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Vice Chairman of the Vietnam – US Friendship Association Bui The Giang hosted an eight-member delegation from the US’s Friendship Force of Florida (FF Florida) in Hanoi on October 23.

The FF Florida is part of the Friendship Force International (FFI) – a non-profit cultural organisation promoting understanding, cultural education and citizen diplomacy through homestay journeys and personal friendships. FFI is based in more than 60 countries, with 15,000 active members and over 300 journeys taking place each year.

The US delegation is visiting Vietnam from October 20 to November 2, aiming to boost mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

At the reception, Giang informed the delegates on Vietnam’s development and integration progress as well as its relations with the US, among others.

Giang said the Vietnamese Government has made efforts to tackle war consequences in the country like unexploded ordnance and Agent Orange/dioxin impacts.

He hoped the current trip will help the delegation gain better insight into Vietnamese people and land.

The delegates expressed their wish to gain such knowledge via programmes that allow them to learn about the country’s history, culture, and traditional arts.

The delegation has been scheduled to experience local life via a homestay programme in Hanoi and Hue./.

RoK, ASEAN enhance cooperation in culture, tourism

The Republic of Korea (RoK) and 10 Southeast Asian nations on October 23 began a two-day meeting in Gwangju city of the RoK to promote exchanges in culture, arts and tourism.

The meeting is attended by culture ministers and senior officials from the RoK and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

It began with a forum on tourism on October 23 afternoon during which officials and experts discussed ways to increase cooperation between the two sides and utilise cultural assets to develop tourism.

A ministers' conference set for October 24 will discuss ways to promote exchanges of cultural institutions, industries and artists between the two sides. Also on the agenda is cooperation for better preservation and utilization of cultural heritage. The ministers plan to issue a joint statement after the event.

The RoK’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in its press release that “through this ministerial meeting, we expect to create a momentum for a substantial development in Korea-ASEAN cultural exchanges and cooperation.”

The ministry will propose diverse and concrete cooperative projects to expand RoK-ASEAN cultural exchanges as part of the tasks of the New Southern Policy initiated by President Moon Jae-in in 2017 to enhance relations with the Southeast Asian region, it said.

The meeting comes one month before a RoK-ASEAN leaders' summit slated for November 25-26 in the southeastern port city of Busan to mark the 30th anniversary of establishing a dialogue partnership between the two sides.

ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.

ASEAN countries talk gender equality, empowerment in mine action

Representatives of the 10 ASEAN member countries discussed gender equality and empowerment in ASEAN mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) action at a regional workshop in Vientiane, Laos, on October 21 – 22.

The event was held by the Lao Government in coordination with the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, according to the ASEAN Secretariat.

The participants analysed their work in mine/ERW action through a gender and diversity lens, assessing how mine/ERW action projects and programmes are implemented to ensure that the priorities and capabilities of women, girls, boys, men and diverse groups are highlighted, and their needs are met.

The Mission of Canada to ASEAN emphasised the country’s commitment to developing and implementing gender-responsive approach towards mine action, as it is aligned with Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security for the period 2017-2022.

In addition to building the member nations’ capacity on gender mainstreaming in mine/ERW action, the workshop also provided a platform for them to share experiences, best practices and lessons learnt on integrating gender into their work.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.

National Assembly discuss draft amended securities law

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Nguyen Thi Xuan, a deputy of Dak Lak province, speaks at a plenum of the National Assembly's 8th session

The National Assembly will spend the whole day on October 23 to discuss the draft revised Labour Code.

This is the last time the law is tabled for discussion before the NA vote on it on November 20, according to the working programme of the 8th session of the legislature.

The draft revised Labour Code presented to the NA today has been amended based on opinions expressed at the NA’s 7th session and the 36th and 37th meetings of the NA Standing Committee.

Major amendments have been made regarding the scope and subjects of the law, the maximum overtime hours, retirement age, the organisations representing labourers at the grassroots level, normal working hours, the settlement of labour disputes, and strikes.

