Prime Minister of Vietnam Leads National COP26 Steering Committee on Green Growth

Next week, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son will pay an official visit to Singapore, while Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will preside over the national CO2 initiative Steering Committee. This news comes as the UK's recently agreed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), promoting trade with Vietnam. Additionally, Tropical Storm Talim is continuing to gain strength.

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Vietnam News Today (Jul. 17) notable headlines

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to visit Singapore next week

Prime Minister presides over national COP26 Steering Committee on green growth

UK’s accession to CPTPP promotes trade with Vietnam, British Ambassador

Storm Talim continues to strengthen

Family tours a trend in Ho Chi Minh City this summer

Education – an important pillar in Vietnam – US cooperation

Vietjet launches direct flights between HCM City and Tokyo’s Haneda airport

Climate change adaptation projects in Mekong Delta accelerated

Ho Chi Minh City attracts 2.9 billion USD in FDI in H1

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son to visit Singapore next week

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Bui Thanh Son is scheduled to pay an official visit to Singapore from July 17 – 19 at the invitation of his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan.

The visit takes place at a time when the Vietnam – Singapore strategic partnership is developing dynamically in all areas. This year the two countries are celebrating 50 years of their diplomacy and 10 years of the strategic partnership.

The two countries have regularly maintained high-level visit exchanges to outline orientations for future cooperation. Most recently Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made an official visit to Singapore at the invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore is currently Vietnam’s leading economic partner in Southeast Asia. Two-way trade turnover between the two countries last year hit US$9.15 billion, representing a year-on-year rise of 11.57%.

Singapore is Vietnam’s largest foreign investor in Southeast Asia and the second largest in the world, with 3,246 valid projects valued at US$73.4 billion, cited VOV.

The Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) has become a success story in bilateral economic cooperation, with 14 such VSIPs taking shape in 10 localities in Vietnam. These VSIPs have so far attracted 866 projects worth US$18.7 billion, and generated nearly 300,000 jobs.

Cooperation in the fields of security-defense, education, culture, and tourism has also been strengthened over the years through the signing of a number of cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding.

Currently the two countries are keen to boost cooperation in new fields such as digital economy, green economy, digital transformation, supply chain connectivity regionally and globally, sustainable development, and supply chain collaboration.

The two countries have closely coordinated in addressing regional and global issues, including the East Sea (South China Sea) issue. They have also worked closely towards enhancing cooperation at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting (APEC), as well as implementing bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements to which they are both signatories, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

During the visit, FM Bui Thanh Son will hold talks with FM Vivian Balakrishnan and meet with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Prime Minister presides over national COP26 Steering Committee on green growth

Vietnam’s favourable natural conditions for renewable energy, as well as the requirements of green standards in the European export markets, drive the country towards green transformation.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presided over a meeting of the national COP26 Steering Committee on Friday afternoon, emphasising that green growth, energy transformation, and emission reduction are inevitable, especially as Vietnam is among the five countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Vietnam’s favourable natural conditions for renewable energy, as well as the requirements of green standards in the European export markets, also drive the country towards green transformation.

The national COP26 Steering Committee convened three times last year. The meetings’ discussion topics included building a strategy and action plan following COP26; reviewing and updating the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); reviewing and amending policies and frameworks related to climate change response and energy transition; negotiations for the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP); and completing the National Power Development Plan VIII (PDP VIII) and the National Energy Master Plan; among other things.

The results of these meetings are multiple projects, strategies, and action plans approved by the government, such as those related to national climate change response, green growth, methane and carbon emission reduction, and sustainable forestry development.

Leaders from the government, ministries, and departments have worked with other countries and international organisations to facilitate access to financial and technological resources, opening up opportunities for cooperation and development that aim for low-carbon growth, according to VNS.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (centre) chaired the national COP26 steering committee meeting on Friday afternoon. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (centre) chaired the national COP26 steering committee meeting on Friday afternoon. Photo: VNS

Some of Vietnam’s partners in this field include the Korean and Japanese environment ministries, the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP), and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

Vietnam also joined the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC), initiated by Japan to promote the reduction of carbon emissions and cooperation in energy transition.

A draft of the JETP implementation project has been taking shape under the coordination of the MoNRE.

JETP was approved and announced by the Group of Seven (G7) and other countries, including Vietnam, at a meeting in Belgium on December 14 last year.

Through JETP, international partners can help Vietnam in policy completion, technology transfer, and financial support, as well as attract investment to the energy sector and improve the efficiency of the electricity grid infrastructure.

The partnership can also provide assistance in enhancing capacity in just transition through education and vocational training, increasing engagement from the private sector, developing the renewable energy centers and industries – especially offshore wind power – promoting carbon use and storage, manufacturing energy storage devices, and tapping green hydrogen production.

As head of the national steering committee, PM Chinh praised the efforts of the committee’s members, as well as ministries, departments, localities, and businesses in implementing Vietnam’s commitments at COP26.

