Vietnam News Today (Dec. 8): Vietnam, Czech Republic Seek to Build Stronger Defence Ties

Vietnam News Today (Dec. 8): Vietnam records 500 new Covid-19 cases, no related death on Dec. 7; Vietnam, Czech Republic seek to build stronger defence ties; HCM City prepares for New Year festivities; EVFTA opens great opportunities for investment attraction in Vietnam.
December 08, 2022 | 07:13

Vietnam News Today (Dec. 8) notable headlines

Vietnam records 500 new Covid-19 cases, no related death on Dec. 7

Vietnam, Czech Republic seek to build stronger defence ties

HCM City prepares for New Year festivities

EVFTA opens great opportunities for investment attraction in Vietnam

Cuba’s orders presented to Vietnamese army officers

Senate President’s visit reflects France’s closeness with Vietnam

PM Pham Minh Chinh receives Lao Deputy PM, Foreign Minister

Vietnam - RoK relations to flourish even more across all fields: minister

NA leader wraps up official visits to Australia, New Zealand

A man gets vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: VNA
A man gets vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: VNA

Vietnam records 500 new Covid-19 cases, no related death on Dec. 7

The national Covid-19 caseload rose to 11,519,011 with 500 new cases recorded on December 7, according to the Ministry of Health.

With 118 patients given the all-clear during the day, the number of recoveries rose to 10,609,257.

Meanwhile, there are 44 patients needing breathing support, cited VNA.

No death from Covid-19 was recorded in the past 24 hours. The total fatalities remained at 43,178.

With 30,802 doses administered on December 6, the total number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines injected rose to 264,792,541.

Vietnam, Czech Republic seek to build stronger defence ties

The Czech Republic’s Defence Minister Jana Cernochova is paying an official visit to Vietnam from December 5 to December 8 following an invitation made by Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang.

Talks were held between the two defence ministers on December 7 following a welcome ceremony held for the Czech defence official.

As part of his speech at the event, Minister Giang highlighted the sound friendly relations between the two nations that have existed for many decades.

The Vietnamese people remember the Czech Republic's valuable material and spiritual support and assistance in historical struggles for national independence, as well as the current process of national construction and defence. This is therefore a very favourable premise to develop ties between both sides.

Over the years the traditional friendship has been continuously consolidated and developed across multiple fields, while political, educational-training, economic, and trade ties have also been maintained in an effective manner amid both nations reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the occasion, Minister Phan Van Giang, through his Czech counterpart Minister Cernochova, thanked the Government and people of the Czech Republic for creating positive conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, study, and work in the host nation. This is along with recognising the Vietnamese community in the Central European country as an ethnic minority of the Czech Republic.

Minister Giang also thanked the Czech Republic for its timely support for Vietnamese Covid-19 prevention and control efforts, saying that it is a really valuable and meaningful help, particularly as it is a testament to the strong traditional friendship that exists between the two countries.

In response, Minister Cernochova said that as part of the occasion, the Czech Republic has sent a large business delegation to Vietnam to attend the 2022 Vietnam International Defence Exhibition, with a view to introducing Czech defence industry products.

Appreciating the long-standing relationship maintained between the two countries, the Czech Defence Minister affirmed that recognition of the Vietnamese community as the third largest ethnic minority in the Czech Republic has significantly contributed to improving the sound relationship between the two countries.

Minister Cernochova cordially invited Minister Giang to visit the Czech Republic, thereby having the opportunity to continue to further discuss issues and fields of mutual concern.

Furthermore, the Czech Minister also invited Minister Giang to visit the booth displaying products of Czech enterprises at the Vietnam International Defence Exhibition as part of the occasion.

Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang.
Vietnamese Minister of National Defence Gen. Phan Van Giang.

During the course of the meeting, based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence co-operation signed in 2012, the two sides have implemented many co-operation contents to boost bilateral defence ties in a practical and effective manner, according to VOV.

The opening of the Defence Attaché Office permanently in Vietnam from August, 2020, by the Czech Republic represents an important milestone in defence co-operation between the two countries, contributing to deepening mutual understanding and trust. In addition, it helps to create favorable conditions for bolstering co-operation between the two defence ministries in fields such as training, air defence, the air force, scientific and technology research, and the defence industry.

At multilateral mechanisms and forums, Vietnam hailed the Czech Republic's active role as the rotating president of the EU, as well as its support for the Vietnam-EU co-operation framework.

Minister Giang expressed his belief that the mutual relationship will make a positive contribution to the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership, as well as ASEAN-led co-operation mechanisms.

The two sides therefore agreed that there remains plenty of room for stronger defence co-operation moving forward, especially in areas such as training, the defence industry, and technical assurance.

