Cambodia FM Hor Namhong visits Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 4 (VNA) -- Cambodian Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hor Namhong began an official visit to Viet Nam today, Feb. 4.

The visit, made at the invitation of Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien, aims to discuss measures to boost friendship and comprehensive coooperation between the two countries.

Measures to implement 2001 socio-economic plan

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA)-- Reality had proved the orientations for renovation correct and they must be continued in order to raise the leading role, working capacity and efficiency of the central and local governments, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai said in Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon, Feb. 3.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the closing session of a three-day Cabinet meeting to discuss measures for implementing the 2001 socio-economic plan.

NA Chairman launches tree-planting festival in Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA) -- National Assembly Chairman Nong Duc Manh launched this year's tree-planting festival in Ha Noi's outlying district of Gia Lam in morning, Feb. 3.

Chairman Manh said that the yearly tree planting festival, initiated by President Ho Chi Minh in 1960, had become a fine tradition. He hoped that all people throughout the country in general, and the district in particular, would take part in the festival.

The tree-planting festival began in Ha Noi Feb. 1.

Halong city to become a tourism hub

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA) -- A Government decision will make Ha Long city in the northern border province of Quang Ninh a tourism, transport and commercial hub for the northern region with the maintaining its status as the major supplier of coal to the entire country.

Average yearly economic growth of between 16 and 17 percent and a yearly USD 2,000 per capita share of Gross Domestic Product from now to 2010 are part of the plans for the city.

Paper industry in Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA) -- Economists forecast that Viet Nam's yearly paper consumption will surge by an average of 10.4 percent to meet the growing demand of about 80-million people between now and 2010.

They say the country will need 870,000 tonnes of paper by 2005 and 1,250,000 tonnes by 2010 making it an ideal market for investors.

The economists quote a Government report saying that it will boost the paper industry in an effort to make it a key economic sector in the next ten years.

Life expectancy in Vietnam expands to 80 in future

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's average life expectancy is likely to increase from 66 at present to 80 years by 2050, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) forecasts.

The number of elderly people in Viet Nam has increased remarkably over the past five years: From 1.2 million to almost six million now, accounting for 7.5 percent of the nation's population - a rate higher than that of other developing countries.

New composite planks for flood-prone areas

Ha Noi, Feb. 3 (VNA) -- Scientists from the Ho Chi Minh City Materials Sub-institute of the National Natural Science and Technology Centre have successfully produced composite planks from waste materials.

These planks will be used to build houses in flood-prone areas, especially the Mekong delta because of their durability in water.

Production of one sq.m. of composite plank is estimated to cost between VND 30,000-35,000.

A plan for mass production of the planks has been approved.--

Cataract surgery for 100,000 people in this year


Ha Noi, Feb. 4 (VNA) -- Viet Nam plans to provide cataract surgery for 100,000 people this year.

The target was set at a workshop to discuss blindness prevention and ophthalmology in Vung Tau city, southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

The workshop, which drew 230 professors, doctors and ophthalmologists nationwide, prove a venue for surgeons to exchange their experiences in applying the most advanced technique in eye surgery and plan to prevent blindness in 2001 and the next five years.

Regulation for employment of HIV/AIDS carriers

Ha Noi, Feb. 4 (VNA) -- The Public Health and the Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Ministries have promulgated regulations listing occupations prohibited to HIV/AIDS carriers. They include medical services, cosmetic and orthopaedic surgery which involve employees in directly dealing with human blood and fluid.

But employers are not allowed to make employees in these occupations have HIV/AIDS tests and they are obliged to arrange suitable work for, or retrain, HIV/AIDS infected workers whose test results must be kept confidential.

Excerpts from draft report to Congress VIIII: Great Unity

(Take 4 of 4)

Ha Noi, Feb. 2 (VNA) --

VIII. Bringing into Play the Strength of All-people Great Unity

Exercising great unity among different ethnic and religious groups, classes, strata, backgrounds, sexes, ages in all parts of the country, party members and non-party people, working and retired people and all members of the Vietnamese nation whether they reside at home or abroad.