April 30th is reunification day, one of the most important historical events of the nation. On the occasion, many people visit historical landmarks to learn more about the war and the value of peace.

The War Remnants museum in Ho Chi Minh City specializes in researching, collecting, preserving and displaying the evidence, crimes and consequences of the Vietnam War. It offers half a million visitors each year a narrative of what Vietnamese people  experienced in the years they fought for their freedom.

The museum is also a place for younger generations to learn more about the country’s history and promote patriotism.

The Independence Palace is also an ideal place for parents to take their kids, as well as for both domestic and international tourists. It was the site where the Vietnamese Revolutionary Army won their battle.

Through such visits, younger generations can learn about the harshness and cruelty of the war and its consequences. Moreover, they will become more appreciative of peace and national sovereignty which a generation of soldiers laid down their lives for./.

Parliamentary diplomacy helps raise Vietnam’s stature in int'l arena: NA leader

The 14th-tenure National Assembly (NA) has performed its duties well in all aspects, including parliamentary diplomacy, helping to raise Vietnam’s stature in the international arena and contributing to the country's development, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said on April 29.

At a working session with the NA’s Committee for External Relations, the top legislator noted aside from assisting the parliament in making laws, conducting supervision, and issuing decisions on important issues, the committee has coordinated the NA’s relations with other countries’ parliaments and international and regional inter-parliamentary organisations under the direction of the NA Standing Committee and the NA chairperson.

He said the committee has done a good job of advising the NA and its Standing Committee about external parliamentary relations, actively taken part in international and regional parliamentary forums, and coordinated well with diplomatic activities of the Party, the Government, and the people.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it helped the NA successfully chair the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) via videoconference last year.

In the time ahead, he requested, the committee needs to make an action plan to push ahead with reforming and improving its performance, thus helping to continue bringing into play the pioneering role of diplomacy in creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, mobilising external resources for national development, and promoting Vietnam’s position and prestige in line with the viewpoint on and major orientations for diplomacy stated in the documents of the 13th National Party Congress.

It should identify the focal and strategic issues, as well as the key targets in bilateral and multilateral activities with the ultimate goal of working to guarantee the legitimate interests of the State, enterprises, and the people, Hue said, demanding attention to economic diplomacy that centres on the people and businesses./.

Con Dao Island to be linked with national grid via submarine cables

The Prime Minister has approved a proposal from Vietnam Electricity (EVN) to expand the national grid from the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to Ba Ria-Vung Tau province’s Con Dao Island via submarine cables.

At a recent meeting with leaders of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the PM agreed to the project, which had been considered by relevant agencies for a period of time.

Experts held that the best solution to supply power to Con Dao Island is to expand the national grid from Soc Trang.

Solar, wind, and gas-fired power generation on the island is neither stable nor profitable enough for investors, and solar or wind energy can only serve as supplementary power sources, they went on.

Echoing that view, Chairman of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tho stressed that as the top target is to ensure security and defence, providing electricity from the national grid on the mainland is much more stable than other forms of power supply and will also minimise the impact on Con Dao Island’s environment and ecology.

Electricity demand on Con Dao, which is an increasingly popular tourist destination, has been on the rise.

The two diesel-fired power plants on the island have a combined capacity of just 12 MW, or 7 MW lower than existing demand. Major resorts and hotels must therefore equip themselves with generators.

Last November, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose the PM permit the consideration of the project bringing electricity from Soc Trang to Con Dao via submarine cables, and that the project be included in the medium-term investment plan for 2021-2025.

The project is set to start at the 220kV power station in Vinh Chau town in Soc Trang province and will feature 3 km of power lines on the mainland, another 15 km in shallow waters, 78 km of submarine cables, and 4.5 km of 110kV lines on Con Dao Island. It is expected to need total investment of 4.8 trillion VND (200 million USD)./. 

Bac Giang improves quality of human resources

The northern province of Bac Giang has set a goal of raising its rate of skilled workers to 80 percent and the rate of those with training certificates to 27 percent by 2025.

During the 2021-2025 period, vocational training establishments in the province will provide training to 147,500 workers. The rate of university graduates gaining employment after they complete their studies is to reach more than 90 percent.

To meet these goals, Bac Giang is focusing on planning vocational training establishments in an open and flexible manner, ensuring the scale and structure of professions being offered. The province will also continue to review and arrange public colleges and schools in a streamlined way, focusing on medicine, pharmaceuticals, and health care, while introducing several vocational training support policies.

