Social insurance debts amount to VND14.7 trillion
Companies across the country still owe about VND14.7 trillion (over US$646 million) in social insurance premiums, which may leave their employees on the verge of losing their health and retirement insurance benefits, Thanh Tra newspaper reports.
Unpaid social, healthcare and unemployment insurance premiums accounted for 6.3% of all receivables by November, according to Vietnam Social Insurance.
Of which, debts of less than six months made up a large proportion at VND7.3 trillion (over US$321 million), and enterprises failed to pay healthcare insurance premiums of more than VND1.5 trillion (around US$69 million).
Overall, as many as 102,900 companies still failed to pay social insurance premiums totaling about VND14.7 trillion for around 2.6 million employees.
Social insurance officials have filed about 8,800 lawsuits involving enterprises accused of owing roughly VND6 trillion. However, courts at all levels have settled roughly 4,000 cases.
The chief judge of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh was cited by the newspaper as saying that prevailing legal procedures require social insurance agencies to inspect enterprises regarding insurance payments, and impose fines on those owing them.
Upon inspections, sanctions, and administrative procedures, he added, courts will handle the cases. This is why courts have turned down numerous cases as their procedures are not in line with the newly-issued criminal procedure code.
The Law on Trade Union, the 2012 Labor Code, the 2014 Social Insurance Law and the 2015 Civil Code allow labor unions on behalf of their employee members to file lawsuits against companies failing to pay social insurance premiums in order to guarantee their legitimate rights and interests.
Reports of local governments across the country showed as of end-October, more than 2,300 specialized inspections on payments of social, healthcare and unemployment insurance premiums had taken place. However, the figure is just a drop in the ocean.
Deputy general director of the Vietnam Social Insurance Tran Dinh Lieu asked agencies nationwide under his organization to carry out more specialized inspections in a bid to reduce the amount of insurance debts.
“The Vietnam Social Insurance and the Supreme People’s Court are working together to come up with a circular guiding the inspections and sanctions against enterprises that fail to comply with or not strictly conform to (prevailing regulations),” he said.
The National Assembly had passed the amended Penal Code which goes into force early next year. Failing to pay social insurance in due time is treated as a criminal offense. Therefore, courts at all levels will handle such cases in the coming time.
Eleven Apparel and Footwear Factories in Viet Nam Take the Extra Mile for Children
UNICEF and eleven factories in the footwear and apparel sector in Viet Nam have launched today the “Children’s Rights in the Workplace Programme for Footwear and Apparel Manufacturers” to look specifically at improving the wellbeing of children, working parents, and young workers. As part of the initial activities, factories will roll out the awareness raising campaign 60 minutes working as a mum that was developed in partnership with iCare Benefits and the Purpose Group to increase awareness on breastfeeding in workplace among workers and to encourage management to introduce policies to support breastfeeding workers.
“The footwear and apparel industry employs around 3.5 million workers in Viet Nam, 80% of whom are young women and most of them have migrated from rural areas to take factory jobs.” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Viet Nam. “Therefore, those businesses impact millions of children, both directly and indirectly through the policies and practices for their workers. I commend the participating factories for recognizing the role that they play and for committing to take action and to become new child rights advocates.”
This progamme launched is supported by UNICEF, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and iCare Benefits. “The promotion of child rights by businesses will contribute towards the achievement of the objectives set out in the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Mr. Tran Ngoc Liem, Deputy Director of VCCI Ho Chi Minh City Branch
Today’s launch event brought together representatives from the business community (factories, industry associations, brands, vendors), government, international and non-profit organizations to raise awareness on how businesses in the footwear and apparel sector can minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities through global guidance on respecting and supporting children’s rights. The guidance is outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and further elaborated in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, the Global Compact and Save the Children.
