Vietnamese-born to be governor of South Australia
Vietnamese-born Le Van Hieu will become the first Asian migrant to become the Governor of South Australia in September, according to ABC News.
Hieu is currently deputy governor-a position he has held since 2007.
“Hieu has already demonstrated an outstanding level of service to the community and I have no doubt that he will serve the role with great distinction”, said Premier Jay Weatherill.
Born in 1954 in Quang Tri province, Hieu immigrated to Australia in 1977 and worked as an accountant until he retired in 2009.
He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010.
VietJet Air’s flight safety put under special supervision
The operation process of low-cost carrier VietJet Air has been put under special supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) following the June 19 incident when a flight of the carrier took passengers to a wrong destination.
The month-long special supervision will cover four categories, from the company’s organisational structure and personnel, contracts on aircraft use and maintenance, flight control, ground services to operation protocol at departure and arrival airports as well as pilots’ observation of flight regulations, according to CAAV Director Lai Xuan Thanh.
In addition, the airline’s compliance with CAAV warnings will also be put under close monitoring.
On June 19, Vietjet Air flight VJ 8861, which was supposed to land at Lien Khuong airport in the central highland resort city of Da Lat, brought nearly 200 passengers to Cam Ranh airport near the beach city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa.
Right after the incident, Vietjet Air arranged another flight to bring the passengers to Da Lat. They arrived at the Lien Khuong airport at 9:50 pm the same day.
Life term upheld in insurance scam
The Appeals Court in Quang Ninh yesterday upheld the life sentence awarded to Bui Thi Thu Hang for swindling people off millions of dollars in an insurance scam.
The court also held sentences of 3-13 years in prison handed down to 16 accomplices for cheating and appropriating a total of over VND 230 billion (US$10.7 million).
After hearing leniency pleas from 13 of 17 defendants, the court decided to reduce by 1-2 years sentences awarded to eight defendants.
Defendants who had their sentences commuted include: Truong Thi Van, who will now spend 11 years in prison, Bui Thi Thuy Linh (eight years); Le Hai Yen (five years); Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha (five years); Phung Duc Hung (five years); and Hoang Thi Thu Hang (four years).
The remaining eight defendants had their original sentences upheld.
The first trial of this case was held in October 2013.
Under the original indictment, Hang, 30, a former insurance consultant in a branch of Prudential Life Insurance Company Viet Nam in Quang Ninh Province, created fake receipts and applications for various types of VIP insurance packages to sell to clients.
She and her accomplices misused the company’s title and created forged documents and stamps to deceive clients.
The court ordered Hang and the 16 other defendants to return all the money they appropriated from the clients.
Hang was required to return VND211 billion ($9.9 million) and other defendants were asked to repay the rest of money.
The court also concluded that Prudential Life Insurance Company Viet Nam did not have to compensate clients because it had not directly signed insurance contracts with the clients.
MoT sources funds for new bus stations
The Ministry of Transport would revise and supplement regulations and documents on how to speed up private funding of bus stations throughout the country, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho told a conference yesterday.
It’s the first time a conference has been held to review the operation of bus stations that have private investors and shareholders.
“The conference was held to hear opinions from owners and managers of bus stations nationwide. They spoke about some of the concerns and problems they face in the operation of bus stations, so the ministry plans to create more favourable conditions to boost the privatisation process towards 2020 with a vision to 2030,” Tho said.
“The Ministry of Transport will build a standard bus station model to apply nationwide to improve services and safe transportation,” he said, adding that priority would be given to information technology applications.
“We try to offer the same service in bus stations as passengers are used to in airports.”
Head of the Transport Department under the ministry, Khuat Viet Hung, said only 231 out of the country’s 457 bus stations had followed the Law of Enterprises since it was issued in 2005.
“The figure accounts for just 47 per cent. The delay is due to poor management by local departments and a lack of priority policies from the Government to boost investment and management from the private sector,” Hung said.
“Investors still complain that land clearance and allocation procedures are major obstructions, and local departments of transport have not adopted the policy or planned public bus routes to connect bus stations,” he said.
Le Viet Hoang, general director of the Da Nang Bus Station Joint Stock Company, said the Government should give land tax exemption for investors or issue management models to control bus stations.
“We launched a bus station in 2009 with initial capital of VND50 billion (U$2.4 million). It provides services for 1,500 buses on 80 routes each day. However, the station only operates at 30 per cent of its designed capacity,” Hoang said.
“We invested in the first electronic station in Viet Nam with a series of IT applications including GPS, around-the-clock camera monitoring and electronic ticket sales, as well as a clean and safe service,” he added.
