50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Vietnam observed
Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. To commemorate the milestone, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien and the embassy's staff visited and laid a floral wreath at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi 32 to pay tribute to Bangladesh's Father of the Nation, the "architect of setting up the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Vietnam." Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh were also present. "Over the last 50 years, the excellent traditional friendship between Vietnam and Bangladesh has been consolidated and strengthened based on historical similarities and shared values of independence, peace, cooperation and development. Bilateral multi-faceted cooperation in various fields has been bolstered to be more intensive, substantive and effective," said the Vietnam Embassy in Dhaka. Trade and economic cooperation between the two economies have been constantly growing, stronger than ever before. "Bangladesh has been the second largest trading partner of Vietnam in South Asia. Remarkably, 2021 was the first time that the two-way trade turnover surpassed $1 billion, and approached $1.5 billion in 2022, recording an impressive 75-fold growth in the last 20 years and a four-fold increase in the last 10 years," said the Embassy of Vietnam. "Although the trade balance is still in favour of Vietnam, it is such a positive sign that Bangladesh's exports to Vietnam have exceeded $100 million for the first time in 2022." "After five decades of walking alongside each other on the path of national construction, both Vietnam and Bangladesh have transformed into emerging middle-income nations with high sustained growth and outstanding development successes," the Vietnamese mission said. "The phenomenal achievements in the last 50 years of Vietnam-Bangladesh diplomatic relations have created a firm basis to elevate the two nations' friendship to a new height, for the benefit of the two peoples, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and over the world," it added. Read more: 'Bangladesh, Vietnam to keep moving together living up to dreams of Bangabandhu, Ho Chi Minh'
Court says South Korea responsible for Vietnam War massacre
A South Korean court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay 30 million won ($24,000) to a Vietnamese woman who survived a gunshot wound but lost several relatives when South Korean marines rampaged through her village during the Vietnam War in 1968. In awarding the compensation to 62-year-old Nguyen Thi Thanh, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed the government’s argument that it was unclear whether South Korean troops were responsible for the slaughter in the village of Phong Nhi. The court also rejected the government’s argument that civilian killings were unavoidable as the Korean troops were dealing with Viet Cong guerrillas who often blended with locals, according to Thanh's lawyer, Lim Jae-sung. The ruling marks the first time a South Korean court found the country’s government responsible for mass killings of Vietnamese civilians during the war, and could potentially open the way for similar lawsuits. Then ruled by anti-communist military leaders, South Korea sent more than 320,000 troops to Vietnam, the largest foreign contingent fighting alongside U.S. troops. South Korea’s Justice Ministry didn’t immediately respond to a query whether the government will appeal. According to U.S. military documents and survivors, more than 70 people were killed and around 20 others injured after South Korean marines allegedly fired at unarmed civilians during search operations at Phong Nhi and the nearby village of Phong Nhut in February 1968. Thanh, then 7 years old, was treated for gunshot wounds in her stomach while five of her family members died, including her mother, sister and brother. She filed the lawsuit against the South Korean government in 2020 and testified at the Seoul court last August. The trial also included the testimonies of other Vietnamese villagers and South Korean war veteran Ryu Jin-seong, a member of the marine unit linked to the attacks in Phong Nhi and Phong Nhut. He provided a first-hand account of how the Korean soldiers shot at unarmed civilians, many of them children and women. Thanh, who awaited the ruling in Vietnam, said she was “overjoyed” by her court win. “I think that the souls (of those who died in Phong Nhi) were always with me and supported me,” she said in a video message translated by her legal team. “I am overjoyed because I think that the souls can now rest easy.” The South Korean government had argued there was no conclusive evidence that South Korean troops were responsible for the killings, even suggesting that the aggressors may have been Viet Cong fighters disguised in Korean uniforms and attempting psychological warfare. The government also insisted that even if Korean soldiers were involved, their aggressive response was understandable when they were facing constant threats from Viet Cong guerrillas, who often hid themselves among locals and actively recruited young women.
