VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES JANUARY 7

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Vietnam’s HDI sees improvements in 2016 – 2020

Vietnam’s Human Development Index (HDI) advanced to 0.706 in 2020 from 0.682 in 2016, enabling the country to join the High Human Development group, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

A report on HDI from 2016 – 2020 of the office said the index’s indicators saw improvements during the period, said Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai from the GSO at a press conference in Hanoi on January 6.

The health indicator edged up to 0.826 in 2020 from 0.822 in 2016; education to 0.640 from 0.628; and income to 0.664 from 0.624, respectively, she cited.

Generally, Vietnam’s HDI has been improving but still at a slow pace, Mai said, adding that the country ranked seventh out of the 11 countries in Southeast Asia regarding this matter.

Two deputy ministers of public security promoted to Senior Lieutenant General

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc presented decisions on the promotion from the rank of Lieutenant General to Senior Lieutenant General to Deputy Ministers of Public Security Tran Quoc To and Luong Tam Quang.

On the occasion, he required that the Ministry of Public Security continue to drastically fighting corruption, ensure political security and social safety and order, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He called on the ministry to continue taking the lead in the implementation of the Resolution adopted by the 13th National Party Congress, while striving to build transparent, strong, elite and modern public security forces, thus meeting requirements in the new situation.

National Tourism Year 2022 to officially open in March

The National Tourism Year 2022 will officially kick off on March 25 in Hoi An city of the central coastal province of Quang Nam.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will coordinate with the Tourism Association to organise tourism promotion campaigns via technological platforms and social networks.

Two world heritage sites in Quang Nam – Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary – began to welcome foreign tourists starting November 15, 2021.

The roadmap to welcome foreign visitors will be rolled out in three phases, with the first one running from mid-November to November 30 and the second one between December 1 and January 31, 2022.

Hanoi has enough vaccine to inject third shots for residents hinh anh 1

Hanoi has enough vaccine to inject third shots for residents

Hanoi has secured enough COVID-19 vaccines to inject third shots for local residents, according to Tran Thi Nhi Ha, Director of the municipal Department of Health (DoH).

The DoH has asked relevant agencies to speed up the vaccination of the booster jabs for the elderly, people with underlying diseases and high-risk groups by administering vaccine shots for them at home.

Ha suggested people actively coordinate with local authorities and health centres for the full injection of booster shots to ensure the health of themselves and their families, adding that it will be effective against severe illness, especially with new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Hanoi now ranks 2nd after HCM City in terms of third doses given, which has so far administered 1.1 million additional doses and 320,000 booster doses.

Vietnam supports Cambodia’s chairmanship of ADMM, ADMM Plus

An official of the Ministry of National Defence (MoD) has affirmed the ministry’s support for its Cambodian counterpart’s chairmanship of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and ADMM Plus in 2022, according to the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) daily.

Highlighting the Vietnamese ministry’s support, Col. Vu Thanh Van, Director of the Vietnamese MoD’s Department of Foreign Affairs and head of the ADSOM WG of Vietnam, expressed his belief that the Cambodian MoD will successfully fulfill its role in 2002, thereby further contributing to the solidarity and collective strength of ASEAN to flexibly and proactively respond to security challenges to the region.

He lauded efforts by the Cambodian side in drafting documents, noting that he hopes the draft joint statements of the 16th ADMM and 9th ADMM Plus will fully reflect the issues of common concern in the region as shown in previous joint statements.

Van also made comments on the Cambodian MoD’s new initiatives for the ADMM and ADMM Plus in 2022.

HCM City to host spring flower festival in late January

The annual Spring Flower Festival will be held from January 27 to February 6, 2022, in Tao Dan Park in District 1 to celebrate Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls on February 1.

Festival goers will have an opportunity to see more than 3,000 ornamental plants and flowers and miniature landscapes. They will also enjoy traditional cultural activities such as lion and dragon dances, folk games and fruit tray displays.

Besides the Spring Flower Festival, the city will organise Tet flower markets at six locations, including Le Van Tam Park in district 1, Gia Dinh Park in Go Vap district, Phu My Hung street in district 7, from January 25 to January 31.

Public telecommunications services supply programme by 2025 approved

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has signed a decision to approve a programme on the supply of public telecommunications services by 2025.

