Viet Nam became a middle-income country (MIC) in 2008, and remains at the lower MI level. Recently, Japanese economist Kenichi Ohno stated that Viet Nam had fallen into the middle-income trap, and his diagnosis sparked a heated debate on what was the country's true economic situation.
In a candid assessment, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh said several weeks ago that many of the 2,300 official visits abroad by Vietnamese delegations in 2013 were ineffective and a waste of scarce State budget resources. Viet Nam News spoke to several experts and officials on the issue.
Foreign investors have distributed US$1.12 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in Viet Nam during the first two months of 2014, up 6.7 per cent from one year ago, according to government statistics.
In his message for 2014, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung emphasised the need to foster the rule of law and democracy in Viet Nam. He also stressed the importance of agriculture reforms and carrying forward the restructuring of state-owned enterprises. Thu Van and Ha Phuong discussed these issues with several officials and experts.
In the 10 years since its inception in Viet Nam, the pay TV industry has enjoyed spectacular growth, driven largely by the country's impressive economic expansion. The Ministry of Information and Communications estimates that out of the 22 million TV subscribers at the end of 2012, about four million subscribed to pay TV.
Five Nobel laureates have visited Viet Nam this month to attend a number of scientific exchange events held by the Association Rencontres du Vietnam in central Binh Dinh Province.
A 52-year-old father in Ha Noi was sentenced to 16 years in jail last week for raping his daughter. The case has aroused public outrage and concern about the recent increase in child cruelty and sexual abuse. Viet Nam News reporter Nguyen Thu Hien spoke with the authorities, experts and victims to examine the issue.
Besides the social and economic achievements they have created, the development of industrial zones and complexes over the past years have seen several negative impacts, especially on the environment and to public health. Most recently, scientists and legislators have raised concerns about the serious pollution caused by the Bien Hoa Industrial Zone No 1 and have proposed relocating it. The Viet Nam News spoke with stakeholders about the issue.
A number of serious malfunc-tions occurred consecutively at different small-scale hydro-power plants in the central region and Central Highlands over the last few months. They have raised grave concerns about the safety of hundreds of other plants in the area. Viet Nam News reporter Le Quynh Anh spoke to the authorities and experts to examine the issue.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed an adjustment of retail power prices sold to households, producers and traders.
Income not the only measure of poverty
Viet Nam's poverty rate is estimated at around 10 per cent but the number of people who do not achieve social well-being is believed to be much higher. It's necessary to go beyond income when defining people's experiences.

Highlight

Light it up with fire on Hue's Truong Tien Bridge Light it up with fire on Hue's Truong Tien Bridge

The 150-year-old Truong Tien Bridge, which spans over the renowned Huong (Perfume) River in Hue City, was lit up by fire in an installation by French artist Carabosse on Friday evening.

Hospital provides free asthma treatment Hospital provides free asthma treatment

The Bach Mai General Hospital will provide free check-up consultations and treatment to newly asthmatic patients on April 26, to mark Global Asthma Day (May 1).

Failure to address water pollution has consequences 1    Failure to address water pollution has consequences

Viet Nam needs to have a comprehensive, unified set of rules to control water pollution in the country, because the problem has assumed very serious proportions, experts and officials said at workshop yesterday.

Tokyo police release VNA flight attendant Tokyo police release VNA flight attendant

Vietnam Airlines announced on Wednesday that the Japanese authorities had released its 25-year-old flight attendant who had been arrested on suspicion of smuggling stolen goods.

Paean to people with disabilities Paean to people with disabilities

A photo exhibition in Dong Nai Province underscores the will and perseverance of 25 disabled people who overcame their situation to lead normal lives.