The Ministry of Health is considering licensing Moderna vaccine of the US. (Photo: Reuters)

The National Advisory Council in charge of granting drug circulation registration numbers approved the two new vaccines and submitted the proposal to the Ministry of Health for consideration at their meeting on February 25.

If the proposal is green-lighted, Vietnam will have three licensed vaccines, namely AstraZeneca of the UK, Moderna of the US and Generium of Russia.

Vietnam needs at least 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate its people this year. However, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has said Vietnam is likely to get 90 million doses this year.

Besides 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that the ministry has reached agreements with AstraZeneca and COVAX, it is negotiating to import 30 million doses of Pfizer vaccine of the US.

The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine numbering more than 117,000 doses arrived in Vietnam on February 24.

The Ministry of Health is scheduled to kick-start a vaccination campaign in early March, with priority given to frontline healthcare workers.

Trade surplus nears 3 billion USD

Exports in the first half of February continued to gain remarkable growth, helping Vietnam maintain a trade surplus of nearly 3 billion USD. 

Vietnam earned 9.94 billion USD from exports in the first half of February. (Photo: haiquanonline.com.vn)

Statistics of the General Department of Customs on February 22 showed that in the first 15 days of this month, the country earned 9.94 billion USD from exports, a slight increase of nearly 2.5% year on year.

During the period, Vietnam saw 4 groups of export commodities bagging more than 1 billion USD, including: phones and components; computers, telephone products and components; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts; and textiles.

As of February 15, Vietnam’s export turnover reached 38.46 billion USD, a sharp rise of nearly 26.9% year on year, equivalent to more than 10 billion USD.

Conversely, during the first 15 days of February, import turnover decreased compared to the same period last year. Specifically, Vietnam’s imports were valued at 9.24 billion USD, down about 500 million USD.

Two groups of goods with import turnover of billions of USD were computers, mobile phones and spare parts; and machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts.

However, from the beginning of the year, Vietnam’s total import turnover still increased sharply to reach 35.7 billion USD, an increase of more than 7 billion USD year on year, equivalent to nearly 25.3%.

The country’s export and import turnover totalled more than 74 billion USD, of which Vietnam witnessed a trade surplus of 2.76 billion USD./.

Da Nang issues policies to draw MICE tourist groups

The Da Nang Tourism Department said that it will pilot policies to support MICE tourist groups coming to the city in 2021.

A MICE delegation visits Da Nang in January 2021

Accordingly, many attractive supporting policies will be applied, such as reception, communications, souvenir gifts; assistance for facilities (discounts from 10% -40% of facilities for meeting rooms, halls, price of accommodation, sound and light at specialized venues); and free support and tickets discount at tourist sites, preferential costs for transportation and guides.

For MICE delegations of more than 1,000 people, leaders of the Da Nang People’s Committee will directly welcome or have a thank-you letter to the representative of the delegation and a car will be arranged.

Delegations from 500 to nearly 1,000 people will receive reception of representatives of the Department of Tourism at the airport, while delegations from 100 to nearly 500 people will be welcomed by leaders of the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Center at the airport.

According to the Department of Tourism, besides quality and unique tourist destinations, other reasons making the central coastal city become popular for MICE delegations are high quality service and facilities for world-class conferences, accommodating up to 2000 guests (for in-house events)./.

BTA