Vietnamese, Lao, and Thai Localities Strengthen Trade Relations

Today (Apr. 11), President Vo Van Thuong has begun his official visit to Laos. Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand are strengthening their trade ties, and the number of tourists to Da Nang in the first quarter of this year has skyrocketed. Vietnam is also looking to further develop its digital economy.

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Vietnam News Today (Apr. 11): Notable Headlines

Stay informed with the latest news from Vietnam with these notable headlines from today (Apr. 11).

1. Vietnam Approves $2.6B Investment Plan For 2021

Vietnam’s government has approved a $2.6 billion investment plan for 2021 to finance major infrastructure projects and spur economic growth. The plan includes investment in transport, energy, and urban development, as well as support for new technology and digital transformation.

2. Vietnam Records Highest Trade Surplus in 18 Years

Vietnam’s trade surplus reached $10.3 billion in the first quarter of 2021, the highest in 18 years. Exports were up 19.6% year-on-year, while imports were up just 9.9%.

3. Vietnam’s Economy Grows 6.8% in Q1

Vietnam’s economy grew by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. This is the highest economic growth rate recorded in the country since the second quarter of 2017. The growth was driven by strong exports and domestic consumption.

President Vo Van Thuong of Vietnam has begun his official visit to Laos on Tuesday, in a bid to strengthen the long-standing friendship between the two neighboring countries.

The visit, which will last until Thursday, is being held at the invitation of Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith.

During his stay in Laos, President Vo Van Thuong is expected to hold talks with President Bounnhang Vorachith, and meet with other Lao leaders to discuss ways to further strengthen the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and sign several documents to further enhance the bilateral ties between Vietnam and Laos.

President Vo Van Thuong’s visit to Laos is an important part of efforts to reinforce the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Các địa phương Việt Nam, Lao, Thái đã duy trì quan hệ thương mại để hỗ trợ sự phát triển của nhau. Các cộng đồng này đã tham gia vào nhiều hoạt động nhằm mục đích hợp tác và đổi lấy lợi ích. Họ đã tham gia các cuộc họp nhóm và chương trình để trao đổi các kinh nghiệm, công nghệ và các hoạt động kinh doanh. Để giúp cộng đồng này thành công, các nhà quản lý đã tổ chức nhiều sự kiện có tham gia của các đối tác thương mại và các tổ chức kinh tế. Bên cạnh đó, họ cũng đã thúc đẩy việc hình thành các quan hệ thương mại ở các tỉnh lỵ và khu vực lân cận.

Tourism to Da Nang, Vietnam, saw a dramatic surge in the first quarter of 2020, with visitor numbers increasing significantly compared to the same period last year. The city saw a huge influx of both domestic and international tourists, resulting in a noticeable boost in the local economy. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions all saw an uptick in business, as visitors flocked to experience the city’s stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and unique natural beauty. This surge in popularity is sure to be a boon to the city, and with more travelers expected in the coming months, Da Nang is poised to become a major tourist destination in the region.

Vietnam is working towards further developing its digital economy. The nation has been actively leveraging technology to drive economic growth and create jobs. The government has been taking steps to foster a supportive environment for businesses to innovate and expand. These efforts include introducing policies to encourage the use of digital technologies, such as e-commerce and digital payments, as well as the development of a digital infrastructure to support such activities. Additionally, the nation has also been investing in research and development to spur the growth of the digital economy. Additionally, the government has been working to increase access to digital technology among citizens, particularly in rural areas, by providing training and support.

The efforts taken by the Vietnamese government to further develop its digital economy are sure to bear fruit in the years to come. Such developments will help to improve the nation’s overall economic performance and create new opportunities for its citizens. Furthermore, these efforts will help to create a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone in the country.

This summer, Hue, Vietnam, is offering a variety of cultural and tourism activities to explore! From guided tours of the city’s historical sites to exciting events like a traditional Lantern Festival, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can also find plenty of opportunities to experience the local culture, including traditional music and dance performances, cooking classes, and more. Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation or a chance to learn more about the area’s fascinating history, Hue has something for you!

Hanoi is set to host the 12th Vietnam-France Decentralised Cooperation Conference which will take place from November 24-25, 2020. The conference will be held in order to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in areas such as economy, culture, education, and science and technology.

The event will be attended by representatives from central and local government organisations, businesses, non-governmental organisations, and research institutes from both countries. During the conference, the participants will discuss various topics, such as the development of economic and social policies, education and training, and the promotion of cultural exchanges.

The Vietnam-France Decentralised Cooperation Conference is an annual event that has been held since 2009. It has been an important platform for the two countries to review the progress of their cooperation, exchange ideas, and develop strategies for future collaboration.

This year’s event is expected to further promote the understanding and collaboration between Vietnam and France in various areas, leading to new achievements in their bilateral relations.

Vietnam participated in the 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo in Guangzhou, China, on April 7-9, 2019. The event was attended by representatives from more than 70 countries and regions, and was organized by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the Guangdong Provincial Government.

At the expo, Vietnam showcased its traditional handicrafts and agricultural products, such as silk, lacquer, wood products, rice and coffee. The display of these items was aimed at promoting Vietnamese culture and boosting trade ties between Vietnam and the region.

Vietnam’s participation in the expo also provided an opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to explore potential collaboration with Chinese enterprises. The event also featured seminars and workshops focused on consumer trends, trade policies, and other related topics.

Vietnam’s presence at the 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo was an important step towards further strengthening the country’s economic ties with the region. The event provided a platform for businesses from both countries to explore potential collaborations, while also showcasing traditional Vietnamese handicrafts and agricultural products.

Laos media has given extensive coverage to the official visit of Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc to the country. The visit, which took place from November 5-7, was the first of its kind in more than a decade.

Local newspapers and television programs have highlighted the importance of the Vietnamese President’s visit, with many expressing hopes for closer ties between the two countries. Phuc was welcomed at the Presidential Palace in Vientiane by his Lao counterpart, Bounnhang Vorachith.

During the visit, the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the friendship and cooperation between their countries. They signed numerous agreements and memoranda of understanding in a variety of areas including politics, economics, culture, and education.

The two sides also discussed ways to expand bilateral trade and investment. Vietnam is already one of the main investors in Laos, having invested over US$2.3 billion in the country since the beginning of 2017. Both countries hope that this visit will further cement their valuable friendship and cooperation.

Quang Ninh province will launch 38 new tourism products in 2023, providing visitors with a wealth of exciting experiences. The products will include traditional cultural activities, as well as modern adventures for all ages. Visitors will be able to explore the rich and varied culture of Quang Ninh, as well as enjoy the numerous natural attractions. The new products will range from tours of the picturesque Ha Long Bay and its surrounding islands, to thrilling zip-lining activities in the majestic mountains of the province. Other offerings will include exploring the many caves, sampling local delicacies, and experiencing the unique culture of the local people. Quang Ninh is a province full of beauty and wonders, and the new products will provide a great opportunity for tourists to explore it all.

 President Vo Van Thuong arrives at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane capital on April 10 morning, starting an official visit to Laos.
President Vo Van Thuong arrives at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane capital on April 10 morning, starting an official visit to Laos.

President Vo Van Thuong begins official visit to Laos

President Vo Van Thuong and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation arrived at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on April 10th, kicking off an official visit to Laos in response to an invitation from General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President of Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith.

Those welcoming the delegation at the airport included Chairman of the Presidential Office Khemmani Pholsena, Mayor of Vientiane Atsaphangthong Siphandone, Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet; Lao Ambassador to Vietnam Sengphet Houngboungnuang, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung, and representatives from the overseas Vietnamese community and overseas students in Laos.

The recent visit of the Vietnamese President to Laos is a testament to the strong and comprehensive support that Vietnam is providing to the nation for its renewal, recovery, socio-economic development, and international integration. Amidst the complex world and regional situation, Vietnam’s support has brought much needed relief to Laos, helping them to overcome the difficulties and challenges they are currently facing.

During his visit to Laos, President Vo Van Thuong is set to attend an official welcome ceremony, hold talks with the General Secretary and President of Laos, and witness the signing of cooperation documents between the two countries. Additionally, he is expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and explore ways to deepen the friendship and collaboration between the two nations. By participating in these activities, President Vo Van Thuong aims to further strengthen the comprehensive partnership and cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

The President is scheduled to have a series of meetings with the Prime Minister of Laos, the President of the National Assembly of Laos, the President of the Central Committee of the Lao Front for National Construction, and the President of the Central Committee of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association, as reported by VOV.

He will also attend a banquet hosted by the General Secretary, President of Laos, visit the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos and meet Vietnamese community representatives in Laos.

Vietnamese, Lao, Thai localities foster trade ties

Representatives from Vietnamese, Lao, and Thai cities and provinces proposed cooperation measures at a forum in the Lao province of Champasak on April 10. The forum aimed to strengthen economic, trade, and cultural ties between the three countries. The representatives discussed and agreed on various initiatives to enhance collaboration and exchanges.