It will also upgrade infrastructure and training equipment at vocational training establishments, so they are more appropriate for the fourth Industrial Revolution.

By 2020, the province was home to 44 vocational training establishments that offered training to nearly 36,000 people each year in a total of 109 professions.

During 2016-2020, local vocational training establishments provided training to more than 155,200 people in the priority fields of industry, construction, and services (totalling nearly 87 percent).

As part of a project on improving the quality of vocational training for rural workers under the National Target Programme on New Rural Development for the 2016-2020 period, Bac Giang allocated over 43.8 billion VND in support of training 15,386 rural workers.

As of last year, the rate of skilled workers in the province stood at 70 percent, an increase of 19.5 percent from 2015./.

People living near Ea Sup Lake catch fish and lotus stems to make a living

The bountiful fish and lotus stocks in Ea Sup Lake in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk have helped people living near the lake thrive.

Located near Ea Sup Lake is a community of hundreds of households who make a living by catching fish.

Most of them hail from southern provinces and moved to the lake in 2009, hoping that catching fish and snails would improve their livelihoods.

Like many villagers, Nguyễn Văn Hưng rides a boat to the lake to catch fish at 3-4pm and comes back at 4-5am the next morning with full nets.

“I have been living here for more than 10 years. There are not many lakes in the Central Highlands region like Ea Sup where we can catch fish. We are quite happy about our life although sometimes we don’t catch a lot of fish. We earn VNĐ200,000-300,000 per day from fishing,” he told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

Phùng Văn Thanh, 53 years old, and his family moved from his hometown in the south-central province of Bình Định to Ea Sup Lake 10 years ago.

The water level in the upper and lower parts of Ea Sup Lake is high year-round so people can catch fish all the time.

“At first, we caught fish for our meals only but then the abundant source of fish here helps us make a living,” he said.

Thanh and his wife catch about 20-30kg of fish every day. Then they dry the fish under the sunshine and sell them to traders who come to their house to buy.

“Traders like the fish because of their quality. Fishermen in this area use nets, fishing rods and traditional methods to catch fish, which do not harm aquatic resources so we can stay in the fishing job for a long time,” he said.

“Ea Sup is the freshwater fish production area of the province. Fishing gives people a high and stable income. The fish are sold to provincial markets and other neighbouring localities like HCM City and Bình Dương,” he said.

Lê Hoàng Tiến, a villager, said “We release the nets to catch fish every night and pick lotus stems and lotus seed pods in the daytime.”

During the lotus season in the summer, villagers swim to the middle of the lake to pick lotus seed pods and lotus stems which can be processed to make food.

Holding a bunch of lotus stems in her arms with her body soaked in water and mud, Phạm Thị Thương said: “I did not eat anything for breakfast before I dove into the lake because a full stomach would make it difficult to swim.”

“Picking lotus stems requires skills. We must move gently in order not to make the lotus break. The pickers have to dive for several hours in the water, crawling to the lotus roots to find the stems,” she said.

Lotus stem collectors have to wake up early and stay in the lake until midday. On lucky days, they can find areas with lots of lotus and bring back 10 bunches. Each bunch is sold at VNĐ15,000 for those who want to make shrimp and lotus stem salad and pickles.

Lê Hoàng Tiến rides a boat to the middle of the lake where the water level is the highest to pick lotus seed pods.

After removing the lotus nuts from the pods, he collects 30kg of nuts each day which sell for VNĐ30,000 per kg.

“Many people in Buôn Ma Thuột City want to buy old lotus seeds and dry them for long-term preservation. Sometimes we can not collect enough seeds to meet the demand,” he said.

“Life here is hard but at least we have a job to make a living,” he said.  

Giao Thuy’s school a shelter for children with disabilities

The School for Children with Disabilities in Giao Thủy District, northern Nam Định Province, has acted as a shelter for disabled children for the past 30 years.

The school is the only one in the province to cater to disabled children.

Beside regular education, students suffering many different types of disabilities were taught life skills, provided with rehabilitation, and offered vocational training.

“They are equipped with skills to be confident, integrate into the community, thereby striving to thrive in life and looking for a suitable job,” said Nguyễn Thị Oanh, the school’s principal.

