Vietnam News Today (Jan. 18): UN Official Hails Vietnam’s Efforts in Caring for Children

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 18): Vietnam-Australia bilateral trade hits record high of US$15.7 billion; UN official hails Vietnam’s efforts in caring for children; Effective Vietnamese participation in peacekeeping operations praised; National Tourism Year 2023 creates motivation for south-central region's tourism.
January 18, 2023 | 10:48

Vietnam News Today (Jan. 18) notable headlines

Vietnam-Australia bilateral trade hits record high of US$15.7 billion

UN official hails Vietnam’s efforts in caring for children

Effective Vietnamese participation in peacekeeping operations praised

National Tourism Year 2023 creates motivation for south-central region's tourism

Vietnam remains top 5 global investment sites for EU firms, showed Eurocham

Overseas Vietnamese in Denmark, Germany celebrate Tet

Vietnam Post to issue stamp collection on Paris Peace Accords

Appropriate measures needed to attract more Indian tourists

HCM City: Nearly 71 trillion VND of public investment in 2023

Apparel products are one of Vietnam's key export items to Australia.
Apparel products are one of Vietnam's key export items to Australia.

Vietnam-Australia bilateral trade hits record high of US$15.7 billion

Last year’s two-way trade turnover between the nation and Australia enjoyed a breakthrough in growth, reaching a new record high of US$15.7 billion, up 26.91% over the previous year, according to data detailed by the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia.

Most notably, export turnover from the country to Australia saw a marked improvement, reaching US$5.55 billion, up 26.18%, whilst imports hit US$10.14 billion, up 27.31% on-year.

Statistically, many key Vietnamese export products continued to record high growth amid facing many challenges.

On the other hand, Australia continues to represent an important source of raw materials for domestic production such as coal, cotton, ores and other minerals, as well as wheat.

These goods accounted for approximately 80% of imports from Australia, with the import proportion reaching 30% to 70% of total Vietnamese imports from other countries, depending on different items.

Upon assessing the trade relationship between the two countries, Nguyen Phu Hoa, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, said that the industry structure of both sides can be considered complementary to each other, thereby helping the two economies enhance their own advantages instead of being in competition.

Overall, the past year has seen bilateral trade goals achieved quickly under the direction of the two countries' senior leaders. As a result, the nation has developed into Australia's 10th largest trading partner for the first time, while Australia is currently the seventh largest Vietnamese trading partner.

Economic experts have therefore highlighted the huge potential to boost trade growth, noting that taking advantage of signed free trade agreements (FTAs) such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) can continue to open up fresh opportunities to build links between the two countries across many new fields.

In December, 2021, the two nations signed a strategy aimed at strengthening economic ties and issued a roadmap aimed at promoting trade and investment relations between the two countries in the first 2021 to 2025 period.

The common goal of the strategy is to lift the two countries into each other's top 10 trading partners and to double investment in each nation. This represents a premise aimed at creating favourable conditions for businesses seeking to expand co-operation.

Upon speaking at the event "Vietnam - Australia Business connect" organised by the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, Graham Kinder, vice chairman of the Australia - Vietnam Business Council, said that Australian businesses realise there are plenty of investment opportunities across multiple fields in the Vietnamese market. This includes trade, investment, development, education, tourism, and transportation.

These areas are inherently Australia's strengths, meaning Australian firms operating in these sectors are constantly seeking to expand their investment in Vietnam, cited VOV.

Moreover, Kinder believes that Vietnamese businesses can also effectively utilise investment co-operation opportunities across all regions, states, and localities of Australia in a bid to expand business activities and investments that the country has advantages in.

Chu Hoang Long, lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU), recommended that in order to make good use of co-operation opportunities, Vietnamese and Australian management agencies and businesses need to clearly identify their strengths and comparative advantages. In addition, they must carefully study the legal system, customs, regulations, and standards of goods and services, whilst seeking to improve local knowledge and understand the capacity of partners.

With regard to the Vietnamese side, it is necessary to enlist the support of Australia to improve the local investment and business environment, as well as the capacity building, thereby being ready and proactive to receive technology transfer. This is along with efforts to upgrade value chains in both governance and technology to quickly connect with Australian value chains and reach out to the global value chain.

