VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES FEBRUARY 16

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Hanoi manages to raise tree coverage in urban areas

Hanoi manages to raise tree coverage in urban areas hinh anh 1

Hanoi’s authorities are trying to plant more trees in the city, especially in urban areas, in an effort to improve the environment and reduce air pollution.

This is also part of its actions to respond to the Government’s programme on growing 1 billion trees in Vietnam during the 2021 – 2025 period.

The city has set a plan to plant 200,000-250,000 new trees for shade and timber trees along urban traffic routes; 200,000 fruit trees, and about 50-80 ha of forests in 2022.

It will also focus on taking care of 3,546 ha of planted forests, and managing and protecting 6,483 ha of protection and special-use forests.

In urban districts of the capital, the ratio of trees is only about 1sq.m pern person at present, while the targeted rate is 7sq.m per person by 2030.

Expert said trees and water surfaces in urban areas can help reduce the air temperature by 3.3 degrees Celsius if the tree coverage rate accounts for 20-50 percent of the urban land area.

Additionally, urban trees can also help reduce 40-50 percent of solar radiation and absorb 70-75 percent of solar energy.

President presents gifts to workers at Binh Son Refinery Plant

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on February 16 visited and presented gifts to workers of the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR) in the central province of Quang Ngai.

The BSR is a member of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), which operates the Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant. It is also a centre for human resources training for Vietnam’s refining and petrochemical industry.

The Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant, which has total investment of over 3 billion USD, has a capacity of processing 6.5 million tonnes of crude oil each year. It plays an important role in ensuring energy security in Vietnam, contributing to promoting national industrialisation and modernisation.

After12 years of operation, the plant produced 76 million tonnes of petroleum.

On the occasion, the President also presented gifts to workers of the Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel Complex in the Dung Quat Economic Zone in Quang Ngai.

Vung Tau-Con Dao speedboat service resumed after pandemic hiatus

The speedboat service between Vung Tau city to Con Dao island in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau was restored on February 15 after a nine-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trung Nhi high-speed boat, operated by Phu Quoc Express JSC, departed from Cau Da Port in Vung Tau city to Con Dao with 598 passengers aboard.

Phu Quoc Express said it will initially operate at half of its capacity with three trips from Vung Tau to Con Don every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and three return trips on the remaining days of the week.

This is the last speedboat service from the mainland to islands in the southern region to be restored after the suspension. Last month, Kien Giang, Binh Thuan and Quang Ngai provinces allowed high-speed boat services to islands to resume.

Vietnam seeks closer relations with South Africa

Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi has paid a visit to the city of Cape Town, Western Cape, seeking to boost relations in politics, diplomacy, economy, cultural and social affairs between the two countries.

Loi was in Cape Town from February 8 – 12 to attend a number of events held by South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) following President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering the Speech of National Address 2022.

He joined other ambassadors of ASEAN member states in South Africa to pay a courtesy call to Supra Mahumapelo, National Assembly Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation.

In his meeting with Deputy Minister of DIRCO Candith Mashego-Dlamini, Ambassador Loi put forward several recommendations to further expand bilateral trade and economic cooperation at the time when both sides are taking strong measures to revive the pandemic-stricken economy.

Loi also met with newly-appointed CEO of the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce John Lawson and leaders of the University of Cape Town (UCT) and several local companies doing business with Vietnam.

US presents tuberculosis detection tools, medications to Vietnam

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) delivered new tuberculosis (TB) detection tools and treatment medications valued at roughly 3 million USD to the National Lung Hospital of Vietnam on February 16.

The donation, in support of Vietnam’s goal to end TB by 2030, includes 38 rapid diagnostic machines with 90,000 compatible test kits and 10 digital X-ray devices to be distributed to district health facilities across the country, including in the remote provinces of Nghe An, Lai Chau, An Giang, and Dong Thap, which have high burden of TB and multidrug-resistant TB.

It also includes drugs to treat 15,000 patients with latent TB infection for three months, to be distributed nationwide.

Hanoi diversifies tourism products to lure more visitors

Hanoi plans to expand new tourism products based on the potential of each area, in a bid to gradually resume all tourism activities this year in an important step to develop the tourism sector sustainably after the pandemic.

Culinary and heritage tourism as well as MICE, a type of tourism combining meeting, incentives, conferences and events will be promoted in inner districts while spiritual and agro-tourism will be developed in suburban areas.

Such types of tourism including resort and health tourism; community and spiritual tourism will be prioritised in rural areas of the city.

The city will strive to devise unique tourism products to meet visitors’ demand, and improve quality of tourism products and destinations linked with heritage sites, relics and craft villages.