On that basis, in order to further develop defence links, the two sides will bolster co-operation in delegation exchange at all levels, especially high-level ones, the training of human resources, whilst continuing to support each other in multilateral frameworks and mechanisms.

Minister Giang said he hopes that the Czech Republic, as the rotating president of the EU, will continue to support co-operation activities between Vietnam and the EU in the field of defence, including the framework participation agreement (FPA) on the establishment of a framework for Vietnamese participation in crisis management activities of the EU.

During the talks, the two sides also discussed the world and regional situation and issues of shared concern. They underscored the importance of ensuring security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, as well as settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They voiced their support for the central role of ASEAN in co-operation mechanisms between ASEAN and its partners.

HCM City prepares for New Year festivities

Ho Chi Minh City is preparing to launch a series of festivities to celebrate the Calendar and Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays.

The 2022 Ho Do (HOZO) International Music Festival will be held from December 8-11, bringing Vietnamese and the world’s music to the city's residents and tourists.

Hundreds of famous international and Vietnamese musicians and local performers will offer performances at two outdoor stages at Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1 and Thu Thiem Park in Thu Duc city from 8am to 11pm.

Highlighted musicians include twelve-time Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and producer Babyface, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Alastair Moock, and Moscow-based band Leoid and Friends.

Vietnamese artists will include Tung Duong, Bui Lan Huong, Soobin Hoang Son and Dong Nhi.

Deputy head of the city Department of Culture and Sports Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, said the festival would not only connect Vietnamese music with the world but also send a positive energy to the community.

The department will kick off a hot air balloon festival at 6:30 am on November 8 at The Thiem Park.

The city will celebrate the New Year with a music countdown party on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street on December 31, featuring a lineup of famous Vietnamese singers and rappers.

HCM City will host the 2022 Hozo International Music Festival from December 8-11. Photo: VNA
HCM City will host the 2022 Hozo International Music Festival from December 8-11. Photo: VNA

After the countdown, there will be a 15-minute fireworks performance beginning at 12am on New Year’s Day at Thu Thiem Tunnel.

Meanwhile, the Tet celebration will include 19 events highlighting a dynamic city full of love and kindness, reported VNA.

Familiar festivities such as the flower fair and flower street will be held during the Tet holiday, falling on January 20-26 or December 29 to January 5 of the lunar calendar.

The Nguyen Hue Flower Street, the city’s most visited attraction in Tet, will open from January 19-26.

This year’s 600-metre flower street, with the theme Xuan An Vui – Xuan Thinh Vuong (Happy and Prosperous New Year), extends from the statue of President Ho Chi Minh in front of the People’s Committee headquarters down Nguyen Hue pedestrian street to Ton Duc Thang street.

To celebrate the mascot of the year 2023, the entrance of the street will be decorated with four-metre cat statues.

More than 100 kinds of flowers, including chrysanthemums, roses, orchids, azalea, lotus and cactus, will be used in arrangements on the street.

As usual, the Tet Book Street Fair will take place on Mac Thi Buoi, Nguyen Hue and Ngo Duc Ke streets in District 1 on January 19-26, featuring thousands of book titles on various subjects from major Vietnamese and international publishers and distributors.

Meanwhile, the annual HCM City Spring Flower Fair will open from January 16-27 at Tao Dan Park, featuring more than 2,500 endangered and imported plants and ornamental plants.

EVFTA opens great opportunities for investment attraction in Vietnam

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) contributes to attracting European businesses and financiers to Vietnam, thereby expanding investment and business ties while creating a wealth of opportunities for local firms to step up co-operation and absorb technology transfer, according to economic experts.

As the first FTA signed between the nation and the EU in terms of outward investment, there are high hopes for the EVFTA regarding trade and investment promotion moving forward.

The EVFTA outlines commitments on both trade and investment which will contribute to attracting European businesses and investors, cited VOV.

At a recent seminar on utilising benefits from EU imports and investments under the terms of the deal conducted by Industry and Trade Magazine, Nguyen Anh Duong, head of General Research Department under the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) outlined that newly-registered investment from the EU into the Vietnamese market has increased significantly in recent times. As a result, this increase is reflected not only in the total capital but also in the average size of projects.

“The average capital size of newly registered projects from the EU has seen upward trend in recent years, around US$12 million /project higher than the general average and compared to the previous period before the enforcement of the EVFTA. EU countries investing in Vietnam share experience, skills and practices to create a relatively favorable, sustainable and predictable business investment environment in Vietnam,” Duong commented.

Economic experts attend the event.
Economic experts attend the event.

