Vietnam promotes tourism in France

A performance at the tourism promotion event in Paris.

A programme with the theme of “Hanoi – the cradle of cultural heritage” has been held in Paris in an effort to introduce Hanoi’s and Vietnam’s cultural essence as well as recent tourism policies.

The event began with a screening of a video on the beauty of Vietnam and its people, followed by performances of Quan Ho folk singing and traditional musical instruments.

Speaking at the ceremony on September 20, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son highlighted the position and importance of the tourism sector in Vietnam’s economy. The sector attracted eight million tourists in 2015 and targets to welcome 11 million by 2020, making up seven percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

He said Vietnam’s efforts in recent years, including the 15-day visa exemption policy and the use of A350 plane on the Hanoi/HCM City-Paris route, made it more convenient for tourists to visit Vietnam.

Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, said culture tourism is typical products of the capital city’s tourism sector thanks to Hanoi’s rich history, 5,820 global, national and city-level relic sites.

Didier Cour, Director of France’s Terre d’aventure travel company, highly appreciated Vietnam’s visa exemption policy and praised the country as a wonderful culture and cuisine destination.

With advantages in natural landscapes, rich culture, local people’s hospitality and a diversity of ethnic groups, Vietnam promises to be a destination of the future in the global tourism picture.

During the event, Vietnamese and French travel companies discussed cooperation to boost the number of tourists to each other country.

India’s Hindi language promoted in Vietnam

The Indian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (HCMUSSH) on September 21 organised “Hindi Language Day” with many cultural and art activities.

Associate Professor, Dr. Vo Van Sen, HCMUSSH Rector, said the programme aims to help the public understand more about India ‘s Hindi language, and acknowledged efforts of the university’s students and teachers in popularising the language as well as Indian culture among Vietnamese.

Learning Hindi language can help Vietnamese have a deeper look on India ‘s culture, he noted.

Indian Ambassador Parvathaneni Harish said the teaching of the Hindi language in Vietnam will contribute to enhancing cultural and educational ties between the two countries.

On this occasion, the Indian Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnamese university agreed to extend the memorandum of understanding on dispatching an Indian professor to teach at the university for 2017-2019.

Project launched to strengthen women’s role in economic development

A project on enhancing opportunities for women’s enterprises (EOWE) has been launched in the four central provinces of Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Quang Binh and Binh Dinh.

A ceremony to introduce the EOWE project, jointly organised by the Binh Thuan province and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) in Binh Thuan on September 21, was attended by over 100 representatives from the four targeted provinces.

It is part of the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme funded by the Netherlands Government, which will be carried out in Vietnam and Kenya from 2016 to 2020 at a total investment of 6.6 million EUR.

It aims to create a favourable climate for female owners’ enterprises in agricultural fields, thus narrowing the gender gaps.

Under the project, around 100,000 people are expected to have better awareness of gender equality; 20,000 women will have higher incomes; and 18 others will receive assistance to run their lucrative businesses.

Other objectives of the project include building capacity for governmental agencies to better implement policies integrated gender issue and promote the women’s empowerment.

Support will be provided for female-run start-ups and trade promotion, while strengthening role of women in agricultural cooperatives.

SNV Vietnam Director Miguel Mendez said his organisation has developed a programme to address gender barriers in agricultural production, hoping that the situation will be improved in the next five years, with female voices better heard in social plan making.

Participants also discussed strategies to promote gender equality, smart agricultural production, climate change and value chain.

Capital punishment inflicted on drug baron, eight accomplices

Drug baron Trang A Tang and eight accomplices have been given death sentence while three others have received life imprisonment for their involvement in trafficking 1,791 heroin bricks and 553 drug pills.

Trang A Tang (alias Tang Keangnam), 34, from Moc Chau district of northern Son La province trafficked 1,791 heroin bricks (about 350 grams each) and 553 synthetic drug pills for 13 times from 2009. He earned US$608,500 from the trafficking.

Aside from the capital punishment, he has to return US$608,000 and pay up to VND500 million (US$22,410) in fines. Other assets linked to drug trafficking will also be confiscated.

The death penalty is also imposed on Trang A Nenh (25, Tang’s foster brother), Giang A Cho (45, a policeman in Moc Chau district), Giang A Nha (32, Tang’s brother-in-law), Sung A Lanh (42, from Mai Chau district of Hoa Binh province), Song A Nenh (43, from Van Ho district of Son La), Trang A Mua (45, from Van Ho district), Vu Van Lam (48, from Van Ho district), and Trang A Ky (44, from Van Ho district).

