Prof. Dr. Tran Ngoc Tho, Member, National Financial & Monetary Policy Advisory Council, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City
HCMC- New play for children to be staged at dance school
May 9, 3pm
HCM City Dance School, 155 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, D3
The play is based on the short story collection for children The World’s Worst Children, by English bestselling author David Walliams. The collection revolves around five beastly boys and five gruesome girls.
Tickets: VND150,000 and can be bought at https://forms.gle/RMVEpMT7wmi1X2Fa7.
French musical ‘Les Misérables’ tours
April 16-18, Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi
May, National Dance and Music Festival, Dak Lak Province
Early June, Ho Chi Minh City
Featuring famed historical French musical ‘Les Misérables’ by Victor Hugo.
With participation of local artists from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theatre (VNOB), foreign artists from Hanoi Voices Choir, along with director Nguyen Trieu Duong and choreographer Linh An.
Until May 30, 8 am – 8 pm
Matca Space for Photography,48 Ngoc Ha Street
From the organizer:
From whimsical scientific inventions in the early 20th century to the rising fitness culture in Silicon Valley to levitating house dogs: titles selected from independent French publisher RVB Books introduces new ways of thinking about our visual culture, weaving together acute observation, wild imagination, and tongue-in-cheek commentary.
Each book is made unique by the way it embodies its subject, as well as its non-traditional design and materials. Paradoxically, this selection is also a reflection of the way images are consumed.
Hanoi-The Subtle Moves
Apr 30-May 16, Tues – Sun, 10 am – 7 pm
Manzi Exhibition Space, No.2, ngo Hang Bun, Ba Dinh District
Featuring nearly 30 silk works, which are all composition assignments of art students in their final year of Bachelor’s studies, ‘The Subtle Moves’ introduces to the public the promising representatives of a new artist generation as well as offers the artists themselves essential motivation at their significant turning point.
Ninh Thuan Province-Exhibition of Ninh Thuan – Quang Nam Cham culture
Until May 15,
Displaying nearly 80 artifacts, including photos, statues, pottery, over 1,500 tools, traditional handicrafts, costumes, jewellery, paintings, ancient musical instruments, and 1,400 books and reference materials.
Featuring the unique cultural and artistic heritages of the Cham people in the land of Ninh Thuan – Quang Nam and the exchange of Cham culture with others throughout history.
HCMC-A Dream Of The End At The End Of A Dream
Apr 27-June 26, Tues – Sat, 10 am – 7 pm
Galerie Quynh, 118 Nguyen Van Thu, D1
From the organizer:
An exhibition by Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Wowy. This is their second with the gallery, the latest in a wide range of collaborations since 2008’s Quiet Shiny Words/Cultural Doppelgangbangers, where the artists explored subcultures in the contexts of Vietnam and America.
Binh Dinh Province-Exhibition: ECO-SUS
Opening: Apr 8, 03 pm
Exhibition: Apr 8 – Aug 8
International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education, 7 Science Avenue, Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province
From the organizer:
Featuring 11 Visual artists across Vietnam.
ECO-SUS is curated by artists The Son and Uu Dam, opening along with Winter School for Sustainable Development with 100 excellent fellows and respected speakers organized by Danh Nguyen. ICISE, a European-style building inspired by Binh Dinh nature, situated in the heart of a 21 hectares valley surrounded by majestic mountains and a long yellow sand beach. A remarkable architecture design by the famous Jean François Milou. See you at this fascinating exhibition.
The thrilling ECO-SUS exhibition will take place on the beach at 3 PM on April 8th:
1. 03 pm – Warm-up, kick start with with a viral and ambitious artwork from ECO-ĐI by artist Nguyễn Trần Ưu Đàm on Quy Nhơn yellow sand beach to raise global awareness about the pollution.
2. 04 pm – Opening exhibition of 11 Vietnamese artists with their world-class artworks. Curatorial tour lead by artist/curator Thế Sơn
3. 04:30 pm – “Chula” Fashion show by designer Del Valle Cortizas Diego.
4. 09 Apr – Explore Làng Sông, an old monastery, a beautiful structure that built and stood for 158 years, listen to singing hymns, visit publication in the very historic place where Jesuits record the first Vietnamese sounds in Latin.
HCMC- Exhibitions: ‘Within / Between / Beneath / Upon’ & ‘Home: Looking inwards to the outer world’
Until Jun 6, 10 am – 07 pm
The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, 15 Nguyễn Ư Dĩ, Thảo Điền Ward, D 2,
From the organizer:
The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre proudly presents two exhibitions: ‘Within / Between / Beneath / Upon’ and ‘Home: Looking inwards to the outer world’.
Hundreds of trains have been left vacant, thousands of railway workers work perfunctory, and millions of people inch meter by meter on jammed roads from the suburbs to the city center.
In 1881, the Saigon – My Tho railway route marked the beginning of the formation of the railway sector of Vietnam. The year 1902 was a landmark for a new era when Vietnam’s railway reached out to the world: the completion of Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi connected three railway routes to Hai Phong port, to Dong Dang (Lang Son province), to Lao Cai, and then to the South of China and to an international seaport.
Vietnam began manufacturing rail cars in 1965. The infrastructure managed by the Vietnam Railway Corporation is of great value, but has not been used effectively.
At that time, Long Bien Bridge was the biggest investment but it yielded multiiple benefits. It not only enabled trade exchange but also promoted the development of the railway system in Vietnam, which went along with the information and postal revolutions, and cultural and urban connections during peacetime. During wartime, this bridge was the target of air raids to cut off vital traffic vessels. Whenever it happened, the key bridge was repaired as soon as possible.
