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News – Page 1468 – Vietnam News Gazette

VN, Poland strengthen defense cooperation

16:20 | 07/08/2014

VGP – Viet Nam and Poland have agreed to enhance defense ties, focusing on exchanging visits, launching the Polish Government’s preferential credit package for Viet Nam, and sharing experience in peacekeeping.

Photo: mod.gov.vn

The agreement came from talks between Vietnamese Minister of National Defense Phung Quang Thanh and Polish Minister of National Defense Tomasz Siemoniak on August 7.

Mr. Thanh confirmed that the Polish Minister’s visit to Viet Nam will help develop the traditional and multi-faced relations in general and between the ministries and armies in particular.

Host and guest evaluated the two sides’ cooperative activities in all fields, including the cooperation in national defense especially after Minister Thanh made an official visit to Poland and a Memorandum of Understanding on national defense cooperation signed between the two defense ministries in 2010.

Minister Tomasz Siemoniak affirmed that Poland respects the relationship with Viet Nam and hoped to promote the relations between the two armies in the future.

By Thuy Dung

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Ensuring safety for Vietnamese citizens in Libya

10:12 | 06/08/2014

VGP – Viet Nam will keep a close watch on the situation in violence-hit Libya and work with labor exporters to bring Vietnamese guest workers in high-risk areas home.

Illustration photo

About 1,550 Vietnamese workers in 15 localities in Libya are in safe places and have contacted Vietnamese diplomatic and labour management and agencies, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said on August 5.

The MoFA and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs directed Vietnamese representative agencies in Libya, Turkey, Egypt and Algeria to keep an eye on the situation and closely cooperate with labor exporters to ensure safety for Vietnamese guest workers in Libya.  

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese representative agencies in Turkey, Egypt and Algeria worked with local competent agencies to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese guest workers to transit.

As of August 5, 209 Vietnamese workers had returned home and 182 others left the clash areas of Tripoli and Benghazi.

In case the situation worsens, all Vietnamese citizens will be withdrawn from Libya.

Vietnamese guest workers in Libya and their relatives in Viet Nam can contact to the Consular Department of the MoFA through hotlines +0084.918370497 or +0084.948948458 for further assistance./.

By Khanh Phuong  

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Circular guiding bank account usage

20:48 | 05/08/2014

VGP – The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has issued Circular 16/2014/TT-NHNN on guidance of using foreign currency accounts and Viet Nam Dong accounts for residents and non-residents at eligible banks.

The circular regulates that residents and non-residents who are organizations and individuals and are allowed to use foreign currency accounts at eligible banks collect foreign currency sent from abroad; spend to sell foreign currency for authorized credit organizations; spend to transfer money and pay for current transactions and capital transactions following the law on foreign exchanges management; spend to convert to other foreign currencies following the SBV’s regulations; and spend to convert to other transactional tools in foreign currency.


Besides, non-residents who are organizations and individuals and residents who are foreign individuals are allowed to use Vet Nam Dong accounts at eligible banks for transactions such as collecting from the selling of foreign currencies to eligible credit organizations; collecting from legal sources in Viet Nam; spending on payment or withdrawal for spending in Viet Nam; spending on money transfer and payment for current transactions and capital transactions following the law in foreign exchange management; spending on buying foreign currencies at eligible credit organizations to transfer  abroad; and spending for other purposes allowed by Vietnamese law.

The use of Viet Nam Dong on accounts of non-residents who are individuals and residents who are foreign individuals for intestate succession follow relevant law.


The circular will take effect from September 15, 2014./.

By Ngoc Van


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VN, a destination for Japanese investors

16:10 | 05/08/2014

VGP – Japanese businesses are heedful of the investment envient in Viet Nam, attracted by the wholesales, power and support industries.

VN, a destination for Japanese investors – Illustration photo

The statement has been made recently by representatives of Japanese business community when talking about investment in the country.

Speaking at the second high-ranking dialogue on public-private cooperation in Viet Nam held recently by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, CEO, Executive Managing Director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Hiroshi Wantanabe affirmed that Japanese businesses paid great attention to power projects in Viet Nam.

Japanese companies are negotiating to sign contracts on  three Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) power projects, including Nghi Son II in Thanh Hoa province, Vung Ang II in Ha Tinh province and Van Phong I in Khanh Hoa province.

