|Yellow flowers make Hanoi more vibrant in spring
A: First on our show today, we’d like to welcome a new listener from India, Mohammed Waheed. In his correspondence to VOV this week, he wrote: “Hello! This is the first time I am writing to Voice of Vietnam, English service to express my pleasure and happiness. I started listening to the website program recently. I like listening to the VOV WORLD service program which I find interesting and informative with good coverage.”
B: Thanks a lot, Mr. Waheed for writing to VOV. We’ll add you to the list of VOV’s regular listeners and send you a program schedule and frequency list. We hope to continue to receive your feedback on our program.
A: This week, Shyam Sundar Choudhary, Peter and many other listeners asked about visa policy for foreign visitors to Vietnam since Vietnam fully reopened to international visitors via air, road, rail, and sea on March 15.
| Hanoi targets to welcome 10-12 million visitors in 2022, including 1.2-2 million foreigners
B: Vietnam has simplified visa regulations and improved travel connections and tourism services. Entry visas are now waived for foreign nationals from 13 nations. Specifically, the waiver is applicable to citizens from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Russia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus. They will be allowed stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa regardless of their passport type and entry purpose.
A: Foreigners entering Vietnam are no longer subject to automatic quarantine. They only need to show a negative result from a recent SARS-CoV2 quick test or PCR test, fill out a health declaration form, or install a PC-COVID app on their smartphone.
B: As of March 17, Vietnam had reached an agreement on the mutual recognition of “vaccine passports” with 17 countries, including the US, the UK, Japan, Australia, Belarus, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Maldives, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Singapore, Saint Lucia, and the Republic of Korea.
A: Holders of “vaccine passports” from these countries and Vietnam are entitled to the same medical requirements as locally vaccinated people. The recognition includes the exemption of procedures for consular authentication/legalization when using these papers in the countries of destination.
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B: Vietnam has temporarily recognized COVID-19 vaccination certificate forms from 79 countries and territories.
A: A “vaccine passport” is a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or/and a COVID-19 recovery certificate. The “vaccine passport” is used as proof of a person’s vaccination and recovery history and does not replace other exit and entry papers such as passports, visas, international travel documents, laissez-passers, temporary and permanent residence cards, and visa exemption certificates.
B: A foreign “vaccine passport” is viewed as valid and can be used directly in Vietnam’s territory if it is officially or temporarily recognized by the Vietnamese Government.
A: In the first quarter of this year, the number of foreign tourists to the country reached nearly 91,000, a year-on-year rise of 89 percent. Among them, visitors arriving by air accounted for 90 percent of the total international arrivals to Vietnam.
B: This week, VOVWorld received nearly 400 emails and letters from listeners of 34 countries and territories.
|Sunflowers bloom in Da Lat from May to June and from November to December. The best time to visit a sunflower garden is 8am - 10am or 3pm - 5pm.
A: Among many questions that the listeners asked VOV this week was a question about Vietnam’s insurance market.
B: Vietnam’s insurance market has grown substantially in recent years parallel to the country’s rapid economic development. Prior to the 1990s, this segment consisted of only non-life businesses by the state-owned insurance group Bao Viet. It was only in 1995 that life insurance was available. Due to Vietnam’s aging population and increasing disposable income, people have become more interested in healthcare and insurance products of all kinds.
A: Vietnam now has 76 insurance businesses, of which there are 31 non-life insurers, 19 life insurers, two reinsurance businesses, 24 insurance intermediate firms and a branch of a foreign non-life insurer.
B: Vietnam’s total insurance premium revenue this year is estimated at more than 110 million USD, up 18 per cent compared to last year, according to the Department of the Insurance Supervisory Authority.
A: Last year, Vietnam’s insurance market achieved impressive results despite COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts. Total insurance premium revenue was 9.4 billion USD, representing 16 per cent year-on-year increase. Insurers paid 2.2 billion USD, up 1.7 per cent.
A: The life insurance sector in Vietnam is expected to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24 per cent between 2020 and 2025.
B: According to GlobalData’s Global Insurance Database, Vietnam's life insurance industry is forecast to grow from 5.6 billion USD in 2020 to 16.3 billion USD in 2025, in terms of gross written premiums (GWP). The industry is expected to maintain an annual growth rate exceeding 20 per cent, driven by increased awareness and digital transformation in the industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A: Insurance enterprises' investment into the economy stood at 25 billion USD, an increase of 22 per cent from the previous year.
B: That’s a brief look at Vietnam’s insurance market. Next, we will read some comments from other listeners. Antonio Argolo Silva Neto of Brazil wrote: “I always want to tune in to radio to listen to songs and news bulletins on the Voice of Vietnam. VOV programs have brought listeners with lot of information and beautiful traditional songs.”
A: Claudio Galaz of Chile wrote: “ I’m very intersted in economics news and realize that how your country is developing each day through your programs.”
B: Jannaran of Thailand wrote: “The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has eased COVID-19 measures and restrictions on foreign visitors to fully open after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic. This is a good news for anyone planning to visit Vietnam. I hope I will visit Vietnam again. I visited HCM City several years ago.”
A: Many listeners this week shared their interest in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games to be held in Vietnam in May and asked about Vietnam’s preparation for the biggest regional sporting event.
Hanoi held 31-day countdown to SEA Games on April 11
B: Vietnam is now finalizing preparations for SEA Games. Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai signed a decision approving the addition of nearly 20 million USD to the organisation budget of the Games.
A: The Youth Union of Hanoi will recruit up to 3,000 young volunteers to support the Games. Fourteen hospitals and 16 medical centers will provide healthcare and COVID-19 prevention and control services at 11 hotels and 15 competition venues in Hanoi during the Games.
B: The renovation of My Dinh National Stadium, which is to host football and track and field, has been fundamentally completed while the Water Sports Stadium is also being renovated to meet international standards, ready to host the Games.
A: The northern province of Quang Ninh is speeding up preparations as Quang Ninh will host seven out of 40 sports in the Games, including volleyball and women’s football. To date, the province has fundamentally arranged accommodation facilities with more than 3,000 rooms for organizers and sport delegations. A 5,000-seat gymnasium which will host indoor volleyball matches has been upgraded.
B: The northern port city of Hai Phong has been promptly finalizing preparations as the host city of rowing and canoeing events. Some 100 volunteers, who are from local universities, have been recruited.
A: Hanoi and its neighboring localities are continuing to upgrade the remaining infrastructure and facilities to get ready for the Games.
B: SEA Games 31, themed “For a Stronger South East Asia”, will run in Hanoi and 11 neighboring localities from May 12 to 23. Featuring 40 sports with 526 events, it is expect to attract around 10,000 participants. The biennial event was initially slated for late 2021 but delayed due to the pandemic.
A: In this week’s Letter Box, we have been talking about Vietnam’s visa policy, its recognition of vaccine passports, insurance market, and final preparations for the Southeast Asian Games. We’d like to thank you all for listening. We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVWorld, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re invited to visit us online at vovworld.vn, where you can hear both live and recorded programs.
B: Check out our VOV Media App, available on both the IOS and Android platform to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of vovworld.vn. Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye.