VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES DECEMBER 20 – VietNamNet

Special policies necessary for HCM City’s development: NA leader
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Secretary of the Party Delegation at the National Assembly, on December 19 chaired a meeting between the NA Party Delegation and the Standing Board of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on devising a project to build a draft resolution on pilot mechanisms and policies for the development of the city to replace the NA’s Resolution 54.
The mechanisms and policies have been piloted in the city since January 2018 following Resolution 54, with a duration of five years.
In October this year, the Government suggested that the NA allow the city to continue piloting some special mechanisms until the end of 2023 instead of 2022..
Meanwhile, a project to develop an international financial centre in the city is being built, requiring adjustments of policies in finance, technology, banking, foreign exchange and relevant policies to serve as the legal foundation for the project.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai held that a new resolution replacing Resolution 54 is crucial to smooth resources for the city and create a momentum for it to rebounce.
Addressing the meeting, NA Chairman Hue lauded the HCM City Party Committee in building the draft resolution with more than 50 proposed policies.
He asked the city to focus on implementing four major policy groups, including existing policies included in Resolution 54 that have proved their efficiency; policies that are not included in Resolution 54 but are being carried out effectively in other localities; policies allowing the city to apply amended and supplemented contents of some revised laws; and policies exclusively applied for HCM City to remove obstacles facing the city.
Underlining that the draft resolution will bring about both intermediate and long-term benefits for the city and help promote its development and renovation, the NA leader stressed the need to clarify the contents and the authority to implement the resolution, along with a specific plan to realise it after it is issued.
He said that the draft resolution should be finalised for discussion at a NA session in May 2023.
Seminar, photo exhibition opens to support Agent Orange victims
The National Action Centre for Toxic Chemicals and Environmental Treatment (NACCET) opened a seminar and photo exhibition in Hanoi on December 19 in support of Agent Orange (AO) victims.
Participants discussed priority support for the enforcement of policies for people with disabilities, the need for technical assistance in the process of policy enforcement, capacity to mobilise, manage and use resources for the disabled, among others.
The project aims to improve the living conditions of persons with disabilities in provinces heavily sprayed with Agent Orange in the provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh from 2021-2026.
Managed by the Ministry of National Defence and carried out by NACCET, the project is costing about 65 million USD in non-refundable aid provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and 75 billion VND (3.26 million USD) from Vietnam.
The project aims to expand medical, rehabilitation and social services for the disabled, making it easier for them to integrate into society while improving the capacity of managing and supporting the disabled at all levels.
As of the late November, nearly 12 million people with disabilities and AO/dioxin victims in the above localities had received health check-ups, about 3,500 underwent rehabilitation, 6,000 obtained care services, and about 1,000 could manage themselves with support.
Film project on Southern culture begins
Filming for Dat Rung Phuong Nam (Southern Land), a film on southern history and culture by blockbuster director Nguyen Quang Dung, has begun in HCM City. 
The work expected to be completed next year tells the adventures of a boy named Nam, who loses his family in a battle and lives in the southwestern region under the French colonists. He learns new things with the help of poor farmers and children, and travels around the region and witnesses the suffering of farmers during the war. He joins the Viet Minh guerrillas to fight against the French troops. 
The producer, HK Film, invited talented director Dung, director of photography Diep The Vinh, and music producer Duc Tri to guarantee the film’s high quality in images, sound and light effects.
The film Dat Rung Phuong Nam is based on the famous novel of the same name by late author Doan Gioi, winner of the State Awards for Literature and Arts in 2001. Gioi’s book was released by the Kim Dong Publishing House in Hanoi in 1958.
The 255-page work is a song in praise of southern people, their history and culture. It provides readers, particularly children, with new ideas about the nature, animals, rivers, plants and people of the south. 
The book has been printed in dozens of languages, such as English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Polish. Its chapter titled Song Nuoc Ca Mau (Rivers of Ca Mau) has been used in textbooks for secondary students. 
In 1997, the work was adapted into a 11-part TV series called Dat Phuong Nam (Song of the South) by director Nguyen Vinh Son. 
