Vietnam News Today (Feb. 17): Stronger FDI Waves Expected into Vietnam

Vietnam News Today (Feb. 17): Vietnam reaffirms commitment to Turkey quake relief aid campaign; Stronger FDI waves expected into Vietnam; Traditional Vietnamese culture introduced in North Africa; US, Vietnam to counter wildlife trafficking through sea ports.

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Vietnam News Today (Feb. 17) notable headlines

Vietnam reaffirms commitment to Turkey quake relief aid campaign

Stronger FDI waves expected into Vietnam

Traditional Vietnamese culture introduced in North Africa

US, Vietnam to counter wildlife trafficking through sea ports

Quang Ninh islands proposed to open to tourists

HCM City to host 8th Vietnam – Japan Festival

US firms upbeat about Vietnamese economic outlook: Consul General

Tree planting marks 30 years of Vietnam – Israel diplomacy

British reporter reveals eight interesting things about Vietnamese cuisine

Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang (R) exchanges views with Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu at the UN headquarters in New York.
Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang (R) exchanges views with Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu at the UN headquarters in New York.

Vietnam reaffirms commitment to Turkey quake relief aid campaign

Vietnam will work alongside the international community to support Turkey in overcoming the consequences of the recent devastating earthquake and stabilizing people’s lives.

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the United Nations, delivered the commitment at a ceremony held by the Turkey Mission to the UN on February 15 to commemorate victims of the recent deadly earthquake.

Giang extended condolences to the Turkey government and said the Vietnamese government has decided to deploy an emergency aid campaign for those affected in the Middle East nation, cited VOV.

According to the diplomat, Vietnam has dispatched a contingent of 100 soldiers and police officers to join search and rescue work in Turkey. The government of Vietnam has also provided emergency aid worth US$100,000 to Turkey and Syria each.

Vietnam would continue to lend a helping hand to those affected in its capability in the coming time, he assured.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors on February 6 has so far killed more than 40,000 in Turkey and Syria. Turkey is the hardest hit, with over 35,000 deaths reported.

Stronger FDI waves expected in Vietnam

Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Vietnam are slowing down but promising moves are showing that waves of FDI to the country will be stronger in the coming time, said Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Hanoi Nakajima Takeo.

Citing the results of a survey conducted with 3,100 businesses based in Japan, the official said that Vietnam ranks fourth in the world in terms of export destinations for Japanese companies, second only behind the US in attracting Japan’s foreign investment, and this shows the great interest of Japanese businesses in Vietnam as they believe that the Vietnamese market will develop strength and be a destination for businesses.

In the JETRO survey on Japanese investment in Asia and Oceania in 2022 that received responses from 603 Japanese enterprises operating in Vietnam, 60% of the surveyed enterprises said they will expand their investment in Vietnam in the next one to two years, up 4.7 points from the previous year.

It was the highest among the Southeast Asian countries, after India (72.5%) and Bangladesh (71.6%).

Not only Japanese companies but those from Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China) are also eyeing the Vietnamese market, according to VNA.

During Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visits to Singapore and Brunei last week, investment funds and investors from the two countries confirmed their interest to invest in Vietnam.

At the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum taking place during Chinh’s visit to Singapore, Patrick Lee, chair of the Board of Members of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam (Limited), said that Vietnam is a rising star in the region.

Vietnam’s attractive investment policies and favorable demographics make it the market of choice for many Singapore investors and businesses. With Vietnam’s burgeoning consumer market and opportunities from green energy to infrastructure development, Standard Chartered sees greater interest among Singapore clients to expand into Vietnam, he said.

Red River Delta is the second largest FDI attraction in the country, accounting for 31.4% of the total FDI that Vietnam has attracted in the past 35 years. (Photo: VNA)
Red River Delta is the second largest FDI attraction in the country, accounting for 31.4% of the total FDI that Vietnam has attracted in the past 35 years. (Photo: VNA)

At a recent conference on promoting the government’s action plan to implement the 13th-tenure Politburo’s Resolution No. 30-NQ/TW on orientations for socio-economic development and safeguarding defense and security in the Red River Delta to 2030 and vision to 2045, nearly 10 billion USD were committed for the region in the coming time.

In the region, Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, and Hai Phong are all “magnets” attracting investment in recent years. This is the second largest FDI attraction in the country, accounting for 31.4% of the total FDI that Vietnam has attracted in the past 35 years.

Major groups in the world, such as Samsung, LG, Honda, Canon, Foxconn, and Toyota, have chosen localities in the region and made them their production bases.

Secretary of the Vinh Phuc provincial Party Committee Hoang Thi Thuy Lan said that the province is determined to focus on building mechanisms, improving the business environment, and competitiveness, and continuing to strengthen state management for investment projects as well as actively supporting investors to remove difficulties.

Meanwhile, Chairman of Bac Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huong Giang said that the province is implementing the most practical policies to develop high-quality human resources and technical expertise, and continuing favorable policies to attract investment.

Traditional Vietnamese culture introduced in North Africa

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs recently launched a series of art programs themed “Mélodie du Viet Nam” in the Moroccan cities of Rabat and Casablanca, to promote Vietnam’s traditional culture in the North African country.

The shows were organized at Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat and Mohammed Zefzaf Theatre in Casablanca on February 9-10, attracting hundreds of local people, as well as foreign diplomats in Morocco and members of the overseas Vietnamese living and working there.