Meanwhile, Luong Thi Thao (37, from Bac Giang city), Giang Thi Sua (32, Tang’s wife), and Trang A Chu (58, Tang’s father) will spend life behind bars.

At about 1pm of July 26, 2013, police tried to stop two cars driven by Trang A Tang and Giang Thi Sua for check in Vo Cuong ward of Bac Ninh city, but they didn’t obey. Police chased and stopped the cars in Song Khe commune of Bac Giang city.

Up to 265 heroin bricks (weighing 91.76kg) and 553 methamphetamine pills (weighing 51.5 grams) were found in the cars.

Investigation results show that Trang A Tang masterminded the ring which trafficked drugs from Laos to Bac Giang province via Son La.

Tang bought drugs from some Mong ethnic people in Laos and Thailand and gathered the narcotics at the house of his father, Trang A Chu. The drugs were then sold to Luong Thi Thao in Bac Giang and others, according to the indictment.

Training workshop on gender equality for reporters

Reporters and editors have attended a two-day training workshop this week on gender equality and education for girls and women to improve the quality of their reporting.

The workshop, which concluded on September 21, is part of a project called “Initiative on Gender Equality and Girl Education in Vietnam: empowering girls and women for a more equal society”, jointly sponsored by UNESCO’s Vietnam Office, Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), and the Ministry of Education and Training.

Hoang Minh Nguyet, UNESCO Communication and Information Program Coordinator, said over the years, Vietnam’s media has contributed greatly to enhancing gender equality and education for girls and women.

“The achievements have been shown through Vietnam’s promulgation of the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control. But there remain gender preconceptions in the press and vestiges of male chauvinism in society. We hope that this course will improve reporters’ knowledge about gender equality and the need to educate girls and women,” she added.

Deputy PM urges fast delivery of compensation for marine pollution

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has emphasised the prompt delivery of compensation to residents in four central provinces affected by the serious marine pollution incident earlier this year as well as support for them to resume normal life and production.

The four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue saw abnormal dead fish in large amounts in April this year.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh accepted responsibility for the mass fish deaths. The pollution damaged about 400 hectares of coral and affected over 260,000 people who earn their living by working at sea.

The company pledged to compensate over 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD), which will be used to support local fishermen in changing their jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment. It also vowed to deal with shortcomings and limitations in waste and wastewater treatment.

In a document freshly issued by the Government Office following a meeting of the steering committee for solutions to overcome the pollution incident, the Deputy PM also instructed relevant ministries and agencies to act quickly to address the consequences of the incident and restore the marine environment while ensuring that the Formosa Ha Tinh abide by environmental regulations and not repeat its violations of law on discharging waste.

The Finance Ministry is to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop the guidance on levels of compensation, while the administrations of the four affected provinces must urgently complete the assessment of damages and calculate the amount of compensation to be paid to different groups of victims.

The Party committees and People’s Committees as well as social organisations of the four provinces are required to keep close supervision of the assessment process to ensure fairness, transparency and democracy.

Ministries must propose other forms of support in fields in their management to affected communities with a focus on restoring production and normal lives.

Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh also urged accelerating the pace of building marine environmental observatories in the four provinces and later expanding to other coastal localities.

The Health Ministry will continue to test samples of seafood from the affected sea areas to ensure only safe products are sold on the market.

Revisions to Labour Code under discussion

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) held a conference in Hanoi on September 21 to review the three-year enforcement of the Labour Code 2012 and acquire feedback of businesses from Hanoi and the northern provinces of Vinh Phuc, Ha Nam and Bac Ninh.

The amendments and supplements to the Labour Code are expected to be submitted to the 14 th National Assembly for discussion at the third session and for adoption at the fourth session slated for October 2017.

Speaking at the event, MoLISA Deputy Minister Pham Minh Huan said the ministry has so far received reports from 47 departments, 20 management boards, 13 corporations and associations, and 10 ministries and agencies.

Huan underscored the need to amend the Labour Code to meet international labour standards, develop harmonious labour relations and create a business environment conducive to businesses and workers, given that Vietnam has joined a free trade agreement with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The revisions include increasing limit for extra work time and retirement ages, reconsidering procedures for strike, and priorities to firms that employ many female workers.

Several opinions suggested strengthening free legal consultation services, holding more dialogues and food safety training at the workplaces, and revising terms regarding salary and working time.

