Thứ Ba, 30 tháng 6, 2015

US-funded scholarships help poor students complete school

The Scholarship Programme to Enhance Literacy and Learning (SPELL) granted a total of 2,476 scholarships worth a combined US$557,000 to disadvantaged students in 7 central localities in the 2014-2015 academic year.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the programme will provide additional 583 scholarships for ninth-grade students.

Established in 2004 by the US-based East Meets West organisation, SPELL’s objective is to promote school completion and a brighter future through education. It targets children of families among the poorest households in seven central localities of Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen.

After 11 years of operation, the programme has presented scholarships to 5,790 students.

In 2011, the SPELL Summer English Programme (SSEP) was set up to improve English and learning skills among students. Over the past five years, SSEP has funded more than US$176,000 to support high school students.

Meanwhile, SPELL Goes to College (SGTC) was established in 2012. To date, it has provided four-year scholarships to 170 college students, each worth US$2,960.

EU urges Vietnam to kick the dirty energy habit

The nation’s demand for electricity is forecast to increase two-fold over the next six years primarily fuelled by economic growth, according to speakers at a recent meeting in Ho Chi Minh City discussing the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement.
US$8 billion for energy use yearly
“The nation will need to invest US$8 billion annually for each of the next five years just to keep pace with the demands of business,” said Christoph Schill from the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
Schill, who serves as vice president of EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee (GGSC) cautioned however that thermal power plants are still preferred in Vietnam’s power development plans, which poses devastating consequences for the environment.
In particular, he said under the nation’s Power Master Plan VII, coal-fired thermal power facilities are projected to generate 46.8% of the country’s total electricity output by 2020, which calculates out to 36,000 MW.
The capacity of coal-fired thermal power would then, according the master plan, rise to 56.4% of the total electrical output by 2030, which comes out to 75,000 MW.
 “For the country to derive such a large percentage of its electrical supply from dirty thermal power is unreasonable,” Schill said and it would have severe and negative consequences for the health of the nation and climate.

Meanwhile, Vietnam currently produces only a mere 48.2 MW of electricity from wind energy when a recent study by the World Bank showed the nation has a current capacity of around 513,000 MW.
To make matters worse, under the nation’s Power Master Plan VII the wind power capacity is expected to increase to just 1,000 MW by 2020, Schill underscored.
To reduce Vietnam’s environmental pollution, the government needs to rethink its energy strategy and increase is investment in developing renewable energy.
Both the EU public and private sector, long a leader in the clean energy field are prepared to assist with raising the investment needed and are willing to pay more for electricity if need be, Schill stressed.
The country has vast potential in the field but has been focusing solely on low-cost energy, such as hydroelectricity and coal, without a proper investment strategy to develop clean energy, he said.
Shifting investment to green energy
Energy price hikes are not a major concern of foreign invested businesses, according to a recent survey conducted of 150 businesses by the GGSC and the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
In response to a question detailing 10 factors most respondents said the cost of energy was the least important of the factors affecting their decision to construct manufacturing facilities in Vietnam.
The most critical factors they considered were the available labour pool, domestic market conditions and government policies.
A majority of companies said they wouldn’t have any qualms with paying an increase of 15% or more in the cost of energy and could live with a price hike of 10% per year over the next couple of years to fund investment in wind or alternative clean energies.
The consensus of the experts said Vietnam should draw up long-term plans to promote the use of green energy while encouraging private investors to join the field and build a legal framework for the development of renewable energy.
Europe is one of the biggest trade partners of Vietnam with 27.6 billion EUR worth of goods and is among the country’s largest investors with 1,810 investment projects in the industry.
China ships attack 23 boats since start of year, says official

Le Quang Thich, vice chairman of Quang Ngai Province said 23 local fishing boats were attacked by Chinese vessels over the past six months and there was a rise in intrusions by China's coastguard and fishing boats.

Le Quang Thich

"Eight Chinese coastguard ships and 184 fishing ships invaded Vietnamese waters," Thich said. "Compared with last year, the number of coast guard vessels increased by six and the number of fishing ships increased by 161."
Thich said some Chinese ships came within 16 nautical miles of Ly Son Island.
Authorities are conducting programmes to raise awareness so fishermen can better work safely while protecting the sovereignty of Vietnam waters.
A fisherman said on June 10 that four Chinese ships surrounded boats near Hoang Sa Island. Six people boarded their their boat and stole their catch and equipment.
Quang Ngai authorities are cooperating with the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour to build a memorial for fishermen and soldiers who died in clashes over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands.
"We hope to receive more attention from the government," Thich said.
"After Ly Son Island joined the electrical power grid and was provided with better water sources, investors have started to come in and development can both improve the economy and national defense," he said.
By The Kha,
MOF’s wings clipped as NA orders issue of 5-year and longer-term bonds

Economists say that the National Assembly’s request to issue government bonds more than five years “goes against all financial management theories” and “does not fit  Vietnamese practice”. 

Vietnam, government bonds, MOF, state budget
What analysts warned one year ago has come true.The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has struggled hard this year to borrow money for state spending as familiar capital sources have shrunk because of a National Assembly’s decision.