Last year, the Ministry of Transport recognised the bus station in Da Nang as the first electronic bus station in Viet Nam.
Deputy Minister Tho said the ministry would boost IT applications in the management of bus stations nationwide.
According to the city’s department of transport, 1,300 buses and 879 trucks have already installed GPS tracking equipment.
The country has over 3,100 enterprises and co-operatives working in passenger and cargo transport, with 102,000 buses and 620,000 trucks. But 70 per cent of businesses have poor management, services and short-term investment plans.
Blood donation campaign opens
As many as 130 volunteers, including several celebrities, will participate in Red Journey, a cross-country blood donation campaign, from July 1-28.
The annual campaign, which will tour 25 cities and provinces, aims to collect 16,000 units of blood.
Ha Noi hospitals to rotate doctors
The Ha Noi health sector will rotate doctors between three hospitals in the city from the beginning of next month to reduce overcrowding.
Under the plan, doctors and nurses from the Ha Noi Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital and the Saint-Paul Hospital will be sent to Phuc Tho District Hospital, which is suffering a major doctors shortage, to provide professional skills training in two years.
The Ha Noi Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital will assign two obstetrics doctors, an anesthetist, a midwife, a technician and one nurse specialising in infant recovery. The Saint Paul Hospital will assign one surgeon and one anaesthetic doctor to the Phuc Tho Hospital.
Globefish meal kills one, hospitalises six
One person died and six others were admitted in the General Hospital in Thua Thien Hue after they consumed globefish, local officials said yesterday.
They were members of two families residing in Phu Vang District of Thua Thien Hue.
Doctors said that the family members were admitted in the hospital on Thursday afternoon and developed symptoms of dizziness, nausea and numbness in the tongue, hands and feet, with some of them becoming unconscious.
A nine-year-old victim was pronounced dead later on.
Truck crashes red light, kills one
One person died and three others were seriously injured, after a truck ignored a red light, hit three motorcycles and ran over a food stall owner in Tay Ninh city.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Vo Thi Sau and Nguyen Van Rop in the city.
After the collision with the motorcycles, the truck crashed into a fruit and vegetarian food stall on the other side of the road killing the owner.
The three persons injured were the motorcycle riders, who were hospitalised. The truck driver was later identified as 42-year-old, Nguyen Duc Minh, of Hoa ThanhDistrict, Tay Ninh.
Investigations are going on.
Asbestos use in construction a labour hazard: experts
The use of asbestos in construction should be stopped as it poses serious health risks to workers, said experts at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.
The conference, which was hosted by the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations, heard a World Health Organisation (WHO) report claimed that exposure to asbestos, a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used in construction, can cause serious illnesses including lung cancer and asbestosis.
WHO has warned that an average of 1.25 million of workers worldwide die each year due to direct exposure to asbestos and more than 107,000 deaths each year are caused by illnesses related to asbestos.
So far, 54 countries have banned the use of asbestos, and experts said those still using the material, are mostly traditional producers of asbestos and developing countries.
In Viet Nam, according to Dr Luong Mai Anh, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health’s Environment Management Department, asbestosis (a disease of the lungs caused by inhaling fibres of asbestos) has been recognised as an occupational disease eligible for compensation since 1976. However, until 2013, only three persons had been compensated.
According to Mai Anh’s study, Viet Nam is among the world’s 10 largest users of asbestos with a consumption of about 60,000 tonnes every year.
Dr Le Van Trinh, Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Labour Safety Science and Technology Association said that asbestos should be removed in both production and civil use, and it was not impossible to ban the material in Viet Nam.
He said that the technology of producing non-asbestos roofing sheets at a price 10-15 per cent higher than those made from asbestos is now available, and mass production of such products could help reduce costs.
According to the Ministry of Health’s research, not only workers who are regularly exposed to asbestos at work, but also people living near an area where asbestos is exploited, or those living under a roof made from asbestos can be affected.
Programme raises funds for children with genital deformities
A fundraising drive was held in Hanoi on June 28 as part of an ongoing charitable programme providing surgeries for Vietnamese children with congenital and other abnormalities of the genitalia.
The organizers of the drive aimed to raise US$80,000 to cover expenses for operations for 32 children nationwide, bringing the total number of the programme has benefited to 106.
In 2006, with the first successful operation performed by Italian professor Roberto Decastro and his colleagues on Phung Thien Nhan, a young boy with genital deformities, inflicted after he was abandoned by his mother and attacked by wild animals.
