Henig: 18,000 tourists spend US$18.3 million on foreign tours during Lunar New Year
08:00 | 05/02/2023
The number of tourists choosing foreign tours accounted for 55 to 65 percent of the total domestic and foreign tours.
Around 18,000 Vietnamese tourists chose foreign tours through travel agencies in Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year holiday this year, spending a total of VND430 billion (US$18.3 million), according to a report from the city’s Department of Tourism.
The number of tourists choosing foreign tours accounted for 55 to 65 percent of the total domestic and foreign tours.
This is an unexpected growth, according to tourism businesses.
Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, director of Vietravel’s marketing department, said that the company recorded a total of more than 47,000 tourists registered for Tet tourism, much higher than last year.
This year, despite the effects of the pandemic, tourists are still excited about their plans to travel abroad because their favourite destinations have almost returned to normal and visa policies are also more convenient.
Destinations such as Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Europe and the US always attract many tourists; some tourists even choose to pre-book foreign tours in March and April 2023.
Similarly, travel companies such as Saigontourist, TST Tourist and Benthanh Tourist have had dozens of tourists going abroad during this Tet holiday.
Tran Quoc Bao, deputy general director of Saigontourist Travel, said that the number of tourists travelling aboard on the Lunar New Year holidays through the company reached 21,000.
Source: vietnamnews.vn LINK
Henig: Vietnam develops green agriculture to increase exports to EU
07:00 | 05/02/2023
Vietnam is paying attention to mobilising resources to invest in developing green agriculture with an aim to raising the market share of its agricultural exports to the European Union.
Last year, Vietnam’s export revenue of agro-fishery-forestry products set a record high of 53.22 billion USD, up 9.3% year-on-year. However, Europe accounted for only 11.3% of its market share.
This is a modest number, although the agricultural sector has optimised many advantages of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
One of the main reasons is said to be the union’s high requirements on farm imports, while Vietnam’s agricultural production has yet to meet green growth requirements.
According to the World Bank’s report, agriculture is the second highest emitter, accounting for 19% of the nation’s total gas emissions in 2020. About 48% of the sector’s emissions and more than 75% of methane emissions are from rice production.
Therefore, to boost farm exports to the EU, the sector is advised to pay more attention to green growth indicators through making policies and roadmaps to reduce greenhouse gas and methane emissions in accordance with international commitments.
Last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development approved an action plan to implement the National Strategy on Green Growth from 2021-2030, which aims to specify goals, tasks and solutions to realise the strategy and the national action plan for green growth.
Under the plan, the ministry will work to develop the agricultural sector in an ecological, organic, circular and low-carbon direction to improve growth quality, added value, competitiveness and sustainable development, while reducing pollution in agricultural production and rural areas, and promoting energy efficiency towards carbon neutralisation by 2050. Specifically, the sector aims for 2.5-3% in annual growth, and 42% in forest coverage.
It will also strive to increase the use of organic fertilisers to 30% of all those consumed, along with 30% of pesticides and at least 30% of farm areas using water-saving systems.
The sector will switch 300,000 hectares of rice to other crops with higher economic and environmental efficiency, while aiming for over 2% of organic farms out of the total farming area.
Source: VNA LINK
Henig: Screening tools to enhance FDI quality
06:00 | 05/02/2023
(VEN) – A set of foreign direct investment (FDI) screening tools was launched recently as a result of cooperation between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), promising enhanced effectiveness of foreign investment flows into Vietnam.
Ministry of Planning and Investment data show that Vietnam so far has attracted nearly US$440 billion of FDI from 140 countries and territories.
According to VCCI, FDI is one of the major resources for socioeconomic development. However, certain problems have arisen with FDI projects.
For example, some FDI companies were involved in transfer pricing and tax evasion, or did not abide seriously by environmental regulations, with detrimental social consequences. Local governments had to revoke some investment certificates due to delayed implementation of projects, while some foreign-invested projects still operate at a loss.
Some companies have failed to adhere to environmental laws and regulations. Inspections conducted by the Vietnam Environment Administration in 28 northern provinces from 2017 to 2019 show an increased percentage of FDI companies violating environmental regulations, from 44.5 percent in 2017 to 56 percent in 2018 and 68 percent in 2019.