The National Assembly last year released a resolution that said from 2015, the government can only issue long-term bonds (five-year or longer), while it is prohibited to borrow money for short term to offset the budget overspending.

The decision was made, according to analysts, amid the warning about the increasingly high public debt.

The National Assembly then decided that it is necessary to tighten the government’s borrowing so as to better control public debt.

However, the method was “quite unreasonable”, economists warned.

“Being temporarily stuck for money is the situation any businessman would meet in life. You will only get paid for a late consignment of goods in 10 days, while you have to pay to your workers in three days. In this case, you should get a short-term loan and pay the money back when you receive your payments,” an economist explained.

“Similar things may occur with the state budget. And the proper solution in this case is issuing short-term government bonds to get money for prompt spending and pay at maturity when the cash flows into the account,” he said.

It is MOF’s job to calculate how much money the state budget needs and how much to borrow. It is also its job to define the terms of government bonds to issue to optimize the use of the loans.

And the intervention has placed big difficulties for MOF to mobilize capital for the state spending. Many government bond bidding sessions failed this year. One of the reasons behind the failure, according to analysts, is the lack of short-term bonds for investors to choose.

“The National Assembly’s request to only issue 5-year and longer-term government bonds is contrary to all financial theories and practices,” commented Dr. Le Hong Giang, a finance expert.

Giang stressed that issuing bonds with different terms of maturity is a necessary operation which not only helps optimize the use of borrowed money but also helps create interest rate curves and improves monetary policies’ efficiency.

Dr. Huynh The Du, also a renowned finance expert, said government bonds at different terms can serve as the government’s financial instruments to regulate the financial market.

“The presence of government bonds at different terms is very important in the market,” he said.

Social News 30/6

Ha Noi tightens parking lot regulations
Buildings with basements in Hoan Kiem District are being told to allow people working or living there to park their vehicles in the basements.
The city would not allow buildings to use the basements for other purposes while people were being forced to park their vehicles on pavements around the buildings, vice chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee Nguyen Quoc Hung said at a recent meeting with the district authority.
Hung also ordered the district authority to re-arrange parking lots on pavements to ensure space for pedestrians.
The city transport department and the traffic police were asked to demarcate several parking lots on the pavements of Ba Trieu, Phan Boi Chau and 19/12, because these pavements were more than 3.5m in width, he said.
The traffic police have been ordered to inspect and get rid of illegal parking lots, and to strictly deal with parking lots that were overcharging vehicle owners, he said.
The city has about 320,000 cars and four million motorbikes.
NGO highlights plight of migrant workers

 Hanoi tightens parking lot regulations, NGO highlights plight of migrant workers, Beware of overseas job scams: Ministry, Ly Son's marine resources diminish,  Ha Tinh wants $3.6m in drought relief, Vietnamese drug addicts still high

