Vietnam sees sharp increase in foreign arrivals in first quarter

Wednesday, 29/03/2023 16:06
Vietnam welcomed more than 2.69 million foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2023, 29.7 times higher than that of the same period last year, reported Vietnam News Agency based on statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Foreigners stroll along a beach in the central coastal city of Da Nang. (Photo: VNA)

Most of the foreign visitors, 89.8%, came to Vietnam by air, 9% by road, and 1.2% by sea.

The office estimated revenue from accommodation and catering services in the three months to hit 161 trillion VND (6.85 billion USD). Meanwhile, thanks to exciting cultural and tourism activities in the first months of the year across localities, travel businesses earned about 6.8 trillion VND, a 2.2-fold increase from last year.

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This year, the tourism sector has set a target of serving 110 million tourists, including some 8 million foreign holidaymakers, and raking in approximately 650 trillion VND (27.67 billion USD) in revenue.

Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said given that Chinese tourists have returned to Vietnam and the strongest visa policy ever will soon be approved, the number of international visitors to the country will surely increase.

All tourism businesses expect the figure to surpass the set targets, he said.

Vietnam posts 3.32% GDP growth in Q1

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) has grown about 3.32% year on year in the first quarter of 2023, reported Vietnam News Agency according to statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The Vietnamese economy expanded about 3.32% in Q1 of 2023 compared to the same period last year. (Photo: VNA)

The expansion is only higher than the 3.21% recorded in Q1 of 2020 during the 2011 - 2023 period, the GSO told a press conference on March 29.

In particular, the agro-forestry-fishery sector expanded 2.52% and contributed 8.85% to the GDP growth. Meanwhile, industry and construction contracted 0.4%, leading to a 4.76% decline in the growth, and the service sector increased 6.79% to contribute to 95.91% of the overall expansion.

In the agro-forestry-fishery sector, agriculture saw a year-on-year increase of 2.43% in added value, forestry 3.66%, and fisheries 2.68%.

The added value of construction dropped 0.82% in Q1, the sharpest fall in the first three months of the years since 2011, while that of construction increased 1.95%, only higher than the 0.28% and 1.41% recorded in Q1 of 2011 and 2012 during 2011 - 2023.

The service sector has clearly shown recovery as a result of consumption stimulation policies, the economic reopening since March 15 last year, and overseas tourism promotion, GSO General Director Nguyen Thi Huong said.

Between January and March, the agro-forestry-fishery sector made up 11.66% of the economy, industry and construction 35.47%, the service sector 43.65%, and taxes on goods (excluding subsidies) 9.22%.

Among the 63 provinces and centrally-run cities, 58 posted growth in gross regional domestic product (GRDP) while five saw declines, the GSO noted.

Huong held that amid global economic uncertainties, the positive socio-economic results in Q1 have proved the effectiveness of management and governance policies of the Government, ministries, sectors, and localities.

15 short stories by Vietnamese writer published in RoK

A collection of 15 short stories written by local author Nguyen Huy Thiep have been introduced to Korean readers by Wisdom Publishing House, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

15 short stories by writer Nguyen Huy Thiep are published in RoK. (Photo courtesy of Nha Nam publishing house)

The collection spans a total of 462 pages, featuring his most popular stories, including “Tuong ve huu” (Retired Army General), “Nhung ngon gio Hua Tat” (Winds in Hua Tat village), "Muoi Cua Rung" (Salt From Forest), and “Khong co vua” (No King).

Each of the pieces was translated by Kim Joo Young under the auspices of the Daesan Foundation in the Republic of Korea.

Nguyen Huy Thiep (1950-2021) hailed form the northern province of Thai Nguyen and is notable for being one of the country’s most talented short story writers since 1975.

Throughout his 50-year career, Thiep wrote a total of 50 short stories, 10 scripts, four novels, and plenty of literary criticism. His works have since been translated into many languages, such as French, English, German, Italian, and Dutch.

He was awarded the French Literature and Arts Medal back in 2007 and the Premio Nonino prize by Italian authorities in 2008.

Four Japanese banks to provide US$300 million for Vietnamese renewable energy

Four Japanese banks are set to co-finance a total of US$300 million to provide credit lines to power producers using renewable energy in Vietnam as part of efforts to help the growing country in its decarbonising process, reported the Voice of Vietnam.

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According to details given by Japan’s news service Nikkei Asia, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Mizuho Bank, Joyo Bank, and Shiga Bank will provide the relevant funds through Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), one of the nation's major banks.

Vietcombank will in turn provide subleasing loans, with the majority of capital going to local businesses. By indirectly utilising Vietcombank's credit information, the Japanese banks anticipate that high-risk loans can be provided in a swift manner.

The country has set a goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. As electricity consumption rapidly increases amid continued economic growth, demand is therefore growing for alternative power sources to replace coal-fired power generation, a means of energy production which accounts for approximately 50% of total power generation. Expanding the introduction of renewable energy is key to reaching the target.

In January, JBIC issued a joint statement related to the Vietnam Climate Finance Framework, which aims to promote Vietnamese decarbonization in partnership with the United States and Australian government financial institutions and others. This co-financing by the four Japanese banks represents JBIC's first project under this framework./.

Compiled by BTA