The draft code has, for the first time ever, legalise the role of representing and protecting the legal rights and interests, and participating in the building of labour relations of the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Farmers’ Union and other representative organisations.

The draft has also extend employers’ right to unilaterally end working contracts./.

Vietnam hopes to boost parliamentary ties with Ukraine

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Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Anh Tuan (R) and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) Dmytro Razumkov

Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Anh Tuan has paid a courtesy call to Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) Dmytro Razumkov, who just assumed the post in August.

At the on October 21 meeting, the diplomat delivered a congratulatory letter from Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to the host country’s top legislator.

In her letter, Ngan said she believes with his wisdom and determination, Razumkov will effectively lead Ukraine in terms of lawmaking and supervision, creating a basis for stability and development. She hoped the Vietnamese and Ukrainian parliaments will continue working closely together within the framework of bilateral and multilateral cooperation to contribute to their traditional friendship and comprehensive partnership.

Razumkov asked Tuan to convey his wish to visit Vietnam and exchange views with the local NA on lawmaking, supervision, and anti-corruption work.

He also spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic and diplomatic progress as well as its efforts to build a rule-of-law state./.

PM’s upcoming Kuwait visit to promote wide-ranging cooperation

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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc holds talks with Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah on the occasion of the Kuwaiti PM's official visit to Viet Nam in 2016 - Photo: VGP

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s official visit to Kuwait creates a crucial opportunity for the two nations to discuss measures to promote cooperation in the upcoming time as well as exchange international and regional issues of mutual concerns.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse will pay an official visit to Kuwait from October 26-27 at the invitation of his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.

The visit, which is the first official visit of a Vietnamese senior leader to Kuwait over the recent decade, plays a meaningful role in Viet Nam-Kuwait in particular and the Middle East in general.

The two nations established diplomatic ties on January 10, 1976. Kuwait was one of first nations in the Middle East setting up diplomatic ties with Viet Nam post 1975.

Former State President Le Duc Anh was the highest State leader of Viet Nam to pay official visit to Kuwait in 1995. Kuwait was the first nation in the Middle East Viet Nam opened trade representative office in 1993.

Kuwaiti PM Nasser Al Mohammed Al-Jaber Al Sabah’s official visit to Viet Nam in 2007 and former PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s official visit to Kuwait in 2009 marked important marks in the two nations’ relationship.

After Viet Nam opened its Embassy in Kuwait in 2003, Kuwait was the first Arabian nation in the Gulf Cooperation Council to launch the Consulate General in Viet Nam in 2007.

In 2016, the two nations celebrated the 40thanniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with a number of diplomatic, economic and cultural activities, which contributed to strengthening mutual knowledge.

The bilateral cooperative mechanisms include the Joint Committee (two sessions held in December 2009 and July 2019) and the political consultancy between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

The two countries usually advocate each other at multi-lateral forums. Kuwait has backed Viet Nam to become the non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2020-2021 tenure.

Economic-trade-investment ties between the two nations have been strongly developed. Kuwait has been one of Viet Nam’s largest trade partners in the region with the bilateral trade value of US$700 million in the 2011-2014 period.

In 2018, the two-way trade value reached US$2.6 billion, of which Viet Nam’s trade deficit hit US$2.5 billion, mainly coming from petrol.

Viet Nam mainly exports garments, seafood, wood, computers, electronics, fruits and vegetables, peppercorn, footwear and porcelain to Kuwait.

 

In February 2016, Kuwaiti Government recognizes Viet Nam as market economy.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and Japanese partner are joining Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical plant project, with the total investment capital of US$9 billion.

Since 2018, around 1,300 Vietnamese workers have been sent to Kuwait to work in the construction and petrol sectors.

The number of visitors from Kuwait to Viet Nam is expected to rise 60% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

A number of agreements were inked such as the agreement on economic, scientific and technical cooperation framework, trade agreement, air transport agreement, protocol of cooperation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, agreement on investment encouragement and protection, cooperative agreement between the two Chambers of Commerce and Industry; double taxation avoidance agreement, agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, agreement on cultural-art cooperation and the memorandum of cooperation in sports.

