Daily Archives: February 15, 2020

Public security minister pays courtesy call to Sultan of Brunei

Hanoi Minister of Public Security Gen. To Lam paid a courtesy call to Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah in Bandar Seri Begawan capital city on February 15.

Welcoming the delegation of the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, the Sultan of Brunei said their visit will help enhance the two countries’ cooperation, especially between his country’s law enforcement agencies and the Vietnamese ministry.

He spoke highly of the outcomes of the talks between Minister To Lam and Maj. Gen. Awang Halbi bin Mohd Yussof, Second Minister of Defence and Chairman of the National Security Committee of Brunei.

The Sultan expressed his hope that the two sides will continue strengthening cooperation in the fields they have strength in, especially fighting against transnational crimes, terrorism, drug crime, cybercrime, and economic crime.

For his part, Minister To Lam said he hopes the Sultan will keep supporting and directing Brunei’s law enforcement agencies to bolster ties with the Vietnamese ministry in safeguarding national security and combating crimes.

He also called on the two countries to soon build an action programme for implementing their comprehensive partnership, which was set up during the Sultan’s visit to Vietnam in March 2019.

Besides, they should continue supporting each other and coordinating their stances at international forums, particularly the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations.

Vietnam and Brunei should also actively consult each other and cooperate with other ASEAN nations in the East Sea issue towards seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea and building an effective, substantive and binding code of conduct (COC) in the waters that ensures interests of the parties concerned and accords with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the official added.

During his stay in Brunei, Minister To Lam and his entourage also had a meeting with staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in the country./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

ASEAN Chairman issues statement on responding to COVID-19

Hanoi, (VNA) � Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, as Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, issued a statement on ASEAN’s joint response to the outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in the face of complicated development of the epidemic.

The statement expressed the concern of ASEAN leaders about the complicated development of the epidemic, which seriously impacts people’s life and the development of ASEAN countries as well as the region and the world as a whole.

Stressing the ASEAN’s solidarity and spirit of a cohesive and responsive community, ASEAN leaders affirmed their strong commitment to joining hands to control and curb the spread of the epidemic, ensuring a safe life for their people.

The statement welcomed the efforts in the framework of ASEAN medical cooperation and cooperation with partners (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), and underlined that ASEAN will enhance coordination at both national and regional levels, coordinate joint work among relevant sectors for a synchronized and effective approach of the ASEAN Community as well as for stronger cooperation with the World Health Organisation, partners and international organisations in preventing and controlling the epidemic.

The statement also affirmed solidarity and strong support of ASEAN for the tremendous efforts of the Government and people of China as well as the international community in responding to the epidemic.

ASEAN countries will maintain the open-door policy and agree to coordinate in quarantine work at border gates of member countries, the statement said, requiring diplomatic representative agencies of ASEAN countries in a third country to provide consular support for ASEAN citizens when necessary, and cooperate to fight fake information on the COVID-19 epidemic.

ASEAN leaders pledged to give a high priority to fighting the epidemic and called for joint efforts of the international community.

As part of the ASEAN’s joint response to the COVID-19, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, as Chairman of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), has proposed organizing an extraordinary meeting of the ACC and coordinating with China to hold a special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the occasion of the upcoming 5th Mekong-Lancang Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane to discuss cooperation in fighting COVID-19./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Reference exchange rate up 9 VND on February 14

The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 23,215 VND per USD on February 14, up 9 VND from the previous day.

With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,911 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,518 VND/USD.

The opening hour rates at most commercial banks saw fluctuations in different directions.

At 8:20 am, Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 23,135 VND/USD and the selling rate at 23,305 VND/USD, both down 5 VND from the same time on February 13.

However, BIDV kept both rates unchanged, with the buying rate listed at 23,160 VND/USD and the selling rate at 23,300 VND/USD.

Techcombank added 17 VND to both rates, listing the buying rate at 23,160 VND/USD and the selling rate at 23,320 VND/USD.

During the week from February 10-14, the daily reference exchange rate was adjusted up on the first two days, then down on following two days before being raised again on Friday. It ended the week up 4 VND from the first day of the week.

The rates at most commercial banks ended the week lower, except for Techcombank.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Tien Giang: over 7.6 billion VND for anti-saline intrusion facilities

Cai Lay district of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has decided to spend 7.68 billion VND (over 326,000 USD) from the local budget on urgently building facilities to prevent saltwater from harming local fruit cultivation areas.

Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee Ly Van Cam said the work will focus on dredging 20 fresh water storage canals, repairing 10 anti-saline intrusion culverts, and building 24 embankments to prevent saltwater.