He also pointed out the shortcomings and how to improve them, such as completing priority policies for green transformation and development, mobilizing resources from society and from partners, conducting reports, and enhancing officials’ knowledge on green growth.

In the immediate future, PM Chinh required the steering committee and relevant units to accelerate the tasks regarding Vietnam’s commitments at COP26, the national strategies on climate change, green growth, and the 2022 version of the NDC.

The government also required ministries in charge of managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC), the Ministry of Construction, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), to issue specific regulations on climate change responses as well as plans to reduce GHG emissions.

The MoNRE is tasked with coordinating ministries and departments to develop official documents on carbon credit management.

The MIC will need to complete and submit a pilot program for Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) between renewable energy producers and major energy consumers. It will also work on regulations to encourage solar power, a strategy on hydrogen production in Vietnam, and a proposal on renewables in the amendment of the electricity law.

The PM also assigned the finance ministry to complete the project on developing the carbon market in Vietnam, which will be submitted to the government for approval within this month.

The Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) will coordinate enterprises under its management to accelerate production, digital transformation, technology application and innovation to become a driving force in circular economy, green growth, and the development of new energies.

PM Chính added that communication activities must also be enhanced to foster determination and unified action, maintaining the momentum in implementing the country’s commitments at COP26 and in just energy transition.

UK’s accession to CPTPP promotes trade with Vietnam, British Ambassador

British Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew believed that the UK’s accession to CPTPP will strengthen trade relationship between the UK and Vietnam even further.

Business and Trade Secretary of the UK Kemi Badenoch has formally signed the treaty to accede to the CPTPP trade bloc in New Zealand this morning, kickstarting the UK’s membership of a modern and ambitious trade deal spanning 12 economies across Asia, the Pacific, and now Europe, cited WVR.

British Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew. Photo: VNS
British Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew. Photo: VNS

Sharing his views on this occasion, British Ambassador to Vietnam Iain Frew said: “I am delighted that the UK has signed the agreement to accede to CPTPP. Total trade between the UK and Vietnam has recently reached £6.9 billion – an increase of 29% on last year and I’m confident that the UK’s accession to CPTPP will strengthen this even further.

This shows the UK’s strategic commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. I am grateful to the Government of Vietnam for their support and collaboration in accession, particularly meaningful as we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between our countries. I look forward to working closely with the Government of Vietnam, other partners, and businesses to make the most of this new partnership.”

Storm Talim continues to strengthen

At 10am on July 16, Storm Talim, the first storm that has entered the East Sea/South China Sea this year, was about 610 km to the west-northwest of Leizhou Peninsula, China, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.

The strongest wind in the area near the center of the storm was at level 9-10 (75-102 kilometers per hour), with shock at level 13.

The projected path of Talim storm (Photo: nchmf.gov.vn)
The projected path of Talim storm. (Photo: nchmf.gov.vn)

As of 10am on July 17, the storm’s center is projected to be 20.4 degrees north latitude and 112.8 degrees east longitude, about 280 kilometers to the east of Leizhou Peninsula. The strongest winds in the area near the center of the storm are expected to be at level 11-12, with shock at level 15.

The National Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention has requested localities from the northern province of Quang Ninh to the central province of Phu Yen to monitor the storm’s progress and prepare responses, NDO reported.

The provinces are required to evacuate people in low areas with a high risk of flood due to heavy rain and sea level rises, at the same time as reinforcing houses, signs, public constructions, industrial parks, factories, warehouses, and power grid systems.

Northern mountainous areas need to evacuate people in locations with a high risk of flash floods and landslides and prepare all necessities and equipment to deal with the storm.

Family tours a trend in Ho Chi Minh City this summer

People pay more and more attention to summer holiday vacation and consider it an opportunity to tighten connectivity among family members, according to travel agencies in Ho Chi Minh City.

A quick survey of travel agencies in the city shows that 85% of the respondents choose to spend their summer vacation with their family, of which more than 30% would like to go in an extended family of three generations, cited VNA.

Tourists to Ho Chi Minh City take a city tour on a double-deck bus. (Photo: chinhphu.vn)
Tourists to Ho Chi Minh City take a city tour on a double-deck bus. (Photo: chinhphu.vn)

Nguyen Thanh Luu, Deputy Director General of Saigontourist, said that the summer tour is not merely for traveling but also an occasion to connect family members so that they can spend time together, relax, and nurture affection for each other.

To meet different demands of family members who join a tour, Saigontourist offers a variety of new schedules including tours to explore mountainous areas in the Central Highlands, Northeastern and northwestern regions, or tours to islands in the central region and southern regions. Mountain-and-sea combined tours are also offered.

To enhance experiences to meet diverse customer needs, especially all family members, several tour operators in Ho Chi Minh City include destinations in a tour with historical and cultural stories highlighting the new routes.

Rosie Nguyen