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Archive for May 29th, 2010|Daily archive page

The hidden charms of a beach at the foot of the mountains

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm




The hidden charms of a beach at the foot of the mountains


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)


Thousands of people flock to a cool beach in Quy Nhon City during the summer.

Quy Hoa beach is situated between two low mountain ranges that merge with the blue sea, offering stunning vistas and mild weather that combines sunshine with the cool breezes blowing out of the forests from the mountains.


To reach it, one has to ride down the road going from Quy Nhon to the neighbouring province of Phu Yen, make a turn on the first downhill road on the left and follow it.


The beach is closed off and there is a gate. The whole place has been developed into a complex. The entrance costs for the complex is VND5,000 plus another VND2,000 for motorbikes. At the entrance of the beach is a park with statues of world celebrities who dedicated their lives to fighting leprosy.


“The beach is a favourite place for me and my friends to go during a free afternoon or on the weekends,” said Phan Thao Ngan, 21, who lives near the Quy Nhon central beach, where there is a wide square for people to sit and drink from coconuts, or walk.


Ngan and her friends said they prefer this beach to others in the city because it is peaceful and has a romantic view. “We often spend hours chatting, seeing lovely waves under the sunlight, and we return home refreshed,” one of her friends said.


“This beach is fantastic because people of all walks of life can enjoy it,” Ngan said.


The park, which is separated from the sand by a low embankment, is shaded by willow trees and has tables and chairs and a long bench in the shape of a guitar.


Inside are statues of scientists like Louis Pasteur, Albert Calmette and Alexandre Yersin. The only Vietnamese scientist here is Prof Dang Duc Trach, the country’s leading micro-biologist.


“Every time my grandson visits, he tells me he was able to learn from the celebrities, which makes him want to do something with his life,” said Le Manh Trung, a resident in the village for leprosy patients.


Trung said this complex often attracts philanthropist, charity organisations and students.


“Domestic and international donators join hands with the State to ensure our food and welfare. This wheelchair is from a foreign Protestant,” he said, as he drove his wheelchair by the beach.


“Charity organisations conduct regular trips here to investigate our needs to find people who can use donations.


“Students have been led to visit the statue, learn hygienic practices and raise awareness about leprosy,” Trung said.


But the 70-year-old man said he is most excited during weekends and national holidays, when thousands of local people, visitors from other provinces and foreigners flock to the beach. “I always feel happy and a little proud of where I live,” Trung smiled.


Trung’s residence is part of the complex that is home to 600 residents with leprosy. All of the buildings, rehabilitation zones, beaches and other zones harmonise with nature and provide a nice view. Visiting the site is like going on a pilgrimage, where you can see couples with leprosy live as happy families. People here lean on each other in order to overcome misfortunes.


The site is a good destination for lovers of poet Han Mac Tu, who died at the complex due to complications from leprosy.


People can indulge in their poetic inspirations while reading Mac Tu lines on stones or wood plates that are on display.


Under the sunset, visitors are able to say goodbye to the complex after being completely refreshed due to their encounter with humanity under the watchful eyes of the statue of Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen, who devoted his life to studying and fighting leprosy.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


 


Source: QDND

Seminar paves way for exports to APEC, Africa

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm




Seminar paves way for exports to APEC, Africa


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

A workshop on opportunities for exports to APEC and African markets via e-commerce was held in Hanoi on May 28 by the Alibaba.com group in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the OSB company.


Brian Wong, senior director of global sales of Alibaba.com said Vietnam’s small-and medium-sized enterprises should use e-commerce to promote their export capacity.

The country is capable of exporting high-quality products and e-commerce is a good way for companies to expand their customer and supplier networks, improving their competitiveness in the global trade environment, he added.

David Tan, senior manager of global sales of Alibaba.com, stressed the opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to tap APEC and African markets, saying they can find data on top buyers in each category or each region, particularly APEC and Africa, on Alibaba.com.

The number of Vietnamese joining the membership of Alibaba.com rose 38 percent over the past year.