The programme offers compulsory services for society and universal services for remote, border and island areas and those with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions.

It targets supporting 800,000 poor, near-poor households, social welfare beneficiaries, and others to get data terminal equipment for learning and communications. Meanwhile, 100 percent of the communes with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions as well as island communes and districts will be assisted to secure access to public broadband internet services.

In particularly, the programme will equip its targeted households with 400,000 tablets, as well as partly finance the cost of 400,000 smart phones for those in need. Notably, fishermen will be subsidised to pay for their use of maritime mobile telecommunications services.

Population database to be optimised for national digital transformation

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has signed a decision approving a project on developing the application of population database, e-identification and e-authentication for national digital transformation in the 2022-2025 period with a vision to 2030.

Under the scheme, national population database, e-identification and e-authentication system as well as citizen ID cards with electronic chips will be used flexibly and creatively to serve administrative procedures and online public services supply, socio-economic expansion, digital citizens development, the completion of the ecosystem on connecting, exploiting and enriching population data, and the directions by leaders at all levels.

In 2022, the old and new versions of citizen IDs will be integrated, enabling the e-identification of all citizens. In the 2023-2025 period, e-identification and e-authentication are expected to be applied on all people conducting administrative procedures at one-stop-shop office at all levels. Meanwhile, in 2022-2023, the e-identification and e-authentication system will be upgraded, completed and applied in e-transactions serving socio-economic development.

Action programme aims to promote overseas Vietnamese-related affairs

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has signed a resolution on the issuance of a government action programme to continue accelerating the implementation of the Politburo’s directions regarding overseas Vietnamese (OV) affairs in the 2021-2026 period.

Accordingly, ministries, ministry-level agencies, government agencies and People’s Committees of centrally-run cities and provinces were asked to step up the popularisation of the Politburo’s Conclusion No. 12-KL/TW on OV affairs in the new situation; enhancing their sense of responsibility in implementing the policy of national solidarity and harmony with Vietnamese communities abroad; applying measures to support Vietnamese associations and OVs abroad; completing the legal system in the field; and encouraging and creating favourable conditions for OVs to make contributions to the cause of national construction and defence.

Decree stipulates rights, obligations of expellees

Foreigners who commit administrative violations within Vietnam’s territory, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf will be expelled from the country under a decree recently issued by the Government.

Under Decree No. 142/2021/ND-CP on expulsion, temporary custody, and escorted transfer of violators according to administrative procedures, and management of foreign violators pending the completion of expulsion procedures, law-breaking foreigners on Vietnam-flagged planes and vessels will be expelled from Vietnam in line with Article 27 of the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations.

The expellees would be notified of the reasons for expulsion and receive expulsion decisions at least 48 hours before such decision are executed. The decree came into force from January 1, 2022.

Vietnam attends virtual SOM to prepare for upcoming ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat

A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung attended a senior official meeting (SOM) of ASEAN via videoconference on January 5 to review preparations for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMMR) slated for January 18-19 in Siem Riep, Cambodia.

At the meeting, Dung believed that Cambodia would fulfil the role of ASEAN Chair 2022, while pledging that Vietnam will closely work with the country holding the Chairmanship to contribute to the organisation’s success this year.

Programme supports children affected by COVID-19

The 2022 “Mua xuan cho em” (Spring for Children) programme will target children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, heard a press conference in Hanoi on January 15.

In its 15th edition, the programme is scheduled to be held at the Hanoi Opera House on January 9 night, the National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) said at the press conference.

The event is expected to receive nearly 80 billion VND (3.51 million USD) from organisations, individuals, businesses and donors at home and abroad to support needy children.

Health ministry plans for vaccinating children aged 5-11

With over 90 percent of the adult population having received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the ongoing campaign for children aged 12-17 years, the Ministry of Health is planning to buy shots for children aged 5-11.

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said the ministry has developed a plan to inoculate young children in this age group and has submitted the plan to the Government.

Once the Government gives the nod, it would immediately work with suppliers to secure a sufficient amount at the earliest time to get the vaccination process started, Tuyen said during a recent discussion hosted by the Vietnam Government Portal, without elaborating further about the types of vaccines to be used or the logistics involved.