Mr Yao Cheng Wu, Director of Pou Yuen Vietnam – one of the participating manufacturers – explained at the event that the company’s factory in Ho Chi Minh City currently employs 74,000 workers, 80% of whom are women and on average they have 400 child births every month. This means that Pou Yuen has an opportunity to make a difference and directly contribute to the well-being of more than 4,500 children per year through family-friendly workplace programs and policies.
“We have seen that businesses who use their leverage to support and promote the rights of children can have an immense positive impact on the lives of children and become an accelerator for children’s rights” stressed Ms. Ines Kaempfer, Executive Director of Center for Child Rights and Corporate Sustainability during her presentation.
UNICEF works closely with companies, business associations, brands, relevant government departments, non-profit organizations, youth groups, academia and other UN agencies to promote children’s rights and business in the country. During the event, representatives from the factories shared their current policies to support working parents, children and their thoughts on the role of various stakeholders – brands, industry associations, government and NGOs in promoting children’s rights within the sector.
Population law must protect elderly: experts
The nation’s population policy must be integrated with other socio-economic factors including national defence and security to ensure rapid and sustainable development, experts said at a meeting in Hanoi on November 29.
The meeting was aimed at gathering recommendations for the draft Law on Population, which will be submitted to the fifth National Assembly session for discussion.
Truong Hai Cuong, member of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, said the country’s population was aging rapidly, so the draft law should have provisions that ensure the rights, interests and responsibilities of the elderly, and encourage senior citizens to do suitable jobs, based on their health and experience.
Quach Sy Hung, also with the VFF, said the draft law should have clear regulations on responsibilities of relevant ministries and agencies on family planning services and taking care for old people.
International principles and commitments should be observed in building population policies, said Nguyen Ngoc Quynh of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam.
She said the draft law should meet international standards and comply with human rights principles, including the right to decide to have babies, time to have babies and the number of children.
Regulations should ensure the provision of full and clear information, education and qualified services on reproductive health, with priority given to population in disadvantaged areas, she said.
Dialogue participants also discussed and shared their experiences on the development and implementation of population and development policies; raising awareness and changing societal behaviour; and integrating population variables into development policies.
The dialogue organised by the VFF, the UNFPA in Vietnam, the General Office for Population and Family Planning and the Ministry of Health.
Patrol road built along Vietnam-Cambodia border
The People’s Committees of the southwestern provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Long An began construction of a patrol road along the Vietnam-Cambodia border
The People’s Committees of the southwestern provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Long An began construction of a patrol road along the Vietnam-Cambodia border on November 29.
The 270-km road will be built at a cost of 2.35 trillion VND (103.6 million USD) sourced from Government bonds between 2017 and 2020, including 130km in Tay Ninh, 110km in Binh Phuoc, and 30km in Long An.
Lieutenant General Vo Minh Luong, Commander of the Military Region 7, said the project aims to serve the management and protection of national sovereignty, security, social order and safety in border areas.
It also aims to develop the local economy as well as strengthen ties with Cambodia, he said.
He noted that before 2014, the Military Region 7 had built 128km of border patrol road in Binh Phuoc and Long An, and 48.94km in Long An in 2014-2016.
He asked the management board of the project to work with authorities of the three localities to address land clearance issues while coordinating with agencies of the Ministry of National Defence to ensure the progress of the project and to uphold border entry and exit regulations.
Quang Ninh hosts regional reproductive, sexual health conference NA cancels VND10 trillion allocation for flood control in HCMC Youth Conference on reproductive health Manulife Vietnam raises $30 million for Hearbeat Vietnam
Event affirms capacity of people with disabilities
Disabled people who are active in the fields of economics, development, society and management participated in the “We can do it” event in Hanoi on November 29.
The event was held by the Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam along with the Action to the Community Development Centre (ACDC) and the ICRC MoveAbility Foundation under the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Despite have a leg disability, Truong Cong Nghiem, Chairman of the Da Nang Association of Disabled People, has become an owner of a printing company.
