Government News 23/5
Japanese firms step up win-win cooperation with HCM City partners
Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Huynh Cach Mang (R) presents a souvenir to JCCH Chairman Kadowaki Keiichi
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ho Chi Minh City (JCCH) will actively collaborate with businesses in Vietnam’s southern economic hub for mutual long-term benefits and development.
JCCH Chairman Kadowaki Keiichi made the statement at a working session with Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Huynh Cach Mang in the city on May 22.
He said the Japanese business community recognised the city’s reform efforts to its improve business environment over the past time.
The city has helped businesses remove difficulties relating to administrative procedures, taxation and customs, he said.
According to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Vietnam is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that Japanese enterprises want to expand operation.
In the coming time, the JCCH will host more business forums and trade-investment exchanges with businesses in HCM City, he said.
Mang said the effective operation of the JCCH has contributed to the city’s economic development and deepening the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan.
As of February 2018, Japan had 1,149 valid projects worth 3.96 billion USD in HCM City, ranking sixth among countries and territories investing in the southern economic hub. Trade between Japan and HCM city reached 5.1 billion USD in 2017.
HCM City hopes foreign enterprises, including those from Japan, will make long-term investments in the city as well as boost transfer of technology, human resources training and share experience in business administration, Mang said.
Local authorities will create the best policy mechanism for businesses to operate effectively in the city, he asserted.
Cuban youth union delegation visits Ben Tre
Ben Tre officials and the delegation led by First Secretary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League of Cuba (UJC) Susely Morfar González pose for a group photo
A delegation led by First Secretary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League of Cuba (UJC) Susely Morfar González paid a working visit to the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on May 22.
At a working session with Cuban guests, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Phan Van Mai highlighted traditional and special Vietnam – Cuba ties, saying the local Luong Hoa commune (also called Moncada village) has been selected to establish twin relations with Cuba. In Cuba, there is a village named Ben Tre located in Artemisa province.
Mai said he hopes the UJC and the Ben Tre Party Committee exchange experience in organising youth activities, and expects the UJC to help Cuban firms visit Ben Tre to seek partnerships.
Ben Tre wants to learn from Cuban startup programme, he added.
For her part, Susely Morfar González thanked the provincial support for her visit, particularly a tour to the Moncada village.
She said Cuban youths have been educated on Vietnam’s historical fights for independence and Vietnam – Cuban close-knit ties.
She lauded Ben Tre support for its young residents, particularly in start-up activities.
HCM City learns from Tel Aviv’s experience in smart city building
Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (second, right) held talks with Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai (second, left) on May 22
Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan had talks with Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai in the Israeli city on May 22 to discuss bilateral cooperation, especially in developing a smart city, high technology and start-up ecosystem.
Nhan, who is on a working visit to Israel, highly valued the country’s experience in developing technology, smart cities and start-up ecosystem. He noted that despite different population and geographical conditions, both HCM City and Tel Aviv are the economic locomotives and high-quality human resources hubs of their respective countries.
HCM City is interested in promoting a knowledge economy and green growth basing on science-technology, innovation and start-up, he said, adding that his city wants to learn from Tel Aviv’s experience in this field, which is also the strength of Tel Aviv.
As the two cities share similarities in smart city building targets, which are to provide convenient services and improving living conditions for local people, they should step up cooperation and sharing experience in smart city building, the official said.
For his part, Mayor Ron Huldai said Tel Aviv is an economic and cultural centre and also the biggest start-up city of Israel. It is also experienced in building a smart city and providing smart city solutions.
He said Tel Aviv is now one of the smartest cities in the world thanks to an open data system for all people, applying hi-tech in administrative activities, and putting people in the centre of its innovative activities so as to provide services best serving people. Its administration has also built a 15-year strategic vision and made reviews and updates to continue developing this plan in the future.
He expressed his city’s willingness to cooperate with HCM City in creating start-up incubators and exchanging experience in smart city building.
He also invited HCM City to attend an innovation week hosted by Tel Aviv in the time ahead.
Also on May 22, the Vietnamese official paid a courtesy call to Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis.
Trade cooperation a focus of Vietnam-US ties: Deputy PM
At the meeting
The relationship between Vietnam and the US continues to develop effectively in many areas, of which economic and trade cooperation is one of the focuses, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.
The Vietnamese Government official made the remark at a meeting with US Deputy Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish in Hanoi on May 21, during which he affirmed that the Vietnamese Government is making great efforts to improve business environment and fine-tune national competitiveness.
