US Religious Official Visits Central Highland Province

President of the US's Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) Chris Seiple on Tuesday visited the Central Highland province of Gia Lai on June 28 to inquire into the religious atmosphere there.

Seiple later said the visit brought him “fresh information” on the religious situation in the Central Highlands in general that the international community and international organizations have yet to obtain.

He also said that his trip to Gia Lai will help improve the relationship between Vietnam and other countries, particularly between Vietnam and the US.

Insurance Market Opens Up to Foreign Competitors

HCM CITY — Last week’s licensing of two American insurance companies is a strong sign of the Vietnamese Government’s intention to open up its fledgling insurance market, according to an official from the finance ministry.

With the addition of the two companies, New York Life and ACE, the total number of American life insurance outlets doing business in Viet Nam now stands at three.

Foreign Companies Get the Nod to Set Up Subsidiaries

HA NOI — Foreign-invested enterprises, already allowed to convert to joint stock companies, will shortly be able to reorganize under the parent-subsidiary model, under a plan approved in principle by the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) will begin working this week with relevant offices on regulations that would govern a foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) organization as a parent company.

Festival Honors Hue Traditions

HCM CITY — Hue will host its first-ever traditional arts festival in mid-July, celebrating time-honored Vietnamese crafts such as embroidery and conical hat making, a city representative has announced.

Nguyen Duy Hien, head of Hue’s Information and Culture Office, said the festival would showcase the skills of local artisans who have been honing their crafts for decades, aiming to boost their status and creative role and generate local interest in traditional crafts.

Party Prepares for Next Congress

Chairman of the Viet Nam Communist Party’s Central Commission for Organization and Personnel, Tran Dinh Hoan, discussed preparations for next year’s 10th National Congress with the Vietnam News Agency.

What is the basis for the preparations?

Politburo Instruction 46-CT/TW clearly sets out the preparations to be undertaken for the congress. Each committee’s political report must:

Vietnam Allows Travelers to Carry More Money Across Border

Travelers are now allowed to carry 2.5 to three times more foreign and local currencies when entering or leaving Vietnam, the country’s central bank has announced.

Travelers only have to declare cash when they carry more than US$7,000, or other foreign currencies of the same value, and VND15 million (around US$950) when entering or leaving the country, the State Bank of Vietnam said.

A Journalist’s Story

The exhaustive working trip last month has left me indebted, owing some writing for Thanh Nien newspaper on the occasion of Vietnam’s Press Day, June 21.

Coincidentally, Vietnam Television has recently also interviewed me about the significance of the occasion. Thanks to the interview, I have had a chance to reflect, both in sense and sensibility, at my profession as a journalist over a long period in the very special situation Vietnam.

US Group to Build Resort In Southern Vietnam

The US' Winvestment-LLC Group has received a license to build a US$300 million tourism site in the southern seaside Vung Tau city, a local official said.
The Sai Gon Atlantis Hotel resort will feature a hotel that can accommodate 2,000 guests, according to the project.

Besides, the 300-ha resort will also feature an entertainment park with both land and water games, a sports complex, including a golf course, and exhibition halls, which can welcome some 100,000 visitors a day.

Vietnam Sees Boom in American Arrivals in June

The number of American tourists to Vietnam in June skyrocketed 48.5 percent over May, totaling over 1.72 million foreign visitors in the first half of 2005, said the country’s tourism watchdog.
Statistics of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) showed that 35,053 Americans visited Vietnam in June. Thanks to the unexpected surge, the total US arrivals in the reached 166,875 or 19.4 percent over the same period last year.

In total, Vietnam lured more than 1.72 million foreign tour-goers in the January-June period, up 23.7 percent year-on-year.

Vietnamese Company to Publish Foreign Best Seller

The Vietnamese company First News inked an exclusive agreement with an American publishing corporation for the right to translate and distribute their books in Vietnam.

First News signed the contract with the US publishing corporation L. Ron Hubbard for exclusive distribution in Vietnam of the book entitled “Dianetics Modern Science of Mental Health.”

The deal includes three other books all penned by Doctor Hubbard.