After the Labour Code was put into force on May 1, 2013, the government and MoLISA has issued 29 decrees and 37 circulars guiding the enforcement of the Code.

Measures against AIDS, drugs and prostitution to be strengthened

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has urged ministries and agencies to enhance measures to prevent and control HIV/AIDS, drugs and prostitution from now to the end of the year.

At a recent conference of the Standing Board of the National Committee for AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention to review the work in the first eight months of this year and set tasks for the remaining months, the Deputy PM asked the Ministry of Public Security to submit the 2016-2020 programme on drug prevention to the Government for approval and work with other agencies to amend the Law on Drug Prevention and Control.

The ministry was also urged to collaborate with the Ministry of Defence totackle drug crimes in border areas.

As Chairman of the committee, Dam requested the Ministry of Health to promulgate documents guiding the use of methadone for drug addiction treatment and establish antiretroviral treatment management systems.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs was asked to propose measures to handle violations on prostitution prevention while the Ministry of Justice will consider an administrative punishment on drug users.

He stressed that localities should develop policies to mobilise resources from the community for the fight against AIDS, drugs and prostitution.

Children in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Thai Nguyen receive support

About 20,000 students at primary and secondary schools in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are expected to benefit from an eye care project, which was launched by the province’s Health Department on September 20.

The project has total investment of 876 million VND (over 39,200 USD), of which 796 million VND (over 35,600 USD) was sponsored by Australia’s Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), with the remaining 80 million VND (over 3,500 USD) contributed by the province.

It will be carried out from September 27 to November 30, aiming to promote eye care and eye treatment in schools.

The project will provide eye check-ups and present glasses to children, give eye tests training to school medical staff and organise communications activities.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s Ophthalmology Hospital will receive help from the BHVI to establish three public vision units in Long Dien commune, Con Dao commune and Vung Tau city.

From 2011-2015, the BHVI and Opthalmology Hospital set up 5 public units in the province. Eye tests and glasses were offered to students, including 543 children with disabilities.

On the same day, construction of 20 houses for disadvantaged children began in Linh Son Commune, Dong Hy District under a programme from the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organisation of the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

At the ceremony, Thai Nguyen’s Agriculture and Rural Development Bank gave each household 50 million VND (over 2,200 USD), and the provincial Youth Union and Red Cross gave presents to 10 disadvantaged children who performed well in school.

Int’l exhibition on fire safety equipment opens in Hanoi

The International Fire Safety & Rescue and Security Technology and Equipment Exhibition 2016 kicked off in Hanoi on September 21.

Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh attended the event which shapes part of activities to mark the 55th anniversary of Fire Police Forces’ traditional day (October 1961) and 15th anniversary of Fire Prevention Day (October, 2001).

The expo features 450 booths showcasing fire rescue and prevention equipment and security products of leading manufacturers and suppliers from 18 countries and territories.

It also introduces advanced technologies on fire fighting and prevention and solutions on environmental hygiene and industrial safety.

The event offers an excellent opportunity for domestic and foreign businesses to share experience and study investment in fire safety industry in Vietnam .

Jointly held by the Vietnam Fire & Rescue Police Department, Vietnam Advertisement & Fair Exhibition JSC – VIETFAIR and Messe Frankurt New Era Business Media Ltd, the exhibition will run until September 24.

Khanh Hoa calls for investment in upgrading reservoirs

The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa is calling for foreign and domestic investments into building and upgrading reservoirs to address serious water shortages.

According to local authority, the locality needs an investment of 9.4 trillion VND (423 million USD) to upgrade eight existing reservoirs, and build five new ones in an effort to deal with an anticipated water shortage of 300 million cubic metres of water by 2020.

The provincial People’s Committee requested the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development accelerate the building of the Song Cho and Dong Dien reservoirs which have the capacity of 99 million and 95 million cubic metres of water, respectively, at a combined cost of 7.2 trillion VND (324 million USD).

The locality will mobilise different resources to build the Son Trung, Song Can, Suoi Sau reservoirs, at a total cost of 730 billion VND (32.8 million USD) and a dam to prevent saltwater intrusion in the Cai River, worth 700 billion VND (31.5 million USD).

From 2017 to 2022, numerous projects will be implemented to repair eight degrading reservoirs, namely Suoi Trau, Lang Nhot, Dong Bo, Da Mai, Cay Sung, Suoi Luong, Suoi Lon, and Ben Ghe, at a total cost exceeding 9.4 million USD funded by the World Bank.

