Son Doong tops world's 10 greatest natural caves: Wonderlist

Wednesday, 05/10/2022 16:16
Son Doong cave in the central province of Quang Binh has recently topped the list of the 10 Greatest Natural Caves in the world by famous travel website Wonderlist, reported Vietnam News Agency.
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Son Doong cave (Photo: VNA) 

The site stated that it is the world’s largest cave, which was formed by the erosion of limestone underneath the mountains by river water.

“The cave hides a whole world inside it, with its river, jungle and climate. Some of the world’s tallest stalagmites are found here,” the website noted.

According to Wonderlist, the cave has a large calcite wall called The Great Wall of Vietnam, behind which abnormally large cave pearls the size of baseballs were found.

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Son Doong cave (Photo: VNA) 

Son Doong Cave was surveyed by the British Royal Cave Research Association (BRCA) in 2009. With a volume of 38.5 million cubic metres, the cave is the largest natural cave in the world.

On April 30, 2013, Son Doong was recognised as the largest cave in the world by the Guinness World Records. Since its milestone, it has become a symbol and brand of Vietnam’s tourism.

It has been voted and honoured by prestigious international travel magazines, such as the top 11 best tourist destinations around the world in 2019 by Telegraph, one of the five most desirable destinations of the world in 2019 by Lonely Planet, and one of the top destinations in 2022 by AFAR.

In addition to Son Doong, the nine other greatest natural caves in the world are Ice Cave near Mutnovsky Volcano (Russia), Caves of Algarve (Portugal), Marble Caves (Chile-Argentina), Antelope Canyon (American Southwest), Waitomo Glow-worm Caves (New Zealand), Cave of Swallows (Mexico), Caverns of Sonora (Texas, the US), Fingal’s Cave (Scotland) and Painted Cave (California in the US).

UOB upgrades 2022 growth forecast for Vietnam to 8.2%

Given Vietnam’s strong economic recovery in the third quarter, the Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has raised its forecast for the country’s GDP growth this year to 8.2%, from the previous prediction of 7%, reported Vietnam News Agency.

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 The Vietnamese economy expanded 13.7% in Q3 compared to the same period last year. (Illustrative photo: VNA)

The bank said the GDP expansion of 13.7% in Q3 is a record quarterly growth rate in Vietnam and surpassed the rate of 13.5% of India to become the highest in Asia this year.

The strong GDP rebound in Q3 was thanks to a record contraction of 6% in the same period last year, when the country had to impose social distancing to curb COVID-19 transmission. Meanwhile, the border reopening and easing of travel restrictions since the beginning of 2022 has helped fuel business activities since Q2, especially in the service sector.

Over the past three quarters, the country's GDP increased 8.8% year on year, compared to the growth of 6.4% in the first half.

In particular, the construction sector expanded 8.6% year on year during the nine months, manufacturing 10.7%, and services 10.6%. Recovery was particularly visible in the service sector, in which accommodation and food services rose 41.7% and entertainment services 14.5% thanks to relaxed restrictions and the return of foreign visitors, according to the UOB.

The strong GDP recovery in Q3 has created a prerequisite for vigorous growth in the entire 2022. Given the year-on-year expansion of 8.8% in the nine months, the UOB decided to upgrade its growth forecast for Vietnam this year to 8.2%, it said in a report.

However, it also expressed concern about the growth outlook for 2023, when the monetary policy strictly tightened by central banks is set to put pressure on the US and Europe - two main export markets that account for 41% of Vietnam's total exports.

The bank maintained the forecast for Vietnam next year at 6.6% based on an estimation that demand in the main markets will continue to slow down.

Seafood exports on course to beat US$10 billion target this year

Vietnam has earned US$8.5 billion from seafood exports during the past three quarters, up 38% year on year, and the seafood export value is likely to hit US$10 billion by the end of November, reported the Voice of Vietnam according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

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Seafood processors are expected to beat the US$10 billion export target this year as they earned US$8.5 billion from exports during the past three quarters. 

In September alone, seafood exports brought in more than US$850 million, a year-on-year rise of 36%. But this was the first time after seven months, monthly seafood exports fell to below US$900 million.

Seafood exports slowed down in September compared to the previous months due to mounting inflationary pressure in major markets that affected their import demand, said Le Hang, deputy director of VASEP.PRO Center under VASEP.

China topped the list of Vietnamese seafood consumers in September, spending US$153 million on imports, up 97% compared to the same period in 2021.

Seafood exports to the US decreased 11% in value (to US$140 million), while those to the EU and the Republic of Korea rose 31% and 19% respectively.

Among aquatic products, pangasius raked in US$161 million from export in September, up 97%. Despite falling import demand due to high inflation, Vietnamese pangasius fillets are affordable for ordinary consumers.

Overall in nine months, seafood exports to the EU exceeded US$1 billion, up 41% over the same period last year. But the US took the lead, importing nearly US$1.8 billion worth of seafood from Vietnam, up 22%.

Notably, seafood exports to markets of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) expanded 41% to hit nearly US$2.2 billion in value.

Seafood exports to China recorded the highest growth of 76% at US$1.35 billion in the past three quarters of the year.

Although China is an unpredictable market, this is still the target market of Vietnamese seafood processors in the remaining months of the year, said Le Hang, the VASEP official.

According to the official, businesses are taking advantage of China’s increasing demand plus its geographical location, especially in the context that transportation costs and congestion are still major problems of global trade.

With impressive growth of 38% over nine months, Vietnam’s seafood exports are likely to hit the US$10 billion mark by the end of November, meeting the set target by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Hang.

25 Apple’s partners have factories set up in Vietnam

The number of Apple manufacturing partners setting up their factories in Vietnam has increased to 25 at present, four more than the 2020 figure, the tech giant said to the Voice of Vietnam in its list of supply partners for the fiscal year 2021.

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The Apple report released the list of 180 companies, accounting for 98% of the firm’s direct costs for materials, production, and assembly worldwide. Of the total, 25 of its manufacturing partners have established factories in Vietnam.

Specifically, there are several familiar Apple manufacturing partners to feature in the list, including Foxconn, Luxshare Precision, or component suppliers Samsung, LG Display, and Intel.

During the fiscal year 2021, the tech giant added five new partners with factories in Vietnam, and at the same time eliminated Foster Electric which had factories in Binh Duong and Da Nang.

The list also added Luxshare Precision's factory at the Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in the central province of Nghe An which has been in operation since 2020. Previously, Luxshare had manufactured Apple devices in the northern province of Bac Giang.

JP Morgan’s recent report outlined that Vietnam is on the pathway to developing into an important manufacturing base for Apple, supplying 65% of AirPods, 5% of MacBooks, 20% of iPads, and Apple Watches by 2025.

The move was considered a step forward for Vietnam in the field of manufacturing, contributing to maintaining the global supply chain, said Japanese business news outlet Nikkei Asia./.

Compiled by BTA

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