Daily Archives: February 9, 2020

Vietnam remembers assistance of Russian war veterans: Minister

The Vietnamese Party, State, army and people always keep in mind the whole-hearted, great and effective assistance of Russian war veterans during the past struggle for national liberation, a high-ranking officer has said.

Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich made the remarks during his meeting with Russian war veterans in Saint Petersburg on February 7 as part of his official visit to Russia.

He briefed the veterans on achievements Vietnam has recorded in different spheres after 45 years of national reunification and almost 35 years of reform.

Vietnam will pay more attention to the veterans and wishes to welcome them to visit the country again in the time ahead, the minister said, expressing his hope that the veterans will further contribute to the traditional friendship between the people of the two countries.

Lich also suggested the veterans donate historical documents regarding their time in Vietnam to the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence for preservation.

For his part, president of the association of Vietnam war veterans in Saint Petersburg Colonel Aleksy Skrebliukov expressed his pleasure and honor to meet Lich and the Vietnamese delegation.

While recalling the time when he served in Vietnam, Skrebliukov said he always remembers Vietnam with his respect and love.

He highlighted the time-honoured relations between Russia and Vietnam, expressing his hope that the close friendship and cooperation between the two countries will be maintained forever.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese ministry donates medical devices to Chinese people

The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has presented medical devices to help the Chinese people cope with the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak.

The devices were handed to the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam at a ceremony in Hanoi on February 8.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said MoIT officials share nCoV-caused difficulties facing the Chinese people, especially residents in Wuhan city, and expressed his admiration for extraordinary efforts by the Chinese Government and people to fight the acute respiratory disease.

Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Xiong Bo thanked the ministry for its support, saying he believed that with the great endeavours of the Chinese Government and people, the epidemic will be stamped out soon.

As important partners of each other, Vietnam and China should closely coordinate to minimimise the disease’s impacts on bilateral trade, including trade activities at border gates, he said.

As of February, a total of 811 people had died of the disease and almost 37,200 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection had been reported in 31 provincial-level regions, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health on February 9 confirmed the 14th case of nCoV infection.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Diplomat commends Vietnam-EU, Vietnam-Belgium ties

Relations between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) as well as between Vietnam and Belgium have been flourishing, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU Vu Anh Quang.

In his speech at a get-together to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Brussels on February 8, Quang said the strong development of the Vietnam-EU and Vietnam-Belgium relationships is evidence to prove Vietnam’s increasing position on the international arena.

The diplomat also briefed participants on Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements in 2019.

Vietnam is currently one of the Asia-Pacific countries with the most intensive and extensive relations with the EU within the framework of comprehensive cooperative partnership in terms of politics, economy, trade-investment, and defence-security, he said.

Among ASEAN member states, Vietnam is the third country to sign a partnership and cooperation agreement and the second to ink a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement with the EU, which are expected to be approved by the European Parliament on February 12.

According to the ambassador, Belgium is currently Vietnam’s 7th largest agricultural export market in the EU. In 2019, two-way trade exceeded 3 billion USD, of which Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of nearly 2 billion USD with Belgium.

Belgian businesses have poured over 1 billion USD into Vietnam, ranking 23rd among 131 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation, Quang noted.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Women’s team lose to RoK in Olympics qualifiers

The Vietnamese women’s football team lost 0-3 to their Korean rivals in Group A’s final match of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 qualifiers in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on February 9.

The first goal of the match was scored by Jang Sel-gi in the 23rd minute.

Despite their great efforts, coach Mai Duc Chung’s girls could not hinder the host team from shooting two other goals in the 53rd and 83rd minutes.

However, the Vietnamese squad still ranked second in Group A and secured a ticket to the play-off round of the tournament after beating Myanmar 1-0 on February 6.

Vietnam are in Group A together with the RoK, Myanmar and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). But the DPRK withdrew from the event for an undisclosed reason, making qualifying for the next round that much easier.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese cueists take part in Antalya World Cup

Vietnamese cueists will take part in the Antalya World Cup in Turkey from February 17 to 23.

The team includes 13 top players namely Vietnamese No 1 Tran Quyet Chien, world No 7; Nguyen Duc Anh Chien, who was runner-up of the three-Cushion World Championship in Denmark last year and is world No 17.

Quyet Chien is selected as No 7 seed of the event.

They will be up against world number one and world champion Dick Jaspers from the Netherlands and other powerful competitors such as Marco Zanetti of Italy, Swedish Torbjorn Blomdahl and Belgian Eddy Merckx .

The winner will walk away with 17,500 USD, while the runner-up receives 11,000 USD.

The 2020 Antalya tournament will be the 23rd World Cup in Turkey.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Hau Giang focuses on sustainable agriculture development

The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang will develop its agriculture towards improving added value and sustainable development, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tran Chi Hung, director of the department, said the province would restructure its agriculture toward using advanced and modern farming techniques and building new-style rural areas.

