Vietnam News Today (Jan. 15): Vietnam Tops ASEAN in Installed Power Capacity in 2021

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 15): Vietnam records 16,026 new Covid-19 cases; Vietnam tops ASEAN in installed power capacity in 2021; Covid situation no longer to be decided by daily caseload: health ministry; CAAV proposes increasing frequency of regular int’l flights.
January 15, 2022 | 00:03

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 15) notable headlines

Vietnam records 16,026 new Covid-19 cases

Vietnam tops ASEAN in installed power capacity in 2021

Covid situation no longer to be decided by daily caseload: health ministry

CAAV proposes increasing frequency of regular int’l flights

Vietnamese FDI attraction likely to hit US$40 billion this year

Hanoi remains at top of travelers’ lists despite Covid-19

Vietnam’s 500 largest enterprises in 2021 announced

HCM City plans to start construction of Metro Line No. 2 this year

Updated climate change scenarios, national climate assessment report released

A Covid-19 patient during treatment in Tan Binh field hospital, HCMC on December 31, 2021. Photo: VnExpress
A Covid-19 patient during treatment in Tan Binh field hospital, HCMC on December 31, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

Vietnam records 16,026 new Covid-19 cases

The Health Ministry confirmed 16,026 Covid-19 cases Friday in 62 cities and provinces, raising the nation's tally in the fourth wave to over 1.96 million.

The three localities with the highest numbers of cases Friday were Hanoi with 3,029, Da Nang with 765 and Binh Dinh with 762 cases.

The ministry also confirmed 171 Covid-19 deaths Friday, taking the nation's Covid-19 death toll to 35,344, or around 1.8 percent of all infections, cited VnExpress.

So far, 1,666,220 patients have recovered. Around 71.9 million people have received their second vaccine shots and 15 million have received their third.

Vietnam tops ASEAN in installed power capacity in 2021

Vietnam’s total installed power capacity totaled 76,620 MW in 2021, 7,500 MW higher compared to the previous year, with this figure being the highest among ASEAN member states, according to Tran Dinh Nhan, CEO of the Vietnam Electricity (EVN), at the company’s year-end meeting on January 14.

The installed capacity of local renewables hit 20,670 MW, an annual increase of 3,420 MW and accounting for 27% of the total.

Furthermore, the EVN’s total power output, including generation and imports, rose by 3.9% on-year to reach 256.7 billion kWh, according to VOV.

A wind power project in the south central coast province of Binh Thuan. Photo: VOV
A wind power project in the south central coast province of Binh Thuan. Photo: VOV

The share of renewable power is in the process of increasing, with generation capacity reaching up to 60% of the load capacity at times, leading to a series of overloads on inter-regional transmission lines and at several locations, Nhan said.

This year, the State-owned corporation plans to accelerate license granting and budget allocation of five key power generation projects, namely Tri An Hydropower Plant Expansion, along with the thermal power projects Dung Quat I & III, O Mon III, and Quang Trach II. It will also specifically focus on expanding Hoa Binh and Ialy hydropower plants and Quang Trach I Thermal-power Plant.

Covid situation no longer to be decided by daily caseload: health ministry

The Health Ministry has said it will stop relying on the daily infection tally to assess the Covid-19 situation and will only consider the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

The ministry is drafting a new set of criteria to classify the pandemic level since the situation has evolved a great deal, Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son.

As of Wednesday more than 65.4 million people aged over 18, or 93.2 percent of the adult population, had received two shots of Covid vaccines, and 12.5 percent had also got a booster.

Of children aged 12-17, more than 6.1 million or 68.5 percent have got two shots.

The number of severe cases has been dropping nationwide, staying at 6,150 per day on average in the past seven days compared to around 7,500 a month earlier, reported VnExpress.

Doctors take care of Covid-19 patients at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, December 2021. Photo: VnExpress
Doctors take care of Covid-19 patients at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, December 2021. Photo: VnExpress

"The new criteria will not rely too much on the rate of community infections because treatment of mild and asymptomatic infections is done at home in many localities," Son said.

Nguyen Viet Hung, deputy head of the Hanoi Association for Infection Control, agreed with the move to change the criteria.

With the high vaccination rate, counting the number of infections every day "no longer carries significance" and would affect the economic recovery efforts, he said.

He cited the example of Hanoi saying the number of community cases there has been on the rise lately and many districts have had to close non-essential businesses or stop them from serving customers on-site.

But the number of severe cases and deaths in the city is lower than the national average, he said.

Between Jan. 1 and 9 it led the country in the number of cases, but deaths account for only 0.4 percent of cases compared to the national rate of 1.3 percent.

Hung proposed that the new set of criteria should only consider the rate of severe cases and deaths, the medical capacity of each locality and the vaccination rate in the case of people aged over 50.