Other dredging projects will also be carried out to ensure safety and prevent sedimentation in Am Chua, Da Mai, Suoi Trau reservoirs.

Khanh Hoa is now home to 28 reservoirs, with a combined capacity of 250 million cubic metres of water, meeting 60 percent of the locality’s current water demand, which is estimated to reach 670 million cubic metres by 2020 and 754 million cubic metres by 2030.

Gastronomy gives Vietnamese a taste of Peru’s culture

A Peruvian gastronomy week will provide visitors with useful information and the best experience about the culture of the South American country when it takes place in Hanoi from September 21-27.

Luis Tsuboyama, Chargé d’affaires at the Peruvian Embassy in Vietnam, said the week is held on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic ties (November 14, 1994) and Peru’s organisation of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November.

The Peruvian cuisine promotion week, the second of its kind in Vietnam, aims to popularise the country’s culinary culture and beauties among local people through various activities such as a cuisine festival, a painting exhibition, a workshop on Peru’s tourism and farm produce, and a music and fashion show.

Notably, a seminar will give attendants an insight into the special potato variety of Peru and offer them dishes made from this potato. Products typical for the country will also be displayed at a painting exhibition.

The week is held by the Peruvian Embassy, Vietnam’s military-run telecommunication group Viettel, and Vietnamese companies with activities related to Peruvian goods.

Luis Tsuboyama said trade between Peru and Vietnam has grown strongly in recent years, from 40 million USD in 2005 to over 395 million USD in 2015.

Viettel and the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) are running profitable projects in Peru, whose AJE Group and Aqua Expeditions are operating in beverage and tourism industries in the Southeast Asian nation, he added.

A Sao Temple Festival kicks off

A ceremony was held in the northern province of Thai Binh on September 20 to kick off the A Sao Temple Festival and receive a certificate recognising the festival as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The festival began with drumming and dragon dances as well as an art performance highlighting the historical and spiritual significance of the temple.

It will run until September 22, featuring traditional cultural rituals and folk games.

Located in An Thai commune, Quynh Phu district, A Sao Temple was built to worship General Tran Hung Dao (Tran Quoc Tuan), the Supreme Commander of Vietnam during the Tran dynasty (1225-1400), who led the Dai Viet army to repel Mongolian invasions in 1258, 1285 and 1288.

The temple is considered a holy land owing a strategic position that contributed to victories over the Mongolian invaders.

In 2014, the temple relic complex received the national cultural and historical relic certificate from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The provincial People’s Committee approved a plan to build a historical relic site of the Tran Dynasty covering nearly 32 hectares in A Sao hamlet, An Thai commune.

Ninh Thuan: Cham ethnic group celebrates traditional festival

Cham ethnic people in south central coast Ninh Thuan province will celebrate the Kate festival 2016 from September 29-October 1.

According to Director of Ninh Thuan’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism Chau Thanh Hai, the province will also hold a grapes and wine festival during the Kate festival.

There are many traditional activities held during the Kate festival such as brocade weaving and pottery making. Cham cuisine will also be served.

Local authorities will also hold a diplomatic seminar, combined with sight-seeing activities, to call for UNESCO recognition of Cham people’s towers and the Kate festival as world heritage.

For Cham people, the Kate festival is the most significant festival of the year. Visitors can take part in Brahmanism rituals and enjoy traditional music.

Company caught smuggling tiles

The Anti-smuggling Department under Việt Nam Customs will prosecute a Hà Nội-based company for allegedly smuggling and trading over 100 containers of ceramic tiles worth some VNĐ3.2 billion (US$143,300)

From September to December 2015, the Tuấn Phát Commerce and Trade Ltd Company bought 65 containers with over 76,000sq.m. of ceramic tiles from China. The tiles were scheduled to transit via the Hải Phòng Port and then reach Inland Container Depot (ICD) Gia Lâm-Hà Nội.

Once the 30 containers arrived at ICD Gia Lâm-Hà Nội, the company took them out of the depot without following the required customs procedure for imported goods. Another 35 ceramic tile containers were sent directly to the company’s warehouse instead of to ICD Gia Lâm.

Further investigation showed that from July to October 2015, the company submitted eight customs declaration to import 44 containers of ceramic tiles worth VNĐ1.8 billion ($80,600).

The ceramic tiles were not legally imported as the company did not submit the required documents, including quality test results and samples for testing.