Alibaba.com has provided the Gold Supplier service pack to domestic businesses and set up office in Ho Chi Minh City in cooperation with the OSB company, helping improve customer service.

The number of members of Alibaba.com worldwide had by March 2010 reached 12.5 million.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Firms focus on energy efficiency

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm




Firms focus on energy efficiency


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)


Enterprises should focus on advanced technologies to save energy and costs for themselves and the country, a seminar in Ha Noi heard yesterday, May 28.

The symposium on energy efficiency in manufacturing was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Energy Efficiency Centre.


Viet Nam faced an energy shortage which would be eased if enterprises and individuals were aware of the need to save energy, the seminar was told.


To raise the awareness, the Government had begun a national programme on energy efficiency, of which the seminar was part.


The ministry said that to generate US$1,000 GDP, Viet Nam must consume 600kg of oil equivalent, a unit of energy, one and a half times higher than that in Thailand and double the average rate of the world.


The energy consumption of Vietnamese manufacturing sector was also double or triple that of other nations in the region.


Schneider Electric Vietnam representative Do Manh Dung said: “The gap between energy supply and demand in Viet Nam tripled against a decade ago and the gap will continue to widen due to a sharp increase in demand.”


It was expected the demand on power would be 74 billion kWh while the supply would likely stay at about 64 billion kWh this year, he said.


Electricity prices in Viet Nam would increase amid rising demand and against the present low prices in comparison with other nations, he said.


“The Government had mapped out plans to invest $30 billion to generate an addition capacity of 33,200MW by 2015,” he said. “However, supply still failed to meet demand and energy saving was an indispensable and compulsory responsibility of enterprises.”


Dung pointed out four steps for energy efficiency in production: measuring and auditing energy consumption, using advanced technologies, applying automatic systems and maintaining management and consultancy on energy efficiency.


Ha Noi Technology University deputy rector Pham Hoang Luong said: “To manage energy saving effectively, the determination of CEOs plays a very important role and he or she must mobilise all workers to do it.”


Companies should also implement quality management, he said. These measures would help save energy, cut costs, reduce product prices and thus sharpen the competitive edge.


Luong said businesses should “boldly” renovate their technologies to improve quality and get higher sale prices.


Energy efficiency and cleaner production usually coincided, he said.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade had composed a draft decree to encourage manufacturers to use renewable energy.


However, the ministry’s science and technology department deputy director Vuong Hoang Kim said: “We have to go step by step because the cost of applying renewable energy was higher than the financial capacity of Vietnamese firms.”


The seminar was part of the international fair and exhibition on energy efficiency and environment at the Giang Vo exhibition centre, that will end tomorrow, May 30.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

EC’s anti-dumping duty hurts bike industry

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:18 pm




EC’s anti-dumping duty hurts bike industry


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

That the EC may review and extend an anti-dumping duty on imported made-in-Vietnam bicycles worries not only Vietnamese bike makers but also Vietnam’s investors and partners in the field.


Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Competition Management Department Vu Ba Phu made the comment at a press briefing in Hanoi on May 28.

Phu said according the EC’s decision issued in July, 2005, its anti-dumping duty of 34 percent against imported Vietnamese bikes will expire on July 15, 2010.

However, the EC may review this duty at the request of the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association (EBMA) which seeks the extension of the anti-dumping duties for Vietnam and China for another five years.

According to Phu, if the EBMA’s request is rejected, the duty will end on July 15. Otherwise, the EC will undertake a review over a 12 month period during which the current anti-dumping duty will still be in place until the EU releases the results.

Assessing the performance of Vietnam’s bike industry during a five year period during which the anti-dumping duty was imposed, Phu said the duty has “heavily and negatively” impacted many businesses, pushing them into bankruptcy or to go into another line of business.

For the past five years, exports of made-in-Vietnam bikes to the EU dropped sharply, from 1 million units in 2005 to 21,400 units in 2009.

In 2007 and 2008, Vietnamese bikes accounted for only 0.61 percent and 0.40 percent, respectively, of the EU’s total bike imports.

Vietnam’s bike export revenue from the EU declined steadily, plunging 95.3 percent in 2007 against the figure in 2006.