Vietnamese president resigns, criticised for major scandals
Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc resigned Tuesday, becoming the most senior member of the government to step down after a series of high-profile corruption scandals for which he was held responsible. The state Vietnam News Agency reported that he had resigned at a session of the ruling Communist Party's Central Committee that was held “to consider and give opinions on Comrade Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s wish to stop holding positions, quit work and retire.” The language of the announcement strongly suggested that he was forced to step down. Read more: ADB arranges $135m climate financing package to support electric mobility in Vietnam Phuc, 68, began serving in government at the provincial level in 1979 and took his first position in national government in 2006. He joined the Politburo, the highest-ranking party body, in 2011, and was prime minister from 2016 to 2021, when he was elected president by the National Assembly. The post of president in Vietnam is largely ceremonial. The most powerful position, Communist Party general secretary, is currently held by Nguyen Phu Trong, who in 2021 won a rare third five-year term in office. His hallmark has been a long-running anti-corruption campaign, which in his second term targeted two former Cabinet ministers and Hanoi’s former mayor. An official statement published in state media praised Phuc for his efforts as prime minister in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. It added, however, that he bore political responsibility as the country’s top executive for serious scandals involving his subordinates, including two deputy prime ministers and three other ministers. The statement noted that the two deputy prime ministers had resigned from their positions and criminal proceedings had been launched against two other ministers and many other officials. Several of the scandals involved corruption related to pandemic control measures. The positions from which Phuc resigned also included Politburo membership, the executive committee of the Central Committee and chairman of the National Defense and Security Council. Read more: At least 32 dead in karaoke parlor fire in south Vietnam As prime minister, Phuc led Vietnam as it became further integrated in the global economy and sustained 7% economic growth until COVID-19 hit the world. With strict measures including a nationwide lockdown, Vietnam managed to contain the spread of the virus in the first year of the pandemic and quickly resumed business and manufacturing. It was among a handful of countries in 2020 that recorded positive economic growth. However, as in several other Asian nations that initially staved off serious outbreaks, cases shot up after mid-2021 with the spread of more highly transmissible variants.
Bangladesh, Vietnam can thrive together in RMG, says Pham Viet Chien
Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien has said Bangladesh and his country can complement each other for the development of the apparel industry and reap mutual trade benefits. Pham called on Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan in Dhaka Monday (January 16, 2023). Read more: Bangladesh, Vietnam eye $2 billion trade in 2023 They discussed the present market situation in readymade garments (RMG), global trends and opportunities while sharing how both countries were addressing their challenges. Pham and Faruque also talked about possible avenues of working together to unlock mutual trade potential through meaningful collaboration. They emphasised the exchange of experience and expertise in the apparel industries of Bangladesh and Vietnam. Read more: Vietnam honours three Bangladeshis for promoting people-to-people ties Pham and Faruque showed interest in facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise in the apparel and textile industries through collaboration between the BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology (BUFT) and Vietnamese apparel trade associations and fashion institutes.