However, all the smuggled tiles in 44 containers were sold in the domestic market.

The Anti-smuggling Department said it would transfer all documents relating to the company to the Hà Nội Police for further investigation.

Soil from road construction turns Huế River red

The high volume of soil from road construction works in the upper part of the Hương River in this central province has turned the colour of the water to red.

This has left locals worried about the health of their beloved river.

Tests by the local department of environment protection showed content of suspended solid substance in the river water had increased 10 times, while its turbidity was 200 times higher compared with normal conditions.

“This is caused by the soil from the construction of roads in the province’s mountainous Nam Đông District,” department director Nguyễn Việt Hùng said. Many upper streams supply water to the river and water from the heavy rains had flowed into the river carrying the soil with it

The construction of a highway connecting the province and neighbouring Đà Nẵng City is ongoing and the district bears part of the highway. Another project to build a road linking the district’s municipal town to the highway is also underway.

Digging into the local mountains and hills has unearthed a huge quantity of broken soil, which is easily swept by the strong current of the rainwater.

Although Huế City’s water supply company said they are not affected thanks to a hi-tech filtering system, locals expressed their concern over the turbid condition of the famed clear river. Turbidity is so strong that water in its tributaries and in the vast Tam Giang Lagoon and the ocean has turned red as well.

The river runs across the city and gives the city a unique beauty thanks to its clear water and charm.

Projects to focus on pregnant women, lactating mothers

Pregnant women, lactating mothers and clinical patients will benefit from two nutrition improvement projects worth VNĐ15 billion (US$670,000) signed between the Ministry of Health and Abbott Company at a ceremony today in Hà Nội.

“The two projects will contribute to the improvement of the nutrition status of the people, especially to the faster decline of stunting malnutrition in Việt Nam and the enhancement of inpatients’ health and clinical treatment efficiency in hospitals,” Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Việt Tiến said at the signing ceremony.

The project on improvement of the nutrition status for pregnant women and lactating mothers will focus its activities on developing a National Nutrition Guideline. It will also help to increase knowledge about nutrition in healthcare staff and members of the Việt Nam Women’s Union through implementation of the National Nutrition Guideline for pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The project on improvement of clinical nutrition quality in hospitals in Việt Nam will focus on developing a quality improvement programme (QIP) for clinical nutrition to be implemented in hospitals.

The National Strategy on Nutrition for the period 2011-2020 and vision to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister has identified that an important direction to improve people’s health is providing early nutrition intervention for women of reproductive age, pregnant women and children during the golden period of the first 1,000 days.

The two projects will help the health ministry implement the National Strategy on Nutrition and enhance inpatients’ health and clinical treatment efficiency in hospitals in Việt Nam.

A report of the National Institute of Nutrition showed that the rate of childhood stunting in 2014 was 24.9 per cent, the rate of zinc deficiency in pregnant women was 80.3 per cent and that of anemia was 32.8 per cent.

Doctors warn of seasonal outbreaks

Doctors have warned of possible outbreaks of seasonal diseases such as pinkeye, viral fever and respiratory tract infections.

The Hà Nội-based Paediatrics Hospital has recorded more than 30,000 patients this month. It sees an average of 3,000 children patients a day, approximately 25 per cent higher than normal.

The young patients are often reported to suffer respiratory diseases, as well as pneumonia, gastrointestinal disease, viral fever and dengue fever.

Similarly, the Paediatrics Department of Bạch Mai Hospital has lately received an increased number of patients for the treatment of respiratory diseases. It has reported receiving about 400-500 patients per day, with more than half of them suffering diseases related to respiratory problems and viral fever. Many children have been hospitalised several times in a short time because of re-infection.

Doctors of the two hospitals explained that the reason behind the increasing number of paediatric patients was because the weather in the North was in a transition period with hot weather in the daytime and chilly weather at night that reduced the resistance of children.

Besides, the concentration of bacteria and increasing viruses in the air made children susceptible, they said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine has warned that erratic weather would enable bacteria that cause pinkeye disease.

Doctor Lê Xuân Thủy from the department said that pinkeye is a very contagious disease and spread easily in the community.

From mid-August until now, the number of patients diagnosed and treated for pinkeye at hospitals in Hà Nội has reportedly increased and exceeded normal days.

At the Central Eye Hospital, the number of patients suffering pinkeye coming in for diagnosis and treatment accounted for about 11-12 per cent of the total number of all patients.