The school currently has 10 teachers and 125 students mainly from Nam Định Province, as well as some from neighbouring provinces.

The teachers have to take on many jobs at the same time, both teaching and giving the students physical training, life skills, as well as helping them in daily activities and during meals.   

Nguyễn Thị Kiều Diễm, one of the teachers, has to work very hard even though her class has just 10 students.

She had to help each child to follow the lesson, because it was easy for them to lose focus.

"Sometimes in class, the children talk and do not pay attention to the lesson,” she said.

“I have to stop the lesson, then walk around and correct each child's posture, telling them how to open their mouths to pronounce each word.”

The lessons are short, but sometimes it takes an entire day or more to complete it.

Students, when first entering school, have different cognitive levels and health conditions, so teachers have to look for a suitable teaching method for all students in a class, Diễm said.

“Teachers must understand the health of each student, in order to plan accordingly. We must have love for children, patience and encouragement for students, helping them to boldly develop their own abilities.”

Bùi Thị Minh Hương, who has spent 30 years at the school, said: “The teacher is really like a mother, a friend, they must understand the cognitive and physiological abilities of each child.”

As the teachers can adjust their methods and the content of the lesson, the lessons can be subdivided and adjusted.

To save money, teachers often take advantage of old appliances as tools to help children with difficulties in mobility.

Most of the students live at the school, so three rooms are equipped with air conditioning, television and fans.

Three members of staff also stay with the students to ensure that they were studying and living safely.

As a deaf student attending 4th grade at the school, Đỗ Thị Ngọc Mai, 17, can speak slowly or use sign language to communicate with people.

“I am very happy to be taught knowledge and sewing skills here,” she said.

“I hope that after graduating from school I can find a job in a local business to make money, help my parents, especially take care of myself.”

Nguyễn Thị Oanh, the school’s principal, said Giao Thủy District People's Committee has provided facilities for the school.

Some children with autism, after a year or two of studying at the school, can integrate and study in normal primary schools, according to Oanh.

After leaving the school, some students can follow higher levels of education and many can get jobs in factories.

In recent years, the number of students wishing to attend the school has increased. The school has called on donors to help upgrade facilities and asked local enterprises to give students jobs. 

Kindergarten teacher on island dedicated to her career

Vũ Hồng Thắm, 35, decided to become a kindergarten teacher after graduating from college because she wanted to contribute to pre-school education in Vân Đồn Island District, northern Quảng Ninh Province.

In 1991 when she was five years old, Thắm moved with her family from her hometown of northern Thái Bình Province to re-settle in Vân Đồn under a Government policy to encourage people to re-settle in new living zones to redistribute the population in the country by shifting a large number of population from deltas and cities to mountainous, border and island regions.

She said all three of her sisters always encouraged each other to study hard to have a stable career in the future to help their parents, and Thắm did well in high school.

From a young age, she was gifted at singing, dancing, painting, and storytelling. Many friends told her she was suited for teaching and she agreed, so she decided to study at Quảng Ninh Province College of Teachers’ Training in 2004.

During her period at the college, Thắm was an active student and won high prizes in competitions such as storytelling, painting, camping and Mid-Autumn Festival acting.

Thắm always left a good impression on her teachers and friends, an old friend at the college said.

In 2007, she graduated and immediately applied to work as an apprentice at a Hạ Long City kindergarten.

After that, she was assigned by the city Education and Training Department to teach at Thắng Lợi Kindergarten in a poor island commune.

“The first day I went to Thắng Lợi Kindergarten, I taught the four-year-old children’s class, with only five boys,” she said.

“These boys had torn clothes and no sandals, and the first thing I did was fund a towel to clean their face, then they sat around me and sang.”

For teachers in Vân Đồn Island District, moving to the island commune under the teacher rotation policy of the provincial education sector, was a valuable experience for their career.

Each teacher experienced three to five years teaching in the island communes, teaching the educators to share and shoulder the hardships of local people.

For young teachers, working on the island brought experiences to help them mature in their career, Thắm said.

She returned to work in a Hạ Long City kindergarten in 2009 and was valued as an excellent teacher.

She received many prizes and medals such as the province-level good teacher title. For her educational project 'Building a child-centred kindergarten in the 2016-20 period', she was named a province-level excellent labourer.

“Thắm is a dynamic and professional teacher. She is always trusted and loved by children and their parents,” said Nguyễn Thị Loan, Principal of Hạ Long Kindergarten.

