November 28-December 4: Vietnamese pay respects to Fidel Castro

Monday, 2016-12-05 04:33:06
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Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong mourns the loss with Cuban Ambassador Herminio López Díaz.
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NDO - A Nhan Dan selection of events that made the headlines over the past week.

1. Vietnamese pay respects to Fidel Castro

People queue up at the Cuban Embassy in Hanoi for their turn to pay tribute to Fidel Castro.

Vietnam observed a day of national mourning for Fidel Castro on December 4 to express condolences and gratitude to the revolutionary leader of Cuba, who passed away on November 25.

People queued up at the Cuban Embassy in Hanoi for their turn to pay tribute to Fidel on the day, also the last day the book of condolences for the Cuban leader remained open at the embassy.

Hundreds of delegations, including Party, State and Government leaders, representatives of ministries, agencies, localities and foreign embassies, and Vietnamese of all social strata, paid homage to the late Cuban leader since November 28. A Vietnamese delegation, led by NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, also arrived in Havana to attend comrade Fidel’s funeral.

2. PM urges concerted efforts to fulfill 2016 socio-economic goals

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the monthly cabinet meeting for November.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc directed all ministries, sectors and localities to make maximum efforts to achieve socioeconomic targets set by the National Assembly in 2016, during the Government’s regular meeting in Hanoi on November 28-29.

He reiterated the resolve to cut public expenditure, asking localities to save 10% of their non-salary regular expenditure for the salary increase policy and other necessary tasks. The PM also requested prompt discussion of socio-economic development orientations for 2017 to avoid lax business and production at the beginning of the year.

Ministries, competent agencies and localities were reminded to prepare for the traditional Lunar New Year 2017 and support disadvantaged people to enjoy a warm Tet holiday.

3. High spirits as Vietnamese mediumship wins UNESCO recognition

A hau dong ritual performed at the 2016 Hanoi International Film Festival

Vietnamese religious practices, notably the hau dong or mediumship ritual, in honour of Mother Goddesses, have been inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritages of humanity.

The new addition was announced on December 1 at a meeting of the cultural body in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The Vietnamese worship of Mother Goddesses was one of more than 30 cultural practices recognised at the session, including float festivals in Japan, beer culture in Belgium and the Egyptian stick game of tahteeb.

4. Vietnam enjoys trade surplus of US$2.9 billion in 11 months

Vietnam reported a trade surplus of US$2.9 billion in the first 11 months of the year, exporting roughly US$159.5 billion worth of goods, up 7.5% year on year, and importing US$156.6 billion worth of goods, up 3.5%.

The United States remained Vietnam’s leading export market during the period with a value of US$34.7 billion, up 14% against 2015. Vietnam imported the most from China during the period with US$44.6 billion in import revenues, down 1% against the previous year.

5. National Volunteer Day gathers nearly 10,000 volunteers

Youngsters contribute to the lively atmosphere at the festival from the early morning.

Nearly 10,000 Vietnamese and foreign volunteers gathered at the National Volunteer Day 2016, which opened in Hanoi on December 3.

Volunteers across Vietnam and from countries around the globe made exchanges and joined various activities, including signing commitments to promote the attainment of sustainable development goals (SDGs), participating in voluntary blood donation and fundraising campaigns for the Winter 2016 and Spring 2017 Volunteer Programmes.

6. Vietnam pardons over 4,000 inmates, including 14 foreign nationals

The Presidential Office announced on November 30 the president’s decision to grant amnesty to over 4,000 inmates who have shown good behaviour at correctional facilities, including 14 foreign nationals. The oldest inmate granted amnesty was 84 years old while the youngest was only 16.

The clemency decision, which took effect on December 1, was due to the humane nature of the Vietnamese Party and State, which sought to help those who had shown remorse for their past infringements upon the law to become rehabilitated and good citizens of society.

7. Hike in food prices accounts for November’s CPI surge

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in November rose by 0.48% compared to October, 4.52% over the same period of last year and 4.5% against last December, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on November 28.

November’s CPI surge was mainly due to sharp rises in food prices—up 0.71% compared to the previous month due to an increasing demand for food during wedding season and a decline in the volume of vegetables on the market as a result of recent flooding in certain central and southern localities.

8. Enterprises honoured with “Vietnam Value 2016” title

Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh (second from right) presents the Vietnam Value certificate to enterprises.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency held a ceremony in Hanoi on November 30 to announce and honour the 88 enterprises eligible for the “Vietnam Value 2016” title.

Vietnam Value is the only Government programme seeking to build and promote national brands by developing the image of their goods and services. Among the honourees, 23 businesses have been recognized five times, nine have been recognized four times, fourteen have been recognized three times, thirteen have been recognized twice and 29 were recognised for the first time.

9. Vietnam jumps 14 places in WEF’s Enabling Trade Index

A corner of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Enabling Trade Index of Vietnam has climbed 14 places to 73rd worldwide, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Trade Report 2016.

The improved ranking is mostly attributed to improvements in border administration, with improved customs efficiency and reduced times for documentary and border compliance for both importing and exporting. These changes reflect the government’s efforts to optimise border procedures and reduce the burden of inspections by multiple agencies.