Vietnamese artists attend the campaign. (Photo: nhandan.com.vn)

Addressing the campaign, WHO Representative in Vietnam Kidong Park said every year, 8 million people died from tobacco use around the world.

In Vietnam, 15 million adults smoke while the number of passive smokers is 75 million.

Nearly 40,000 people die each year in the country from tobacco use along with about 6,000 casualties from secondhand smoking, the WHO official said, urging an end to “the deaths of these blameless victims” of passive smoking.

“WHO called upon you to begin this with implementing smoke-free restaurants and hotels, which include simple acts such as placing no smoking signs at visible areas of hotels and restaurants,” the WHO representative told restaurant and hotel owners.

Inspections from law enforcement units would surely result in a higher compliance rate, he added.

Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Health Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment and Director of the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund, said a smoke-free tourism environment is an effective way to realise people’s right to breathe clean air.

However, smoke-free measures in hotels and restaurants must be carried out more fully, as most owners are not paying due attention to anti-smoking regulations.

According to a 2020 study conducted by the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund, the rate of secondhand smoking in these establishments remains high – with 80 percent of customers exposed to smoking in restaurants, and 65 percent in hotels, the Vietnamese health official noted.

About 200 restaurants and hotels in the capital city are expected to join the campaign.

Vietnam’s industrial production expands 5.7% in first quarter

The index of industrial production (IIP) in the first quarter of this year was estimated to have risen 5.7% over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, reported Nhan Dan News.

Photo for illustration. (Source: baodautu.vn)

Manufacturing saw an expansion of 8%, electricity production and distribution expanded by 2.5% and water supply and waste treatment grew by 7.3%, while mining decreased by 8.2%.

A number of key industries also saw increases in their production index in the first quarter of this year including metal production, up 30.9%; beverage production, up 16.9%; electrical equipment manufacturing, up 12.5%; metal ore mining, up 12.5%; the production of electronic products, computers and optical products, up 12.3%; and others.

Several industries posted decreases in their production index including crude oil and natural gas production, down 13.7%; wood processing and wood products, down 3.5%; motorbike and motorcycle production, down 2%; production of coke coal and refined petroleum products, down 1.8%; and hard coal and lignite mining, down 0.1%.

In addition, the production of many key industrial products witnessed high increases in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous year including rolled steel, up 54%; phone components, up 47.9%; televisions of all kinds, up 30.9%; cars, up 17.7%; iron and crude steel, up 14.4%; beers of all kinds, up 12.1%; NPK mixed fertilizer, up 10.8%; and LPG gas, up 9.1%.

In March alone, the IIP rose by 22.1% over the previous month and by 3.9% over the same period in 2020.

China leads FDI inflow in Vietnamese wood industry

China tops the list of 14 countries who made investments into the Vietnamese wood industry, with a total of 23 projects throughout 2020, reported VOV News.

China emerges among 14 foreign investors in the Vietnamese wood industry. (Photo: nganhgo.vn)

According to information released in a recent report, direct foreign investment (FDI) increases in the local wood processing industry showed a sharp increase last year, with over 327.7 million USD being put into 63 new FDI projects in the industry nationwide.

Furthermore, 52 projects registered to increase additional capital of 193 million USD, while 122 others registered for capital contribution and share purchase, with a total value of 244.8 million USD

Out of a total of 63 newly-registered projects last year, China topped the list of the 14 foreign investors in the Vietnamese wood industry with 23 projects. Despite this, the amount of investment capital remained modest, with only approximately 2.27 million USD being poured into each FDI project, a year-on-year drop of 37%.

According to a report compiled by Forest Trends, and several local timber and forestry product associations, although the number of FDI enterprises operating in the wood industry only accounted for 18%, their exports made up 51% of the country's overall wood export turnover last year./.

BTA