Vietnam’s Bright Future in the Trillion-Dollar AI Market

Vietnam News Today (Mar 25): The Finnish Parliament Speaker arrives in Hanoi for an official visit; Thua Thien-Hue prioritizes the exploration of cruise tourism potential; Vietnam is projected to become an 'AI dragon' in the trillion-dollar market; Vietnam saves 428,000 kwh of electricity during Earth Hour 2024.

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Vietnam News Today (Mar 25) notable headlines

Speaker of Finnish Parliament arrives in Hanoi for official visit

Thua Thien-Hue places priority on tapping cruise tourism potential

Vietnam forecast to become ‘AI dragon’ in trillion-dollar market

Vietnam saves 428,000 kwh of electricity during Earth Hour 2024

Son La, Laos’ Houaphanh province hold tourism, cultural festival

Vietnam offers free health check-ups to residents in Cambodian province

Thai Binh promotes investment attraction from Switzerland

Vietnam praises ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community’s priorities in 2024

Breakthrough policies look towards green economy

Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Foreign Affairs Le Anh Tuan welcomes Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho at the Noi Bai International Airport (Photo: quochoi.vn)

Speaker of Finnish Parliament arrives in Hanoi for official visit

Speaker of the Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho and a high-ranking delegation of the Finnish Parliament touched down at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 24, starting a three-day official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

Those welcoming the delegation at the airport included Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Foreign Affairs Le Anh Tuan and Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Keijo Norvanto, among others.

The visit is designed to mark the 50th founding anniversary of both countries’ diplomatic relations (1973 – 2023).

This is the first visit to a country outside Europe by Jussi Halla-aho since he took office and he is visiting only Vietnam this time, indicating Vietnam’s special position in Finland’s external policy, as well as the sound friendship between the two legislative bodies.

The trip is expected to help strengthen the cooperative ties between the two countries in a multitude of fields, Don Tuan Phong, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Foreign Affairs, told the media ahead of the visit.

Over the past 51 years, the time-honored friendship and all-around cooperation between Vietnam and Finland have been maintained and developed well. Finland always gives Vietnam great attention and support, cited VOV.

Finland has continuously provided non-refundable aid to Vietnam since the two countries established diplomatic relations. Economic-trade-investment cooperation is a top priority in their relations.

Two-way trade has seen constant growth, with last year’s trade value reaching close to US$380 million. However, it is still a modest number, especially amid the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) coming into force in 2020.

Regarding investment, Finland currently ranks 58th out of 140 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 35 valid projects valued at US$47 million, which also remains a modest rate compared to the European nation’s economic potential and strengths.

Through this visit, the two countries’ leaders will discuss a score of measures to further push economic, trade, and investment cooperation, intensify Finnish investment in Vietnam, and lure more Finnish businesses to Vietnam, especially in fields where the European country has strengths and Vietnam has demanded such as high technology, digital transformation, education-training, and component production.

During the visit, both top legislators are set to discuss ways to augment cooperation between the two legislatures, especially in exchanging experience in legislation and supreme supervision.

Thua Thien-Hue places priority on tapping cruise tourism potential

Cruise tourism plays a crucial role in attracting foreign visitors to the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, contributing to its overall socio-economic development.

Recently, at a meeting with the Royal Caribbean Group, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh proposed the US-based cruise company include Chan May port in its scheduled destinations for 2024 and the following years, according to VNA.

Foreign tourists arrive in Thua Thien-Hue in early 2024 (Photo: baovanhoa.vn)

Additionally, he requested support and advice from the group for Thua Thien–Hue in the development of related tourism connectivity and products that highlight the province’s distinctive strengths in cultural heritage, cuisine, and landscapes.

The province is implementing various measures to enhance partnerships with cruise corporations, investment in infrastructure, and streamlining procedures to develop this tourism segment. The authorities have also established coordination mechanisms with neighboring localities such as Da Nang City and Quang Nam Province to develop more tour packages serving those coming by sea.

According to Wendy Yamazaki, a regional vice president for government relations (Asia) at the Royal Caribbean Group, Vietnam, one of the top three favorite destinations for international cruise tourists in Southeast Asia, is considered among the strategic and popular stops on the group’s cruise itineraries.

