Tuoi Tre News briefs you on some of the leading stories published today on Vietnamese media:
— Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Thursday said that relations between Vietnam and the Netherlands have seen progress in various fields, citing the establishment of the strategic partnership in climate change resilience and water management in October 2010 and in agriculture and food security in June 2014 when receiving new Dutch Ambassador Catharina Trooster in Hanoi.
— Vietnam opposes China’s illegal construction and expansion of structures in the Southeast Asian country’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, and has requested China immediately desist from these wrongful actions, Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, said at a regular press conference in Hanoi on Thursday. Vietnam has sufficient legal and historical evidence validating its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes, she asserted.
— State President Truong Tan Sang on Thursday hosted separate receptions for the newly-accredited ambassadors from Peru, Russia, Algeria, and Brazil in Hanoi.
— The contribution of crude oil to the state budget in the first two months of 2015 dropped 20 percent year on year as global crude oil prices have fallen very sharply recently, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance. The average price of Vietnamese crude oil was around US$57.5 per barrel, a sharp drop of $42.5 compared to previous estimates, according to the ministry.
— Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has tasked the Central Committee for the National New Style Rural Area Building Program with making 20 percent of the total communes nationwide, or 1,800, be recognized as modern rural areas in 2015. Key tasks include developing infrastructure serving the essential demands of local residents, promoting production in close collaboration with restructuring the economy to raise incomes for rural laborers, and enhancing rural living conditions, social order and security.
— Electricity prices will rise by 7.5 percent to an average of VND1,622.05 per kWh from March 16 following the approval given by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a government meeting in Hanoi on Thursday. The 7.5 percent increase will help power company EVN avoid and compensate for losses, amounting to about VND8 trillion ($380.95 million) due to exchange rate disparities in recent years, as the losses would exceed VND12 trillion (over $571.42 million) in 2015 without the price hike.
— As many as 50 Vietnamese travel companies are showcasing their products and services at the ongoing 49th International Tourism Fair, which opened on Wednesday at the Messe Berlin exhibition center in Berlin, Germany. The world’s largest annual tourism fair, which will last until March 8, include booths set up by nearly 10,000 travel companies, hotels, tourism groups, and restaurants from 186 countries and territories worldwide.
— Poetry lovers from within and outside Vietnam gathered at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi on Thursday to celebrate National Poetry Day, the biggest poetry festival in the country, spotlighting its seas and islands. The event, the 13th of its kind so far, offered venues for both young and traditional poetry lovers and provided more space for foreign poets, according to the organizing board.
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- Tuoi Tre-hosted poll to pick people’s favorite brand of Vietnamese 'pho'
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