Issue of drug abuse in Hanoi

Ha Noi, Jan. 11 (VNA) -- Ha Noi is encountering widespread drug abuse and trafficking despite its initial achievements in drug control, says director of the Metropolitan Social Evils Control Department, Nguyen Vi Hung.

Hung says the abuse and trafficking is a pressing issue and constitutes a great loss to the entire community.

The senior officials who was addressing a meeting of the Ha Noi People's Council last week, says relentless endeavours have been made to halt the spread of drug abuse and addiction.

Hon Mun becomes maritime sanctuary

Ha Noi, Jan 10 (VNA) -- A document for the implementation of a technical support project for Hon Mun maritime sanctuary was signed in Ha Noi today between Viet Nam and three international organizations.

The signatories were Viet Nam's Deputy Minister of Fisheries Nguyen Viet Thang and representatives of the Global Environment Fund (GEF), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Intertnational Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Vietnam's pepper export in 2000

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- Viet Nam was the world's third producer of pepper and earned more than USD 140 million from exporting 36,000 tonnes in 2000.

General Statistics Office figures show that the pepper was exported to 30 countries and territories and the major importers were Singapore, the Netherlands, China and the U.S.

The exports totalled almost 16 percent of world supply after India and Indonesia.

Indian Prime Minister winds up visit to Vietnam

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- On Jan. 10 Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ended his official Viet Nam visit during which the two countries signed protocol extending their cultural cooperation programme to 2003, a memorandum of understanding for nuclear energy cooperation for peaceful purposes and a tourism agreement.

Viet Nam respects the result of election by Thai voters

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- Viet Nam respects the result of last week's election by Thai voters, said Ms. Phan Thuy Thanh, spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry.

Ms.Thanh was answering an AFP correspondent's question today, Jan. 10, about Viet Nam's reaction to the result of the Thai House of Representatives election.

Forest products processing to become active

Ha Noi, Jan. 10 (VNA) -- The Forestry Corporation is set to develop the forest product processing industry into an economic spearhead in the coming years.

The corporation will not only invest in producing chipboard and furniture and processing forest products for domestic use and export but also develop tourism, machinery manufacture and other services.

The corporation plans to earn an export turnover of USD 100 million between 2001 and 2005.

Conference on quality and food safety of aquatic products

Ha Noi. Jan. 9 (VNA) -- The Fisheries Ministry held the third conference on quality and food safety of aquatic products in Ha Noi on Jan. 9.

Representatives from aquatic processing enterprises and relevant agencies nationwide reviewed their work between 1996 and 2000, and worked out a plan of action from now to 2005 to improve the competitiveness of Viet Nam's aquatic products in the world market.

General Secretary reiterates importance of Laos ties

Ha Noi, Jan. 9 (VNA) -- The Vietnamese Party, State and people would always attach importance to constantly consolidating and developing the loyal and pure Viet Nam-Laos relationship, Viet Nam Communist Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu said.

Vietnam Airline activities in 2000

Ha Noi, Jan. 9 (VNA) -- Vietnam Airlines - the national flag carrier - last year transported nearly three million passengers and more than 45,500 tonnes of cargo, a year-on-year rise of 11 percent and 15 percent respectively, an official of the Airlines said.

The official said Vietnam Airlines gained a share of about 40 percent of international air transport in the country and brought the rate of seat occupancy to 74.63 percent for the whole year. In addition, it provided supplies and services for about 14,540 flights operated by foreign airlines.

Vietnam - China border bridge opened to traffic

Ha Noi, Jan. 8 (VNA) -- Representatives of Viet Nam's Lao Cai province and China's Yunnan province cut ribbon to put Ho Kieu bridge into services on Jan. 8 after ten months of construction.

The 138-m long and 14-m wide bridge, spanning over the Nam Thi river and linking the Lao Cai international border gate and Hokou area of Yunnan province, was jointly designed and built by the Vietnamese and Chinese engineers with funds from the two governments.