Meanwhile, Dang Tran Thanh has become Director of FiveColour Company, despite having a hearing impairment. The firm, which specialises in handicraft production in Hanoi, also generates jobs for many hearing-impaired people.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, who lost one third of her left leg, represented Vietnam at the ASEAN Para Games in 2015 in track-and-field. She won a gold medal in the 200m and has won a total of 17 gold medals in international competition.
Despite having osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, has overcome difficulties to become Director of the ACDC, a consultant of the National Committee for Vietnamese Persons with Disabilities and a member of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Federation for Disabilities in 2017-2022.
Addressing the programme, President of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said the VRC has implemented several activities to support poor people and those with disabilities across Vietnam.
The association has also called on organisations and individuals to support disabled people, she added.
Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Beatrice Maser highlighted the theme of the 2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), which is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.
To realise this goal, it is necessary to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities, she said.
The annual day was launched in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly, aiming to promote the rights and well-being of the disabled in all spheres of society and development, and increasing awareness of disabled people in political, social, economic and cultural life.
NA a parliament of debate: Hanoians
Many citizens in Hà Nội applauded improvements in the National Assembly (NA)’s recent activities, especially its fourth session, while meeting with Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and other NA deputies of Hà Nội yesterday.
The legislators met with citizens in Ba Đình, Tây Hồ and Hoàn Kiếm districts to detail the outcomes of the 14th NA’s freshly concluded fourth session, the implementation of their action programme in 2017, and the action plan for next year.
Many local constituents lauded the fourth sitting’s outcomes, especially question and answer sessions, adding that the NA changed from a parliament of discussion to a parliament of debate. During this sitting, the Government also pointed out shortcomings that need to be addressed so as to boost national development.
Hà Nội citizens said they want the NA to continue reforming its activities and shorten its sessions’ durations so that authorities and sectors can focus on implementing targets set by the parliament.
Echoing this view, the Party chief said the fourth session was successful as reforms and improvements were made in a democratic, straightforward, responsible, and constructive manner.
At the meetings, citizens also lauded the NA’s approval of many laws, including the Law on Planning. They asked the legislative body to monitor the enforcement of this law.
However, they also voiced concern about the fact that although many laws were issued, law enforcement is still weak. The issuance of documents guiding enforcement remains sluggish while there is a shortage of personnel and funding for law dissemination. They asked the NA to watch the issuance of legal documents so as to avoid issuing documents that are impractical or run counter to law.
Several people mentioned deforestation and mining that affect ecosystems, the new universal education curriculum and textbooks, teaching and learning facilities, and policies for educational workers.
Regarding the fight against corruption, they expressed their support for the Party and State’s resolve, noting that once violations are discovered, they must be handled stringently.
General Secretary Trọng said this is a serious problem on which the Party Central Committee has issued many resolutions. Although efforts have been made and more effective actions have been taken, this is a long-term fight that needs to be ramped up.
He called on voters to have greater consensus and determination to join the entire Party, people and political system in fighting corruption and developing Viet Nam into a prosperous, democratic, equitable and civilised country.
Vietnamese Ambassador extends greetings on Laos’s National Day
Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung and a delegation of the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos have extended greetings to leaders of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the Lao Government and people on the occasion of Laos’s 42nd National Day.
Visiting the headquarters of the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee in Vientiane on November 29, the Ambassador congratulated the Lao people on the great achievements they have made under the leadership of the LPRP over the past 42 years.
He stressed that Laos has recorded important progress in external relations in 2017, with the LPRP having strengthened ties with ruling parties of many countries.
The ambassador took the occasion to thank the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee and other agencies for their coordination and support in organising activities to mark the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017.
He said the activities contributed to fostering the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries as well as educating their people on the significance of the ties.
Head of the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee Sunthon Xayachak said Vietnam has always had a role in Laos’s achievements over the past years and affirmed that the LPRP, Government and people of Laos will do their best to together with their Vietnamese partners preserve the special Laos-Vietnam solidarity.
