Vietnam ranks third in straw mushroom exports



Ha Noi, Nov. 20 (VNA) -- Viet Nam exported 40,000 tonnes of straw mushrooms a year and became the world's third largest exporter.

Its largest market is Japan, which consumed 40 percent of the total export output. It was followed by Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the United States and Thailand.

This year's gross production, estimated at 100,000 tonnes has failed to meet demand for domestic consumption and exports.

Vietnam accelerates disbursement of ODA capital



Ha Noi, Nov. 21 (VNA) -- The whole country disbursed USD 1.25 billion from ODA capital sources in the first nine months of 2000, raising the total of disbursed ODA capital from 1993 to USD 7.6 billion.

ODA disbursement has seen a remarkable progress in recent years. If disbursed ODA capital was USD 2.775 billion in the 1993-1996 period or only 33 percent of the pledged capital, the rate of disbursed ODA capital has been raised to 60 percent since 1997 with USD 1 billion in 1997, USD 1.24 billion in 1998 and USD 1.35 billion in 1999.

"A Sandy life" wins special prize at France int'l film festival



Nov. 24 (VNA) -- Vietnamese feature film "Doi Cat" (A Sandy Life) won the special prize of the International Film Festival held in Amiens, France, from Nov. 10-19.

Among 21 nominees, including 11 feature films and 10 documentaries, the organizing board awarded the gold prize for a Spanish film and the special prize for "Doi Cat".

This is the first time Viet Nam attended the festival, during which 300 feature and documentary films were screened.

Vietnam calls for more assistance to malnutrition control program


Ha Noi, Nov. 22 (VNA) -- The Ministry of Public Health has called on international donors to contribute 40 percent to its 2001-2005 child malnutrition programme worth VND 311.36 billion (USD 22.24 million).

The ministry elaborated that domestic sources could only meet nearly 60 percent of the programme's financial demands, therefore international donors were called upon to make up the remainder.

Vietnam attend informal ASEAN foreign and economic meetings


Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Trade Minister Vu Khoan attended the informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the informal ASEAN Economic Minister (AEM) Meeting, respectively, in Singapore on Nov. 23.

At the informal AMM, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Foreign Ministers of other ASEAN member countries heard the ASEAN's Eminent Persons Group (EPG) reporting on ASEAN Vision 2020 and the contents of the ASEAN+Japan Consultation Meeting on the Ha Noi Plan of Action.

Viet Nam's tourism sector attracted 5 billion foreign investment

Ha Noi, Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's tourism sector has so far attracted 157 foreign-invested projects with a combined capital of more than USD 5 billion, according to the Tourism Administration.

Most of projects have set up hotel and travel services.

Japan has emerged as the biggest investor in the sector, with 20 hotel projects having a combined capital of USD 434 million. The runner-up is the Republic of Korea, with five projects capitalized at USD 192 million.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai attends informal summit of ASEAN


Ha Noi, Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Prime Minister Phan Van Khai arrived in Singapore today, Nov. 23, to attend the fourth informal summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien, Trade Minister Vu Khoan, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Tam Chien, Deputy Finance Minister Le Thi Bang Tam, and Deputy Director of the Government Office Van Trong Ly.

Foreign organizations provide humanitarian aid to Vietnam



Nov. 20 (VNA) -- * World Vision Pledges USD 181,000 to Da Nang City

The World Vision has pledged USD 181,000 to projects on eyes care, street children and household economic development in the central city of Da Nang from 2001-2003.

The project on community-based eyes care will receive USD 25,000 while the project to help street children will be provided with USD 6,000. The USD 150,000 project to develop household economy will be carried out in four mountainous communes in Hoa Vang district.

Vietnam supports increase in membership of UN Security Council



Nov. 17 (VNA) -- Viet Nam strongly supports the increase in both permanent and non-permanent categories of the membership of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Chau, Vietnamese Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has said.

Mr. Chau expressed Viet Nam's support for the reform and expansion of the Security Council at the 55th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on Nov. 16.

Australia - funded medical boat to help flood areas




Ha Noi, Nov. 15 (VNA) -- A medical boat built with fund from the Australian Government was launched in the Mekong delta province of Dong Thap today, Nov. 15, after three months of building.

The boat, built at a cost of VND 684 million, including USD 34,000 (equivalent to VND 479 million) in aid from the Australian Government, will provide medical services to more than 100,000 people in remote areas of Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds).

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