President Vo Van Thuong leaves Hanoi for King Charles III's coronation
Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong left on May 4 for the coronation of King Charles III in the United Kingdom, the second visit by a Vietnamese president to the UK in the past two decades. This is an important event in the context that Vietnam and the UK will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2023.
The trip is a high-level foreign activity, reaffirming Vietnam's status to the world communities. It will further implement the strategic policy on Vietnam's intensive and comprehensive international integration and strengthen multilateral diplomacy.
Vietnam secure top spot after an easy win over Singapore
Vietnam's U-22 football team won the second match of the 32nd SEA Games on May 3 after easily defeating Singapore 3-1. Vietnam scored three goals in the 35th, 43rd, and 80th minutes. The final score was determined at the end of the match when a Vietnamese central defender conceded an own goal. Despite the final score, the performance of the Vietnamese players remained a cause for concern as they lacked clarity in their attacking moves and struggled to control the game.
After the last match, Vietnam topped Group B of the 32nd SEA Games Football Tournament with 6 points after two matches, followed by Malaysia and Thailand. The two rivals had 3 points each after their first game. Elsewhere, the Vietnam women's football team defeated Malaysia 3-0 in their first SEA Games match.
Prime Minister proposes a $426.4 million economic stimulus package for water and forestry sectors
|Seafood processing for exports at a local facility in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Photo: Pham Hung/The Hanoi Times
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the central bank to develop and propose a VND10 trillion (US$426.4 million) stimulus package to the Government and State in May 2023 to support forestry and aquaculture enterprises. It also recommended that the State Bank of Vietnam study feasible solutions to reduce interest rates and issue appropriate policies to benefit exporters of forestry and aquatic products.
Local authorities were asked to improve their regulatory and administrative management and promote the application of science and technology in production and environmental management. The Prime Minister also asked associations and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work on a project to develop a brand for Vietnamese fishery exports, to better connect with local producers to develop appropriate solutions to their problems, and to seek more opportunities in overseas markets.
Nearly 50,000 drivers fined during national holiday
Police fined some 49,300 drivers a total of VND108 billion (US$4.6 million) for violations during the five-day national holiday from April 29 to May 3. Of these, about 16,000 drivers were caught driving under the influence of alcohol, and about 11,000 were caught breaking the speed limit. Nearly 850 cars and about 20,000 motorcycles were impounded, and police also revoked 11,000 driving licenses.
During the five-day national holiday, nearly 130 accidents resulted in 67 deaths and 90 injuries. The numbers were down from the same period last year. On the water, nearly 570 violations were detected, and fined a total of VND830 million (nearly US$35,400).
HCM City earns US$133.4 million during national holidays
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Department, the city received a total of VND3.13 trillion (US$133.4 million) from travelers during the five-day national holiday from April 29 to May 3. The figure almost doubled compared to the same period last year. During the holiday, the city saw a sharp increase in the number of foreign visitors, which jumped 264% year-on-year to about 48,000 people.
The city's tourism department reported that 60 local sites attracted great attention from visitors. The historic site of the Palace of Independence, which is the headquarters of the municipal People's Committee and People's Council, was opened for free tours on April 30 and May 1, receiving about 1,500 domestic and foreign visitors. After four months, HCM City welcomed 1.3 million foreign visitors, up 12 times year-on-year, while the number of domestic arrivals rose nearly 55% year-on-year to 10.5 million.
Nearly $48.9 billion of corporate bonds issued in Q1: VCBS
The Q1 report of Vietcombank Securities JSC (VCBS) has revealed that local corporate bonds are worth nearly VND1.15 trillion (US$48.9 billion) as of April 2023. Real estate companies and banks are the largest borrowers, holding 35 percent and 32 percent of the total corporate bond market, respectively. VCBS also reported that about VND220 trillion (US$9.38 billion) worth of corporate bonds will mature this year, less than by the end of 2022, as companies have repurchased and settled the debt.
VCBS warns that bond buybacks, high-interest rates, and a lack of investor confidence will make the corporate bond market unattractive in the near term. The firm predicts that the corporate bond market will remain quiet in the remaining months of the year, and the total value of corporate bonds maturing in 2024 is VND350 trillion (US$14.9 billion).