Vietnamese artists perform at “Mélodie du Viet Nam” art programme in Morocco. (Photo: Baoquocte.vn)
Vietnamese artists perform at “Mélodie du Viet Nam” art programme in Morocco. (Photo: Baoquocte.vn)

Addressing the event, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Morocco Dang Thi Thu Ha introduced international friends to Vietnamese culture, while briefing them on the country’s socioeconomic development achievements over the past year and highlighting the development of the relationship between the two countries.

The art programs saw performances by artists from the Army Music and Dance Theater, as well as the Performing Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

A number of songs, dances, and musical instrument performances took audiences to many different regions across Vietnam, reported VOV.

Vietnamese artists also offered Moroccan friends unique gifts by performing famous songs such as “Casablanca”, “A Ben Bladi”, and “O Sole Mio”, receiving plenty of applause from local audiences.

Moreover, the Vietnamese Embassy in Morocco in collaboration with the Morocco-Asia Friendship Association, organised programmes aimed at exhibiting Vietnamese products and screened videos showcasing traditional Vietnamese dishes.

US, Vietnam to counter wildlife trafficking through sea ports

The growing demand for endangered, exotic, and protected wildlife drives a global illegal market, valued at more than US$20 billion per year.

Ninety percent of the world trade is seaborne and an estimated 72-90 percent of illicit wildlife volumes are trafficked through maritime transport, meaning detecting and intercepting wildlife shipments at maritime ports is critical.

The figures were revealed on February 14 at a workshop on ‘Strengthening inspection, detection, investigation and handling illegal wildlife trade through seaports’, co-hosted by the Management Board for Forestry Projects under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD); the General Department of Vietnam Customs, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), US Department of State, USAID. The conference draw the participation of customs representatives from major seaport authorities in HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Quy Nhơn and TRAFFIC.

The workshop provided participants with information on the maritime cargo inspection and screening procedures to control and detect wildlife trafficking, including the Customs Container Control Programme, technology interventions to improve detection rates, including new x-ray innovations supported by USAID and the US Department of State, and new guidelines on wildlife trafficking adopted by the International Maritime Organisation.

Examples of interdepartmental, international, and cross-sector coordination and cooperation in countering wildlife trafficking, opportunities and the latest trends of this transnational crime were also highlighted.

Border guard and customs forces check a container of illegal ivory cargo disguised as fine art at Đà Nẵng's Tiên Sa Port. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Border guard and customs forces check a container of illegal ivory cargo disguised as fine art at Da Nang’s Tien Sa Port. Photo: VNS

“Wildlife trafficking is a cross-border, transnational crime. We focus on capacity building and supporting stakeholders of Vietnam, including customs and port authorities, to effectively and responsibly enforce international treaties,” said director of the Management Board for Forestry Projects (MBFP), Do Quang Tung.

Thought to be the world’s largest known ivory seizure, in March 2019 Vietnam Customs seized over nine tonnes of ivory at Da Nang port. The seizure represents over 1,000 elephants and brought the amount of ivory seized in Vietnam since 2004 to over 70 tonnes, cited VNS.

“Countering wildlife trafficking is a global priority for the US Government. USAID supports interagency collaboration, transboundary cooperation, and reforms to policies and practices to ensure transnational wildlife crime is prevented,” said Annie Wallace, director of Office of Climate Change, Energy and Environment, USAID Vietnam.

Participants highlighted opportunities to strengthen the detection and interception of wildlife trafficking cases after a tour at Da Nang port.

“Wildlife trafficking is a growing concern globally, threatening not only biodiversity but also ecosystems vital for climate change mitigation, domestic and international economies. Investigating and intercepting the perpetrators of this illegal trade is a challenge, requiring coordination and collaboration between enforcement agencies and the maritime shipping industry. Through USAID’s Saving Threatened Wildlife project, we aim to change the perception that trafficking wildlife to Vietnam is a low risk, high reward activity,” said Michelle Owen, Chief of Party – Saving Threatened Wildlife, WWF.

Supported by USAID and implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture of Rural Development (MARD) by WWF, TRAFFIC and ENV, the Saving Threatened Wildlife project supports efforts to counter wildlife trafficking.

USAID partners with MARD to assist Vietnam’s customs and seaport authorities to use technology to counter wildlife trafficking.

USAID’s Saving Threatened Wildlife project, implemented by WWF, convened agencies to discuss tools and technology that combat wildlife trafficking through improved detection and interception at maritime ports.

Quang Ninh islands proposed to open to tourists

Five islands in the northwestern province of Quang Ninh’s Bai Tu Long Bay have been proposed to open to tourists.

The provincial Tourism Department was asked to cooperate with relevant departments and agencies to study and identify routes and tourism destinations on Tay Hoi, Tra Ngoc, Cai Lim, Ba Mun, and Ban Sen islands so that tourism activities can be started in April.

Quang Ninh Province's Bai Tu Long Bay (Photo: VNA)
Quang Ninh Province’s Bai Tu Long Bay (Photo: VNA)

The provincial Transport Department was asked to hire a consultant to survey waterway routes and announce the routes.

With the existing infrastructure, Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are eligible for exploitation of planned tourist areas, VNA reported.

Bai Tu Long Bay, located in Ha Long city, Cam Pha city, and the Van Don district, is an attractive tourist destination with hundreds of islands, beaches, and beautiful natural landscapes.

Unlike Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay has not only natural rock islands of various shapes but also many mountainous islands of different sizes, inhabitable to human.

Rosie Nguyen