Thứ Năm, 29 tháng 6, 2017

Vietnamese consumers among most demanding on e-commerce

Viet Nam’s e-commerce may be one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, but the country’s customers are also among the most demanding.
Viet Nam’s customers are among the most demanding on e-commerce. - Photo
Nielsen has forecast that the Vietnamese e-commerce market will grow 22 per cent this year and 13.2 per cent by 2020.
According to the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM), the local e-commerce sector will become a 10-billion-dollar business in the next five years.
However, local consumers are also demanding, with many complaints about price, product information and authorisation, which should be addressed by merchants to improve customers’ trust.
A research conducted by iPrice and Trusted Company based on more than 30,000 reviews on 5,000 websites in Viet Nam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines found that Vietnamese customers have the lowest trust on e-commerce and spend less money on shopping online.
Vietnamese customers complain the most about “fake products”, 15 per cent higher than Thailand, the country with the second maximum complaints, given that fact that Thailand ranked 4th worldwide in the fake goods trade.
The second maximum complaints on e-commerce sites by Vietnamese customers are about the price of products. Despite being an aggressive promotion hunter, the Vietnamese still think products listed by e-commerce merchants are overpriced.
Given that 80 per cent of consumers prefer cash on delivery (COD) payment, the country also has the highest order cancellation rate, with 30 per cent of products not being accepted due to product failure, the research said.
Unlike consumers in other Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Indonesia that have shared concerns on buying products, the most common queries of the Vietnamese are on product authorisation (store address) and availability. They are revealed to often use feedback forms to ask about products.
Of all Southeast Asian countries, Viet Nam has an average rating of 3.7 out of five stars, the research has revealed. This is due to the fact that only large merchants have developed a rating scheme for a better shopping experience for consumers.
Hanoians support proposal to limit personal vehicles on roads

 HÀ NỘI - Around 84 per cent of residents of the capital city approve of the proposal to limit the use of personal vehicles so as to ease traffic jams, according to a recent survey.

A traffic jam at the Ô Đông Mác-Nguyễn Khoái intersection near Ring Road 1 in the capital city’s Hai Bà Trưng District. - VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyết

The suvey, jointly conducted by municipal People’s Commitee and the city’s police, asked Hanoians their opinions on the city’s policy to improve traffic management. It was done across 30 districts and covered about 15,300 households.
Survey results show that 84 per cent of respondents in the inner city and 85.1 per cent of those in the outer city (Ring Road 3 area) believe that limiting the number of personal vehicles is a good plan.
An overwhelming 90.3 per cent of those surveyed agree to the proposal of stopping motorbikes and limiting the use of personal vehicles, provided that public transport is able to meet people’s demands.
Another 72 per cent support the suggestion that school hours and work hours should be adjusted to reduce traffic congestion.
After studying road traffic management in a number of European and Asian cities, the Hà Nội People’s Committee has decided that it is pivotal to develop a strong public transport system and provide citizens with support to use these systems, if they want to limit the use of personal vehicles.
Administrative measures such as collecting parking fees during peak hours in the inner city, and increasing parking rates will also act as deterrents and limit the use of personal vehicles.
Hà Nội is developing a public transport system, which by 2020 will be able to serve the needs of 30 to 35 per cent of citizens in the inner city and of 15 per cent of citizens in satellite cities. By 2030, it will be able to serve the demands of 50 to 55 per cent of people in the inner city and of 40 per cent in the satellite cities.
The city is also planning to confiscate second-hand motorbikes that fail to meet safety requirements. Technology is being utilised for traffic management, and citizens are being encouraged to walk or use public transport and bicycles, where possible. - VNS
Locals team up against sand thieves in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Residents on an islet in Ben Tre Province, located in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, are taking a stand against sand thieves.

Residents on Doi Islet, located in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, approach a boat of sand thieves.

The illegal exploitation of sand along the Tien (Front) River has been the main cause of subsidence and house collapse in Con Doi (Doi Islet) in Tan Phu Commune, Chau Thanh District, but locals have finally had enough.
Residents of the area have begun patrolling it to protect their home, despite threats from sand thieves.
Thanks to their bravery, and the aid of patrol units from the Tan Phu People’s Committee, the situation has gradually started to improve.
The effort first started when Nguyen Van Lai and his neighbor decided to confront a group of sand thieves last year, following several failed attempts to stop them with words.
Lai and his friend rowed a raft toward the exploitation site and managed to board the looters' vessel before being forced overboard by water hoses.
“Luckily we both knew how to swim, otherwise it could have been fatal,” Lai stated.
After the confrontation, Lai and other residents on the islet agreed that stern measures must be used to deal with the outlaws.
The residents quickly established a team of ‘sand protectors’ and installed Lai as the leader.
Ho Thi Be, a 67-year-old local, recounted an incident of a few months ago when she used a slingshot to shoot down lights on a sand thef boat, scaring the group away.
Despite being the eldest member of the team, Be does not hesitate when it is time to hop on a boat to battle the thieves.
“The thieves are very stubborn and aggressive. I can’t just stand and watch my teammates risk their safety to fight,” Be said.

