Measures to boost exports revenue to 19,2 billion USD

Ha Noi, Feb. 9 (VNA) -- Trade Minister Vu Khoan announced measures to boost export turnover to USD 19.2 billion this year at a meeting with the representatives of 29 northern-provinces import-export enterprises today, Feb. 9.

He said his ministry had prepared to draft plan to stabilise import-exports for 2001-2005 that would open a legal corridor for import-exports, shorten the list of prohibited commodities, lessen sectorial management and gradually remove domestic protection.

Vietnam Protestant Church adopted a landmark new charter

Feb. 9 (VNA) -- The General Council of the Viet Nam Protestant Church (VPC) adopted a landmark new charter in Feb. 9, after two days of sitting at a congress held in Ho Chi Minh City.

The new charter, which consists of 10 chapter and 79 articles, is based on the principle "Living the Gospel amidst the nation". It aims to provide church dignitaries and believers guidances about religious practice and social activities conforming to the nation's Constitution and laws.

Red Cross Association grants aid to disavantaged people

Ha Noi, Feb. 8 (VNA)-- The Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) has granted VND 100 million (roughly USD 7,000) to disadvantaged people in remote areas of the four central highlands provinces.

Gia Lai and Dac Lac provinces received VND 30 million each while Kon Tum and Lam Dong provinces, VND 20 million each, to help local ethnic minority people in reducing poverty.

British MPs visit Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 8 (VNA) -- Ten parliamentarians from Britain's Parliament's Committee for International Development are on a Feb. 5-10 visit to Viet Nam to inspect Viet Nam's socio-economic situation and British aid activities in the country.

On Feb. 8, the parliamentarians were received by Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly's Committee for External Relations Do Van Tai.

Do Van Tai thanked them for Britian's help to Viet Nam, especially non-refundable aid.

Gen. Secretary Le Kha Phieu's meeting with Singaporean President

Ha Noi, Feb. 8 (VNA) -- Viet Nam Communist Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu has reiterated that Viet Nam's policy towards Singapore and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is unchanged and is intended to boost peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world.

The General Secretary was speaking to visiting Singaporean President S.R. Nathan in Ha Noi on Feb. 8.

Security returns to nornal in Central Highlands

Ha Noi, Feb. 8 (VNA) -- Security and social order has been restored in the Central-Highlands provinces of Gia Lai and Dac Lac, report resident Viet Nam News Agency, VNA, correspondents.

The correspondents say that the restoration of order in Pleiku and Buon Ma Thuot and some other places of the two provinces had been necessary after residents were given misleading information about the arrest of two minority people.

Chinese Defence Minister visits Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 8 (VNA) -- Chinese Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Chi Haotian, his wife and several officers of the Chinese army arrived in Ha Noi on Feb. 8 morning, beginning an official visit to Viet Nam.

The visit is being made at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Pham Van Tra.

Protestant general Council holds Congress

Feb. 8 (VNA) -- The General Council of the Viet Nam Protestant Church in the south opened its first congress in Ho Chi Minh City today, Feb. 8.

It was attended by 482 dignitaries and believers and 278 guests.

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