The Vietnamese Government’s announcement on general power planning to 2020 with a vision to 2030 created favorable conditions for Japanese investors to envisage a direction of the country’s power development in the future, Wantanabe added.

During a press conference prior to the 2014 Forum on Vietnamese Business Merger and Acquisition(M&A) in July, Japanese RECOF Corporation CEO Masakata Sam Yoshida also said that Japanese investors have paid special attention to the investment environment in Viet Nam for the past three years.

According to the Department of Foreign Investment under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, total investment pouring into the country in 2012 and 2013 was US$5.59 billion and US$5.875 billion respectively.

Though Japanese businesses’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country for the first half of this year decreased, Japan still ranked third among 41 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.

Not only being attractive to FDI, Viet Nam is also considered by Japanese investors as the second most attractive M&A market in Southeast Asia thanks to the country’s policy on enhancing equitization in state-own enterprises.

Yoshihisa Maruta, Chairman of the Japan Business Association in Viet Nam said that Viet Nam is valued by Japanese investors thanks to large population, young and hard-working labor force, favorable geographical location and gradual institutional improvements.

                                                                                                                        By Ngoc Van

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Episode 28: Nancy Birdsall


Nancy Birdsall’s career includes long stints at the the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank before founding her own cutting edge research institution. The international development pioneer and founder of the Center for Global Development discusses how she got her start in international development in the 1960s and how the field has changed since then.

It’s an interesting conversation with great digressions and diversions about the history of the American approach to international development. The conversation kicks off with a discussion of the African Leaders summit underway in DC.

If you like what you hear, subscribe on iTunes.

Previous episodes

Why this Ebola Outbreak is So Hard to Contain

Episode 27: Daniel Drezner, counter-intuitive wonk

How to Negotiate a Gaza Ceasefire

Episode 25: Helene Gayle, CEO of CARE, USA. Long-time AIDS-Fighter

How Humanity is Winning the Fight Against AIDS

Episode 24: Joseph Cirincione, Nuclear Policy Wonk 

A Migrant’s Story: Why are So Many Children Fleeing to the USA?

Episode 23: Live from the UN 2014 (Volume 2); A special edition with a slew of UN officials.

Inside the Iran Nuke Talks

Episode 23: Jillian York, Digital Free Speech defender

Turkey’s Strategic Interests in Iraq

Episode 22: Live from the UN, 2014 (Vol 1); A special edition, featuring the President of the General Assembly,  the UN Ambassadors from Vietnam and Jamaica, the head of the UN Association, and more!

The UN’s View of the Iraq Crisis

Episode 21: Thomas Pickering, former Ambassador to the UN, Israel, Jordan, Russia, India and more.

Dying for the World Cup

Episode 20: Jessica Tuchman Matthews, foreign policy trendsetter

Egypt After the Counter Revolution 

Episode 19: Louise Arbour, human rights pioneer.

What Obama Left Out of His Big Foreign Policy Speech

Episode 18: Zalmay Khalizad, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN.

Why Libya is Suddenly on the Verge of a Civil War 

Episode 17: Gov Bill Richardson, he frees hostages.

The Foreign Policy Implications of India’s Elections

Episode 16: Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children

What Boko Haram Wants

Episode: 15 Laura Turner Seydel, philanthropist

Episode 14: Douglas Ollivant, Iraq expert

Episode 13: Gary Bass, historian

Episode 12: Mark Montgomery, demographer

Episode 11: Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watcher

Episode 10: Live from the UN, Volume 2.

Episode 9: Mia Farrow, humanitarian activist and Goodwill Ambassador

Episode 8: Suzanne Nossel, Big Thinker

Episode 7: Live from the UN, Volume 1. 

Episode 6: PJ Crowley, former State Department Spokesperson

Episode 5: Octavia Nasr, reporter

Episode 4: Arsalan Iftikhar, “The Muslim Guy”

Episode 3: Dodge Billingsley, filmmaker.

Episode 2: Laura Seay,  @TexasinAfrica

Episode 1: Heather Hurlburt, national security wonk

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Aquatic exports show positive signs

10:04 | 04/08/2014

VGP – Viet Nam’s aquatic exports in the second quarter of 2014 reached US$1.9 billion, bringing the total export value in the first half to US$3.6 billion, a year-on-year increase of 25%, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Illustration photo

Half of the first half’s export turnover was contributed by shrimp, which attained nearly US$1.8 billion, or up 621%.