Vietnam honours three Bangladeshis for promoting people-to-people ties
Vietnam has honoured three Bangladeshis with different awards for their contributions to promoting people-to-people relations between the Southeast Asian country and Bangladesh, especially introducing the Bangladeshis to the life and career of Ho Chi Minh, a hero of Vietnam's liberation and former president. Pooja Sengupta, artistic director of Turongomi Dance Theatre was awarded the "Friendship Medal," by the president of Vietnam. She is the writer, choreographer and artistic director of the artwork "Ho Chi Minh – A journey to explore the light within," a dance performance about Ho Chi Minh's life, staged in Dhaka in September 2019. Mostafizur Rahman Faisal, professor and registrar of the Heritage University of Bangladesh, and KM Abdul Mozid, senior reporter of Dainik Arthoniteer Kagoj, were awarded the "Certificates of Merit" from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam. Faisal translated the book "How Ho Chi Minh wrote his Testament" into Bangla. Mozid translated the book "Ho Chi Minh Biography" into Bangla. Read more: Vietnam, Bangladesh share same development vision: Ambassador Viet Chien The president and the foreign minister of Vietnam authorised the ambassador of Vietnam to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien to hand out the awards to the awardees on their behalf. Speaking at a ceremony, the ambassador expressed his warmest thanks to the awardees for their efforts as well as sharing sincere thoughts and nice sentiments towards the Vietnamese nation, especially Ho Chi Minh. He said the Communist Party, the state and the people of Vietnam always remember the support from Bangladeshis for the struggle for independence and peace, for national construction and development, and highly value the contributions of each Bangladeshi organisation and individual. The envoy hoped that the awardees would continue to do more excellent work to introduce not only the Vietnamese country and nation, Ho Chi Minh to Bangladeshis, but also introduce Bangladesh and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the Vietnamese. Read more: Bangladesh-Vietnam direct flights may begin this year-end
Pooja to receive Vietnam President’s “Friendship Medal” Wednesday
Pooja Sengupta, artistic director of Turongomi Repertory Dance Theatre, has been honored with the “Friendship Medal” from the President of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. “I’m delighted to inform you that the President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has awarded you the Friendship Medal for your contribution to promoting the traditional friendship relations between Vietnam and Bangladesh,” said Vietnamese Ambassador in Bangladesh Phan Viet Chien in a letter to Pooja Sengupta. The President of Viet Nam has authorized the Ambassador to hand over the friendship medal to Pooja and expressed high appreciation for her art work “Ho Chi Minh- A journey to explore the light within." The Embassy of Vietnam in Bangladesh is going to host an award giving ceremony on Wednesday at the Embassy Chancery. Young dance artist and cultural entrepreneur Pooja Sengupta is the only Bangladeshi to receive this prestigious award from the government of Vietnam this year, said a media release. Turongomi received the official letter from the Vietnam Embassy in Bangladesh to produce and stage a dance theatre on the life of President Ho Chi Minh in 2019. In September 5-6, 2019 the production premiered in Dhaka at the National Theatre of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Read more: Turongomi Repertory Dance Theatre to join Indonesia International Culture Festival 2022 The production received huge appreciation from the audience, critics, media, bureaucrats, diplomats and eminent artists of all genres. It is the first Bangladeshi production to be cited at the panorama of International Dance Council UNESCO, being mentioned as the first ever Biography Dance Theatre in the world. The 40 minutes Dance Theatre is a creative work conceptualized, scripted, designed, choreographed and directed by Pooja sengupta. In 2017, Turongomi was nominated and awarded at the very prestigious “International Dance Festival 2017” hosted by the government of Vietnam. Turongomi was selected for their popular production Anamika Sagorkonna. A team of 10 members attended the festival under the leadership of Pooja Sengupta. Since its inception in 2014, Turongomi has been working with the motto of establishing the signature style of Bangladeshi dance in the international arena and for achieving professionalism in the dance scenario of Bangladesh.