The province would increasingly apply high technologies to improve yield and quality of agricultural produce, reduce production costs, and adapt to climate change, he said.

Hau Giang, located in the centre of the delta, has more than 80 percent of its population working in the agriculture sector.

The province has 134,000ha of arable land, including 82,000ha of rice and 30,000ha of fruits.

According to Le Tien Chau, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the area has potential for developing agriculture but its agriculture production has many limitations.

The province’s agricultural production has not shifted to commercial production and has not had a strong linkage between farmers and companies to guarantee outlets, according to the department.

The number of companies investing in the agriculture sector is small and the added value of agriculture produce is low.

In recent years, the province has established specialised farming areas for domestic consumption and export.

The specialised farming areas include 32,000ha of high quality rice, 8,000ha of sugarcane, 2,500ha of pineapple, 15,000ha of fruits and 1,500ha of aquaculture.

Hau Giang has 13 agricultural produce granted brand names. They include Phu Thanh Nam Roi grapefruit, Nga Bay king orange, Hau Giang 2 rice, Hau Giang anabas, Long Tri sweet mandarin, Hau Giang mango and Hau Giang soursop.

The province has 173 agricultural cooperatives and one agricultural cooperative alliance, including 25 new agricultural cooperatives established last year.

Many agricultural cooperatives have cooperated with companies to guarantee outlets and improve income for their members.

Nguyen Thien Hoa, head of the Rural Development Sub-department, said about 40 companies and enterprises are signing farming contracts with 23,507 households and guarantee outlets for their 24,349ha of rice.

Some other crops like seedless lime, soursop and okra in some localities have also been guaranteed outlets, he said.

The province has encouraged farmers to switch to grow crops with high value and stable outlets to improve income.

In Phung Hiep district, which is the delta’s largest sugarcane growing area, farmers turned 1,056ha of sugarcane into growing other crops like seedless lime, soursop, Ido longan and pineapple last year.

Many farmers in Phung Hiep’s Phuong Binh commune have contracted with companies to grow MD2 pineapple and have stable outlets.

Nguyen Van Sy, head of the hi-tech agriculture cooperative group in Phuong Binh, said after many years facing losses from growing sugarcane because of the low price, he switched to grow MD2 pineapple and now has good income.

Under the farming contracts, pineapple farmers earn a profit of 20 million VND (860 USD) per 1,000sq.m a crop, but they could only earn 2 3 million VND (86 130 USD) per 1,000 sq.m from growing sugarcane previously, he said.

The lives of many households in the commune have become well-off after switching from growing sugarcane to growing MD2 pineapples, he said.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Massive investment in wind power plants could overload grid: experts

The rush to invest in wind energy to take advantage of the Government’s pricing incentives could lead to overloading of the national grid in a repeat of the solar scenario, experts warn.

The Government announced a feed-in tariff (FiT) in 2011 for wind energy of 1,770 VND per kWh (7.8 US cents) and a power purchase agreement (PPA) duration of 20 years.

In 2018 it raised the FiT to 1,928 VND (8.7 US cents) for onshore wind projects and 2,223 VND (9.8 US cents) for offshore projects.

The rates apply to grid-connected power plants with commercial operations before November 1, 2021.

According to the National Load Dispatch Center (A0), nine wind power plants with a total capacity of 353MW were built before the Government raised the FiT.

Since the increase, plants with thousands of megawatts of capacity have signed PPAs and have been added to the country’s wind power plans, it said.

According to a report by Vietnam Electricity (EVN), besides the nine plants that have begun commercial operations, it has also signed PPAs with 31 other plants with a total capacity of 1,645 MW that are under construction.

Besides, 59 others with a total capacity of around 2,700 MW have been included in the zoning plans for wind energy for the period up to 2025. More than 100 other projects have sought approval.

The proposed plants are mainly in Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Quang Tri, and Phu Yen provinces.

The AO warned that with many wind power plants going on stream this year the national grid and transmission system could be overloaded in Tra Vinh, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

A well-known renewable energy expert, who did not want to be named, said investing in wind power to enjoy pricing incentives is risky.

The preferential rate for wind power only applies to grid-connected plants beginning commercial operations before November 1, 2021, and many investors are racing against time to start operations, but a wind power plant cannot be built as quickly as a solar power plant, he explained.

To get a feasibility report, an investor must have wind measurement data for at least 12 months. When there is the wind data, an investor can design a plant.

Besides, sourcing wind power equipment is quite difficult. It is usually bought from Sweden, Germany, the US, or China. Suppliers only manufacture after receiving orders.

Citing the example of solar farms, he warned that if many wind power plants are built in any place before November 2021, the grid there would surely be overloaded and they would have to operate below capacity.

Bui Van Thinh, Chairman of the Binh Thuan Wind Power Association, told Hai Quan (Customs) newspaper, Operating below their capacity will cause wind power investors to suffer losses.

Source: Vietnam News Agency