Son’s work won the first prize for the Year’s Best TV Series at the 1997 National Film Festival presented by the Vietnam Cinematography Association.
It was subtitled in English and has been distributed in the US, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Director Dung spent five years to prepare for his biggest film project Dat Rung Phuong Nam. He used movie stars Hua Vi Van and Tuan Tran, and Meritorious Artist Nguyen Cong Ninh to play lead roles. 
Filming will be shot in southern localities such as An Giang, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh and Dong Thap.
Dung’s previous film, Thang Nam Ruc Ro (Splendid Years), a remake of a Korean hit called Sunny, earned more than 65 billion VND (2.85 million USD) in ticket sales in 2018.
Korean culture and tourism days take place in Hanoi
The 2022 Korea Culture and Tourism Days has recently opened in Hanoi as part of activities to celebrate the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK).
The opening ceremony of the event held on December 17 at Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square – part of the walking zones around Hoan Kiem Lake, saw the participation of RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Oh Young-ju, head of the Korean Tourism Organisation (KTO) Kim Jang-sil and representatives from Hanoi’s agencies, among others.
At the ceremony, KTO announced “Korean Tourism Year 2023-2024”.
A total of 24 booths at the event provided people with information about the Korean culture, tourism, and people. Visitors had a chance to experience food, handicraft products and traditional games of the RoK as well as enjoy performances by Korean and Vietnamese artists.
In the first 11 months of 2022, more than 160,000 Vietnamese tourists visited the RoK, and more than 567,000 Korean tourists came to Vietnam, making the RoK continue to be the largest international visitor market of Vietnam.
Hoi An ready for year-end festival ​
Closing out the National Tourism Year 2022, Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam province is set to host a range of unique cultural and tourism activities.
For the first time, “The essence of Vietnamese tea” festival will be held in Hoi An, bringing together a large number of tea researchers, artisans, and tea lovers from around the country.
Taking place over three days from December 30, the festival features interesting activities such as “Tea tasting and exchanges with artisans”, “Tea, poetry and photography”, and a New Year’s tea ceremony, among others. Spaces will be created for visitors to experience tea and meditation, royal tea, folk tea, Hanoi footpath tea, and southern iced tea.
Hoi An is also preparing products with messages on green tourism, such as “Artistic and Creative Road”, with a space for artworks made from recycled materials, and the Hoi An marine environment installation art festival and green tourism fair. All aim to inspire and raise awareness among the tourism community and visitors about sustainable tourism.
In addition to new activities mentioned above, end-of-year traditional festivals that are trademarks of Hoi An will also be maintained, such as the lantern festival. This promises to offer visitors from near and far a great experience when visiting the ancient town.
Binh Thuan finalises preparations for National Tourism Year 2023
The south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan is finalising preparations for its hosting of the National Tourism Year 2023, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on December 19.
Director of the department Bui The Nhan said that the locality has set up and completed an Organising Committee for the Tourism Year 2023 and its sub-committees.
It has issued a communications plan for the event, and a logo for the “Tourism Year 2023 – Binh Thuan – Go Green Come Together,” he said.
To date, three localities have registered to respond to the event, including Phan Thiet and Ham Thuan with bicycle races, and Phu Quy with a half-marathon tournament.
The Tourism Year 2023 will comprise more than 200 events, of which 13 are of national scale.
The first highlight of the year will be a countdown event on New Year eve in Phan Thiet city.
The province is home to nearly 600 hotels and resorts with 17,000 rooms, including 45 resorts and hotels of 3-5 star level with nearly 5,000 rooms.
Can Tho, USAID foster partnership in waste treatment, climate change response
Leaders of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 19 had a working session with a delegation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) led by its Director Aler Grubbs, during which the two sides discussed prioritised cooperation areas and collaboration in climate change response and environment.
According to the municipal leaders, currently, only 20% of total urban wastewater has been treated. The city plans to build more wastewater treatment plants in the future.
In 2018, the city launched a waste treatment plant with a capacity of treating 400 tonnes per day and night. In the time to come, it will call for investment in another plant with a capacity of 800 tonnes per day and night and night.
It has constructed two industrial wastewater treatment plants in Tra Noc and Thot Not IPs.