Local residents carry out a patrol along a section of the Tien River passing Con Doi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

When local boat owners were threatened by the bandits for lending their rafts to the patrollers, the team members put their earnings together to buy their own boat for VND16 million (US$707).
“Each time they carry out the illegal exploitation, a piece of land on the islet is at a high risk of subsidence. We will fight till the end to stop the crime,” Lai asserted.
Sitting in a new house about 50 meters from the riverbank, Dao Thi Hong Thu, 53, pointed to a section of the Tien River, stating that it was previously a plot passed down to her by her father.
The excessive sand exploitation in recent years has caused the land to subside, Thu said, adding that she had to build a new house further ashore to prevent it from collapsing into the water.
Nguyen Van Phong, another resident, stated he, his wife, and their children had to leave their house after part of it fell into the river.
According to Lai, most people living along the riverbank in Con Doi have lost their land to subsidence in the past five years.
“I have also lost several thousands of square meters of land to the water,” Lai added.
“That is why our patrol team has been supported by residents on the islet,” he explained.
According to Be, the possible revenge from the sand thieves is no longer a fear.
“It is us who they should be afraid of,” she stressed.
Local officials use dead people to scam state money

Local authorities in Ha Ninh Commune, Thanh Hoa Province have been denounced for including dead people in their list of participants to receive state funds.   

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The locals said there were signatures of dead people
According to the locals, it was ịn June that some communal officials and people from the Agriculture Services Cooperative created a fake list and documents of over 100 residents in Village 3 to funnel more state funding in for fertilisers, pesticides and training for new harvester model.
They even included dead people in the list.
50-year-old Nguyen Thi Loi, said her mother had died in 2015 but was still included in the list with a fake signature. 
Loi said her family wasn't given the allowance. Tran Thi Net also said her husband died in 2013 but his name was still on the list.
The locals then reported the case to the authorities of Ha Ninh Commune and Ha Trung District but nothing was done. They continued to report to higher authorities and the media for an investigation.
Nguyen Xuan Quy, chairman of Ha Ninh Commune said the commune was selected for the large field model system and was given VND140m (USD6,100). 
About VND75m of which was allocated to buy combine harvesters and VND9.3m was for building a management system. VND55.7m was to support the farmers with fertilisers, pesticides and the training to use new harvesters.
Quy said he had failed to properly oversee the Agriculture Services Co-operative list and had it approved. He said they had reported the information to the district authorities and were waiting for directives.
Phung Thi Hien, an accountant of the Agriculture Services Co-operative admitted she was ordered to create the list of 120 households in Village 3 and then asked neighbours to give fake signatures for the dead. 
Hien said the VND55.7m (USD2,400) fund had been transferred to the co-operative's account.
However, Le Van Thanh, head of the co-operative said it was the accountant that made the list and asked other people to fake the signatures.
Mystery company may continue gobbling up failing steel giant

Over the last few months, Thai Hung Trading Joint Stock Company (Thai Hung) repeatedly purchased huge numbers of Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Corporation’s stocks (Tisco—Ticker TIS on HoSE, HNX, and UPCoM), and it is rumoured that it will continue expanding its ownership in Tisco.

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Unclear future
Vietnam Steel Corporation (VnSteel) is now the biggest shareholder of Tisco, with 42.11 per cent. The second biggest one is Thai Hung, with 20 per cent. However, over the last few months, Thai Hung repeatedly raised its stakes in Tisco.
In particular, at the end of April 2017, Thai Hung completed the purchase of 17,817,900 TIS shares from State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) at the price of VND11,216 ($0.5) per share, and an additional 290,000 shares from the stock exchange. Thus, Thai Hung’s stake in Tisco increased from 14.2 million shares (7.72 per cent) to 32.3 million shares (17.55 per cent).
A few days ago, at the beginning of May 2017, Thai Hung purchased 4.5 million more shares, increasing its holdings to 36.8 million shares, an equivalent of 20 per cent stake in Tisco.
However, it seems that Thai Hung is not satisfied with its current position. Thai Hung is planning to purchase more stocks from the number one giant of the Vietnamese steel industry, VnSteel.
Nguyen Tong Thang, marketing director of Thai Hung, said that currently, the company cannot give a definitive answer to whether it would purchase TIS shares from VnSteel. Regarding VnSteel, a representative said that it is waiting for guidance from the government agency in charge of this matter.
Previously, at the 2017 annual shareholders’ meeting, Tisco passed an important document that gives investors the right to not publicise their purchases of TIS shares from shareholders who own at least 25 per cent and have voting rights. Therefore, any investor can raise its ownership in Tisco without the complex procedures of public purchase, which attracted heavy attention. Notably, as a representative of the state capital in Tisco and also the biggest shareholder, VnSteel voted in favour of this document.
Tisco also had some changes in human resources recently.
Particularly, at the beginning of May 2017, Tran Anh Dung was elected for the position of control chief to replace Tran Man Huu. At the middle of May 2017, Thai Hung dismissed three board members, including Nguyen Quoc Huy (former board chairman), Vu Hoang Long, and Nguyen Tien Dung (former deputy general director).
Thai Hung, an emerging giant in the steel industry
Thai Hung is an emerging name in the Vietnamese steel industry. It used to be a private enterprise in Thai Nguyen province. The company’s main activities are manufacturing construction steel and other products related to steel and iron, forestry business, transport, hotel, restaurant services, and so on.
At present, this enterprise has VND1 trillion ($44 million) of chartered capital and its annual revenue is about VND15-18 trillion ($600-720 million). In 2017, Thai Hung targets to generate about VND15.5-16 trillion ($620-640 million) in revenue, and VND320 billion ($12.8 million) in after-tax profit.
Before purchasing TIS, in November 2016, Thai Hung came to control another steel giant called Vietnam-Italy Steel Joint Stock Company (VIS—ticker VIS on HoSE). In August 2016, when Song Da Corporation divested from VIS, Thai Hung purchased the entire divested amount, as well as a huge number of VIS stocks from the market at the same time.
In particular, in November 2016, Thai Hung purchased an additional 12.8 million VIS stocks, an equivalent of 25.99 per cent stake, thus increasing its total stakes in VIS to 50.98 per cent. In April 2017, Thai Hung released its plan of purchasing 14.22 per cent more of VIS. If this plan is implemented, Thai Hung will hold more than 75 per cent of VIS.
About ten years ago, Tisco signed a contract with Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), making MCC the main EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contractor for the second phase of Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel plant, with a total investment of over VND3.8 trillion ($152 million).
The project was implemented in 2007, but it was delayed due to the financial crisis. In 2009, it was resumed, but the total capital needed has increased to over VND8.1 trillion ($324 million), making it difficult for Tisco to collect the funds.
In July 2012, the project was delayed again, because MCC withdrew to China, leaving behind the unfinished project. Since then the project has been left abandoned for five years now.
According to a report, the main reasons behind the capital shortage was the increased costs for part C (construction and installation), which was assigned to Vietnamese contractor Vietnam Industrial Construction Corporation (Vinaincon), while the capital of parts E and P (electro and mechanics), assigned to MCC, stayed in line with the contract.
The second phase of the expansion of Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel plant is one of the twelve heavy loss-making projects of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Wrong recruitment, appointment of officials found: home affairs ministry