Thủy said the main causes of pinkeye disease are adenoviruses or bacteria such as streptococcus, staphylococcus and pneumococcus.

“A dirty environment, poor sanitation, contaminated water use, and shared living supplies such as towels and pillows are favourable conditions for developing the disease and spreading outbreaks,” Thủy said.

Thủy noted that pinkeye could spread through the respiratory tract, tears, and saliva, as well as by shaking hands, holding, touching items contaminated with pathogens such as door handles, stair knobs, telephones; shared objects and the personal belongings of the patients, such as towels and washbasins.

He said any suspected case of pinkeye disease should go to medical facilities for examination, counseling and treatment and should not be treated by traditional Vietnamese methods such as applying leaves like betel leaf and mulberry leaf onto eyes.

Govt-civil society-business nexus key to hitting UN development goals: experts

The partnership between Government, enterprises and civil society is vital to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Việt Nam, experts have said

The SDGs were adopted by 193 countries a year ago with qualitative objectives across the social, economic and environmental dimensions to be achieved by 2030.

They are 17 goals with 169 targets and 231 indicators, Jasmine Jaruphand, the Asia Pacific Regional Lead for the Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign, said.

“It is the time to build new partnerships and alliances to make sure the SDGs are a reality for everyone, everywhere by 2030,” she told a workshop held in HCM City yesterday (September 20).

“The UN will play a key role in co-ordinating new partnerships for action with governments and the private and public sectors.”

The campaign’s methodology includes building public awareness and partnerships, developing creative and innovative communication tools and fostering citizens’ action and SDG solutions in the community.

Generating citizen-driven data for the SDG tracking process and facilitating inclusive dialogues for policy change are also included, she said.

Phil Maclaurin, business unit manager of Premier Oil Vietnam, said, “UN Sustainable Development Goals make good sense for strong businesses.

“As a business leader, I believe most of my team can work within four to six goals,”

“The 17 sustainable development goals are well-chosen and visionary. They are visions that Government and big agencies like the UN seem best able to deliver.”

SDGs impact the economy, politics, society, education, quality of life and environment.

Young talented people aged from 18 to 30 can participate in the 2016 Sustainable Tourism Awareness and Ideas (STAI) Incubator, part of efforts to implement the SDGs in Việt Nam.

The competition aims to increase community awareness to protect marine life and eco-systems as well as develop ideas about sustainable coastal tourism among young Vietnamese, Đào Mạnh Hùng, chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Education Association, said.

“It is a forum for young people to contribute to tourism development,” he said.

With a coastline of more than 3,000 kilometres, a total of 125 beaches and thousands of islands, Việt Nam has huge potential for coastal tourism, which accounts for 70 per cent of the tourism sector’s revenues, he said.

The contest is jointly organised by Sustainable Development Goals Action Campaign, Asian Development Bank, Publication and Social Development Engagement Centre, and Sea Media Co., Ltd.

In the first round titled “Creator” held from June 25 to September 25, contestants will present proposals on promising projects to tackle problems related to sustainable tourism in Việt Nam.

Fifteen teams with the best ideas will be chosen to enter the “Ideation” round in October from which six will be selected for consultancy from experts from international organisations.

The “Integration” round in November will further whittle down the number of projects to four for financial support from investors to implement them.

The contest is part of a community project to implement the UN’s SDGs in Việt Nam between 2016 and 2030.

It targets making 50 million people, or 50 per cent of the population, aware of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2020, Hanni Tran, head of the contest organising board, said.

Thirty million people would serve as advocates for SDGs, articulating them and doing related tasks, she added.

First ví giặm singing club opens in HCM City

A group of veteran artists sang the beautiful rhythms of ví giặm, folk songs from the Nghệ An-Hà Tĩnh region, during the opening ceremony of the first Ví Giặm Singing Club in HCM City last weekend.

The club promotes the values of ví giặm and encourages local residents, especially youth, to learn about the art form.

Veteran artists who are members of the club, such as Tố Nga, Thu Giang, Đinh Linh and Sông Thao, offer free training in singing.

Ví giặm was recognised as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO last year. It is the ninth Vietnamese cultural practice to receive UNESCO’s intangible heritage status.

The song is sung in a back-and-forth style while working, unaccompanied by musical instruments. The singing reflects the work, cultural life and feelings of the local people.

There are more than 50 singing clubs with a total of 800 members in Hà Tĩnh and Nghệ An provinces.