Hoa shared that in the past, the Trade Office has strictly implemented the Vietnamese Government’s policy relating to economic relations with Australia, actively putting into practice directions put forth by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnam representative agency in Australia.

Entering 2023, the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia plans to continue carrying out promotional schemes according to the action plan set out in relation to industries with large turnover, following the direction of the Ministry of Industry and Trade on expanding imports and exports of Vietnamese products.

Furthermore, the digital economy will also be promoted by the Trade Office, especially with agricultural products. In particular, many new Vietnamese products show growth potential in the Asia-Pacific market, such as frozen fruits, including jackfruit, passion fruit, durian, and some spices.

UN official hails Vietnam’s efforts in caring for children

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), had a meeting on January 16 with UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Violence against Children Najat Maalla M’jid who updated Giang on the outcomes of her recent visit to Vietnam and discussed measures to promote bilateral cooperation in the time to come.

Najat Maalla M’jid showed her pleasure at the fruitful visit, and highly valued Vietnam’s policies, law and socio-economic efforts and achievements as well as attainments in implementing sustainable development goals, caring for and protecting children, especially those in difficulty, according to VNA.

Illustrative image. Source: VNA
Illustrative image. Source: VNA

She affirmed that she will continue to provide Vietnam with policy consultations for law and institution completion, while assisting the country in mobilising outside resources for better life and future for children, especially those from ethnic minority groups and far-flung areas, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Ambassador Giang spoke highly of the Vietnamese visit by Najat Maalla M’jid and the support that UN agencies have given to Vietnam in caring for and protecting children.

The Vietnamese Government always give top priority to children and the centre of all development policies, he stated, affirming that the country will continue to closely coordinate with the UN in this field.

Effective Vietnamese participation in peacekeeping operations praised

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, has applauded the nation’s active participation and positive results recorded in UN peacekeeping activities, as well as its commitments in implementing the UN’s goals, especially the percentage of Vietnamese female soldiers participating in these activities.

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (UN), held a meeting with U Lacroix to discuss measures to promote co-operation between Vietnam and the UN in peacekeeping operations.

At the meeting, Ambassador Giang thanked the UN for backing the country’s efforts to participate in peacekeeping activities.

The Ambassador emphasised that promoting co-operation with the UN, including increasing participation in peacekeeping activities, is one of the nation’s current foreign priorities.

The country will continue to support the UN's goals and programmes to the best of its ability to participate, including its commitments to increase the proportion of female Vietnamese soldiers as part of the UN’s peacekeeping forces, he added.

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (L) and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. Photo: VNA
Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (L) and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. Photo: VNA

Within its capacity, the nation will also continue to support and call on others to offer stronger support for the UN as it seeks to overcome existing difficulties and challenges in terms of peacekeeping operations, especially the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. This is in addition to difficulties in implementing the UN peacekeeping mission and addressing emerging challenges to international peace and security.

As part of this occasion, the Ambassador suggested that Lacroix and relevant agencies of the UN continue to support the country in capacity building, especially its training capacity for military forces and peacekeeping police, as well as in the rotation of forces at missions and other practical assistance. This will help the nation to better meet the requirements and needs of the UN in the process of carrying out peacekeeping operations.

The UN official added that he had directly witnessed and was impressed to see the Vietnamese Engineers Company successfully complete the difficult tasks assigned at the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), reported VOV.

The UN Under Secretary-General went on to affirm the UN’s readiness to support Vietnam in the process of preparing forces, training, testing, and conducting its pre-feasibility assessment, as well as building other necessary capacities that Vietnam does not yet have enough of.

He therefore agreed that the two sides will actively co-ordinate to identify collaboration policies and fields that the UN is in demand of and that Vietnam has experience in, whilst further ramping up ties between Vietnam and the UN.

National Tourism Year 2023 creates motivation for south-central region's tourism

By hosting the National Tourism Year 2023, Binh Thuan province's tourism industry is expected to create breakthroughs, contributing to further promoting tourism development in the south-central region.

