HCMC Offers Tourism Packages: 70% Discount - News on 21 December 2016

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City tourism stimulus packages offer 70 per cent discount

The HCM City Tourism Association yesterday kicked off the 2017 domestic tourism promotion programme with discounts of up to 70 per cent on package tours.

The participating companies include Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific, Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company and Hà Nội Railway Transport Joint Stock Company, Nguyễn Thị Khánh, deputy head of the association, said. Next year, the programme would offer tour packages by air with discounts of 70 per cent, she said. Under the programme, a promotion campaign titled Du Xuân Sài Gòn và Du Xuân Phương Nam (Enjoying Spring in Sài Gòn and the Southern Region) offers discounts on air and railway fares to HCM City and neighbouring provinces before and after Tết (the Lunar New Year).

The Saigon Railway Transport Joint Stock Company would offer discounts of 40-50 per cent on all railway fares as part of tourism stimulus packages next year, Lê Quốc Trung, deputy general director of the company, said. …

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Why pre-marital health tests are not a hit in VN

Many young Vietnamese couples seem to deliberately avoid pre-marital health screenings for fear that these will find health problems and ruin their budding marriages, a survey found.

Dr Bùi Duy Luật from the Department of Kidney Surgery and Transplant under 115 People Hospital, said he and his colleagues were quite surprised to learn that of 400 young couples surveyed, only 2 per cent were willing to undergo premarital health tests for genetic and infectious diseases.

The survey is not a comprehensive statistical research given its small scale and the fact that it was conducted during a talk on reproductive health held at the hospital, but the results are quite alarming, he said. According to the survey, 85 per cent of the participants said they had never even heard of premarital health examinations, while 10 per cent said they had but don't know what these entail. Luật attributed the lack of awareness of such testing to the fact that authorities have not …

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Most VN health clinics don’t test their tests

Some 448 million medical tests are done in the country each year, but only a third of the country's health facilities subject their tests to external quality assessments (EQAs).

At a recent seminar on medical testing control organised by the Ministry of Health, a report said that of the 448 million tests, around 90 million are done by hospitals managed directly by the ministry and 240 million are done by hospitals at provincial level. Yet Tạ Thành Văn, vice rector of the Hà Nội Medical University, and director of the Centre for Medical Testing Quality Control, said just one third of health facilities in the country bothered to utilise external quality assessments (EQA), an important independent monitoring tool.

Văn said one of the factors behind the reluctance to have medical tests independently assessed could be the cost. Each laboratory would have to spend around VNĐ 200 million (US$8,800) each year for EQAs, he said. "This amount can be a burden for most …

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City seeks overseas aid funds for metro line

The HCM City People's Committee has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment for official development assistance funds to build its metro line No 3A from Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Bình Chánh District's Tân Kiên Commune.

The route will be built in two phases, the first from Bến Thành to Miền Tây New Coach Station, and the second from the bus station to the terminal in Bình Chánh. The 9.7km first phase will cost VNĐ40 trillion (US$1.82 billion), and the 10.1km second phase, VNĐ22 trillion ($1 billion). Metro line No 3A is among the city's priority metro projects. Work on line No 1 began in 2012. A total of six metro lines, in addition to a monorail network, will be built in a city that is plagued by traffic jams and pollution. - VNS …

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Trade pact with EU – opportunities for VN

The upcoming free trade agreement between Việt Nam and the European Union (EVFTA) will open new opportunities for Viet Nam to access modern technologies and learn management skills, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Trần Quốc Khánh said at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

The conference, organised by the Ministry and Industry and Trade and the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), was aimed at providing information on industrial sectors which have potential for investors, as well as the expected investment trends of European businesses once the EVFTA takes effect.

"The EU is one of Viet Nam's most important trade partners, and will be more so once the EVFTA, scheduled to be signed in 2017, takes effect in 2018," Khánh said. "EVFTA is expected to create a momentum to promote investment and trade between the two parties," Khánh said. Accordingly, the total import-export turnover between Việt Nam and the EU is expected to …

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Temporary classrooms for poor students in Ha Giang Province

December 20 – 2016 Pupils in a poor village in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang are in need of financial support to replace their current compacted-earth built classrooms.

Over the past 16 years, whenever it has strong wind and heavy rains, six classrooms in Na Quang Village have their roofs blown off. They are part of Bat Dai Son Primary School in Quan Ba District. It took DTiNews 13 hours to travel rough roads by car to the classrooms in Na Quang Village which is located on a mountain. Built from compacted earth by villagers, the wall of the classrooms have many cracks and the building lacks foundations.

The classroom roofs were replaced with asbestos-cement in 2006. However, the roofs have still been blown away by strong wind and heavy rains. When rain leaks in, teachers and pupils have to relocate to the kitchen to keep warm, teacher Lo Thao Tuan said. Among six classrooms in Na Quang Village, two are for children aged from one to five and the rest for primary students. All …

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Vietnam to open first observatory next year

December 20 – 2016 The final phases of the construction of Vietnam’s first observatory are being carried out in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa in preparation for its inauguration next year.

The final phases of the construction of Vietnam’s first observatory are being carried out in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa in preparation for its inauguration next year. The building is being constructed on Hon Chong (Husband Islet) in Nha Trang, a famous beach city in Khanh Hoa Province, and is expected to be finished by March 2017. According to Professor Pham Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Satellite Center, the observatory will be a place to observe astronomical events as well as a potential tourist attraction for the city.

The structure includes a telescope with a diameter of 50cm and a covering dome nine meters across, Prof. Tuan said, adding that finishing touches of the building are being carried out. With a capacity of 60 people, access to the observatory will be …

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Head photo by: Blue Stahli Luân

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