Vietnam News Today (Jun 24): Australia, Vietnam Seek to Promote Trade and Investment Ties

Vietnam News Today (Jun 24): Covid-19: 740 cases added to national caseload on June 23; Australia, Vietnam seek to promote trade and investment ties; National promotion month to begin in mid-November; Swiss enterprises keen to invest in Vietnam.
June 24, 2022 | 07:00

Vietnam News Today (Jun 24) notable headlines

Covid-19: 740 cases added to national caseload on June 23

Australia, Vietnam seek to promote trade and investment ties

National promotion month to begin in mid-November

Swiss enterprises keen to invest in Vietnam

Traditional stage effectively linked with tourism

Vietnamese association makes debut in Japan's Okinawa prefecture

Climate activist prosecuted for tax evasion pleads guilty: spokeswoman

Vietnam, Thailand strengthen business connectivity

UNDP helps Vietnam develop grassroots telemedicine

Illustrative image. Photo: VNA
Illustrative image. Photo: VNA

Covid-19: 740 cases added to national caseload on June 23

A total 740 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the past 24 hours from 4pm June 22 to 4pm June 23, according to the Ministry of Health.

Hanoi still reported the highest number of infections on the day with 154 cases, followed by Bac Ninh with 54 and Nghe An with 51.

The national caseload reached 10,740,595.

A total 5,087 Covid-19 patients were given the all clear on June 23, bringing the number of recoveries so far to 9,627,924. There are 32 patients in serious conditions needing breathing support, cited VNA.

No death from Covid-19 was recorded in the past 24 hours. The total fatalities stood at 43,084.

On June 22, 1,011,752 doses of vaccines were administered, raising the total number of doses of Covid-19 vaccines injected to 227,753,376.

Australia, Vietnam seek to promote trade and investment ties

The Australia - Vietnam Business Council (AVBC) hosted a conference in Sydney on June 22 - 23 aimed at promoting greater trade and investment opportunities between Australia and Vietnam through the implementation of an enhanced economic engagement strategy.

Addressing roughly 100 firms of the two countries at the conference, Kiem Dinh, chairman of the AVBC, noted that the Vietnam – Australia enhanced economic engagement strategy signed in late 2021 demonstrates the desire of both sides to promote relations across various fields towards sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

This year, Dinh noted that the AVBC and its member businesses will primarily focus on implementing the strategy, including enhancing two-way trade and investment between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Consul General of Vietnam in Sydney Nguyen Dang Thang agreed that mutual relations are developing vigorously on the basis of mutual respect, common interests, and similar views on international issues.

In terms of economic affairs, both countries are fully committed to an open international trading system and have therefore become members of many regional free trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Australian investment in Vietnam remains modest, near nearly US$2 billion. Photo: baodautu.vn
Australian investment in Vietnam remains modest, near nearly US$2 billion. Photo: baodautu.vn

Last November witnessed the Prime Ministers of the two countries holding a meeting on the sidelines of the UN Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in the UK where they signed an enhanced economic engagement strategy. Under the strategy, both sides have set a target of becoming each other’s top 10 trading partners, and doubling two-way investment.

This strategy identifies eight key areas where the two have particular strengths as they seek to develop further trade and investment ties, including in education, skills, and training, resources and energy, agro-forestry-fishery, manufacturing, travel, science, technology and innovation, and digital economy, according to VOV.

Briefing delegates on bilateral trade and investment ties over recent times, Consul General Thang assessed that the opening five months of the year saw two-way trade reach a record of AUD9 billion, equal to US$6.22 billion, up 32.18% over the same period from last year. It can be viewed as noteworthy that this impressive figure was recorded amid global trade and supply chains enduring unprecedented disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, two-way investment between Vietnam and Australia is currently hovering at over AUD3.5 billion, equal to US$2.45 billion, with three fourths coming from Australia. This marks the highest figure ever, thereby making Australia in the top 20 largest investors in Vietnam, although it remains modest compared to the potential of the two countries.

Consul General Thang suggested that both sides strive to further increase trade turnover by not only trading in traditional items such as seafood, agricultural products, minerals, garments, footwear, and construction materials, but also by expanding to other products to focus on items which the two countries boast a comparative advantage in the global market.