Vietnam keen to work for development of Sylhet tea industry
Vietnam has expressed interest, in working with Sylhet, for the development of tea industries of the two countries. Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien expressed his country’s interest while paying a courtesy call on Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury at Sylhet Nagar Bhaban on Wednesday. He also expressed eagerness to strengthen the commercial relationship between the two countries, particularly focusing on Sylhet, and improve the quality of Bangladesh’s and Vietnam’s tea industries. During the meeting, they also held a cordial discussion about working jointly in tourism, information technology, development of the civic amenities and in modern city management. SCC Councillor Mohammad Toufique Box, Syed Toufiqul Hadi, Foyful Amin and high officials concerned of the city corporation were present there. Also read: The Most Beautiful Tea Gardens in Bangladesh to visit
Bangladesh, Vietnam eye $2 billion trade in 2023
Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Pham Viet Chien has expressed optimism that the bilateral trade between the two countries will reach $2 billion mark in 2023 when the two countries will celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. In the first nine months of 2022 calendar year, the bilateral trade turnover between the two countries has reached $1.1 billion and it is expected to reach $1.5 billion by end of December. “If this trend keeps continuing, I hope that trade between the two countries will reach $2 billion in 2023,” Ambassador Chien told UNB in an interview, terming the economic relations between the two countries “robust”. Read more: Bangladesh-Vietnam direct flights may begin this year-end Responding to a question, the Vietnamese envoy said he has always encouraged Bangladeshi businesses to promote more Bangladeshi goods and services to the Vietnamese people so that Bangladesh can export more products to the Vietnam market. “I think there is a lot of potential to further boost the economic relations between the two countries - from manufacturing industry to agriculture,” he said seeking more cooperation with each other as economic cooperation is one of the most significant features of the bilateral relations between the two countries.
Bangladesh-Vietnam direct flights may begin this year-end
Vietnamese budget airline VietJet Air plans to start direct flights between Vietnam and Bangladesh on the Hanoi-Dhaka route from December 2022. Initially, the operation will start with chartered flights, but there is a plan to start regular flights in phases based on passenger demand, said Taslim Amin Shovon, director and CEO of InnoGlobe Travel and Tours Limited, the Bangladeshi partner of Victoria Tour, at an event in the capital on Monday (October 24, 2022). Besides, Vietnam's tour operator company Victoria Tour has also announced various travel packages, including visa processing, at an affordable cost for Bangladeshi tourists. Read 5 Sundarbans eco resorts to experience world’s largest mangrove forest "It takes a lot of time and money to travel from Bangladesh to Vietnam as the flights go via a third country. If direct flights are launched, it will be economical in all aspects," he added. He said If the direct flight starts, it will serve as a bridge between the people of the two countries as well as help expand the trade between Bangladesh and Vietnam. Victoria Tour MD Nong Van Chien Victor was present as special guest at the event. Read: Host cities for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022 "If direct communication is established by air, the relationship between the people of these two friendly countries will be further enhanced," Nong Van Chien said. Among others, Bangladesh Tourism Board member and former president of TOAB Md Rafeuzzam, ATAB secretary general Abdus salam Aref, Saimon group MD and ATAB vice-president Afsia Jannat Saleh were present at the event.
At least 32 dead in karaoke parlor fire in south Vietnam
The death toll from a fire at a karaoke parlor in southern Vietnam has risen to 32 and some parts of the building remain inaccessible more than a day later, state media reported. The fire that began late Tuesday trapped workers and customers inside the multi-story venue in Thuan An city in Binh Duong province, state media said. The fire was brought under control quickly but smoldered into the next day. Vietnam News Agency reported 32 deaths from the blaze as of late Wednesday and at least one karaoke room and one storage room have not been accessed because the temperature remained high. Read: 6 die in crash of Vietnam-era helicopter in West Virginia Some people were injured from asphyxiation and others suffered broken limbs when they jumped from upper floors to try to escape the fire, reports said. Firefighters using ladders from their trucks managed to rescue others. President Nguyen Xuan Phuc extended his condolences to families of the victims and asked government officials to support the families and quickly find the cause of the blaze. The preliminary finding was that it was caused by an electrical short circuit and started on the second or third floor. Enforcement of safety standards at entertainment venues in many parts of Southeast Asia is sometimes lax and believed to contribute to multiple deaths in case of fires. Police in Thailand said that a pub in the eastern province of Chonburi was presenting live entertainment without a license when a fire broke out in early August, trapping many people inside because exits were blocked or locked. Read:Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Kerry to visit Greece, Indonesia, Vietnam The toll from that fire has climbed to 23 dead, 13 of them on the night of the blaze and 10 in the month since then. Many had serious burns over most of their bodies, which are extremely difficult to guard against deadly infections. At least five other victims are believed to still be on ventilators.