The EC’s imposition of the anti-dumping duty has also forced Vietnamese bike manufacturers to cut their workforce to 5,000 workers this year from 210,000 in 2005.

Noting that Vietnam’s bike exports to the EU are small and unable “to affect the European bike industry”, Phu stressed that any extension of the duty would be “inappropriate to the growing bilateral trade and economic ties between Vietnam and the EC, especially in the context that Vietnam is sparing no effort to create a more favourable environment for foreign investors, including those from Europe.”

Recently, the Ministry of Trade and Industry sent a diplomatic memo to the EC Directorate General for Trade to analyse the current situation and related developments as well as the impact of the imposition of the anti-dumping duty on Vietnam’s bike industry.


Source: VNA/VOVNews


Source: QDND

Commercial banks resist gov’t order to cut interest rates

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm




Commercial banks resist gov’t order to cut interest rates


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)


The nation’s commercial banks are still struggling to comply with a Government order to cut lending interest rates to no more than 12 per cent per year in order to help businesses access credit.

But market pressures continue to push rates upward, and many bankers and banking experts told Viet Nam News that lower interest rates needed to be coupled with caps on deposit interest rates or lower input costs.


“Lowering borrowing costs will be an impossible mission for the system if some banks keep raising deposit interest rates,” said the deputy director of a Ha Noi-based bank who asked that his name be withheld.


“Some banks have no trouble with liquidity but they just keep raising deposit rates to maintain sustainable capital sources and stay competitive,” said Bao Viet Bank general director Phan Dao Vu.


“Deposit interest competition is getting fiercer, so lending interest can’t be cut right now,” said An Binh Bank deputy director Pham Quoc Thanh. “Banks need time to balance capital costs.”


Cutting borrowing in fact is believed to require a very great attempt, as about 80 per cent of the economy’s capital demand of the economy depends on credit institutions.


Some suggested that the State Bank of Viet Nam needed to use monetary policy to adjust the amount of currency in circulation. High interest rates implied credit demand was higher than the supply, suggesting that the State Bank should increase the cash supply.


In an interview with reporters on the sidelines of the National Assembly meeting this month, the vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Economics Committee, Vu Viet Ngoan, said, “A very important tool to help banks cut interest rates would be to loosen monetary policy and inject more money into the economy.”


However, an oversupply of currency could trigger inflation, economists note.


“Interest rate reductions should be achieved by applying economic measures other than administrative orders. The State Bank is doing very well,” Ngoan said.


Eximbank general director Truong Van Phuoc said that interest rates would continue to track both market signals and inflationary movements.


Credit grew by just 5.58 per cent between December and April, and just 1.73 per cent in April alone, against an official target for the year of 25 per cent.


Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News


Source: QDND

Festive day for handicapped children

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm




Festive day for handicapped children


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Nearly 600 disabled children from 17 centres and schools will take part in a sports and culture festival at the Labour Culture Palace in Ho Chi Minh City on May 31.


The event has been held annually for 14 years and will also draw the participation of children from other provinces such as Tra Vinh, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.


The festival provides opportunities for children to make new friends and helps them lead a more self-confident and dynamic life.


With sports activities and traditional games, the event becomes noteworthy rendezvous in children’s minds.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

50 percent of Vietnamese men are smokers

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm




50 percent of Vietnamese men are smokers


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

A meeting was held in Hanoi on May 29 by the University of Public Health in coordination with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam to launch National No-Smoking Week.


More than 500 students attended the event, which was held in response to the 2010 “World No Tobacco Day”, with the aim of telling young Vietnamese people not to smoke.


This year’s “World No Tobacco Day” theme is “Gender and Tobacco” with an emphasis on marketing to women.


Vietnam is one of the countries with a high rate of male smokers (about 50 percent), therefore, it is essential to raise public awareness of the dangerous health effects of passive smoking on women.


Contest on eloquence in Vietnamese and Lao languages held in Vientiane


The National University of Laos has organised the final round of a contest on eloquence in the Vietnamese and Lao language in Vientiane on May 28.


