Thousands of Cambodian citizens in Phnom Penh gather on May 2, 1983, to bid farewell to Vietnamese volunteer soldiers of the Military Unit 4 -- Cửu Long Military Corps after they completed their mission in Cambodia. — VNA File Photo By George Campbell, former copy-editor at Vietnam News Agency I arrived in Hà Nội for the first time on 2nd December 1978 to replace Chris Ray as an English-language specialist at the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) working on the daily English news bulletin. I flew into what did not look like an international airport. The plane passed over numerous bomb craters before landing a good walk from a warehouse-type structure that served as a terminal near the bombed makeshift airport buildings. I was greatly moved as I was visually confronted by the consequences of the war I had read about and seen on TV. It took 45 minutes to successfully connect to VNA by radio telephone and a lot longer for a Soviet-style jeep to pick me up. … [Read more...] about Writing history in Việt Nam
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The front view of 81.QT. — VNS Photo Mỹ Hà Viet Nam News Rediscovering Vietnamese cuisine in a converted French villa proves to be a stimulating and tasty experience. Nguyễn Mỹ Hà reports. When you’ve lived in your hometown for a long time and nothing local can impress you any more, a surprise visit from a friend from afar may change your mindset. It happened to me recently when we took our friend from the UK out for a Vietnamese dining experience. We chose 81.QT, a Vietnamese restaurant located at the same number on Quán Thánh Street. It’s a French villa that’s been converted into a restaurant. We used to go there many years ago for mini-concerts held in the courtyard, but it has changed hands several times since then and now serves Vietnamese delicacies. 81.QT can sit about 100 diners, but the floor plan is divided into smaller rooms and spaces instead of one big dining hall like many new restaurants in urban … [Read more...] about A refreshing taste in an old haunt
At the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum 2018 last month, Minister of Information and Communication Nguyen Manh Hung suggested that the Prime Minister should soon recognize English as the second official language of Vietnam to help startups reach out to the world. The proposal stirred a heated discussion on social media and prompted numerous professionals to pitch in with their views and opinions. While some welcomed the idea and supported widespread use of the language in Vietnam, others were wary of the cultural, legal and other implications of formalizing it as an official language. Everyone agreed that it was good to improve English use and fluency in the country, so the debate boiled down to whether declaring and using it as an official language was a feasible, practical option for Vietnam. Professor Chung Hoang Chuong, who has juggled teaching at the University of California and doing research in Vietnam, was optimistic about Vietnam having two official languages. Chuong, currently a … [Read more...] about English as an official language in Vietnam: would it work?
Encouragement from VIR’s partners Pereric Hogberg - Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam I met with so many impressive journalists in Vietnam. I think the best thing journalists can do is to try to listen to the real stories, to be open-minded and curious. It is about transparency, openness, curiosity, and being willing to write and discuss failures and challenges, because they are not the same as mistakes. My country, Sweden, has gone through so many failures, but we learned from them. I am most interested in real knowledge. Sometimes, I want to understand more about the fundamentals of the Vietnamese economy, what is really pushing and driving the value of the currency, inflation, and taxes. In Vietnam, it is a bit hard to know who is paying, who is paying what, and what the services are. Phyllis Tan - Senior manager, Investment List Sotheby’s Investment International Realty, Singapore As a foreign company looking to enter Vietnam, we are happy to have access to regular and … [Read more...] about Encouragement from VIR’s partners
Mekong Capital divests from Asia ChemicalsMekong Enterprise Fund II, a unit of Mekong Capital, has completely divested from Asia Chemicals Corporation (ACC) and taken in US$8.9 million, a 2.6-fold increase over its initial investment, after a seven-year holding period.According to a press release issued by Mekong Capital on August 10, in 2011, MEF II invested US$3.8 million in ACC, which was its 10th investment, after others in Mobile World Investment Group (The Gioi Di Dong), Golden Gate, Vietnam Australia International School and International Consumer Products.However, MEF II has now divested from all of its 10 earlier investments. The divestments have helped the fund generate a gross return multiple of 4.5 and a gross internal rate of return of 22.5%.Early this year, MEF II sold five million shares at Mobile World, generating a gross return multiple of 56.9 and an IRR of 61.1%, making it one of the most successful investments in Asia.Also, the fund’s full exit from Vietnam … [Read more...] about BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 22/8