Vietnam News Today (Apr. 22): Vietnam ​- Pioneer in Implementation of “Green” Commitments

Vietnam News Today (Apr. 22): Vietnam-Cuba ties will last forever: NA leader; Vietnam supports foreign investors for win-win outcome; Vietnam ​- pioneer in implementation of "green" commitments; Overseas remittances to HCM City rise sharply.

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Vietnam News Today (Apr. 22) notable headlines

Vietnam-Cuba ties will last forever: NA leader

Vietnam supports foreign investors for win-win outcome

Vietnam ​- pioneer in implementation of “green” commitments

Overseas remittances to HCM City rise sharply

Vietnamese spices have absolute comparative advantage globally

Vietnam and Cuba seek to increase economic cooperation

Three foreign investors to pour US$3.7 billion into Vietnamese projects

Hung Kings’ commemoration to be marked in nearly 20 foreign countries

Vietnam, Cuba look to step up sci-tech cooperation

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) presents a souvenir to representatives of ICAP (Photo: VNA)
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) presents a souvenir to representatives of ICAP (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam-Cuba ties will last forever: NA leader

The brotherhood, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, loyalty and solidarity between Vietnam and Cuba will last forever, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue has stated.

The Vietnamese top legislator made the statement while meeting with leaders of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP); the Cuba-Vietnam Friendship Association; schools named after President Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese communist Nguyen Van Troi and former President of the Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association Vo Thi Thang; and Ben Tre village in Havana on April 21 (local time).

NA Chairman Hue showed his delight at the Cuban people’s achievements in overcoming difficulties, stabilising the situation and advancing the country to socialism, expressing his belief that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC), the Cuban people will reap greater achievements and successfully reach all targets set at the CPC’s 8th National Congress.

The Vietnamese NA leader said that the special relationship between Vietnam and Cuba is rare in the world. In his piece “A journey through the land of the Annamese” published in the US magazine Golden Years in 1889, Cuban hero José Martí described the Vietnamese people as hardworking, talent, skillful and brave, sowing the first seeds for the close friendship between the two peoples, he said.

The aspiration for peace, independence and freedom, and the tradition of heroic struggle against foreign invaders are common values that the two peoples share, forming a solid foundation for the special relationship between the two nations. cited VNA.

“Overcoming the long geographical distance and all difficulties and challenges, over the past six decades, the special solidarity and loyalty between Vietnam and Cuba have been continuously consolidated and developed in all areas,” stated the leader.

Briefing the Cuban friends on the outcomes of his ongoing visit, NA Chairman Hue said that at his talks and meetings with leaders of the Cuban Party and State, the two sides agreed on many important issues, especially the efforts to effectively promote bilateral cooperation, optimising each other’s strengths and supporting each other to overcome difficulties and challenges.

Dozens of cooperation documents have been signed between agencies and businesses of both sides, including four deals in the fields of electricity, oil and gas, building materials and aviation. Twinning ties have been set up between the two countries’ localities on this occasion, he said, stressing that the fruitful results of the visit will create a new impetus for the bilateral special relationship to develop stronger in the coming time.

“With Vietnam-Cuba solidarity, we will surely win,” emphasised the NA leader.

ICAP President Fernando Gonzalez Llort thanked Vietnam for always supporting the Cuban people in all fields over the years. He affirmed that the institute will work hard to promote people-to-people exchanges to match the special relations between the two countries.

Head of the Cuban National Assembly’s Commission on Foreign Relations Yolanda Ferrer said that the Cuban people are proud of their six-decade solidarity with Vietnamese peers, and underlined that Cuba treasures the friendship and the whole-hearted support from Vietnam.

On the occasion, NA Chairman Hue presented gifts to leaders of the ICAP, members of the Committee for Solidarity with Vietnam, and Ben Tre village.

He also gifted the Tio Ho, Vo Thi Thang and Nguyen Van Troi schools with sets of computers.

Vietnam supports foreign investors for win-win outcome

The government will continue to accompany foreign investors to help them achieve their goal and contribute to Vietnam’s socio-economic development, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at his meeting with foreign investors in Hanoi on April 22.

Chinh reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy of considering the foreign-invested economic sector (the FDI sector) an important component of the national economy, and creating conditions for it to develop and compete on a fair and equal footing with other economic sectors.

“The State respects and protects the investors’ legitimate rights and interests, and ensures the harmonization of interests between the State, investors and employees. It does not criminalize economic and civil relations, but strictly handles those who violate the law according to regulations….” he assured the investors.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivers a strong political commitment in his meeting with foreign investors in Hanoi on April 22.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivers a strong political commitment in his meeting with foreign investors in Hanoi on April 22.

Besides positive gains, the PM pointed out several weaknesses the FDI sector should address to meet development requirements and expectations of both sides.

He asked the delegates to clearly identify bottlenecks, difficulties, and obstacles, as well as opportunities, advantages, and solutions in an effort to improve the efficiency of foreign investment in Vietnam amid global uncertainties.

According to the government leader, relevant Vietnamese agencies have recently conducted surveys and examined business proposals to implement specific measures related to the reduction, extension, and exemption of taxes, fees, charges, and land rent for businesses, VOV reported.

The government is drastically directing the State Bank to adopt monetary policies in the next few days on debt freezing, reduction, rescheduling, and extension to iron out business snags, cited VOV.

“All obstacles can be solved, all challenges can be overcome, and benefits can be obtained if we sincerely and responsibly listen to, trust and accompany each other,” he told the investors.

The PM asked relevant ministries, agencies and localities to respond to the investors’ recommendations and have specific solutions, adding issues that cannot be resolved immediately must be carefully examined, proactively resolved or reported to competent authorities for timely, flexible and effective handling.

With regard to the coming enforcement of the global minimum tax policy slated for 2024, the PM said Vietnam would introduce incentives to support businesses on the basis that these incentives are not contrary to international regulations and commitments, in order to harmonize interests between the parties and ensure equality between businesses.

He revealed that right after the conference, the government would issue a document detailing the implementation of solutions.

Statistics show Vietnam attracted US$5.44 billion in the first quarter this year, representing a year-on-year fall of 38.8%. The number of FDI projects rose 13.5% to 1,459, showing these are small-scale projects.

Vietnam ​- pioneer in implementation of “green” commitments

Vietnam has been a pioneer in the implementation of “green” commitments and praised by the international community for making significant contributions to the “common home” of humanity, said an official.

Dr. Ta Dinh Thi, Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Science, Technology and Environment made the statement on the occasion of the World Earth Day on April 22, themed “Invest in Our Planet,”. It stresses the urgent need for governments, businesses and individuals to invest in a better future for the planet.

According to Thi, Vietnam is one of the six countries most vulnerable to climate change. At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland in late 2021, Vietnam pledged to develop and implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by its own resources with the cooperation and support of the international community to achieve the net-zero goal by 2050.

Illutrative photo (Photo: VNA)
Illutrative photo (Photo: VNA)

In order to realise commitments at COP 26, the Vietnamese Government and the International Partners Group have officially approved the Political Declaration on establishing the Just Energy Transition Partnership with Vietnam (JETP), VNA reported.

To achieve this goal, Vietnam needs to promote the development of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency and focus on energy transition with an appropriate roadmap, while ensuring environmental protection and climate change response, minimising costs, and improving productivity, quality, and efficiency of the economy.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the country currently has 1,322 domestic waste treatment facilities, including 381 solid waste incinerators, 37 fertilizer production lines and 904 landfills. The main sources of emissions come from landfills, accounting for 50.3%, and from wastewater treatment, 43.2%.

The National Plastic Action Partnership Program in Vietnam (NPAP) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Vietnam have provided technical support to a group of scientists at the University of Natural Sciences, Vietnam National University, Hanoi to make a report on the status of plastic waste in Vietnam in 2022.

The initial findings show that on average, the composition of plastic waste in domestic solid waste in Vietnam accounts for about 12%. The total volume of plastic waste produced was 2.9 million tonnes in 2021 and rose about 5% per year. The volume of plastic waste released to the environment was 0.42 million tonnes and only about 0.07 million tonnes went to rivers, lakes and seas.

Environmental experts said this is a great source of input materials for the fields of plastic waste recycling. However, the composition of plastic waste in domestic solid waste in Vietnam is mostly thin plastic bags, food packaging, and disposable plastic utensils.

According to Vietnam’s updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) 2022, the country has set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector to 29.4 tonnes of CO2 (63%) by 2030 with international support.

Overseas remittances to HCM City rise sharply

Vietnamese overseas remittances to Ho Chi Minh City reached more than US$2.1 billion in the first quarter this year, up 19.41% year on year, amid economic difficulty, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

The remittances from Asia accounted for 43% of the total thanks to the continent’s steady economic growth, said Nguyen Duc Lenh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City branch.

Meanwhile, the remittances from other regions such as the Americas, Africa, and Oceania, decreased due to economic difficulty and rising inflation, cited VOV.