Vietnam attaches importance to perfecting institutions and policies to create favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investors, including those from the US, to operate effectively in the country, Hue stressed.
Sharing Hue’s opinion, Gerrish said the US would further develop its cooperation with Vietnam.
The US wants to reach agreement with Vietnam in settling problems related to car import, electronic payment, and regulations in Vietnam’s draft law on cyber security that requires servers managing data of Vietnamese users be installed in Vietnam, he noted.
In his reply, Deputy PM Hue said he would ask relevant ministries to propose ways to address the issues mentioned by Gerrish before a delegation of the Vietnamese Government make a working visit to the US next month.
Regarding the Vietnam-US trade and economic ties, the Vietnamese Government is concerned about the US’s imposition of anti-dumping tax on shrimp and leather shoes, and high taxes on steel and aluminium of Vietnam, Hue said.
Gerrish said he believes difficulties between the two sides would soon be resolved, thus pushing the economic relations between the two countries in the coming time.
HCM City official encourages Vietnam-Cuba youth ties
Vice Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) and UJC First Secretary Susely Morfar González
Vice Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong urged the youth unions of Vietnam and Cuba to hold regular exchanges to share working experience in building the unions as the strong vanguards of their countries’ revolutionary and trustworthy personnel reserves for the Parties.
Receiving First Secretary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League of Cuba (UJC) Susely Morfar González on May 21, Phong, who is also Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, assured his guest that the city is determined to continue preserve and develop the heritage left by President Ho Chi Minh and Cuba’s hero Jose Marti and General Commander Fidel Castro, who founded and fostered Vietnam-Cuba traditional friendship.
He congratulated Cuba on successfully holding the election of National Assembly and People’s Committees at all levels and expressed his belief in the success of the Cuban Party, State and people’s cause of updating the socio-economic development model to improve local lives.
Susely Morfar González, for her part, said her visit aims to boost cooperation and share experience in youth union work in the fields of science-technology, biology, and education-training.
She said young Cuban generations are always aware of upholding bilateral special solidarity and close attachment founded by the previous generations.
On the occasion, Phong conveyed his condolences to victims and their families in the recent aircraft crash in Havana.
Party official visits Buddhist monk on Lord Buddha’s birthday
Head of Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai visited Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS), at Vien Minh pagoda in Quang Lang commune in Hanoi’s Phu Xuyen district on May 21.
At the meeting taking place on the occasion of the 2562nd birth anniversary of Lord Buddha, Mai wished the Most Venerable good health and further contributions to the development of the VBS and the country.
She said the Party and Government acknowledged the VBS’s contributions to national construction and will spare no effort in supporting Buddhism development for national solidarity.
Mai expected the Most Venerable will continue to lead the solidarity and united Buddhist community.
The Supreme Patriarch stated he will encourage Buddhist followers to follow the Party’s policies, as well as the Government’s laws and national campaigns.
Vietnam attends India-CLMV trade conference in Cambodia
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung
Potential for enhancing trade ties between India and CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) was highlighted at a conference which opened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 21.
Themed “India-CLMV Economic Development: Collaboration for Regional Integration”, the two-day event saw representatives from trade ministries, sectors, localities and big enterprises of India and those from the four countries.
In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung highly valued cooperation between the CLMV countries and India, saying that India always considers ASEAN in general and the CLMV countries in particular as a focus in its Act East Policy.
He affirmed that the maintenance of such events will be an opportunity to further promote regional integration between India and CLMV countries.
Hung also pointed out potential for pushing the cooperation mechanism.
H said India has the strength in capital, technology, new and renewable energy, education, pharmaceuticals, and high-tech products, while CLMV countries have advantages in production of textiles and garment, footwear, agricultural products, wood, minerals, vegetables, machinery components, which can meet India’s import demand.
However, Hung also mentioned difficulties and challenges facing the regional integration between India and the CLMV countries such as differences in infrastructure quality, lack of connection, unimproved border trade infrastructure.
Hung suggested the countries enhance traffic infrastructure connection, especially those in India’s northeast region and Myanmar - the two important points to connect India with CLMV countries.
The countries should also strengthen institutional linkage by harmonising trade investment and finance policies, he added.
He believed that the regional integration between India and the CLMV countries will be fostered on par with the potential available once the above-mentioned measures are implemented effectively.