The same day, Ambassador Nguyen Ba Hung and the Embassy delegation also visited the LPRP Central Committee Office, the Lao Prime Minister Office and the Lao Foreign Ministry to deliver their greetings on the Lao anniversary.
Hanoi voters laud improvements in parliament’s fourth session
Many voters in Hanoi applauded improvements in the National Assembly (NA)’s recent activities, especially its fourth session, while meeting with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other NA deputies of Hanoi on November 29.
The legislators met with voters in the districts of Ba Dinh, Tay Ho and Hoan Kiem to inform the outcomes of the 14th NA’s freshly concluded fourth session, the implementation of their action programme in 2017, and the action plan for next year.
Most of local constituents spoke highly of the fourth sitting’s outcomes, especially question and answer sessions, adding that the NA changed from a parliament of discussion to a parliament of debate. During this sitting, the Government also straightforwardly pointed out shortcomings that need to be addressed so as to boost national development.
Hanoi voters said they want the NA to continue reforming its activities and shorten its sessions’ duration so that authorities and sectors can focus on implementing the tasks and targets set by the parliament.
Echoing the view, General Secretary Trong said the fourth session was one of the successful sessions of the parliament as reforms and improvements were made in a democratic, straightforward, responsible, and constructive manner.
At the meetings, voters also lauded the NA’s approval of many important laws, including the Law on Planning. They asked the legislative body to closely monitor the enforcement of this law.
However, they also voiced concern about the fact that although many laws were issued, law enforcement is still weak. The issuance of documents guiding the enforcement remains sluggish while there is a shortage of personnel and funding for law dissemination. They asked the NA to keep a close watch on the issuance of legal documents so as to avoid documents that are impractical or run counter to law.
A number of constituents raised opinions on deforestation and mining that affect the ecosystem, the new universal education curriculum and textbooks, teaching and learning facilities, and policies for educational workers.
Regarding the fight against corruption and negative phenomena, they expressed their support for the Party and State’s resolve, noting that once violations are discovered, they must be handled stringently.
General Secretary Trong said this is a big and serious problem on which the Party Central Committee has issued many resolutions. Although many efforts have been made and more methodological and effective actions have been taken, this is a long-term fight that needs to be ramped up.
He called on voters to have greater consensus and determination to join the entire Party, people and political system in fighting corruption and developing Vietnam into a prosperous, democratic, equitable and civilised country.
CPV delegation pays working visit to China
A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is paying a working visit to China from November 26 to December 3 during which they will also attend a high-level dialogue between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and world political parties.
The delegation, led by Phan Dinh Trac – Secretary of the CPV Central Committee, Chairman of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs and deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption, had a meeting on November 29 with Yang Xiaodu – member of the CPC’s Politburo, Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Secretariat and Deputy Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission.
Trac highly valued the enormous achievements China recently obtained. He voiced his belief that under the leadership of the CPC with General Secretary Xi Jinping being the core, China will successfully attain the targets set at the CPC’s 19th National Congress.
He expressed his delight at recent developments in relations between the two Parties and the two countries, affirming that the Vietnamese Party, State and people sincerely want to join their Chinese counterparts in promoting the two countries’ neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a stable, healthy, sustainable and substantive manner, thus actively contributing to each country’s development as well as peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
For his part, Yang also congratulated Vietnam’s successes in socio-economic development, Party building and corruption fight. He noted that led by the CPV, the Vietnamese people will achieve the targets set at the CPV’s 12th National Congress and gain even greater accomplishments in reform and socialism building.
He reiterated that the Chinese Party, State and people attach special importance to relations with Vietnam and are ready to together with the country make all-out efforts to foster bilateral ties.
He also applauded the progress in China-Vietnam relations, adding that he wishes both sides will increase high-ranking visits, enhance political trust, step up strategic connectivity, and increase people-to-people exchanges.
Also on November 29, the CPV delegation had talks with the CPC Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission to learn about China’s experience in Party building and corruption fight.
They will attend the CPC’s high-level dialogue with world political parties from December 1 to 3.
