Soc Trang (VNA) – The Khmer people in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang will celebrate their traditional New Year festival, Chol Chnam Thmay , from April 14-16. COVID-19 prevention and control efforts during the festival, as recommended by the health sector and provincial authorities. Khmer people . In recent years, the provincial Party Committee, authorities, and people have joined hands to complete political and socio-economic tasks, contributing to giving ethnic rural areas a facelift.
Director of the city’s Investment Promotion Agency (IPA), Huynh Thi Lien Phuong said the MoU, which was signed late last month, aimed to build a trading center, casino, high-end entertainment and luxury apartments in the coastal area.
She said the project would be built on an area of 84,000.sq.m on the beach-front on Vo Nguyen Giap and Vo Van Kiet streets in the Son Tra peninsula.
Phuong said Da Nang authorities would auction land-use rights for the finance-trade-casino complex in the future.
She said the city was drawing up a detailed plan for the first international duty-free zone and smart urban area for investors.
Last year, five key investors – the Import-Export Pan Pacific Group (IPPG), T&T Group, New Techco Company from Vietnam, and Sakae Holding and another company from Singapore – registered for a land-use rights auction for a USD 2 billion finance-trade-casino complex in the central city.
Jonathan Hanh Nguyen, who is chairman of IPPG Group, urged the city to build an international standard duty-free zone and recreational area for tourists.
The city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment said four plots on two coastal facade Vo Van Kiet and Vo Nguyen Giap streets were reserved for finance-trade-casino complex development.
Two years ago, IPPG failed to negotiate with Trung Nam Group to make the Golden Hills area the first duty-free zone and factory outlet center in central Vietnam.
Last month the first downtown free-duty shop, VV Mall was launched at the beach-front Crowne Plaza Da Nang resort in Ngu Hanh Son district.
The Universal Alloy Corporation (UAC) from the US has launched the first aerospace parts project, while LG Electronics began construction of its R&D center in the city.
Da Nang, which is situated at the end of the East-West Economic Corridor, linking Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, is planned as a global destination of tourism, finance, logistics and hi-tech investment.
This year’s International Thalassemia Day, themed “Addressing Health Inequalities Across the Global Thalassemia Community”, is devoted to raising public awareness about Thalassemia and one of the major causes in the spread of the disease – cousin marriages, as well as the importance of pre-marriage and pre-pregnancy counselling and screenings to early detect the disease.
Data shows that there are about 8,000 new-borns carrying the Thalassemia gene every year, around 2,000 of which will suffer from severe symptoms.
Some 13 million Vietnamese, or 13 percent of the population, carry the gene. About 20-40 percent of the Thalassemia gene carriers are mountainous ethnic minority people, mainly due to inbreeding.
According to the General Office for Population and Family Planning, despite many efforts, treatment can only help improve patients’ quality of life and does not completely cure the disease.
A report shows that since 2001, up to 20 percent of children born with Thalassemia died at the age of 6-7 and most people with severe symptoms cannot find a spouse.
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder caused when the body doesn’t make enough haemoglobin – an important part of red blood cells. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anaemia.
People with severe symptoms may suffer from bone problems and liver and heart failure, and the condition can be fatal.
A child can inherit Thalassemia if one or both of his or her parents carry the mutant gene. The risk is higher if both parents have it.
Most married Vietnamese couples do not have any tests or consultancy on inherited disorders. People who carry such genes show no abnormal signs so do not undergo examinations or screening before giving birth.
Huge investment in medicine and regular blood transfusions make Thalassemia a costly disease, placing a financial burden on families and society as a whole.
It is estimated that 2 trillion VND (85.1 million USD) and 500,000 blood units are needed each year to treat Thalassemia patients in Vietnam. The average treatment cost for a severe case from birth to the age of 30 is about 3 billion VND (130,000 USD).
The HCM City Human Resources Forecast and Labour Market Information (Falmi) Centre said the demand for human resources across sectors went up 13.14 percent year-on-year.
The highest demand for labour was seen in services with 70.38 percent of total vacant jobs, followed by industry (29.51 percent) and agriculture (0.11 percent). Notably, such sectors as processing and manufacturing, retail and wholesale, motor vehicle maintenance and repair, construction, education and training, and information and communications were the most desperate for workforce.