Moreover, according to a VCCI study, only five percent of FDI projects use high technology, 80 percent use medium technology, and 14 percent use low technology. The local content of products ranges from 20-25 percent, lower compared with other countries in the region.
How to attract quality FDI projects, or to find responsible investors? How to minimize socioeconomic and environmental impacts of low-quality foreign investment projects? These questions are of great concern.
One of the solutions, according to Ramla Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, is using a set of screening tools to select responsible investment projects and to ensure their benefits for the Vietnamese people, environment and economy, helping promote Vietnam’s sustainable development.
According to Dau Anh Tuan, Head of VCCI’s Legislation Department, the tools include compulsory assessments by local governments to exclude FDI projects not abiding by Vietnamese laws and causing risks to the socioeconomic life and the environment, while encouraging abidance by international standards and good, responsible business practices.
The screening tools are expected to help improve the quality and effectiveness of FDI in Vietnam, increasing their contributions to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development
Nguyen Hoa LINK
Henig: Việt Nam attends Laos’ Bolaven coffee festival
February, 03/2023 – 16:13
Vietnamese coffee businesses are attending Laos’ Bolaven coffee 2023 festival which is underway from February 2-4 in the southern province of Champasak of Laos.
VIENTIANE – Vietnamese coffee businesses are attending Laos’ Bolaven coffee 2023 festival which is underway from February 2-4 in the southern province of Champasak of Laos.
The event is not only an opportunity for coffee growers in Laos to promote organic coffee products to international friends but also a chance for Vietnamese enterprises to expand their market in Laos.
Among the 50 booths displaying products from Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, Việt Nam is represented with three booths introducing its products from three localities, namely Đà Nẵng City, Đắk Lắk and Bình Phước.
Currently, Laos’ coffee products have been exported to more than 20 countries. In 2022, the total export volume of coffee beans of Laos reached about 22,000 tonnes with a value of over US$67 million.
Meanwhile, the General Department of Customs said Việt Nam’s coffee exports in 2022 were valued at nearly $4.06 billion, an increase of 32 per cent over that in 2021.
Henig: National defence industry sees remarkable progress
February, 04/2023 – 08:57
Lieutenant General Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, secretary of the General Department of Defence Industry’s Party Committee and Political Commissar, speaks to Quân đội nhân dân (People’s Army) newspaper on the national defence industry’s progress and missions for the future.
Lieutenant General Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, secretary of the General Department of Defence Industry’s Party Committee and Political Commissar, spoke to Quân đội nhân dân (People’s Army) newspaper on the national defence industry’s progress and missions for the future.
What are the highlights of the national defence industry in 2022?
The national defence industry achieved remarkable results last year with the attention of the Party and the State, the Central Military Commission (CMC) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the coordination and support of other ministries and departments, as well as the efforts and determination of everyone in the sector.
One of the highlights was the consultation with the CMC on the new Resolution No 08-NQ/TW on accelerating the defence industry’s development to 2030 and beyond, which was submitted to the Politburo for approval and issuance.
The MoD built an action programme to realise the resolution and submitted it to the Prime Minister for approval. This demonstrates the strategic vision of the mission to develop a self-reliant, multi-functional defence industry that responds to the need to build a modern military. At the same time, a dossier recommending the formation of the Law on National Defence, Security and Industrial Mobilisation was completed, allowing the issuance of circulars and regulations that manage and study the design and production of weapons and technical equipment.
The defence industry also saw breakthroughs in research and mastering a number of core and fundamental technologies; designing, manufacturing and producing a wide variety of arms and equipment, military vessels, as well as supporting tools for law enforcement forces and civilian use.
In the context where market demands are declining and export-import activities encounter multiple challenges, defence industry units have been actively promoting cooperation with local and international businesses to improve production and ensure stable income and employment for workers. The total revenue of the industry reached VNĐ33 trillion (US$1.4 billion) in 2022, of which 59 per cent is economic revenue.
Another notable achievement is the success of international cooperation in the defence industry and the Việt Nam International Defence Expo 2022, which attracted the participation of 174 defence businesses from 30 countries, and received high regard from the international community. This has contributed to the position and reputation of the country, its military and defence industry, opening up numerous cooperation opportunities in the sector with other countries.
