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Archive for October 22nd, 2009|Daily archive page

Ba The – Land of the Oc Eo culture

In Vietnam Landscapes on October 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

Ba The – Land of the Oc Eo culture

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

The culture of Oc Eo is the general name of a civilization attached to the kingdom of legendary Phu Nam. It appeared at the same time as Phu Nam inhabitants of the ancient land of the South from the 2nd century to the end of the 6th century. Ba The is where Oc Eo culture had the most development with thousands of antiques excavated such as jewelries made from pottery, stone, gold and bronze and many stone statues influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism such as statues of the Buddha, sacred objects of Yoni and Linga and an impressive group of Ganesa statues with an elephant head on a human body.

These antiques have unveiled a secret curtain that hung over a strong and prosperous kingdom that originated in South Asia. After about 1,500 years of the displacement of nature and history, this culture, day by day, has fallen into oblivion.

From Long Xuyen City to Provincial Road 943 and then west about 35 kilometers, tourists will arrive at Ba The Mountain, also known as Vong The. This mountain is located in Oc Eo hamlet in An Giang province’s Thoai Son district. There’s a winding concrete road to the top of the mountain. In 2002, this road was built by the government to serve tourism.

At the top of Ba The Mountain is an ancient pagoda named Son Tien Tu which was built in 1933. Standing impressively in front of the pagoda is an 8-meter high statue of Quan The Am Buddha. Here, clouds bring cool dew that flies slowly through the sky. Trees stretch green as far as the eye can see and birds sing everywhere. People are dazed by the pagoda’s bell that periodically rings vibrantly over the forest.

Beside Son Tien Tu is a 3-meter high granite stone with a diameter large enough for four or five people to surround. On this huge stone’s surface is a footprint which is bigger than a normal human footprint. People call it a ban chan tien, or a fairy’s foot. This originated from a legend that at the beginning of the mountain, stones were soft like clay and a fairy pressed his foot to make this mark.

About ten kilometers from Son Tien Tu is a strange-looking house with a front door facing the direction of the rising sun following the Hindu pattern and containing many antiques related to the history and culture of Ba The-Oc Eo.

Architecturally, this house looks like a lot of the temples found in South Asian countries with its dome and its rectangular door. The walls of the house are lined with statues of Ganesa deities with elephant heads on human bodies sitting majestically. The banisters are decorated with many small statues of a kind of Arabian horse.

Standing at the top of Ba The Mountain in the evening to look at the kitchen smoke that looms over the plains, tourists find peace in this world of dusk.

Source: VietNamNet/SGT


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Hoi An plans to boost tourism

In Vietnam Travel on October 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

Hoi An plans to boost tourism

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

Hoi An town in the central province of Quang Nam is building a VND2 billion tourism promotion plan between now and 2010. 

The plan will focus on three strategic spearheads, including the World Cultural Heritage of Hoi An Ancient City, the Cham Islands World Biosphere Reserve and sea-based tourism. 

According to the Quang Nam provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, traditional tours such as “One day being a resident in the Ancient City” and “One day being a resident in the Cham Islands World Biosphere Reserve” together with two new products–“Night Market” and the “Tourism and Environment Festival”–will be promoted. 

Information on Hoi An will be posted on tourism websites, in aviation publications, tourist guide books and books on Hoi An. 

About 30km from the central city of Da Nang, the small city of Hoi An not only contains diversified architecture of different cultures but also preserves a huge treasure of intangible cultural values. The Hoi An Ancient City, which was recognised by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as a world cultural heritage site in 1999, has become an attractive destination for tourists. 

In the first nine months of this year, Hoi An city welcomed 812,000 tourists, including 396,000 foreign arrivals. Especially, after the Cham Islands was recognised as a world biosphere reserve, the number of visitors to the city has increased by over 80 percent compared to the same period last year. 

Hoi An was also selected as one of the top ten destinations in Asia based on an online vote conducted by the tourism magazine Smart Travel Asia.