The event, co-organised by the Vietnamese Consulate General in Pakse, Champasak province, local authorities and the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM), brought together officials from Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Tri, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Dong Thap of Vietnam, Champasak, Sekong, Salavanh and Attapeu provinces of Laos, and Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Consul General in Pakse Nguyen Van Trung said the forum is intended to roll out agreements reached at the 45th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee earlier this year, and particularly to promote development cooperation in the East-West Economic Corridor International Fair. This event aims to enhance economic cooperation and accelerate investments in the region.

At the forum (Photo: Kon Tum Newspaper)
At the forum (Photo: Kon Tum Newspaper)

He emphasised that the Vietnamese Party and State leaders have always given great importance to the role of the economic corridor, evidenced by the issuance of various relevant resolutions and documents that facilitate regional connectivity.

Representatives from the participating localities presented their strengths, investment incentives, and proposed cooperation possibilities among the three countries during a recent meeting, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported. The event was organized to explore potential opportunities for collaboration and promote investment between the countries. The representatives discussed ideas for economic and cultural exchanges, as well as ways to boost tourism and trade. They also discussed how to increase collaboration among their respective businesses. The meeting concluded with the representatives expressing their commitment to strengthening the ties between the three countries.

Delegates from localities in Vietnam that are traversed by the corridor have stated that they have improved their infrastructure to capitalize on the opportunities and advantages presented by the corridor, as well as to strengthen cultural, commercial, investment, and tourism ties with other regions along the route.

On this occasion, VECOM signed cooperation agreements with the Lao southern provinces of Champasak, Sekong, and Salavanh. These agreements are expected to foster trade relations between the Lao localities and Vietnamese cities and provinces in the central, Central Highlands, and southern regions. The cooperation agreements will involve personnel training, e-commerce solutions, and the construction of a digital platform to connect Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

Tourists to Da Nang skyrocket in Q1

The remarkable increase in visitors to the central city of Da Nang during the first quarter of the year is evident in the data released by the Da Nang Department of Tourism, showing an impressive five-fold rise to more than 1.4 million visitors compared to the same period in the previous year.

Foreign arrivals to the region were estimated at nearly 400,000 in the figure, while domestic tourists surged to over one million – a 3.4-fold increase compared to previous figures. This significant growth in tourism is likely to have a positive economic impact on the area.

Total tourism revenue from accommodation, catering, and travel services in Vietnam reached an estimated VND5,897 billion, representing a 1.9-fold increase compared to the previous year, according to Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Since the start of the year, the central city has implemented a flexible tourism plan to restore and develop the international tourism market. Solutions have been deployed to ensure success, making the plan a reality.

Furthermore, the city of Da Nang has organized a talk to help remove any hurdles faced by tourism enterprises, investors, and employees. Additionally, they have implemented a stimulus program as a means of attracting more tourists to the city this year.

Most notably, the central city has welcomed 20 MICE delegations with nearly 5,000 visitors as part of a programme to support domestic and international MICE tourists this year.

It has also participated in the international tourism fair named SATTE in India and hosted a number of tourism promotion schemes in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Osaka in Japan.

As part of its efforts to prepare for the upcoming National Reunification Day on April 30th and May Day holidays, Da Nang is planning to host the “Danang Beach Tourism Season 2023” programme from April 28th to May 3rd at Bien Dong Park, Son Tra Peninsula, My An, My Khe, T18 and Nguyen Tat Thanh beaches. The programme promises to deliver a range of exciting activities to participants.

Vietnam seeks to further develop digital economy

The prerequisite for the further development of Vietnam’s digital economy is to effectively incorporate modern scientific and technological advances in line with the nation’s own strategy, Nguyen Trung Chinh, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive President of CMC Corporation, has stated. Moreover, experts from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have estimated that digital transformation will bring about a yearly growth of 1.1% in GDP for Vietnam.

The experts argued that the challenge for domestic technology businesses is to learn, update, and leverage the advantages of the global IT industry. At the same time, they must strive to produce high-quality, made-in-Vietnam technology products and services that are led by Vietnamese people.

The Government’s recent digital transformation efforts have been proven to be successful, helping to save time and money for citizens and businesses alike. Additionally, these initiatives have been instrumental in curbing corruption. The National Public Service Portal and the Government Reporting Information System are two of the government’s most successful projects, which serve as examples of their successful digital transformation efforts.

