Conservation fund to grant support to national parks

HA NOI — About 50 of Viet Nam’s national parks and nature reserves are to be provided with small grants and technical support for the protection of biodiversity in forests.

This is a new approach to the conservation of these areas in Viet Nam, initiated by the Viet Nam Conservation Fund (VCF) and supported with major grants from the Netherlands, through the Trust Fund for Forestry (TFF) and the Global Environment Facility.

Survey finds local enterprises growing but problems remain

 HA NOI — A three-year survey released yesterday found businesses operating in Viet Nam have, on the whole, demonstrated considerable growth.

The results were publicised in the capital during a meeting hosted by the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The survey followed State-owned enterprises (SOEs), non-State firms and foreign-invested companies, from 2002 to 2004 and was conducted by the GSO and World Bank.

Country encourages overseas science, technology exchange

HA NOI —Talented Vietnamese scientists and technicians have new opportunities to study abroad through a new plan created by the Vietnamese Government, to help speed up the nation’s modernisation process.

According to a Prime Ministerial decision made last week, around VND260 billion (US$16.4 million) of State money will be allocated every year to 400 Vietnamese people wanting to study in postgraduate science and technology courses overseas, between 2006-10.

TV viewers turn to cable

Ha Noi — The TV service market is very hot in major cities such as Ha Noi, HCM City and some central provinces.

In Ha Noi audiences can view domestic channels such as VTV1,2 and 3, Ha Noi TV, however they also have access to very different programmes provided by the Viet Nam cable TV (VCTV), Ha Noi cable TV (HCTV), digital TV (VTC and DTH), MMDS or VietnamNet TV.

But, for some this range of programmes is not enough, and quite a few people are using a disc illegally imported from China to watch foreign programmes.

Viet Nam vows to strive for nuclear weapons-free world

MEXICO CITY — Along with other peace-loving nations, Viet Nam is committed to striving for a world free from nuclear weapons, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Luong Minh told a Nuclear-Free Conference in Mexico City last week.

As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Disarmament Conference, the Southeast Asian nuclear weapon-free zone, and a non-nuclear weapon state, Viet Nam supports disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, he said.

VN agrees to protect intellectual property

On April 6, 2005, Viet Nam officially acceded to the Geneva Convention for the protection of producers of phonograms against unauthorized duplication. Viet Nam will be responsible for enforcing the provisions of the convention as of July 6, 2005.

Vietnam businesses paying better to keep key employees

Businesses in Vietnam are paying much more attractive salaries in a bid to attract qualified employees and keep key staff amid fierce competition for the business brain.
The major weapon companies in Vietnam use to prevent losing key employees and recruit new people is high salaries, said headhunting companies.

Currently, a foreign-invested company in the country is willing to pay about VND20.2 million, or nearly US$1,300, a month for an executive director, according to research by international investment bank Dragon Capital.

Vietnam hopeful to conclude WTO talks with more partners

Vietnam on Thursday said bilateral talks over the country’s bid to join the World Trade Organization last month yielded high hopes of concluding negotiations with six more partners within some more rounds.

From April 6 to 16, Vietnamese negotiators worked with their counterparts from Uruguay, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Turkey over the opening up of Vietnam’s goods and services market.

Overseas Vietnamese musician returns to homeland

The renowned overseas Vietnamese musician and composer Pham Duy will return to his homeland to live and spend the rest of his days.

On Sunday, Duy held a farewell party with family and friends at Nghe Si club in Santa Ana, California before leaving for Vietnam.

Duy said he would stay at Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Star Hotel on May 17.

At the party, the musician also announced that he had finished recording his latest song adapted from the poem “Tay Tien” (Go Westwards) by Quang Dung.

Oil giant courts Talisman

The state oil and gas firm PetroVietnam expects to sign a contract this month with Talisman, Canada’s largest independent oil and gas company, to explore oil and gas in block 15-2/01 in Cuu Long basin, off the southern coast of Vietnam.

In his report to Prime Minister Phan Van Khai last week, PetroVietnam’s president Tran Ngoc Canh said the deal would most likely be signed by the end of this month.

Four months ago, the prime minister approved the bidding results, which allowed PetroVietnam to go ahead with negotiations with Talisman.