PM encourages Australian group Sakkara’s investment in real estate
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told the Australian property group Sakkara that there are huge investment opportunities for the group in Vietnam.
Receiving the group’s president Neil Robert Wilson in Hanoi on November 29, the Prime Minister said urban development is important for Vietnam but the Vietnamese Government does not has sufficient financial capacity to invest in the field. Therefore, many opportunities are available for investors, he said.
PM Phuc suggested the group can expand investment to other fields, such as transport, environment, waste and waste water treatment, and infrastructure development in the forms of build – operate – transfer (BOT) and private – public – partnership (PPP).
He affirmed that the Government of Vietnam always facilitates foreign investment in the country.
For his part, Neil Robert Wilson expressed his impression of Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.
According to him, the group decided to make investment in Vietnam considering the country’s young and dynamic population. He said Sakkara has gained success since entering Vietnam in 2003, noting that Vietnam is the only foreign market the group has made investment in.
He expressed his hope for more assistance from the Government of Vietnam and the PM for his group when it invests in large-scale projects on home development and equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
French group urged to expand investment in Vietnam
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has hoped that France’s VINCI Group will increase investment in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure and environment.
At a reception in Hanoi on November 29 for visiting VINCI Chairman Jerome Stubler, the PM spoke highly of what have been done by the group and its VINCI Construction Grands Projects in particular in Vietnam, especially projects in environmental protection and wastewater treatment.
As Vietnam is in need of infrastructure development, especially expressways, the Vietnamese Government leader urged VINCI to continue engaging in projects in this field, even purchasing the right to exploit expressways.
Vietnam’s urban areas are developing rapidly, posing an urgent need for clean water supply and wastewater treatment, he said, noting that it is a great chance for VINCI to invest in the country.
He expressed that Vietnam wishes to select good and capable partners via transparent biddings and VINCI may invest in the country in the forms of build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public-private partnership (PPP).
For his part, Jerome Stubler said his group implemented a wastewater treatment project in Hoi An, the central province of Quang Nam 10 years ago and will carry out a water supply project using high technology in Ho Chi Minh City in the coming time.
He expressed wish to engage in other major water supply and drainage projects in Vietnam and even urban railway projects in HCM City.
He also revealed that his group recently signed a cooperation agreement on investment in the Thanh Hoa-Ninh Binh section of the North-South Expressway with the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC).
VNCI hopes the Vietnamese Government, ministries, agencies and localities will support the group in implementing this project, he said, adding that the group will contribute to human resources development in the country.
Mekong Delta preserves water-related cultural values
The preservation and promotion of water cultural values in the Mekong Delta have become more urgent than ever before under the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution and international integration as well as the global climate change, heard a workshop in Can Tho city on November 28.
Rector of Can Tho University Associate Professor PhD. Ha Thanh Toan, said water culture in the Delta covers various aspects from history, art, literature, and religion to tourism.
Representatives from the Political Academy under the Ministry of National Defence said localities, which are able to tap natural advantages and native culture to develop tourism, record stable growth.
They suggested promoting the region’s unique culture of floating markets, gastronomy, boat traveling, and mangrove forest system as well as improve the quality of tourism services.
The southern province of Kien Giang is an example, which earned 3.5 trillion VND (154 million USD) in revenue in 2016 with around 5.4 million tourists, a year-on-year rise of 42 percent.
Nguyen Ho Thanh from An Giang University and other speakers from Ho Chi Minh City’s Culture University mentioned the preservation and development of traditional craft villages such as brocading, Bang Buong conical hat making, boat building, and fishing, which, they said, should receive more financial and technological support from authorities.
Researchers from Can Tho and Saigon universities highlighted the diversity and cultural interaction of Kinh – Hoa – Khmer in the southwestern region, creating spiritual, architectural and gastronomic milestones.
Pagodas and traditional festivals of ethnic groups are always a highlight in tourism, especially for tourists from Europe, they said.