Vietnam always treasures strategic partnership with Singapore: Party official

Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Le Hoai Trung had talks via videoconference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the external relations commission of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), Vivian Balakrishnan, on April 29.

On behalf of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, Trung informed the Singaporean official about the outcomes of the party's 13th National Congress.

He applauded the recent strides in relations between the two countries and the two Parties under their strategic partnership, affirming that the Vietnamese Party and Government always treasure and wish to further intensify the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership.

The official also highly valued the ties between the two Parties that have been developing in an increasingly substantive manner in many aspects such as high-level mutual visits and cooperation in personnel training.

For his part, Balakrishnan once again congratulated the CPV on its successful 13th National Congress, along with the enormous achievements of Vietnam in national development over the past years.

He also hailed the positive outcomes that the Vietnamese Party, Government, and people have obtained in combating COVID-19 and developing the economy despite the pandemic’s negative impacts.

The minister noted with satisfaction that the two countries’ relations have continued to be reinforced in all fields, and that the PAP and the Singaporean Government attaches importance to promoting the strategic partnership with Vietnam.

He called for increased contact between the countries’ leaders, noting that both sides share many similar viewpoints, including those on international issues of common concern.

Balakrishnan expressed his belief that under the CPVs leadership, the Vietnamese people will harvest more achievements to develop Vietnam into a prosperous nation.

State President visits families of contributors to national reunification in Hanoi

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 29 visited some families in Hanoi whose members took part in the Ho Chi Minh Campaign, which was the peak of the General Offensive and Uprising in the spring of 1975 that led to the South Liberation and National Reunification on April 30 the same year.

The State leader and local officials went to see Maj. Gen. Hoang Trung Kien, who got injured on April 30, 1975 while driving a tank to the Independence Palace, which was the headquarters of the administration of the then Republic of Vietnam. Kien, now residing in Nam Tu Liem district, was the Political Commissar of the High Command of Tank and Armour before retiring.

President Phuc later visited the mother of martyr Nguyen Thai Lai in Tay Ho district. Lai laid down his life in the southern battlefield on April 26, 1975.

Talking to the two families, the President affirmed that the Party and State always keep in mind and are grateful to the heroes, martyrs, and war invalids who dedicated themselves to the cause of national liberation and reunification.

The President asked Hanoi's leaders and local authorities to better care for revolution contributors so as to partly compensate for their sacrifice and losses.

He also expressed his hope that the families will keep adhering to the Party and State’s guidelines, policies, and laws and actively join efforts to help with the capital city’s development./.

Vietnam, Hong Kong foster collaboration

Vietnamese Consul General to Hong Kong Pham Binh Dam on April 29 was received by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam, as he began his tenure in the Chinese special administrative region.

At the reception, the host said as Hong Kong has recovered its stability, the region’s relations with Vietnam are seeing more room for stronger development in trade, investment, tourism, and yacht industry.

In 2020, trade between the two economies reached over 24 billion USD, with Vietnam being the third biggest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN.

Lauding Vietnam’s effective COVID-19 prevention and control, Lam said it is time for Vietnam and Hong Kong to seriously consider establishing a bilateral travel mechanism.

Informing her guest on Hong Kong’s quarantine-free travel bubble with Singapore, she expressed her hope for negotiations between Hong Kong and Vietnam to take place so that the two can set up a similar mechanism in line with their conditions and situations. She believed it will help their residents travel easier.

 

For his part, Dam praised Lam’s leadership role toward developing Hong Kong into a prosperous city and an important international financial hub as well as her success in restoring the local social order and controlling the pandemic in the past year.

Speaking highly of the leader’s determination and commitment to establishing a travel corridor with Vietnam, Dam stated although thorough consideration is needed, it is a suitable time for seeking measures to ease cross-border travel restrictions, facilitating businesses and bilateral exchanges.

The diplomat took the occasion to thank the Hong Kong administration for relaxing regulations on granting student visa to Vietnam as well as committing to making similar relaxation regarding other types of visa.

He said he believes under Lam’s leadership, Hong Kong’s multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam will reap more fruitful outcomes in the time to come./.

COVID-19: Hanoi raises warning to highest level, two new cases suspected in Hung Yen

Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung required raising the warning against COVID-19 resurgence in the city to the highest level at a meeting of the municipal steering committee for COVID-19 control on April 29 afternoon.