Recent personnel recruitment and appointment wrongdoings discovered by inspectors have raised public concern and eroded people’s trust in State public services, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said during a press conference on Tuesday, the Vietnam News Agency’s reported.

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Illustration by the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper features the reality that a State official might help promote his/her family members or relatives to a leadership position.
Following news reports by local media, the ministry inspected public services in 11 localities nationwide, including Ha Giang, Ha Son Commune in Nghe An Province, A Luoi District in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Buon Don District in Dak Lak Province, Binh Dinh Province, Phong Dien District in Can Tho City, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province’s Tax Department under the Ministry of Finance’s Tax General Department, Yen Bai Province, Centre of Forensic Science under Da Nang City’s health department, An Duong District in Hai Phong City and Kim Thanh District in Hai Duong Province.
MHA spokesperson Nguyen Tien Thanh said MHA inspectors detected wrongdoings in the recruitment and appointment of State officials, adding that the number of deputies in some agencies and units exceeded the number required.
“For example, Thanh Hoa Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment has eight deputies; the Binh Dinh Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment has six deputies; 44 out of 46 officials in the Hai Duong Province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs work as deputies whereas the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Thai Nguyen Province has an extra of 23 deputies,” he said.
“The ministry has reported to competent authorities and recommended ways to overcome and deal with shortcomings and bad practices involving the recruitment and appointment of State employees and officials,” said Thanh
Following these developments, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has required localities to readjust cadre work to ensure a precise number of deputies as regulated. He also called for proper, by-the-book handling of organisations and individuals that commit wrongdoings.
To increase the number of inspections, the Government Inspectorate has agreed with MHA’s proposals to jointly inspect the cadre work including the recruitment and appointment of officials.
Accordingly, the two agencies will strengthen inspections in 63 provinces and Central cities and assign ministries and localities to carry out inspections in at least 30 per cent of bodies under their management in 2017 and beyond.
Truong Hai Long, Deputy Head of MHA’s Department of Civil Servants, said that the Prime Minister requested that there should be no agencies having an excessive number of deputies as stipulated by Friday.
MHA deputy minister Nguyen Duy Thang said the ministry would work with ministries and localities to fix the shortcomings. Violations would be dealt with in line with the law.
In response to a question by the media concerning the appointment of the Director of Yen Bai Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Sy Quy, MHA’s Deputy Chief Inspector said “inspectors discovered out that Quy did not hold a certificate required for department-level leadership.”
“However, later on he attended a State management training programme as assigned by local competent authorities and got a certificate of ’main professional’, which means he was already qualified.”

Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 6, 2017

 HCM City launches digital traffic app

Commuters can now plan their routes to avoid getting stuck in HCM City’s congestion hotspots as the city’s Transport Department has announced the launch of a digital traffic app aimed at informing commuters of traffic congestion.

