2,000 billion VND for mountain area development

Ha Noi, Feb. 13 (VNA) -- The Government has spent about VND 1,900 billion (USD 129 million) for socio-economic development in remote mountain communes during the past two years, reports the Committee for Ethnic Minorities and Mountainous Areas.

It says each commune received VND 700 million a year through various programmes, including Programme 135.

Vietnam pumps 100 millionth tonne of oil

Vietnam oil and gas industry pumps 100 millionth tonne of crude oil today, February 13.

The achievement is just in time to welcome the upcoming Ninth Party Congress. The event also marks the growth of Vietnam oil and gas industry and reaffirms the position of the industry in the region and in the world.

Life for minority people has improved with socio-economic growth

Feb. 12 (VNA) -- Life for the minority people of Central Highlands Dac Lac province has much improved during the past decade as a result of its remarkable achievements in every sector, but especially in the economic, social, educational and cultural areas.

Official statistics show that Dac Lac's Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth last year was 1.9 percent above 1995 and three times more than 1990.

Luang Prabang - Dien Bien Phu airlink opened

Ha Noi, Feb. 10 (VNA) -- An air route linking Luang Prabang, Laos, with Dien Bien Phu, Viet Nam, began with the arrival of a Lao aircraft carrying 30 passengers on Feb. 10.
It will be followed by three flights from Luang Prang to Dien Bien Phu and return every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Dien Bien Phu airport was upgraded and equipped with new facilities in preparation for international flights at a cost of about VND 4 billion and expansion of and the upgrading Dien Bien Phu terminal is to finish on Feb. 25.--VNA

Singaporean President wraps up visit to Vietnam

Ha Noi, Feb. 11 (VNA) -- Singapore's President S.R. Nathan and his wife and entourage left Ho Chi Minh City today, Feb. 11, concluding a five-day official friendship visit to Viet Nam.

The first high-tech agricultural zones to be built

Ha Noi, Feb. 11 (VNA) -- Two first-ever high-tech agricultural zones will be built in Viet Nam this year, says Deputy Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Nguyen Thien Luan.

The two zones would be located in Ba Vi district, northern Ha Tay province, and Hung Loc district, southern Dong Nai province. They would be completed within three years, Luan told Lao Dong newspaper and were expected to be followed by others.

Singapore's President left Ha Noi for Ho Chi Minh city

Ha Noi, Feb. 9 (VNA) -- Singapore's President S.R. Nathan, who began an official friendship visit to Viet Nam on Feb. 7, left Ha Noi morning, Feb. 9, for Ho Chi Minh City.

The President, his wife and entourage were given a farewell party at the Presidential Palace and seen off by President Tran Duc Luong and his wife, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem, Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien, Presidential Office Director Nguyen Canh Dinh, Ha Noi People's Committee Chairman Hoang Van Nghien and other senior officials.

Vietnam will build its own small satellites in the future

Ha Noi, Feb. 9 (VNA) -- Viet Nam will build its own small satellites in the next five or ten years.

A pre-feasibility study for the design of small satellites, weighing between 100 and 200 kg, has been done jointly since 1999 by scientists of the British Surrey Space Research Centre and the Viet Nam National Centre for Natural Science and Technology.

Purpose of the USD 20-million venture is to build small satellites for the monitoring of the country's natural resources and environment as well as forecast natural calamities.

Culture and information plans to 2005

Ha Noi, Feb. 9 (VNA) -- The Ministry of Culture and Information has made a plan to develop a traditional modern culture from now to 2005.

The sector plans to mobilise VND 5,000 billion (USD 357 million) from the State budget and between USD 2-3 million from non-refundable foreign aid and foreign direct investment.

Non-refundable foreign aid will be used to preserve historical sites, art and architectural works, art and ethnology museums, traditional craft villages, and train young musicians and dancers.

New oil and gas fields discovered

Ha Noi, Feb. 9 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has discovered new oil and natural gas reverves off its southwestern coast through 16 exploration contracts jointly conducted by PetroVietnam and its foreign partners last year, says PetroVietnam Director General Nguyen Xuan Nham.

At Lot 15.1, an oil well called Su Tu Den (Black Lion) has been found with an estimated capacity of about 12,600 barrels a day, while five natural gas reserves have been discovered at the country's southwestern continential shelf, Nham disclosed.