Since 2010, a group of leading US and Italian experts has been traveling to Vietnam annually, providing free health check-ups for 388 children and conducting surgeries for 74 disadvantaged children nationwide.
This June, the group will arrive in Vietnam to carry out their sixth operation term and provide surgeries for 32 needy children.The programme also covers all expenses of travel and accommodations for families of these patients.
So far, less than the full US$80,000 needed has been collected to fund the cost of this year’s surgeries for the children and the programme needs additional support to help them.
Those wishing to donate can transfer their donation to the account of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation and inform the fund via email firstname.lastname@example.org or hotline: 09184.108.40.206.
Employment rate up, poor households down
In the twelve months leading up to July 1, the country’s labour forces surged by 200,000 workers, while concurrently the number of poor households dropped 16.1%, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The GSO reports that as of June 1, Vietnam had a total labor force of 53.7 million, of which male workers accounted for 51.4% and female workers 48.6%.
The number of employed was 52.5 million in the first quarter, 616,000 higher than last year’s figure and 52.7 million in second quarter, up 282,600.
The unemployment rate among youth (15-24 years old) was 6.32%, of which 11.87% in urban areas and 4.45% in rural areas.
In the reviewed period, the country reported 271.200 poor households (down 16.1%), including 23,000 in June, down 36.1% from last year’s comparable same period.
Top 100 best household and childcare products
As part of activities celebrating Vietnam Family Day, a ceremony honouring the top 100 best household and childcare products and services was held at the Hanoi Opera House on June 18.
The prestigious eventwas broadcast live on News Politics channel of Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC).
Among nine group categories voted on in the programme were food and beverages, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, appliances and home furniture, information technology equipment, cosmetics and fashion, vehicles, banking, financial and insurance services, travel, education, and entertainment services, and distribution and retails services.
Winners were selected in three ways – based an opinion survey of the Labour and Society’s readers, a survey on the official website of the programme at top100vn.vn, and on a survey conducted at several big trading centres throughout Vietnam.
All winners were domestic enterprises which have made significant contributions to raising the image of Vietnamese brands in marketing campaigns and product or service quality.
The event aimed to encourage investment in the manufacturing sector, help enterprises promote their business strategies, and bring Vietnamese high-quality products to customers.
Vietnam, Canada strengthen educational cooperation
Vietnam and Canada have signed a letter of intent (LOI) aimed at strengthening mutual understanding and expanding educational cooperation.
The signatories to the agreement were Denise Amyot, President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CIC) formerly known as the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), and Trinh Quan Dong, General Director of Khoi Nguyen Education Investment and Development Joint-Stock Company (KNE).
Addressing the signing ceremony in Ottawa on June 27, Denise Amyot said that the cooperation will help Canada popularise its colleges in Vietnam, provide support technical for Vietnam to establish an English academy and a Canadian college modelled college in Ho Chi Minh City, and promote student exchange programmes with foreign universities and colleges.
CIC Vice-President of International Partnerships Paul Brennan introduced the Canadian education system, especially colleges strong in academic achievements and applied research aiming to develop skills that can meet requirements of the labor market.
CIC represents 133 colleges and public institutes in Canada, including community colleges, institutes of technology, health, justice, and agriculture.
KNE focuses on developing education in Vietnam and investing in Canadian International school (CIS) system through training programmes to earn Ontario province and international high school certificates.
Transnational drug traffickers elude capture, shots fired
Two suspected transnational drug smugglers avoided capture by border guards and Quang Tri provincial authorities on June 27 after they fiercely resisted arrest, firing shots and ramming officials with their vehicle.
The suspects, accused of illegally transporting ecstasy from Laos to Vietnam for distribution, were caught red-handed transacting drug deals in an area of forest near Huoi Loa hamlet, Sepon district, Savannakhet province in Laos.
After ramming police with their vehicle and firing several shots, the suspects fled on foot into the dangerous mountains, leaving behind their car.
Police seized 20,000 tablets of ecstasy in the suspects’ vehicle.
The man hunt for the two suspects is continuing.
Empowering youth for sustainable development forum opens
A forum aimed at educating and empowering Vietnamese youth with the capacity to participate in matters that will impact sustainable development opened at Bach Ma National Park in Thua Thien Hue province on June 28.
The forum attracted 40 outstanding young people selected from 400 profiles nationwide, who shared actions pertaining to the environment and community.
Themed “Be Active Citizens”, it focuses discussions on climate change and natural disasters, energy, green economy, bio-diversification, the poor and those who are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change.