A local non-government organisation held a workshop today in Ha Noi for journalists from different city agencies on the limited social security access that migrant workers get.
Earlier, on Friday and Saturday, the Institute for Community and Health Development or LIGHT, a civil society group based in Ha Noi, organised field trips for 30 journalists from television, print and online media to interview street food vendors and waste pickers (scavengers) in the city.
At the workshop, the reporters submitted their fact-finding reports, which showed that the migrant workers, mostly from rural areas, had low demands regarding different social services: 48.1 per cent of the respondents wanted to join a programme on voluntary payments of social insurance premiums; 25.2 per cent wanted to participate in a health insurance programme; 55.2 per cent want access to healthcare services; and 40.5 per cent wanted to get legal and policy consultation.
Though their demands for these services are low, they get even lower levels of access to them. For example, only 11.9 per cent of the interviewed persons said they had engaged in a programme on voluntary payments of social insurance premiums (as compared to 48.1 per cent of those who wanted the service) and only 22.4 per cent had access to healthcare services (as against 55.2 per cent who wanted access).
Nguyen Thu Giang, vice-director of LIGHT, told the workshop's participants that the reporters' findings would be used as inputs for the recommendations LIGHT would make to the concerned agencies that were drafting a law on voluntary payments of social insurance premiums and health insurance for migrant workers.
A survey conducted by the National Statistical Office says 7.7 per cent of the nation's population comprises migrant workers, with 94 per cent of them migrating from rural to urban areas.
Migrant workers are often found to have low incomes and little access to social security.
Eighty per cent live in informal rented housing.
The workshop was held in co-operation with O2 TV channel.
Work on new Hong bridge begins
Work on the new Tuan Quan Bridge over the River Hong (Red) in the northern Yen Bai Province began today.
The bridge, which is one of the province's key projects, is expected to help develop Yen Bai into a larger and more important urban area.
The concrete bridge is being built with a total investment of about VND675 billion (US$31.2 million), of which nearly VND521.5 billion ($21.1 million) will be used for the construction, while the remaining amount will be spent on site clearance, compensation and re-settlement of those who are being displaced from their land.
Once completed, the 16m-wide and 414.6m-long bridge will connect the centre of Yen Bai City with its new urban areas, and link National Highways 37 and 32C and the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway.
The construction of the bridge will be completed by 2019.
Children's hospital to receive second branch
The prime minister has approved a plan to build the second branch of the Central Paediatrics Hospital in Ha Noi city.
The prime minister assigned the hospital to work with investors in building a detailed plan for construction and submit it to the minister of health for approval.
As reported by the Central Hospital, the hospital was built in the 1980s, so it is very old and outdated. Meanwhile, the demand for health care is on the rise, causing the hospital to be overloaded.
Therefore, the launch of a second branch is essential in creating favourable conditions for the hospital to examine and treat children and in helping strengthen research for children's health care.
It is expected that the branch will be built in Quoc Oai District, a suburb of Ha Noi City, with 1,000 to 1,500 beds.
The total investment for construction is expected to be more than VND4.7 trillion (US$223.8 million).
Beware of overseas job scams: Ministry
The labour, invalids and social affairs ministry's Overseas Labour Management Department has warned people about frauds involved in sending people to Saudi Arabia to work as domestic helps.
The warning follows reports received from families of victims in Tay Ninh, Nghe An, Tuyen Quang and Ha Tinh provinces.
Some of the frauds posed as labour export companies to lure those wanted to work aboard. They refused to give signed labour contracts to the victims, saying that the companies' directors were travelling on business and would sign the contracts as soon as they returned.
The Overseas Labour Management Department recommended that people should study and understand the working and living conditions as well as Islamic customs before deciding to work in Saudi Arabia.
They have also been asked to sign labour contracts with companies that have been given labour supply licences by the department.
Baking weather returns to northern, central Vietnam
Scorching weather has returned to both northern and central Vietnam, with the hottest temperature reaching over 39 degrees Celsius, the National Center for Hydro-metrological Forecasting warned on Monday.
After several days with cool air because of Typhoon Kujira that hit the northeastern region last week, the northern and central regions have begun to suffer from hot weather again, and the new heatwave is expected to last from today until Wednesday, the center said.
The heat has returned as a western hot low pressure has continued to develop and expand to the southeastern region, the center said.
High temperatures in the northern region and coastal central provinces will range from 35 to over 38 degrees Celsius from now until Wednesday.
High temperatures in Hanoi will reach up to 39 degrees during the period.
From now to July 1, the Gulf of Tonkin will experience rough seas, with winds of 39-49kph and gusts of up to 74kph. Sea waves will be 1.5-2.5 meters high during the period.
On July 2, the scorching weather will gradually ease in northern provinces, but will maintain and prolong in the central part.
Today, the high temperature in Hanoi will be 38 degrees, while the northwestern region will have highs of up to 37 degrees. The northeastern area will have hotter weather as well, with high temperatures of over 38 degrees. 
In the central region from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue Provinces and from Da Nang to Binh Thuan Province, the hottest temperatures will be over 38 and over 37 degrees, respectively, today.
Meanwhile, today the Central Highlands region and the southern region will be less hot, ranging from 29 to 32 degrees and 32 to 35 degrees, respectively.
Ly Son's marine resources diminish
The People's Committee of Ly Son Island District has proposed the People's Committee of Quang Ngai central province to ban large boats from fishing along Ly Son Island.
Tran Huu Nguyen, the chairman of the island's People's Committee, said the proposal was to conserve limited marine resources and mark a marine preservation zone here.
According to Nguyen, more and more fishing boats from provinces such as Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, and Phu Yen, and several local vessels have started coming here to catch fish in recent years.