Viet Nam has signed a loan agreement with Kuwait Fund for 16 projects with the total committed capital up to US$190 million.

The Kuwaiti Government has provided non-refundable aid of US$3 million in 2013 and US$225,000 in 2017 for the Central Viet Nam.

Deputy PM receives Russian Deputy Defence Minister

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Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (R) and Deputy Defence Minister Andrey Kartapolov

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh affirmed that Russia is a prioritised and important partner in Vietnam’s foreign policy and the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has been developing fruitfully with defence ties playing a key pillar.

Binh made the statement during a reception in Hanoi on October 22 for Sen. Lieut. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov, Deputy Defence Minister and Chief of the Main Directorate for Political-Military Affairs of the Russian Armed Forces.

He spoke highly of bilateral defence and military technical cooperation over the past years. The defence ministries have held activities during the Vietnam – Russia Year, Russia – Vietnam Year 2019-2020. The Vietnamese army sent eight teams to the 2019 International Army Games and a naval vessel to Russia for the first time.

Vietnam is ready to assist Russia in developing ties with member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and joining regional security mechanisms, he said.

The Deputy PM suggested Russia actively joins the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM ) mechanism, especially in 2020 when Vietnam assumes the role of ASEAN Chair.

Binh affirmed support for the enhancement of cooperative relations between the General Political Department of the Vietnamese People’s Army and the Main Directorate for Political-Military Affairs, initially in prioritized fields such as political and ideological education, personnel training, military communications, the fight against “peaceful evolution”, “colourful revolution” and riots, military social sciences, thus strengthening the Vietnam – Russia comprehensive strategic partnership and bilateral defence ties in particular.

The Deputy PM proposed that the two defence ministries continue fostering ties in the near future in line with signed bilateral conventions and international agreements.

He expressed delight at Russia’s continued training of military officers for Vietnam, adding that the government backs the organisation of the Army Games in Vietnam.

Kartapolov, for his part, said Russia always treasures ties between the two nations, considering it a prioritised task.

He promised to help the Vietnamese army in every aspect, saying that the Russian defence ministry is ready to assist Vietnam in hosting the Army Games.

The Russian Deputy Minister also believed that bilateral defence ties will grow further in the future./.

Prime Minister receives leaders of Japanese locality, newspaper

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Governor of Kanagawa prefecture Kuroiwa Yuji

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received Governor of Kanagawa prefecture Kuroiwa Yuji on October 22 during his trip to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of the Japanese emperor.

The PM took the occasion to extend his sympathy to people in areas affected by Typhoon Hagibis.

He praised the efforts made by the governor and Kanagawa administration to promote cooperation between the prefecture and Vietnam through result-oriented initiatives and activities, such as the Vietnam Festival in Kanagawa and Kanagawa Festival in Hanoi, which have become leading cultural exchange events held annually in the two countries.

The Vietnamese government leader highlighted the big population and potential of Kanagawa, and affirmed that Vietnam always hopes to increase ties with Japan in general and Kanagawa prefecture in particular.

He asked Governor Kuroiwa and Kanagawa authority to encourage enterprises in the prefecture to bolster investment and business activities in Vietnam, foster cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation with Vietnam, and receive more apprentices and workers from Vietnam.

The governor informed PM Phuc about the cooperation between Kanagawa and Vietnam including the plan on organizing the second Kanagawa Festival in Hanoi in November this year.

He said enterprises in the prefecture are interested in investment opportunities in Vietnam, and wish to receive more Vietnamese labourers in the time to come.

The same day, in his meeting with President and CEO of Nikkei newspaper Okada Naotoshi, PM Phuc hailed the newspaper’s organisation of the annual international conference on The Future of Asia, which has become a prestigious event attracting the participation of many leaders of Asian countries.