Meanwhile, cuttle-fish, octopus, crabs and other sea fish witnessed a double digit growth rate in the second quarter.

Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed the US maintains the largest seafood importer of Viet Nam, accounting for 23%.

Japan, the Republic of Korea and China saw sharp increases of 8.36%, 45.92% and 51.74%, respectively, in imports of the product from Viet Nam.

The VASEP forecasted that this year will be a successful year for the aquatic sector as China, Japan and the EU maintain as key importers.

By Thuy Dung

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New master scheme for VN-Laos border trade development

18:23 | 03/08/2014

VGP – The Ministry of Industry and Trade has approved a master scheme on industrial and commercial development along the borderline between Viet Nam and Laos by 2020 with a vision towards 2030.

The scheme aims to tap the agro-forestry and electricity potentials of the two countries.

The Vietnamese districts are famous for number of agro-forestry products like tea, coffee, rubber, arrowroot, tapioca and corn, milk and power products, furniture

The Ministry also plans to promote the role of 25 hydro-electric projects in 14 border districts and build 85 others in 25 border districts.

All 39 border markets will be upgraded and six others will be built, according to the scheme.

It is expected that 43 new supermarkets and commercial centers will also be built to serve tourists, traders and investors. /.

By Kim Anh  

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Strengthening supervision of payment systems

18:40 | 01/08/2014

VGP – The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has promulgated a strategy to enhance supervision of payment systems in Viet Nam through 2020.

Accordingly, the country’s payment systems will be supervised in accordance with international norms in order to ensure the safety and stability of the national payment system.

It also aims to ensure the rights and obligations of members of the payment systems and promote public confidence in the banking system.

Supervision must be based on the principles of transparence, cohesion and cooperation with relevant agencies.

Systems under the direct monitoring of the SBV in 2014-2020 include the inter-banking payment system, the foreign currency payment system, the retail payment system and the securities clearing and settlement system.

The strategy will be implemented in two periods of 2014-2016 and 2017-2020./.

By Vien Nhu

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Remarks by the First Lady at the National Alliance to End Homelessness Annual Conference

The White House

Office of the First Lady

For Immediate Release

July 31, 2014

The Renaissance Hotel
Washington, D.C.

12:56 P.M. EDT

MRS. OBAMA:  Thank you, everyone.  (Applause.)  Good afternoon.  Thank you so much.  Well, please, rest yourselves.  (Laughter.)  Good afternoon. 

Let us start by thanking Leon for sharing his story and for everything he’s done for our country.  (Applause.)  We are so proud of men and women like Leon who are everywhere in this country.

I also want to thank everyone from Friendship Place for lifting up so many veterans like Leon here in D.C.  I also want to recognize Nan Roman and everyone here at the National Alliance to End Homelessness for hosting us here at your annual conference. 

But most of all, I want to thank all of you -– the leaders who are fighting every day to end homelessness in communities across this country.  The work you are doing is so critically important.  You are helping folks meet one of their most basic human needs.  You’re making sure our communities reflect our shared values of compassion, empathy, and service.  And you’re doing the hard work to show that here in America, we take care of our own.  (Applause.)

So given your extraordinary contributions, it is disappointing that you often don’t get the support, respect, and appreciation you need to get the job done.  (Applause.)  Whether you’re running a shelter, or raising money for a community organization, or managing a citywide anti-homelessness campaign, you all are working long hours to keep it all together.  You’re fighting each year for every single penny in your budgets.  But inevitably the cuts come and it’s up to you to figure out how to salvage what’s left of your programs. 

And day after day, as you fight for more resources, you encounter too many folks who don’t take you seriously because they don’t believe that we’ll ever truly be able to solve this problem; or even worse, because they feel like our homeless brothers and sisters have brought these problems on themselves. 

Yet, when so many others accept homelessness as a fact of life, you refuse to give up.  When they scoff at your idealism, you show them the data and evidence that prove that we can solve this problem.  And when they still throw up their hands and walk away from this challenge, you roll up your sleeves and get back to work.

So today, before I say anything else, I just want to say thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Thank you for taking that gay teenager whose parents kicked him out of the house.  Thank you for connecting that low-income family with resources that keep them from being evicted.  And thank you for showing veterans like Leon that the country they served still has their backs. 