Cinemas to get major boost as movie-goers return over New Year holiday

2021 was a tough year for Vietnamese cinema due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinemas have high hopes for a post-pandemic rebound, however, as the number of movie-goers rose significantly in the opening days of 2022.

CGV, Galaxy, Lotte, and BHD Star cinemas saw a significant increase in the number of movie-goers compared to the end of 2021. This is a robust sign for the cinema industry more than two months after reopening their doors.

Many local and foreign blockbusters premiered in Vietnam on the opening days of 2022 to attract audiences, including (Survive), Spider-Man, and No Time to Die.

Along with cinemas in the city centre, those on the outskirts of town also saw rosy signs after being closed for a year.

Improvements in traffic safety recorded nationwide in 2021

Traffic safety was improved considerably nationwide in 2021 with sharp declines recorded in the number of accidents, deaths and injuries, reported the National Committee for Traffic Safety (NCTS).

NCTS Vice Chairman Khuat Viet Hung said, as of December 14, 2021, 11,495 traffic accidents had occurred across the country, killing 5,799 people and injuring 8,018 others, down 23.32 percent, 15.55 percent, and 28.16 percent year-on-year, respectively.

According to the NCTS, the top causes of the accidents were speeding, driving in the wrong lane, changing lanes or direction without signaling, and drink driving.

Nearly 3 million people benefit from increases in pension, social insurance allowances

More than 2.96 million people are benefiting from a rise of 7.4 percent in monthly pension, social insurance allowances and monthly subsidy as from January compared to December 2021, equivalent to 1.05 trillion VND (46.13 million USD), according to the Vietnam Social Security (VSS).

The beneficiaries include retirees; incumbent cadres of communal-level administrations; and people receiving monthly allowances for loss of working capacity.

Of the total, the State budget will pay over 257.3 billion VND (11.3 million USD) worth of the increased amount for about 904,900 people who are receiving pensions and allowances from the State budget, while the social security fund will shoulder 794.9 billion VND (34.92 million USD) in added payment.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-term Program 2022-2023 announced

The US Embassy in Hanoi has announced the 2022-2023 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-term Program.

The program provides Vietnamese host institutions the opportunity to request an US teacher for a one-time visit of two to six weeks. Details of the program can be found at https://bit.ly/3olu4st

To request a Fulbright Distinguished Short-term teacher, potential host institutions should submit a request form to the Fulbright Program via email vnfulbright@state.gov by February 28, 2022.

Tough punishment on those forcing children to go begging

Parents or other adults who force children to go out on the streets to beg for money shall be subject to a fine of VND 10-15 million (US$439-659), according to Decree 130/2021/ND-CP on punishment of administrative violations in sponsorship, social assistance and children.

Decree 130 which took place from January 1, 2022 stipulates different levels of financial punishment on child abuse in a bid to protect children.

Specifically, the Decree stipulates a fine of between VND 3-5 million for act of forcing children to do too many home chores that affect their studies, playing time and entertainment, thus adversely affecting their development, and organizing and forcing children into child marriage.

Plan adopted to implement ILO Convention 105 on Abolition of Forced Labor

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has signed Decision No. 2234/QD-TTg approving a plan on implementation of the International Labor Organization’s Convention 105 on Abolition of Forced Labor.

On June 8, 2020, the National Assembly voted for the ratification of ILO Convention 105 on Abolition of Forced Labor.

Forced labor can be understood as work that is performed involuntarily and under the menace of any penalty. It refers to situations in which persons are coerced to work through the use of violence or intimidation, or by more subtle means such as manipulated debt, retention of identity papers or threats of denunciation to immigration authorities.

Gov’t proposes US$2.81 billion tax reduction-exemption package for 2022

The Government has proposed a package on reduction and exemption of tax and land use fees worth VND 64 trillion (US$2.81 billion) for 2022.

This is part of the Government’s fiscal and monetary measures submitted by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung to the National Assembly on Tuesday, with an aim to facilitate post-pandemic recovery and socio-economic development in 2022 and 2023.

If approved by the legislative body, the Government will cut 50 percent of environmental protection tax and slash value-added tax by 2 percent to 8 percent from the current 10 percent.

