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Vietnam news in brief - March 14
Khanh Khanh - Tung Lam 14:28, 2024/03/14
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Vietnamese ministries to propose extending visa-free regime 

Foreign travelers explore the Ha Giang Loop in northern Vietnam. Photo: Kien Tran 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is actively working with the Ministry of Public Security to propose expanding the list of unilateral visa exemptions to attract tourists traveling in groups. In February, the Ministry of Public Security began work on expanding the unilateral visa exemption list. The ministry is considering piloting short-term visa exemptions (6-12 months) for travelers from lucrative source markets and exploring the issuance of 12-36 month visas and multiple-entry visas to attract high-end tourists and retirees.

Nokia encouraged to open R&D facilities in Vietnam

Vietnam has suggested that Nokia expand its business scope and set up research and development (R&D) labs and facilities in Vietnam instead of focusing only on equipment sales, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said at a meeting with Nokia on March 13. Nokia will also be encouraged to participate more actively in Vietnam's digital transformation and share new research on 6G, 5G commercialization experience and 5G network development for enterprises.

US$2.5 billion thermal power plant inaugurated in Van Phong Economic Zone

The Van Phong BOT 1 Thermal Power Plant, with a total investment of over US$2.5 billion, was inaugurated on March 13 in Ninh Phuoc Commune, Ninh Hoa City, in the southern province of Khanh Hoa. The plant is expected to supply nearly 8.5 billion kWh of electricity annually, accounting for about 3% of the country's total electricity production. The plant consists of two turbines with a design capacity of 1,432 MW.

Haiphong to cooperate with UAE in logistics, seaports and tourism

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the northern city of Haiphong will foster cooperation in various fields, heard a meeting between UAE Ambassador to Vietnam Bader Abdulla Almatrooshi and Chairman of Haiphong People's Committee Nguyen Van Tung held in the city on March 13.

Tung expressed his hope to get the UAE's support in developing logistics, seaport and tourism, which are the city's strengths driving its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) to the country's top list. The city has attracted foreign businesses, mainly from Japan, South Korea and Asian countries, with a total FDI capital of US$30 billion. Meanwhile, Almatrooshi said he would call on UAE agencies and organizations to invest in the city's free trade zone and renewable energy projects. The UAE is Vietnam's leading trade partner in the Middle East and Africa region, with bilateral turnover reaching US$4.7 billion in 2023.

Vietnam seeks Danish support for green initiatives

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha seeks Denmark's support for Vietnam's green initiatives at a meeting with representatives from the Danish Embassy in Vietnam on March 13. He emphasized that Vietnam is actively implementing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) initiative based on cooperation with G7 members, Danmark and other international partners.

Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy in Vietnam, Mette Ekeroth, reiterated that Denmark would share experience and give technology and financial support to Vietnam in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, green transformation and just energy transition, implementing the Power Development Plan VIII, which plays a crucial role in the National Master Plan and energy development strategy, and meeting commitments under the JETP.

The Body Shop Vietnam business is still stable

The Body Shop Vietnam, under the management of InNature Berhad Group, announced on March 13 that the ongoing restructuring activities in the UK, US and other markets have not affected its business operations in Vietnam. The brand said its Vietnamese subsidiary is part of the InNature Berhad Group, listed on Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. InNature currently has over 122 stores in three countries: Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia, operating under a franchise model.

Labor ministry empowers students to set up businesses, seek jobs

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will organize various activities in 2024 to implement the project "Supporting Students in Starting a Business to 2025", which includes the "Startup Ideas for Vocational Education Students - Startup Kite 2024" competition and the National Student Entrepreneurship Day 2024. The aim is to equip students with entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to enable them to start businesses or find employment after graduation.

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