Children in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Thai Nguyen receive support

About 20,000 students at primary and secondary schools in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau are expected to benefit from an eye care project, which was launched by the province’s Health Department on September 20.

The project has total investment of 876 million VND (over 39,200 USD), of which 796 million VND (over 35,600 USD) was sponsored by Australia’s Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), with the remaining 80 million VND (over 3,500 USD) contributed by the province.

It will be carried out from September 27 to November 30, aiming to promote eye care and eye treatment in schools.

The project will provide eye check-ups and present glasses to children, give eye tests training to school medical staff and organise communications activities.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau’s Ophthalmology Hospital will receive help from the BHVI to establish three public vision units in Long Dien commune, Con Dao commune and Vung Tau city.

From 2011-2015, the BHVI and Opthalmology Hospital set up 5 public units in the province. Eye tests and glasses were offered to students, including 543 children with disabilities.

On the same day, construction of 20 houses for disadvantaged children began in Linh Son Commune, Dong Hy District under a programme from the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneer Organisation of the northern province of Thai Nguyen.

At the ceremony, Thai Nguyen’s Agriculture and Rural Development Bank gave each household 50 million VND (over 2,200 USD), and the provincial Youth Union and Red Cross gave presents to 10 disadvantaged children who performed well in school.

Health Ministry, Abbott shake hands for nutrition improvement

The Ministry of Health and the US-based Abbott Company on September 21 signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in two projects to improve the quality of clinical nutrition at hospitals and among pregnant and nursing women.

At the signing ceremony, both Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health, and Brett Blackshaw from the US Embassy in Vietnam held that the projects will help reduce the malnutrition ratio in Vietnam as well as enhance the health of patients and raise the efficacy of treatment in hospitals.

According to head of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Luong Ngoc Khue, the National Strategy on Nutrition for the 2011-2020 period with a vision to 2030 has targeted the restoration and development of a clinical nutrition system and hospital regulations in the field to give better nutrition care for specific groups.

The project to improve the clinical nutrition quality will focus on building a Quality Improvement Programme in Vietnam (VN QIP), which comprises tools for nutrition screening and a nutrition assessment process for patients at hospitals, together with training courses and guiding documents for health staff.

Meanwhile, the project to better nutrition conditions among pregnant and nursing women aims to design a national manual on nutrition for the targeted groups, while enhancing capacity and knowledge of nutrition for caregivers as well as officials of the Vietnam Women’s Union through the popularisation of the document.

Statistics showed that the ratio of underweight among under-five-year-old children in Vietnam has reduced rapidly and stably. However, the percentage of stunted children remained high, mostly due to malnutrition-caused vitamin deficiency suffered by their mothers during pregnancy and nursing.

According to the National Institute of Nutrition, in 2014, 24.9 percent of children in Vietnam were stunted, while the ratio of pregnant woman with insufficient zinc provision was 80.3 percent, and those with anaemia were 32.8 percent.

Photography workshop with Peter Le

The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre will host a three-session workshop “Introduction to Photography” with Peter Le, a photographer and visual artist living and working in Việt Nam and China.

The workshop, to be held on September 27 and 29, and October 2, will discuss the history of photography, modern themes, and photography in the past and today in Việt Nam.

Born in Việt Nam and raised in Vancouver, Le studied painting and art history at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and film at the Vancouver Film School. He holds a BFA in photography from Parsons School of Design in New York.

He has worked as a fashion and portrait photographer for publications in Beijing such as GQ CN, Elle China and Architectural Digest CN. He has also worked with world-renowned artist Ai Weiwei as in-house photographer and photography expert.

The workshop fee is VNĐ750,000. The venue is at 15 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ Street in District 2.

Photographic images of women displayed in City

An exhibition of 23 photos by French artist Thiery Beyne is on display at the Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon in HCM City.

The Back Photography exhibition features the backs of Vietnamese women he photographed during his travels in the country.

To satisfy his passion for travel and photography, he began travelling in the 80s, traversing several Asian countries, including India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand and Việt Nam.

During his 15 years in Việt Nam, he has had a chance to travel from the north to the south, meet many different people, and show different perspectives about life in Việt Nam through his work.

“From behind the shadow, we let ourselves dream about the face on the other side: that of a refined Vietnamese woman,” he said. “Imagination stimulates the senses by unveiling beauty through their backs. I invite you to see the ‘stolen’ backs that are rarely photographed.”

His Back Photography works were exhibited in Paris in March.

3D art lessons for little ones

The Workshop series Creative 3D invites children to hone their artistic skills starting October 2 in Blossom Art House at 5pm.

