Daily Archives: May 23, 2020

Month-long campaign launched to promote social insurance for all

 

A month-long campaign was launched in Hanoi on May 23 to promote social insurance for all, with the launching ceremony broadcast live at 63 sites in cities and provinces.

 

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) Tran Dinh Lieu said the campaign aims to encourage people to join voluntary social insurance, towards the target of social insurance for all.

 

Apart from parades with messages of social insurance, banners, slogans and posters were hung outside the headquarters of the VSS and Vietnam Post that co-organised the ceremony.

 

Last year, the two sides organised 14,000 conferences on voluntary social insurance policies, encouraging 276,000 people to voluntarily participate in social insurance.

 

In the first for months of this year, the number of participants stood at 48,012. Another 300,000 people are expected to join voluntary social insurance this year, raising the total to at least 800,000.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

BinhDinh seeks to stimulus domestic tourism demand after pandemic

The Department of Tourism of the south-central province of BinhDinh on May 22 held a tourism promotion programme, aiming to attract more domestic visitors after social distancing measures were eased.

 

According to Director of the department Nguyen Van Dung, the COVID-19 pandemic has been controlled, and the frequency of flights to BinhDinh has increased again, reaching 12 fights per day.

 

Dung called on travel firms to coordinate and support each other to soon overcome difficulties and boost local tourism industry.

 

Local travel firms were asked to build promotion programmes and diversify products in order to stimulus the travel demand of domestic holiday-makers.

 

Chairman of the provincial Tourism Association Nguyen Hoang Vu said the tourism sector will pay heed to fully tap sea and island tourism potential and develop tours of trade villages.

 

The locality will also cooperate with other localities in the central and Central Highlands regions, such as Da Nang, Quang Nam, Phu Yen, Gia Lai, and DakLak, to form special and attractive tourism products, he said.

 

At the event, about 50 tourism businesses in BinhDinh signed commitments to reduce the prices of tourism services and accommodations, and improve the quality of services.

 

In the first five months of 2020, BinhDinh welcomed more than 814,500 visitors, down 61 percent compared to the same period last year. Revenue from tourism activities was estimated at 985 billion VND (over 42.3 million USD), a year-on-year decrease of 55.6 percent.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Da Nang steps up tourism promotion

The central city of Da Nang on May 23 launched a programme and a fund aiming to promote local tourism.

 

The “Da Nang Thank You 2020” programme will last from May to December with attractive products and services. More than 150 local travel companies have joined the programme so far.

 

Under the programme, maritime tourism services will be discounted from July 17 to 31 and shopping and entertainment services, from November 23 to December 6. Besides, Da Nang Fantastic Week will run from December 22-28 with special activities and events to mark Christmas and New Year holidays.

 

Apart from free tickets to famous tourist destinations like NguHanh Son and museums from June 1 to August 31, there will be discounted tour packages to be offered by eight prestigious firms.

 

Initially worth 3.85 billion VND (165,500 USD) raised by individuals and organisations in the city, the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Fund is set to connect the business community and create more resources for tourism promotion, especially amidst COVID-19.

 

The central coastal city aims to serve 9.8 million tourists in 2020, a year-on-year rise of 12.74 percent, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

 

The number of international visitors is expected to increase by 13-15 percent year-on-year.

 

The city is building a night economic development plan in the field of tourism to realise the 2020 target.

 

In 2019, Da Nang welcomed 8.69 million holidaymakers, including nearly 3.5 million foreigners, up 30.7 percent from the previous year.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Vietnam, US forge comprehensive partnership

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc has held phone talks with US Congressman Ami Bera, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation, on the comprehensive partnership between the two countries and bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19.

 

During the talks on May 21, the two sides rejoiced at the strong developments of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership and expressed their hope that the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties will mark new milestones and determination to advance the relationship.

 

Ngoc thanked the US administration and Congress for their support to Vietnam in the pandemic combat, saying recent medical cooperation activities have reflected the spirit of effective partnership and collaboration in the hardest time.

 

Bera, who had work in health care for more than two decades before becoming a congressman, lauded and congratulated the Vietnamese Government and people on well containing the disease.

 

He said he wants to visit some countries in the region, including Vietnam, after the pandemic is put under control.

 

One of the priorities of the Subcommittee and the congressman is promoting multifaceted cooperation with regional countries, covering economy-trade, national defence-security, and maritime security and safety, Bera said.

 

The two sides also exchanged views on the East Sea situation and the Mekong-US cooperation.

 

Regarding the East Sea, Bera said he and the US Congress are always interested in and keep a close watch on developments in the East Sea and oppose acts that infringe upon sovereignty and run counter to international law, causing regional disorder.

 

On this occasion, Ngoc and Bera discussed enhancing multifaceted collaboration between Vietnam and California, including the implementation of a letter of intention in this regard signed by representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in the US and Los Angeles city in May 2019.

 

Ngoc called on the California side to create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese in the state to live, work and study.

 

He also appealed to the US Congress and administration to take measures to protect the Vietnamese community given the recent wave of discrimination against Asians in the country due to COVID-19 concern.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

 

Legislators scrutinise two draft laws, a draft resolution on May 23

Legislators continued their online meeting on May 23 as part of the ninth session of the 14th National Assembly.

 

In the morning, they looked into the draft Law on Residence (amended) and the draft resolution on the pilot of urban administration in the central city of Da Nang, and other typical mechanisms.

 

The majority of deputies approved many contents of the Government’s proposal and the verification report on the draft resolution of the NA’s Committee for Legal Affairs.