He expressed his strong belief that Vietnam, with socio-political stability, a favorable legal framework, continuously improving infrastructure, and a populous market of nearly 100 million consumers, will soon become a key investment destination for Australian financiers.

Representatives of participating firms agreed that this represents the most appropriate time in which to explore and promote business and investment opportunities in each country, with respect to the enforcement of the enhanced economic engagement strategy.

Both sides boast great potential for enhancing co-operation in various fields, from agriculture, construction, and finance - banking to environmental and health services, by fully tapping into each other’s strengths and reaching out to the global market.

National promotion month to begin in mid-November

Vietnam Grand Sale 2022, the annual national promotion month program, is set to take place nationwide from November 15 to December 22.

In its Decision No. 1183/QD-BCT, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said promotion activities during the month will be held in both online and offline formats to stimulate domestic consumption and spur production and business, contributing to economic recovery and development post Covid-19.

The program is also intended to raise consumers’ awareness of Vietnamese goods and services, promote products and culture of regions, and attract tourists, according to the ministry, reported VNA.

The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency has been assigned to coordinate with relevant agencies in the implementation work.

Merchants and businesses looking to join the program are advised to run their advertisement on the national public services portal at https://dichvucong.gov.vn.

The previous edition of the program was held from December 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022.

Swiss enterprises keen to invest in Vietnam

The Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland, in collaboration with the Lugano administration, Fidiman Group, and Bellecapital Group, organized trade promotion activities for Swiss firms seeking to do business in Vietnam.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Switzerland Phung The Long highlighted a range of significant achievements in the relationship between the two countries across multiple fields, noting 2021 marked 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Currently, Switzerland makes up Vietnam’s sixth largest European investor and ranks 20th among foreign investors in Vietnam, Ambassador Long said.

Representatives from Swiss businesses share their viewpoints at the event. Photo: baoquocte.vn
Representatives from Swiss businesses share their viewpoints at the event. Photo: baoquocte.vn

The diplomat also briefed Swiss businesses on the important policies introduced by the Vietnamese Government as it seeks to continue promoting comprehensive international economic integration and encouraging investment in priority fields, including high technology, information technology, supporting industries, smart agriculture, environmental protection, and renewable energy.

Ambassador Long called on Swiss businesses to further invest in Vietnam, affirming the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland is willing to support Swiss firms in exploring the Vietnamese market, cited VOV.

Representatives from Sonova Holding AG, a leading provider of hearing care solutions, shared its successful experience in investment in Vietnam, revealing that the firm has established additional hearing aid centers as it seeks to support language development for hearing-impaired people in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of Bellecapital Group expressed their great appreciation for Vietnamese investment policies, saying that Galileo - Vietnam Fund, operated by Bellecapital, has been operating effectively in the country over the past decade.

At an investment promotion forum held in the Swiss city of Lugano, Fidiman Group provided useful information on Vietnamese incentive policies and legal procedures related to the opening of companies, branches, representative offices in the country.

According to representatives of Fidiman Group, Vietnam remains an ideally alternative market for businesses seeking lower production costs aimed at ensuring connectivity of supply chains, infrastructure, and logistics services of neighboring markets.

During a separate meeting with Ambassador Long, Mayor of Lugano Michele Foletti expressed his wish to continue working closely alongside the Vietnamese Embassy to promote ties of friendship and co-operation between Lugano and Vietnamese localities moving forward.

Traditional stage effectively linked with tourism

Attracting tourists through traditional theatrical products is a direction that has been considered for a long time. However, it is not easy to create an effective engagement between tourism and the traditional stage.

It can be seen that the connection between tourism and stage brings about a mutually beneficial relationship. Thanks to artistic performances, the tourism sector can diversify products, increase the attractiveness of tour schedules, and attract a large number of tourists.

On the contrary, thanks to tourism, traditional stages also have more “land” for performances and funds to reproduce, preserve and promote. This is also an effective way to spread and promote the country's traditional cultural values to international friends. That is why several countries around the world have invested in building theatrical productions in key areas to serve tourists such as Russia with ballet shows, Japan with Noh drama, China with its traditional opera and Cambodia with the program “Angkor smile”.