In the workshop, students from 5 to 11 years old will learn the art of 3D visual creation using a most familiar theme: portrait of themselves or the people around them. After developing their designs on paper, students will learn about the basic facial structure and then will develop their drawnings into one-relief portraits made of paperboard and decorated with color paints.

Portrait & Reliefs is the first of 10 Creative 3D workshops.Each workshop lasts 90 minutes.

A workshop costs VNĐ200,000 (US$8.9) per child. Children taking part in all 10 workshops will get a discount of 10%. To register, call Ms. Linh at 0126.620.3694. The Blossom Art House is located at 94B Trần Hưng Đạo Street, Hà Nội.

PM launches Óc Eo-Ba Thê preservation for 2016-2020

The Prime Minister has approved a project to preserve the Óc Eo- Ba Thê archeological site in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of An Giang.

Funded by the provincial budget, the project will cost VNĐ6.74 billion (US$300,000) and will be carried out between 2016 and 2020.

The work will include upgrading infrastructure and completing a dossier to submit to UNESCO for recognition as a world heritage site.

In 2012, the site-with its millenia-old pottery, tools, and other remains-was recognised as a national cultural relic.

The Óc Eo Cultural Relic Management Board, in coordination with the Việt Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, held a press meeting Monday to launch the book Di sản văn hóa Óc Eo- Ba Thê tỉnh An Giang (Óc Eo- Ba Thê Cultural Relic in An Giang Province).

The 780-page book is a collection of documents and research on the relic from foreign and domestic experts.

Thanh Hóa upgrade line-up for new season

FLC Thanh Hóa have strengthened their defences with two new contracts for the next season just a few days after the V. League 2016 ended.

Thanh Hóa shopped a lot prior to this year’s tournament but failed to enter the top three as planned. They grabbed 42 points after 26 matches and were ranked sixth.

Following news of the club, Thanh Hóa lured striker Uche Iheruome from Sanna Khánh Hòa to improve their front line.

The Nigerian player is one of the three best scorers of the V. League with 14 goals.

National midfielder Đinh Tiến Thành has joined Thanh Hóa from Cần Thơ. Under the three-year deal Thành is expected to strengthen the defence, after they let through 42 goals last season.

The club is seeking a coach who can lift it to the top position in 2017.

Long An promised big bonus for playoff win

Long An will play Viettel in the V. League’s play-off match tomorrow to avoid relegation.

The team is promised a big bonus of VNĐ1 billion (US$44,500) if they go home with a win, according to Long An Football Club managers.

Long An finished this year’s premier league at the 13th position among 14 teams.

Their key midfielder Hoàng Lâm may not play because of injury.

Former national team coach Henrique Calisto was invited to be a consultant to Long An in this game.

Viettel, meanwhile, rank second in the First Division and have a chance to jump to the top of the national league.

Their young members are rated not as good as Long An, but they are all at their peak for the upcoming event.

The match will be organised in the neutral stadium of Chi Lăng in Đà Nẵng City.

PM stresses application of military science

Enhancing the application of military science is an important task in the present context, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

At a working session with leaders of the Ministry of National Defence in Hanoi on September 21, the PM stressed the need for the sector to master cutting-edge weapons and equipment in training and fighting.

He urged the ministry to set forth policies boosting the development of the defence industry in order to produce high-tech and modern military products, while outstandingly perform defence external relations in the context of international integration.

The ministry was also requested to keep discipline, seriously fight corruptions and other bad deeds in the army, and hasten the equitisation of military-run businesses to prevent losses of State assets.

The leader asked the ministry to better fulfil its role as an advisor to the Party and the State on making strategic decisions and policies on national defence, especially amidst the complicated regional and international situations.

Hailing the army’s core role in protecting the country’s territorial sovereignty, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said despite a range of difficulties facing the country, the Government will create optimal conditions for officers and soldiers to fulfil their tasks.

Mentioning the development of the defence industry, he said Viettel has operated fruitfully, becoming a prestigious telecom group in the region and the world at large.

Apart from building and maintaining border lines of friendship and peace with neighbouring countries, the military has well coordinated with local authorities and people in socio-economic development, the leader said.

It has also shown good performance in mass mobilisation, search and rescue operations, he added.

The PM displayed his belief that officers and soldiers will overcome all difficulties to attain more glorious achievements and complete all the assigned tasks, deserving of the trust of the Party, State and people.


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