Red Cross to gift clothes to kids in storm-hit provinces
The Việt Nam Council of Red Cross on Tuesday launched a charity programme called Tiết Kiệm Vì Miền Trung Yêu Thương to raise VNĐ2 billion (US$88,105) to buy new clothes for children for Tết in three storm-hit central provinces of Quảng Nam, Khánh Hòa, and Phú Yên.
Members of the public can donate money through the smartphone application Tiết Kiệm Nhóm (Group Saving).
The programme is being run by the Red Cross along with VTVCorp and Trust Circle Company’s Tiết Kiệm Nhóm app.
Hanwha Life gives health centre to Bắc Kạn
Hanwha Life Vietnam in partnership with Child Fund (Korea) and Child Fund Vietnam on Tuesday gifted a new medical centre costing US$100,000 to Lãng Ngâm Commune in Bắc Kạn Province’s Ngân Sơn District.
The donation aims to improve healthcare and living standards in the remote area.
This is the third such medical centre that Hanwha has set up in the northern mountains, where residents still find it difficult to access healthcare services.
The other two are in Bắc Phong Commune, Hòa Bình Province (2015), and Kim Truy Commune, Kim Bôi District, Hòa Bình Province (2016).
In more than eight years of operations in Việt Nam, Hanwha has sponsored many community projects.
Between 2014 and 2016 Hanwha gifted health insurance cards to more than 27,260 poor people in 14 provinces and cities around the country, helping ease the burden of medical expenses on them and enabling better treatment.
This year Hanwha has continued to collaborate with the HCM City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients, donating more than 9,500 health insurance cards worth nearly VNĐ2 billion to poor people in HCM City, Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Đắc Nông, Kon Tum, Quảng Trị, and Cà Mau.
Chance is open for all teams in women’s football semi-finals
The semi-finals of the National Women’s Football Championship will take place today, with defending champions HCM City 1 facing Việt Nam Coal and Minerals in Hà Nam Province.
HCM City 1 are the favorite for the title this season. They have shown their power with 13 wins in a row and suffering no goal losses in the second-leg round, before advancing to the semi-finals as the leading team.
HCM City are home to national team members, such as Golden Ball winner Huỳnh Như, midfielder Chương Thị Kiều and Thùy Trang, along with goalkeeper Đặng Thị Kiều Trinh, who recently retired from the national squad.
Meanwhile, Việt Nam Coal placed fourth in the ranking after the qualification, which saw their one loss and one win against HCM City 1.
Coach Đoàn Minh Hải of Việt Nam Coal said he had to make careful plans for the match, because HCM City 1 were really strong and playing at a higher level than other semi-finalists.
He believed, however, that the chance for the two teams was 50-50, as there were other elements that decided the result of the match.
In a later match, former winners Hà Nội 1 will play hosts Phong Phú Hà Nam.
The two teams have the same number of national team members and both admitted that their strikers had wasted too many chances during this tournament.
Coach Đặng Quốc Tuấn of Hà Nội 1 said Phong Phú Hà Nam had outstanding players who could be substituted during a match. However, the connection between players was not good enough. Their strong point was Hà Nội 1’s weak point and vice versa.
He said it would be a difficult match because they understood each other well. The winner would be the team who could convert their chances into goals.
Coach Nguyễn Thế Cường of the hosts shared the same idea. He added that despite being equal in power, his team had an advantage of the home ground, although sometimes it also created pressure on his players.
In the qualification, two matches ended in draws.
Hà Nội wins men’s team petanque after 13 years, top national champs
Hà Nội topped the National Petanque (iron ball) Championship, which closed yesterday in Sóc Trăng Province.
The Hanoian athletes secured three gold medals, half of the total gold medals at the tournament.
Bình Dương came in second with two titles and Sóc Trăng was in third place with one gold medal.
Yesterday, during the last day of competition, Hà Nội triumphed in the men’s team event, ending their wait of 13 years.