In addition, the Government planned to reduce land-use fees by 30 percent as having been applicable in 2021, and registration fee for domestically-assembled cars by 50 percent.

Contemporary dance play set for Hanoi’s stage

Hanoi audiences will have an opportunity to enjoy a play, which uses contemporary dance and multi-media, named “A Woman” – part of Antigone project, funded by the Goethe Institute.

Co-directed by Hoang Ha, Pham Huong, Tran Minh Hai, the performance will take place at the Vietnam National Opera & Ballet, No.11 Nui Truc Str., Kim Ma, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, at 8pm on January 8.

The project’s participating artists are Hoang Ha, Tran Minh Hai, Tran Minh, Quay Tran, Ha Kieu Anh, and Ze Ly.

Vietnam steps up preparations for 31st SEA Games

Vietnam is stepping up preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), which is set to take place in Hanoi and 11 neighbouring localities, from May 12 to 23 this year.

Since January 2022, the organising board has focused on realising important tasks related to health requirements and infrastructure.

Approximately 1.7 trillion VND has been allocated from the State budget, for the preparations of the tournament, with 600 billion being spent to improve infrastructure.

Under a recent decision signed by Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai, an additional 301 billion VND (13.17 million USD) sourced from the 2021 State budget for sport and training, has been approved for regular expenditure tasks needed for the preparation of the tournament.

Vietnam women’s football team prepare for the 2022 Asian Cup

The Vietnam women’s football team have departed to Spain for a training course in preparation for the final round of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, scheduled to be take place in India from January 20 to February 6. Though many young faces have been called up to the national squad, coach Mai Duc Chung is still confident in the experience of the players.

Before the training trip in Spain, coach Mai Duc Chung have called up several young players who have shown their ability in the national championship in 2021. He finalised the list of 23 official players and had to leave behind five players, namely Hoang Thi Loan, Dao Thi Kieu Oanh, Nguyen Thi Lieu, Tran Thi Hai Linh and Nguyen Thi Truc Huong.

Calling up young players to the national team will help them have more conditions to practice, get acquainted with the team towards the 31st SEA Games as well as also prepare for a longer plan, thus creating the next generation for the future, he noted.

Culture-tourism village offers cheerful spring celebrations to visitors

The Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Hanoi is hosting a programme entitled ‘Scent of spring in mountainous region’ from January 1 to 31, introducing visitors to the traditional spring festivals and customs of Vietnamese ethnic groups.

The programme gathers the participation of 100 ethnic people from 13 groups from across the country, including Nung, Tay, H’mong, Ta Oi, Bahnar, Xo Dang, and Khmer.

PM requires survey on COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged from five

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has assigned the Ministry of Health to coordinate with the Ministry of Education and Training in organising a survey on COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged from five.

He requested learning from international experience and lessons of localities in the country, and preparing a plan to inoculate children.

The Government leader also required the Ministry of Health to urgently implement his instructions on further accelerating the vaccination drive and on the need for imported vaccines to ensure the set target.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son receives reprimand over wrongdoings

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son has been given a reprimand over his mistakes while performing his duty, under Decision 2271/QD-TTg signed by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh.

The deputy minister was earlier given a reprimand as a disciplinary measure by the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission after its eighth session from November 2-4, 2021.

The commission decided to issue a warning to the standing board of the Party Committee of the Health Ministry in the 2015-2020 term, and a reprimand to Son, a member of the Party delegation at the Health Ministry.

Government works to ensure medical oxygen supply

The Government Office has issued a document regarding Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam’s guideline on the supply of medical oxygen for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Per request of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on the issue, the Deputy PM assigned the MoIT and the Ministry of Health to continue carrying out guidelines stipulated by the Prime Minister in previous documents on the work. In case measures are needed to ensure the supply, the MoIT may halt or limit oxygen exports.

The Ministry of Finance is instructed to join hands with the Health Ministry, the MoIT and relevant ministries to promptly decide on a suitable price support mechanism for medical oxygen manufacturing and transport facilities in emergencies, in accordance with the law.

WB funds Vinh Long’s climate change adaptation

The Vietnamese Government and the World Bank (WB) have signed a 126.9 million USD financing agreement to improve access to infrastructure, connectivity and reduce flood risk in the urban core of Vinh Long city in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, the WB said on January 6.

