President attends pen-brush opening ceremony at Nguyen Trai memorial site


Hanoi: President Vo Van Thuong on February 18 offered incense and attended the Lunar New Year pen-brush opening ceremony at a memorial area dedicated to national hero and world cultural eminent personality Nguyen Trai in Nhi Khe commune in Hanoi’s outlying district of Thuong Tin.

Nguyen Trai, whose pen name was Uc Trai, was born in Chi Ngai commune in Chi Linh district in the northern province of Hai Duong in 1380. He followed Le Loi in the resistance war against the Ming invaders and made great contributions to the nation’s glorious victories.

Beyond his military prowess, Nguyen Trai was a prolific literary figure, producing a vast array of literary works, including 110 poems and the monumental “Binh Ngo Dai Cao” (Great Proclamation upon the Pacification of the Wu), which stood as one of the earliest declarations of independence in the nation’s history.

In recognition of his invaluable contributions, UNESCO honoured Nguyen Trai on his 600th birth anniversary in 1980, acknowledging him as a world cultural
eminent personality, an eminent military strategist and a talented politician.

Commencing on November 14, 2022, the construction of his memorial site saw significant progress, with nearly all major components nearing completion.

Meanwhile, the pen-brush ceremony embodies a longstanding cultural tradition of Thuong Tin. It encourages all local officials, Party members, and citizens to prioritise education, strive in labour and boost production. The first strokes of writing in the Lunar New Year often carry wishes for goodness, luck and happiness.

In the morning the same day, President Thuong visited workers who are building Ring Road No. 4 in the Hanoi Capital Region.

The road has a total length of 112.8km, passing through Hanoi, and Hung Yen and Bac Ninh provinces, with a total investment of over 85.81 trillion VND (3.57 billion USD)./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Ninh Thuan takes grape production to next level


Ninh Thuan: Positioned as the proud owner of Vietnam’s largest grape farming area spanning over 1,000ha, the southern central province of Ninh Thuan is proactively embracing modern technology across various stages of grape production and processing.

In a strategic move, the province is diversifying its grape-based product range and seamlessly integrating them with the burgeoning realm of agri-tourism.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development underscored Ninh Thuan’s commitment to technological advancement by collaborating with relevant agencies to popularise post-harvest grape processing techniques. Moreover, it is spearheading the establishment of wine production models and deploying cold storage facilities to develop an array of processed products – from jam, wines, vinegars, and honey to syrups and candies – all made from fresh grapes.

To enhance overall production efficiency, Ninh Thuan has built four value chains for grapes and dedicated a 30-hectare area exclusively to grape cul
tivation. The province has assigned five codes to grape cultivation areas encompassing nearly 73ha, and expanded VietGAP-certified grape cultivation zones to almost 214ha.

So far, grape cultivation areas using cutting-edge technology have accounted for 31% of the total in the province, yielding incomes ranging from 500-600 million VND (20,800 – 25,000 USD) per ha per crop and from 1-1.2 billion VND per ha per year.

Looking ahead to 2025, Ninh Thuan aims to increase its grape cultivation area to approximately 1,770ha, yielding a total production of 44,160 tonnes. Notably, VietGAP, GlobalGAP, and organic-certified grape cultivation areas are projected to cover 1,070 ha, or nearly 60% of the total, with an expected production output of around 27,900 tonnes.

Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Dang Kim Cuong said the department will continue advising the provincial People’s Committee to incentivize the agriculture sector, with a specific focus on grape cultivation.

Ninh
Thuan remains steadfast in its commitment to developing the geographical indication of the “Ninh Thuan grape” and implementing traceability labeling to safeguard the brand’s integrity. Additionally, the province is extending support to grape farming and business entities, encouraging their participation in trade promotion events, exhibitions, trade fairs and market connection initiatives, ultimately steering toward the exciting prospect of international exports, he added./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Easterlies to bring isolated rain showers on SundayVietnamese Intellectual Society in UK vows to contribute to Vietnam’s strategic policies

MANILA: Easterlies will be affecting the eastern section of the country, the weather bureau reported on Sunday.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies, according to the 4 a.m. bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA).

PAGASA, however, warned that isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms might occur, possibly causing flash floods or landslides.

Light to moderate wind and coastal water conditions will be experienced in Northern Luzon and most parts of the country.

Sunrise was at 6:19 a.m., while sunset will be at 6:01 p.m.

Source: Philippines News Agency

London: The Vietnamese Intellectual Society in the UK and Ireland (VIS) will contribute to the building of Vietnam’s strategic policies while actively strengthening bilateral relations, and attracting the UK Government-funded projects in the fields of research and science-technology, said its Chairman Prof. Nguyen Xuan Huan.

At the VIS’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) convened at the Judge Business School under the University of Cambridge on February 17, Huan emphasised that with its members being professors, doctors, and scientists working in various fields in the UK and Ireland, VIS stands ready to provide counselling to the Vietnamese Government in formulating policies tailored to the country’s context. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of aligning with global technological trends.

