April 17-23: Vietnam unveils new 4G service

Monday, 2017-04-24 10:48:04
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Viettel holds a ceremony on April 18 to formally launch 4G services. (Credit: dantri.com.vn)
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NDO – Nhan Dan Online reviews some prominent events that made headlines over the last week as follows:

Viettel officially rolls out 4G services

The telecom giant Viettel formally launched its 4G network on April 18, becoming the first carrier in Vietnam to do so.

The launch came only six months after the company was granted a licence to provide the service, which Viettel says is the fastest response in the world’s history of 4G roll-out.

The company adds that it is the only carrier in the world to provide nationwide coverage at the time of launch with 36,000 4G stations already installed, covering 95% of the population.

Viettel will offer a broad range of 4G plans with costs cheaper than 3G by 40-60% and pledges to ensure a download speed of 30-50 Mbps, up to 10 times faster than the current 3G speed.

The company is also planning to offer 4G-enabled mobile devices with prices as low as VND1.3 million (US$57) with the aim of ensuring that no one is left behind when technology advances, as per its slogan.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh visits the US, China

Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh meets US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Credit: vietnamplus.vn)

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh began his official visit to the US from April 20-24 at the invitation of US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

In the US, Deputy PM Minh held talks with Tillerson, National Security Council Advisor, Herbert Raymond McMaster and US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin.

At the talks, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh affirmed Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateralisation and active international integration. Vietnam is willing to work with the new US administration in order to consolidate and deepen the comprehensive, stable, long-term, constructive and mutually profitable partnership on the basis of respect for each nation’s independence, sovereignty and political institution, contributing to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development in Asia-Pacific and around the world, he noted.

Discussing regional and international issues, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and National Security Council Advisor, Herbert Raymond McMaster affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, and support for Vietnam's consistent policy of settling disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards the building of a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

At the meeting, Deputy PM Minh conveyed President Tran Dai Quang’s invitation to US President Donald Trump to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in 2017 and visit Vietnam. Tillerson and McMaster affirmed President Trump will attend the event in Vietnam.

Advisor McMaster also conveyed President Donald Trump’s invitation to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to visit the US.

Earlier, Deputy PM Minh led a Vietnamese delegation on a trip to China from April 16-18 to conduct the 10th meeting of the Vietnam-China Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in Beijing.

The visit was made at the invitation of Chinese State Councillor, Yang Jiechi.

The steering committee meeting aims to implement the outcomes reached during the visit to China made by Party General Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong in January 2016 and prepare cooperation plans in 2017.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister visits Vietnam

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the welcoming ceremony on April 17. (Credit: VGP)

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his spouse paid an official visit to Vietnam from April 16-18 at the invitation of Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

At the meetings with Vietnamese leaders, both sides were delighted with the growing traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries over the past 47 years.

They asserted that the sentiment and valuable assistance provided to each other have formed a solid foundation for the two countries to intensify and deepen their ties in the future.

Measures were agreed on to bring relations to the next level, including bolstering political ties, expanding cooperative fields of respective strengths, reviewing signed documents and signing new ones, and holding more cultural exchanges.The two sides reached consensus on intensified cooperation in defence research, public security training, investment, agriculture and fisheries, and aviation, among others.

The two sides emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea and handling disputes and disagreements through peaceful measures in line with international law.

The two countries signed an agreement on education cooperation and an action programme on agriculture development cooperation for 2017-2019.

Vietnam, Netherlands hold 6th inter-govt meeting on climate change

The 6th meeting of the Vietnam-Netherlands intergovernmental committee on climate change adaptation and water management in The Hague, the Netherlands, on April 19. (Credit: VGP)

The 6th meeting of the Vietnam-Netherlands intergovernmental committee on climate change adaptation and water management took place in The Hague, the Netherlands, on April 19.

The session was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, Trinh Dinh Dung and Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Melanie Schultz.

At the meeting, the two sides reviewed the implementation of agreements reached at the previous meeting in March last year, and discussed in details orientations to carry out the MDP, the NICHE (Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education) and ORIO (facility for infrastructure development) programmes, and projects related to bilateral cooperation in business, trade and agriculture, and links between their localities.

The two sides highlighted the success of the Mekong Delta Plan (MDP), especially the two projects funded by the World Bank, which helped promote the region’s socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. They stressed that the MDP is an example for regional countries to learn from, and affirmed the inseparable connection between agriculture and water as well as between agriculture and the future of the Mekong Delta.

The meeting agreed on further measures to promote sustainable development in connection with rural development in the region, and create opportunities for regional residents to access knowledge, experience and technologies. The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for preparing financial plans for projects.

The meeting heard that the NICHE and ORIO programmes of the Netherlands in the field of education contributed to implementing a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries, helping Vietnam improve its capacity in water management, climate change adaptation, agriculture and maritime transport.

Regarding trade links, the two sides focused their discussion on the implementation of business and trade cooperation projects.

Participants also hailed cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and Rotterdam in adapting to climate change, as well as the partnership between Hanoi and Amsterdam in improving the environment in To Lich River, and in making a water resources plan for the Hong (Red) and Thai Binh Rivers’ basin for 2020-2039 with a vision to 2050.

They underlined the great potential for Vietnam and the Netherlands to continue cooperation within the programme of water and agriculture geographical data in Vietnam. The two sides agreed to discuss and promote new cooperation plans on the basis of Vietnam’s potential and traditional strengths of the Netherlands.