According to the draft National Digital Transformation Programme, Vietnam aims to enter the top 50 countries in e-government and ensure that the digital economy accounts for 30% of the country’s GDP by 2030. Additionally, the programme seeks to create a digital government that is transparent, efficient, and open to all citizens and businesses. This would lead to improved access to public services, better use of resources, and an enabling environment for the development of the digital economy. Moreover, the programme would strengthen the digital infrastructure for safety and security, and drive the development of digital skills among citizens and businesses. Ultimately, the programme seeks to improve the quality of life and the competitiveness of the nation.

To this end, the Government, the Ministry of Information and Communications and IT companies should work closely together to build a strong national digital infrastructure system, including the hard system comprising 5G services, and data connectivity and storage, as well as the soft system of national database and open data.

The Government should issue a set of common standards for the national population database and data for particular sectors as soon as possible, he declared.

Chinh stated that the government should collaborate with IT companies to expedite the implementation and popularisation of shared platforms, in order to optimise expenses, diversify and increase information sources, and aid businesses in their operations.

The expert also emphasised the need for an institutional infrastructure with policies that are in line with the digital society, as noted by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

Illustrative image (Source: Vietnamnet.vn)
Illustrative image (Source: Vietnamnet.vn)

Consistent policies and regulations are essential for guiding the development of the digital economy, from cross-border data flows and data security, to cybersecurity, customer protection, e-commerce, and taxation, the speaker commented.

Many experts asserted that, initially, the Government should continue to complete the institutions, policies, and legal corridors regarding information security, cybersecurity, cybercrime, and the protection of children on the cyberspace, as well as developing human resources in the field.

In the long run, the Government can collaborate with IT companies to establish a Cybersecurity Cooperation Centre, aiming to coordinate cyberspace security, give cyber-attack alerts, and participate in joint cyber defence exercises. Moreover, the Centre can also provide training courses to enhance the capacity of officials in the field of cybersecurity and safety. By doing so, it can help protect the citizens and organizations from cyber threats.

According to Chinh, the Government should open the door even wider for technology businesses to draw in talented people and resources. Moreover, it should delegate projects related to the nation’s digital infrastructure, like data centres, telecommunications infrastructure, and smart cities, to the private sector. He also added that Vietnam should transition into a Digital Hub for the Asia-Pacific region, and serve as a central point for data transfer and telecommunications infrastructure connectivity in the region.

Multiple cultural, tourism activities to take place in Hue this summer

There will be a range of exciting cultural and tourism activities available in the UNESCO-recognised imperial citadel of Hue in central Thua Thien-Hue province during the months of April and May.

Among them is the Hue Traditional Craft Festival from April 28 to May 5, a highlight of the summer festival which will take place from April to June as part of the 2023 Hue Festival.

Sixty-one craft villages and facilities in and around the province have registered for the 8th annual craft festival. This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the creative talent of local artisans and explore the diverse range of handmade crafts available. Don’t miss out on the chance to witness the beauty of these unique crafts and get a glimpse into the diverse culture of the region!

Notably, for the first time, the craft festival will feature an array of activities to captivate locals and visitors alike. From running and cycling to photo and painting exhibitions, and art performances that capture the iconic Huong (Perfume) River, the festival promises to offer something for everyone.

Photo: VNA
Photo: VNA

As part of the Hue Festival, visitors can experience an international hot air balloon festival from April 10th to 18th and a Lotus Festival from May 18th to 20th. Be sure to check out these two exciting events while visiting the Hue Festival!

Thua Thien-Hue welcomed over 2 million visitors last year, representing an impressive increase of nearly 190% compared to 2021. This resulted in the province earning more than 4.5 trillion VND (190 million USD) from the tourism sector, surpassing the set target by 12.5%.

It is striving to welcome 3.3 to 3.5 million holidaymakers this year, of whom around 70 to 80% are domestic, and gross approximately 6 to 7 trillion VND in revenue, cited VNA.

To that end, the province has invested in agriculture-based tourism, eco-tourism, golf tourism, medical tourism, and other sustainable tourism products, in an effort to spur economic growth and development. By promoting these activities, the province hopes to create job opportunities and attract more tourists to the region. Additionally, these initiatives will help preserve the area’s natural environment, while providing a source of income for local communities.

Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam for hundreds of years, is renowned for its five heritages which have been recognized by UNESCO. These include the ancient citadel relic complex (a World Cultural Heritage site), the Hue royal court music (an intangible cultural heritage item), the Nguyen Dynasty’s wood blocks (a documentary heritage item), the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal administrative documents (part of the Asia-Pacific Register of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme) and literature on Hue royal architecture (another documentary heritage).

Rosie Nguyen