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

National Daily welcomes Indian Prime Minister visit to Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 8 (VNA) -- The national daily Nhan Dan has welcomed Indian Prime Minister A. B Vajpayee's official visit to Viet Nam, which starts today at the invitation of Viet Nam's Prime Minister Phan Van Khai.

In its editorial of Jan. 8, the newspaper says: "Indian PM Vajpayee's visit and the cooperative documents to be signed while he is here will create new chances for both countries to both expand and make their bilateral cooperation more efficient, especially in trade, investment, science and technology so as to match their potential."

Pharmaceutical sector in Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 7 (VNA) -- Viet Nam will invest more than USD 1,483 million to develop its pharmaceutical sector between 2001 and 2010.

Of this, USD 1,286 million will go to the pharmaceutical industry and USD 62.4 million will be used for pharmaceutical materials.

Mekong Delta proves its fertility

Ha Noi, Jan. 7 (VNA) -- The Mekong river delta is providing more than half of Viet Nam's total rice crop, helping ensure food security and increase rice exports.

The delta has earned more than USD 1 billion from exporting about 4.5 million tonnes of rice, or 2.1 times more than 1995, in the past four years, the agricultural ministry reports.

11th Plenum of Party Central Committee

Ha Noi, Jan. 6 (VNA) -- The Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV) Central Committee opened its 11th plenum in Ha Noi today, Jan. 6.

The conference was also attended by advisors to the Party Central Committee Do Muoi, Le Duc Anh, and Vo Van Kiet.

Vietnam increases investment in population program

Ha Noi, Jan. 6 (VNA) -- Viet Nam plans to invest VND 250 billion, USD 17.9 million, in its 2001 population programme, VND 25 billion more than the previous year in a bid to cut the birth rate by 0.05 percent.

The money will be used to disseminate information about population in the provinces where the birth rate is still high the northern mountainous provinces, the Central Highlands, central coastal provinces and poor and isolated areas.

Top ten cultural events of 2000 in Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 6 (VNA) -- Journalists and reporters of nearly 30 press sources and news agencies have chosen the 10 most memorable cultural events of 2000.

1. Celebrations of Viet Nam's Major Anniversaries

Traing job center for street children

Ha Noi, Jan. 6 (VNA) -- The Ha Noi Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (DoLISA) has submitted a plan for the building of a vocational-training centre to provide vocational training and create jobs for between 300 and 350 street children to the Municipal People's Committee.

Construction of the centre, at an estimated cost of VND 4.9 billion, is expected to start this year.

The centre will teach the children rattan weaving, tailoring, carpentry, embroidery and animal husbandry.