Vietnam News Today (Jan. 24): Vietnam Engages in Building of UN Convention Against Cybercrimes

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 24): Supermarkets, wet markets open again after one-day closure; Vietnam engages in building of UN convention against cybercrimes; Police impose stiff penalties on drink driving at Tet; Two scenarios for Vietnamese economy in 2023.

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Vietnam News Today (Jan. 24) notable headlines

Supermarkets, wet markets open again after one-day closure

Vietnam engages in building of UN convention against cybercrimes

Police impose stiff penalties on drink driving at Tet

Two scenarios for Vietnamese economy in 2023

Seaports nationwide busy through Tet break

Israel – Vietnam Friendship Association comes into being

First flight carries Chinese tourists to Khanh Hoa in New Year

New Year celebrations in Switzerland, Czech Republic

Foreign minister details six priorities of diplomatic sector in 2023

Many supermarkets open agaiin on January 23, the second day of the lunar New Year (Tet), after one day of closure to celebrate the Tet holiday.
Many supermarkets open agaiin on January 23, the second day of the lunar New Year (Tet), after one day of closure to celebrate the Tet holiday.

Supermarkets, wet markets open again after one-day closure

Many supermarkets and wet markets began to receive customers and visitors on January 23 morning, one day after they closed their door to celebrate Vietnam’s biggest festival – the lunar New Year (Tet).

Co.opmart, one of the supermarket chains in Hanoi capital, welcomed its first customers in the morning to buy fresh items such as meat, fish, and vegetables. As Vietnamese people are celebrating the week-long Tet festival, the Co.opmarts are designed to serve customers in the morning only.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, said that the distribution units have prepared abundant sources of goods to meet the people’s shopping needs during and after Tet.

“Some businesses have even registered to open on January 22 to meet the people’s needs on the first days of the lunar New Year,” said Lan.

Some traders in Hanoi’s wet markets also went to work again on January 23, mainly selling green vegetables, pork, beef, and vermicelli, cited VOV.

Tran Thuc, a resident of Hanoi, said that most families no longer hoard food during the Tet holiday because many stores open on the second day of the first lunar month.

“I think people’s habit of hoarding food during Tet has changed, there is no need to stockpile as much food as before, because there is a lot provided on the second day of the lunar New Year,” explained Thuc.

Thanks to adequate preparations, the supply of essential goods is guaranteed, and there is no sudden price increase. More supermarkets will open on January 24 and the price of vegetables may rise slightly.

Vietnam engages in building of UN convention against cybercrimes

A Vietnamese delegation has attended the fourth session of the UN Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Criminal Purposes.

The delegation, led by Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyen Trung Kien, included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of National Defence, and the Ministry of Justice.

Speaking on the opening day of the session, which lasted from January 9 to 20, the delegation highly valued efforts by the Secretariat of the Ad Hoc Committee in building the first draft, which laid a solid foundation for the next negotiations to soon finalise the draft convention and submit it to the UN General Assembly for ratification.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyen Trung Kien (centre) and other members of the Vietnamese delegation to the fourth session of the UN Ad Hoc Committee. Source: VNA
Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyen Trung Kien (centre) and other members of the Vietnamese delegation to the fourth session of the UN Ad Hoc Committee. Source: VNA

The Vietnamese side also gave opinions about some parts of the draft such as the scope of the convention, offences against information technology (IT) systems, IT-based scams, and individual criminal responsibility.

In recent years, protecting cyber safety and security and combating cybercrimes have become a crucial part in the security strategies of many countries, according to VNA.

After 10 years of negotiations by inter-governmental working groups, in 2019, the UN General Assembly decided to set up the Ad Hoc Committee to build an international convention for promoting international cooperation against ICT crimes. The committee establishment reflected the international community’s concern about growing threats posed by ICT crimes, and also showed UN member states’ efforts to create the first international legal document covering this issue.

At the three sessions held in 2022, the Ad Hoc Committee agreed on the negotiation roadmap and identified the structure and basic content of the future convention. Countries began discussing the draft in detail from the beginning of 2023.

The final draft is expected to be finalised by the end of 2023 and submitted to the UN General Assembly for ratification in 2024.

Police impose stiff penalties on drink driving at Tet

As drink driving is common during the Tet holiday, the Ministry of Public Security has directed traffic police to strictly handle drunk drivers to ensure traffic safety across the country.

The country has seen 3,400 cases of traffic violations, with 1,232 of them involving drink driving, on the first day of the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet), nearly 10 times higher than the same period last year.

