The country’s trade turnover during January-February topped some 95.81 billion USD,
a year-on-year surge of 25.4 percent. (Photo: VNA)

The country’s trade turnover during January-February topped some 95.81 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 25.4 percent. Of the total, exports amounted to 48.55 billion USD, a yearly hike of 23.2 percent, while imports were estimated at 47.26 billion USD, or 25.9 percent higher than the same time last year, reported VNA on February 28.

 Foreign-invested companies accounted for 76.4 percent, or 37.07 billion USD, of Vietnam’s total export turnover. Meanwhile, the domestic sector shipped abroad 11.48 billion USD worth of products.

There were nine commodities joining the billion-USD export club, including telephones and parts (9.3 billion USD, up 22.8 percent year-on-year); electronics, computers and parts (6.9 billion USD, up 27.3 percent); equipment, machines and parts (5.5 billion USD, up 72.6 percent); footwear (3.2 billion USD, up 15.4 percent); and wood and wooden products (2.4 billion USD, up 51 percent). They made up 73 percent of the country’s export turnover.

Vietnam also saw strong surge in shipments of several agricultural products, such as fruits and vegetables (610 million USD, rising 14.6 percent), rubber (516 million USD, increasing 109.7 percent), cashew (442 million USD, up 21.5 percent), and cassava (256 million USD, hiking 78.2 percent).

The US was Vietnam’s biggest importer as it splashed out 14.2 billion USD on Vietnamese products, or 38.2 percent higher than the amount it spent the same time last year. China came second with 8.5 billion USD, followed by the EU with 6.3 billion USD, ASEAN 4.2 billion USD, the Republic of Korea 3.4 billion USD, and Japan 3.2 billion USD.

Meanwhile, the country spent big (47.26 billion USD) on imports, with foreign-invested sector purchasing 31.64 billion USD worth of products from abroad for production, up 31.4 percent, while that of the domestic sector surged 16 percent to 15.62 billion USD.

In the two-month period, China was the largest exporter of Vietnam, with revenue estimated at 17.3 billion USD, up 85.7 percent year-on-year, followed by the Republic of Korea with 8.4 billion USD, ASEAN 5.6 billion USD, Japan 3.1 billion USD, EU 2.3 billion USD, and the US 2.1 billion USD.

In a bid to support local firms in promoting production and exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it will work to capitalise on opportunities from the signed free trade agreements to seek measures for market development. Additionally, it will keep close watch on the global market to identify key export products, while paying due heed to penning measures for market development.

Second COVID-19 vaccine to begin human testing in Vietnam

Covivac, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biology (Ivac), will be tested in healthy volunteers in Vietnam on March 3, Ivac has announced.

Covivac, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biology (Ivac)

Volunteers will be given two shots to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine.

VOV quoted Ivac director Duong Ngoc Thai that Covivac has proved to be safe and effective in experiment following pre-clinical studies in India.

The liquid vaccine, with or without adjuvants, is preservative-free, using the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vector vaccines expressing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Ivac got down to work on the project in May 2020 and after seven months it had successfully produced three batches on a large scale numbering between 50,000 – 100,000 doses each.

The vaccine has triggered a promising immune response and appeared safe in animals in pre-clinical experiments both locally and overseas.

Covivac can protect those injected against variant strains of SARS-CoV-2 from the United Kingdom and South Africa, said Dr. Thai, adding scientists are studying the efficacy of the vaccine against other strains.

The human clinical trial of the vaccine is to begin in March 2021 and is expected to be complete in October 2021.

The first phase of the testing campaign will be carried out at Hanoi Medical University, and the second phase at a medical centre in Vu Thu District, Thai Binh province.

Hanoi students to return to schools on March 2

According to Hanoi City People’s Committee, students in Hanoi are set to come back to school on March 2.

The date applies for students from kindergarten to high school levels, while colleges and centres for vocational training and continuing education will reopen a week later.

Photo for illustration (Source: tuoitre.vn)

Relevant agencies have been asked to exert efforts in ensuring safety for students when they resume going to schools, and enforce strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Schools are also requested to complete the curriculum in tandem with guidelines of the Ministry of Education and Training and prepare for the upcoming national high school and secondary school examinations.

Students in the city had to stay home and study online from February 2 when new cases of locally-transmitted cases of COVID-19 were reported in the city late January.

Hanoi had not detected new cases of COVID-19 for 11 consecutive days to February 26.

On February 28, the Ministry of Health confirmed 12 more locally transmitted coronavirus cases, all living in Hai Duong province, the epicenter of the country’s fresh coronavirus outbreak.

Most of the newly-detected patients tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus after coming into close contact with COVID-19 patients.

The virus has spread to all 12 cities and districts in Hai Duong province, with 665 cases confirmed, since it recurred a month ago./.

BTA