Young citizens will realise challenges facing Vietnam to build initiatives towards a sustainable future. At the opening ceremony, Director of the British Council in Vietnam Chris Brown said that Vietnam is entering a “golden population structure” period with nearly 50% belonging to age groups from 0-14 and over 65. As a result, the forum has a direct impact on participants who will be ambassadors on environment and sustainable development with specific actions.
The Vietnam Youth and Sustainable Development Summit (VYS) 2014 – a follow-up activity in the program “Be Active Citizens” launched by the British Council in 2009 which has carried out successfully in 38 countries with the participation of more than 530,000 young people, positively impacting 15 million people.
The Center of Environmental Training and Communications (CETAC) Director Tran Phong under the Environment Department said sustainable development is highlighted in the country’s socio-economic development plans and strategies. The event will provide a good chance for youth to meet and propose initiatives and solutions for environmental protection, ecology, energy saving and sustainable development.
The forum running until July 2 was held by Live Learn, the British Council, the European Commission – Humanitarian Aid Civil Protection (ECHO), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Vietnam and the CETAC.
Belgium, Vietnam boost tertiary education cooperation
Vietnam’s Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan met with representatives from 11 Belgium universities, who expressed a desire to strengthen tertiary cooperation with the nation.
The meeting took place on the sidelines at the Second Global Partnership (GPE) for Education Replenishment Conference ongoing in Brussels from June 25-28.
Luan and Micheline Scheys, the secretary general of the Education and Training Department within the Flemish Ministry in Belgium, exchanged measures to expand tertiary education cooperation.
At the meeting, 11 university representatives in Flanders expressed their desire to cooperate with Vietnamese partners and to hold a meeting between headmasters of universities and Asia-Europe Education Conference in Hanoi in 2015.
Flanders will sign a cooperative agreement with Vietnam on exchanging lecturers and students, mutually recognising degrees and certificates and boosting cooperation in MA and doctorate training.
Receiving Luan, Director-General of the Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI) Philippe Suinen said WBI will further foster cooperation with Vietnam in teaching, including granting scholarships for Vietnamese teachers and students.
Belgium annually grants around 30 scholarships for Vietnamese students.
Helping guest workers reintegrate into home market
Despite having sent many guest workers abroad, Vietnam has yet to devise specific policies to assist in their reintegration into the domestic labour market upon returning home.
A June 27 seminar in Hanoi heard that Vietnam has sent around 90,000 workers abroad annually in recent years with a similar number of returnees who remit home between US$1.8-2 billion.
Many seminars have been held to discuss how to make full use of the returnees’ remittances and skills they learnt. However, Vietnam has yet to introduce specific measures to help returnees integrate well into the local labour market.
Seminar participants examined guest worker policies and measures to facilitate their integration, as well as increasing cooperation among relevant stakeholders, such as the Government, local administration, businesses and workers.
They also talked about workers’ integration policy and reality through recent research, shared international experience in supporting workers in reintegrating in labour market and helped them start-up business.
They proposed that relevant ministries and agencies continue to complete legislation and support policy for guest workers, build database on returnees, and disseminate information on incentives for them.
RoK bank funds Vietnamese brides’ trip back home
The Republic of Korea’s NongHyup Bank is assisting 18 families of Vietnamese brides in visiting their home towns in Hanoi and HCM City from June 26- July 1.
Upon their arrival at Noi Bai international airport on June 26, seven Vietnamese brides born in Hai Duong, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, and Hung Yen toured major historical sites in Hanoi, including Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, and Landmark Sky 72 observatory, before heading for their home towns.
This is the second year the RoK bank has funded the programme to help families of Vietnamese brides learn about culture, history and people in the country
Lee Sang Mi, a daughter of a Vietnamese-Korean family, said although she was not born in Vietnam, she felt very happy to visit her mother’s native village.
She wrote a letter and prepared several RoK gifts to be sent to the Vietnamese State, showing her feelings towards the homeland.
Academy of Economics and Finance handed over to Laos
The Finance Ministries of Vietnam and Laos organized a hand-over ceremony of the Dongkhamsang Academy of Economics and Finance project (the second phase)-a gift of the Vietnam Government to Laos in Vientiane on June 26.
The project spans an area of 15 hectares, including a three-storey building to serve 1,500 students, a two-storey multi-functional building, a two-storey library and a three-storey building for staff.
Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung highlighted the project as an important activity in the cooperation programme between the countries aiming to provide good conditions for human resource training in the field of finance and monetary system.