They use nets to catch small and big fish and sometimes resort to explosives as well.
Fishermen on different boats frequently fight over the use of explosives to catch fish, Nguyen added.
Over the past few days, dozens of large-capacity vessels from Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa provinces had come here to fish.
Ngo Van Bong, a local fisherman, said that earlier, fishermen here could catch 5-10kg of fish and squid in a day, but now, they don't get any fish because these vessels use explosives to catch them.
Local authorities have not taken any measure to curb this menace, Bong noted.
"We will soon exhaust our marine resources, while coral reefs are also facing complete destruction. Fish breeding cages set up by farmers are also destroyed by these boats," Nguyen said.
Nguyen Quoc Chinh, chairman of the An Hai fisheries union in Ly Son District, said the proposal is relevant as it is necessary to protect marine resources and the environment along the island.
 Ha Tinh wants $3.6m in drought relief
Central Ha Tinh province has made an urgent request to the Government for 80 billion VND (3.67 million USD) in financial aid to help the locality mitigate drought impacts for this year’s summer-autumn crops.
Lingering heat waves and drought have dried up local reservoirs and rivers while ongoing saltwater intrusion in La River has seriously affected irrigation systems.
The province has more than 1,000 hectares of summer-autumn rice crops suffering from water shortages and another 1,500 hectares that have had to shift to more suitable crops. Many communes also reported serious water shortages for daily use.
Many of Ha Tinh’s irrigation canals are in poor condition, making it a costly undertaking to ensure sufficient water supply for agricultural production this year.
It is estimated that Ha Tinh province will need over 130 billion VND (5.96 million USD) in aid to support the summer-autumn crops.
40 years of Vietnamese integration in Germany
A festival featuring the Vietnamese community’s 40-year integration and development in Germany was held in Berlin on June 28 as part of activities to celebrate the 40 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Addressing the event, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan thanked the German Government and people for supporting Vietnamese nationals in the country over the past years.
He hoped the Vietnamese people in Germany would continue to respect the host country’s laws and contribute to the bilateral relations.
Head of the German Parliament’s Budget Committee Gesine Lotzsch appreciated the successful integration of the Vietnamese community as well as the excellent learning performance of Vietnamese students in Germany.
European Parliamentarian Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann affirmed her willingness to help Vietnamese nationals in Germany preserve and promote their cultural tradition and integrate more deeply into the country.
At the festival, photos highlighting the lives of Vietnamese as well as their achievements in Germany were exhibited while Vietnamese associations and enterprises in Germany were introduced. The festival also included art and martial arts performances and fashion shows.
The VFF leader then had a meeting with representatives of Vietnamese associations in Germany and visited the Vietnamese Embassy there.
Friendship association delegation visits Philippines
A delegation from the Vietnam-Philippines Friendship Association (VPFA) led by its Chairman Vu Van Tam has paid a working visit to the Philippines to strengthen relations between the two countries’ people.
During the visit from June 15-19, the first of its kind since the establishment of the association in 2014, the delegation held talks and signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the Philippines-Vietnam Friendship Association (PVFA) in Manila.
During their talks, the two sides discussed a proposal to establish a cooperative relationship between the Vietnamese province of Quang Ngai and the Philippinesprovince of Palawan as well as boosting delegation exchanges in culture, education, economics and trade.
The PVFA also proposed establishing a cooperative relationship between Manila and Hanoi.
The delegation, in collaboration with a mission of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and fishing businesses, held working sessions with Philippine partners from Manila and General Santos city to boost the implementation of the fishing agreement between the two countries.
Tech, taxes keys to competitiveness
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday called on provinces and sectors to improve the business environment and strengthen the economy's ability to compete regionally.
Dung stressed that sectors and provinces must enhance their competitiveness by increasing technology use, and reforming administrative and tax procedures.
According to Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh, the business environment improved in 2014. Specifically, the registration time for business licences has been cut to three days, just half of the set goal of six days, while time spent on business initiation procedures was reduced from 34 days to 17 days.
The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) found in a study that Viet Nam reached the ASEAN-6 (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) average for its ability to protect investors, but it still lags behind the region's average for tax payment and social insurance reforms.
In 2014 and early 2015, the time required for paying taxes was reduced by 380 hours (from 537 hours per year to 157 hours per year) and is set to be cut by an additional 35.5 hours to meet the target set out in Resolution 19 on improving the country's business competition and environment.
The procedure for social insurance payments has been slashed by 100 hours (from 335 hours per year to 235 hours per year), which is still a long way from the target of 49.5 hours per year. The total time for tax and social insurance payments is expected to drop by 480 hours.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Electricity of Viet Nam have issued documents to reduce the time needed to access electricity, which has been cut from 115 days to 85 days and will undergo additional simplification to reach the resolution's goal of 70 days.
The Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs reviewed and adjusted policies to address customs procedures for cross-border trade transactions.
Yet Minister Vinh described this as the responsibility of not only the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs but also of related ministries and agencies.
Nguyen The Thao, chairman of the Ha Noi People's Committee, said at the meeting that Ha Noi already integrated Resolution 19 criteria into its socio-economic development. HCM City Chairman Le Hoang Quan also said his city's top priorities were improving business environment, tax reform, customs reform and social insurance. HCM City was set to hold a meeting today on the matter.