The event is part of the lead-up to the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and Vientiane’s 450th anniversary.


The 17 candidates who have made it to the final have already treated audiences to new experiences and ideas on language and thought in the two countries through demonstrations that have been both impressive and profound.


With four first prizes and other awards, the contest helps increase awareness among young people of both Vietnam and Laos on the friendship between the two countries.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

ASEAN contest boosts students’ integration knowledge

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:16 pm




ASEAN contest boosts students’ integration knowledge


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Ho Chi Minh City on May 28 kicked off a contest on knowledge about ASEAN among municipal students under the theme of “Integration and Development.”


The event has drawn 193 student teams from 20 municipal universities and colleges to show off their knowledge of diplomatic relations and economics, cultural and educational cooperation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The contest will also include questions about Vietnamese culture and history, especially sites of cultural interests and the Thang Long – Hanoi millennium anniversary.

The final of the three-round contest will coincide with the ASEAN festival on June 25, where nine of the ten member countries, have registered to showcase their cultural, educational and musical products and paintings. Only Brunei, which has not yet opened representative office in HCM City, will not participate.


Organisers from the municipal League of Friendship Associations said the contest aims to improve students’ knowledge on ASEAN in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Vietnam joining the group and its ASEAN presidency this year.


Source: VNA/VOVNews


Source: QDND

Anti-corruption dialogue focuses on education

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm




Anti-corruption dialogue focuses on education


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

The seventh annual anti-corruption dialogue opened on May 28 in Hanoi, drawing the participation of representatives of government agencies, the international donor community and development partners.


Addressing the event, MoET Deputy Minister Tran Quang Quy said the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) considers the fight against corruption a primary task and has carried out various activities to curb its influence in education.


Chief of the Office of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption Vu Tien Chien said the education and training sector has made important achievements, contributing to the country’s development and creating a basis for the sector’s advancement in the 21st century.


However, there still exist shortcomings in the quality of teaching and learning, content and methodology as well as other problems in education, Chien said.


According to Swedish Ambassador Rolf Bergman, corruption in education is a threat to sustainable development.


To create a knowledge-based economy, freedom in thinking and new ideas are necessary. However, this cannot be achieved unless enrolment is decided based only on academic merit. It is student performance alone that should determine enrolment, he stressed.


During two discussion sessions, “Advancements in ant-corruption in Vietnam” and “Anti-corruption in Education,” participants heard reports on developments since the sixth dialogue last November and the implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy until 2020, the UN anti-corruption convention and the project on fighting corruption in education and training.


A UNDP representative stressed that education is inextricably linked to development as it helps improve each individual’s capacity and their opportunities for advancement.


Corruption is a major obstacle to development and especially education, which is considered particularly vulnerable to it.


Representatives of the US and UK embassies and the UN agreed on the necessity of setting up a system to access corruption in education and training and identify other vulnerable sectors.


Delegates from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) and the Danish embassy highlighted the role of transparency, access to information and the media in anti-corruption effects.


A representative from the Australian embassy recommended that Vietnam pass a law on access to information and a stricter mechanism to prevent corruption.


Meanwhile a Swiss embassy representative suggested that the country soon promulgate regulations on the protection of whistle-blowers.


The education sector currently covers 40,000 educational establishments, from the pre-school to tertiary education level, with over one million staff and teachers and 23 million students.


Source: VNA/VOVNews


Source: QDND

National HIV/AIDS writing competition launched

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm




National HIV/AIDS writing competition launched


QĐND – Saturday, May 29, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

The second competition for HIV/AIDS stories for the Vietnamese press was launched in Hanoi on May 29 by the Vietnam Journalists’ Association.


The contest aims to encourage Vietnamese journalists to write about the HIV/AIDS situation in Vietnam and other countries around the world, prevent discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, and highlight inspirational examples of HIV/AIDS patients who overcome their pain and disease to integrate into the community.


All stories broadcast on mass media or printed in newspapers from January 1, 2009 to September 2010 are eligible to compete in the event.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND