Poor communes to benefit from WB funded rural project

Ha Noi, Nov. 25 (VNA) -- Poor communes in central coastal provinces and southern provinces will benefit from a community-based rural infrastructure construction project funded by the World Bank.

The project will be carried out in 534 poor communes in 12 provinces: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, Binh Thuan and Binh Phuoc during the period from 2001 to 2005.

Vietnam GDP growth higher than expected

Ha Noi, Nov. 25 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has posted a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.7 percent against the target of between 5.5-6 percent set for this year and a rise of 15.5 percent in industrial production, from the goal of between 10.5-11 percent.

This unexpected increase resulted from proper investment over the past years, analysts said, explaining investment helped boost production of various economic sectors.

Foreign tourists come to Vietnam in increasing numbers

Ha Noi, Nov. 25 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's tourism industry is set to enjoy an increase of 17 percent in foreign arrivals to 2.5 million this year, and a 6 percent rise in domestic holiday-makers to 11 million.

Improved tourist services and state policies are expected to lift revenue to more than USD 1 billion this year, wrote Pham Tu, Deputy General Director of the Viet Nam Tourism Administration for Nhan Dan daily on Nov. 23.

Vietnam ranks third in straw mushroom exports

Ha Noi, Nov. 20 (VNA) -- Viet Nam exported 40,000 tonnes of straw mushrooms a year and became the world's third largest exporter.

Its largest market is Japan, which consumed 40 percent of the total export output. It was followed by Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, the United States and Thailand.

This year's gross production, estimated at 100,000 tonnes has failed to meet demand for domestic consumption and exports.

Vietnam accelerates disbursement of ODA capital

Ha Noi, Nov. 21 (VNA) -- The whole country disbursed USD 1.25 billion from ODA capital sources in the first nine months of 2000, raising the total of disbursed ODA capital from 1993 to USD 7.6 billion.

ODA disbursement has seen a remarkable progress in recent years. If disbursed ODA capital was USD 2.775 billion in the 1993-1996 period or only 33 percent of the pledged capital, the rate of disbursed ODA capital has been raised to 60 percent since 1997 with USD 1 billion in 1997, USD 1.24 billion in 1998 and USD 1.35 billion in 1999.

"A Sandy life" wins special prize at France int'l film festival

Nov. 24 (VNA) -- Vietnamese feature film "Doi Cat" (A Sandy Life) won the special prize of the International Film Festival held in Amiens, France, from Nov. 10-19.

Among 21 nominees, including 11 feature films and 10 documentaries, the organizing board awarded the gold prize for a Spanish film and the special prize for "Doi Cat".

This is the first time Viet Nam attended the festival, during which 300 feature and documentary films were screened.

Vietnam calls for more assistance to malnutrition control program

Ha Noi, Nov. 22 (VNA) -- The Ministry of Public Health has called on international donors to contribute 40 percent to its 2001-2005 child malnutrition programme worth VND 311.36 billion (USD 22.24 million).

The ministry elaborated that domestic sources could only meet nearly 60 percent of the programme's financial demands, therefore international donors were called upon to make up the remainder.

Vietnam attend informal ASEAN foreign and economic meetings

Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Trade Minister Vu Khoan attended the informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the informal ASEAN Economic Minister (AEM) Meeting, respectively, in Singapore on Nov. 23.

At the informal AMM, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Foreign Ministers of other ASEAN member countries heard the ASEAN's Eminent Persons Group (EPG) reporting on ASEAN Vision 2020 and the contents of the ASEAN+Japan Consultation Meeting on the Ha Noi Plan of Action.

Viet Nam's tourism sector attracted 5 billion foreign investment

Ha Noi, Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Viet Nam's tourism sector has so far attracted 157 foreign-invested projects with a combined capital of more than USD 5 billion, according to the Tourism Administration.

Most of projects have set up hotel and travel services.

Japan has emerged as the biggest investor in the sector, with 20 hotel projects having a combined capital of USD 434 million. The runner-up is the Republic of Korea, with five projects capitalized at USD 192 million.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai attends informal summit of ASEAN

Ha Noi, Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Prime Minister Phan Van Khai arrived in Singapore today, Nov. 23, to attend the fourth informal summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien, Trade Minister Vu Khoan, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Tam Chien, Deputy Finance Minister Le Thi Bang Tam, and Deputy Director of the Government Office Van Trong Ly.