After hearing Vinh's report, Dung expressed his concern at the small number of sectors and provinces that had established plans for implementing Resolution 19. Just 12 sectors and 12 provinces had submitted plans so far.
"I want to remind everyone that we need to put all our resources into improving the business environment and cutting red tape," he said.
Dung said considering recently improved performance indexes, the 6.2-percent growth target is completely feasible.
He asked for the adoption of technological advances in public e-services and continuing administrative reform. In order to maintain current growth momentum, ministries, sectors and localities needed to fulfill their responsibilities to their best ability, he said.
The leader told officials to scrutinise existing problems and shortcomings, and find efficient solutions to push the resolution forward.
Without national competitiveness amidst a globally integrated landscape, fast and sustainable development is unachievable, he said, adding that macro-economic stability was the first priority. That stability could be achieved by closely monitoring capital and real estate markets.
Relevant units were also asked to keep track of negotiations for economic and trade deals that afforded the public and enterprises new opportunities. Easing hospital overcrowding was also identified as a key task.
Japanese agricultural technology comes to dragon fruit farmers
Vietnamese dragon fruit growers have had a chance to approach Japanese technology in agricultural production and farm produce preservation at a recent conference held in Binh Thuan Province.
The conference held by PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation in association with the Department of Science and Technology of Binh Thuan Province and Vietnam – Japan Business Club aims to help dragon fruit farmers to learn advanced techniques to improve the quality of their produce so as to meet export standards of demanding markets, such as: Japan, the US, and European countries.
The conference attracted more than 100 cooperatives, agricultural officials, and dragon fruit farmers in Binh Thuan Province.
Vietnamese drug addicts still high
The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime yesterday held a meeting to announce 2015 World Drug Report and Vietnam Drug Report.
For Vietnam, it was reported that heroin is still popularly used by most of drug addicts in addition to Methamphetamine. According to a report of  the Ministry of Public Security, by end of 2014, the country has 204, 377 drug addicts and the rate of people using heroin is 72 percent and synthetic drugs is 14.5 percent.
Noteworthy, it was reported in the meeting that the rate of drug addicts living with HIV decreased for years. However, drug addicts living with HIV have been seen most of corners of the country. Northern provinces of Thai Nguyen, Lai Chau, Quang Ninh, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have the highest rate of 32 percent, 27.7 percent, 22.4 percent, 24 percent and 18.2 percent respectively.
In addition, the number of drug addicts access to drug treatment is on upward trend across the country. By May, 2015, the country has 162 rehabilitation centers treating more than 29,000 drug addicts with Methadone in 44 cities and provinces.
As per the plan, the country will open 245 Methadone rehab centers to admit around 80,000 drug addicts to help those who have become addicted to or dependent on methadone stop use of the drug safely
Speaking at the meeting, head of UNODC in Vietnam Christopher Batt said that It was estimated that a total of 246 million people - slightly over 5 per cent of those aged 15 to 64 years worldwide used an illicit drug .
Worse, an estimated 1.65 million of people who inject drugs were living with HIV and men are three times more likely than women to use drugs, while women are more likely to use more pain killers and sedative drugs.
Six companies fined for violating food regulations
Six companies were fined a total of VND150 million (US$6,875) for violating regulations of advertising nutritional supplements, said head of Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) Nguyen Thanh Phong on June 28.
Along with the fine decisions, VFA asked the six companies to stop violations and remove illegal advertisements as well as correct false information.
The six violating companies have operated in production and trade of pharmacy and nutritional supplements. Four of them are located in Hanoi, one in northern province of Hung Yen and one in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pesticides pollute Nghe An
Nghe An Province has 913 areas polluted by abandoned pesticides that threaten the health of local residents.
The provincial People's Committee reported at a conference on environmental management last week that in the last five years, it had removed almost 500 tonnes of polluted soil from Vuc Rong, Hon Tro and Tan Phu. The Global Environment Fund has funded a programme to remove abandoned pesticides in Viet Nam since 2000.
There are over 1,500 spots polluted with abandoned pesticides across Viet Nam.
Con Dao plans to become spiritual, eco-tourism centre
Con Dao Island in the central province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau aims to become an international-standard spiritual and eco-tourism centre by 2030, according to a newly approved plan to develop the island.
Under the plan, the island will develop many areas, including Con Son Town, France Town in Con Son Town, a spiritual area, Ben Dam sea station, a natural beach, the Con Dao mountainous area and a system of small islands.
Tours connecting the main island to nearby sites and tours linking Con Dao Island to other provinces and cities will be organised.
Sitting 185 kilometres from Vung Tau city and 230 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City, Con Dao plays a significant role in socio-economic, defence and security development in the country’s southern seas and islands.
It is also home to important tangible and intangible national cultural heritages presenting substantial potential to develop various forms of tourism such as ecological and spiritual tourism.-
Kien Giang spends big on sea, island development
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has mobilised nearly 2.5 trillion VND (116.8 million USD) for socio-cultural development of its sea, island and coastal areas over the past five years.
Under the programme on marine economic development from 2011-2015, nearly 2.5 trillion VND (116 million USD) has been spent on infrastructure for the education and training sector, with 2,550 new classrooms built, thus putting an end to three-shift schools.
Training courses have been also conducted to improve staff capability and enhance education quality.
As many as 113 kindergartens and 516 schools have been opened, raising the rate of school attendance among the 6-14 age group to 96 percent across sea, island and border areas, said Nguyen Thi Minh Giang, Director of the provincial Department of Education and Training.
The Kien Giang University was established to ensure high quality human resources to fully tap the potential of the locality and the region for marine economic sectors such as fishing, aquaculture, aquatic product processing, marine tourism and transport.
Additionally, more than 422 billion VND (19.7 million USD) has been allocated for building healthcare centres in all communes and districts in remote areas. Health insurance services are also being offered at the facilities.
Some 60 percent of the communal healthcare centres in the province meet national standards, said Ha Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Health.
The Phu Quoc General Hospital has been equipped with hi-tech machines to treat complicated cases, and minimise moving patients to higher level hospitals and fatality rates.
A modern healthcare centre was built on 1,280 square metres in Tho Chau Island commune, Phu Quoc district with total investment of seven billion VND (327,000 USD). The facility has 26 rooms and hi-tech equipment.
Head of the centre Pham Thanh Cong highlighted the role of the facility in ensuring health for soldiers and residents on the island, especially when the locality is far from the mainland with only one ship arriving every week.
Another 100 billion VND (4.67 million USD) has been invested in the telecommunications network to ensure communication, national defence and security on the islands.
More than 43 billion VND (2 million USD) has been used to fund programmes on poverty reduction and job generation.
According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Khac Ghi, the province will continue its socio-economic development efforts in sea, island, and coastal areas in the next five years.
Conservation efforts in U Minh Ha National Park stepped up
The southernmost province of Ca Mau has introduced a number of measures to conserve and promote the value of the U Minh Ha National Park.
Accordingly, the province will restructure its administrative system, and devise new models for residential settlement. Reforestation plans and fire prevention plans will also be implemented.
Ca Mau province has also improved the park’s eco-tourism services in a bid to generate income and make the national park attractive to domestic and international tourists.
The cajuput forest covers a total area of 75,000 hectares, with 8,000 hectares of valuable primeval forest. The forest is a key habitat for wetland ecosystem species and others, with many of them listed in Vietnam’s Red Book, such as the king cobra or pangolin.
The park was recognized by UNESCO as one of the three core zones of the Ca Mau World Biosphere Reserve in June 2009.
The park not only preserves the entire ecological system of the cajuput forest, but also acts as an ecological tourism destination and a research site for domestic and international scientists.
Sediment management important for Mekong Delta’s natural resources
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in conjunction with the World Wide Fund for Nature in Vietnam held a workshop on June 26 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to raise public awareness of the importance of sediment for the delta’s natural resources.
According to scientists, the delta receives about 79 million tonnes of sediment every year.
However, the construction of hydropower plans and flood-proof facilities together with intensive exploitation of sand and pebbles, deforestation and waste dumping in water resources have hugely impacted sediment sources, experts said.
The declination in sediment quantity and quality has resulted in losses of 500 hectares of land and an additional 30-40 metres of coast every year. As many as 265 erosion sites are visible along 450km of riverbanks.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen cited the rapid development of hydropower resources and socio-economic infrastructure in Mekong sub-region countries as reasons behind degrading water quality, land erosion and biodiversity reductions.
The workshop created an opportunity for scientists to share experience in effectively managing natural resources and sediment in particular.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment called upon relevant departments, sectors and localities to promote awareness-raising campaigns on the significant role and sustainable management of sediment sources in the delta in combination with preserving and developing submerged areas and ecological services.
Experts suggested enhancing inter-provincial and international cooperation in the field and including sediment management in the national policy system while conducting in-depth research on sediment in the Mekong river and preventing illegal exploitation.
Elderly contribute to new rural development
In response to an emulation movement called “Old age – Bright example”, the elderly nationwide have encouraged their children, grandchildren, and other people, to contribute to the national new rural development program.
Thanks to their encouragement, a total of US$150 million and more than 5 million square meters of land have been donated to upgrade the local infrastructure and support social welfare in rural communities.
Born and raised in President Ho Chi Minh’s hometown, Tran That Cong of Kim Lien commune, Nam Dan district, Nghe An province, has always set an example for others with his moral lifestyle and active social work.
Acknowledging the slow pace of rural development, he and other local elders decided to encourage other people to support the national new rural development program as much as possible.
Thanks to their efforts, 2014 saw positive changes in Kim Lien’s infrastructure. Tran That Cong told VOV, "Actions speak louder than words. We elderly always take the lead in campaigns and movements and encourage other people to follow. For example, my family always comes first in contributing money to a program, although we are not rich. Other people can donate land for roads if they don’t have cash. It’s much easier for local people to get around on new big paved roads."
Elderly Phan At of Tinh Tra commune, Son Tinh district, Quang Ngai province, donated 2000 square meters of his farm land for community houses roads.
He said it’s important that everyone joins hands to make the national new rural development program a success.
"My family donated land to build schools and cultural houses for the public. We are glad we can contribute something to national construction and development. The new paved roads have helped reduce traffic accidents. That was a good deed we could do," At noted.
Cu Thi Hau, President of Vietnam’s Elderly Association, stressed, "We’ll try to improve the association’s activities to take better care of the elderly and encourage them to use their influence in the community, especially in new rural development. We plan to launch an action month for the elderly when they will be given free eye care and check-ups."