Which breakthrough solutions were put in place to achieve these results?
First and foremost, the human factor is identified as the most important. We pay attention to building high quality personnel, particularly in research and development. We also formed specialised research teams that focus on several key aspects. We also link research with production, ensuring that research institutes are the science-technology foundation for factories.
Last year, solutions have been studied and proposed to maintain and improve product quality and repair to ensure stability. Several research projects on new arms production and technical support were also deployed.
In regard to economic development, the General Department of Defence Industry has put forward new strategies and solutions with stringent implementation, which has transformed the thinking on economic development in the sector’s units and departments.
Exchanges and connections with local and international businesses were also established, allowing practical and effective cooperation. Several defence businesses have become partners and suppliers for major enterprises. International standards have also been actively applied in business management and operations, as well as product quality control and digital transformation.
The department also focuses on promoting collective power in its mission and actively coordinates with other units for common growth.
What are the challenges facing the defence industry and the solutions to alleviate these issues?
While the national defence industry has seen comprehensive progress, there are still several shortcomings such as the limited coordination between institutions and policies, or among ministries and departments in the sector’s development. Financial investment and resources for the industry are not yet sufficient, and there are few multi-functional products for civilian use and export. We still have limitations in mastering the fundamental technology and special materials.
To alleviate these issues, the industry has been implementing multiple missions and solutions. The first is focusing on and proposing a complete legal framework for the defence industry, including specific mechanisms and policies on science-technology research and application. We also implement projects that invest in the industry’s potential, mobilising resources and developing high-quality human resources. Business structures were also streamlined to ensure productivity and efficiency.
In addition, the General Department of Defence Industry also suggests and actively consults with the MoD on implementing the mid-term public investment plan in the 2021-25 period, diversifying and effectively using investments to develop the industry’s potential.
The department continues to research and develop mid and long-term investment plans and projects for a modern, multi-functional defence industry. Other tasks include consultation, development and implementation of coordination mechanisms in the sector, promoting joint ventures, technology transfer and international cooperation in product research, production and consumption.
How has the General Department of Defence Industry attracted and developed high-quality human resources?
The defence industry’s human resources are seeing progress in terms of both quantity and quality, with an increase in the number of master’s and doctoral degree holders specialising in new and advanced technology.
To achieve these results, the department has always considered attracting and building high quality human resources a key and fundamental solution, which decides immediate and long-term development.
Recruitments are also conducted based on positions’ demands, reforms and the department’s structure and efficiency improvement. More human resources are assigned to special technical departments. Priority is also given to well-trained people with science-technology and foreign language qualifications, who have the capacity to receive technology transfer, design, produce and repair hi-tech products, and work in an international environment.
The department also looks into and applies suitable policies and benefits to attract and retain qualified staff, such as ensuring a good working environment, conditions for development, income and housing.
To improve the industry’s development in the new context, the department is proposing to the MoD to develop specific policies and frameworks that help attract, train and motivate high-quality human resources.
What are the key missions of the General Department of Defence Industry in the future?
The first mission is to focus on implementing managerial missions assigned by the State on the industry, and building institutions following the direction of the CMC. We will also continue our work on the missions identified in the government’s action programme and the MoD’s plans in regard to Politburo’s Resolution No 08; the draft Law on National Defence, Security and Industrial Mobilisation after receiving the approval for our dossier; and the proposal for specific mechanisms in the industry’s development.
The second is to build the plan and people’s determination for the project restructuring businesses in the 2021-25 period, which focuses on merging enterprises in military ship production and repair, with a strict, determined and appropriate action roadmap that ensures efficiency, stability and growth.
The third is to successfully research and manufacture modern arms and equipment. In 2023, we focus on studying the design and production of strategic weapons, completing the required procedures to start producing military vehicles, effectively implementing science-technology research and development programmes on mobile complexes and new-generation precision weapons, and extending studies in accordance with the MoD’s plans.
The fourth is to continue developing strong research personnel and assign specific tasks to research groups, in order to meet the demands in production goals following Resolution No 08.
— VNS LINK