“This victory makes us more confident, ahead of the National Sports Games. We hope to win another one at next year’s Games, which is to be organised on our home field,” said Đặng Xuân Vui, manager of Hà Nội Petanque Club.
Two other titles won by the team were in the men’s doubles, with a team of two men and one woman.
Embassy marks 42nd National Day of Laos, Vietnam-Laos ties
The Lao Embassy in Vietnam hosted a banquet on November 29 in celebration of the 42nd National Day of Laos (December 2, 1975) and the 55th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962).
Addressing the event, Lao Ambassador Thongsavanh Phomvihane acknowledged the support the Vietnamese Party, State and people have given to his country’s struggle for national liberation in the past and national development at present.
That support illustrates the pure relationship between Vietnam and Laos, which is a priceless asset which must be maintained and passed down to future generations, he noted.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh offered congratulations on Laos’s National Day. He expressed his belief that the country will successfully implement the resolution of the 10th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the eighth five-year socio-economic development plan, building Laos into a prosperous nation.
Despite ordeals, hardships and sacrifices, “history has proven that the special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos is a wellspring that amplifies our strength and empowers us from one victory to the next,” he said.
The official stressed that the Vietnam-Laos Year of Friendship and Solidarity 2017, the 55th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the countries’ Treaty of Amity and Cooperation are a bright milestone in their friendship.
Deputy PM Minh also spoke highly of Vietnam-Laos cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral aspects in 2017, noting that he believes the two countries’ people will continue to intensify bilateral cooperation, thereby living up to Vietnamese and Lao people’s aspiration and interest and for peace, stability and prosperity.
Vietnam – EU parliamentary friendship marks in Belgium
European officials and international friends gathered in Brussels, Belgium on November 29 to mark the second anniversary of the Vietnam – EU parliamentary friendship group in the European Parliament (EP) (November 11).
The event was organised by the Embassy of Vietnam in Belgium and Vietnam’s Mission to the EU.
Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Vietnam Mission to the EU Vuong Thua Phong lauded the contributions made by the EP to promoting Vietnam – EU relations.
Phong highlighted significant achievements in the past two years, including the conclusion of negotiations for the EU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) in December 2015, and the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation becoming effective in October 2016.
Vietnam supports EU efforts to expand cooperation in Asia – Pacific, Phong said, expressing his hope that the two sides will accelerate the ratification of the EVFTA.
For his part, president of the parliamentary friendship group, Jan Zahradil detailed the group’s operations over the past two years.
The most important task is to push ratification of the EVFTA, he said, adding that final legal documents are under review.
As part of its efforts to push ratification of the EVFTA, the group President is scheduled to visit Vietnam from December 3-5. A delegation from the group will also tour Vietnam next year to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two nations.
The Vietnam – EU parliamentary friendship group gathers nearly 40 parliamentarians in different parties in the EP, with the aim of boosting Vietnam – EU relations.
Mexico parliament values ties with Vietnam
Mexico attaches importance to relations with Vietnam, according to Chairman of the Mexican Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee for the Asia-Pacific region, Senator Teofilo Torres Corzo.
He made the remark while receiving Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico Nguyen Hoai Duong on November 29.
Praising the ties between Vietnamese and Mexican parliaments, the legislator stressed that the Senate of Mexico is willing to reinforce relations for mutual benefits.
He said he believes a recent meeting between President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting would lift the two nations’ relations by identifying new cooperation areas and building an effective agenda.
Congratulating Vietnam on successfully hosting the APEC Year 2017, he said increasing trade between Vietnam and Mexico in recent years laid a basis for the formation of a common agenda that benefits both countries.
He revealed that a Mexican delegation of five senators and five federal electoral deputies will attend the 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) in Hanoi next year.
He said the delegation wants to work with different committees of the Vietnam National Assembly on the sidelines of the event.
The lawmaker underscored the Mexican Senate’s goodwill in working with the Vietnam Embassy to foster bilateral cooperation across politics, economics, and culture.