Film Screening “Il était une Forêt” by Luc Jacquet
Fri 10 Jul 2015, 8 pm
24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
You are invited to the film screening “Il était une Forêt” (France, 2013, 78 mins) directed by Luc Jacquet.
Luc Jacquet created the image and soundtrack to immerse viewers into an unknown but welcoming and exciting world.
For more information about synopsis, please see L’Espace website (in French) or refer to the Vietnamese version of this post.
Language: French with Vietnamese subtitle.
Ticket price: 50 000 VND
Special price for members of L’Espace and students: 40 000 VND
Tickets are available at L’Espace.
Acoustic Show with Indonesian grunge rocker Gede Robi
Thu 09 Jul 2015, 8 pm
73a Mai Hac De, Hanoi
Grunge rocker Gede Robi Supriyanto ventures to Vietnam for the first time. Lead guitarist and vocalist with top indie Indonesian band NAVICULA now stops off in Hanoi in his Vietnam tour!
Robi is traveling with Joe Cummings of Love Bone and Daniel Eiland, funk bassist. His aim is to share his grunge rock music whilst meeting and collaborating with local musicians.
“The collaboration between great musicians becomes a conversation that takes place between the artist and the audience. The energy goes both ways and it is in this space – created by sound – that the unraveling of boundaries takes place.”
This is the intention of the tour – to take some music, some musicians and ideas, and unravel some magic. The ultimate goal is to have a great deal of fun… Because, “If it is not fun, it is not rock and roll.”
Tickets: 50,000 VND at door
Contemporary Concert and Dance program at HCMC Opera House
Thu 09 Jul 2015, 8 pm
HCMC Opera House
No. 7 Lam Son Square, D.1, HCMC
You are invited to the contemporary concert and dance program at the HCMC Opera House.
Two new dance pieces titled “Vọng phu biển” – “Waiting for Husband on the Shore” choreographed by Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung will be featured in this program. The faithfulness of Vietnamese women in marriage is expressed in the most touching way through the image of the “Vong Phu” (“waiting for husband”) stone.
In addition, the program also introduces some contemporary music compositions by young talented musicians coached in professional environment of music: Nguyen Manh Duy Linh, Vu Viet Anh, Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, etc.
Ticket price: 550,000 – 400,000 – 350,000 – 200,000 – 80,000 VND (for students only)
Booking and delivery: 08 38237419, Ms. Huong: 0989874517, Ms. Huong Ly: 0908057972
Lecture & Talk: “Dolls, Dreams, and Drives: Sexual Subjectivity in the Films of Kim Kyung-Mook”
Thu 09 Jul 2015, 7 pm
Nha San Collective
2nd floor, 24 Ly Quoc Su, Hanoi
Queer Forever and Nhà Sàn Collective are excited to invite you to a lecture and talk with Prof. Earl Jackson, Jr.:
“Dolls, Dreams, and Drives:
Sexual Subjectivity in the Films of Kim Kyung-Mook.”
Earl Jackson, Jr.
National Chiao Tung University
Trans-Asian Screen Cultures Institute
Any description of the films of Kim Kyung-Mook must be immediately qualified. His films emanate from an unapologetically “gay” perspective, yet their significance extends beyond an identity politics. One of recurrent motifs in his films involve the attempt of a young gay man to find sexual and emotional fulfillment from an older married man only partially available. Yet the films are neither a lament nor a victimology. Instead, these situations contribute to a more extensive understanding of a sexual scenario as a structural disequilibrium. Furthermore, desire is not an urge to be quelled either by physiological satisfaction or the closure of a psychological narrative; instead, desire remains an open question – destabilizing in its constitutive effects and affects.
This paper will examine Kim’s films to draw out the inscription of sexual subjectivity and the self-constitution of the subject as object of the other’s desire. Although the primary focus is on male-male sexuality outside of an identity politics, the struggles for recognition within a given pairing as well as within a subject’s self-understanding illustrate viscerally that sexuality itself is inherently political – here in its adjudication of submission, dominance, accommodation and resistance.
Round-table Discussion: “Window – A strange Look on the Familiar Hanoi” by Ta Huy Long
Wed 08 Jul 2015, 6 pm
24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
You are invited to the round-table discussion entitled: “Window – A strange Look on the Familiar Hanoi”, with the participation of Ta Huy Long, illustrator and author of the book, and Nguyen Hoang Dieu Thuy, publisher.
“Window”, the latest work of Ta Huy Long – one of the leading comic illustrators in Viet Nam – tells the story of Hanoi some decades ago when Trang Tien Miscellaneous Goods Store was still open, electric trains still tinkled on the streets, and bicycle was the main transportation of Hanoians. The mischievous, ambiguous paintings which bear the metaphor of re-birth and life transformation, flashing by as fast as a dream in their busy lives will take the audience to a familiar, yet strange Hanoi as it was a few decades ago.
Language: Vietnamese
Free entry.
Classical Concert with Song Hong Chamber, Duo Mây, and Friends and the Red Steinway
Tue 07 Jul 2015, 8 pm
New concert hall
Vietnam National Academy of Music
You are invited to the classical concert with the participation of Song Hong Chamber, Duo Mây, Friends and the Red Steinway.
The young artists will perform compositions by J Haydn, W.A.Mozart, F Schubert, F.Chopin, A.Drovak and Dang Huu Phuc.
Ticket price: 100 000 VND, 200 000 VND
Contact for ticket sale: 090 323 0685/090 347 0179 or email
Concert – Conference “Guimet Museum or Vietnamese Cultural Presence in Paris
Tue 07 Jul 2015, 8 pm
Guimet museum (Musée Guimet) is home to the most beautiful collections of Asian art. For this special evening, Hubert Laot, Artistic Director of the Museum, will make a brief introduction about Vietnamese collections of the museum, and then focus on the recent exhibitions of Vietnamese arts and finally present the work done for recognition of Vietnamese arts scene.
In the second part of the evening, musician Huong Thanh will present traditional music of Vietnam, together with artists Thanh Binh, Cong Hung, Vu Ngoc and Thanh Ha as well as a duet with Jason Carter.
Ticket price: 160,000 VND
Special price for members of L’Espace and students: 80,000 VND
Tickets are available at L’Espace.
Singapore Food Festival 2015 in Hanoi
08 Jul – 02 Aug 2015
Oven D’Or restaurant, Sheraton Hanoi
Lane 1 Au Co, Tay Ho Dist, Hanoi
Come to Singapore food festival from July 8th to August 2nd, 2015. The food festival at will showcase Singapore’s famous cuisines and our unique food culture.
The organizer will contribute 30% of its ticket sales on opening night – July 8th – to one of charities of their choice named Hagar International Vietnam for supporting women and children who undergone human trafficking, sexual exploitation and domestic violence. Hagar’s sole ambition is to provide the clients with the tools to reclaim the life that was taken from them and enjoy the kind of happiness that so many of us take for granted.
The ticket price is 990,000 VND which includes buffet dinner, soft drinks and beers.
Please contact Ms. Hang via or 043.7282342 – ext. 0 to purchase tickets.
Film Screening “Les Vacances du Petit Nicolas” by Laurent Tirard
Sun 05 Jul 2015, 4 pm
24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
You are invited to the film screening “Nicholas on Holiday” (France, 2014, 97 mins) directed by Laurent Tirard.
The sequel to the 2009 film “Little Nicholas” – after the famous adventures of Nicholas. Repeatedly silly and extremely funny antics would make both children and adult laugh out loud.
For more information about synopsis, please see L’Espace website (in French) or refer to the Vietnamese version of this post.
Language: French with Vietnamese subtitle.
Ticket price: 50 000 VND
Special price for members of L’Espace and students: 40 000 VND
Tickets are available at L’Espace.
US Independence Day Picnic in Hanoi
Sat 04 Jul 2015, 4 pm
The American Club
19-21 Hai Ba Trung Sreet, Hanoi
From the organizer:
To celebrate US Independence Day:
Enjoy live music, circus, games and contests, lucky-draw, food, drinks, fun!
Featuring the BIGGEST and Best Lucky-Draw in Hanoi
Over 100 prizes will be given away for FREE!
Buy tickets at the AmCham Office – Call 04.3934 2790
Adult tickets: 500,000 VND
Children tickets: 250,000 VND
Children under 3: Free
Tickets include unlimited food and drinks!
Special Concert at Vietnam National Academy of Music

