BBC World News program to feature Vietnam

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 Vinh Bao, a 96-year-old teacher of the zither, teaches BBC journalist Justin Rowlatt in an episode of BBC World News' Vietnam Direct / PHOTO COURTESY OF TUOI TRE

Vietnam and its transformation from a war-traumatized country to a "one of the most dynamic societies" in Asia will be featured on the upcoming season of a BBC World News program.

The episodes of Vietnam Direct, the new season of the Country Direct program, will air from August 24, the channel has recently announced.

Between August 19-23, reports on the country that cover stories and interviews with people who shape the country's business world will also be presented on the channel's regular news programs, it said.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday, Nguyen Van Tinh, head of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's International Cooperation Department, said the director of BBC Asia Pacific is meeting with the ministry on a project to promote the country on BBC channels.

He said they have yet to sign any agreement.

Therefore, the upcoming programs on BBC World News play a more meaningful role in promoting the new image of Vietnam as an "open, active and friendly" country, he said.

According to Tinh, BBC journalists have spent a long time learning about Vietnam with "objectiveness" and "good will" to produce the programs.

In one of Vietnam Direct's highlights, a BBC journalist visits the central city of Da Nang, which is on its way to "escape the horrors of the Vietnam War and re-invent itself as a sustainable 21st-century financial and tech powerhouse," BBC World News said.

Titled One Square Mile Da Nang, the episode covers a story about local families who have lived with the world's highest concentration of Agent Orange for two generations, a Vietnamese-US project to clean up the poison, and meetings with city leaders.

In another episode, named Working Lives, a BBC journalist meets five Vietnamese workers from across the country's income scale from a recent graduate desperately seeking hi-tech jobs, to a CEO of dairy foods giant Vinamilk.

Meanwhile, the episode Fast Track features discoveries of a war-ear bunker under a major hotel in Hanoi, the art of noodle cuisine in the famous ancient town of Hoi An, and other tourist delights in the country.

The episode Click explores its "hi-tech start-up culture" in Ho Chi Minh City, as the country seeks to develop a bigger hi-tech sector to compete with other countries. A BBC journalist also learns about the technology used to improve scooter and motorbike performance and keep the machines safe from theft in Vietnam, where motorbikes are an important means of transport for millions of people.

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