Population growth slowing but not shrinking, says UN


HA NOI — Viet Nam’s population growth has slowed but the numbers are not shrinking, reports a newly-published review by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

The review shows that worries about a supposed "baby boom" in 2003 needs to be reassessed, it says in a statement issued yesterday.

It shows also that the country’s population programme needs to be strengthened to ensure the continued deceleration of population growth for stable and quality development during the next 40-50 years.

Nation gets tough on fraud, smuggling and corruption


HA NOI — The Ministry of Public Security reported they uncovered 176,534 economic crimes in the 12 years prior to 2005, including 9,960 cases of corruption.

The report was released on June 8 at a conference to review, in the presence of Secretary and Head of the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee, Nguyen Van Chi, public security force operations against smuggling and corruption.

Californians get dose of Vietnamese art


HA NOI — The Huntington Beach Art Centre (HBAC) in California will present a new exhibit titled Out of Context, featuring Vietnamese-themed art.

The show, which runs from June 11 to August 7, will feature contemporary art by 13 Vietnamese-American artists living in California and Vietnamese artists living in Viet Nam. The exhibit investigates the wide range of stylistic choices, media and content found throughout the two Pacific Rim areas.

Agents ponder eco-tourist potential


HCM CITY — Although eco-tourism has become a popular trend over the past few years in Viet Nam, many Vietnamese tour developers are still wondering whether this new vacation idea will take off here.

Some tourism experts see great potential for this sector. A pristine natural environment, the main prerequisite for eco-tourism, thrives in Viet Nam, according to Professor Ross Dowling, from the Australian Edith Cowan University’s School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure.

Fighting corruption is priority, says inspector


HA NOI — Corruption in State enterprises, Government agencies and many economic organisations around the country is a big threat to the regime, said Inspector General Quach Le Thanh.

"The fight against corruption is the job of all the Party and all the people. It calls on the strength of the entire political system as well as the active participation of the entire society," said Thanh.

Overseas Vietnamese to set up bank in Vietnam

A group of Vietnamese living abroad has said they are planning to establish a join-stock bank to back investment projects involving expatriates returning to do business in Vietnam.

The Overseas Vietnamese Business Club (OV Club), based in Ho Chi Minh City, is launching a campaign to attract the support of expatriate Vietnamese to the plan.

The bank would provide support for investment projects involving overseas Vietnamese in all provinces of the country, said Nguyen Ngoc My, OV Club chairman.

Vietnam’s theatre, film firms re-invest profits in new sites

With major revenues generated from the growing popularity of the film industry in Vietnam, movie and film companies are moving to erect new complexes to meet the demand of the increasing number of movie-goers.

Moviegoers in Ho Chi Minh City now frequent existing high-grade cinemas like the Diamond Cinema, Dong Da, and Cinebox filling them to capacity, thus generating interest in building new venues.

Vietnam’s filmmakers have potential to compete at int’l level

Vietnamese directors have the potential to make excellent films that can compete for international prizes, an international prize-winning director, Bui Thac Chuyen, said recently.

According to Mr. Chuyen, local directors have to actively contact potential sponsors and persuade them to invest money into their scripts.

Vietnam’s WTO entry within reach

Vietnam has huge potential to join the World Trade Organization by the end of this year, Vietnamese and foreign trade representatives said after a recent unofficial round of multilateral talks.
“WTO accession by the end of this year is within reach,” said Hoang Phuoc Hiep, a Vietnamese negotiator, who has just returned to Hanoi from Geneva after unofficial multilateral talks.

“After unofficial talks, I think Vietnam has a good chance to join the WTO in December this year if the country can complete bilateral negotiations before September,” he said.

Modernise or else, HCMC industry told

HCM CITY — HCM City industries are beginning to modernise, yet still more needs to be done according to experts, if companies want to compete in the global market place.

Professor Dr Nguyen Mong Hung, Chairman of the HCM City’s Union of Science and Technology, said hundreds of enterprises in the city are beginning to automate their businesses using sophisticated computer systems.

In the field of garments and textiles, Characteristics of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CDA/CAM) and Computer Numeral Control (CNC) systems are the two most common systems.