Lao Finance Minister Liane Thykeo said his nation is committed to the effective use of the facility to develop the financial sector, helping foster Vietnam-Laos special friendship.
Vietnam joins education conference in Brussels
Vietnamese representatives along with nearly 1,000 delegates from 60 partnering nations and territories around the globe have assembled at the Second Global Partnership (GPE) for Education Replenishment Conference ongoing in Brussels from June 25-28.
Over the last decade, many developing nations have made substantial progress promoting basic education. Even so, too many children around the world – approximately 57 million – remain out of school and far more – 250 million – are in school but not getting the quality education they deserve.
“UNSECO is focused on opening up educational opportunities for these children in the under-developed countries and making education a lifelong learning process,” UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said in her keynote address.
Ms Bokova called on donors and nations to increase pledges for education to ensure that every child has the opportunity to access a basic education.
Vietnam’s Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan in turn said that Vietnam’s participation at the conference seeks support from developed nations for the country’s renovation of the educational system.
Minister Luan emphasised that Vietnam is committed to increasing expenditures for education and improving the quality of education with a focus on achieving good studying results, enhancing the quality of teachers and ensuring gender equality.
For his part, Mr. Pham Ngoc Dinh, Director General of Primary Education in Vietnam said that the nation has been implementing a new educational model for the past three years, which has been successful in providing disadvantaged children access to primary educational programmes.
With funding provided by the World Bank, the country has implemented the new school (GPE-VNEN) project in 1.447 schools and is planning to expand the programme to another 600 schools in the future.
EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, unveiled a new EU funding package of US$510 million to assist 60 nations implementing the GPE accomplish their educational goals. He also pledged to spend at least 20% of EU’s funding sources developing human resources and integrate socially.
The total EU budget for education in developing countries is forecast to reach EUR 4.5 billion in the 2014-2020 period.
Conference seeks to improve resource management in Asia
Domestic and foreign experts discussed ways to increase the effectiveness of resource use and management at a regional workshop hosted by the central city of Danang on June 25-26.
The event is part of the ongoing Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: Urban Nexus project implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Participants reviewed the progress of realising urban nexus initiatives in participating cities and the sharing of experience in the field. They also mentioned the importance of State management to the urban nexus and discussed next steps of the project.
Participating in the project, Danang has been assisted by GIZ experts in improving the capacity of treating wastewater and managing urban agriculture.
The city’s representatives voiced hope that Asian cities will further enhance advanced technology transfer and sharing of management experiment to heighten the efficiency of managing and using resources towards a sustainable Asia.
Many said the Pacific-Asia region faces rapid urbanisation which causes serious impact on the resources, especially water, energy and food.
The majority of regional cities are managing separately their sectors, which makes them unable to optimise collaboration.
Ten cities in six Asian countries, including China, Mongolia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, benefit from the project which will be implemented until December 2015.
Poverty rate to be reduced to below 5 percent by 2015
The National Assembly has adopted a resolution on sustainable poverty reduction until 2020, targeting the reduction of the ratio of the country’s poor households to below 5 percent and that of poor districts to less than 30 percent by 2015.
In the 2016-2020 period, the resolution set a target to avoid relapse. A diverse methodology was agreed, including an increase of investment in poverty reduction policies and programmes, efficient distribution of investment, and promotion of linking socio-economic development between disadvantaged and developed areas. Further methodology was also put in place, including realisation of preferential policies on land, tax, credit and market support for attracting enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises to invest in and boost business and production, to develop infrastructure and enhance vocational training and job creation for poor labourers, according to the Communist Party of Vietnam online newspaper.
Moreover, the resolution stressed the need to increase commodity production in combination with developing the market for commodities in disadvantaged and ethnic minority-inhabited areas, while linking poverty reduction policies with socio-economic development, national defence and security maintenance.
In the resolution, policies will be issued to enable the poor to gain easier access to support, while preferential credit loans will be increased for poor and nearly-poor people. Also planned is an adjustment in the amount of the loans, interest rates, and timeframes to suit agricultural, industrial, fisheries and forestry encouragement policies.
The resolution applies priority to investment in infrastructure and development; an increase in the quality of human resources for ethnic minority people, poor districts, poor communes, border communes, coastal communes and extremely disadvantaged villages.
It also handles granting residential and cultivated land to ethnic minority people, increasing vocational training, job creation and income for poor ethnic minority people who have not received cultivated land support.
In terms of medical care, the resolution targets that at least 90 percent of nearly-poor households have access to social health insurance and 70 percent of local health care stations in communes will be upgraded to provide sufficient social healthcare insurance services.