The centre said the demand for trained labourers made up 85.72 percent, including 22.19 percent of university graduates or holders of higher education degrees, mostly in finance-banking, IT, architecture, electricity, marketing, management and health care.
Meanwhile, the need for untrained workers accounted for 14.28 percent of the total demand, mainly in chemicals, garment-textile, business-trade, printing, tourism, and lodging and catering services.
Falmi said despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, many socio-economic indicators have shown good growth on a yearly basis. Therefore, many enterprises have drawn up recruitment plans to realise their new business strategies.
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam for the second time assumed the role of rotating President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 tenure this month, thus making a new and important imprint in the process of transforming from a participant to an active and proactive UN member.
VN grows up in UN
Thirty years after Việt Nam joined the UN on September 20, 1977, the country was elected for the first time as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2008-2009 tenure in the first secret ballot round in October 2017, with 183 votes of approval out of 192 General Assembly members participating in the ballot, or 96 per cent.
During its first tenure at the UNSC – the UN’s most important body in maintaining international peace and security – Việt Nam and other UNSC member states handled a large workload with more than 1,500 meetings, passed 113 Resolutions and 165 Presidential Statements and Press Statements on 50 agenda items, and dealt with complex issues regarding Kosovo, Iran’s nuclear programme, and Middle East peace, as well as those relating to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar.
Việt Nam made active and comprehensive contributions, from delivering speeches, participating in the making of resolutions and documents, assuming the posts of Chair or Vice Chair of several subcommittees, holding the post of UNSC President in July and October 2009, chairing negotiations for the council to approve Resolution No 1889 on women, peace, and security, and providing ideas to build the council’s Annual Report in a more practical and comprehensive manner.
“Việt Nam was on the UNSC 10 years ago in the 2008-2009 tenure,” said Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator. “It played an important role, contributing to a resolution on women, peace, and security which I think was a landmark resolution in the UNSC. Việt Nam has also been increasing its role in global peacekeeping.”
On June 7, 2019, Việt Nam was once again elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure, with 192 votes in favour out of 193 UN member nations.
The country’s election as a UNSC non-permanent member twice in just a short period was an important milestone in it transforming from a participant to an active and proactive member.
“This was the second time over the last more than 10 years that Việt Nam has been voted as a member of the UN body with a leading role in maintaining global peace and security, proving the international community’s recognition of its improving position as well as trust in its responsible contributions to regional and international peace and security in the coming years,” said then Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Promoting multilateralism, respecting international law
Joining the UNSC for the second time amid complex developments in the world, Việt Nam has effectively implemented activities relating to the UNSC, completed the heavy workload in the first year of the tenure, and created its own imprint at the UNSC.
The country has actively proposed initiatives and played a leading role in several important issues.
While holding the UNSC Presidency in January 2020, Việt Nam successfully chaired an open debate on upholding the UN Charter to maintain international peace and security, and the first-ever meeting on cooperation between the UN and ASEAN, which combined the country’s dual role as UNSC non-permanent member and ASEAN Chair in 2020, thus helping enhance ASEAN solidarity and role and strengthening connectivity between the regional bloc and the UN and the UNSC.
In that month, the council held about 30 meetings and adopted 13 decisions, including four resolutions and one decision on extending UN missions, forces and mechanisms, one Chairman Statement, five press statements, and two press releases.
Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve, Permanent Representative of Belgium to the UN, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondents at the UN that Việt Nam had done a good job despite formidable challenges when it took up the presidency of the UNSC at the beginning of its tenure as a non-permanent member of the council.
Việt Nam really left an imprint with the open debate on the 75th anniversary of the UN Charter, particularly in the context of mounting tensions in the UN as well as in the world, he added.
As a coordinator of the ten current non-permanent members (E10), in May 2020 Việt Nam actively resumed the annual meeting mechanism, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, between the E10 and the UN Secretary General via videoconference.
It chaired a dialogue between the E10 and the five newly-elected non-permanent members (I5) with the theme “Joining Efforts for an Effective UNSC: Best Practices and Experiences for Elected Members” and an International Conference on Women, Peace and Security.
“Việt Nam fulfilled its duties as a non-permanent UNSC member in the first year of its membership, achieved set targets, and proactively and actively contributed to UNSC operations,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Lê Hoài Trung.