Police have seized 111 automobiles, 1,463 motorcycles, and 16 other vehicles, as well as suspended 789 driving licenses of all kinds. The fines for those cases totaled VND7.6 billion.

A driver does a breath alcohol level test. Photo: Ministry of Public Security
A driver does a breath alcohol level test. Photo: Ministry of Public Security

To ensure safety during Tet and prevent traffic accidents, the ministry has called for people not to drink alcohol when driving, as well as is strengthening supervision and strictly handling cases of drink driving. Drunk drivers will face the stiffest penalty if they are detected.

With an alcohol level of under 50 mg/100 ml or 0.25 mg in one liter of air breathed out, drivers are fined from VND6 million to VND8 million and have their licenses suspended for 10-12 months, reported SGT.

The fine increases to VND16 million – VND18 million for drunk drivers with an alcohol level of 50-80 mg/100 ml or 0.25-0.4 mg in one liter of air breathed out. Their licenses will be revoked for 16-18 months.

A fine of between VND30 million – 40 million is imposed on drivers with an alcohol level exceeding 80 mg/ 100 ml or 0.4 mg per liter of air breathed out or those failing to comply with the request for alcohol testing from the police. The drivers also have their driving licenses suspended for 22-24 months.

Motorbike drivers are also fined and have their driving licenses suspended if their alcohol concentration exceeds allowed levels.

Two scenarios for Vietnamese economy in 2023

The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) has developed two scenarios for the Vietnamese economy in 2023 after an 8% growth rate was recorded in 2022.

According to CIEM, Vietnam’s economic outlook in 2023 may be influenced by more factors than previous years. Among the factors are the country’s ability to control the spread of coronavirus variants and new diseases, the degree of monetary tightening in key economies to handle inflationary pressures, the rising geographical competition and the protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Other factors include the progress in implementing the national socio-economic recovery and development programme, the introduction of more financial and monetary policies to support economic recovery, the diversification of export markets associated with the utilization of free trade agreements, and the depreciation of regional currencies against the US dollar.

Weighing those factors, CIEM researchers put forward two scenarios for the Vietnamese economy in 2023.

In the first scenario, the national economy is likely to grow by 6.47%, with export turnover to expand by 7.21%, and inflation to be kept at 4.08%, while trade surplus is anticipated to bring in US$5.64 billion.

The Vietnamese economy is anticipated to grow by 6.47% and 6.83% in 2023 in two scenarios respectively developed by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
The Vietnamese economy is anticipated to grow by 6.47% and 6.83% in 2023 in two scenarios respectively developed by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).

In the second scenario, the national economy is likely to grow by 6.83%, with export turnover to accelerate by 8.43%, and inflation to be controlled at 3.69%, while the trade surplus is anticipated to generate US$8.15 billion.

CIEM also analyzed the current situation of cross-border paperless trade in Vietnam. In the face of slowing economic growth in the long term, Vietnam is also looking for new growth drivers, including the development of the digital economy.

The government of Vietnam has implemented powerful solutions to support the development of the digital economy as well as digitalization in public service delivery, reported VOV.

Efforts to promote paperless trade have also been accelerated, including making full use of the United Nations Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA). Meanwhile, ASEAN member states have also promoted the development of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), and they are considering broader cooperation in the CPTA.

In addition, CIEM also proposed issues for consideration in order to increase the level of technical and legal readiness for cross-border paperless trade in the coming time.

Seaports nationwide busy through Tet break

Seaports nationwide are still working through Lunar New Year (Tet) break to ensure that import-export activities are not disrupted, according to the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA).

In the south, a leader of the SP-SSA International Terminal (SSIT) said on the first day of the Lunar New Year, it welcomed container ship MSC FELIXSTOWE, the first-footer there.

First container ship arrives at SSIT. Photo: VNA
First container ship arrives at SSIT. Photo: VNA

The 5,048 TEU ship handles cargo imported and exported from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam’s Vung Tau province, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

Later, the SSIT also welcomed container ship MSC CLORINDA that connects cargo from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vung Tau and China to seaports of the west US, the biggest importer of Vietnam in recent years.

Seaports in the north and central region are also expected to serve about 10 vessels during the festival, cited VNA.

VMA Deputy Director Hoang Hong Giang said last year, cargo throughput via Vietnam’s seaports hit about 733.18 million tonnes, up 4% annually. Of the total, 179.07 million tonnes were exports, down 3%, 209.26 million tonnes imports, down 2%, and the remainder domestic goods, up 12%.

The volume of container goods via seaports was estimated at 25.09 million TEUs, marking a 5% increase from the previous year, he added.

Rosie Nguyen