The Royal Caribbean Group wishes to enhance cooperation with Thua Thien-Hue to promote the building of attractive products, inviting visitors to go on shore to explore the local ancient capital of Hue, she said.

Yamazaki stated that the group will continue to choose Hue as a scheduled destination and partner with the province in cruise tourism development.

According to the provincial Department of Tourism, in 2024, the number of cruise ships docked at the Chan May port is forecast to be double the figure recorded last year.

Vietnam forecast to become ‘AI dragon’ in trillion-dollar market

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to contribute trillions of US$ to the global economy annually, with Vietnam being forecast to become an “AI dragon”, thereby helping to further promote AI development in Southeast Asia.

This statement was made by Rafael Frankel, director of Public Policy for Southeast and South Asia at Meta Group, at a recent press conference announcing the Vietnam Innovation Challenge (VIC) 2024.

He said there are many reasons why he remains optimistic and believes that the nation will turn into a “dragon” in AI.

The Meta Group representative said that the first time he came to the country was 23 years ago. Since then, the Vietnamese economic picture has changed markedly and the nation’s economic growth over the past generation can be seen as being very strong, VOV reported.

Rafael Frankel, Director of Public Policy for Southeast Asia at Meta Group. Photo courtesy of NIC

People have great determination and have shown a start-up spirit, while many businesses have become trusted partners of US firms, he added.

Frankel said he will continue to support Vietnamese enterprises in developing innovation, as well as promoting AI and semiconductors, thereby enabling them to become partners of US businesses.

According to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong, alongside the development of AI technology, the country has also taken strong steps in promoting AI research, application, and human resource development.

In 2021, the Vietnamese Government issued the National Strategy on AI research, development, and application until 2030.

After two years of implementation, the country has achieved encouraging achievements, noting that in 2022 it ranked 55th out of 180 countries and territories in the AI readiness index, up seven places compared to 2021, according to a report by Oxford Insights.

The nation also has businesses that have recorded significant achievements in research and application of AI, such as FPT, Viettel AI, VNPT AI, and VIN AI. This further proves the capacity and position of engineers and Vietnamese experts in research and development of AI technology applications, Deputy Minister Dong stated.

Vu Duy Thuc, co-founder of New Turing Institute & VietAI, underlined the need to determine the specific value that AI brings in order to fully consider developing products which have superior features for users.

Meanwhile, Phung Viet Thang, country director of Intel Vietnam, said that with Vietnamese advantages, making the best use of semiconductor and AI technology needs a clear strategy and support from the Government.

Encouraging innovation and development in all high-tech, semiconductor, and AI industries will therefore create plenty of opportunities for local businesses as the country has the advantage of abundant resources and readiness.

However, readiness will not bring about long-term advantages without a national vision strategy, Thang emphasized.

Vietnam saves 428,000 kwh of electricity during Earth Hour 2024

The campaign, jointly organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, attracted the attention and participation of all 63 provinces and centrally-run cities nationwide. Vietnam has so far participated in the campaign for 16 consecutive years.

This year, the campaign took place with a message of saving electricity as a habit, urging the community to practice energy conservation and environmental protection not just for one hour but throughout the entire year, cited VNA.

Vietnam has so far participated in the Earth Hour campaign for 16 consecutive years. (Photo: VNA)

After 16 years, the Earth Hour has become a significant activity in March, playing a crucial role in transforming individual awareness into concrete actions.

Son La, Laos’ Houaphanh province holds tourism, cultural festival

The northern province of Son La and Laos’ Houaphanh province jointly held a tourism and cultural festival in Houaphanh on March 21-23 to promote their popular destinations and the cultures of ethnic groups in the two provinces.

The event helped connect and promote tourism development links between Son La, Houaphanh, and other Vietnamese localities. It offered a chance for the two provinces to together develop unique and attractive tourism products, create jobs, and increase income for their people, especially those in ethnic minority and border areas, VNA reported.

An art performance at the festival (Photo: VNA)

Festival goers enjoyed art exchange programs, and typical products of the two provinces, and learned about their cultural features, including folk games and cuisine.

The festival took place at a time when the Lao people are preparing to celebrate their traditional New Year Bunpimay, which is held annually in mid-April.

Rosie Nguyen