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VN-Japan tighten bonds

Update: December, 03/2008 - 00:00

News Digest

(04-12-2008)

VN-Japan tighten bonds

HCM CITY — The Japanese people, including business people, want to consolidate their friendship and comprehensive co-operation with Viet Nam, Ikuo Mizuki, Japanese Consul General told participants at a meeting to toast the Japanese Emperor and National Day.

The Japanese diplomsaid he was optimistic about developments between the two nations and the possibility of creating a strategic partnership for peace and stability in Asia.

"Japan has become a key tourism market for Viet Nam after the establishment of direct flights from Ha Noi and HCM City to four of Japan’s major cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka," Mizuki said.

In 2007 about 410,000 Japanese tourists travelled to Viet Nam, of which 236,000 visited HCM City.

Two-way trade reached US$10 billion in 2007, tripling the 1999 figure.

"Japan ranks first in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam ($13 billion or 30 per cent of the total foreign ODA)," said Hoang Van Tuan, chairman of the Viet Nam-Japan Friendship Association.

VN, China exchange radio features

Ha Noi — The Radio Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) and China Radio International (CRI) have agreed to exchange experiences and features on culture, economics, politics and society.

The agreement was concluded here yesterday during a six-day official visit by CRI director general Wang Gengnian from December 1-7.

Co-operation between the two radio enterprises will include other areas such as radio, TV, internet and the exchange of trainees.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, VOV director general Vu Van Hien expressed his hope that relationship between the two stations would be further consolidated.

"The two stations have many things in common and this is an opportunity for them to expand co-operation and become modern media groups," said Wang.

Britain to donate $74.5m in aid

HA NOI — The British government has pledged non-refundable aid of US$74.5 million to Viet Nam next year in spite of the ongoing global financial crisis.

Head of the British Department for International Development (DFID) in Viet Nam Fiona Louise Lappin said the sum was part of a 10-year development partnership between Viet Nam and Britian.

Britain is only one of the countries to announce an aid pledge to Viet Nam before the two-day Annual Consultative Group Meeting which started today.

The poor will still be a top priority for British-funded projects, Lappin said, adding that it was important at this point in time for Viet Nam to take steps to protect the poor.

While praising Viet Nam’s poverty reduction, Lappin warned it was not likely to reach two of its Millennium Development Goals by 2015 - sanitary water and combating HIV/AIDS - especially considering foreign aid for these areas will be reduced as Viet Nam becomes a medium-income country. She called on the Vietnamese Government to prepare its budget for these priorities. — VNS

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