60% of urban population have access to running water

Ha Noi, Dec. 1 (VNA) -- About 60 percent of 18 million people in urban areas have access to running water with share of 60-80 litres per day, according to a seminar on safe water held in Ha Noi on Nov. 30.

The seminar entitled "Water supply and drainage in Viet Nam's urban areas" was held with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Health minister calls for more efforts to curb HIV/AIDS

Ha Noi, Dec. 1 (VNA)-- Health Minister Do Nguyen Phuong has called for more concerted efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading, stressing men's important role in the nationwide campaign to fight the disease.

In an interview granted on the eve of the World AIDS Day (Dec. 1), Minister Phuong warned of the alarmingly fast spread of the epidemic as all cities and provinces had reportedly have HIV/AIDS sufferers.

Vietnam and China meet on borderline demarcation

Dec. 1 (VNA) -- An official declaration of the intention to establish a joint Viet Nam-China committee for borderline demarcation and the setting up of landmarks has been made in Beijing, China.

The declaration was made when the Joint Committee met for the first time in the Chinese capital from Nov. 19-Dec. 1.

The meeting was held to further implement the Viet Nam-China Land Border Treaty signed on Dec. 30, 1999.

Vietnam's economic growth to pick up - say ADB and WB

Ha Noi, Nov. 30 (VNA) -- "Viet Nam's economy is to pick up, and "with the right policies, the country can grow at 7-9 percent per year over the coming decade," the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank say in their reports released in Ha Noi on Nov. 29.

GDP growth in Viet Nam is expected to accelerate to 6.1 percent in 2000 and 6.4 percent in 2001 from 4.7 percent in 1999 due to a recovery in domestic private demand and robust export performances, according to the ADB's Country Economic Review for Viet Nam.

US companies and Australia Gov't help flood victims in Mekong

Nov. 30 (VNA) -- Unocal and Conaco, two US oil firms, have provided USD 200,000 as relief for flood victims in Viet Nam's Mekong delta provinces.

The sum was handed over to the Viet Nam Red Cross (VNRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Nov. 29.

It will be used to build 330 storm and flood-resistant houses in the flood-prone areas.

Meanwhile, the Austrian Government has donated VND 950 million (USD 67,800) as relief aid to the flooded areas in the Mekong delta.

Trade Minister Vu Khoan answers questions on trade

Ha Noi Nov.30 (VNA) - Trade Minister Vu Khoan on Nov. 29 told the National Assembly that the Government made greater efforts this year to beef up export operations, with priority given to seeking new markets.

This helped achieve a total export value of more than USD 13 billion in the first 11 months of the year, an increase of 25.2 per cent over the corresponding period last year, the minister explained.

Land tourist route from Vietnam to Cambodia

Ha Noi, Nov. 30 (VNA) -- A land tourist route from Rach Gia town in Viet Nam's southern province of Kien Giang to Kep town in Cambodia's Kampot province has been officially opened by the Kien Giang Tourism Company.

The company is conducting three tours a day, carrying tourists by tourist vehicles from Viet Nam to Cambodia and vice versa.

Vietnam inaugurates Embassy in Switzerland

Nov. 30 (VNA) -- Viet Nam officially inaugurated its embassy in Berne, Switzerland, on Nov. 29 in the presence of the visiting Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Dinh Bin and Swiss Secretary of State F.V. Daniken.

Vietnamese and European businesses meet to search of partnerships

Ha Noi, Nov. 30 (VNA) -- Representatives of more than 100 construction companies from the European Union and Viet Nam are meeting to explore possible partnerships at Ha Noi's first ever Asia-Interprise from Nov.29-Dec.1.

Asia-Interprise, run by the French Versailles Chamber of Commerce and the Viet Nam-based French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, offers Vietnamese construction companies the opportunity to develop cooperative potential with partners from Europe, particularly France, Italy and Belgium.