He noted that two F1 cases have been detected in Hanoi in connection with the latest cluster of cases in the northern province of Ha Nam, and urged relevant agencies to accelerate tracing work.

The official also stressed the need to tighten monitoring in the context of hundreds of thousands of people travelling during the April 30-May 1 holidays and returning to Hanoi thereafter.

Anyone who leaves Hanoi during the holiday is required to make health declaration when returning, he said.  

Later in the evening, CDC Hanoi confirmed one new patient in connection with the case in Ha Nam. 

Meanwhile, the Centre for Disease Control in the northern province of Hung Yen said two persons in the province had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in connection with the patient in Ha Nam. They have been hospitalized in the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases.

The Health Ministry has issued an urgent notice in the evening of April 29, requiring passengers on flight VJ133 departed from Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City at 10:15 am on April 27 to contact the nearest medical establishment for consultation and help, and call hotlines of the Health Ministry, CDC Ho Chi Minh City and CDC Hanoi to provide the telephone numbers of those who have had made close contact with them.

On April 29, Vietnam recorded 45 COVID-19 cases, one of which was a man who developed symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus after completing quarantine in Da Nang and returning to his home in Ha Nam. So far five other persons have been confirmed to have contracted the virus from him, including four in his family and another who later travelled to HCM City on flight VJ133.  The two cases in Hung Yen have yet to be confirmed by the Health Ministry.

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Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital ready to admit COVID-19 patients

The Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital, a joint venture between Vietnam’s Saigon Medical Investment JSC and Cambodia’s Sokimex Co, stands ready to admit COVID-19 patients, its General Director Ton Thanh Tra has said.

The Cambodian Government has allowed private hospitals and medical clinics to admit COVID-19 patients provided they satisfy 11 criteria set by the Cambodian health ministry, the doctor said, adding that the hospital is now reviewing the criteria.

Apart from 30 rooms exclusively for COVID-19 patients, the hospital has prepared another 20 stand-by rooms and will expand capacity to treat 100 COVID-19 patients if necessary, he said.

The hospital has also coordinated with Cambodian authorities in COVID-19 vaccinations and helped the country with two ambulances, two drivers, and two nurses during the transportation of COVID-19 patients or suspected cases to treatment and quarantine facilities.

On April 24, the hospital and the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia visited and presented gifts to Vietnamese families in the host country that are in difficult circumstances or living in locked-down areas.

Nguyen Tri Thuc, Director of Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City, said that over the past seven years the Cho Ray Phnom Penh Hospital has transferred technology to Cambodia and helped the country in the training of doctors./.

Red-crowned cranes return to Mekong Delta

More than 30 red-crowned cranes have returned to the Phu My Biosphere Reserve in Kien Giang province and the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap province after a year of absence.

A representative of the Phu My Biosphere Reserve confirmed that 30 cranes had been here for half a month.

The red-crowned cranes have returned, but have not gathered among the grey sedge. Instead they have found a quiet corner within the reserve. In the afternoon, the cranes typically fly to Anlung Pring, Cambodia to rest.

About 150 kilometres away, a family of three cranes was spotted in the Tram Chim National Park last week.

Le Thanh Cu, deputy director of the park, said that that the crane family returned from 2017 to 2019, but in 2020 they did not come back.

The Tram Chim National Park has been recognised as the world's 2,000th Ramsar site (a wetland designated to be of international importance under Ramsar Convention) and the first in the Mekong Delta, with an area of more than 7,300 hectares. It is one of the world's most famous stops for red-headed cranes, a factor that helped Tram Chim become a Ramsar site./.

Hanoi photo exhibition celebrates National Reunification Day

A photo exhibition is taking place in Hanoi to celebrate the 46th National Reunification Day (April 30).

The exhibition is being organised by the Thang Long-Ha Noi Heritage Conservation Centre.

On display are nearly 100 photos on historical moments in Hanoi and Saigon on April 30, 1975, which reveal the joy of people around the country after receiving news of victory from Saigon.

Notably, touching stories and memories from historical witnesses who spent years fighting for the reunification of the country are recounted within the framework of the exhibition, as a means of re-enacting history.

The exhibition is open to visitors until the end of May./.