And that’s actually — yes, thank you.  (Applause.)  I don’t know if you hear that enough.  But it’s veterans like Leon that’s actually what I’d like to focus on my discussion with you today on.  I’d like to talk about how we’re serving our veterans in this country, particularly when it comes to the issue of homelessness.
As you know, as First Lady, I’ve been blown away by the stories of courage and selflessness that define our veterans and their families.  I have met wounded warriors who have lost legs to an IED, and then fight through recovery to run marathons.  I’ve met veterans who have run into sniper fire and explosions to save their friends.  Every single time they’re asked, these men and women answer the call and give this country everything they’ve got.

And so when I hear that these folks don’t even have a place to go when it rains, like all of you, I am outraged.  And the fact that right now, our country has more than 58,000 homeless veterans, well, that’s a stain on the soul of this nation. 

Now, I always try to be very clear that the vast majority of our veterans are tremendously resilient and never experience homelessness.  They transition back in good health and good spirits and go on to build successful careers and strong families.  But as Americans, the idea that anyone who has worn our country’s uniform spends their nights sleeping on the ground should horrify us.  And so it is truly our duty to right this wrong and put an end to veteran homelessness, once and for all. 

But that moral and patriotic duty is only part of the reason why ending veteran homelessness is so critical.  As we all know, ending homelessness for our veterans can also be a crucial first step — a proof point — to show that we can end homelessness for everyone in this country, too.  (Applause.)   

Because time and time again, we’ve seen how broader social change can be triggered by our military.  In the 1940s, we started the school lunch program, because too many of our young people were too malnourished to serve in the military when they were drafted.  During the fight to end segregation, folks were arguing that if our troops could bleed together on the battlefield, well then certainly they could sit next to each other at the movies or a lunch counter.  (Applause.)  And today on mental health issues, we’re seeing that we can combat stigma and stimulate groundbreaking research by sharing the stories of our brave veterans.

And that kind of progress is possible when it comes to homelessness as well.  In fact, in Phoenix and Salt Lake City, they’ve already effectively ended chronic homelessness among their veterans.  (Applause.)  In New Orleans, they’re on track to end all veteran homelessness within the next six months.  (Applause.)  And as a nation, we’ve reduced veteran homelessness by 24 percent over the last three years under this administration.  (Applause.) 

So today, thanks to federal action, local leadership and the hard work of folks like you, we are on the verge of making a major breakthrough on veteran homelessness and a breakthrough that could change the entire conversation about homelessness in this country.  So today, it’s more important than ever that we redouble our efforts, that we embrace the most effective strategies to end homelessness among our veterans once and for all. 

And that’s what my husband has been doing since the day he took office.  When he became President, my husband vowed to put an end to veteran homelessness.  And over the past five years, he’s cut through red tape, directed record funding to veteran programs.  And together, we’ve made tremendous progress on this issue.

For example, many of you are familiar with the HUD-VASH voucher program.  Since 2008, we have housed more than 73,000 veterans using these vouchers.  (Applause.)  And that’s more than 40 times as many veterans as were housed since the program first began in the ‘90s.  And through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, last year alone we helped prevent more than 60,000 veterans and their family members from falling into homelessness.  And next year, we expect that number to grow to 100,000.  (Applause.) 

So we are seeing that with enough resources and the right strategies — strategies like housing first, rapid rehousing — we can make huge amounts of progress in a very short period of time.  And leaders all across the country are seeing that too.  That’s why just last month, I was proud to host an event at the White House where a collection of 85 mayors, governors and county officials signed on to the mayors challenge to end homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015.  And that’s a huge deal.  It’s a huge deal.  (Applause.)   

And today, I’m equally proud to announce that in the eight weeks since that event, 97 more city, state, and county leaders have signed on to that challenge.  That’s a total of 182 communities –- more than double our original number.  (Applause.) We even got Los Angeles on board, and they’ve got — (laughter) — and that’s important because they’ve got more than 6,000 homeless veterans in their city –- far more than any city in this country. 

But Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles and leaders across the country are signing on to this pledge because they’ve seen the data and they know that they can create enough housing for every veteran.  And if a veteran does fall into homelessness, they’ll have systems in place to get those vets back into stable housing as quickly as possible.  That’s what it’s going to take to end veteran homelessness.  And that’s what these 182 communities are committing to do by the end of 2015.