Sharing this perspective on the Vietnamese market, as well as future opportunities for trade investment co-operation between Germany and Vietnam, Dao Thu Trang, head of Market Development Strategy Consulting section of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Vietnam, believes that the country has a strong potential investment environment due to its strategic geographical location, developed economy, stable political society, young dynamic, and flexible population.

Since March 15 there have been 12 large and small projects put forward by German enterprises that have applied for investment licenses in the nation.

“German investors have recognised the Government’s efforts to increase the competitiveness and transparency of the investment environment in Vietnam. The areas German businesses want to cooperate and do business in Vietnam are in the manufacturing, high-tech, green and renewable energy, IT fields as well as software development, food, food processing, beverage, electronics and especially the medical and healthcare sector. In particular, German investors always desires to cooperate with local businesses in promoting the localization content of products made in Vietnam, at not 4-5% but it must be over 30%,” Trang shared.

From a business perspective, Dinh Van Hien, president of the Board of Directors and general director of DKNEC Group Joint Stock Company, said that before the EVFTA, the import tax placed on CKD and IKD of enterprises from the EU was very high, from 5% to 10 %, with equipment up to 12% to 15%.

Since the enforcement of the trade deal, the import tax placed on equipment has been slashed from 10.2% to 1%. Currently, the modern machinery and equipment CKD import tax has been reduced to 0%, Hien assessed.

It is therefore hoped that through the benefits of the EVFTA, enterprises will both be provided with, as well as updated on applications and solutions to improve production efficiency, thereby lowering investment costs and improving domestic production capacity.

Moving forward, the implementation of the EVFTA will enter a new phase along with the multilateral co-operation policies of EU nations witnessing changes.

In order to strengthen linkages between both sides, as well as helping businesses to make full use of the potential that exists in terms of trade and investment co-operation with the EU, it is necessary for intervention and support from ministries and sectors.

Do Huu Hung of the Europe - America Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) affirmed that the EU is a vital region, meaning that the Ministry of Industry and Trade will actively work with importers, as well as major distribution channels in Europe, to launch a wide range of events which promote Vietnamese goods to EU countries, especially Vietnam Week events.

“In order to take advantage of the resources of EU countries and increase the competitive advantage for Vietnamese goods, it is essential to have support in terms of proper investment and training from all stages. The MoIT will enhance the connection of EU buyers and Vietnamese manufacturing enterprises to organize training programs guided by experts directly from distribution channels,” Hung went on to say.

Furthermore, the MoIT will continue to co-ordinate with Vietnamese trade offices abroad in order to regularly update information about the EU market and widely introduce events to be held with a view to connecting EU buyers with Vietnamese manufacturing enterprises to the Vietnamese business community, Hung added.

Cuba’s orders presented to Vietnamese army officers

A ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence in Hanoi on Wednesday to present Cuba’s orders to leaders, former leaders and officers of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).

Specifically, on behalf of Cuba, Divisional General Víctor Rojo Ramos, head of the Political Directorate of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) granted the Orders of Playa Girón to General Phan Van Giang, Minister of National Defence; General Luong Cuong, Director of the General Department of Politics under the Vietnam People's Army; and General Ngo Xuan Lich, former Minister of National Defence.

Cuba also presented the Orders of Antonio Maceo to seven individuals, and the Friendship Orders to 23 others, cited VNS.

Speaking at the ceremony, General Giang thanked the Cuban Party, State, people and the Cuban FAR for their affections and valuable rewards for officers and soldiers of the Vietnamese army.

He affirmed that together with the good development of the relations between the two parties and the two states, the relationship between the VPA and the FAR has always received attention by generations of the two countries’ high-ranking leaders, thus becoming an important pillar and bright spot in the bilateral ties.

To continue consolidating the defence cooperation in the coming time, the two sides will actively carry out collaboration activities based on signed documents and agreements, and work towards the early signing of a cooperation plan for 2023-2025.

Orders of Playa Girón.
Orders of Playa Girón.

Attention will be paid to maintaining existing cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, promoting the exchange of delegations at all levels, he added.

The Order of Playa Girón is conferred on Cubans, foreigners, heads of state or heads of government for their outstanding roles in the struggle against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism, and who have contributed to the peace and progress of humankind. It was established in 1961 and is named after the Playa Girón site where the Cuban army defeated the paramilitary invasion groups at the Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.

The Order of Antonio Maceo is presented to units and individuals of the FAR for their special achievements in military campaigns, outstanding combat qualities; or having merits in training and fostering commanders, contributing to the national safeguarding and development cause. It is also granted to officers and military units of foreign countries for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, the Order of Friendship is awarded to Cuban citizens and foreigners in recognition of their outstanding participation in the cause of building a just society and tightening solidarity, friendship, cooperation, mutual assistance between countries in the world.

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