For his part, Ambassador Duong said based on the meeting of the two state leaders, it is a good time for Vietnam and Mexico to bolster their relations, particularly in the field of parliamentary diplomacy.
The diplomat pledged to try his best to stimulate bilateral ties between the two countries and parliaments, asking for support from the Mexican law-making body to fulfill his mission in the country.
Vietnam, UK boost audit partnership
Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office of the UK (NAO) Amyas Morse and State Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc have agreed to share information about financial auditing and continue with IT and personnel training cooperation.
Phoc is visiting the UK from November 26 – 30 to boost ties between the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) and the NAO, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
During a working session with the NAO, Phoc suggested the NAO continue sharing the UK’s law on state auditing, operational processes, environment and tax auditing with Vietnam and sending experts to the country to share experience.
He asked both sides to regularly update each other about skills and documents and offer support in multilateral events hosted by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.
During a working session on November 28, the SAV and ACCA agreed to continue discussing contents of a joint study project on environmental auditing for sustainable development and to hold seminars and dialogues to share experience in financial and public asset auditing.
The ACCA vowed to open training courses to improve the SAV’s capacity of holding the Congress of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI).
The SAV and the ICAEW also pledged to hold training courses on operating and environmental audits.
The Vietnamese delegation proposed the ICAEW continue sending experts to Vietnam to share experience via teleconferences, workshops and training courses.
On the occasion, Phoc invited NAO Auditor General Morse, ACCA Chief Executive Officer Helen Brand and ICAEW Chief Executive Officer Michael Izza to the 14th ASOSAI Congress scheduled for September 19-22, 2018 in Hanoi.
Khanh Hoa hosts ASEAN-India workshop on blue economy
An ASEAN-India Workshop themed “Blue Economy: From Concept to Action” is taking place in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, from November 24-25.
The workshop, jointly held by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, the India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), has been initiated by Vietnam as part of the activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary since the establishment of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and India.
Speaking at the event, Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung emphasised the importance of blue economy in the growth of the world and the region.
Recalling the maritime cooperation activities in ASEAN, and between the bloc and its partners, Dung asked the participants to make specific proposals to build a common perception in the region on protecting and preserving the marine environment and build suitable economic cooperation mechanisms in order to facilitate sustainable development.
Indian Ambassador Parvathaneni Harish suggested that ASEAN and India step up sustainable economic collaboration on the basis of international law and each side’s advantages and potential.
He recommended conducting studies on blue economy, exploiting aquatic resources sustainably and to consider the possibility of cooperation in ocean energy.
At the workshop, representatives from the participating countries hailed the significance of regional and inter-regional collaboration in blue economy, especially in the context of increasingly exhausted marine resources, declining bio-diversity, increasing environmental pollution and climate change.
According to the World Bank, blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.
Project empowering civil society, workers launched
A conference was held in Hanoi on November 29 to launch a project empowering civil society and workers.
The project, co-financed by the European Union and the Vietnamese government, will be run until May 2021 aiming to improve the capacity of social organisations involved in labour, thus contributing to the development of Vietnamese society.
Speaking at the event, Director of the Institute for European Studies Nguyen An Ha said that during international economic integration, Vietnam’s economic structure is shifting from agriculture to industry and services. Many labourers in rural areas have migrated to urban areas and surrounding areas.
However, they face difficulties in settling in these areas and many of them have to return to their homeland when aged above 35, an age at which many factories lay off workers, posing pressure on labourers and the social welfare system, Ha stated.
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, which represents labourers, have carried out many activities to support labourers. However, it can’t reach all aspects of labourers’ lives.
Therefore, the involvement of social organisations in assisting labourers is essential, Ha affirmed, adding that the participation of these organisations will contribute to supervising the implementation of free trade agreements.
The project aims to establish a network of social organisations related to labour, increasing the role of selected organisations through providing training and financial assistance for them, and expanding the involvement of the organisations in policy dialogues.