Vietnam, Costa Rica discuss boosting ties

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son held online talks with Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship Rodolfo Solano Quirós on April 29 to discuss specific ways to strengthen the bilateral friendship and cooperation, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The two ministers agreed to facilitate the exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels and regularly and flexibly maintain deputy ministerial-level political consultation mechanisms between the two foreign ministries.

They explored the possibility of negotiations on bilateral cooperation agreements, particularly in economy, trade, and investment, and also considered expanding cooperation in climate change response, agriculture, green energy, maritime navigation, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.

The Costa Rican Minister congratulated Vietnam on adopting effective measures against COVID-19 and maintaining economic growth.

Both sides agreed to update information on the pandemic in each country, and to step up international cooperation efforts, including the effective production and distribution of vaccines.

On regional and global issues, they pledged to work closely together and offer mutual support at the UN and multilateral and inter-regional forums, including the Forum for East Asia - Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).

The Vietnamese side lauded Costa Rica for enhancing economic and trade ties with the region via institutions such as ASEAN, APEC, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)./.

Books on Vietnamese currency, banking system released

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) introduced two books on the history of the Vietnamese currency and of the central bank at a press conference on April 29, to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s banking system (May 6, 1951-2021).

SBV Governor Nguyen Thi Hong said the book on Vietnam’s currency is the first-ever scientific work on the birth, characteristics, material, and socio-economic meaning of the currency in different historical periods spanning a thousand years.

Since 1945 especially, the currency can be viewed as an important historical source reflecting the struggle for national independence and reunification and the building of socialism under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The book, which took five years to complete, features more than 1,200 currency samples, including those issued and circulated in the country from the start of King Dinh Tien Hoang’s reign in 968.

The book on the history of Vietnam’s banking system, meanwhile, highlights significant milestones, achievements, and lessons on its construction and development over the past 70 years./.

Hopes high for tourism recovery in Thua Thien-Hue

Tourism operators in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue are hopeful that business will bounce back as public holidays and the summer near and stimulus policies and new tourism products are carried out.

According to Chairman of the province’s Tourism Association Dinh Manh Thang, hotel occupancy rates are estimated at 80 percent for the April 30-May 1 holidays and this is a robust sign in the context of the tourism sector being battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since many tourist destinations and accommodation facilities are offering substantial discounts while maintaining good services, this is an opportunity for domestic travellers to experience high-end tourism services.

Entrance fees to a number of local hotspots have been slashed to attract more visitors. Tourism operators are benefiting from 50 percent discounts on entrance fees at the Hue Monument Complex from March to August, while the Le Ba Dang Memory Space is offering a 60 percent reduction on ticket prices from January to June and the Alba Thanh Tan Hot Spring Resort offers 50 percent off for visitors booking combo deals from March to August.

Local hotels of three- to five-stars are offering discounts of 50 percent for all of 2021.

According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Nguyen Van Phuc, new tours and service packages have been developed in recent times, including Coming to Hue from Hai Van Quan, Discovering Your Limits with Hue, and experiencing cyclos and the “Ao dai ngu than” (five-flap robe).

Most recently, the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre resumed the firing of cannons at Hue flagpole at 8pm on Saturdays and at major celebrations.

Smart tourism has been promoted in the locality, with the best programme being “Finding the lost royal palace”. With virtual reality technology VR360, visitors are able to admire imperial architecture with their own eyes.

With the VN Guide application, meanwhile, tourists can also enjoy antiques through a 3D space at the Museum of Royal Antiques.

In response to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s “Vietnamese people travel to Vietnamese destinations” campaign, Thua Thien-Hue has joined hands with Quang Nam, Da Nang, and Quang Binh to organise various programmes to attract domestic travellers with new tourism products./.

HCM City, UNICEF boost cooperation in child care

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan lauded UNICEF’s efforts in programmes to promote child care and protection in Vietnam.

During a reception for Chief Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam Rana Flowers in the locality on April 28, Hoan highlighted positive working results between the municipal authorities and UNICEF in implementing the “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” project, saying that this helps the city address priorities in terms of child protection, health, education, nutrition, and social care.

On the basis of results achieved in implementing the project, HCM City wishes to expand cooperation with UNICEF in Vietnam in specific programmes and projects, towards improving social services, supporting policy development, creating technical foundation and favourable conditions for child protection and care, and exercising children's rights in line with the city’s sustainable development orientation in the future, he said.

