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Aug 23, 2023 / 14:54

Vietnam News Highlights for August 23, 2023

Check out the latest news around Vietnam.

Boi Khe Pagoda nominated as a special national heritage site

Boi Khe Pagoda in Hanoi's Thanh Oai District. Photo: Ho Ha/The Hanoi Times

Hanoi's Department of Culture and Sports will submit the Boi Khe Pagoda to the city's People's Committee for designation as a special national heritage site. Boi Khe Pagoda is a cultural and spiritual tourist attraction located within the Huong Pagoda Complex (My Duc District) and Duc Thanh Ca Temple (Ung Hoa District).

Cycle event to celebrate Hanoi's cultural heritage on September 1

Hundreds of Hanoi's cultural heritage enthusiasts, including women dressed in traditional Ao dai costumes, will cycle through the city's streets on September 1 to commemorate the 78th anniversary of the August Revolution and National Day on September 2. This is an initiative of the Vietnamese Temple Club to connect heritage.

Vietnam's highest viaduct opened for trial run

The Mong Sen Viaduct, the tallest of its kind in Vietnam, was opened to traffic for a trial run on August 22.

With a length of 612 meters and its highest pier rising 83 meters, the viaduct connects to the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, which links Hanoi to the northwestern province of Lao Cai, home to the tourist town of Sa Pa. It runs past a hydroelectric power plant and many of Sapa's rice terraces.

US museum to complete authentication of Vietnamese artifacts

The Denver Art Museum is researching to confirm the origin of artifacts before returning them to Vietnam, according to the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The museum has stored about 200 artifacts believed to be from Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.

In November 2022, Vietnam's National History Museum received ten artifacts from the US, including four Dong Son cultural objects and three stone alligator statues.

Technology company VinBigData announces large-scale language model

VinBigData JSC, a member of the Vingroup conglomerate, has launched a Vietnamese-based large language model, which will facilitate the development of generative AI solutions in Vietnam. With this achievement, VinBigData becomes the first Vietnamese company to successfully master the development of generative AI, promising the first made-in-Vietnam ChatGPT.

The company will use its large language model to create a wide range of generative AI products, such as chatbots, callbot, and virtual assistants, enabling users to search and gather information faster and better.

Thai financial tycoon in talks to acquire Home Credit

 A Kasikornbank's office in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Kasikornbank

Thailand-based Bank Kasikorn (KBank) is reportedly in talks to acquire Vietnamese consumer lender Home Credit for US$1 billion. If successful, it would be the second largest M&A deal in Vietnam's financial and stock market, after VPBank's US$1.5 billion stake sale to Japan's Sumitomo in March 2023.

KBank is working to become one of Vietnam's top 20 banks by total assets by 2027. The Thai bank now has nearly US$120 billion in assets, ranking second in Thailand after Bangkok Bank.

Businesses demand reduction of recycling costs for end-of-life products and packaging

Some 13 domestic business associations and the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) have urged the Vietnamese Government and its nine ministries to consider removing two major obstacles in the draft Fee for Recycling (Fs) of discarded products and packaging. The business associations claim that the draft Fs recycling cost norm, which was submitted to the Prime Minister on July 27, suggests unreasonably high Fs costs that will cause great difficulties for businesses.

Some Fs recycling cost norms in Vietnam are higher than the average Fs level of 14 Western European countries, the associations said.

Hanoi reclaims nearly 5.3 hectares of land from Bitexco project

Hanoi has asked Bitexco Group to return more than 5.3 hectares of land south of Ring Road No. 3 (The Manor Central Park) project by September 15. Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Trong Dong asked the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, in coordination with the Department of Planning and Investment, to carry out the reclamation, according to a document dated August 17.

In April 2011, Hanoi approved the project, which covered about 90 hectares with a total investment of about US$1.9 billion. However, most of the land has remained vacant, with no construction.

Long Thanh Airport to start operations in Q4 2026

Chairman of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), Lai Xuan Thanh, has pledged that the Long Thanh Airport project will be implemented on schedule, with Phase 1 expected to start operations in the fourth quarter of 2026. This commitment was made in response to a document from the Ministry of Planning and Investment requesting ACV to address the Hoa Lu Consortium's complaint that it was unfairly denied the bidding package for the project's passenger terminal.

On August 26, the main bidding packages for the Long Thanh Airport project (Dong Nai Province) and the T3 Terminal at Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) will be officially launched.