Troi Oi – June 2016

The country in numbers

25% of Vietnamese children under five are anemic, according to data released by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). These children suffer from the condition due to the lack of iron in their blood, affecting their physical development, NIN Vice-Director Nguyen Thi Lam said. She added that people living in mountainous and rural areas were most vulnerable. A program, targeting 10 northern and central provinces, educated 45,000 mothers to enhance their knowledge on the importance of iron micronutrient in children’s daily meals.


1 million USD catamarans, ferrying passengers back and forth from Vung Tau to Ho Chi Minh City, officially operated last month after weeks of testing. The catamarans are scheduled to depart three times a day on weekdays, with extra trips added on weekends to meet demands. The catamarans are made of light, durable material imported from the US and runs on two German engines that are fuel-efficient, enabling the boats to run at high velocity. The boats are equipped with Wi-Fi and air-conditioners. Passengers will be charged VND250,000 per trip, with people over 62 years old having to pay only VND180,000. Children from six to 11 pay VND120,000 while those under six years old ride for free.

1-1.5 centimeters is the overall height increase of Vietnamese men and women compared to a decade ago—resulting in Vietnamese men and women now averaging 1.644 meters and 1.534 meters, respectively. Meanwhile, the average height globally is 176.8cm for men and 163.7cm for women. With this rate of average height growth, it will take the Vietnamese people 60-80 years to reach the current stature of the Japanese. Vietnamese youths’ stature is also shorter than the averages in regional countries such as Japan, Thailand and Singapore, according to Deputy Head of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) Le Bach Mai. According to Mai, one of the reasons for the short stature is the low consumption of milk and milk products in the country. Surveys by NIN indicated that Vietnam’s annual milk consumption per capita reaches only 11 liters, compared to 38 liters of alcohol and 53 liters of soft drink recorded last year.


5 million USD personal family temple was recently completed in Ha Tinh Province. Built on an area of 5,000sqm with gold-inlaid details, the Tran family’s temple is the largest of its kind in Ha Tinh. The entire construction cost was donated by a local entrepreneur living in Vinh City, according to Nguyen Ngoc Anh, Chairman of Xuan Pho commune. The temple is built to worship the ancestors of the Tran family.

5th is Vietnam’s rank in the MasterCard Women’s Advancement Index for Asia-Pacific, with a score of 64.2/100. The index tracked the progress of women across 18 countries in the region towards gender parity based on employment (workforce participation and regular employment), capability (secondary and tertiary education) and leadership (business owners, business leaders and political leaders). Vietnam gained 95.3 points in the capability category, 82.6 points in employment and 33.6 points in leadership. For the 10th consecutive year, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines topped the list with scores of 78.0, 76.0 and 71.4, respectively. Apart from Singapore (70), all remaining markets in the region scored below 70.


10.000 books, newspapers and magazines have been collected so far by 35-year-old bibliophile Trinh Hung Cuong. They include works from Vietnam’s famous writers, poets and historians. He is also proud to own Gia Dinh bao, the country’s first newspaper written in quoc ngu (national Romanized Vietnamese language), published in 1865 in Saigon. He also has two copies of the first French version of the Tale of Kieu (regarded as the most significant epic poem in Vietnamese literature), which was published in 1884.

4 million VND fine issued to a Vietnamese man for making a joke about a bomb while going through check-in procedures for a flight from Hanoi to Thailand. Though the man immediately explained that it was a joked, he was fined by the airport authorities. The passenger was accused of violating the Vietnamese government’s decree on administrative fines for violations in the field of civil aviation. Specifically, the violation of “spreading rumors or providing false information about bombs, mines, explosives, radioactive, biological or chemical weapons that not yet affect the normal operation of civil aviation.” In January 2016, an intoxicated elementary school teacher in Thu Duc District was banned from flying for 12 months because he threatened security staff, saying that his suitcase contained a bomb.

280 safety food supply chains have been developed in 35 provinces and cities in Vietnam, with main products including vegetables, fruits, tea, meat, eggs and seafood. The figure was released by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) at a workshop last month. Pham The Cuong, head of NAFIQAD’s subdepartment in Son La Province, said his agency has closely monitored local farmers’ agricultural practices so as to successfully create safe food supply chains. It has overseen all steps, from choosing varieties, irrigation, fertilizing, and pesticide to preliminary processing. NAFIQAD pointed out challenges such as the lax connectivity in some supply chains, a lack of product diversity and the high cost of supervision and packaging. To expand food safety, the department’s Director General Nguyen Nhu Tiep called on authorized agencies to fine-tune regulations to facilitate the certification of safe products and support the supply chains.


80 pigs infected with a banned chemical were destroyed. In a press brief at Vissan Co, Vietnam’s leading foodstuff processor, inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced a decision to fine director Nguyen Van Toan, who sold pigs with the banned chemical Salbutamol. Vets from the city’s vet station paid a visit to Vissan’s slaughterhouse to take samples and found Salbutamol to be five time above the legal allowance in 80 of the pigs there. Consequently, a fine of VND50 million was issued, in additional to VND100 million—the cost of destroying the infected animals.

33,600 Vietnamese laborers worked abroad in the first four months of this year, accounting for 33.69 percent of the target for 2016, according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Overseas Labor Management Department. Taiwan still ranked the largest market for Vietnamese workers in the period with 4,991, followed by Japan (3,349), the Republic of Korea (1,510), Saudi Arabia (310) and Malaysia (122). This year’s growth is seen in the export labor market, with opportunities for Vietnamese workers in new markets such as Thailand and Australia—a maximum of 200 Vietnamese workers are expected to get visas for visiting and working in Australia for 12 months. Thailand also allowed ten Vietnamese enterprises to send laborers to work in the country’s fishing and construction sector in 2016.


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