Contracts on Nam Con Son oil field exploitation signed

Ha Noi, Dec. 15 (VNA) -- Contracts for the Nam Con Son Gas Project were signed by the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Corporation (PetroVietnam) and its foreign partners, BP, Statoil of the UK and ONGC of India, in Ha Noi Dec. 15.

These included a business cooperation contract between PetroVietnam and BP Pipeline Viet Nam B.V, Statoil AS to build and put into operation a pipeline in Nam Con Son and a contract for selling gas exploited at Lot 06.1 of the Nam Con Son basin between PetroVietnam and the Lot 06.1 product-sharing contractors (PSC).

Consultative group meeting for Vietnam opens in Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Dec. 14 (VNA) -- The Consultative Group (CG) for Viet Nam opened its meeting in Ha Noi this morning, Dec. 14.

Participants at the two-day meeting include Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung, and representatives of the World Bank (WB), 41 bilateral and multilateral donor organizations and nations, and many observers.

Vietnam's economy makes positive changes in 2000

Ha Noi, Dec. 14 (VNA) -- Positive changes in the Vietnamese economy have been exemplified in the reversal of the downward economic trend. The GDP growth rate in 2000 is expected to reach 6.7 percent as compared to 4.8 percent in 1999.

Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Xuan Gia discussed the Vietnamese economy at the private sector forum held in Ha Noi on December 13.

Int'l organizations help develop educational sector in Mekong

Dec. 13 (VNA) -- International organizations have donated USD 4.3 million to help the educational sector in the Mekong delta overcome the aftermath of floods, according to the Ministry of Education and Training.

Of the sum, USD 1.052 million funded by the World Bank will be spent on a project to develop primary education in the Mekong delta and USD 3.295 million funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a project to develop junior secondary education.

Private sector forum in Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Dec. 13 (VNA) -- "Enhancing the competitiveness of Viet Nam" is the main theme of a private sector forum organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank (WB) in Ha Noi today, Dec. 13.

Present at the forum, the third of its kind, were representatives of 29 local businesses, 27 foreign business associations, Government agencies, donor countries and international development organizations.

Vietnamese labor integrate with global market

Ha Noi, Dec. 13 (VNA) -- The Government will exempt entrepreneurs engaged in labour exports from value-added tax (VAT) from early next year, in a bid to stimulate Viet Nam's labour exports, a senior official from the Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry said.

The Government has approved the ministry's proposal that the zero percent VAT level be applied to entrepreneurs who are allowed to dispatch Vietnamese workers abroad, director of the department for management of Vietnamese workers abroad Tran Van Hang told Lao Dong newspaper.

Ho Chi Minh city to build software training center

Dec. 13 (VNA) -- Ho Chi Minh City will build a centre for personnel training in software industry under a just-approved USD 3.5 million project.

Funding will come from India's soft loans worth USD 2.5 million and the remainder will be met by the city.

The project aims to improve knowledge on information technology for students and managers and supply human resources for the software industry in the city and other southern localities.

Construction of the centre will start in the third quarter of 2001.--VNA

Vietnam ranks 89th in UNICEF's list on children

Ha Noi, Dec. 13 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has been ranked 89th of 198 countries in the Care and Protection of Children by the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, following a decline in deaths of children under five.

UNICEF Country representative Morten Giersing announced the ranking at a news briefing about the World's Children 2001 in Ha Noi on Dec. 13. The briefing was given by UNICEF and Viet Nam's Committee for Protection and Care of Children.

NGO helps conduct plastic surgery for Vietnamese children

Ha Noi, Dec. 14 (VNA) -- Deformed children in the southern province of Dong Nai will benefit from plastic surgery, thanks to an assistance programme to be conducted by a Swiss non-governmental organization, Children Action, starting on Jan. 1 next year.

An agreement to the effect has been signed by the Dong Nai Health Service and Children Action.

ILO senior officials in Vietnam

Dec. 12 (VNA) -- Senior officials of the International Labour Organization, ILO, and Viet Nam's Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry met in Ha Noi today, Dec. 12.

Their purpose was to review a three-year project, funded by ILO and Japan and implemented by the ministry, intended to raise management capacity and upgrade facilities at job promotion centres in Phu Tho, Hai Duong, Nghe An and Dong Nai provinces and Ho Chi Minh City.

The project was started in 1998.