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Home page of the digital traffic app which aims to inform commuters of traffic congestion in HCM City. Photo
The move aims to curb the worsening traffic congestion in the southern metropolis.
To access the free-of-charge app, users can visit on their computers or smart phones or download the ‘TTGT Tp. Ho Chi Minh’ app on Android smart phones.
According to Tran Quang Lam, deputy director of the city’s Transport Department, the website, which is designed with four key functions, operate using data collected from the city’s traffic cameras and other sources.
The app provides recommendations for the most appropriate route for commuters to reach their destination, helping them to avoid certain streets with serious gridlock or where accidents have happened.
The application updates its users on traffic situations at specific times, including the volume of traffic, speed of vehicles, and traffic flow images at congested hotspots across the city (by more than 300 cameras operated by the department).
The app also provides other useful information on streets such as the allowed speed of vehicles on specific streets, parking locations, streets which allow parking with fees and public restrooms.
During the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, which begins this week, citizens will also be informed where local festivals are organised.
The website is equipped with a tool to receive feedback or reports from the city’s residents on any issues regarding road infrastructure.
The digital map will be accessible 24/7, according to Lam.
Le Van Khoa, vice chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, highly appreciated the transport department’s efforts in applying IT in curbing traffic congestion, contributing to building a smart city.
Traffic congestion has become one of the most serious problems in the country’s large cities like HCM City and Ha Noi.
With a population of more than 10 million, HCM City is seeking drastic measures to tackle traffic jams, especially during peak hours.
The city is considering making some major streets become one-way streets, building elevated roads and even banning private vehicles from downtown areas to ease congestion.
Nearly 9 million motorbikes are currently running on more than 4,000 kilometres of roads in HCM City, not to mention private cars and bicycles.
Nearly 4,200 new cars and 9,000 new motorbikes are registered every month, while public transport is limited to only buses. 
Social News 28/6

Binh Thuan forbids state staffs to use social networks at work

Binh Thuan forbids state staffs to use social networks at work, German university aids climate change adaptation in Hue, Quang Tri to complete compensation for marine incident in June

State agency employees in the central province of Binh Thuan are not allowed to use social network while working at their office.

Chairman of People’s Committee in Binh Thuan Province Nguyen Ngoc Hai yesterday sent a document to leaders of agencies and departments in the province ordering managers must re-arrange working behaviors of all state staff.

In the document, it said that state employees are not allowed to use social network (facebook) in office hours as well as release comments, information which invade others’ personal lives. In addition, employees are banned to publicize indecent photos.

Information for farmers

Local farmers’ achievements are undeniable. Vietnam has gained reputation worldwide, taking top positions among the world’s leading exporters for numerous types of farm produce ranging from rice, coffee, cashew and pepper to shrimp, tra fish and some other seafood. But farmers are not gaining the good fruit.

Sadly enough, farmers for the most parts are still grappling with difficulties, as millions of them have incurred huge losses in relentless “boom and bust” cycles. Numerous rescue programs have been initiated of late to call for efforts from the society to help farmers overcome their hardships.

Live pig prices, for example, have stayed at around VND25,000 a kilo for months on end, a sharp plunge from around VND50,000 a kilo a year earlier, and the same picture is seen for many other types like chickens and eggs and crocodiles. Similar outcries are also heard from farmers growing dragon fruit, watermelon, banana, and dozens of other agricultural products.

Why does the picture still depict gloomy dabs instead of bright shades despite the aforesaid achievements? This question has been repeatedly asked, one year after another, but it seems no one has worked laboriously enough to give a right answer.

Farmers, in pursuing profits, are all ears at news that a certain product brings better profit, and then are ready to empty their pockets into rearing that certain animal or planting that certain crop. Upon gaining a decent profit, they will expand farming without knowing whether such farm produce output has doubled or even tripled while the market has become saturated. After the booming comes the busting, and battered by huge losses, farmers will usually shift to another animal or a new plant in the same way, and the same cycle begins.

The key problem is that farmers are not kept updated on market developments. If pig farmers had learned with reliable data that the market glut was looming large, perhaps they would have not taken such risks; if pepper farmers had known for sure that the global pepper market was reaching the saturation point – forcing prices down from VND200,000 a kilo last year to a mere VND70,000 now – they would have probably thought twice before chopping down their coffee plants for this spice.

Apparently they need reliable information.

State agencies cannot dictate what farmers should do, but they can give advice and good information so that farmers can rely on to make well-informed decisions. Information must be easily accessed so that farmers can instantly learn of market demand each year through statistical reports and get updated on the number of pigs or dairy cows being reared in comparison with output in recent years. Farmers should also be informed of market trends locally, regionally and globally, and all possible predictions on supplies and demands. They need to be kept abreast of market changes.

And, among training programs for farmers, there should be special programs to show them how to access information.

German university aids climate change adaptation in Hue

The Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences under the German University of Postdam has sponsored 85,545 USD for a flood resilience project in the central city of Hue.

Key activities of the project include suggesting pilot investment to improve the drainage system and natural water reserves, boosting women’s role in flood management and training students at the Hue University of Sciences on natural disaster prevention.

Chairman of the Thua Thien – Hue People’s Committee Nguyen Van Cao said flooding is increasing in Hue City due to climate change.

He noted urbanisation is also a problem, as cement surfaces prevent water absorbtion and increase flooding risks for lower areas with weak drainage facilities.

Hue City is 20km from the coast, so faces storms and rising seawaters.

NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan meets Can Tho constituents

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan met constituents in Cai Rang and Phong Dien districts, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on June 27 to inform them about outcomes of the recently-ended third session of the 14th legislature.

Constituents raised more than 30 opinions regarding site clearance and compensation for displaced residents, employment, rural infrastructure, health insurance and vocational training, which were answered by local authorities.

On suggestions about site clearance and compensation, Ngan asked the municipal authorities to protect people’s interests in the spirit of placing their interests above others and in line with the Law on Land while seeking solutions to harmonising interests of parties concerned.

Sharing with concerns over food security in face of site clearance for industrial zone and urban development, she said as part of the agricultural restructuring plan, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has zoned off rice cultivation acreage to ensure national food security. The NA also issued a Resolution to guarantee 3.8 million ha of rice farming.