The 126.9 million USD credit is provided through the WB’s International Development Association (IDA). The project is being co-financed by a 19.5 million USD grant from the Development Related Infrastructure Investment Vehicle (DRIVE), a facility provided by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The balance of the project cost is to be funded by the Vietnamese Government.

The Vinh Long City Urban Development and Enhanced Climate Resilience Project, at a total cost of 202.2 million USD, will help remove physical constraints to development in the urban core area through the development of flood control systems, drainage, wastewater collection and treatment, and investment in key urban roads.

RoK presents vaccine syringes to Vietnam

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) on January 6 presented 6.3 million syringes to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology to serve the COVID-19 vaccination in Vietnam.

The batch is part of the 42.5 million units valued at 2.5 million USD donated by the Government of the Republic of Korea (RoK) through the KOICA.

Last year, the Korean Government aided Vietnam with 1.39 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The KOICA also provided the Southeast Asian nation with 300,000 antigen test kits in December.

In May, the RoK donated 40 thermal imaging scanners to Vietnam, which have been installed at 10 airports nationwide.

Five imported Omicron cases detected in HCM City

Ho Chi Minh City confirmed five more cases of infection with the Omicron variant on January 6, raising the total number of such infections in the city to 11, according to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC).

All the five patients entered Vietnam from abroad last December and have stayed in quarantine since arrival.

From January 1, 2022, the city’s health sector is coordinating with the immigration agency at Tan Son Nhat International Airport to conduct quick tests for all arrivals entering the country from abroad. Passengers testing positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined immediately.

Tet gifts to be delivered to staff of DK1 platforms, Con Dao island

Brigade 171 from the High Command of Naval Zone 2 will visit and deliver New Year (Tet) gifts to officers and soldiers on the DK1 platforms, on-duty ships and officials on Con Dao island district.

According to the High Command, two delegations from the High Command will set out on January 8, carrying over 400 gifts donated by individuals, organisations and businesses and nearly 35 tonnes of goods of various types such as necessities and food, along with materials to make traditional Tet dishes and flowers.

DK1 is a group of economic, scientific and technical service stations set up in 1989 on Vietnam’s southern continental shelf.

Vietnam reports 16,472 COVID-19 cases on January 6

Vietnam recorded 16,472 cases of COVID-19, including 55 imported ones, during 24 hours from 4pm January 5 to 4pm January 6, according to the Ministry of Health.

Hanoi recorded the highest number of infections with 2,716, followed by Hai Phong with 923 and Tay Ninh with 853.

Also on the day, the southern province of Vinh Long added 9,370 cases to the national COVID-19 case log after confirming relevant information.

The national tally reached 1,843,563, including 25 infections of Omicron.

Vietnamese field hospital, MSF save lives in South Sudan

Staff members of Vietnam’s third level-two field hospital at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan have recently assisted doctors at a hospital run by the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in conducting a successful caesarean section for a mother with severe kyphosis.

Vietnamese doctors in South Sudan started 2022 with a special mission. They helped a pregnant woman with Pott’s disease have a healthy baby. She had been pregnant for 35 weeks and suffered fetus distress.

The team fulfiled the mission despite a lack of proper medical equipment. A healthy four kg baby boy was born thanks to cooperation by doctors.

The UNMISS Chief Medical Officer sent a letter to acknowledge the contribution of Vietnam’s level-two field hospital No. 3, asking the facility to continue assisting the MSF hospital in other surgeries.

Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia boost cooperation in crime combat

Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have committed to enhancing cooperation in fighting transnational crimes in all forms, especially drug crime, human trafficking, smuggling, terrorism and high-tech crime.

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security General To Lam, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Samdech Krolahom Sar Kheng and Lao Minister of Public Security General Vilay Lakhamphong met virtually on January 5.

The ministers agreed to step up the exchange of information and coordination in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious diseases and natural disasters in border provinces.

The three countries will also strengthen cooperation at regional and international forums, and tighten collaboration in ensuring security to serve major national and international events to be organised in each country.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/ND/VNN/SGGP/SGT

Lao Prime Minister to pay official visit to Vietnam

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