The fifth India-CLMV trade conference focuses on topics related to manufacturing industry, agro-forestry-aquaculture, health care, education, IT and vocational training.
Bilateral discussion sessions between India and each CLMV country are also arranged in the framework of the event.
Relations between India and the CLMV countries have been growing since India established the diplomatic ties with each of them, and the partnership with ASEAN in 1992.
The CLMV countries are also the gateways for India to enter the ASEAN market and other FTA markets that the CLMV countries are members. Meanwhile, India is the gateway for the CLMV countries to penetrate other South Asian countries by taking advantage of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The advantage from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) cooperation mechanism’s East-West Economic Corridor (GMS) is also a favourable condition for stronger trade cooperation between India and the CLMV countries in the future.
Trade between India and the CLMV countries hit 14.5 billion USD in 2017. India is the largest trade partner of the CLMV countries in South Asia.
People hope for more efforts to address unsolved problems: VFF official
VFFCC President Tran Thanh Man
Voters and people nationwide hope that the National Assembly (NA), the Government and all-level administrations will continue working to solve the problems they used to mentioned, said President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) Tran Thanh Man.
He was reporting on voters and people’s opinions at the opening meeting of the fifth session of the 14th-tenure NA in Hanoi on May 21.
He said since the NA’s fourth session in late 2017, the VFFCC Presidium and the NA Standing Committee have received more than 3,460 opinions that people nationwide wanted to send to the parliament.
He noted the public expressed their trust in the Party’s leadership and the State’s steering and management role. They hope the NA, the Government and all-level administrations will continue paying attention to the problems they mentioned at previous sessions of the NA, including ensuring social welfare; prioritising development resources for disadvantaged, ethnic minority, disaster-hit and climate change-prone areas; ensuring social order and safety; and fighting crimes.
The VFFCC Presidium asked the NA and the Government to promptly institutionalise and seriously and effectively implement resolutions of the Party Central Committee, especially the resolutions on economic development, personnel work, and salary and social insurance reforms, which were issued at the 5th, 6th and 7th session of the 12th-tenure Party Central Committee.
They should promote their responsibility towards major issues discussed at this 5th session such as the draft revised law on denunciation, the draft law on special administrative-economic units, the draft revised anti-corruption law, and the laws amending some articles of the laws on construction, housing and urban planning.
Meanwhile, the parliament needs to press on with reforming NA deputies’ meetings with voters so that more people can express their opinions, Man said.
In his report, the official asked the NA and the Government to order relevant agencies and authorities at all levels to increase attention to agriculture, farmers and rural areas. The Cabinet should step up administrative reforms at all sectors and agencies, from central to grassroots levels.
The Party and the State need to take stronger and more effective solutions to fight corruption and wastefulness and promote thrift practice in the whole political system and society. They also need to order law protection agencies to strictly handle persons with corruption and wastefulness, boost the effectiveness of corrupt asset recovery, and enhance the responsibility of leaders of ministries, sectors and administrations in this work.
VFFCC President Man also called on the Government to overhaul urban planning and construction licensing activities and take drastic actions to combat illegal sand mining and deforestation, which were continually reported to the parliament at its sessions from 2013 to 2017 but still linger.
Activities in Netherlands, Canada mark President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday
Vietnamese Ambassador to the Netherlands Ngo Thi Hoa presented certificates of merit to outstanding Vietnamese students in the Netherlands at the ceremony.
The 128th birth anniversary of late President Ho Chi Minh (May 19, 1890) was marked with a ceremony in The Hague, the Netherlands, and a discussion in Toronto, Canada, recently.
At the celebration in The Hague, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Netherlands Ngo Thi Hoa said on May 19 every year, each Vietnamese people think of Ho Chi Minh with great respect and gratitude.
The movement of studying and following the late leader’s ideology, morality and style has been enhanced, helping Vietnamese people at home and abroad to better understand the significant values of his ideology, morality and style, she noted.
Participants in the ceremony offered incense to pay homage to President Ho Chi Minh. A documentary was also screened to give participants an insight into his journey abroad to seek ways to save the country.
At the event, the embassy also presented merit certificates to eight Vietnamese students with excellent achievements in youth activities in 2017 and 2018.
Meanwhile, the discussion in Toronto, organised by the Canada Vietnam Society, talked Ho Chi Minh’s viewpoint on women empowerment. It drew Canadian scholars and researchers, along with many Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese students in the Canadian city.