Located in the southernmost part of the coastal central region, Binh Thuan is gradually gaining a firm foothold in tourism, promising a regional- and world-level attraction in the near future.

The charming province is home to a 192km-long coast with various beautiful beaches, poetic landscapes, fresh air, and warm climate. Many prestigious travel magazines have selected the locality as one of the ideal destinations in the world.

The locality gathers enough factors to develop a variety of products such as resort tourism, excursions, recreational sports on the sea, sand dunes, adventure tourism, exploration of flora and fauna under the sea, cultural tourism, tours of belief and religious establishments, historical and cultural relics and special traditional festivals.

Binh Thuan is home to nearly 900 accommodation establishments, 13 travel agencies, and 25,000 tourism workers, cited VNA.

The locality’s tourism sector recorded an average annual growth of 22.4% and contributed 9% to the province's GRDP. It has gradually become a spearhead economic sector of the locality.

Last year, Binh Thuan welcomed 5.6 million tourists, earning an estimated revenue of 12.8 trillion VND (over 546 million USD).

Binh Thuan gathers enough factors to develop a variety of products such as resort tourism, excursions, recreational sports on the sea, sand dunes, adventure tourism. Photo: VNA
Binh Thuan gathers enough factors to develop a variety of products such as resort tourism, excursions, recreational sports on the sea, sand dunes, adventure tourism. Photo: VNA

With the themed “Binh Thuan – Green convergence”, the National Tourism Year 2023 promises a prosperous year for Vietnam's tourism.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh said almost all travel firms in Binh Thuan have fully resumed their activities after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hosting of the National Tourism Year 2023 helps the locality speed up tourism recovery, and lure more visitors and investment in tourism development, he said.

Vietnam remains top 5 global investment sites for EU firms, showed Eurocham

The confidence of European enterprises in Vietnam’s economy declined for a second quarter but the S-shaped country still remains in the top five global investment destinations for their companies, the latest Business Climate Index (BCI) published by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) showed last week.

The latest Business Climate Index (BCI) published by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) showed the confidence of European enterprises in Vietnam’s economy declined for a second quarter but the S-shaped country still remains in the top five global investment destinations for their companies,

The BCI dropped below the baseline to 48.0 in Q4 2022, a drop of 14.2 points compared to three months ago and 25 points from the first quarter of the year.

Though Vietnam’s economy grew over 8% for the whole of 2022, this data comes amid continued global economic volatility resulting from a storm of factors including a slowdown in global growth, interest rate hikes, sustained inflation and bruised consumer confidence.

Motorbike production line of Piaggio Vietnam's factory in Binh Xuyen Industrial Park, Vinh Phuc Province. Photo: VNA
Motorbike production line of Piaggio Vietnam's factory in Binh Xuyen Industrial Park, Vinh Phuc Province. Photo: VNA

The number of companies expecting economic stabilisation or improvement in Q4 dropped to 27% from 42% in Q3, while the number of firms with a growing sense of pessimism doubled from 19% in Q3 to 38% in Q4.

“Things were definitely less positive in the fourth quarter of 2022 than they were earlier in the year,” said EuroCham Chairman Alain Cany.

However, according to him, this should not be viewed as a cause for concern.

“In fact, Vietnam’s economic opportunities continue to exceed those of its regional and international peers. This is evident from the fact that so many of EuroCham’s members consider Việt Nam central to their global investment strategies,” Cany said.

The report said 41% of respondents stated their company is shifting operations from China to Vietnam, up from 13% in the third quarter, while nearly 35% of firms ranked Vietnam among the top five global investment destinations for their company, with 12% stating that Vietnam was their firm’s top investment site globally.

However, the report also pointed out the three most significant regulatory barriers to foreign companies operating in Vietnam, including a lack of clarity regarding rules and regulations (51%), administrative issues (41%) and visa and work permit difficulties (30%).

Despite that, 58% were satisfied with the attention policymakers paid to business needs when setting relevant policies.

In addition, BCI participants reported that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) had a positive effect on the growth of their businesses, their financial health through tariff reductions and the strength of their supply chains.

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