Singaporean President begins visit to Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 7 (VNA) -- President S.R. Nathan begins today, Feb. 7, a five-day official visit to Viet Nam, the first by a Singaporean president since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1973.

The visit, also the President's first one abroad since his assuming office in August 1999, is aimed at expanding multiform cooperation between Viet Nam and Singapore.

The relationship between the two countries has blossomed especially since Viet Nam became a full member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995.

WTO regional workshop in Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Feb. 6 (VNA) -- Developing Asian countries had the chance to further understand the World Trade Organization's, WTO, regulations at a regional workshop that opened in Ha Noi on Feb. 6.
The workshop was opened by the Foreign Ministry and the WTO Secretariat.

Participants were officials from Central Asian and Asian countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Georgia.

The workshop will last till Feb. 9.--VNA

1,200 workers sign contracts to work abroad in January

Ha Noi, Feb. 6 (VNA) -- As many as 1,188 workers got contracts to work abroad in January, according to the Department for Labour Management with Foreign Countries.

Five hundred and ninety will work in the Republic of Korea (RoK), 530 in Taiwan, and 68 in Japan.

As many as 383 people will engage in electronic, engineering, garment and textiles and dyeing industries, while 126 others will work as housemaids.

Viet Nam plans to send 50,000 work-hands to work abroad this year.

50 Vietnamese ventures abroad

Ha Noi, Feb. 6 (VNA) -- Viet Nam now has 50 investment ventures in 17 countries and territories, including five joint oil and gas development projects between PetroVietnam and Lao, Mongolian, Indonesian and Malaysian partners, an Investment and Planning Ministry official said.

Viet Nam's overseas investment has boomed following a 1999 Government decree governing overseas investment by Viet Nam's entrepreneurs, the official told Dau Tu, Investment, newspaper. He explained that 24 of the 45 non-oil and gas ventures were licensed between 1999 and 2000.

Vietnam and Laos provinces build trade centres

Ha Noi, Feb. 6 (VNA) -- Building of a Hue-Savannakhet Trade Centre has started at the old Tha Muong market in Savannakhet town in Laos.
The centre, designed and built by Viet Nam central Thua Thien-Hue province's General Trading Company, will have two commercial and one entertainment areas.

Products manufactured by enterprises of Thua Thien-Hue and Savannakhat provinces will be on display at the centre, thus facilitating economic development and business operations in the two provinces.--VNA

Fourth session of Vietnam-CPC inter-gov. commission


Ha Noi, Feb. 5 (VNA) -- The fourth session of the Viet Nam-Cambodia Inter-Governmental Commission for Economic, Cultural, Scientific and Technological Cooperation was held in Ha Noi on Feb. 5.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Vietnamese Subcommission, Nguyen Dy Nien, and the Cambodian delegation by Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of the Cambodian Subcommission, Hor Namhong.

Rural and agricultural development plan in 2001

Ha Noi, Feb. 5 (VNA) -- Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Cong Tan has identified several ways to develop agriculture and rural areas this year.

He told a two-day conference to launch a plan for agriculture and rural development in 2001, which opened in Ho Chi Minh City on Feb. 5, that the Government must coordinate with the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, provincial People's Committees and enterprises in seeking markets and helping farmers sell all their farm produce, particularly to Russia and China.

Vietnam targets 19,2billion USD in export in 2001

Ha Noi, Feb. 5 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has set a total export turnover target of USD 19.2 billion for this year, or a year-on-year increase of 16 percent.

Relevant ministries and agencies, representatives as well as representatives of export-import enterprises from all southern provinces economic sectors conferred in Ho Chi Minh City today, Feb. 5, to discus how to accelerate export activities.

Cambodia's FM visit to boosts bilateral cooperation

Ha Noi, Feb. 5 (VNA) -- A visit to Viet Nam by Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong is intended to boost comprehensive bilateral cooperation between the two countries, said President Tran Duc Luong.

Development support fund for rural and mountainous areas

Ha Noi, Feb. 5 (VNA) -- The Government's Development Support Fund will mobilize VND 25,000 billion (USD 1.8 billion) for development credit to benefit rural and mountainous areas this year.

The fund is providing loans to 3,213 projects with a combined capital of VND 58,630 billion (USD 4.2 billion).

In 2000, the fund's debt balance posted a year-on-year increase of 52.6 percent to VND 9,400 billion (USD 671 million), and its disbursement rate, 81.4 percent - the highest rate over the past six years.