For her part, Flowers affirmed that UNICEF is an organisation tasked with providing technical assistance for Vietnam to help the country perform governmental projects related to ensuring children's rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UNICEF in Vietnam is interested in and looks forward to understanding Ho Chi Minh City's vision on issues related to children's rights in order to complete a cooperation plan between UNICEF and Vietnam in the next five years, she said.

Flowers praised efforts and good performance made by the municipal authorities in implementing the “Child Friendly Cities Initiative” project, expressing a hope for strengthened cooperation and experience sharing between the UN agency and HCM City in solving child-related challenges in the process of building the city into a smart, modern and kid-friendly city in the future./.

Mobilising human value in national development: PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a working session with leaders of the Ministry of Planning and Investment on April 28, during which he stressed the important role of the human value in national development.

Attention should be paid to mobilising and effectively using natural resources such as land, forests, sea, air and environment to serve national development, he said.

It is also necessary to make cultural tradition, history traditions and the tradition of solidarity and unity of the nation become development resources, he added.

Chinh directed the Ministry of Planning and Investment to consider internal resources a fundamental, long-term and decisive strategy, and external resources an important, essential, frequent and breakthrough factor.

He stressed the principle of “three don’ts” in addressing problems for localities, businesses and people: Don’t say “no”, Don’t say “difficult”, and Don’t say “yes” but then take no action.

Minister Nguyen Chi Dung stated that the ministry is making the Government’s action plan implementing the 13th National Party Congress’s Resolution to submit to the Government in May and mid-term socio-economic development and public investment plans for 2021-2025 to report to the Government and submit to the National Assembly as regulated.

The ministry is also building a project on development of sea-based economic linkage clusters in line with building a strong sea-based economic centre with an orientation to 2030, which is expected to be submitted to the Prime Minister in December.

An economic restructuring project for 2021-2025 and a national strategy on green growth for 2021-2030 will be developed as well in order to be submitted to the Government leader in May and June, respectively./.

Party, State guarantee resources for legal training: State President

The Party and State ensure resources for legal training to meet the requirements of judicial reform, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc told a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform in Hanoi on April 29.

The meeting looked into the implementation of a project on building the Hanoi Law University and the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law into key educational institutions for training legal officers, and another on turning the Academy of Justice into a major training centre for judicial positions.

The President lauded the achievements made in implementation, which, he said, demonstrates these educational institutions’ efforts in promoting their name and prestige in legal training.

He also identified limitations in the work, saying that due attention has yet to be paid during training to the ethics and morality in judicial positions.

Phuc urged relevant agencies to create optimal conditions for these educational institutions to expand their operations, improve educational quality, and boost coordination with courts and people’s procuracy systems.

The meeting also mulled a project on solutions to enhance the control of the quality of legal training.

The President ordered the building of the project in accordance with the orientations set by the committee, and asked the Ministry of Education and Training to name a specific deadline for the rearrangement of 95 legal training establishments nationwide./.

Vietnam-China joint patrol in Tonkin Gulf ends

The patrol forces of the Vietnam Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard on April 28 finished their first joint patrol on the waters adjacent to the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf between the two countries in 2021.

In a phone call with a representative from the patrol force of the China Coast Guard, Colonel Tran Van Tho, deputy commander, chief of staff of the High Command of the Coast Guard Region 1, and head of the Vietnamese patrol force, stressed that both sides had coordinated closely and well performed the approved plan.

The joint patrol has contributed to promoting the fine relationship between the two Parties, States and peoples in general and between the two coast guard forces in particular.

The two sides patrolled through 13 points in the demarcation line in the Tonkin Gulf. They conducted phone discussions, and checked and monitored one fishing vessel of China and three of Vietnam, and stepped up disseminations on regulations related to fishing and COVID-19 prevention and control./.

Japan-funded energy efficiency project launched in Da Nang

The People’s Committee of central Da Nang city on April 28 launched a project on enhancing energy efficiency for local people funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Energy consumption in the city is on a rise on account of robust economic development, particularly tourism.

The project will survey the power consumption of at least 350 local houses, office buildings and hotels; install measuring devices in 70 buildings; and support 14 others in applying energy-saving solutions to cut consumption by at least 10 percent.

It also looks to strengthen education on environmental protection among elementary and secondary school students and raise public awareness of energy efficiency.

