Ong Lang beach on Phu Quoc island

As part of their article, Time suggests that travelers exploring Hanoi’s renowned Old Quarter can enjoy a renewed life there.

According to the magazine, the 1,000-year-old Vietnamese capital is in the process of embracing change, it is maintaining a strong sense of identity.

"Hanoi's incredible street-food culture is another source of fierce civic pride," Time notes.

The magazine goes on to suggest that visitors sample local delicacies such as Pho (noodles), the capital’s signature dish, at Bat Dan Restaurant in Hoan Kiem district, a location which has been serving the dish for more than 70 years.

Meanwhile, Time states that Ho Chi Minh City "tastes of Vietnam" and is notable for being a place where collection of famous restaurants converge.

It says Anan Restaurant, led by Vietnamese-¬American chef Peter Cuong Franklin, became the first venue in the country’s southern hub to earn a place among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

"Notable recent additions to the local dining scene include Monkey Gallery, where chef Viet Hong merges Vietnamese, French and Japanese techniques and flavors, and Esta, a modern Asian eatery with an ever changing, expansive menu that runs the gamut from smoked-eel pate to veal sweetbreads," notes Times.

Moreover, the US magazine also considers Phu Quoc island city to be an "idyllic paradise".

Widely known as the "jewel of Vietnam", the island has become one of the fastest-growing destinations throughout all of Southeast Asia in recent years as it attracted five million visitors in 2019, a 30% increase from the previous year.

Moving forward, the island is planning to welcome the return of vaccinated foreign tourists from this October.

The island boasts luxury beach resorts and modern entertainment complexes owned by conglomerate Vingroup.

Other Asian destinations to make the  list include Bangkok, Beijing, Malaysia's Desaru Coast, Dubai, the Republic of Korea's Gyeongju, Thailand's Khao Yai National Park, and Cambodia's Siem Reap.

Vietnam's footwear exports rake in USD11.27 billion

Vietnam's footwear exports brought home USD11.27 billion from the start of the year to July 15, a year-on-year surge of 28.36%, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

It was amongst key products of Vietnam posting the strongest growth in the period.

The US was the largest market of Vietnam’s footwear, with export turnover reaching USD4.14 billion by the end of June. Other major markets included the EU, China, Japan and Canada.

Besides footwear, four other export items raked in at least USD10 billion in the reviewed period.

Mobile phones and components took the lead with USD26.66 billion, followed by computers, electronic products and components with USD25.42 billion.

Export revenues of machines and devices hit USD18.4 billion while garment-textile products secured USD16.97 billion.

Since the start of 2021, Vietnam has earned USD171.22 billion from exports, up 28% against the same period last year.

Vietnam signs three COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer contracts

Vietnam has signed technology transfer contracts related to COVID-19 vaccines with partners from Russia, the US, and Japan, said Nguyen Ngo Quang, Deputy Director of the Health Ministry’s Department for Science, Technology and Training, on July 27, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Sputnik V vaccine tubes packaged at VABIOTECH (Photo: VNA)

Accordingly, one of the three was sealed between two Vietnamese companies - the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No.1 (VABIOTECH) and the International Progressive Joint Stock Company (AIC) - and Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi. VABIOTECH, a State-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Health, is one of the leading units in the field of research, manufacture and sale of vaccines and biological products for human use in the country.

Their deal targeted the transfer of the Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein, a baculovirus expression vector system, with the parties signing a confidentiality agreement to access vaccine and technology records.

Regarding the technology transfer project between the AIC and Shionogi, the Ministry of Health has signed a cooperation agreement. The ministry is preparing a plan to conduct the third phase of clinical trials in Vietnam (via the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology) and procedures for technology transfer (via VABIOTECH). It is expected that the vaccine will be completed and on the market in June 2022.

The second contract involving Russian Sputnik V vaccine was inked between VABIOTECH, DS-Bio, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, with the Vietnamese side being in charge of packaging the vaccine tubes from the semi-finished products.

VABIOTECH has sent its sample tubes to Russia for quality check. After related tests finished on August 10 as scheduled, Sputnik-V vaccine tubes would be produced under the contract at a volume of 5 million doses per month. It would start with 500,000 doses in August and later scale up to 100 million doses per year.

For technology transfer projects with US partners, the Ministry of Health has sent a group of experts to coordinate with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support relevant units in completing dossiers for clinical trials phase 1-2-3 according to a shortened process, with the research expected to start on August 1 and end in late December.

The transfer and the building of a vaccine factory in Vietnam will be completed in June 2022./.

Compiled by BTA