 

Many agreed on the necessity of issuing the resolution in order to create typical mechanisms and policies for the building and developing of Da Nang, thus creating momentum for the development of the central and Central Highlands regions and the nation at large.

 

They also reached consensus on the proposed scale and implementation time, as well as certain mechanisms and policies mentioned in the draft document.

 

During the afternoon session, the lawmakers scrutinised the draft law amending and supplementing some articles of the Construction Law, focusing on the scale of adjustment, feasibility and conformity of the draft law with the legal system, among others.

 

The legislators are scheduled to meet online on May 25 morning to deliberate the draft law on mediation and dialogue at court and the draft resolution on agricultural land tax exemption.

 

On May 25 afternoon, they will continue to debate the draft resolution, and mull over the draft revised Youth Law.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Ecosystem off Cham Islands recovers after COVID-19

Less tourism activities and waste around the Cham Islands – a world biodiversity reserve site – would help the marine ecosystem in waters off the islands recover after the two-month social distancing order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Experts and staff from the Cham Island Maritime Protected Area (MPA) have made the statement after returning from a regular inspection on coral reefs and ecosystems at eight sites off the islands last week.

 

They said over-tourism resulted in degradation of the ecosystem off the islands in recent years.

 

During the two-month social distancing order, the islands, a popular attraction welcoming 2,000 tourists each day, did not record any diving tours or boat trips.

 

“Coral reef coverage was well developed, but we have been collecting detailed information for a final report on coral reefs. However, many bottom feeders were recorded in coral reefs, especially holothurian and sea urchins,” said Nguyen ThiThao, a worker at the MPA.

 

“The number of fish species living in the coral reefs was less than in previous checks.”

 

Vice director of the MPA, Nguyen Van Vu suggested that the islands reduce the number of visitors from a maximum of 3,000 to 1,000 each day to reduce pressure on the marine ecosystem.

 

He said the islands need a break for marine species and seafood resources to recover.

 

The islands often receive 5 tonnes of waste each day, which mostly was in-organic waste from tourists, not including waste water and fresh water consumption as well as seafood and forestry products.

 

According to the MPA, more than 2,700 groups of coral species had been planted at 10 sites off the islands, and an area of 2,000sq.m of coral reef was developed following a coral reef restoration project in 2015-17.

 

The reserve covers more than 33,000ha, including 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea, featuring a wide range of marine fauna and flora.

 

The islands are already overloaded, with a fleet of 152 boats including 145 speed boats travelling between Cua Dai Port in Hoi An and the Islands.

 

A report said the rapid increase of speed boats and fishing vessels was the main reason for 66 percent of sea grass off the islands being destroyed between 2009-18.

 

The islands, 20km off the coast of Hoi An, which was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2009, is one of few places in Vietnam successfully campaigning against plastic bags.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Demand for ready-built factories and warehouses increasing: CBRE

The development of e-commerce together with delays to import and export activities due to disrupted logistics services has accelerated demand for ready-built factories and warehouses during the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam.

 

In contrast, the number of leasing inquiries for other industrial properties has fallen due to travel bans and social distancing.

 

“After the pandemic is contained, the average asking rent for warehouses will increase by 4-11 percent y-o-y,” Pham Ngoc ThienThanh, associate director at CBRE Research & Consulting, said at an online conference on ready-built factory development held in Ho Chi Minh City this week.

 

Over the last two years, Vietnam’s ready-built factory and warehouse market had grown with strong supply and stable performance, according to CBRE Vietnam Ltd, Co.

 

“It is expected that by the end of 2020, the total supply of ready-built factory and warehouses in the North will reach 2 million sq.m, up 25.3 percent y-o-y. Ready-built factories in the South will reach 2.7 million sq.m, up 28.2 percent y-o-y,” Thanh said.

 

“Vietnam’s ready-built factory and warehouse market is expected to continue to gather momentum in the coming years. Demand for warehouses has been mainly driven by e-commerce companies who are expanding their storage space and distribution networks,” said Le TrongHieu, director of CBRE Industrial Leasing Services. “In addition, more investors/developers are actively seeking sites to develop logistics facilities.”

 

Niche industrial and logistic assets will also benefit in the long term, with growing consumption and distribution of groceries and fresh foods set to accelerate occupier demand for temperature-controlled storage (cold or cool storage warehouses), according to Hieu.

 

In the context of limited industrial land supply, high-rise warehouses had been introduced to create bigger storage space for the needs of e-commerce companies.

 

The pandemic had added impetus on manufacturers and governments to plan to reduce supply chain dependency on China (and potentially any other single market). This would form part of the overarching theme of a move away from centralised supply and towards greater diversification – a trend likely to benefit Vietnam, according to CBRE Vietnam.

 

During this difficult period, developers of industrial parks and ready-built factories have offered support policies, including reductions of rents and infrastructure maintenance fees (from 10 percent to 30 percent), restructuring payment terms and exempting rent for new businesses setting up factories during the outbreak.

 

It is time for a critical makeover of Vietnam’s industrial property market. Ready-built warehouses and factories are evolving quickly to take advantage of this golden opportunity. Robust demand for ready-built factories include new factory set-ups and expansion. More recently, developers have been constructing ready-built factories and warehouses to maximise the efficiency of land use and cater to the full spectrum of demand.

 

The modern generation of ready-built factories, so-called “Ready-built factory 4.0”, integrated 4.0 technologies to bring more convenience to occupiers in the process of leasing, manufacturing and operating, and was emerging as a new trend, according to CBRE Vietnam. Ready-built factories 4.0 apply virtual reality technology to bring factory spaces to clients at any time and anywhere.

 

Source: Vietnam News Agency