Vietnam News Today: US Move to Recognize Vietnam as a Market Economy Steals the Spotlight

Vietnam News Headlines: US Market Economy Status Boost for Vietnam, BRICS Membership Aspirations, and Defending Human Rights & Freedoms - Westlife's June Concert Wows.

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Vietnam Headlines Today (May 10)

US Considers Vietnam’s Market Economy Status: What It Means

Vietnam Eyes BRICS Membership: Spokesperson

Vietnam Defends Human Rights Record and Freedom of Religion and Press

Westlife to Perform in Vietnam This June

Petrol Prices See Sharp Decline Following Global Trend

Dien Bien’s Historical Sites Flooded With Tourists

Quang Ninh Remains Vietnam’s Most Competitive Locality for Seventh Year

Japan’s Nagano Prefecture Seeks More Vietnamese Workers

Vietnam and Italy Strengthen Scientific and Technological Cooperation

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang

US Considers Granting Vietnam ‘Market Economy’ Status

Vietnam has welcomed the US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) consideration to upgrade the country to a ‘market economy’ status, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang at a press briefing in Hanoi on May 9.

Hang highlighted the DOC’s hearing on recognizing Vietnam’s market economy on May 8 as a significant step in the process. During the hearing, Vietnam presented compelling arguments and data, affirming that its economy meets the criteria for market economy status. In fact, Vietnam’s economic performance surpasses that of many countries that have already attained this status.

Thus far, 72 countries have recognized Vietnam as a market economy, including major economies such as the UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan. Vietnam has also actively engaged in 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements with over 60 partners worldwide.

“Early recognition of Vietnam’s market economy status by the US will strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between our nations. It will enhance economic and trade relations, bringing tangible benefits to businesses and people of both countries,” Hang added.

Vietnam Eyes BRICS Membership: Spokesperson

At the regular press conference on May 9, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pham Thu Hang, noted Vietnam’s interest in joining BRICS, a group of major emerging economies. She emphasized Vietnam’s commitment to multilateralism and its active role in the international community.

When asked about the possibility of Vietnam’s engagement with BRICS, Hang replied that Vietnam is always ready to participate and contribute to global and regional multilateral mechanisms, organizations, and forums. “We pay attention to the process of BRICS membership expansion, just like many other countries worldwide,” she added.

Flags of BRICS member countries. (Source: AFP/VNA)

Vietnam Defends Human Rights Record and Freedom of Religion and Press

At the regular media briefing in Hanoi, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Pham Thu Hang defended Vietnam’s achievements in human rights and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to religious and press freedom.

In response to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) report, which criticized Vietnam’s religious freedom, Hang emphasized Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting and ensuring people’s freedom of belief and religion. She stressed that this is clearly outlined in Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution and legal system and is practiced in reality.

Hang highlighted that Vietnam’s efforts in protecting human rights, including freedom of religion and belief, have been recognized and highly appreciated by the international community. During the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), many countries acknowledged Vietnam’s progress.

“We refute the biased and inaccurate information in the USCIRF report,” Hang stated, adding that Vietnam will continue open and respectful discussions with the US on mutual interests to promote the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

People praying outside a church in Hưng Nghĩa, Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam. (Source: VNA)

Regarding press freedom, Hang asserted that Vietnam values and promotes fundamental human freedom rights, including freedom of expression, speech, and information. These rights are enshrined in Vietnam’s 2013 Constitution and other legal documents. She highlighted the international community’s recognition of Vietnam’s achievements in this area, as presented in Vietnam’s national report on human rights protection and promotion under the UPR cycle.

However, Hang criticized certain organizations for making biased and slanderous statements against Vietnam, aiming to hinder the country’s socio-economic development and create divisions. “We strongly oppose such actions,” she added.

Westlife to Perform in Vietnam This June

Irish music group Westlife has announced their return to Vietnam with The Hits Tour 2024 in Hanoi from June 4 to 5. Special guests at the event include the British band 911, according to organizers.

Tickets for the highly anticipated concert will go on sale from May 13, as per Westlife’s official fan page.

In 2023, Westlife captivated Vietnamese fans with their Wild Dreams Tour in Ho Chi Minh City. The group also performed in Hanoi back in 2011 as part of their Gravity Tour.

Westlife: The Hits Tour 2024. (Source: ticketbox.vn)

Formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998, Westlife consists of Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne. The group has sold over 55 million records worldwide and holds four Guinness World Records, along with numerous other accolades.

Petrol Prices See Sharp Decline Following Global Trend

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance announced a significant decrease in retail petrol prices from 3 pm on May 9.

Specifically, the price of E5RON92 bio-fuel was reduced by 1,288 VND to a maximum of 22,623 VND (0.9 USD) per liter, while RON95-III fell by 1,411 VND to 23,544 VND per liter. Diesel 0.05S and kerosene prices also dropped to 19,847 VND and 19,701 VND per liter, respectively.

Petrolimex Petrol Station in Vietnam. (Source: VNA)

Mazut oil 180CST 3.5S saw a slight decrease to a maximum of 17,503 VND per kg. The ministries decided not to use the petrol price stabilization fund, citing factors such as increased US commercial crude oil inventories and global oil price fluctuations influenced by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Rosie Nguyen