According to Homma Kazunari, Deputy Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam, via the project, Japan’s advanced technique and technology will be transferred to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, local businesses, organisations and people in the hope of forming a mechanism of using energy efficiently across the city.

The project will be carried out until 2025 at a total cost of nearly 23.6 billion VND (nearly 1.03 million USD), with 23.1 billion VND funded by JICA and close to 500 million VND sourced from the city’s corresponding fund./.

Vietnam puts great importance on youth development: NA deputy

Vietnam puts great importance on fostering the youth’s development, with more and more young people elected as deputies to the National Assembly (NA) every tenure, said Dinh Cong Sy, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Young Parliamentarians Group, at a global conference on April 28.

Sy is among around 200 young parliamentarians attending the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s 7th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians, themed “Post-COVID-19 recovery: A youth-responsive approach,” held virtually on April 28 – 29.

He cited the fact that Vietnam’s NA adopted the Youth Law last year, and in 2011, established the Young Parliamentarians Group which now consists of 131 members under 45, accounting for 26 percent of total legislators to the 14th NA. The group aims at strengthening connectivity among young legislators and enhancing their engagement and contribution to the NA’s agenda, he said.

He noted that the NA young deputies have been very proactive in law-making, supreme supervision and decision-making, particularly major national affairs while listening to the youth’s opinions and wishes and conveying their expectations to the NA.

They have been also working to assess the impacts of laws and policies on the youth, he said, adding that many opinions and recommendations of young NA members have been taken into account in policy and law making.

Sy held that it is very important to promote youth empowerment and participation in policy and law making and to bolster capacity building to sharpen their leadership skills.

Addressing the launch of the event, IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said the health and socio-economic shocks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted significantly young men and women all around the world. A new chapter for youth empowerment is needed and this new chapter must be at the heart of post-pandemic recovery efforts, he said.

This year’s conference focuses on preserving and fulfilling fundamental youth rights and stepping up youth empowerment across the pandemic recovery efforts; exploring the best means to promote youth participation in shaping youth-responsive recovery; providing guidance on how to reinforce education systems, maximize youth employment, and adjust health services everywhere.

It features four debate sessions, namely “Youth participation: A sine qua non for youth-responsive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” “Supporting higher and university education: A priority of the recovery agenda,” “Healthy youth beyond the pandemic” and “Economic empowerment: Transforming the challenge into an opportunity.”/.

Local film industry strives for greater professionalism

 An international virtual workshop aiming to help the local film industry achieve greater sustainable development and higher competitiveness in integration was held on April 28 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event was jointly held by the Vietnam Association of Film Promotion and Development (VFDA), the  Motion Picture Association (MPA) of the United States, the International Language and Country Studies Institute (ILACS), and VTV Digital.

The workshop attracted the participation of plenty of foreign filmmakers, directors, and critics who shared their experience and wanted to expand their co-operation alongside Vietnamese colleagues.

Addressing the event, director Phan Dang Di noted that many Vietnamese filmmakers have been caught plagiarising material in the past, such as purchasing scripts and remaking movies, meaning that the local film industry cannot develop in a professional manner.

Local filmmakers must therefore pay close attention to scripts or the content of films in order to boost the local film industry towards greater professionalism, he noted.  

Director Charlie Nguyen said he believes the domestic film industry must produce its own movies and should not rely on remaking products from foreign countries. Indeed, he said Vietnam needs a new team of enthusiastic and high-skilled scriptwriters.   

Nelson Mok from Singapore’s Film Group said that Vietnamese films should aim for domestic success before recording achievements abroad.

He stressed the importance of advertisements through communications, while reminding of the recent success of “Bố già” (Old Father), not only at home but also in Singapore. Mok therefore stated that the Vietnamese film industry can gain better results in international markets in the future.

During the workshop, delegates raised concerns about copyrights issues in the country, especially when many movies are broadcast on the internet before being screened at cinemas. They therefore asked relevant agencies to implement strong punishment for such violations. 

Nguyen The Ky, president of the Central Council for Theory and Criticism of Literature and Art and president of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV), said the impending Law on Cinematography will serve to create a legal corridor for Vietnamese cinema to develop domestically and integrate internationally. In addition, the completion of the law will facilitate foreign filmmakers to co-operate alongside their Vietnamese counterparts.

The workshop provided an opportunity for Vietnamese filmmakers to gain experience from the United States, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and Europe, which have a developed cinema industry, said Ky.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes