VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi and IRNA Executive Director Mohammad Khodadi (right) (Source: VNA)
Seoul (VNA) - A Vietnam News Agency (VNA) delegation led by General Director Nguyen Duc Loi attended the 39th meeting of the Executive Board of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agency (OANA) that opened in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK) on November 16.

In his opening remarks, President and CEO of Yonhap News Agency Park No-hwang, said news agencies, along with newspapers and broadcasting companies, have faced challenges from newly emerging media outlets. Now is the time for news agencies to actively think and try to change themselves for survival.

Cooperation among news agencies in this region will be an important seed for the continuous and stable development of the region in the upcoming Asia-Pacific era, he stated.

VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi presented a brief account of Vietnam’s digital communications landscape, citing that Internet users make up 44 percent, mobile phone subscriptions account for 140 percent and social media accounts are equivalent to 21 percent of a 91 million population and the figures are on the rise.

Commenting that the trend presents both opportunities and challenges to Vietnam’s media sector and VNA in particular, he said VNA has trained its correspondent staff on skills to handle information on mobile devices as well as developed software and new information processing systems for its clientele.

While improving services quality, the VNA has published news in Vietnamese and English languages on several social media networking, including Facebook – the most popular in Vietnam. In the near future, news items on French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and ethnic minority languages will follow suit and user-friendly applications will debut.

On the first day of the meeting, participants adopted the minutes of the 38th meeting held in Kuala Lumpur early this year and OANA’s financial statement.

They ​named Yonhap as the winner of the newly-introduced OANA Award for Excellence in News Agency Quality and adopted the petition for OANA membership by Russia’s Rossiya Segodnya.

The 40th meeting is slated for next March in Bahrain.

During his stay, the VNA General Director met the Yonhap President and CEO to review progress of bilateral cooperation over the past time and outline their joint tasks for the future.

Both sides agreed to establish an exclusive cooperation framework and support the advertising of joint projects in covering news and popularising images in each country.

Park thanked VNA for its effective and active support to Yonhap and its resident staff over the past time, adding that Yonhap plans to send one more correspondent to Vietnam in the near future, given that the two countries’ ties are going extensive.

Within the framework of the meeting, VNA General Director and Executive Director of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Mohammad Khodadi signed an agreement on bilateral information exchange, under which both sides will exchange visits, offer training in journalism skills and providing necessary equipment.

As planned, the OANA meeting will continue on November 17 and adopt the OANA Seoul Declaration 2015.

On the occasion, Yonhap launched a display of 100 photos taken by 20 OANA members, including VNA, at its headquarters in Seoul from now until December 15.-VNA