December 26-January 1, 2017: Country brings in New Year with a bang

Monday, 2017-01-02 06:04:46
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Ho Chi Minh City is ready to welcome in the New Year 2017. (Credit: VNE)
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NDO - A Nhan Dan selection of notable events which occurred over the past week.

A jubilant New Year celebrated around the country

A wide variety of activities were held on December 31 and New Year’s Day in provinces and cities around the country to celebrate the beginning of the New Year 2017 along with the participation of people from all walks of life.

Countdown parties and a series of public arts programmes were organised on the last day of 2016 in major cities; meanwhile local people in remote areas were able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve programmes via mobile film screenings.

Welcoming activities for 2017 also took place nationwide on New Year’s day, including the Vietnam Television-hosted music festival themed "Loving each other," which brought together renowned Vietnamese music stars.

Vietnam enjoys trade surplus of US$2.68 billion in 2016

Vietnam earned roughly US$175.94 billion from exports in 2016, reporting a year-on-year increase of 8.6%, according to the General Statistics Office.

The country’s import turnover was estimated at US$173.26 billion during the period, up 4.6% against the previous year, resulting in a trade surplus of US$2.68 billion.

The domestic economic sector reported a trade deficit of US$21.02 billion, exporting US$50 billion worth of goods, up 4.8% year on year, and importing US$71.1 billion worth of commodities, up 4% year on year.

The foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, on the contrary, enjoyed a trade surplus of US$23.7 billion in 2016, with export revenues of US$125.9 billion (including crude oil), up 10.2% year on year, and import revenues of US$102.1 billion, up 10.5% against 2015.

National platform encourages economic empowerment for women in agribusiness

A national platform on economic empowerment for women in agribusinesses opened in Hanoi on December 26 to assess gender gaps and build solutions and recommendations for facilitating female entrepreneurs in agricultural production and business startups, thereby promoting gender equality.

Participants at the event shared the view that the implementation of policies in support of female workers and firms employing women lack necessary guidance.

They also underscored the role of increased women’s economic empowerment in promoting gender equality, thereby offering men and women equal chances to access opportunities and resources.

Hanoi officially launches rapid buses

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service has been officially put into operation on the Kim Ma-Yen Nghia route in Hanoi, starting December 31.

With prioritised traffic lights and lanes, the 14.7km route passes through Giang Vo, Lang Ha, Le Van Luong, Le Trong Tan, Tran Phu and Ba La streets.

The entire route takes between 40-42 minutes. The bus system is scheduled to operate 17 hours per day, from 5am to 10pm, with a bus departing every 5, 10 and 15 minutes.

Vietnam Institute for Green Urban Research and Development makes debut

The Vietnam Institute for Green Urban Research and Development debuted on December 27 with architect Nguyen Huu Hieu, General Director of the Architecture Consultancy – Construction Investment, acting as the Director of the Institute.

The Institute was expected to become a major centre for scientific research and technology transfer in the field of urban development in the country.

It will consult and implement projects related to green urban areas and environmental works with efficient use of energy, as well as research and propose measures to improve microclimate conditions for architectural works and raising the quality of peoples lives.

Vietnam Book Award winners honoured

Vietnam Book Award winners honoured

Nineteen winners of the annual Vietnam Books Awards were announced at a ceremony which took place at Vietnam National Library in Hanoi on December 28.

The good book awards were presented to 47 works, including four gold, ten silver, 17 bronze and 16 consolation prizes. Meanwhile book awards were presented to 43 works, including four silver, eight silver, 13 bronze and 15 consolation prizes, as well as the three most attractive book covers.

This year’s award attracted 40 publishing houses and 486 books.

Hoang Xuan Vinh voted Vietnam’s top athlete of 2016

Olympic hero Hoang Xuan Vinh has been named Vietnamese athlete of the year in a vote cast by over 200 correspondents and sports managers on the morning of December 30.

The first and second runners-up were Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (swimming) and Ly Hoang Nam (tennis).

Nguyen Thi Nhung, coach of the national shooting team, was voted the best trainer of the year, followed by swimming coach Dang Anh Tuan and football trainer Hoang Anh Tuan.

Powerlifter Le Van Cong topped the vote for the best Vietnamese athlete with disabilities in 2016 while his trainer Nguyen Hong Phuc was voted the best trainer for disabled athletes.