The city leaders said that the locality is facing difficulties in finance, technology and human resources during the treatment of urban and industrial wastewater.
Nguyen Ngoc He, Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee asked the USAID to coordinate with the city in classifying domestic solid waste; deploying circular economic models in the treatment of livestock waste and agricultural by-products; developing models on recycling and reuse of plastic waste as well as scientific research on plastic waste treatment.
He also asked for support in the implementation of communication projects to strengthen the capacity of local stakeholders in plastic waste prevention and control, and assistance in implementing industrial production models with minimised greenhouse gas emissions.
For her part, Aler Grubbs said that the organisation is running a number of prioritised projects and programmes in Vietnam, focusing on overcoming war consequences, reducing epidemics impacts, tertiary training, and economic development.
She said that the USAID pays special attention to projects and programmes related to the environment, climate change, and wildlife trafficking combat.
The USAID will prioritise cooperation with Can Tho in reducing waste, medical waste in the Can Tho General Hospital, and climate change in agriculture.
The city’s official pledged that in the time to come, the city will coordinate closely with the USAID to implement two projects on reducing the use and recycling of plastic waste, and minimising greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of mitigating the impact of climate change, thus helping Can Tho cope with climate change.
Can Tho hopes to speed up the two projects and seek new projects, he said.
Capacity building project for Vietnam-Korea university kick-starts
A project on improving the capacity of education-training, governance and research for the Vietnam-Korea University of Information and Communication Technology (VKU) for the 2022-2027 period kick-started in the central city of Da Nang on December 19.
The project costs nearly 8.5 million USD, including 7.7 million USD in non-refundable aid provided by the Government of the Republic of Korea (RoK) via the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
It aims to develop VKU into the first digital university in the central region with breakthrough curricula and a contingent of qualified lecturers. It is expected to become a hub for start-ups and innovation as well as cultural and academic exchange with the RoK and the world.
Speaking at the event, VKU Rector Huynh Cong Phap expressed a wish to build VKU into a model of success and a cultural exchange hub between Vietnam and the RoK in the central and Central Highland regions.
In the afternoon the same day, the VKU inaugurated a research and innovation space under the Digital Science and Technology Institute (eSTI).
ASEAN Music Festival 2022 opened in Quang Nam
The ASEAN Music Festival – 2022 was opened in Hoi An city, the central province of Quang Nam, on December 19 with the participation of 14 troupes from ASEAN countries.
The event, to last to 24, is among the activities within the framework of the closing of the National Tourism Year – Quang Nam 2002 and those marking the 55th founding anniversary of ASEAN this year.
Performances by more than 200 artists are conveying a message of “United, Creative – Shining Together”.
Ministry informs press on 2022 public security works
The Ministry of Public Security on December 19 held a press conference to brief the media on its works this year, including information on a series of major cases in the public eye.
At the event, Vu Nhu Ha, deputy head of the ministry’s investigation police agency on corruption, economy, smuggling (C03), said the agency prosecuted two cases and 27 defendants to investigate violations at the Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group Corporation.
The representative also noted that 29 cases and 102 defendants involved in the COVID-19 test kit overcharging at Viet A Technologies JSC were prosecuted.
The ministry has also found signs of wrongdoings in the management, research and transfer of the scientific project on COVID-19 test kits at the Ministry of Science and Technology and in licensing the circulation of the test kits and the negotiations of its price with the Viet A Company at the Ministry of Health.
A number of matters related to the case are being thoroughly investigated, Ha said, adding that C03 is continuing to collect more evidence and documents.
Regarding the scandal related to “repatriation flights” at the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, other ministries and localities, C03 said it has so far launched legal proceedings against 35 suspects.
Vietnamese footballers receive encouragement before AFF Cup opening match
Chargé d’Affaires of the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos Phan Minh Chien said that the embassy will provide all necessary support to the Vietnamese national football team at a meeting with the squad members on December 19.
Welcoming the team, who arrived in Laos to prepare for the first match in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, the diplomat said that a lot of Vietnamese football fans are expected to come to the Lao national stadium to encourage coach Park Hang-seo and his players.