However, Vietnam, which possesses a huge cultural heritage treasure, lacks traditional art products associated with the national tourism brand. Other than puppet shows by Thang Long Puppetry Theatre, Vietnam Puppetry Theatre and Rong Vang (Golden Dragon) Water Puppetry Theatre which are regularly included in tours of travel companies, other cultural heritages such as Tuong (classical drama), Cheo (Vietnamese traditional opera) and Cai luong (Vietnamese reformed opera)have not reached many opportunities to approach tourists, especially international visitors. Over the past years, several localities and units have also operated tourism stages with traditional art products. However, many models were forced to close and operate in moderation or have not resonated.

Explaining this, many experts said that compared to other traditional arts, puppetry has more advantages in terms of language expressed mainly through puppets’ movements. Moreover, water puppetry is also a uniqueness of Vietnam so it has a special attraction for foreign tourists. Meanwhile, most of the remaining forms use dialogues, which causes many difficulties for visitors who do not understand the local language, NDO reported.

A puppetry performance staged by Vietnam Puppetry Theatre for tourists following the full reopening of tourism. Photo: NDO
A puppetry performance staged by Vietnam Puppetry Theatre for tourists following the full reopening of tourism. Photo: NDO

However, according to experts, these are challenges that the country's traditional arts can conquer based on the investment in terms of knowledge and professional experience of skilled artists to make high-quality and attractive products while preserving the identity of art forms.

People's Artist Thanh Ngoan, Director of Vietnam Cheo Theatre, said over the past years, the theatre has developed the project tourism stage with unique programs that were designed flexibly to facilitate the selection and arrangement of visitors' schedules. The theatre has also promoted this model to several travel agencies; however, the result has not been as expected.

Similarly, Vietnam Tuong Theatre has also built products specifically for tourists, which were translated into different languages as well as organized many customer conferences with the participation of travel agencies adjusting and perfecting the products. Pham Ngoc Tuan, Director of Vietnam Tuong Theatre said that the performances of Tuong artists around the pedestrian streets in Hanoi attract the attention and interest of many visitors, especially internationals.

This showed that foreign visitors are very interested in traditional Vietnamese art products. However, there have not been coordination mechanisms and policies to create motivation and convenience for travel companies.

Meanwhile, traditional art units lack qualified human resources to market art products and do not have the mechanism and funds to hire professional teams. As a result, it is very difficult to create a spillover effect for the products. Therefore, in recent years, the Vietnam Tuong Theatre has persistently brought this traditional art form to universities, especially those having departments in tourism, to foster the understanding and love of traditional arts among the future workforce of the tourism industry.

The Director of Vietnam Tuong Theatre noted that it is crucial to create a legal corridor, mechanisms and policies for tour operators to promote traditional arts to visitors and benefit from traditional art products so that Vietnam’s traditional arts can be turned into attractive tourism products.

According to People's Artist Trinh Thuy Mui, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Stage Artists Association, each traditional art unit must have its direction to find a way to help visitors understand and be eager for art products. People’s Artist Trieu Trung Kien, Director of Vietnam Cai Luong Theatre, noted that the role of the state management agencies in charge of culture and tourism is very important to develop the methods and mechanisms for action programs.

In addition, according to representatives from art units, it is necessary to take into account the synchronous factors to satisfy the needs of tourists. People's Artist Nguyen Tien Dung, Director of Vietnam Puppetry Theatre, said tourists are potential objects, but art products must be suitable for their journeys. Many theaters have faced difficulties to access visitors because their locations are too far from the central area, or close to famous tourist destinations.

In the reality in many countries, representatives from the theaters realized that traditional arts have been strongly invested to become key products in the performing centers with many accompanying entertainment facilities, amusement parks, shopping malls, and food courts. In the long term, Vietnam also needs to have a strong investment to have an entertainment and art complex, which includes traditional art units with unique products for tourists. The “precious capital” of our ancestors can be widely promoted to the world when attracting a large number of tourists.

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