Source: VNA/VOVNews

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Vietnam, China set to tighten trade, investment ties

In Vietnam Economy on October 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

Vietnam, China set to tighten trade, investment ties

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

A business roundtable discussion was held in Nanning city, Guangxi province on October 20.

As part of the 6th China-ASEAN Expo, the discussion, themed “Holding hands against crisis, promoting mutual growth” was attended by Vietnamese government leaders and representatives of 13 large Vietnamese and Chinese groups, such as the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the Vietnam National Coal-Miniral Industries Group, the China Import Export Bank, the China Machinery Import Company, among others.

Speaking on the occasion, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Sinh Hung gave feedback on queries by Chinese business representatives concerning Vietnam’s regulations in the areas of investment and trade, scientific and technological applications, environmental protection, infrastructure development and fertilizer production.

Mr. Hung said he believes Vietnam and China have a firm foundation for boosting trade and investment cooperation on account of the two countries’ geographical closeness and especially at this point of time when the global economy has shown signs of recovery and the China-ASEAN free trade area is in the making and will officially be put into operation by 2010.

China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner since 2004. Last year Vietnam and China reached a target of US$20 billion in bilateral trade, two years ahead of schedule. So far, China has invested in 655 projects in Vietnam, with a total registered capitalisation of US$2.23 billion.

According to Deputy PM Hung, China’s development assistance and low-interest loans to Vietnam have been steadily increasing. The financial support, which is mainly focused on priority areas such as electricity, mining, fertilizer production, metallurgy and mechanical manufacturing, has greatly contributed to the socio-economic development of Vietnam.

Source: VNA/VOVNews

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HCMC to provide $23mil loan to stabilize food prices during Tet

In Vietnam Economy on October 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

HCMC to provide $23mil loan to stabilize food prices during Tet

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has approved a plan to provide interest-free loans worth VND422 billion (US$23.4 million) to 13 food suppliers to secure adequate supply and stabilize prices of certain goods during Lunar New Year (Tet) next February.

The eight essential food items authorities have in mind are rice, sugar, cooking oil, poultry and meat, eggs, processed foods, fruits, and vegetables.

The supply of certain items like fruits, vegetables, processed foods, and meat will be increased, with poultry supply raised by half to 3,000 tons.

The supply of duck meat will remain unchanged at 500 tons but that of eggs will increase to 25 million, up from 15 million last year.

The administration has ordered the13 firms that will take part in the program to ensure quality, hygiene and safety, and that their prices are 10 percent lower than in the market and supply is 20-40 percent higher than normal.

The plan envisages the firms setting up 1,508 retail outlets, a three-fold increase from last year.

City vice chairwoman Nguyen Thi Hong said the program is open to more firms that can assure stable supply and distribution of foods.

This year’s loan amount is higher because there will be more items and suppliers than last year when nine firms shared VND409 billion.

Saigon Co.op will get VND100 billion compared to VND53 billion last year since the supermarket chain has agreed to supply many items.

These beneficiaries have to use the loans for the agreed purpose and repay it in six months, failing which they cannot join the program again.

Tet falls on February 15 next year.

Source: VietNamNet/SGGP

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Ministry to up inspections of animal fat producers

In Vietnam Economy on October 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

Ministry to up inspections of animal fat producers

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Health has requested departments of health across the nation to launch health and safety inspections on the production and trading of animal fat.

Nguyen Cong Khan, head of the ministry’s Office of Administration for Food Safety and Hygiene, said the aim of the inspections was to prevent the production and sale of unsafe animal fat, especially fat derived from pigs that is used to make products for human consumption, such as cakes.

The move follows growing public concern at the threat posed by animal fat of unknown origins to consumers. The latest case involved three tonnes of spoiled fat that was set for use to make cakes. Ha Noi Police seized the dangerous fat late last month.

Khan said his office was co-operating with localities to ensure better supervision of businesses that make animal fat.

He said that supervising animal fat production across the country was difficult. Animal fat is usually sourced from abattoirs, and there are large numbers of small abattoirs across the country that do not meet food safety standards.

Khan said animal fat was widely used in baked goods in Viet Nam.

