 2016, the average income capita reached VNĐ17.6 million (over US$780), an increase of 9.5 per cent compared with 2015, while the poverty rate decreased on average 3.8 per cent per year.
However, according to the Tay Nguyen Steering Committee, the districts’ production has yet to match the potential. Forestry is strong but still underdeveloped. Poverty reduction still faces difficulties and is unstable.
The committee recommended the government and the prime minister allow districts to apply all special mechanisms and policies such as in the Central Highlands.
At the same time, the State was asked to have special preferential policies to encourage organisations and individuals to invest in the development of production, business and services.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is collaborating with other ministries, sectors and provincial people’s committees in the region to build a master plan for the investment and development of agricultural production and forestry and to implement policies to encourage forest protection and development in association with the processing industry and product sales, the Tay Nguyen Steering Committee said.
Railway sector strives to compete with airlines
With a small transport market share, the railway sector does not have money to upgrade infrastructure, locomotives and wagons. With poor infrastructure and facilities, it cannot attract many passengers.
Regarding transport market share, a report shows that railways account for 3.2 percent of passenger market share and 1.9 percent of cargo market share.
Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung, after a fact-finding trip to Hanoi and Giap Bat Stations, came to the conclusion that the problem is the lack of investment capital for infrastructure development.
It is difficult to allocate state capital for railway infrastructure with a tight budget, or call for investment from non-state sources.
An analyst said it is possible to call for private investments to upgrade trains, locomotives and wagons, but the investments may not be worth it in such poor infrastructure conditions.
Vietnam’s national railway is single-track with total length of 2,609 kilometers of backbone. There are two sizes of railway, 1000mm and 1435mm. The average travel speed is 50 kilometers per hour for passenger train and 25 kilometers for cargo train.
In the last 10 years, only 5.6 kilometers of Ha Long – Cai Lan railway and Cai Lan Station have been built.
The State every year has to spend VND1.4 trillion on the infrastructure maintenance, while the receipts from the infrastructure use (8 percent of transport revenue, about VND400 billion), and from leasing infrastructure items (storehouse, ground and premises, about VND6 billion) just can cover 21-24 percent of the total money needed for the work.
Officials reports showed that the capital allocated to implement the maintenance work just satisfy 38.6 percent of the demand, which explains why passengers complain about the service quality.
The investment capital allocated to develop railway infrastructure in 2005-2014 was VND23.504 trillion, or VND2.612 trillion a year, which only accounted for 10.3 percent of the total investment capital allocated to the entire transport sector.
The low service quality makes it less competitive than other means of transport.
High income residents would rather travel by air with airfare that is competitive thanks to the state’s high investment in the aviation sector and development of air carriers – Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Vasco and Vietjet.
Meanwhile, travelers would choose coach for short-distance trips. Private run transport firms nowadays are very competitive with large-scale marketing campaigns and high-quality services.
The monopoly of the Vietnam Railway Corporation in the last many years has been blamed on the underdeveloped railway services. However, analysts believe that even if the monopoly is eliminated, the problem will still not be settled if the government does not pour capital into infrastructure.
Kim Chi, VNN
Thứ Hai, 30 tháng 1, 2017
Foreign investment in education sector faces higher hurdles
According to Nguyen Xuan Vang, head of the MoET’s International Co-operation Department, the draft decree is expected to replace current Decree 73 issued in 2012 which showed many problems during the implementation process.
MoET said that the requirement for higher investment capital and lecturer degrees is aimed to raise the training quality of foreign-invested schools.
Chủ Nhật, 29 tháng 1, 2017
Party leader wishes Hanoi a successful New Year
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong paid a visit to the Party, government and people of Hanoi on January 28, the first day of the Lunar New Year, during which he wished the capital city success in completing all tasks of 2017.
The Party chief lauded the city’s achievements in the past year, noting that the capital is experiencing a flourishing period with high economic growth and improved infrastructure system as well as local’s living conditions.
With an area of 3,300 square kilometres and a population of about 9 million, last year, Hanoi reached a GDP growth of 8.2 percent and 186 trillion VND of budget collection or 110 percent of the estimate. As many as 66 percent of local rural communes were recognised as new-style rural areas.
