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Afternoon briefing on February 19

Hanoi: The following is a brief review of the day's events as reported by the Vietnam News Agency. -Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) consider expanding the coverage of the visa exemption policy. This is part of his recently issued Directive No. 06/CT-TTg, which urges the implementation of some focal tasks after the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.Read full text - Ship 20 of Naval Region 3's Brigade 172 arrived in the Indian port city of Visakhapatnam on February 18 to participate in the 12th Multilateral Naval Exercise 2024 (MILAN 2024), according to the Quan doi Nhan dan newspaper. Themed 'Camaraderie, Cohesion, Collaboration', the exercise will take place in Visakhapatnam from February 19 to 27. It comprises harbour and sea phases.Read full text -The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) began its first trading session following the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival with a gong-beating ceremony on February 19, the 10th day of the lunar year. In his remarks, Deput y Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi noted with pleasure achievements in the domestic stock market and the HoSE in particular last year, saying despite global and regional economic uncertainties, the Vietnamese stock market still experienced growth in terms of index, liquidity, and capitalisation.Read full text -Airlines in the country served more than 1.5 million passengers, including 748,600 international and 762,400 domestic, during the recent Lunar New Year 2024 from February 8-14, the Vietnam Aviation Administration (VAA) has reported. Air passengers and cargo during the period expanded by 11% year on year, it said, adding that although the domestic market saw a downward trend of 13.2%, the international market flourished at 54%.Read full text -Some potential investors are exploring investment chances in central Da Nang city, and its Hi-Tech Park and Industrial Zones Authority (DHPIZA) hopes that 50% of those FDI businesses will invest in the local semiconductor industry this year. Nearly 260 million USD in investment was poured into the Da Nang Hi-Tech Park in 2023, the DHPIZA said, noting that many challenges are predicted for 2024 and beyond, but it hopes the firms who are planning to invest in the city and learning about the local market will make decisions this or next year.Read full text -The Hai Duong provincial People's Committee on February 19 held a ceremony to grant investment registration certificates to eight investors who committed over 2.2 trillion VND (89.65 million USD) in nine projects in the province. The ceremony is the first of its kind that the committee held this year. Four of the investors are foreign.Read full text -The Hoa Binh Construction Group announced on February 19 that it has won bidding packages to develop five social housing projects worth 72 million USD in Kenya. Invested by the Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development, the projects aim to provide accommodation for the police and military forces, and students of the Technical University of Ken ya.Read full text -The ancient city of Hoi An in the central province of Quang Nam has been named among the world's top 25 Honeymoon Destinations of 2024 on Tripadvisor 2023 Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Awards. According to Nguyen Thanh Hong, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Tripadvisor's rankings are based on reviews from tourists over the past 12 months. Source: Vietnam News Agency