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Vietnam News Today (December 31): UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement officially inked

December 31, 2020 | 08:54

Vietnam News Today (December 31) features headlines include UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement officially inked, President Putin sends New Year greetings to VN, writing contest promotes Vietnam-Russia ties, Vietnam Airlines's new General Director.

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Vietnamese Ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) Tran Ngoc An (R) and British Ambassador to Viet Nam Gareth Ward sign the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement, London, the UK, December 29, 2020.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the United Kingdom (UK) Tran Ngoc An (R) and British Ambassador to Viet Nam Gareth Ward sign the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement, London, the UK, December 29, 2020 (Photo: VGP)

UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement officially inked

The United Kingdom-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) was officially inked in London, the UK on December 29, according to VGP.

Earlier on December 11, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss signed the agreed minutes on the conclusion of negotiations over the UKVFTA.

The two countries’ Ambassadors were authorized to ink the deal due to the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the UKVFTA was negotiated based on principles that were inherited from commitments in the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and were amended in accordance with the bilateral trade framework between Viet Nam and the UK.

Currently, the two sides are rushing to complete domestic procedures in accordance with the laws of each party so as to ensure the agreement can be implemented from 23:00 on December 31.

The UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement will create a comprehensive, long-term and stable economic-trade cooperation framework between the two countries, thus contributing to deepening their multifaceted cooperation, especially when the two sides just extended the maintenance of bilateral relations at the strategic partnership level.

President Putin sends New Year greetings to VN leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently sent his greetings to General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong on the occasion of New Year 2021 and Vietnam’s upcoming Lunar New Year, as reported by VOV.

In his message, the Russian leader emphasized the importance of maintaining positive dynamics of the Russia-Vietnam relations in many fields, despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Putin expressed his belief that, through joint efforts, the comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and Vietnam will further be developed, meeting the interests of the two countries’ people. And contributing to consolidating peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

2020 marks 70 years of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Russia. Both countries are celebrating the Vietnam Year in Russia and the Russia Year in Vietnam to celebrate the event.

President V. Putin has said the Russia-Vietnam relationship is of special significance, even more than the strategic partnership. (Photo: sputnik)
President V. Putin has said the Russia-Vietnam relationship is of special significance, even more than the strategic partnership. (Photo: sputnik)

Writing contest promotes Vietnam-Russia ties

Lieut. Gen. Le Phuc Nguyen, former Editor-in-Chief of the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) newspaper and a former student in Russia, has won first prize in a writing contest about Russia.

Launched by the Quan doi Nhan dan newspaper from May to November, the contest, entitled Nuoc Nga Trong Trai Tim Toi (Russia in My Heart), aimed to promote the time-honoured relationship between the two countries.

As reported by VOV, the organisers also presented two second prizes, three third prizes, and 10 consolation prizes at a ceremony held in Hanoi on December 29.

Of the 300 entries sent to the contest, nearly 100 have been published on the newspaper's publications.

The works reflect the love of contestants for Russia, whether they studied there or have never ever been to the country, according to Colonel Ngo Anh Thu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Quan doi Nhan dan newspaper.

The contest is held on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Russia.

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People celebrate 103 years of the Russian October Revolution in Moscow (Illustrative Image)

Vietnam Airlines has new General Director

The Board of Directors of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation has appointed Deputy General Director Le Hong Ha to the post of General Director from January 1, 2021.

The Board of Directors of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation has appointed Deputy General Director Le Hong Ha to the post of General Director from January 1, 2021.

Ha, born in 1972, began working for Vietnam Airlines in 1994. He was appointed as Deputy General Director of the corporation in 2012, becoming the youngest person to hold the position.

He has also been Chairman of the Members Council of the Vietnam Air Petro Company Limited (Skypec) since 2018. In August 2020, Ha was elected to the Board of Directors of Vietnam Airlines.

Le Hong Ha has been appointed General Director of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation (Photo: VNA)
Le Hong Ha has been appointed General Director of the Vietnam Airlines Corporation (Photo: VNA)

The corporation, consisting of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), operated 96,500 flights, and transported some 14.23 million passengers and nearly 194,500 tonnes of cargo in 2020. Besides, more than 180 flights were arranged to bring home over 52,000 Vietnamese expats from 30 countries and territories worldwide.

Hoa attributed the corporation’s better-than-expected performance to the nation’s good control of the COVID-19 pandemic, stable business environment, timely support from the Government, and its drastic measures to re-organise operation and cut expenditure, VNA reported.

Vietnam targets healthily competitive energy market

Vietnam intends to develop a healthily competitive energy market under State regulation, according to a project approved recently by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam Plus said.

The project on competitive energy market development through 2030 with a vision towards 2045 covers three sub-sectors - coal, gas, and electricity - which play a core role in energy production and consumption in the country.

It is expected to contribute to satisfying the requirements of socio-economic growth, reaching targets and policies set by the Party and the State and enhancing international integration.

Other objectives lie in diversified investment and business methods, the efficient exploitation and use of energy resources, and connectivity among the three sub-sectors.

Workers repair electricity facilities (Photo: VNA)

Workers repair electricity facilities (Photo: VNA)

The gas market will maintain its present model to 2025, which allows contractors and investors of new gas projects to sell gas directly to households or the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (Petro Vietnam)’s subsidiary, the PV Gas.

In the coal market, State-owned enterprises will have a core role to play in exploitation, production, and business during the period. The sub-sector is also set to attract more foreign businesses and private investors, especially regarding coal imports.

Vietnam plans to consolidate and perfect the competitive wholesale power market in the next five years and put into operation a retail power market in line with the Prime Minister’s Decision No 63/201/QD-TTg dated November 8, 2013.

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Jasmine Le