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung and Minister Melanie Schultz signed the minutes of the meeting, agreeing that the 7th event will be held in Hanoi next year.

14th NA Standing Committee convenes first-ever Q&A session

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Dao Ngoc Dung, answers questions at the Q&A session, on April 18. (Credit: quochoi.vn)

The 14th National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) held a question and answer session for the two ministers of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and Information and Communications, at its ninth sitting on April 18.

This is the first time a Q&A session has taken place during a meeting of the NASC. The session was broadcast live on radio and TV channels nationwide for voters and local people to follow.

Minister Dao Ngoc Dung of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, answered questions related to solutions to speed up the review and settlement of policies towards people with contribution to the national revolutionary cause; State management over vocational training; the transition and management of drug detoxification centres across the country; and job creation for young people, especially rural youngsters and demobilised soldiers and police officers.

Meanwhile, Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Information and Communications, shed light on issues related to information security management; the handling of individuals and organisations that commit acts of misrepresenting information on e-papers, causing confusion among the public and damage to the economy, honour and dignity of other individuals and organisations; and the censorship of advertising programmes and content in the mass media.

The ninth meeting of the 14th NASC was held in Hanoi from April 17-22, discussing the acquisition, explanation and revision of six draft laws, including the Law on Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Support, the Law on Public Asset Management and Use (amended), the Law on State Compensation Liability (amended), the law on amendments and supplements to a number of articles of the Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13, the Law on Management and Use of Weapons, Explosives and Supporting Tools, and the Law on Planning.

NASC members also discussed preparations for the upcoming third session of the 14th NA, the estimated law and ordinance building programme in 2018 and the adjustment of the 2017 programme, and the projected supervisory activities of the NA and NASC for 2018.

Legislators commented on a report on the results of thematic supervision over the implementation of policies and laws on food safety in the period of 2011-2016, a list of projects and the specific capital allocation for the remaining projects in the public investment plan for 2016-2020, the 2015 State budget settlement, and a government report on exercising thrift and combating waste in 2016.

World Bank approves US$102 million to help Vietnam improve energy efficiency in industrial sector

The World Bank on April 17 approved a US$102 million loan to Vietnam to support the effort of industrial enterprises to adopt energy-efficiency technologies and practices.
Under this project, industrial enterprises can access a new line of credit to fund their purchases of energy-efficiency and production-optimisation technologies, thus reducing energy consumption and production costs and increasing their overall competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

This will create a new line of business for finance institutions, providing loans to support industrial energy-efficiency investments, which will enable them to scale up energy-efficiency lending to industries.

Funding under this project will be provided to participating financial institutions, which will then lend to industrial enterprises to invest in energy-efficient subprojects.

National Architecture Awards presented

Winners of the 2017 National Architecture Awards. (Credit: kienviet.net)

An awards ceremony for the 2017 National Architecture Awards was held in the central city of Da Nang on April 21.

The biennial Awards were jointly held by Vietnam Architecture Association, the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to honour outstanding architects and architectural works throughout the country.

Four gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze prizes were presented to the most outstanding designs and architects.
In addition, the organising board also presented one special prize, together with five certificates of merit to young architects and units which have gained outstanding achievements.

As many as 120 architectural works were sent to compete for the prizes. They were classified in different categories including housing, public buildings and architectural publications.

Vietnam Book Festival 2017 kicks off

Readers select books during the Vietnam Book Festival 2017 at the National Library of Vietnam. (Credit: NDO)

Vietnam Book Festival 2017 officially opened at the National Library of Vietnam, No. 31 Trang Thi Street, Hanoi on April 20, as part of activities to welcome Vietnam Book Day (April 21), and World Book and Copyright Day (April 23).

The event, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Central Committee's Propaganda and Training Department, the Ministry of Education and Training, and Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, aims to affirm the value of books and reiterate their role and importance in society.

Under the theme, ‘Book, Knowledge and Social Development’, the festival features various activities, including an exhibition, "Books, Knowledge and Social Development" (April 20 to May 5), to introduce readers to materials on the essence of human knowledge; cultures and civilisations around the world formed on the development of knowledge; knowledge gained and Vietnam’s achievements in the areas of socio-economic, scientific and technological development, as well as education, healthcare, security and defence.

The event also features a book fair from April 20-23 with the participation of a number of publishers and bookstores, introducing thousands of books at preferential prices. Participants also have an opportunity for an exchange with authors and speakers, historian Duong Trung Quoc and Nguyen Kiem, former director of the Bureau of Publication under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Within the framework of the event, the organisers call on and receive funding from agencies, organisations and individuals to support libraries in remote and difficult areas.

Vietnam crowned at International U19 Football Tournament

The final between U19 Vietnam (red) and U19 Gwangju.

U19 Vietnam were crowned champions at the 2017 International U19 Football Tournament in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, as they beat U19 Gwangju from the Republic of Korea 2-0 on April 22.

Van Xuan and Van Nam helped the hosts complete their 2-0 win at the 70th and 72nd minutes, respectively.

Meanwhile, U19 Hoang Anh Gia Lai won the penalty shootout against U19 Myanmar to claim a bronze.

Win Naing Tun and his teammate Hein Htet Aung (U19 Myanmar) shared the top scorer title with three goals each. The best player title went to Huu Thang (U19 Vietnam) while U19 Myanmar won the fair play prize at the tournament.

The tournament took place from April 11-22 with the participation of five teams, namely U19 Vietnam, U19 Hoang Anh Gia Lai, U19 Gwangju, U19 Chinese Taipei and U19 Myanmar.