These are expected to protect about 15,000 ha of land for cultivating fruit trees, he added.

The district authorities will regularly update saline intrusion and drought situations, thus recommending local farmers to take preventative measures.

Training courses will also be organized to introduce locals to fruit tree cultivation techniques during and after each drought and saline intrusion spell.

Attention has been paid to installing more salinity meters in communes with many fruit gardens, and appropriately building the operation schedule for culverts and embankments to regulate water, prevent saline intrusion, and collect fresh water.

According to director of the district’s agriculture and rural development office Tran Ly Ngu Binh, the locality has set up hundreds of salinity measurement points on the Tien River, its tributaries and canals.

Campaigns to popularise saltwater countermeasures to local farmers have been launched, he said.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Minister: academic year to end later due to COVID-19 outbreak

Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha on February 14 affirmed that the 2019-2020 academic year will end later amid the outbreak of the acute respiratory disease caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Several localities have decided that students will return to schools on February 17 after two weeks of shutdown, he said, adding that classes should resume once safety measures are adopted as guided by the Health Ministry.

According to him, the Ministry of Education and Training has come up with plans in response to the epidemic, including allowing school shutdown if necessary.

As of February 13, 16 cities and provinces nationwide decided to let their students return to schools on February 17.

Meanwhile, students in northern Vinh Phuc province, where 11 out of the 16 COVID-19 infection cases in the country have been confirmed to date, will stay at home until February 22.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Standard for university admission should be raised: Minister

The standard for university admission should be raised to ensure higher quality of training, said Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha.

It was necessary for universities to make sure new academic programmes are in line with market demand before introducing new classes, he said.

Nha was speaking at a teleconference to review university recruitment for 2019 and set tasks for 2020 held in Hanoi on February 13.

The minister believes university recruitment for 2020 needs to resolve any problems encountered in the past 12 months.

Nha pointed out that a number of universities announced new academic programmes that were not relevant to labour demand and admission scores of some majors were extremely low, raising concerns over quality of training.

He said the ministry was compiling plans for high school exam and tertiary recruitment autonomy for 2021-2025 which would be submitted to the Government for approval.

Nha also emphasised the need for close collaboration between educational institutions and high schools to improve the quality of recruitment.

Nguyen Thi Kim Phung, Director of the Department of Tertiary Education under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), said the new university recruitment regulations included expanding the autonomy of universities in organising recruitment exam to assure it was line with the state regulations.

The MoET would include regulations for all mode of study namely full-time and part-time as well as second bachelor’s degree into one regulation.

Because the standard for teachers has been raised, there would be no recruitment quota for teachers’ training at intermediate and college levels, except for pre-school education.

Tourism and Information Technology are the two majors that would be applied special recruitment quota, Phung said.

Strict regulations would be imposed on violating universities, officials, labourers and candidates, especially those related to fraud in exams or recruitment.

This year, the MoET will not regulate the collecting of fees for recruitment. It will be decided by education institutions. However, she said, the fee should be the same as that of previous years.

Reviewing recruitment for 2019, Phung said only 64 percent of accepted candidates enrol in universities.

She blamed this on the fact that candidates did not want to study at the university but they were still advised to do so to improve the achievement for high schools.

It was difficult for some majors in fulfilling their recruitment plans including agro-forestry and fisheries, natural sciences, social services and environment, requiring special attention from the state, Phung said.

Each year, more than 900,000 candidates take high school exams and about 75 percent of them register for university admission.

She said as the regulations relating to recruitment were improved, universities had been more proactive in recruitment, enhancing the healthy competitiveness between them.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Ninh Binh launches blood donation drive to support COVID-19 combat

A special blood donation programme was launched in the northern province of Ninh Binh on February 14 to encourage the local community to join hands in fighting the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bui Trong Ky, Chairman of the Ninh Binh Red Cross Society, said medical establishments in the province are currently in urgent need of blood for treatment, so volunteers’ participation in this programme is very helpful.

In particular, as the whole country is striving to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, local volunteers also wish to contribute to these joint efforts, he noted.

Although the programme takes places only about one month after a similar activity held ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, a number of volunteers have come to register, according to the organising board.

Ky added over the last five years, more than 50,000 local people have registered to donate blood, and 35,000 blood units have been collected for local medical establishments, thus helping to meet the blood demand for emergency aid and treatment.

Organisers hope to receive 350 blood units during the February 14 programme.

Source: Vietnam News Agency