The country therefore ranks 88th in the list of a total of 227 territories and countries worldwide in 2023, with a Vietnamese passport holder able to visit 55 nations without applying for a visa, or just possessing an e-visa or visa-on-arrival, reported Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
This is an improvement on the last ranking released last year which saw the Vietnamese passport rank 92nd globally according to Henley Passport Index.
Elsewhere, Japan’s passport remains the most powerful passport in the world as its citizens can enter 193 destinations around the world without requiring a visa, followed by the Republic of Korea and Singapore with 192 destinations.
The remaining eight positions in the list of top 10 most powerful passports went to Germany and Spain with 190 destinations; Finland, Italy, and Luxembourg with 189 destinations; Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, and Sweden with 188; France, Ireland, Portugal, and the UK with 187; Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United States, and Czech Republic with 186; Australia, Canada, Greece, and Malta with 185; Hungary, Poland with 184; as well as Lithuania and Slovakia with 183.
According to the Henley Passport Index, global travel has reached equivalent to 75% of pre-pandemic levels, with these figures based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Countries sat the bottom of the ranking including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Nepal, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The Henley Passport Index is a ranking by the Global Citizenship & Residency Consulting firm Henley & Partners which is based in London.
Statistics are compiled based on 199 passports and 227 global destinations, with the list being updated every quarter. The assessment is based on proprietary data which has been provided by the IATA since 2006.
Japan’s Tokyu Corporation pours 1.2 billion USD in Vietnam’s urban projects
A leader of southern province of Binh Duong has hailed the effective investment of Tokyu Corporation of Japan in urban development in the province and suggested the corporation also invest in transport infrastructure, said the Vietnam News Agency.
|Delegates at the event (Photo: VNA)
At a working session with Tokyu representatives on January 10, Nguyen Van Loi, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said in the coming years, Binh Duong will give priority to developing infrastructure; especially transport projects that connect the province with other regions.
Tokyu Corporation set up a joint venture with Becamex IDC Corp in 2012, which has invested 1.2 billion USD so far in an urban development scheme. Some projects in the scheme have been completed and put into use, such as Sora Garden Apartment Buildings, Viet Hoa International School and Hikari Commercial Zone.
Loi stressed that Binh Duong is one of the leading provinces in the country in terms of socio-economic development and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
The province attracted over 3 billion USD in FDI in 2022, ranking second nationwide in terms of FDI attraction, after Ho Chi Minh City.
There are 341 Japanese projects in the locality with a total registered capital of over 5.8 billion USD. They are mainly in the production of electronic components, electronic circuits and chips, automobile assembly, iron and steel, supporting industries and commercial services.
The Binh Duong leader also said the province is drawing investment into projects that use advanced and environmentally-friendly technologies that are less labour intensive with higher added value.
Vietnam emerging as RoK’s major importer of powdered milk
Vietnam is emerging as a major importer of powdered milk from the Republic of Korea (RoK) that is facing low birth rate.
Specifically, the RoK exported 15.85 million USD worth of powdered milk to Vietnam as of the last November, or 17% of its total shipment of this product, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Data from the Korean Customs Service showed that the RoK earned 95.86 million USD from the export of powdered milk during January-November. Notably, its shipment to Vietnam soared to 19.54 million USD in 2021 from 7.58 million USD in 2016. It is estimated that its powdered milk export revenue will surpass 100 million USD this year, including over 20 million USD from Vietnam for the first time.
Lotte Confectionery, which merged with Lotte Food in July 2022, is expanding its formula milk business in Vietnam with such brands as Nubone, Lotte Kid A and Grand Noble that debuted in 2019.
Thanks to increased marketing via television and social media, the company's export to Vietnam doubled in 2022 from a year ago.
Korean dairy manufacturer Namyang Dairy Products is also stepping up the export of powdered milk such as Imperial XO and maintaining its reputation in Vietnam.
Vietnamese team comes first at Southeast Asian Fencing Championship
Local athletes bagged a total of eight golds, six silvers, and five bronzes to top the medal tally at the Southeast Asian Fencing Championship which was recently held in Malaysia, said Radio the Voice of Vietnam.
The Philippines’ team came second with two golds, two silvers, and three bronzes, whilst third position went to Malaysia with one gold, one silver, and seven bronze medals.
The tournament saw strong performances put in by female fencers from the nation, including Phung Khanh Linh who won the first gold medal in the women's sabre, Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong who earnt a silver in the women's foil, and Pham Thi Huyen who claimed a bronze in the women's sabre.
Elsewhere, multi-time SEA Games champions Vu Thanh An who was dismissed from the national team after fighting with a teammate in October, was recalled to the team for the event and was able to win a gold medal for the nation.
The tournament is considered as a pre-32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 32) event, with Vietnam sending 47 athletes to compete in all categories for both individuals and teams.
This year, the Vietnamese national fencing team is aiming to gain at least three gold medals at SEA Games 32, with the regional event scheduled to take place in Cambodia in May./.