He suggested that Nikkei regularly updates Japanese readers on the economic development in Vietnam and the efforts of the Vietnamese government in improving the business and investment environment, thus contributing to promoting Vietnam-Japan economic partnership.

Okada thanked the Vietnamese government for regularly sending high-ranking representatives to the conference The Future of Asia, with PM Phuc himself attending in 2017, and actively proposing solutions to global and Asian issues, which he said contributed greatly to the success of the conference.

He expressed his hope that Vietnam’s leaders will attend the event in 2020, the year Vietnam serves as Chair of ASEAN and a non-permanent member on the UN Security Council.

He informed the Vietnamese PM about the Japanese business community’s great interest in economic cooperation with Vietnam and affirmed that Nikkei wishes to further contribute to the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Japan./.

Việt Nam, China forge defence cooperation

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Minister of Defence Ngô Xuân Lịch (left) met with Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, on the sidelines of the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in the Chinese capital city on Tuesday.

Deputy Secretary of the Central Military Commission and Minister of Defence Ngô Xuân Lịch met with Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, on the sidelines of the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in the Chinese capital city on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Lịch highlighted the significance of the forum where participating countries shared their viewpoints on major regional and global security issues.

Both officers agreed that the Việt Nam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has reaped substantial and practical outcomes.

The common perceptions reached by Party and State leaders of the two countries have created a firm foundation to consolidate mutual political trust and promote bilateral ties in a healthy and sustainable manner, they said, noting that defence cooperation has become one of the pillars of the Việt Nam-China relationship.

Lịch suggested the two sides increase delegation exchanges at all levels, especially at high levels, continue to share experience in army building, maintain the ministerial-level defence policy dialogue mechanism, actively prepare for the sixth border defence friendship exchange and enhance collaboration in UN peacekeeping operations.

The officers said Việt Nam and China should hold regular talks to candidly and sincerely discuss outstanding issues in bilateral ties so as to properly address them in the spirit of high-level agreements reached by leaders of the two countries, for the sake of their people, and for peace, stability and development in the region.

Regarding the complex global and regional situation, Xu stressed the need for countries to increase dialogue and step up cooperation to maintain a peaceful and stable environment, rather than confrontations.

Lịch said joint efforts of all countries could help to cope with common security challenges.

The Vietnamese minister used the occasion to invite Xu to visit Việt Nam. The host accepted the invitation and promised to arrange a visit at the earliest opportunity.

Cao Bang reviews enforcement of Vietnam-China border documents

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The People’s Committee of northern Cao Bang province held a conference on October 22 to review 10 years of implementing three legal documents on the Vietnam-China land border.

Since the enforcement of the documents, Cao Bang province has deployed a range of measures to protect and manage the borderline and reaped positive results.

Provincial competent forces issued more than 10,000 border handbooks and conducted over 7,950 talks with local residents about the legal documents. They also provided information about the documents for more than 172,000 students and over 14,000 managers and teachers of local education institutions.

Cao Bang’s border guards organised 6,319 patrols and joined hands with other authorized forces to handle 2,509 criminal cases with 2,957 violators.

Speaking at the conference, Phung The Long, Vice Chairman of the National Border Committee under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acknowledged and spoke highly of Cao Bang’s contributions to the border management work in the past years.

Long, who is also Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Subcommittee of the Vietnam-China Land Border Joint Committee, urged the provincial authorities to continue increasing patrols and field inspections to effectively manage the border and carrying out measures to boost socio-economic development in border areas.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hoang Xuan Anh asked provincial departments, agencies, sectors and People’s Committees of border districts to continue enhancing public awareness of state management on the border and territory and stepping the popularisation of the three documents among local people from all walks of life.

He requested the provincial Border Guard Command, relevant forces, departments sectors and localities to increase bilateral and unilateral inspection and supervision, and encourage local residents to join hands in the border management and protection work.

On this occasion, the Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee presented certificates of merit to 20 individuals and collectives in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the implementation of the three legal documents on the Vietnam-China land border./.