She also explained regulations on lending for hi-tech production, saying that incentives are provided for projects with outcomes certified by local authorities.

The top legislator also answered questions regarding effective exploitation of Can Tho airport, expansion of international Tan Son Nhat airport, construction of Long Thanh airport, and management of information on the social media.

On the occasion, she also visited and presented gifts to several policy beneficiaries in Can Tho city and Phong Dien district.

Quang Tri to complete compensation for marine incident in June

The central province of Quang Tri is working to complete the distribution of a compensation batch for local victims of last year’s marine environment incident within June.

So far Quang Tri authorities have allocated to local administrations more than 679 billion VND (29.87 million USD) for the compensation.

To date, over 618 billion VND (27.19 million USD) of the sum have been disbursed.

Nguyen Duc Chinh, Chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee, urged local agencies of different levels to speed up the progress for completion on June 30.

Fishery activities and tourism across 16 coastal communes in the four districts of Vinh Linh, Gio Linh, Trieu Phong and Hai Lang have so far recorded good recovery.

Four central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue were affected by a marine environment incident that caused mass fish deaths last year. The pollution affected more than 260,000 people who earn their living from the sea.

In late June 2016, Taiwanese-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company admitted responsibility for the incident and pledged 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) in compensation.

Thanh Hoa busts heroin traffickers from Laos

Police in the north central province of Thanh Hoa has arrested three people for smuggling heroin from Laos to Vietnam.

The three residents of Muong Ly commune, Muong Lat district, were caught red-handed transporting three bricks of heroin was arrested on June 26 in Trung Son commune, Quan Hoa mountainous district.

The police seized three bricks of heroin and other objects relating to drug trafficking.

The men confessed that they purchased the drug in Laos and brought it to Thanh Hoa to sell.

More investigation is underway.

Vietnam updates contribution to Paris agreement implementation

Workshop on the review and update of Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as part of the implementation of the Paris Agreement was held on June 28 in Hanoi.

The workshop was held by  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the German Development Cooperation GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

Participants include members of the Steering Committee for the Implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement; members of Vietnam Panel on Climate Change; representatives of ministries, development partners, embassies, enterprises, national and international scientists and media.

Speaking at the workshop, First Counselor of the German Embassy Martin Hoppe emphasized that he highly appreciates the attempt of the Government of Vietnam to update the NDC and start this process very timely.

The historic Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, is the first legally binding document that formalizes the responsibilities and commitments – through NDCs – of Parties in the global response to climate change. Under the Agreement, countries are expected to submit updated NDCs every five years, defining their commitments in order to contribute to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C, pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C, and achieving net zero emissions by the second half of this century.

In recognition of the importance of Vietnam’s NDC implementation, the Prime Minister, in Official Dispatch No. 199 / TTg-QHQT dated 8 February 2017 and at the 8th meeting session of the National Committee on Climate Change on 18 May 2017, assigned MONRE to cooperate with other ministries, sectors and stakeholders to review and update Vietnam’s NDC.

The workshop aims to build a consultative NDC review process on the content, roadmap and roles of key stakeholders in reviewing and updating the NDC from now to 2020.

Through this, Vietnam aims to apply a holistic approach in reviewing commitments from each sector as well as to evaluate its related impacts to the economy as a whole. The process will also explore opportunities to identify synergies and co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation measures across sectors, which is key to ensure ambitious and effective climate actions in Vietnam.

“NDC is a national contribution, and requires careful consideration by all major contributors and ensures transparency in the process of implementation.

vietnam updates contribution to paris agreement implementation hinh 1 The stakeholders should understand what their contributions are; what to prepare to implement; what responsibilities they need to do after NDC is approved,” said Vice Minister Vo Tuan Nhan.

He also called for close cooperation and support from all ministries, local agencies, development partners and other related stakeholders to this important process of reviewing and updating NDC, which will complete by 2020 before COP 26.

Toyota Vietnam starts football camp for kids

Thirty best young players will take part in the Toyota Junior Football Clinic & Camp 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City from July 30 to August 6.

They were selected after four qualifying rounds in HCM City, Danang, ThanhHoa and Hanoi. The list of the young footballers is updated on website or Facebook

toyota vietnam starts football camp for kids hinh 1 After the training, 18 best footballers will be chosen for a Japan trip on August 23 – 29. During the trip, they will take part in the Toyota Junior Football Cup with Toyota teams from Thailand and Japan, visit famous tourist attractions in the sunrise country and study its special and unique culture.

This year, Toyota Vietnam also offers scholarships to five outstanding young footballers. They will join a training course provided by football clubs in four big cities in Vietnam for one year. The move aims to nurture and develop talented future footballers.

Activities highlight Central Highlands' culture

A wide variety of activities will be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Dong Mo, Son Tay district, Hanoi throughout the entire month of July to introduce the unique cultural identities of the ethnic minority groups from the Central Highlands region.

The highlight of the programme will be an arts exchange programme featuring folk songs and dances performed by ethnic minority people who are living at the village as well as songs praising the beauty of the Central Highlands region.

In addition, activities displaying and introducing Central Highland traditional musical instruments, including gongs, T’rung and K’rong put (local traditional bamboo xylophones), will be expected to attract a large number of visitors.

A training course will be organised at the Khmer people’s pagoda, offering an opportunity for children to play as well as learn about beautiful things in life, filial piety and human virtue.

