Belgium writes off most of Vietnam's debt

Ha Noi, Dec. 7 (VNA) -- Viet Nam and Belgium have signed an agreement to write off most of Viet Nam's debt to the European country and for Belgium's financial assistance to projects in Viet Nam.

Signatories at the signing ceremony in Ha Noi on Dec. 7 were Deputy Finance Minister Pham Van Trong and Belgian Ambassador to Viet Nam Philippe Dartois.

Belgium will write off 75 percent of Viet Nam's debt worth USD 21.8 million. The remainder-equal to USD 7.28 million - will be transferred into Vietnamese dong for Belgium-funded projects between 2001-2003 as part of a bilateral cooperation development programme.

The main focus of the Belgian government's assistance programme is education, public health, hunger eradication and poverty reduction, agricultural and rural development, and administrative reform.--