For his part, Park thanked the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos for their attention and encouragement which he said give motivation to the team to obtain the best results.
Captain Do Hung Dung said that at the AFF Cup 2018, the Vietnamese squad also faced Laos in the opening match and then won the championship, adding that they also hope for a similar result this year.
Vietnam will meet Laos at the Laos National Stadium at 7.30pm on December 21.
The AFF Cup 2022 is scheduled to run between December 23 and January 16. Vietnam has been placed into Group B, with games against Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Laos.
Following the match with Laos, Vietnam will meet Malaysia on December 27, Singapore on December 30 and Myanmar on January 3, 2023.
IOM announces winners of “Migration through my lens” competition
The International Organisation for Migration’s Chief of Mission, Park Mihyung, has announced Lê Thảo Hương as the winner of the “Migration Through My Lens” competition.
The IOM Chief of Mission made the announcement at an awards ceremony on December 18 in Hà Nội.
The first edition of the “Migration Through My Lens” asked entrants to describe what migration means to them using their own pictures or short videos.
The competition was part of IOM’s efforts to increase interest and knowledge about migrants’ rights in the lead up to the commencement of International Migrants Day (December 18).
Commenting on the competition, IOM’s Chief of Mission Park explained: “We really wanted to get from the Vietnamese public their ideas on how to better promote safe, regular, and orderly migration in Việt Nam. What is it about the visual or storytelling aspect of migration that draws Vietnamese to want to learn more about the issue?
The second prize winner was Trần Thế Khải, a youth from Vũng Tàu, with his short video entry on a female migrant’s journey from Mekong Delta to Hồ Chí Minh City.
The third prize went to Nguyễn Hữu Thống with his impressive photo of ethic Mông seasonal migrant workers in Hà Giang.
According to IOM’s World Migration Report 2022, there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 per cent of the global population.
The estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades. In Việt Nam, over the past decade, the country has become one of the top 20 countries in the world with the highest remittance from its international migrant workers.
According to official data on contracted overseas labour in 2021, Việt Nam has over 600,000 international migrant workers in nearly 40 countries who have sent home around US$3-4 billion of remittance every year. 
HCMC prepares for new year’s countdown event
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports has just submitted a report to the municipal People’s Committee related to a countdown event and art light decorations on the streets to welcome the new year 2023.
The venue for the countdown event is set to take place at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, a section of Ngo Duc Ke – Nguyen Thiep and Le Duan Street, a section from Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street to Pasteur Street, with the installation of electronic screens.
The event will start at 5:30 p.m. on December 31, 2022, to 0:30 a.m. on January 1 of 2023.
The countdown event is an annual program of Ho Chi Minh City to welcome the new year, attracting thousands of residents and visitors which is performed in form of socialization.
As for the light decoration on the street, the activities will be implemented by VINAMA Communications Joint Stock Company on three routes of Le Duan Street, a section from Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Nguyen Binh Khiem, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, a section from Vo Thi Sau – Le Loi and Ton Duc Thang Street, s section from Ham Nghi – Thu Thiem Bridge 2.
Ministry issues regulations to increase use of local drugs in hospitals
The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health has so far issued regulations to increase the use of domestically produced drugs in medical facilities.
According to the Program to develop the pharmaceutical industry, domestically produced medicinal herbs to 2020, with a vision to 2045 approved by the Prime Minister, by 2025, domestically produced drugs will account for 75 percent of the used output and 60 percent of market value.
However, this goal is a big challenge for the pharmaceutical industry when currently domestically produced drugs only account for more than 50 percent of the pharmaceutical market share in Vietnam.
The Drug Administration of Vietnam under the Ministry of Health has so far issued regulations to increase the use of domestically produced drugs in medical facilities.
Amongst regulations issued by the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the most important is the Circular 15/2019/TT on the procurement of drugs at public health facilities. Accordingly, the procurement of drugs by public hospitals will go through a bidding process that is divided according to quality standards. As a result, the two highest drug groups, accounting for about 60 percent of the generic drug package value, are limited to drugs that meet EU-GMP standards of pharmaceutical equivalence and bioequivalence compared with the brand name drug for which it will be substituted.
Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes
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