Opinions focused on gender equality and women empowerment, which President Ho Chi Minh used to mention for a long time and are still hot issues nowadays not only in Vietnam but also around the world.
Dr Nguyen Dai Trang, who wrote two books about President Ho Chi Minh, said the leader called on Vietnamese women to join the fight against foreign invaders, exercise their rights and take part in the global women’s rights movement. He also wrote many articles about many women’s movements in the world.
Trang said after Vietnam gained independence in 1945, the leader called on people nationwide, especially women, to learn the national language to create opportunities for them to keep up with men and be able to vote and run for election. He also encouraged support for women to hold leading positions and more communications about women successes.
President Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) was the founder of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He led the Vietnamese revolution to victory with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in 1945.
VN actively contributes to preparing for meeting of workers’ parties
Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Manh Cuong
A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) attended a meeting of a working group in Athens, Greece, on May 19 and 20 to discuss preparation for the 20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP).
Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Manh Cuong led a delegation, who was active at the discussion, held during the meeting’s course.
The preparatory meeting also tabled others common tasks set for the international communist and workers’ movements, stating the necessity of solidarity among members of communist and workers’ parties amid today challenges and difficulties.
The Communist Party of Greece will host the 2018 IMCWP in November, coinciding with the meeting’s 20th founding anniversary.
The function, considered the most important forum of the communist and workers’ forces, is set to discuss the contemporary worker class and their alliances in the fight against wars and interference of imperialism for independence, peace, workers’ rights and socialism.
Deputy PM stresses need to improve national competitiveness at NA session
Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh stressed the need for Vietnam to boost potential and strong fields to motivate socio-economic development, improve the business and investment environment and national competitiveness.
Binh made the statement while delivering a report on supplementary assessment of socio-economic development results in 2017 and the first months of 2018 as well as key tasks and solutions for the coming times at the 14th-tenure National Assembly’s fifth session, which kicked off in Hanoi on May 21.
He said that the Government’s management work will follow the orientations of building on achievements gained from the beginning of this tenure, especially in 2017 and the first months of 2018, pressing ahead with the drastic and synchronous implementation of tasks and measures set in the Party, National Assembly and Government’s resolutions, and avoiding subjectivity in steering and administration.
The Government will keep a close watch on the domestic and international situations in order to make suitable and timely reactions, while paying attention to addressing newly emerging issues, tackling existing shortcomings and weaknesses, and making efforts to fulfil all targets set for 2018 in order to facilitate sustainable development in the following years, thus contributing to the successful implementation of the five-year plan from 2016-2020.
To stabilise the macro-economy, control inflation and boost economic growth, the official emphasised that the Government will maintain the effective and synchronous implementation of monetary and financial policies.
Efforts will be exerted to control the average consumer price index increase of around 4 percent, achieve a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of over 6.7 percent, and reduce interest rates, especially in priority fields, he stated.
He also stressed the importance of stabilising the foreign currency market, raising the State’s foreign exchange reserves, controlling the credit scale at a reasonable level, and strictly monitoring highly risky fields.
Predicting both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam brought by the regional and world situation, the Deputy PM said that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will generate positive effects, while many international organisations forecast the Vietnamese economy will continue growing well.
However, he noted that the country’s labour productivity and competitiveness remain low, with a lack of high-quality human resources. Production technologies and administration capacity in many sectors and enterprises are out-of-date, and State management efficiency is still low.
Demands for investment in infrastructure, social welfare, environmental protection, climate change response, and defence and security remain huge, while the domestic resources are limited, Binh stated, adding that natural disasters are forecast to develop complicatedly, affecting production and lives of people.
Comparing the final outcomes of socio-economic development in 2017 with preliminary results mentioned in a Government report in the legislature’s fourth session, Binh said that seven out of 13 criteria saw improvement. Notably, GDP growth rate reached 6.81 percent compared with 6.7 percent as reported earlier, while export turnover rose by 21.2 percent in comparison with the estimated 14.4 percent.
In the first months of 2018, the marco-economy maintained stable, core inflation was curbed at 1.34 percent, and CPI increased by 2.8 percent during January-April.
Monetary policy was managed flexibly, the foreign exchange market and foreign exchange rate were stable, and the State’s foreign exchange reserves were 63.5 billion USD.
GDP growth rate hit 7.38 percent in the first quarter of 2018 – the highest rate in the past 10 years, with expansion seen across agriculture, industry and construction, and services.
The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was 52.7 points, and listed in the leading group in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said Binh.