Indian Prime Minister winds up visit to Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- On Jan. 10 Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ended his official Viet Nam visit during which the two countries signed protocol extending their cultural cooperation programme to 2003, a memorandum of understanding for nuclear energy cooperation for peaceful purposes and a tourism agreement.

Viet Nam respects the result of election by Thai voters

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- Viet Nam respects the result of last week's election by Thai voters, said Ms. Phan Thuy Thanh, spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry.

Ms.Thanh was answering an AFP correspondent's question today, Jan. 10, about Viet Nam's reaction to the result of the Thai House of Representatives election.

Forest products processing to become active

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- The Forestry Corporation is set to develop the forest product processing industry into an economic spearhead in the coming years.

The corporation will not only invest in producing chipboard and furniture and processing forest products for domestic use and export but also develop tourism, machinery manufacture and other services.

The corporation plans to earn an export turnover of USD 100 million between 2001 and 2005.

Conference on quality and food safety of aquatic products

Ha Noi. Jan. 9 (VNA) -- The Fisheries Ministry held the third conference on quality and food safety of aquatic products in Ha Noi on Jan. 9.

Representatives from aquatic processing enterprises and relevant agencies nationwide reviewed their work between 1996 and 2000, and worked out a plan of action from now to 2005 to improve the competitiveness of Viet Nam's aquatic products in the world market.

General Secretary reiterates importance of Laos ties

Ha Noi, Jan. 9 (VNA) -- The Vietnamese Party, State and people would always attach importance to constantly consolidating and developing the loyal and pure Viet Nam-Laos relationship, Viet Nam Communist Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu said.

Vietnam Airline activities in 2000

Ha Noi, Jan. 9 (VNA) -- Vietnam Airlines - the national flag carrier - last year transported nearly three million passengers and more than 45,500 tonnes of cargo, a year-on-year rise of 11 percent and 15 percent respectively, an official of the Airlines said.

The official said Vietnam Airlines gained a share of about 40 percent of international air transport in the country and brought the rate of seat occupancy to 74.63 percent for the whole year. In addition, it provided supplies and services for about 14,540 flights operated by foreign airlines.

Vietnam - China border bridge opened to traffic

Ha Noi, Jan. 8 (VNA) -- Representatives of Viet Nam's Lao Cai province and China's Yunnan province cut ribbon to put Ho Kieu bridge into services on Jan. 8 after ten months of construction.

The 138-m long and 14-m wide bridge, spanning over the Nam Thi river and linking the Lao Cai international border gate and Hokou area of Yunnan province, was jointly designed and built by the Vietnamese and Chinese engineers with funds from the two governments.

Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee visits Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 8 (VNA) -- A State ceremony was held in the morning, Jan. 8, to welcome Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who arrived in Ha Noi on Jan. 7 to begin his four-day official visit to Viet Nam.

The Indian Prime Minister was welcomed by Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien, Science, Technology and Environment Minister Chu Tuan Nha, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Le Huy Ngo and Ha Noi People's Committee Chairman Hoang Van Nghien.

Vietnam forest coverage reaches 33,2 per cent

Ha Noi, Jan. 8 (VNA) -- Viet Nam now has 10,915,592 ha of forest or coverage of 33.2 percent, a national forests survey shows.

The country has replanted 1,491,394 ha, including more than 250,000 ha in 2000, the second year of its programme to plant 5 million ha of forest by 2010.

The Central Highlands has the largest forest acreage - 2,373,116 ha or coverage of 53.2 percent. The region has in recent years replanted 33,949 ha.

Temporary customs regulation on goods declaration procedure

Ha Noi, Jan. 9 (VNA) -- The General Department of Customs has issued a temporary regulation guiding importers and exporters to register a single declaration form of goods when going through customs procedure.

Under Decision No. 01/2001 QD-TCHQ issued on Jan. 3, 2001, subject to this new procedure are goods free or exempt from import and export duties, and goods with zero-percent duty rate.

The regulation takes effect 15 days after its signing and will be terminated when the Government changes policies on import-export management and taxes.--VNA