The Party chief highlighted that there is room for the city to further grow, asking the locality to continue focusing on boosting economic development and fulfilling all socio-
economic targets, thus assuring its important role as the major economic hub of the country.
At the same time, Hanoi should maintain and promote its cultural identity and unique characteristics, while boosting tourism and showing better performance in urban management as well as security and social order protection, he stressed.
The Party leader also underscored the need for the city to take pioneer role in the building of Party and political system as well as administrative reform.
On behalf of the city, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai pledged that Hanoi will exert every efforts to overcome all shortcomings and limitations to successfully fulfill all set targets, thus building an elegant, civilized and modern city.
The same day, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong also offered incense to Kinh Ly Thai To at his statue in the Ly Thai To Garden, visited Ngoc Son Temple and King Le Thai To’s Monument in Nam Huong Temple historical relic site, and walked around the Hoan Kiem Lake.
Luxury cars flooding Vietnamese market
Mercedes, Ford, Audi, Porsche and BMW auto manufacturers have been expanding their distribution networks in Vietnam in recent months.
From now to 2020, Mercedes Benz Vietnam plans to double its sales agent network, an important step for the luxury car manufacturer to cement its position in the Vietnamese market.
Speaking to local mass media on December 3, Choi Duk Jun, CEO of Mercedes Benz Vietnam, said together with the expansion of product items, the enlargement of sales agents will be a strategic move that helps Mercedes increase its market share in Vietnam.
Mercedes Benz has the highest number of sales agents in Vietnam with 12 centers throughout the country.
Sources said Rolls-Royce, a brand of German BMW, which also owns two other strong brands – BMW and Mini -- is also preparing to enter the Vietnamese market.
Toyota Vietnam has opened an authorized agent in the central region, raising the number of total sale agents in Vietnam to 44.
Ford Vietnam has opened an authorized agent in Binh Duong province, while it has upgraded Pho Quang branch of Sai Gon Ford into a 3S branch. It is preparing to open another showroom, belonging to Sai Gon Ford, in the central business district 1 in HCMC.
The new centers are reported as having investment capital of VND120 billion. The number of Ford’s sales agents and service centers in Vietnam has increased to 27.
The Vietnamese market had its highest sale growth rate of 60,000 cars in 2016 compared to 2015.
The sale of luxury cars and sports cars also increased sharply. Mercedes led the market segment with 4,401 cars sold in 2016, an increase of 22 percent over the year before.
Meanwhile, Lexus sold 1,665 cars, up by 73 percent. Audi, Porsche and BMW have not revealed the sales, but reported growth.
A source said Porsche had fulfilled its yearly sales plan in Vietnam by mid-2016.
The sales surprised many analysts, because prices had increased sharply.
Lexus LX570, for example, saw the price increasing from VND5.7 billion to VND8 billion, while Maybach S600 was from VND10 billion to VND14 billion. Rolls Royce Phantom price soared from VND54 billion to VND84 billion.
Oxfarm, a non-government organization, on January 12 released a report on inequality in Vietnam, pointing out that the income gap between the richest and poorest Vietnamese people is very large. The richest Vietnamese has the daily income higher than the 10 year-income of the poorest.
In related news, Marquardt from Germany had a working session with Da Nang authorities on its plan to set up an automobile part factory in the city.
Kim Chi, VNN
Exploring ethnic Cham wedding rituals in Vietnam
Members of Cham Ba Ni, a subgroup of Cham ethnic people, mostly reside in the province’s Bac Binh District.
Their long-cherished cultural legacy is manifest in their dialect, architecture, sculpture and folk art.
Their unique nuptial rituals, which are rich in religious elements, are also part of the heritage.
Couples and their families traditionally go through several steps including the dating rite and engagement ceremony before proceeding with the conjugal ceremonial, which can be held anytime within four months following the engagement.
Like several other ethnic minority communities, Cham people follow matriarchy – a social organizational form in which a relationship is determined through the female line.
As a result, the ceremony is typically held at the bride’s home, where a tent called Kajang likhah is erected and solemn rites are performed.
Intriguingly, newly-weds are banned from having sex until three days after the wedding.
Below are a series of photos by Ngo Quang Phuc showing a wedding ceremony of Cham people in Binh Thuan.
These photos were one of the entries to (Youth) newspaper's year-long competition themed “Vietnam – Country – People" concluding in October last year.
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