A requiem for martyrs who sacrificed their lives for national independence and freedom will also be held at the village, as part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of War Invalids' and Martyrs' Day (July 27, 1947-2017).

The daily life and the process of making traditional handicrafts of ethnic minority groups, including Tay, Muong, Dao, Kho Mu, Ta Oi, E De and Khmer, will be reproduced during the month, highlighting the unique cultural identities of the region.

Visitors will also have a chance to enjoy traditional cuisine and folk art as well as join folk games of ethnic minorities.

On the occasion, 21 sovereignty rocks and a photo exhibition will be displayed to affirm Vietnam’s dominion over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spartly) archipelagos. In addition, a photo exhibition will be held featuring the beauty of the Central Highlands.

Project helps disabled children in Quang Binh

Over 650 children with disabilities have had access to early detection, intervention and inclusive education services during a three-year project in central Quang Binh province.

These children, who are at kindergarten and primary school ages, were helped to integrate into society and unblock their potentials, according to a workshop to review the results of the project “Early Identification and Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Quang Binh province” in the locality on June 27.

The project was carried out in nine communes of Le Thuy and Quang Trach districts and Dong Hoi city under the joint effort of Switzerland-based Caritas and the provincial People’s Committee.

Launched in September 2014, the project has achieved positive results in all three components – healthcare, education and community’s awareness improvement.

It has not only given rehabilitation equipment, wheelchairs, and hearing aids to children with disabilities but also provided training for medical workers and teachers.

The project’s management board took the occasion to honour six organisations for their contributions to the project.-

Tourist arrivals to Khanh Hoa rise by 22 percent

The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa welcomed more than 2.6 million tourists in the first half of 2017, up 22 percent from the same period last year, earning more than 7.5 trillion VND (330 million USD) in revenue.

International arrivals rose by 180 percent year-on-year to 949,000 and average length of stay also increased by 90 percent to 3.3 days.

The number of foreign visitors from China and Russian jumped by 263 percent and 248 percent, respectively, while tourists from Japan, the US, the UK, Canada, France and German decreased.

Khanh Hoa and its resort city Nha Trang are among the country’s most popular destinations thanks to beautiful beaches and islands alongside friendly locals, the safe environment and affordable prices.

This year, the province hosted several international and national events, notably the first 2017 APEC Senior Officials Meeting, Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Beach Festival and the Ponagar Temple Festival.

According to the People’s Committee of Khanh Hoa, the locality is working to improve local services by upgrading infrastructures and adding more tourism products.

Dak Nong: More than 2.2 trillion VND for power grid development

The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong will spend more than 2.2 trillion VND (96.8 million USD) to upgrade the provincial power transmission grid under the local power development plan until 2025.

The money will come from the power sector, the state budget, the provincial budget and from organisations and individuals.

By the end of 2025, the province aims to build nearly 650 medium-voltage transmission lines and more than 1,400 kilometres of low-voltage transmission lines.

Some 1,000 medium-voltage power stations with total capacity of 130,000 kVA will be constructed while 660 hectares will be used to construct power facilities in the next eight years.

Dak Nong province is a sparsely populated locality with poorer infrastructure than other localities in the region.

Socio-economic development has driven demand for power in the locality, particularly in urban areas and large industrial zones. In addition, expanding the power grid system to remote locations inhabited by ethnic minority groups will help ensure economic development and national security.

Long An sets aside nearly 750 million USD for water work construction

The Mekong Delta province of Long An plans to invest more than 17 trillion VND (748 million USD) by 2030, or some 1.21 trillion VND (53.2 million USD) each year on average, to construct water works to supply clean water to the localit’s entire 1.5 million population.

The investment will be sourced from the State budget, official development assistance (ODA) and other foreign-funded capital as well as private firms.

The province will build 35 water works in 15 districts, towns and Tan An city at a total cost of about 13 trillion VND, along with 200 rural water plants at more than 4 trillion VND.

As part of efforts to provide clean water to all locals by 2030, Long An will encourage the private sector to invest in the water supply by providing them with preferential policies.

Long An will allow the use of natural rivers for plants using surface water, while helping investors exploit underground water. The province will also support enterprises in land use and capital access.

Currently, about 20 percent of people in Long An have accessed clean water. The province has been allocated about 200 billion VND each year for water work construction, while private firms have invested about 100 billion each year to the water supply sector, mostly in Can Duoc and Can Giuoc rural districts.

Soc Trang inaugurates hi-tech water supply station

The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang inaugurated its modern water supply station on June 26.

The station cost to build 5.9 billion VND (about 259,630 USD). Of which, three billion VND (132,000 USD) was sourced from the Central Vietnam Disaster Prevention Support Fund and the rest was from the local budget and social resources.

The station has an operational capacity of 240 cubic metres daily. With a 7,400 metres long pipeline, it will provide clean water to 410 households in Tong Cang hamlet, Tran De district. To date, 173 household have access to clean water from the station.

Tran De district of Soc Trang was among localities hit hardest by drought and saline intrusion in 2016.

The station is the first in Soc Trang province to apply reverse osmosis technology which uses saltwater to produce clean water meeting Health Ministry standards.

Le Van Hieu, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee stressed the water station is expected to meet demand of people living in dry localities, contributing to building new style rural areas.

World Anti-Drug Day marked in Vietnam

Activities to mobilize the public to help drug-rehabilitated people re-integrate into the community are underway across Vietnam to mark World Anti-Drugs Day, June 26.