Major art & entertainment events in big cities from July 1-10.

Sat 04 Jul 2015, 8 pm
The Grand Concert Hall
Vietnam National Academy of Music
You are invited to a special concert at Vietnam National Academy of Music with:
Conductor: Tran Vuong Thach
Violoin Soloist: Tran Le Quang Tien
and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra
Felix Mendelssohn
– Violin Concerto in E minor, op.64
Antonin Dvorak
– Symphony No.7 in D major, op.60
Ticket prices: 200,000 – 350,000 – 500000 VND. All tickets available at Hanoi Opera House or can book online at
For free delivery Call: 0913489858, 0983067996.
Enjoy a part of the Violin Concerto in E minor by Felix Mendelssohn:
March 2015 also marks a lovely “mini concert” by students at the Jazz Department of Vietnam National Academy of Music and two renowned saxophonists from Denmark and Australia: Martin Jacobsen and Danny Healy.   
Vietnam National Academy of Music
77 Hao Nam Str., Dong Da Distr., Ha Noi
Solo Sculpture Exhibition “Invisible Movements” by Khong Do Tuyen
Opening: Fri 03 Jul 2015, 5.30 pm
Artist talk: Sun 05 Jul 2015, 3 pm
Exhibition: 03 – 10 Jul 2015
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Hanoi
To people who concern about contemporary sculpture in Vietnam, Khong Do Tuyen is a familiar name. His career starts very early in group exhibitions, workshops, local and international camps. It can be said that Tuyen is one of the mature sculptors of his generation.
Khong Do Tuyen uses several materials professionally, in which metal has been most frequently used, and steel seems to be the only type of metal able to express and fulfill his creative need. Khong Do Tuyen breathes life into steel.
Khong Do Tuyen made careful and serious decision about organizing the first solo sculpture exhibition. It’s hard to think of any other title that is more suitable than “Invisible Movements” for his “steel game” this time. A raging movement is hidden under the shapes, struggle, and pain of the heavy and cold steel…
Khong Do Tuyen also participated in the experimental contemporary sculpture project “NEW FORM” (2012-2014) and had his works exhibited in both phase 1 and phase 2 of the project.
Film Screening “Colt 45″ at L’Espace
Fri 03 Jul 2015, 8 pm
24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
You are invited to the film screening “Colt 45″ (France, 2014, 85 mins) directed by Fabrice Du Welz.
“A classic, dark and violent thriller, led by duo Lanvin – Joey Starr” – Le Dauphiné Libéré
For more information about synopsis, please see L’Espace website (in French) or refer to the Vietnamese version of this post.
Language: French with Vietnamese subtitle.
Ticket price: 50 000 VND
Special price for members of L’Espace and students: 40 000 VND
Tickets are available at L’Espace.
Round-table Discussion: “Prose is fast food?” at L’Espace
Wed 01 Jul 2015, 6 pm
24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội
You are invited to the round-table discussion entitled: “Prose is fast food?” with the participation of writer and painter Do Phan, Nguyen Truong Quy, moderator Pham Xuan Nguyen.
Today the prose stays at the heart of the Vietnamese literary creation. Its influence is real and therefore attracts authors in search of success. On the book market, the reader likes the prose, which deals with contemporary issues, usually short and lends itself to discussion on social networks. Does the prose become a fast consuming good?
Language: Vietnamese
Free entry.