Vietnam Cares for Repatriated Highlanders, UN Agency Finds

Vietnam provided the best possible care for the highlanders who had been repatriated from Cambodia, and helped them integrate into the community, an official at the UN refugee agency has said.

The country representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Vu Anh Son, said after a field trip to the Central Highlands province of Dac Nong October 5-6, where he met eight of the 13 returnees, that he and other members of the mission had directly talked with them.

Vietnam Strengthens Detoxification of Poultry

Vietnam has launched a mass nationwide disinfection of fowl farms in provinces and cities amidst fears of possible bird flu outbreaks in the approaching winter.

Poultry quarantine checkpoints would be established in heavy traffic areas in order to inspect the flux of poultry transport among provinces, said the veterinary department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Vietnam Hopes Listed Shares Will Equal 10% of GDP

A draft stock exchange strategy calls for efforts to increase Vietnam’s market capitalization to 10 per cent of GDP by 2010.

The draft, for the 2006-2010 period, was discussed at a forum in Hanoi Thursday and is expected to be submitted to the Government in October. The market capitalization, or the total value of shares and bonds listed on Vietnam's five-year-old stock market, is now a mere 0.9 per cent of the GDP.

Hanoi Selected Top Five Asian Tourist Cities for Second Time

A leading US magazine has again selected Hanoi as one of the top five leading Asian cities for tourism for 2005.

Travel and Leisure magazine made the selection, heeding millions of readers on the basis of the city's landscapes, culture, people and food. The other four cities are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong and Kyoto.

The capital city of Vietnam ranked fifth this year, compared with fourth in 2004.

Vietnam Southern Hub Starts Online Customs Clearance

Vietnam’s commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City has for the first time launched official customs clearance via the Internet with US$1.5 million worth of goods being cleared.

The HCMC Customs Department approved up to 30 online customs declarations of five local companies on Wednesday.

The department said it had to spend only 2 minutes to approve one declaration, while the time could reach seven or eight hours for normal clearance.

From now to September 10, about 11 companies will get their goods cleared by the department via the internet.

Germans Win Doubles, Bjorkman Takes Singles at ATP Vietnam Open

Germans Lars Burgsmuller and Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Swede Jonas Bjorkman won the doubles and singles titles respectively at the inaugural ATP Vietnam Open in Ho Chi Minh City Sunday.

The Germans defeated Australian Ashley Fisher and Swede Robert Lindstedt 5-6, 6-4 and 6-2 in doubles action, while Bjorkman outpowered Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3 and 7-6 to take the singles crown.

Vietnamese Are Spending More

Statistics show consumer spending is on an upward trend in Vietnam, a favorable signal for foreign investment into the country.

Increased spending is one of the major factors drawing investors to Vietnam, with the large population and high growth also contributing to the country’s appeal. Vietnam has a population of more than 83.1 million for 2005, increasing by 1.35% year on year.

UNHCR Accompanies Montagnard Refugees Home to Vietnam

By Deborah Backus  

PHNOM PENH, September 23 (UNHCR) – An unprecedented monitoring visit by the UN refugee agency to Vietnam's Central Highlands in the company of a group of returning Montagnards found all the returnees appeared glad to be back home and reunited with their families, UNHCR officials said.

American Singer with Message of Peace, Mutual Respect and Ethical Accountability

Viet Nam News, September 22, 2005

American folk singer and anti-war activist Peter Yarrow, of the group Peter, Paul and Mary, has recently carried his message of peace, mutual respect and personal, ethical accountability to Vietnam through performances for war victims organized by the Fund for Reconciliation and Development.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) correspondent in New York Nguyen Anh Tuan spoke with Yarrow and John McAuliff, executive director of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, about their concerns for Vietnamese war victims.

US Singer: We Owe Agent Orange Child Victims an Apology

Ha Noi - Septermber 19, 2005 (VNA) - US folk singer Peter Yarrow, who is in Vietnam to raise funds for Viet Nam's Agent Orange (AO) victims, said he felt he and his friends have the responsibility to make apologies to child AO victims for their sufferings.