-- The Vietnamese Embassy in Japan held a meeting with Vietnamese intellectuals in Japan last Saturday to seek their cooperation in boosting scientific and technological ties between the two countries. Addressing the meeting, Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung said the Vietnamese Party and State consider national industrialisation and modernisation as an important political task for economic development and the goal of a wealthy people, a strong country and a just, democratic and civilised society.
-- Vietnam will strive to achieve an urbanization rate of 38 percent with 870 urban areas by 2015, if the Government approves a draft national urban development programme from now until 2020 suggested by the Ministry of Construction.The rate is expected to reach 45 percent with close to 940 urban areas by 2020.
-- The Japanese Government will provide 2.08 million USD in non-fundable aid to help seven coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta region tackle climate change. It will focus on addressing urgent issues such as flooding, saltwater intrusion and the shortage of fresh water for production and domestic use.
-- Around 2600 out of a total of 2900 buses in Ho Chi Minh City have been installed a black box, according to the city’s Department of Transport. Besides managing drivers’ behaviors, the black box will also help with the government’s sponsorship of bus fares based on the number of recorded bus trips.
-- As many as 80 representatives from UNESCO member states and national commissions in the Asia-Pacific region, gathered at a consultation meeting in the central province of Thanh Hoa last Saturday. Addressing the event, Eric Falt, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, spoke highly of the role and responsibility of Vietnam in organising this event.
-- The Ho Dynasty Citadel in central Thanh Hoa province last Saturday received a UNESCO certificate of World Cultural Heritage status at a grand ceremony. The citadel was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site on June 27 last year.
-- Local airlines will provide cheaper plane tickets for travel agencies to encourage inbound tours. Vietnam Airlines said they will discount up to 40 percent for domestic flights in July and August. Budget airlines Viettjet Air has signed with the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association to provide 40 cheap tickets between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City so that travel agencies can bring down tour prices to 49 percent.
-- Several banks majority held by the State chased up the inter-bank interest rate by around one percentage points on Thursday, pushing the overnight rate on the market to some 5%-6% a year compared to a mere 1% a fortnight ago. Banks lent to one another at 5%-6% for overnight and one-week terms, 6% to 6.5% for terms of two to three weeks, and up to 7.5% for one-month terms, said analysts of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).