United Nations headquarters in New York (Photo: VNA)

Major Nguyen Phuc Dong from the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations has been recruited to work as a training officer at the UN Headquarters, reported VOV.

Addressing the decision handover ceremony, Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien noted Major Dong’s recruitment to work at the UN Headquarters will help elevate Vietnam’s image and position internationally.

He expressed his belief that Major Dong will fulfil his duty in his new position, and garner more experience to support Vietnamese teams in their endeavor to take part in UN peacekeeping missions in future.

Major Dong is the third Vietnamese officer who has been recruited to work at the UN Headquarters.

First electric bus VinBus hits the road in Vietnam

The design of VinBus vehicles is eye catching due to their green colour. The bus uses electricity as opposed to fuels to protect the environment and the health of the wider community, reported VOV.

The use of the electric buses will ultimately serve to improve public transport services, while significantly contributing to reducing air pollution that frequently reaches alarming levels in major Vietnamese cities.

Each of the new buses will be equipped with modern technology in a bid to improve safety and provide convenient services for passengers on board.

Some of the vehicle’s highlights include an Artificial Intelligence (AI) camera that is capable of monitoring the driver’s behaviour, WiFi connections for all passengers, a location tracking device, an in-vehicle surveillance system, along with a fleet management system.

VinBus has a battery capacity of 281 kWh and is capable of travelling up to 260km at maximum. The battery is fully charged in only two hours at VinBus’ 150kW fast charging station system, using the world's leading charging technology provided by StarCharge.

VinBus Transport Service Co., Ltd. was established in 2019 by Vingroup, the country’s largest private conglomerate.

VinBus operates completely under a non-profit model in order to contribute to the construction of a civilised and modern public transport system, thereby reducing air and noise pollution in the country’s major cities.

FDI firms hold lion’s share of footwear exports

Foreign direct investment (FDI) firms, rather than the domestic ones, are able to fully tap the production shift of large brands, according to industry insiders, reported VNA.

Footwear shipments in the first quarter tops 4.74 billion USD. (Photo: VNA)

Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that footwear shipments in the first quarter surged 13.5 percent year-on-year to 4.74 billion USD.

Vice President of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association Phan Thi Thanh Xuan said however, that the sector’s growth did not reflect the sector’s health situation as 80 percent of the export turnover was contributed by foreign players. She added only a small number of domestic firms are capable of manufacturing for large brands like Nike and Adidas, with stable orders.

Small companies, which do not have advanced production technologies, have been fraught with difficulties.

Chairman of Hanoi Rubber Joint Stock Company Pham Hong Viet said that most local footwear firms have suffered order shortage, increasing material prices, and rising transportation costs, which eat into their profit.

Nevertheless, Xuan believed in a bounce back of the footwear sector in the second quarter, as stable orders from major brands show signs of a recovery in consumption demand.

Experts agree that domestic firms need to capitalise on the preferential treatments brought by new-generation free trade deals such as the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The main hurdle for local firms is the rule on origin of the materials.

“Opportunities from FTAs are huge. However, if local firms fail to meet requirements in materials, sustainable development, technologies and human resources, they will be out of the playground”, Xuan stressed./.