Overseas remittances to Vietnam are expected to rise this year. (Illustrative image).
Overseas remittances to Vietnam are expected to rise this year. (Illustrative image).

According to the World Bank, remittances to Vietnam last year amounted to nearly US$19 billion, a year-on-year rise of 5%, making Vietnam among the top 10 remittance recipients in the world.

Of last year’s figure, US$6.6 billion was channeled into Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese spices have absolute comparative advantage globally

Vietnam ranks first in pepper exports and second in cinnamon exports globally, especially when participating in FTAs.

The spice industry group is assessed to have an absolute comparative advantage in the global spice market.

The statement was made by Hoang Thi Lien, President of Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), at a conference on the country’s journey to become a sustainable multispice origin taking place in Hanoi on Friday.

Lien said that Vietnam currently ranked first in terms of export proportion and export output of pepper, however, there was still room for further development and exploitation of pepper plants.

The country has been integrating globally, with many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) signed.

When the FTAs come into effect, the group of agricultural products including the spice plant group had an absolute comparative advantage in the global spice market as we had the advantage of geographical location, weather, climate, and soil, said Lien.

However, despite achieving certain results and advantages, in the current world market context, the spice industry in general and pepper, in particular, were not only affected by supply and demand factors but also by many other factors such as geopolitical factors which could be the main cause of continued instability, added Liên.

Strict requirements and regulations of the import market on non-tariff barriers continue to increase, especially issues related to pesticide residues (related to pepper) and heavy metals (related to the cinnamon tree).

The unpredictable evolution of climate change would be the main challenge for the global agricultural sector, she added.

Rising costs would also have a big impact on supply, said the president.

Liên said that the export turnover of pepper and spices reached more than US$1.4 billion last year, contributing to more than $55 billion in export turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products for the whole year.

However, there were still many shortcomings in the industry, such as the lack of an intermediary role between the private sector and the public sector, between the State and enterprises and the absence of the role of the VPA, she said.

In particular, VPA was also lacking in market research and connection between businesses and farmers, farmers and processors, she added.

Vietnam is one of the major spice producers and exporters in the world, of which exports account for about 11 per cent of the global market share last year, according to ITC.

Of which, the US, the EU, China, India and Middle East are the leading import markets of some Vietnamese spices such as pepper, cinnamon and star anise, cited VNS.

The conference on the country’s journey to becoming a sustainable multispice origin taking place in Hà Nội on Friday. Photo: bnews.vn
The conference on the country’s journey to becoming a sustainable multispice origin taking place in Hà Nội on Friday. Photo: bnews.vn

Recently, the import markets have continuously had warnings about pesticide residues as well as the rising frequency of control and tightening of MRLs for food in general, including Vietnamese spices.

Nguyen Van Dien, director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry’s Forestry Production Development Department, said that with favourable natural conditions, it had put cinnamon, pepper, and star anise in the top five in the world.

Over the years, the spice industry has made important contributions to the overall picture of agricultural exports.

Diện shared that we have leading enterprises in the world in the application of production technology, and the State also has many supporting mechanisms and policies.

However, there were still difficulties, so creating a large raw material production area was a challenge, he said.

Facing the current situation, the biggest difficulties were commercial competition, technical barriers, and residues of pesticides, he added.

This required more efforts from associations. On the business side, it was necessary to be a pillar for people, especially in connecting planting and processing areas to be able to create the highest added value, added Diện.

A VPA report shows that Vietnam exported 76,727 tonnes of pepper with a total export turnover of $235.9 million in the first quarter of this year.

Compared to the same period last year, the export volume increased by 40.5 per cent, however, the export turnover decreased by 7.3 per cent.

The country exported 18,685 tonnes of cinnamon in the first quarter with a total export turnover of $54.8 million, up 45.8 per cent in volume and 13.8 per cent in value year-on-year.

Vietnam exported 3,369 tonnes of star anise in Q1 with total export turnover of $21.6 million. Compared to the same period last year, the export volume increased by 261.9 per cent.

VPA reported that the pepper crop of the country would be relatively positive this year, with an estimated harvest output of 200,000 tonnes, up 9.3 per cent compared to last year.

Meanwhile, according to the International Pepper Community (IPC), the harvest from other producing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and India are forecast to decrease compared to last year.

Total global pepper production is estimated at 526,000 tonnes this year compared to 537,600 tonnes last year.

Vietnam’s cinnamon output is forecast to increase over last year and is estimated at about 45,000 tonnes.

Rosie Nguyen