Vietnam’s seafood exports increase in first quarter

Vietnam’s seafood exports remained strong in the first quarter of this year although the industry encountered problems over anti-dumping tariffs in the U.S. market, according to official figures.
In the first three months of 2005, the country’s seafood exports reached 445 million USD, up roughly 15.27 per cent over last year’s same period, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said.

Overseas Vietnamese singers ready to pay Vietnam taxes

Vietnamese artists living overseas recently said they were ready and willing to pay taxes for performing in Vietnam in accordance with the country’s new income tax regulations.
Singer Duy Quang said he had received a personal tax code from the Ho Chi Minh City Tax Department recently and that he would pay his taxes by the end of the year.

Vocalist and composer Duc Huy said he was not aware of the new regulation. But, he said he already paid 10 per cent of his earnings each time he performed a show in Vietnam and was happy to pay taxes in his home country.

Tay Nguyen 30 years later: a vehicle for its own success

HA NOI — In the three decades since its liberation in 1975, the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region has enjoyed major socio-economic improvement thanks to the leadership of the Party and the resilience and unity of the 47 local ethnic minority groups.

A vast plateau laying at the southern end of the Truong Son Mountain range, Tay Nguyen is best known for its people’s strong-heartedness and unyielding nature during the nation’s resistance wars. Physically, the region is full of jungles, idyllic waterfalls and breathtaking mountain landscapes.

More kids attend kindergarten

HA NOI — The number of children in poverty stricken areas going to kindergarten have increased sharply following a Prime Minister’s decision to provide education to children residing in poor communes.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, except for six communes, all others nationwide have kindergartens, and nearly 80 per cent of the five-year-old children have gone to kindergarten.

Nation recommits to software protection

HA NOI — Policy makers have reiterated the Government’s commitment to protect software intellectual property (IP) rights as the country moves toward joining the World Trade Organisation.

Concluding a roundtable yesterday in Ha Noi, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui Manh Hai called for co-operation with countries and agencies with relevant knowledge.

Viet Nam touts energy potential

 HA NOI — Ministry of Industry (MoI) officials were busy promoting Viet Nam to foreign investors as a possible destination to invest in energy projects at a forum held on Tuesday.

Deputy Industry Minister Do Huu Hao, said that Viet Nam boasts primary energy reserves including 3.88 billion tonnes of coal, 2.3 billion tonnes of oil, and 1,300 billion cu.m of gas.

The Deputy Minister however stressed that the country will face a shortage of energy in the near future due to the increasing demands of the national economy.

“Miss Vietnam in U.S. should speak Vietnamese”; crowned winner

The chosen winner of Miss Vietnam of northern California should be fluent in writing and speaking Vietnamese, said the newly-crowned winner recently.

On March 4, Huynh Nguyen Thanh An, 21, was selected among dozens of contestants at the Miss Vietnam Tet Pageant of North California to wear the crown.

After her victory, she spoke to Thanh Nien about the pageant and her future plans, clearly demonstrating she had met the language criteria that she felt so firmly about.

US Veteran Fund leader: Vietnam’s religious practices “very open”

An American Veteran who has lived in Vietnam for nearly 10 years said that he saw no problem with the tolerance for religious practices in the country, in a recent interview.

"Religious practices in Vietnam are very open and are thriving", stressed Chuck Searcy, Vice President of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF).

Banks change lane, SMEs grow

HCM CITY — Creditors are taking on more small – and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), although they still leave many in the cold.

In 2004 the number of local loans to SMEs increased significantly. Many banks granted SMEs loans as big as those to major State-run enterprises.

Nguyen Trong Thanh, Sai Gon branch director of the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV), said his bank has given many loans to help SMEs relocate at the city’s request, and many others towards development.

No human-to-human bird flu transmission, confirms WHO

HA NOI — The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that no cases of human-to-human transmission of the avian influenza type A (H5N1) virus have so far been identified.

Trinh Quan Huan, director of the Health Ministry’s Health Preventive and HIV/AIDS Combat Department, affirmed yesterday that there has been no evidence so far that the virus has mutated. He stressed that all people infected with H5N1 in Viet Nam have had contact with infected birds.