Medical expert Tran Si Tuan said it is very hard for Vietnam to keep out the Omicron variant from the community.

"With the new strain moving much faster than Delta, if the existing criteria, which rely on the number of daily infections, are kept unchanged, many localities will be designated as ‘very high-risk’ or ‘high-risk’ zones, and that will greatly affect production and business activities."

The number of infections should only be used to predict the trajectory of the outbreak rather than as a basis for classifying pandemic levels, he said.

The vaccination criterion also needs to be removed because the nation has almost fully immunized the adult population, he said.

He proposed just two criteria: the rate of critical cases and deaths and the medical capacity of a locality.

The current criteria, issued last October, include the number of community infections per week, vaccine coverage ratio and medical capacity.

Vietnam has so far had 1.95 million cases, both imported and domestic, and a mortality rate of 1.8 percent.

CAAV proposes increasing frequency of regular int’l flights

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed the Ministry of Transport allow to expand the scale and frequency of regular international flights, including those from/to Europe and Australia.

CAAV Director Dinh Viet Thang suggested the ministry permit the authority to inform aviation authorities of France, Germany, the UK and Russia on the resumption of regular international passenger flights, with the initial weekly frequency of 10 flights per leg for each side, VNA reported.

CAAV also sent documents to aviation authorities of Australia to inform that airlines of both countries can resume regular flights between the two nations with 10 flights per leg a week.

An airplane of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. Photo: VNA
An airplane of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. Photo: VNA

It also wants to take the initiative in working with countries and territories to decide on markets and frequency based on demand as well as aviation agreements.

In the first week of this year, 16 regular passenger commerce flights arrived in Vietnam from the US, Japan, Thailand and Cambodia, among others, bringing nearly 1,000 passengers.

The authority's statistics indicated that about 140,000 overseas Vietnamese are hoping to return home to celebrate the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) – Vietnam’s longest and biggest traditional festival. In excess of 30,000 passengers per week are projected to fly home in the coming time.

CAAV has informed authorities in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan (China) on the increase of weekly passenger flights to 14 per leg amid rising demand.

Vietnamese FDI attraction likely to hit US$40 billion this year

Amid rapid economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction this year is anticipated to record positive signs and hit US$40 billion, according to insiders.

Last year, despite the adverse impacts caused the pandemic, the country was still able to attract US$31.15 billion in FDI, representing an annual rise of 9.2%.

Most notably, China's Goertek Group recently moved to increase its capital from US$100 million to US$500 million in a factory specializing in manufacturing electronic products, network equipment, and multimedia audio products in the central province of Nghe An, thereby becoming the largest investor in the locality.

Goertek Group has increased its investment capital to US$500 million in a factory specialising in manufacturing electronic products, network equipment, and multimedia audio products in Nghe An. Photo: baodautu.vn
Goertek Group has increased its investment capital to US$500 million in a factory specializing in manufacturing electronic products, network equipment, and multimedia audio products in Nghe An. Photo: baodautu.vn

Furthermore, Ju Teng International Holdings Ltd has been granted an investment certificate for its electronic component and automobile accessories project worth US$200 million at the Hoang Mai Industrial Park in the central province of Nghe An with Excel Smart Global Limited being the main investor.

Moreover, the northern province of Bac Giang has granted investment certificates to a number of Taiwanese financiers, including Zhengzhou Boruikate Tools Co. Ltd and FUSHINI Vietnam Joint Stock Company. In addition, Capella Real Estate Joint Stock Company also received an investment certificate in order to build infrastructure for Yen Lu Industrial Park, with total investment reaching roughly VND2,700 billion.

Prof. Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), believes that moving forward the nation is likely to attract US$40 billion of registered capital this year. This can largely be put down to the signing of new generation free trade agreements (FTAs), continued economic recovery, and the reopening of international routes as the COVID-19 pandemic has been brought under control, cited VOV.

Le Tuan, head of Investment Department under the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, revealed that several Taiwanese investors have devised their investment plans and were in the process of waiting for the country to reopen international flights before injecting their capital.

Aside from Taiwanese investors, Japanese, Korean, and Singaporean financiers have also unveiled their new plans in the Vietnamese market through a number of large-scale projects locally, all of which clearly demonstrates the trust of foreign investors in the Vietnamese investment climate.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) forecasts that global investment flows will recover this year and are likely to hit US$1,500 billion thanks to pandemic containment efforts at countries globally and new investment incentive policies.

In line with this, the country will remain an attractive investment destination for foreign financiers due to it being a key investment hub within the ASEAN region, along with its improved business climate and enhanced national competitiveness, experts said.

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22:27 | 28/01/2022
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