There was a time when the railway system passed through the center of Hanoi with a total length of 12km, four stations and one factory, occupying 1 million square meters, playing a core role in forming a chain of urban centers and an industrial railway town.
Since the 1980s, the railway system has expanded its space by additional 5 million square meters along with the establishment of a new 48km route from Ngoc Hoi via Thang Long bridge to Noi Bai International Airport. In 1986, the railway system carried 20% of passengers and 50% of goods but the figures dropped to 0.17% and 0.24% in 2019, respectively.
The railway sector currently not only has run out of money but also faces the risk of collapse. It is considering abandoning stations and removing railways out of the city center to provide land for housing development. Meanwhile, there is no funding to repair Long Bien Bridge.
World railway industry overcomes difficulties
Railways all over the world have experienced difficult periods, and were on the verge of bankruptcy due to the change of modes of transport when they were unable to compete with air and road transport.
The railway route from San Francisco to Gilroy (Silicon Valley) is 124km long, serving over 58,000 passengers per day. Since 2011, the number of passengers traveling by train has increased by over 10% a year. This is the fastest means of travel during rush hour.
In the United States, 98% of passengers traveled by rail on inter-regional routes in 1916 (nearly 42 million passengers). The number decreased to 67% in 1940 and increased to 74% by 1945 due to military needs. After that, despite constant upgrades of the railway, the number of passengers dropped to only 32% in 1957.
In 1945, Indonesia gained independence and gradually took over the railway system built by the Netherlands. Indonesian railway began implementing electrification in 1917 and officially operated by 1927 but in 1966, it resumed the use of steam and diesel trains. In 1972, Jakarta imported electrical equipment and trains from Japan, and then from Korea, Belgium and the Netherlands.
In 2000, Japan presented Indonesia 72 used trains with air conditioning. While Bangkok (Thailand), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) were struggling with projects to import urban railways, Manila (the Philippines) had already built urban rail routes but still struggled with traffic congestion. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City began to design urban railway development plans, and Jakarta was steadfast in the modernization of suburban rail routes and kicked off 11 BRT lines with a length of 251.2km, capable of transporting more than 1 million passengers per day (2004 – 2020).
In 2019, Jakarta opened the first 16km of imported urban railway, carrying 170,000 passengers/day. This line connects with five suburban railway lines in and out of Jakarta. In 2021, a model of low-cost ticket for an integrated transport system of trains, BRT, regular and mini buses (7 seats) and bicycles in Jakarta named “Jak Linko” was awarded the Asian Transport Award.
Urban railways rescue railway sector, urban traffic
Railways evolve constantly, but there is no successful lesson from the import of a new systems to replace the existing one. Good results only come from efforts to reform the existing system to satisfy travel needs, and transforming long-distance routes into short ones, modernizing the existing system to make it be more friendly to users.
The first thing to do is to form suburban railway routes – train services for people traveling between home and work, using current railways. There is no need to change the current railway with a new one of 1.45m gauge.
Hanoi has 110km of railway connecting the Hanoi railway station in all directions: Noi Bai, Quang Minh (North); Ngoc Hoi (South); Duong Xa (East); Ha Dong – Duong Noi (West) with dozens of stations, and two bridges over the Red River.
Hundreds of trains are left vacant, thousands of railway workers have to work perfunctorily and millions of people have to inch meter by meter on jammed roads from the suburbs to the city center. Why don’t we renovate the current railway system to help deal with these problems?
Total investment in upgrading bridges, railroads, stations and factories for 100km of suburban railways in Hanoi is less than the capital to build 8km of the Hanoi railway station – Hoang Mai underground metro line. The capital can be completely mobilized from internal resources.
Hanoi is drawing up “the miracle of the Red River”, and the transport industry dreams of building the “trans-Vietnam high-speed railway” with estimated capital of trillions of VND. Should we do this little thing immediately: Urgently reinforce the Long Bien bridge and trial the 6km railway connecting the Hanoi railway station and Gia Lam railway station (before 2022) and gradually extend this route by 10-20km each year, upgrading the Gia Lam train factory, and step by step master national and urban railway technology?
Tran Huy Anh
|Startups are raising far more funds than in previous years. Photo: BBVA|
The first-quarter report of South Korean venture fund Nextrans showed that investment in startups jumped by 34 per cent on-year to $100 million, with foreign investors being dominant.
However, the number of deals fell 20 per cent to 16. This decrease is quite small compared to the 20 deals in 2020 and 30 deals in 2019. Despite the reduction, the total deal value has increased remarkably by 34 per cent on-year, excluding unannounced deals.
Foreign investors outperformed their local counterparts with nine deals, the report said. The total investment by local actors was under $10 million, while it was $100 million for foreign investors.
Seed funding and Series A investment, the first two stages, remained dominant, accounting for 70 per cent of deals, much higher than in 2020 and 2019.
Fintech once again led with four of the 16 deals, followed by logistics, hospitality, real estate, education, and healthcare.
Vietnam is expected to grow at the fastest rate in Southeast Asia in terms of digital financial services revenue in the next five years, reaching $3.8 billion by 2025, the report said.
The most notable deals in the first quarter were an investment of $2.6 million from a group of investors led by Singaporean venture capital firm Jungle Ventures in electric motorbike brand Dat Bike, and a $1 million investment by investment fund AppWorks in healthcare service booking platform Docosan.
There are around 180 venture funds in Vietnam, including VSV Capital – Vietnam Silicon Valley, Mekong Capital, 500 Startups Vietnam, Vietnam Investment Group, IDG Ventures Vietnam, and Nextrans while others from South Korea and Japan are also looking for opportunities to invest.
By Nguyen Huong