As of the end of 2020, the bank’s total credit balance stood at 226.19 trillion VND (9.86 billion USD), a year-on-year rise of 9.4 percent. (Photo: VNA)

As of the end of 2020, the bank’s total credit balance stood at 226.19 trillion VND (9.86 billion USD), a year-on-year rise of 9.4 percent.

Its loans have generated jobs for more than 361,000 labourers at home, and supported over 5,200 guest workers, along with nearly 44,600 disadvantaged students.

Around 200 businesses have accessed the loans to ensure wages for more than 8,500 employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The capital has also contributed to the building of 1.3 million water supply and hygiene facilities in rural areas, and thousands of houses for poor households, the bank said.

Its accumulative policy credit capital was 233.42 trillion VND at the end of 2020, up 21.53 trillion VND year-on-year.

Such localities as Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Dinh, Quang Ninh and Vinh Phuc have made outstanding performance in social policy credit activities that have significantly contributed to the implementation of policies, guidelines, targets and tasks of the Party and the State regarding sustainable poverty reduction, new-style rural area building, personnel development, and ensuring social welfare, political stability, and national defence and security.

Amidst the complex developments of the pandemic, the bank will continue to assist the poor and other social policy beneficiaries, it affirmed.

Hanoi to revitalize traditional Tet space in Old Quarter

A wide range of cultural activities will take place throughout Hanoi’s Old Quarter from February 6, or the 25th day of the 12th lunar month, as part of celebrations for the Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet, the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) has reported.

Illustrative photo (Source: VOV)

A traditional Tet space will be established in the heart of the capital, with the area gearing up to feature a Neu pole, folk singing, a street parade, and an Ao Dai, Vietnamese long dress, fashion show.

There will also be corner set up to show images of people making Chung cake, the traditional food of the festival, whilst also offering other typical Tet foods in order to worship ancestors.

The event will feature a special gala aimed at introducing music from the country’s three regions.

Kim Ngan Temple, Phung Hung street, and the Centre for the Old Quarter's Culture Exchange will provide the venues for various cultural activities over Tet.

This year marks the second time that the event has been held after the first took place in 2016.

According to VOV, the event is anticipated to draw the participation of heritage lovers from provinces such as Bac Lieu, Thua Thien-Hue, Thanh Hoa, and among others nationwide. The aim is to promote Hanoi’s cultural values to both Vietnam and the wider world.

Fruit and vegetable exports hit over 3.2 billion in 2020

Vietnam earned 3.26 billion USD from exporting fruit and vegetables in 2020, a year-on-year decline of 13 percent, Vietnam News Agency has reported based on statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Processing and packaging dragon fruits for export (Photo: VNA)

Exports were down because many items with high export value saw volumes fall sharply, such as dragon fruit, which accounts for about 36 percent of total export value but fell nearly 10 percent in volume, bananas (down 13 percent), durian (56 percent), lychee (22 percent), and watermelon (36 percent).

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (VINAFRUIT), attributed the result to declining imports from China, saying it imported 25 percent less fruit and vegetables than in 2019.

He noted, however, that exports to other countries still posted stable growth, such as Thailand (140 percent), the US and the Republic of Korea (RoK) (both 11 percent), and Japan (5 percent).

Fruit and vegetable exports were severely influenced by the development of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, Nguyen said.

According to MARD, Vietnam also spent 1.29 billion USD on importing fruit and vegetables last year, down 27.5 percent against 2019.

China, the US, and Australia are Vietnam’s largest providers, the ministry said./.

Compiled by BTA