FAO provides Vietnam with technical asssistance for afforestation

Ha Noi, Dec. 7 (VNA) -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will provide technical assistance to Viet Nam in the planting of five million hectares of forest.

An agreement for the help was signed in Ha Noi on Dec. 7 by permanent Deputy Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Nguyen Van Dang and FAO representative in Viet Nam Fecnanda Guerrieri.

The Norwegian Government has granted aid to build 16 schools

Dec. 7 (VNA) -- The Norwegian Government has granted 12 million Norwegian Krone (USD 1.4 million) to build 16 primary schools in the three flood-stricken central provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam.

An agreement for the project was signed in Ha Noi this afternoon, Dec. 7, by Deputy Planning and Investment Minister Vo Hong Phuc and Norwegian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Tens Otterbech.

The project will improve facilities for pupils whose schools were badly damaged by the 1999 floods.--

Belgium writes off most of Vietnam's debt

Ha Noi, Dec. 7 (VNA) -- Viet Nam and Belgium have signed an agreement to write off most of Viet Nam's debt to the European country and for Belgium's financial assistance to projects in Viet Nam.

Signatories at the signing ceremony in Ha Noi on Dec. 7 were Deputy Finance Minister Pham Van Trong and Belgian Ambassador to Viet Nam Philippe Dartois.

Vietnam and UK strengthen cooperation

Dec. 7 (VNA) -- Nguyen Dinh Bin, Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, has paid a working visit to the United Kingdom from Dec. 5-7.

Deputy FM Nguyen Dinh Bin held talks with British State Minister of the Interior M. O Brien, and representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A nuclear physics library in Ha Noi

Ha Noi, Dec. 7 (VNA) -- A nuclear physics library serving for scientific training and research was inaugurated at the Ha Noi Nuclear Technology and Science Institute on Dec. 6.

Most of the library's books and magazines on nuclear physics and universal rays were presented by Professors Jim Cerowining (the U.S,), Pierre Darriulat (France), Jean Tran Thanh Van (a Vietnamese national in France) and Japanese scientists

Da Nang sofware center in cooperation with Indian company

Dec. 7 (VNA) -- The software technology centre of the central city of Da Nang on Dec. 6 signed a cooperation agreement with India's Aptech Company for personnel training in software industry.

Regulation on publication of creative works abroad

Ha Noi, Dec. 7 (VNA) -- The Vietnamese Government has issued a regulation of creative works to be announced and publicized abroad and encouraging the expansion of cultural exchanges between Viet Nam and other countries.

Vietnam's Economic Strategies Applauded by Multilaterals

HANOI, Dec 6 Asia Pulse - Vietnam has received a positive report card from multilateral institutions, who have praised the country's industrialisation and international integration and predicted that strong economic growth will continue.

But there is also a warning that Vietnam will need to reform its banking system and mobilise more investment from its people's savings and private enterprises, if it wants to realise its ambitious modernisation agenda.

Vietnam recognized to have eliminated polio

Ha Noi, Dec. 6 (VNA) -- Viet Nam was officially recognized on Oct. 29 to have eliminated polio, making the Western Pacific a polio-free region, announced senior officials at a news briefing in Ha Noi on Dec. 6.

The recognition means that Viet Nam has reached the World Health Organization (WHO) target for eliminating the disease throughout the globe by 2005, five years ahead of schedule.

Customs and security fees on foreign flights

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh on Dec. 5,2000 provided details on a recent decision by the Finance Ministry regarding rates of customs and security fees levied on foreign flights to Vietnamese airports as following:

"On 13 November 2000, the Finance Ministry issued Decision 179/2000/QD/BTC on rates of customs and security fees levied on foreign flights to Vietnamese airports.