“It’s a habit that will be difficult to change,” he said.

Phan Thi Bich Nga, a doctor at the National Nutrition Institute, said hygienically-produced animal fat was a useful part of the average person’s daily diet, as it contained cholesterol which is vital in the formation of cell structures.

However, unsafe animal fat, if consumed, can lead to food poisoning, including symptoms such suffocation, diarrhoea and heart problems. In the long term, it can also lead to diseases of the digestive system.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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New graduates try to stay in the big cities, no matter what

In Social life on October 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

New graduates try to stay in the big cities, no matter what

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

Most of Vietnam’s university graduates hope to find big city jobs with attractive salaries.  That’s particularly hard for young people from the provinces.

Taking any job till something better comes along 

A lot of new graduates have failed to find good jobs that fit their professional training.  Even so, they never give up the dream of staying in the big cities. They’ll accept any job they can find (deliveryman, receptionist, salesman or tutor), so that they can get by while waiting for a more professional job. 

Phan Thi My Chi graduated from the accounting course of a junior college three months ago.  She intends to stay in HCM City ‘at any cost’. Chi has applied to work for many companies but none have interviewed her. 

“I graduated with good marks, but I do not have experience, while companies all require relevant work experience,” she said.  For now, Chi is assembling footwear for a company at Linh Trung Export Processing Zone while waiting for other opportunities. 

Students who studied social sciences seem to face the biggest difficulties finding jobs. 

When VnMedia reporters came to meet three new cultural heritage management graduates in their eight square metre room, the young men were considering their finances.  Hieu is now a waiter and Hoa is cleaning motorbikes.  Thanh also has not found any job in a state management agency. However, because he can play the guitar very well, he has found a job as a guitarist for a café. 

The students know well that the opportunities to find professional jobs in the cities are slim. Many agencies and companies have a policy of only employing those whose residence book (ho khau) shows they have the right to reside permanently in the locality.  Other companies set high requirements on degrees, appearance and experience of candidates.  However, the students still cherish their hope. 

Life is tough 

While waiting for opportunity to knock, the recent graduates have to face a lot of difficulties.  Take Dang Van Thoai from Phu Yen province, for instance.  Thoai related that he is now working for Tuan Hung Import-Export Company in HCM City.  “I earn two million dong a month.  One and one-half million of that goes for my basic needs. I have to take extra classes in the evening and all the money I get is just enough to feed me,” Thoai said. 

“Universities and junior colleges only focus on providing theoretical knowledge. Thus we lack necessary skills for our jobs. The university degree just can help you get short-listed,” said Le Thi Hoa, who is now working for Mobifone, the mobile phone service provider. 

Tu Anh, a new graduate of the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanity, felt lucky when she was secured work as a clerk or an e-commerce company. However, Anh had to ‘say goodbye’ to the company just after two months of working.  Though she got many promises before she took the job, but everything turned out to be different. Anh was asked to work in sales as well and she rapidly tired of it. 

Nguyen Van Thuong, a journalism graduate, has worries of his own. He is working for VTC television and he always fears that the stiff competition here may weed him out some day. 

Yet no matter how hard their lives, no one wants to return to the home villages, because they know that they will not even have opportunities to find jobs there. 

Source: VietNamNet/VnMedia


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Ministry introduces national IT programme

In policies on October 22, 2009 at 6:05 am

Ministry introduces national IT programme

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

Vietnam is gearing itself up for a future plugged-in and switched-on Government.

It follows the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) submitting the national programme on information technology application for 2020 to the Prime Minister for approval. 

The programme aims to have 100 percent of government agencies and government to be connected and be using digital signatures by 2015. 

By 2015, up to 70 percent of documents exchanged among government agencies will be sent via email; 100 percent of meetings of the government and the Prime Minister with ministries and local government will be held online; 100 percent of records of government employees will be computerised. 

