Minimum wage to be increase from Jan. 1, 2001

Ha Noi, Dec. 19 (VNA) -- The minimum wage will be raised to VND 210,000 from the current VND 180,000 as from Jan. 1, 2001 for those receiving salaries and allowances from the State budget, according to Decree 72/2000/ND-CP issued by the Government on Dec. 15.

The rise in monthly benefits will be applied to pensioners and other social allowance beneficiaries as well as to both working and retired officials of the commune/ward and township level administration.

Vaccine and biological products company inaugurated

Ha Noi, Dec. 18 (VNA) -- Vaccines and Biological Products Company No 1 was inaugurated in Ha Noi on Dec. 18.

The company, with capital of VND 16 billion, USD 1.1
million, will make vaccines against encephalitis, hepatitis B, cholera and rabies. Its office has been built on the premises of the Central Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The company will make two million doses of encephalitis and hepatitis B vaccines and more than one million doses of cholera vaccine in its first year.

Vietnam's military attache office opens in Seoul

Dec.18 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's embassy in the Republic of Korea, RoK, opened its military attache office in Seoul 's Dec. 18.

The inauguration was marked by a reception hosted by Ambassador Nguyen Van Xuong, and attended by, among others, director of the RoK's national intelligence service (NIS), Lt. Gen. Hong Sun-ho.

Vietnam-ROK to promote military exchange

Ha Noi, Dec. 18 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's Defence Minister Pham Van Tra and his Republic of Korea, RoK, counterpart, Cho Seong Tae, have agreed to promote military exchange and co-operation between their countries.

Mr. Cho, who arrived in Ha Noi this morning, Dec. 18, for an official visit, briefed Viet Nam's Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam at a reception this afternoon about the results of his talks with Minister Tra soon after his arrival.

1,4 million jobs to be generated in 2001

Ha Noi, Dec. 18 (VNA) -- About 1.4 million jobs are expected to be created in 2001, says the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

It says the National Fund for Job Creation alone will help about 350,000 people find jobs and send 40,000-45,000 guest workers and experts abroad.

Symposium on VN's resistance wars & anti-war movement in Europe

Dec. 17 (VNA) -- A symposium titled "Resistance Wars of Viet Nam and Anti-war Movement in Northwestern Europe" was held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from Dec. 15 and 16.

The symposium was held by the 21st Century History Association and the History Institute of Utrecht University.

Many professors and doctors in history and politics from the U.S., the U.K., France and northwest European countries attended the event.

Construction of the Tien Son Industrial Zone

Ha Noi, Dec. 17 (VNA) -- Work on the construction of the Tien Son Industrial Zone in northern Bac Ninh province started today, Dec. 17.

Infrastructure construction of the 134 hectare project will cost VND 267.5 billion (about USD 18.6 million). The zone will have 4 areas specializing in producing traditional handicrafts, textile and garment; electronics assessories; construction material; and processed farm produce.

Denmark grants US 3.5 million to support farmers

Ha Noi, Dec. 17 (VNA) -- Denmark will provide a grant of USD 3.5 million to establish a fund to guarantee farmers' loans.

A framework agreement to this effect was signed in Ha Noi on Dec. 15 between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

340 foreign invested agricultural projects licensed

Ha Noi, Dec. 17 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has 340 foreign-direct-investment, FDI, agricultural projects worth USD 2,272 million.

Almost all the investment has been for cultivation, fisheries, livestock breeding and processing and has helped the restructuring of agriculture and the creation of rural jobs.

The investment has also helped the Vietnamese acquire management experience and modern skills and intergrate with the world economy.

Vietnam exports USD 200 million worth of tea in 2000

Ha Noi, Dec. 17 (VNA) -- Tea exports will earn Viet Nam an estimated USD 200 million this year.

The tea is sold in 30 countries - between 40 and 50 percent of it to the Middle East.

But markets have also been found in Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium and the United States.

As a result, between 1989-98 tea exports were 186,000 tonnes, including a record of 33,500 tonnes worth more than USD 50 million in 1998.