Last year, VIS significantly facilitated educational collaboration between Vietnam and the UK through a mentoring programme sponsored by the British Council. Through this initiative, VIS professors directly mentored and ad
vised nearly 100 young lecturers from 50 Vietnamese universities, aiding in their skill development, including publishing studies and international scientific articles, forming research groups, and building internationally accredited laboratories.

A outstanding initiative of VIS in fostering member connection is the Coffee Talk event, an online themed discussion platform where members across the UK share insights and experiences on scientific research activities, professional expertise and soft skills. In 2023, VIS held 13 Coffee Talk sessions featuring speakers from various fields.

Also last year, VIS admitted over 60 new members, increasing the total membership to 154. These members include professors, associate professors, senior lecturers and Vietnamese researchers studying or working at over 60 universities in the UK and Ireland.

VIS’s initiatives also extended to the launch of the Mentorship and Talent Development (MTD) programme at the National Economics University in Hanoi in 2022, aimed at support
ing talented students. It also collaborated with the British Council to connect researchers from both countries.

The AGM, an annual event, serves as a platform for VIS to review its past activities and chart its course for the future.

Following the meeting, VIS partnered with the Vietnamese Student Association in Cambridge to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Westminster College, University of Cambridge./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam’s automobile market stands 5th in Southeast Asia


Hanoi: The decline in domestic automobile consumption and its drop to 5th place in Southeast Asia can be attributed to both external and internal factors, according to industry insiders.

The Association of Southeast Asian Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAF) reported that Indonesia took the lead in car sales with more than 1 million units in 2023, down 4% over the same period last year. Malaysia was in second with 799,731 units, an increase of 10.9% compared to 2022, meanwhile Thailand came in third with 775,780 units, a decrease of 8.7% compared to 2022.

The Philippines stood fourth with 429,807 cars, an increase of 21.9% compared to 2022. Vietnam dropped to fifth with 301,989 cars, down 25.4% compared to the figure of 2022. They were followed by Singapore and Myanmar with 38,670 vehicles and 3,357 vehicles respectively in 2023.

According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA), in 2023, all three vehicle segments decreased sharply. Passenger cars decreased by 27%, commercial vehi
cles decreased by 16% and specialised vehicles decreased by 56% year-on-year.

In specifics, 181,380 locally assembled cars and 120,600 CBU vehicles were sold, down by 20% and 32% compared to 2022, respectively.

These figures did not include sales from non-member brands such as VinFast, Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nissan, Subaru and Volkswagen, as they have yet to publicise their sales data. VinFast currently does not provide monthly sales data in Vietnam.

According to experts, the auto industry has been experiencing a decline due to various factors such as unpredictable developments in the economy and unstable bank interest rates. These factors have affected the purchasing power of people, leading to a slowdown in car sales.

To address this situation and stimulate the market, the Government has implemented certain measures. One of these measures is a 50% reduction in registration fees for domestically produced and assembled cars from July 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023. In addition, businesses have been enco
uraged to support the remaining 50% of the fees or provide 100% fee incentives for imported cars. However, despite these efforts, the auto market has not achieved a significant breakthrough in sales.

It is anticipated that car purchasing power may improve in early 2024 due to increased shopping needs associated with the celebration of the Lunar New Year. However, the future purchasing power in the following months remains uncertain, as car manufacturers may adjust their incentives and business policies, potentially impacting sales./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Easterlies to bring isolated rain showers on Sunday

MANILA: Easterlies will be affecting the eastern section of the country, the weather bureau reported on Sunday.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies, according to the 4 a.m. bulletin issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration (PAGASA).

PAGASA, however, warned that isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms might occur, possibly causing flash floods or landslides.

Light to moderate wind and coastal water conditions will be experienced in Northern Luzon and most parts of the country.

Sunrise was at 6:19 a.m., while sunset will be at 6:01 p.m.

Source: Philippines News Agency

G7 urges suspension of hostilities in Gaza for hostages, aid

ROME: The G7 is calling for a suspension of fighting in Gaza to ensure both the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas and the provision of aid to Palestinian civilians, Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani said on Saturday.

In the Middle East, the G7 “aims to guarantee the security of the state of Israel,” said Tajani in a press conference at the Munich Security Conference.

“We are calling for the immediate release of hostages, we are working on de-escalation and we are calling for a suspension of fighting both to guarantee the release of hostages and to get aid to civilians who are victims of Hamas,” he added.

Separately, on the sidelines of the conference, Tajani said the “carnage” of Israelis and Palestinians must end.

“The only possible solution is that of two peoples and two states, we say this very clearly to everyone,” he said.

“It is obvious that some do not want this to be achieved, but we want peace and an end to this carnage that has led to the deaths of thousands of people,
Israeli and Palestinian civilians. This carnage must end,” added Tajani.

Source: Philippines News Agency