But of course, I know, and these leaders know, and my husband knows that we will never be able to reach that goal without all of you.  Yes.  (Laughter and applause.)  We’re counting on you, because you all are the ones who know your communities inside and out.  You know your veterans by name.  You know their stories by heart.  You know the donors, the congregations, the community groups that you need to get engaged.  And perhaps most of all, you know the best ways to implement data-driven, cost-effective solutions that really work on the ground.

For example, after Hurricane Katrina, Volunteers of America of Greater New Orleans realized that their focus on sobriety programming wasn’t as effective as it could be.  So they shifted their focus to getting veterans into permanent housing as quickly as possible.  And in the last three years, they’ve already helped more than 400 veterans across the state of Louisiana.


MRS. OBAMA:  Yes, indeed!  (Applause.)  Indeed.  Nothing like a little competition.  (Laughter.)  I like that. 

Now, down in Phoenix, United Methodist Outreach Ministries realized that providing short-term rental assistance for veterans was far more effective than placing them in temporary shelters.  And over the past five years, using this strategy, they’ve helped about 300 veterans get back on their feet.  (Applause.)   

Those are just some examples of what it’s going to take to solve this problem –- community organizations reaching out person by person, family by family, until we reach all of our veterans and get them into housing.  And I want you to know that this administration is going to be with you every step of the way as you implement those best practices.  And our Joining Forces initiative is working hard to rally businesses, foundations to step up to support our homeless vets. 

And we’re also calling on all Americans to find new ways that they can help folks like you on the ground, whether that’s as volunteers or donors or anything else.  Because in the end, as you all know so well, this issue isn’t just about data and budget proposals or long-term plans.  In the end, ending veteran homelessness is about people — it’s about connecting people to each other and to the resources they need.

And over the past few months, I’ve had a number of veterans who experienced homelessness that I’ve met, men and women who served this country bravely, but struggled when they came home.  One young woman named Jenn couldn’t shake memories from her time in Afghanistan and ended up living out of her car, abusing drugs, and unable to hold a job.  An Iraq veteran named Jim was dealing with post-traumatic stress.  He’d lose control of his emotions and soon enough, he had to move out of his house and he had nowhere to go. 

And then there’s a man named Doran who served in Korea during the Vietnam War.  Now, Doran was in and out of homelessness for 30 years –- 30 years –- and he said that it got so bad that folks were throwing change at his feet in the street. But here’s the thing –- each of those veterans also had the strength to ask for help from their community, and organizations in their community responded by getting them into housing and then getting them the counseling and other resources that they needed. 

So today, those three veterans are back on their feet, giving back to the communities and the organizations that helped them.  Doran is a case manager helping other homeless veterans.  (Applause.)  Jim manages a 48-bed veterans housing facility.  And the young woman, Jenn, Jenn is a nurse who spends her free time now volunteering for organizations that she credited with saving her life.  (Applause.)  That’s the power of all of you in this room. 

You all did that.  That’s your work.  You all don’t just see statistics.  You don’t just see folks sleeping on park benches.  You see the potential that lies in every single one of our homeless brothers and sisters.  And you work day after day, night after night, to help them bring that potential to life.

Thanks to your work over the years, we’ve made such tremendous progress for our veterans and so many others.  And now, we can see the finish line.  And if we achieve our goal, if we end homelessness for our veterans, then we’ll show everyone in this country that we can also do it for all those families shuttling from motel to motel, for all those LGBT teens and for every single person experiencing homelessness throughout our country. 

That has been this organization’s goal since it formed more than a quarter century ago.  And today, we are so close to this major milestone for our veterans.  All we have to do is finish the job. 

So for you all, here’s an assignment.  (Laughter.)  If your mayor isn’t signed up yet for the mayors challenge, then light up their phone until they get on board.  And if you have any questions on whether or not we can get this done, I want you to just look to the success stories of many of the organizations and communities represented in this room today.  Together, you all are showing that if we work hard enough and smart enough, we can end homelessness for our veterans once and for all.  And if we do that, we show that eventually we can finish the job for everyone else, too. 

So let me end as I began — by saying thank you.  Thank you for everything you’ve done.  Thank you for everything you’ll do in the months and years ahead to help us reach this goal.  I appreciate you as your First Lady.  I am grateful to all of you, which is why I’m here.  And I will continue to be here with Joining Forces.

So I hope you all have a rip-roaring time at the rest of your conference.  (Laughter.)  You guys, keep up the great work.  God bless.  And I’ll come down and shake a few hands. 

Thank you.  (Applause.) 

1:14 P.M. EDT

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