☕ Afternoon briefing on March 14 hinh anh 1

Hanoi, (VNA) – The following is a brief review of the day’s events as reported by the Vietnam News Agency on March 14. 

- President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio, his spouse, and the country’s high-ranking delegation arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 14 afternoon, starting a seven-day official visit to Vietnam.

An official welcome ceremony for the Sierra Leone leader will be held at the Presidential Palace on March 15. Read full story

- The National Assembly (NA)'s Standing Committee has urged the Government to early issue a master plan on COVID-19 prevention and control for 2022-2023 to deal with many urgent issues such as COVID-19 test kit prices, the opening of tourism sector and the teaching activities amid the rising infection number. 
☕ Afternoon briefing on March 14 hinh anh 2An overview of the working session (Photo: VNA)
The committee's members made the call after listening to a report of the Ombudsman Committee summing up requests and opinions from voters across the countries, including those related to COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the time to come, at a meeting on March 14. Read full story

- The Government has passed a draft resolution on the environmental protection tax rates on gasoline, oil and lubricants, which will be submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee for approval on March 14.

Under the draft, the Ministry of Finance proposes cutting the tax rates for gasoline by 2,000 VND (0.088 USD) per litre; diesel, fuel oil, and lubricant by 1,000 VND per litre; grease by 1,000 VND per kg; and kerosene by 700 VND per litre. Read full story

-Some 83.3 percent of the 500 fastest-growing companies in Vietnam (FAST500) are optimistic about the outlook and growth opportunities of the domestic market this year, given that the economy is on course to recover to the pre-pandemic level, according a recent survey conducted by Vietnam Report. Read full story

- Vietnam Electricity (EVN)’s Northern Power Corporation (EVNNPC) has retained its long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating at “BB” with a positive outlook as issued by Fitch Ratings.

According to Fitch Ratings, the standalone credit profile of EVNNPC is supported by its dominant market position in electricity distribution in northern Vietnam and its stable and diversified customer base of over 10 million, which is the largest of EVN's five distribution companies. Read full story

-The Hoa Ban Festival has returned to the northwestern province of Dien Bien this year, featuring a series of cultural performances themed “Beautiful land of bauhinia”.

☕ Afternoon briefing on March 14 hinh anh 3A folk cultural performance in the opening of Hoa Ban Festival in Dien Bien Phu City on March 13. (Photo: VNA)
The annual festival, named after the region’s signature flower "hoa ban" or bauhinia, features unique cultural life in the north and northwestern region, home to about 19 ethnic minorities including Thai and Mong people. Read full story/.