Vietnam’s National Anti-Drug Day is also observed on this occasion.

Da Nang city has introduced drug rehabilitation model which involves support from the community and families of drug addicts.

After one year of implementing the model, more than 300 drug users have re-integrated into the community.

Ms Nguyen Thi Thuan, Head of the Hoa Hai Communal Women's Association in Da Nang, said, “There are certain difficulties because drug addicts tend to be reckless. We should sympathize with them to change them.”

The B93 post-rehabilitation club in Mai Dich ward, Hanoi, was set up in 2005.

It helps drug addicts give up drugs and create a good environment for them. The club also helps them get loans to start a business.

Le Minh Xu, Head of the Club, said, “Most of the club members are poor. We asked the communal administration to loan them money to do business. In the beginning, many families hesitated to meet us to talk about their problems. I just want to help them.”

Ba Ria Vung Tau province has approved a project to provide free consultancy and treatment for drug addicts.

Other localities have continued mobilizing resources to help drug users rehabilitate themselves and reintegrate into the community.

Vietnam women footballers rise in world ranking

Vietnam women’s national football team moved up one spot to finish No 32 with 1644 points in the world ranking for the second quarter of 2017.

Vietnam ranks 7th in Asia, followed by Japan, Australia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.

The team is currently in training in Hanoi to prepare for the upcoming SEA Games 29 in Malaysia.

Globally, the US ranks 1st in the list, followed by Germany in second place and France in third position.

Undersea internet cable out of action for another three weeks

International internet connections in Vietnam are likely to remain slow for another three weeks with repair work to a major internet cable which broke off central Vietnam last week expected to take until July 14, a service provider said.

The source told Vietnam News Agency that repair work on the Asia Pacific Gateway won't start until July 3 and is expected to take 10 days. The cable should be fully reconnected by July 14, depending on the extent of the problem, said the representative.

The cable snapped on Tuesday afternoon about 125 kilometers off the coast of Da Nang.

Service providers such as Viettel and VNPT said they have prepared contingency routes to minimize downtime.

No announcement on the cause of the problem has been made.

The cable was officially launched on January 3, but was quickly hit by a technical problem that took two weeks to fix.

The cable cost US$450 million and has a capacity of more than 54 Tbps, promising to double internet speeds in Vietnam and ease reliance on the notorious Asia America Gateway, which has ruptured or been shut down for maintenance on numerous occasions since 2011.

The new system took four years to build, and links Japan with Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Nearly 49 million people in Vietnam, or more than half of the country’s population, are online.

World leading orthopaedic expert transfers technologies to Hanoi’s hospital

Well-known US paediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Stuart L. Weinstein, has conducted free consultations and screenings for children with scoliosis at the Hanoi-based Vietnam-Germany Friendship Hospital.

At the same time, Prof. Stuart Weinstein, who is former president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and head of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department under the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, also briefed Vietnamese doctors on the latest knowledge in relation to paediatric chiropractic treatment.

According to Dr Dinh Ngoc Son, head of the Spinal Surgery Department of Hanoi hospital, if spinal diseases are not promptly treated, patients are more susceptible to serious damage or injury, resulting in severe consequences such as paralysis of the limbs or the whole body, causing a major disadvantage to their lives and making a burden for their families and society.

For that reason, examination and treatment is very important as the rate of children with scoliosis in Vietnam is quite high.

In cooperation between the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons with Vietnam Orthopaedic Association and the Vietnam-Germany Hospital, from 2012 to present, Prof. Stuart Weinstein has directly operated on over 100 children with complicated spinal anomalies and offered free medical screenings to hundreds of other paediatric patients.

Thanks to his support, spinal deformities have been detected and prevented, such as scoliosis, kyphosis and other spinal cord defects.

Prof. Tran Binh Giang, Director of Vietnam-Germany Hospital, said that the sharing of knowledge and the latest skills in spinal specialisation is essential to help doctors improve their professional qualifications and meeting treatment requirements for patients.

Prof. Stuart Weinstein visit to Vietnam not only helps to improve treatment for patients, but also helps domestic surgeons improve their skills, contributing to the development of children's spine surgery in Vietnam, said Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Thach, President of the Vietnamese Orthopaedic Association cum Vice President of Southeast Asia Orthopaedic Association.

This is also a very important issue because the field of spinal surgery in Vietnam is still new and error-prone, added Assoc. Prof. Thach.

CPV delegation attends Mexican Labour Party’s congress

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and Vietnamese people will always stand side by side with the fraternal Labour Party (PT) of Mexico in the common struggle for peace, stability, national independence, democracy and social progress, said a CPV official.

In his speech delivered at the PT’s 10th Congress held in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, from June 24-27, Deputy Chief of the CPV Central Committee Office Le Quang Vinh commended the cooperation and friendship between the two parties in recent years.

The two sides signed various cooperation agreements and achieved positive outcomes in communications, training and agriculture, thus helping to enhance mutual understanding, friendship and solidarity between the Vietnamese and Mexican people, Vinh noted.

The official took this occasion to thank the PT and Mexican people for their great support to and unity with Vietnam over the past years.

Vinh conveyed a congratulatory message from the CPV Central Committee and expressed his belief that the congress will open up a new period for the PT.

On the sideline of the congress, the Vietnamese delegation had a meeting with PT’s General Secretary Alberto Anaya, who said that the presence of the Vietnamese delegates at the event showed the CPV’s solidarity with and support to the PT as the two parties are celebrating the 20th founding anniversary of relations.

Anaya spoke highly of the achievements made by the Vietnamese Party and people during 30 years of reform, considering them as encouragements to the PT. He also hoped for stronger friendly and cooperative ties between the two parties and the people of Mexico and Vietnam.

While in Mexico, the Vietnamese delegation also held separated meetings with participating international delegations, visited the Vietnam Embassy in Mexico and laid wreaths at a monument of late President Ho Chi Minh in Mexico City.

Shipbuilders asked to fix substandard steel fishing boats

Two shipbuilders were found to be violating shipbuilding contracts, delivering dozens of substandard steel fishing vessels to fishermen in central Bình Định Province.

Under the Government Decree 67 dated July 7, 2014 on fisheries sector development policies, shipowners building steel vessels with total main engine capacity between 400CV and 800CV can borrow from commercial banks a sum of money that does not exceed 90 per cent of the total investment in the building of the ships.

The interest rate is 7 per cent per year, of which shipowners are required to pay 2 per cent per year, while the State budget will subsidise 5 per cent. Many fishermen who received loans from commercial banks to buy steel ships built under the decree have complained about the poor quality of these ships, saying they continued to face malfunctions and were forced to make repairs.

In central Bình Định Province, 18 steel fishing ships were found to be of substandard quality, of which 13 were built by Nam Triệu One Member Ltd Company and five were built by Đại Nguyên Dương Shipbuilding Company.

According to examination by the province’s agriculture department, the ships suffered from frequent breakdowns and degradation.

In particular, main engines on nine ships built by the Nam Triệu company were broken, while the power supply machines on three other ships were working intermittently. Shipowners reported that under contracts signed with the companies, materials to build the ships were to be made in Japan or the Republic of Korea, but in reality they were made in China.

To re-examine the steel fishing boats after problems were detected, Bình Định Province People’s Committee early this month established a specialised team.

At a meeting with the provincial leaders, relevant agencies, shipbuilders and shipowners, the team asked the two shipbuilders to replace substandard vessel shells with shells regulated under the contracts on design, material, origin, instruction for use and maintenance.

Nam Triệu Company was asked to replace 10 major engines in a vessel built for a shipowner named Trần Đình Sơn as the current engines were unsuitable.

Vice chairman of the province’s People’s Committee Trần Đình Châu said all the substandard steel fishing boats must be fixed by the end of next month.

The two ship builders were responsible for repairing, covering the repair cost and compensating ship owners since the vessels were undergoing repairs and could therefore not be used for fishing, Châu said.

The provincial People’s Committee would recommend Central agencies and banks to allow owners of substandard fishing vessels to delay returning loans and interest, Châu said.

Colonel Trần Huy Giáp, vice director of the province’s police department, said the police would continue investigating economic violations related to the shipbuilders as they violated economic shipbuilding contracts, resulting in poor quality fishing vessels.

Trần Văn Hương, vice chairman of Phù Cát District People’s Committee said the new vessels experienced problems after being used for just a year, which caused losses for shipowners and left many fishermen without a job, thus affecting their livelihood.

He asked for compensation from the shipbuilders.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of last year, there were 771 new steel fishing ships being built under the decree, most of which are in good condition.

Political-military conference lays out tasks for army

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of National Defence to continue effectively implement the national protection strategy in the new situation.

The government leader made the request at a political-military conference for the entire army in Hanoi on June 27, which reviewed the performance of military and national defence tasks in the first six months of 2017 and lay out missions for the second half of the year.

PM Phuc pointed out other short-term tasks for the entire army such as improving the institution-building and forecasting work, bettering training quality, combat capacity and preparedness, and effectively carrying out the Politburo’s Resolution No. 06-NQ/TW on building and developing the national defence industry until 2020 and beyond.

He also emphasised the need for the army to pay more heed to mass mobilisation activities, defence diplomacy and international integration.

PM Phuc also affirmed that, in any circumstance, the Party, State and people always support the army and create the best possible conditions for the army to fulfil its tasks.

A report delivered at the conference showed that in the first half of 2017, the Central Military Commission and the Defence Ministry instructed military agencies and units to realise Resolutions of the 12th National Party Congress and the 10th Congress of the Army Party Organisation on military tasks, national defence and Party building in the army.

Apart from giving advices to the Party and State as well as local Party Committees and administrations on issues regarding military, national defence and defence policy, the army has teamed up with the police and other forces to timely deal with circumstances to firmly protect national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the nation’s land border, sea and airspace security.

Regular army units have also closely coordinated with local armed forces in overcoming natural disaster consequences, conducting search and rescue activities and clearing bombs and mines left from the war.

Efforts have also been made to prevent degradation in political ideology, morality and lifestyle as well as manifestations of internal “self-evolution” and “self-transformation.”

In the next six months, the Military Party Commission and the Defence Ministry will bring into full play the achievements while preventing all “peaceful evolution” schemes.

The focal tasks are to improve training, combat preparedness and discipline compliance, help people with poverty reduction and socio-economic development, building new-style rural and civilised urban areas, dealing with consequences of wars, natural disasters and diseases and combating crimes and smuggling.

At the same time, the army will participate in the UN peace-keeping operations and build up a regular, elite and modern revolutionary army to firmly safeguard the nation in the new period.