Also by 2015, 80 percent of people and businesses will submit tax declarations online; 90 percent of local customs offices to apply e-customs; 30 percent of procurement auctions to be conducted online; 100 percent of passports for Vietnamese citizens to be approved online; 30 percent of Vietnamese citizens of over 14 years old to have their ID cards issued, using modern technology. 

The MoIC said that the most important meaning of the programme is enhancing the transparency of government agencies, bringing them closer to the people and strengthening the cooperation between government agencies and organisations and individuals in the society. 

By 2020, Vietnam will develop a broad network to serve government agencies and enable government employees to work anytime, anywhere and by various means, according to this programme. 

Source: VietnamNet 


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Vietnam, Russia keen to bring more benefits to their people

In Politics-Society on October 22, 2009 at 6:04 am

Vietnam, Russia keen to bring more benefits to their people

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

Vietnam and Russia should re-examine their prioritised projects regularly in the 2009-2012 period, especially those in energy, science and technology as part of an effort to deepen their strategic partnership and bring practical benefits to their people.

The statement was made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a reception in Hanoi on October 20 for the visiting Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Victor Khristenko, who is in Hanoi for a meeting of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee.

The PM was briefed on the Russian minister’s talks with Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang where both agreed upon ways and means to strengthen relations in economics, trade and investment.

The Vietnamese leader expressed satisfaction at the practical and wide-ranging developments in the two countries’ traditional relationship and reiterated that Vietnam always attaches importance to its traditional friendship and strategic partnership with Russia.

He suggested that both sides should closely coordinate in carrying out the agreements that were reached at this Inter-governmental Committee meeting, and in particular, removing difficulties that are hindering bilateral cooperation projects.

The Russian guest told his host that the visit offers him a chance to witness the effective implementation of the previously agreed cooperative deals in economics, trade, investment, energy, education and training.

He said during this Inter-governmental Committee meeting, the two sides signed an action plan to boost their economies, two-way trade and investment through 2012. This action plan also details prioritised tasks for the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership to be undertaken annually.

According to the Russian minister, hi-tech and energy cooperation was a bright spot in the two countries’ relationship in 2009.

Source: VNA/VOVNews

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Vietnam raises land, environment concern at FIG meeting

In Politics-Society on October 22, 2009 at 6:04 am

Vietnam raises land, environment concern at FIG meeting

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

The environmental pollution in Vietnam has reached an alarming level, said Minister of Natural Resource and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen.

Nguyen told representatives from 40 countries and international organisations at a regional meeting of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) in Hanoi on October 19 that the problem has prompted from the nation’s dynamic economy growth, population booming and fast urbanisation. 

He added that urbanisation has also led to the dwindling of agricultural land, which may impact on food security and increase risks of rural poverty on a larger scale. 

Those threats loom over the country despite the fact that the Government and entire society have always paid great attention to land and environmental issues, Nguyen explained. 

Organisers expected the four-day meeting will provide an opportunity for domestic experts and relevant agencies to update their knowledge and draw experiences from the international community to apply them to the Vietnamese reality. 

The Vietnam Association of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing has joined the FIG in holding this event.

Source: VOV

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Hoan My Medical Group teams up with VinaCapital and DWS Vietnam Fund

In Politics-Society on October 22, 2009 at 6:04 am

Hoan My Medical Group teams up with VinaCapital and DWS Vietnam Fund

QĐND – Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 20:7 (GMT+7)

An agreement was signed on October 20th between Hoan My Medical Group and VinaCapital and DWS Vietnam Fund under Deutsche Bank Group.

According to the signing parties, the agreement aims to expand business in health care services.

Under the agreement, VinaCapital and DWS Vietnam Fund will invest US $10 million each in Hoan My’s projects.

General Director of Hoan My, doctor Nguyen Huu Trong, said the group is planning to build 2 more hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City and expand Hoan My clinics in Da Nang, Can Tho, and Da Lat.

Meanwhile, VinaCapital Managing Director Andy Ho said that in accordance with its medium-and long-term investment strategies, the company has just sold its shares in several projects in Vietnam and is starting to invest in other projects, including Hoan My ones.

Source: DDDN

Translated by Thu Nguyen    

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