The success gained in the first half of the 2020-2021 tenure is a firm foundation for Việt Nam to create more imprints in the second half and complete a successful tenure, contributing practically to maintaining regional and international peace and security and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for national development. — VNS
The ready-made ingredients to make Han Thuc’s festival specialties has been plenty in both local and online markets for expats in Hanoi to buy and delight their children at home with a Vietnamese cooking lesson.
Hanoians often make two types of sweet dumplings – banh troi (floating dumplings) and banh chay ( sweet mung bean dumplings) – on the third day of the third month of the Lunar year, to worship their ancestors.
|Making these eye-catching banh troi and banh chay can be a joyful moment for mothers and children. Photo: The Vietnamese sweet dumplings made by To Hung Giang.|
Han Thuc Festival or the ‘Cold Food Festival’, falls on 14 April this year. Even though not many people are knowledgeable about the festival’s origin, it’s still considered important among all the Vietnamese rituals.
As special dishes made exclusively for Han Thuc festival, banh troi and banh chay as well as their ingredients are sold at every market throughout the country in the days leading up to and during the festivals. Expats in Hanoi can buy the ready-made ingredients and delight their children at home with a Vietnamese cooking lesson.
In these modern days, savvy working housewives don’t have time for the time-consuming task, so they prefer to buy banh troi and banh chay at food stalls in the market. But like many things, the best are home-made.
|The colouful dish of Banh troi made by To Hung Giang.|
Banh troi are small white dumplings made from glutinous rice flour stuffed with brown sugar. The most important stage of making banh troi is the shaping. Cooks pinch a little dough and flatten it out, place a brown sugar ball in the middle and roll it into a smaller ball of about three centimeters in diameter.
The cook heats the water to the boiling point, then cools it down a little bit before dropping some rice balls in, then boils again. When the balls float to the surface of the pot, they’re taken out with a ladle and then immediately placed into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from being overly sticky or gluing together.
The final step is the presentation. The white glutinous balls are put onto a plate and sprinkled with roasted white or black sesame seeds. Once made, they should be eaten that same day.
Banh chay are also made from glutinous flour, but they resemble boiled dumplings and are filled with mung bean paste, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and served in bowls with syrup flavored with grapefruit blossoms.
|A new version of banh chay in funky shape of pigs made by Phuong Nguyen.|
Traditionally, the banh troi and banh chay are white with a sugary taste, but talented cooks can make them more colourful and tasty by adding food colouring or flavouring to the dough.
In the present days, housewives do not need to prepare all ingredients for making these cakes by themselves but ordering from online stores on social media such as Facebook and Zalo or online shopping platforms like Shoppee, Lazada or buying from local markets.
These dough sets include all ready-made ingredients such as sticky-rice flour, natural brown sugar, green bean paste, sesame seeds, grated coconut, among others, at prices ranging from VND65,000 ($3) to VND100,000 ($4.5) per set.
A dough set at the price of $3 comprises one kilogram of ready-made glutinous rice flour (in five different colours) with corresponding amounts of sugar and roasted sesame.
|The safe ready-made ingredients to make banh troi and banh chay could be ordered via social media such as Facebook and Zalo or online shopping platforms like Shoppee, Lazada. Photo: dolambanhgabi|
A more expensive set, at $4.5, includes one kilogram of glutinous rice flour with corresponding amounts of sugar and roasted sesame for making banh troi and green bean paste and fresh sliced coconut for making banh chay .
Besides, the ready-made sweets are also available for busy housewives. The prices for ready-to-eat sweets range from VND10,000 to VND50,000 (from US$0.4 to $2.1) per portion, could also be ordered online or bought in the local markets.
For adventurous housewife who want to experience some new ‘different’ tastes, the floating dumplings with salted eggs or chocolate fillings are also available at the price of VND100,000 ($4.5) for a portion. Additionally, the floating dumplings in non-traditional shapes like rabbit, cat, fish are also the highlights of this year’s Han thuc Festival.
The ready-made ingredients for making banh troi and banh chay at home are available at: https://www.facebook.com/beemartvietnam ; https://www.facebook.com/vanashop or https://www.facebook.com/dolambanhgabi