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Vietnam news in brief - April 21

Read the Hanoi Times for more updates about Vietnam.

Lang Son launches construction of highway to international border gates

A groundbreaking ceremony was held today (April 21) for the construction of a 60-kilometer highway to the Huu Nghi (Friendship) and Chi Lang international border gates in the northern province of Lang Son. The project, worth VND11 trillion (US$432.5 million), is the last section of the North-South Expressway project that has already been commissioned.

As a public-private partnership (PPP) project, the Government and provincial authorities of Lang Son will finance 45% of the required capital.

Vietnam becomes largest rice seller to Singapore: Vietnam Trade Office

 Rice for export at Trung An Hi-Tech Agriculture JSC in Cantho. Photo: Vu Sinh/The Hanoi Times

Vietnam has overtaken Thailand and India to become the largest rice exporter to Singapore in Q1/2024, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Singapore. At the end of the first quarter, Vietnam sold $36.15 million worth of rice products to Singapore, up 80.5% year-on-year and accounting for 32% of the Singapore market.

Vietnam, Thailand and India together accounted for 91.2% of Singapore's rice market share. In the first quarter, Singapore imported a total of $113 million worth of rice products, a year-on-year increase of nearly 24%.

MBBank expects government approval to acquire weak bank

Military-owned lender MBBank expects to complete the acquisition of a distressed bank by the end of 2025, its annual general meeting heard this week. The proposal will be finalized and submitted to the State Bank of Vietnam and then to the Prime Minister for approval.

The name of the failing bank has not been disclosed, but its incurred loss is estimated at VND20 trillion ($786.5 million) and its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio is estimated at 47%.

VietJet Air to increase return flights from Phu Quoc to Seoul, Taipei 

Budget carrier VietJet Air VietJet Air will increase the number of return flights from Phu Quoc to South Korea's Seoul and China's Taipei by 14 flights per week.

Accordingly, VietJet will add three flights a week between Phu Quoc and Seoul starting June 13. The domestic carrier is also planning to launch an additional 11 flights between Phu Quoc and Taipei on July 1.

Hue Arts Festival Week begins on June 7

The 2024 Hue Arts Festival Week will be held from 7 to 12 June in Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province, with the theme "Cultural Heritage for Integration and Development". The week-long festival will feature both local and international artists who will provide the audience with high quality performances in both traditional and modern art genres.

The main events during the festival week include an opening ceremony on the night of June 7, a street culture festival, a light show and a beer fest.