January 23-29: Lunar New Year celebrations around the country

Wednesday, 2017-02-01 03:43:38
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President Tran Dai Quang extends Lunar New Year greetings (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – A Nhan Dan selection of notable events which occurred over the past week.

Lunar New Year celebrations around the country

As the Year of the Rooster has arrived, various activities are being held nationwide to welcome in the new spring.

On New Year’s Eve, President Tran Dai Quang, on behalf of the Party and the State, offered his best wishes to the Vietnamese people, both at home and abroad, and wished people around the world a new year of peace, happiness and prosperity.

On the occasion, Party and State leaders have paid Tet visits to localities and agencies nationwide to extend Lunar New-Year greetings.

Nation's retail sales up 10.2% in 2016

Vietnam's retail sales of goods and services were estimated at VND3.53 quadrillion (US$156.7 billion) in 2016, up 10.2% from last year, as indicated by data released by the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The retail sales of goods, which accounted for 75% of the total sales, reached VND2.67 quadrillion (US$118.9 billion), up 10.2% from last year.

Localities that posted high accommodation, restaurant and catering services as well as retail sales include Binh Duong (18%), Binh Thuan (17%), Hai Phong (16%), Hanoi (14%) and Ho Chi Minh City (9%).

Rice exports decline in January

Vietnam exported 325,000 tonnes of rice worth US$136 million in January, down 32% in volume and 35.1% in value compared to the same month in 2016.

According to the Vietnam Food Association, the rice sector will face more difficulties this year.

In 2016, China was the biggest rice importer of Vietnam, purchasing 1.74 million tonnes of rice worth US$782.3 million, representing a respective yearly decline of 17.5 and 8.6%. Other major rice importers in ASEAN such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia also witnessed a strong reduction of 64.1%, 45.5% and 51.8%, respectively.

Vietnam attends 140th session of WHO Executive Board

A Vietnamese delegation led by Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien attended the 140th meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland from January 23-25.

The meeting discussed the selection of elite candidates for the WHO General Director position in the 2017-2022 tenure.

The meeting also focused on issues related to preparation, supervision and reaction including the response to urgent public health events such as the Ebola and Zika viruses, in addition to virus and antibiotic resistance; measures to strengthen the healthcare system; and the prevention of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Hanoi maintains reign at national contest for gifted students

Hanoi took the lead in the recent 2017 National Contest for Gifted High School Students, claiming 146 of the country’s total 2,206 prizes, according to the Division of Testing and Education Quality Assurance at the Ministry of Education and Training.

Other cities and provinces with a large number of prize winners were Hai Phong (92 students), Nghe An (88 students), Hai Duong (82 students) and Nam Dinh (77 students).

The annual events took place from January 5-7, featuring written and practice tests on the subjects of maths, physics, chemistry, biology, literature, history, geology, the languages of English, Russian, French and Chinese and computer programming.

Vietnam welcomes over 1 million foreign visitors in January

Vietnam welcomed more than 1 million foreign visitors in the first month of 2017, representing rises of 12.3% compared to the previous month and 26% year-on-year, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic holidaymakers reached 5.7 million in January. Total earnings from tourism services hit VND38.6 trillion (US$1.7 billion), representing an increase of 28.5% year-on-year.

Dai Nam Racecourse inaugurated in Binh Duong province

An inaugural ceremony was held in the city of Thu Dau Mot in Binh Duong province to put the Dai Nam Racecourse into operation at the Dai Nam Van Hien Tourism Complex.

The racecourse covers 60 hectares of the complex with five different tracks for horse racing, motorbike and go-kart racing, dog racing, watercraft racing (Jet Ski) and flyboat performances.

It is surrounded by an assembled stand with a capacity of 20,000 seats.