The Hanoitimes - As the world is struggling with unprecedented crisis from the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam has emerged as one of the most successful stories by putting the deathly virus under control and boosting strong economic growth. Hanoitimes selected Vietnam's top 8 economic events in 2020, the most successful year of Vietnam over the past five years. The country is among handful countries in the world delivering a positive growth amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. 1. Among world’s fastest growing economies Data: GSO. Chart: Ngoc Thuy. Vietnam’s GDP in 2020 grows at an impressive pace of 2.91%, the lowest in a decade but among the world’s highest and the only economy in the Southeast Asia with a positive economic growth. “As the Covid-19 situations remains complicated around the world, such a positive economic growth could be seen as a major achievement of Vietnam,” stated the General Statistics Office. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s top 8 economic events in 2020
Initiatives digital transformation
SINGAPORE: Five mobile service providers will start rolling out mobile plans with “larger data bundles at a lower cost” for seniors from Monday (Jun 29), while another new initiative will provide lower-income seniors with subsidised smartphones and data plans. Announced by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the newly formed SG Digital Office (SDO) in a joint release, these initiatives are part of the Seniors Go Digital programme which was launched last month with the aim to raise the digital skills of 100,000 seniors by the end of this year. Singtel, M1, StarHub, Circles.Life and TPG will start rolling out the customised mobile plans for seniors progressively from Monday, the press release said. There will be variety of price plans and service offerings from these operators, it added. “These special plans, available to all seniors, offer larger data bundles at a lower cost, to give seniors the confidence to enjoy the benefits that digital services bring.” … [Read more...] about Wider variety of mobile plans and financial assistance for seniors to help them go digital
PARIS: Rue de Rivoli, a boulevard running through the heart of Paris, has been developed in fits and starts. Napoleon Bonaparte initiated construction in 1802, after years of planning and debate, but work stalled following the emperor’s abdication in 1814. The boulevard remained in limbo until another military strongman, Napoleon III, completed the project in the 1850s. The next century, construction began again – this time, to accommodate cars. But this past spring, Rue de Rivoli experienced its fastest transformation yet. With Paris traffic subdued by a COVID-19 lockdown, Mayor Anne Hidalgo decided on Apr 30 to close the nearly two-mile-long road to cars, in order to create more space for pedestrians and bicyclists. READ: Commentary: Banning bicycles from footpaths won’t make poor cycling habits disappear READ: Commentary: Giving up petrol cars is a lot more difficult for parents Workers repainted the road and transformed a major artery in central Paris – home … [Read more...] about Commentary: Bike lanes and housing in the CBD? Here’s how COVID-19 could transform cities
SINGAPORE: China is already number one in the world for mobile payment penetration, with 790 million people expected to be using such payments this year. Chinese consumers logged more than 60.5 billion mobile payment transactions in 2018, with spending at 277.4 trillion yuan (US$39 trillion) - a huge leap for what was once a mostly cash economy. A government-backed digital currency, however, is expected to take things to another level. Beijing has already begun trials of its digital currency electronic payment (DCEP). If successful, it could transform the international financial system, some analysts said. The trials aim to cover a broad spectrum of use cases, ranging from retail to transport and salary payment. The digital currency is being piloted in four Chinese cities – Shenzhen, Suzhou, Xiong’an and Chengdu. According to Ms Shirley Yu, Asia fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, the digital yuan was used to pay up to half of government workers' travel expenses in … [Read more...] about Why is China’s yuan going digital?
SINGAPORE - Despite the pandemic, the transformation of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) into a new-generation defence force by 2040 remains on track, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Monday (March 1). The delivery of new hardware such as helicopters and fighter jets is also still on schedule, along with the launch of new facilities and initiatives to sharpen the SAF's ability to meet emerging threats, Dr Ng said during the debate on the budget of the Ministry of Defence (Mindef). For instance, the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) upgraded F-16 fighter jets are expected to be rolled out in the coming months, and its earlier-acquired H225M and CH-47F multi-role helicopters will arrive this year to replace the older Super Pumas and Chinooks respectively. "We remain on track to receiving four F-35 Joint Strike Fighters around 2026 and for the RSAF to start basing training in Guam from 2029 onwards," he added. But some key plans have been delayed, such as the completion … [Read more...] about Budget debate: Transformation to next-gen SAF on track despite Covid-19, says Ng Eng Hen