Seminars will be organised to train local residents at destinations in knowledge and skills relating to serving tourists. Training classes on community-based tourism will also be held in some districts at the same time.

Ninh Thuan strives to become renewable energy hub

The south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan has worked to turn itself among leading localities of Vietnam in renewable energy, with a total installed capacity of over 3,400 MW as of late 2021.

The energy sector is among three economic pillars alongside tourism and agriculture that bring Ninh Thuan into top five localities posting the fastest economic growth rate in the past five years.

To realise the target to turn the province into an energy hub of the country, Ninh Thuan aims to develop the electricity generation and distribution and support industries in a concerted manner, ensuring suitable resources, mechanisms and policies.

Ninh Thuan aims to raise extra capacity of renewable energy projects to about 3,000 MW so as to reach an accumulation capacity of 6,500 MW by 2025.

Almost all fishing boats in Kien Giang equipped with monitoring devices

Up to 3,664 out of 3,666 fishing boats in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang have been equipped with monitoring devices, the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported.

Owners of the remaining two boats are preparing for the installation, according to the department.

Local competent agencies have also intensified the management and control of the boats operating at sea, as well as their supply to processing factories. The agencies have also granted certificates of food safety and product origin for export to Europe.

Synchronous measures have been taken to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).

Vietnam to host AFC Champions League 2022’s group matches

Vietnam, together with Thailand and Malaysia, will host the AFC Champions League 2022’s group matches for clubs in the eastern zone, which will be held from April 15 to May 1.

As announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on February 16, teams in Group H are scheduled to compete in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The centralised matches of three groups – F, G and J – will be played in Thailand, while those within Group I will take place in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The AFC added that the centralised host nations for matches in the western zone have yet to be selected.

Hanoi expects to welcome 10 million tourists this year

Hanoi is going step by step to completely resume tourism activities in 2022 with the aim of welcoming 9 – 10 million tourists, including around 2 million foreigners, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

The capital city has also set a target of earning 27.84 – 35.84 trillion VND (1.22 – 1.57 billion USD) from tourism.

Hanoi is making every effort to keep COVID-19 at bay and accelerate the injection of the third vaccine dose in a bid to better protect its residents against the virus, deemed to be fundamental to the full reopening.

Data from the Hanoi People’s Committee showed that COVID-19 has taken heavy toll on the city’s tourism industry. The number of visitors to Hanoi – all are domestic – totalled 4 million last year, plunging about 47 percent from 2020 and just equivalent to 36.3 percent of the yearly plan. Tourism revenue nosedived some 59.8 percent year-on-year to 11.28 trillion VND.

Vietnamese film Memoryland being screened at Berlinale

“Mien Ky Uc” (Memoryland), a film by director Bui Kim Quy, is being screened at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) taking place from February 10 – 20.

Memoryland opens with the death of a mother. Although her heartbeat stops, her consciousness continues worrying about her son and blessing him.

Mai Nguyen, one of the Memoryland producer, said the movie highlights the differences between urban and rural life. It reminds those leaving villages to pursue their dreams, study, work or a better life in the cities of the customs and traditions of where they were born and grew up.

In this year’s Berlinale, the 99-minute film is vying in the “Forum” category. There will be five screenings of the film at five different movie theatres in Berlin from February 14 – 19.

After Berlinale, “Memoryland” will compete at Doc Fortnight, an annual international festival for nonfiction films, in New York, at the end of this month, Mai added.

HCM City raises pandemic level of many communes, wards

With Ho Chi Minh City remaining at the Level 1 of pandemic risk (low-risk – new normal), 37 out of the city’s total 312 wards and communes have seen their risk rise to Level 2 of medium-risk when the city began assessing its pandemic level following Decision 218 of the Ministry of Health on February 14, according to the municipal Department of Health.

Among those localities, 28 have a lower-than-requirement rate of full vaccination; and three have recorded a death rate among COVID-19 patients higher than 6 per 100,000 persons, among other causes.

Given such developments, the department recommended the communes and wards focus on getting their residents receive full doses of COVID-19 vaccines; and intensify communications activities to raise public awareness on self-testing and prompt reports of infections to the authorities to minimise the rates of severe cases and deaths from the coronavirus.

Can Tho University boosts educational ties with Thai institute

Can Tho University, based in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, has signed via videoconference a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation with King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), a research and educational institution in Thailand.

The MoU aims to enhance their educational and academic cooperation, sustainable partnership, along with mutual understanding, in such fields as exchanging students, lecturers, and scientists; conducting joint researches; implementing dual diploma and joint training programmes; organising specialised workshops, conferences, and refresher courses; and providing technical assistance.

So far, the Can Tho University has inked 33 MoUs and memoranda of agreement with 18 universities and enterprises of Thailand. Hundreds of its students take part in exchange and internship programmes in Thailand each year.

Ninh Thuan strives to become renewable energy hub

The south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan has worked to turn itself among leading localities of Vietnam in renewable energy, with a total installed capacity of over 3,400 MW as of late 2021.

The energy sector is among three economic pillars alongside tourism and agriculture that bring Ninh Thuan into top five localities posting the fastest economic growth rate in the past five years.

To realise the target to turn the province into an energy hub of the country, Ninh Thuan aims to develop the electricity generation and distribution and support industries in a concerted manner, ensuring suitable resources, mechanisms and policies.

Ninh Thuan aims to raise extra capacity of renewable energy projects to about 3,000 MW so as to reach an accumulation capacity of 6,500 MW by 2025.

Exhibition seeks to raise public awareness on plastic waste reduction

An exhibition entitled “Plastic Tale of River” opened in Hanoi on February 15, aiming to raise people’s awareness regarding the use of plastic bags and other single-use plastic products.

The exhibition is intended to provide the audience with an overview of the current status of plastic waste in Vietnam, thereby inspiring them to take actions for a better environment. Artworks by photographers Truong Dai Duong and Nguyen Viet Hung and video clips, short films incorporating messages on plastic waste reduction are on display at the event.

The exhibition is part of activities within the framework of the project Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solution for Marine Waste, funded by the European Union and the German government, and executed by German GIZ and French Expertise France in Vietnam.

Taking place at the Goethe Institute, the exhibition will run until March 15. During the period, the institute will coordinate with the ISPONRE to develop a virtual exhibition model on the Gathertown application to reach more interested audience as well as support to organise a series of side events that contribute to identifying practical solutions regarding policy, technical and communication aspects to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags and products.

Vietnamese national hero anniversary marked in Cuba

Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Le Thanh Tung has paid a visit to a Havana school named after Nguyen Van Troi, a Vietnamese national hero in the American war, to join the celebration of his 82nd birth anniversary (February 1, 1940 – 2022).

The event was also attended by representatives from the international relations department of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee, Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), and students of the school

He took the occasion to hand over the donation from several Vietnamese governmental organisations to the school and tour the classrooms equipped with computers donated by Vietnam and used to offer informatics lessons.

Vietnam National University – Hanoi listed in Webometrics’ Top 1,000 best universities

The Vietnam National University – Hanoi (VNU) climbed 15 places to rank 944th in the latest Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which was freshly announced by the Cybermetrics Lab, a member of the Spanish National Research Lab.

The university also remained the No.1 among the 178 Vietnamese establishments named in the list.

The second to fifth places respectively belonged to Ton Duc Thang University in the 1,074th position; Duy Tan University, 1,255th; Hanoi University of Science and Technology, 1,322nd; and Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh 2,871st.

Hanoi’s 1-6 grade students in urban districts to return to school from February 21

Students from grades 1 to 6 in all 12 inner-city districts of Hanoi will come back to school from February 21 after months of temporary school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while preschool children will still stay at home.

According to a document signed by Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung on February 15, the People’s Committee agreed in principle on a proposal by the municipal Department of Education and Training dated February 9 on allowing students from grades 1 to 6 in the urban districts to return to school after a long time of online learning to prevent COVID-19.

The municipal Department of Education and Training was ordered to coordinate with the city’s Department of Health to continuously guide the People’s Committees of the districts to implement the plan in accordance with the government and city’s instructions, ensuring absolute safety for students when they return to school.

In principle, face-to-face classes will be organised in areas where the pandemic risk is at levels 1 and 2. Meanwhile, students residing in areas with the pandemic risk at levels 3 and 4, and those being F0 and F1 cases, will continue online learning.

89.7 percent of children aged 12 – 17 receive two COVID-19 vaccine doses

Up to 95.4 percent of the children aged 12 – 17 had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines and 89.7 percent doubled vaccinated as of February 13, data from the Ministry of Health shows.

More than 16.4 million vaccine shots had been administered on this group across the country, the ministry said.

Forty-two out of the 63 cities and provinces, including Hanoi, reported over 90 percent of their children aged 12 – 17 provided with two coronavirus vaccine doses, while eight have the vaccine coverage on the group among the lowest in the country, below 80 percent.

By February 14, Vietnam had injected over 186.47 million doses of vaccines, with over 74.76 million people now fully inoculated with two doses, and more than 32.48 million booster shots and third shots administered.

Source: VNA/VOV/SGT/SGGP/VNN

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